Phone war project opened my eyes to tricks used by business

Samsung Galaxy

Oluwasegun Iroko from Lagos in Nigeria, who graduated with first-class Honours from the BA (Hons) Business and Accounting in 2014, recalls his favourite project.

The project I am most proud of happens to be the most difficult one - a 3000 word report on Samsung Electronics’ competitive strategy in the smartphone sector of the consumer electronics industry. 

What made this task different was the amount of work I had to put in. The bulk of the analysis drew emphases from ongoing activities in the smartphone sector, which meant reading every piece of new information from any credible source that came my way.

Initially, I had contradicting opinions as to what direction my analysis should take as there were lots of litigations (Intellectual property right, patent right etc.) going on between Samsung Galaxy phones and Apple iPhones at the time, as well as the superiority rivalry between the duos.

Consequently, I had to keep up with recent developments in the media that relates to the smartphone sector as a whole. Sometimes, I would also have to go back and reframe a line of argument or a paragraph in my report just to suit current happenings.

The structure of the task entailed using different models (analytical frameworks) to analyse the strategic edge Samsung has over its competitors and how sustainable are those strategies.

In my case, I used six different models - Bowman’s Strategy Clock, Group Mapping Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Five Forces Analysis, Resource and Competence Analysis and Value Chain Analysis.

I did not just use the models to describe what I found about the company, but to comment on my findings and to explain what the evidence suggests about the company’s strategic position.

The ability to successfully complete the task gave me the much needed confidence to face other tasks that came afterwards.

I have always read about business strategy in books and journals but this task gave me a real life experience of how companies use their unique resources and core competencies to strategise their way to the top, as well as how they deal with sustainability issues.

Image shows Samsung Galaxy S IV (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)