Title: Quala S.A.: innovation by the book, performance outside the box

Authors: Hugo Ernesto Díaz Sánchez; Laura Nicole De la Rosa Munar

Addresses: Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz, Kra 9 # 62-27, Bogotá 110231, Colombia ' Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz, Kra 9 # 62-27, Bogotá 110231, Colombia

Abstract: Emerging market firms (EMFs) must compete for market share with foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) that are, in most cases, more affluent in resources and assets. At the same time, EMFs come from a context with strong market failures and institutional factors not always business friendly. Which strategies can be implemented then to compete in such conditions? The answer for Quala S.A., a Colombian company that has a successful internationalisation experience in other Latin American countries, has been a localised adaptive response. By cleverly detecting unexplored market niches and adapting existing products to better suit them; this company has relied on its marketing function to shape its innovation efforts. Its success in emerging markets vis-à-vis foreign MNEs is based on the latter's inability to fully adapt to each market, or to build brands from the bottom up - local customers first. But resisting standardisation comes with a cost. Is Quala's strategy sustainable?

Keywords: innovation; business strategy; emerging markets; internationalisation; Quala S.A.; Colombia; market niches; product adaptation; marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTCS.2014.065624

International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, 2014 Vol.5 No.2, pp.143 - 157

Available online: 31 Oct 2014 *

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