Question 1 - Undertake a SWOT analysis of the organization in the case
The most significant strength that Sun Life Financial possesses is the experience that it has accrued in the insurance business. Sun Life Financial was set up in Canada in 1865. It was not long until the company began the internationalization process and entered numerous foreign markets. Around 1900 Sun Life Financial started to diversify its investments. This experience is crucial when it comes to making management decisions and determining strategies. Furthermore, Sun Life Financial has a great deal of experience when it comes to internationalization and entering new markets. This will be of high value when entering the Chinese insurance market, since through the years the company had the chance to develop, apply and test many strategies.
A second strength is the representative office opened in Beijing in 1992.which enables Sun Life Financial to establish a presence in China. Furthermore, this office can provide information to the international headquarter that can help determine the right approach and strategy. The representative office also allows Sun Life Financial to gain vital contacts with local and national governments. A joint venture agreement provides all sorts of benefits for a company. In this case the joint venture agreement with China Everbright Group allows Sun Life Financial to share its distribution network and its management local’s expertise. Furthermore, as Everbright is a Chinese company, they have the capability to deal with the local and national governments.
One obvious weakness that has to be taken into account is that Sun Life Financial has no experience in the Chinese insurance market. This market is relatively new and dominated by Chinese insurance companies with more experience and knowledge. Chinese customers might be hesitant to trust a new foreign insurer. It will take some time and good marketing to gain the citizens’ trust.