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feasibility study

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1. Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………. 3

2. Our goal ……………………………………………………………………………4

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3. AstraZeneca ………………………………………………………………………..5

4. Bulgaria – Basic Facts ………………………………………………………………6

5. Britain – Bulgaria – cultural comparison ……………………………………………8

6. Recommendations for overcoming the differences ………………………………10

7. References ………………………………………………………………………..15

The British company AstraZeneca plans to open a representative branch in Bulgaria. This paper is a research about the country and cultural, and communication styles of the Bulgarians. It points out differences between British and Bulgarian culture and communication styles. The difficulties that may occur because of these differences are in three main areas of communication – communication with: 1/ the customers, 2/ the Governmental Institutions and 3/ the employees. We recommend the following strategy for overcoming them. First, the problem with the fact that the customers are poor and our medicines are expensive will be overcome with a strong marketing strategy. Next, a special Project Team will take care of the communications with the Governmental Institutions. Last, the troubles that may occur between the Bulgarian employees (managers) and the UK Headquarters will be resolved by training.

We are a British pharmaceutical company that has branches and representative offices in many countries around the world.

Our goal is to open a representative branch in Bulgaria in order to sell our medicines on that market. We will find more about the country and its culture in order to identify possible difficulties in the communication, generate alternatives and find solutions how our venture can be successful.

AstraZeneca, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, was formed in April 1999 through the merger of Astra AB, Sweden, and Zeneca Group PLC, UK. AstraZeneca aims to grow from its inherited position, building on the ‘best from both’ of the merger partners. It is world number three in ethical pharmaceuticals.

The corporate headquarters are in London. AstraZeneca has a highly experienced Board and Executive Management Team. The Chief Executive and his Executive Team run the company. The Chief Executive is responsible to the full AstraZeneca Board for the running of the Group.

The company has more than 50,000 employees worldwide. We believe passionately in innovation, people, partnerships, and responsibilities.

AstraZeneca has a strong research base and powerful product portfolio, designed to fight disease in seven areas of real medical need – cancer, cardiovascular, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, infection, pain control and anesthesia, and respiratory.

AstraZeneca supports a wide range of charitable, educational and environmental initiatives at an international and local level.

With worldwide presence and production facilities in 20 countries, AstraZeneca’s relationships with the communities in which we operate are fundamental to our success.

A Slavic state, Bulgaria achieved independence in 1878 after 500 years of Ottoman rule. Bulgaria fought on the losing side in both World Wars. After World War II it fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. Communist domination ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, and Bulgaria began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy. In addition to the problems of structural economic reform, particularly privatization, Bulgaria faces the serious issues of keeping inflation under control and unemployment, combating corruption, and curbing black-market and mafia-style crime.

LOCATION: Located on the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria extends from the western shore of the Black Sea to Yugoslavia and Macedonia in the west. In the north, the Danube River forms the greater part of Bulgaria’s common border with Romania. Greece and European Turkey lie to the south and southeast of Bulgaria.

AREA: 110,987-sq. km. (44,365-sq. mi.).

POPULATION: 8,290,988 (July 1997 est.).

MAIN TOWNS: Plovdiv (pop. 377,637), Varna (pop. 297,090), Bourgas (pop. 188,367), and Rousse (pop. 185,425).

ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION: 28 districts.

TRANSPORT: The railway transport is of great significance for the country. The sea and river (along the Danube river) fleet take an active part in the trade of the country. The major seaports are Varna and Bourgas, and the main Danube ports are Rousse, Lom, Svishtov, and Vidin. There is a ferryboat connection between Vidin and Kalafat (Romania). The main airport is Sofia Airport.

CLIMATE: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Bulgarian. The Bulgarian language belongs to the South Slavic branch of the Slavic languages and uses the Cyrillic alphabet.

NATIONAL DAY: 3 March – The Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman Rule (1878).

 New Year’s Day on January 1

 The Day of the Founders of the Slavonic Alphabet St. Cyril and St. Methodius on May 24

 Unification Day on September 6

 Independence Day on September 22

CURRENCY: Lev (BGN). Currency board.

LEGAL SYSTEM: Parliamentary Republic

HEAD OF STATE: Petar Stoyanov – President (since 22 January 1997).

ETHNIC GROUPS: Bulgarian 87.8%, Turk 8.5%, Gypsy 2.6%, other 1.1%.

RELIGIONS: Bulgarian Orthodox 85%, Muslim 13%, Jewish 0.8%, Catholic 0.7%, and other 0.5% .

V. Britain – Bulgaria – cultural comparison

HabitsDrink beer and whiskyDrink grape brandy

Smoking is banned in public placesSmoking is not banned in public places

Socialize in pubsVery hospitable; also like to meet at cafés

Bias against the quality of the Bulgarian products and preference for foreign (western) products

Communication stylesHave reputation for being reserved in their behavior but are kind when asked for general help or advise; shake hands when meeting, used to eye-contactFriendly; open; used to eye-contact; shaking hands when meeting; women- friends kiss each other when meeting

Racial issuesProtected in law against racial discrimination The government policy is to integrate all the minority groups in the society. There is a National Agency for Ethnic and Demographic Issues.

Gender issuesWomen are still struggling for equal opportunities in work and politics.Women have good opportunities at work.

Homosexuality is no illegal. There are special gay pubs.Homosexuality is not well accepted by the public.

FamilyPeople tend to live as partners rather than merry. Partners even have the legal rights of husband and wife.Young people tend to live as partners. They can marry later. Parents take care of their children during their whole life.

Political systemKing and hierarchical societyBuilding democratic society; Bureaucratic administrative system

SocietyWell represented middle class but also rich people; well working social system A lot of the people are poor and few are very rich. The percentage of unemployment is high.

VI. Recommendations for overcoming the differences

We will address the cultural differences that can affect AstraZeneca’s communications with the Bulgarians. If AstraZeneca opens a branch in Bulgaria it will have to communicate with:

1. Our customers will be the ordinary people.

We develop medicines for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The percentage of cancer and cardiovascular diseases in Bulgaria is high.

AstraZeneca’s medicines are expensive. The Bulgarian people are poor, but willing to give money to preserve their health.

We propose a strong marketing and advertising strategy with emphasis on the high quality of AstraZeneca’s medicines and a lot of information about the strong research base of the company. This advertising together with the bias of the Bulgarians against the quality of the local products will increase our chances of success. The figure below shows the tendencies in the pharmaceutical market for the last year. The import is bigger compared with the market of the local production.

Bulgarian Pharmaceutical market (01.01.1999 – 01.01.2000)

The doctors, the pharmacies, the hospitals and the newly established National Insurance Fund can reach the ordinary people. We recommend the marketing department to build up those communications (see figure on page 13).

AstraZeneca will have to work with The National Drug Institute in order to licence company’s products and enter the market of Bulgaria. The Institute is a state institution. Corruption and bureaucracy are identified as the greatest problems in the state institutions. Our advice is the establishment of a Project Team whose main task will be to evaluate the situation and to generate solutions for developing healthy communications with this institution. The Drug registration department will expand those communications in the future (see figure on page 13).

The central office of the branch should be in the capital Sofia. This will help in the communications with the government institutions, which are mainly based in Sofia.

AstraZeneca would like to employ Bulgarians in the new branch applying its corporate policy of belief in people and responsibilities through having local staff in each country. This will be good for the company because the Bulgarians are well educated and hard working. We think that the language differences will not be a barrier to the communication because most of the young people in Bulgaria speak English as a second language. There should be a common working schedule to overcome the variations in the holidays.

The communication process between AstraZeneca staff and the Bulgarian employees will be facilitated by the open and friendly nature of the Bulgarians. We anticipate that the Bulgarians will have difficulties with the reserved British style of communication. To overcome this problem we suggest that the managers in the Bulgarian branch, who will have direct communication with our headquarters, to be people who have received their education in Britain or have worked in a similar international environment. If there are still misunderstandings our recommendation is to train the managers in the UK Headquarters. In that way they will become familiar with the corporate policy and will have a chance to develop personal relationships.

On the ground of the above analysis we suggest that the new branch should have the following structure:

7. www.business-europa.co.uk/bsmenu.html

11. Studying and living in Britain: A guide for international students and visitors (1997). The British Council

1. englishculture.about.com
2. www.astrazeneca.com
3. www.bba.bg
4. www.bcci.bg
5. www.bfia.org
6. www.bulgaria-embassy.org
7. www.business-europa.co.uk/bsmenu.html
8. www.google.com
9. www.ndi.bg400.bg
10. www.open.gov.uk
11. Studying and living in Britain: A guide for international students and visitors (1997). The British Council

Cite this feasibility study

feasibility study. (2018, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/feasibility-study/

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