Assessing the business of nds group


I have chosen NDS group Plc. as the organization to discuss in this assignment. NDS is a world leader in Pay TV Technology and conditional access system. It is a part of the renowned media conglomerate News Corporation. News Corp. is the main share holder and other share holders include Permira Equity funds. The reason for selecting NDS in this assignment is various. Some of them are as follows. Despite the global recession, NDS' bottom line did not affect much. In 2008 company's turnover was close to USD 750 Million. And in 2009 it has gone up to 830 million. This is mainly due to company's strong focus on emerging markets like India and China. During this time NDS has won major clients like Bharti Airtel in India and SAFRT in China. Another reason is NDS outstanding quality of products. In the industry they are saying that there are no piracy on NDS products during the past 10 years. This means the company is focusing strongly on R&D. Another reason for chosing the company is that I believe by creating NDS Rupert Murdoch has made another attempt of forward integration in the media industry.

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Following are the planning principles and processes involved in developing a general or marketing strategy.

A tactical or simply a planning is a time consuming activity by an organization, that facilitates an organization towards the goals determined by itself thorough the various parameters of limited resources and the environment in which it works.

So we can say that the planning has 5 main steps.

1) Organization should make its long term objectives.

2) There should be a structure to allow methodical decision making process

3) The organization's resources should be carefully audited before the implementation of plans

4) The organization should scan the surroundings where it works

5) Planning involves long term activities. So there should be a method or process to observe the performance linked to the long term planning. Further it should be dynamic in nature. If the corporation wants a change the system should be able to change as per the demands of the company internally and externally.

Following are the framework on which the strategy can be developed.

1) Market segmentation: The world is the market for any product. Market segmentation is the process in which companies classify parts of market that are seemingly poles apart from one another. It helps the companies to serve the customers in a better way. For e.g. If P& G identifies that instead of a single washing powder it can sell different washing powders (depending upon color of cloth, fragrance, and types of clothes) then that is market segmentation. By doing this companies get more share in a market.

A Market segment should be quantifiable, reachable by the company's channels, should last for some time, and should make a handsome profit.

Segmentation can be on the basis of geography, demography etc…

2) Pricing: Out of the four Ps in marketing Pricing is one of the most important one. It is a very important management subject also. Because if the price is not correct as per the market condition and sentiments it can harm the bottom line and also it relate to the positioning of the product.

Objectives of the Pricing:

Pricing objectives are different in different companies. But in general following are the main objectives of any pricing policy.

Present profit Maximization: Pricing policies aims to increase the present profits of the company.

Present Revenue maximization:- Most of the firms are now a day's concentrate on revenue maximization instead of profit maximization. By doing so the firm ensures the revenue for long term.

Increase Sales- This is another objective of pricing policies. Every firm has an objective of increasing its sales. And pricing policy plays a vital role in the sales of the firm.

Survival- This is true especially in the current market situation. In times of recession and downwards survival is the best strategy. In this situation company's strategy is to cover its costs and just remain in the market.

Avoid price wars- This can be another objective of the pricing policies.

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Now let us see some of the pricing policies or methods used by the organizations.

1) Price skimming- In this method the organization fix a price that is very high compared to the cost of production. In this way the firm skim the cream or top layer of the market. Later when the product establishes or when the competitor comes it reduce the price and then aim the masses.

2) Penetration pricing- This is opposite to the price skimming. In this method the firm fix a price which is more or less equal to the competitors price or as per its cost of production. In the later stage once the product establishes itself in the market it gradually increases the price of the same.

Cost Plus mark up pricing-: In this method the firm looks in to its own cost and add a decent profit before selling it to the market.

3) Advertisement strategies: NDS doesn't advertise directly to the masses, since NDS deals with B2B products. But it rather promotes products directly in venues like product exhibitions, and technical exhibitions and convincing directly with the customers.

4). Product positioning: Product positioning is an important strategy tool in the hands of management. Products have to be correctly positioned in the market. If correctly positioned, it will have good sales and revenues. But if the company fails to position its product, it will have a bad sale and revenues will be hit. In the case of NDS, the company has positioned its all products and platforms very well. As a result it can ask for a premium price and the long term revenue is promising.


Following are some of the techniques and tools used to produce a strategic and marketing plan.

Porter's Generic Strategies:[1]

The thought initially come out in early nineteen eighties and it to a great extent affected managerial thinking across globe. Here the focus is on the expectation that the company rule a market place or a particular segment in a market propelled by its superiority in products.


Differentiation Cost Leadership


As per this a firm gives to its customers a technology or product or service which is exclusively available to its customers only and must be different by the on e offered by its competitors

Cost Leadership:

Under this the organization by its R& D and other marketing tools and product nature must have established a cost leadership. Once the cost leadership is established then it is difficult for its competitors to match the same.


Under this the company focus on a particular market segment. For e.g. niche products

SWOT Analysis:

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Treats.

It is a very important technique for assessing the internal and external environment of a business.

The strength and the weakness relate to the internal environment of the organization and opportunities and threats relates to the external environment.

The SWOT analysis can be shown as follows. (This is with reference to NDS)


Technical capabilities

Established brand

Loyal Customers

Loyal Employees

Efficient executive team

Quality of the product



Absence of low cost products

Increasing cost of R&D

Staff quality

Absence of an established distribution channel.


New players in the market


Income increases in emerging economies

People tastes are changing.

Liberal government policies


Change in technology

Changes in government policies

Unstable political condition in developing countries

Change in economic sentiment

Change in customer preference.

BCG Matrix[2]

The BCG matrix is a product portfolio planning method developed by BCG In this method the company is divided in to SBUs and then these SBUs are classified in to four types. Four types are Stars, cash cows, question marks and dogs. This classification is based on the mixture of market growth and relative market share. Market growth denotes the industry attractiveness and market share denotes the competitive advantage.

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The BCG matrix can be shown as follows.[3]

Relative Market Share

High Low


Question Marks

Cash Cows



Market Growth Rate.

Stars: These are those SBUs which generate huge cash amounts. But stars also consume large quantities of cash due to the high growth rate. This means the cash coming in and going out would be net out. They have huge relative market share. If the stars can retain its market share it can become a cash cow else it will fade as a question mark.

Cash Cows: They generate more cash than they consume. Usually companies invest less money in to cash cows. Other units can consume the cash generated by these units.

They have low growth rate and high market share.

Dogs: They have low growth and low market share. Companies will see if it delivers cash. Otherwise usually they will wind up such units.

Question Marks: These units will have heavy rate of growth but their relative market share is low. Steps should take to increase the market share of these units otherwise they will start to consume huge cash and eventually will turn up as dogs. The best strategy here is to sell these units or finance heavily on this units and make them viable.

Task 2

I like to give some explanation to the term stakeholder. A stake holder is any person or an entity who has affected by the business.

In general the following table represents the stakeholders of today's organization.[4]




Financial institutions






Business contacts.



Professional people








Minority and pressure group

Ref: A Gillie power point presentation by Prof. Mike Harvey.

The thing to be noted here is that different stakeholders have different level of expectation to the organization.

Let us take the example of NDS and its stake holders and their expectations.

1) Investors: NDS has the following major types of investors.

a). Owners. Its major owners are News Corp. and Permira funds. The major expectation of this group would be a decent and handsome return on the capital employed, success of business and prestige.

b). Lenders. HSBC is the main bank of NDS. They expect interest, security ad repayment of the loan.

2). Employees.

All around the Globe NDS employs around 3600 people. Its employees can be mainly divided in as

a) Directors- They expect power and prestige rewards etc..

b). Executives-They are the C level and the VP level in a company. Top executives of the company expect success of the business, good return , bonus and power and influence.

c). Managers. They expect good salary, perks other benefits etc...

d) Support Staff and Entry level staff. They expect recognition of work, good career development, security of job nice salary etc..

3) Business Contact group. NDS has major customer across the world. Some of them are BSkyb-Sky UK, Sky Italia, TataSky,DrectTV, Canal Digital etc...In short it operates around the world in more than 70 platforms.. (Ref.

In common the customers' expectations are similar. They expect good and appropriate products, competitive pricing etc...

Other major sub group in this group is creditors. The creditors expect good business relations, fair treatment and payment on time etc... as per the agreed terms and conditions.

4) Society: Society means where we leave. Society expect local job opportunity, development of surrounding where it operate etc...Also when it comes to technical front the society expect companies to use greener technologies.

Pressure groups also included in the society. They probably want fair and equal treatment for all.

5). Government. A firm like NDS cannot operate in one country or in one geographic area. It operates around the world. It has to abide by various rules, regulation and laws of various governments and international bodies.

In short each and every stakeholder has their own interest and their interest, those have to be considered while making a management strategy and otherwise it will not be successful.

The general and marketing strategic options are various. Let us look in to Porter's 5 forces model. [5]

Porter's Five forces model is a influential tool for examining a corporation's industry composition in strategic planning process. It is a technique for the industry study from the point of view of an organizations business. As per Porter a firm's strategy should able to recognize external opportunities and threat. Under this he has identified 5 competitive forces that form an industry, These 5 forces decide the strength of rivalry and profitability and attractiveness in that market. As per Porter the aim of corporate strategy is to adapt these 5 forces in a complimentary position to the organization. On the basis of this analyzed information from this, the management can decide how to move on a particular industry or in a situation.

As per Porter the 5 forces are as follows.

1) Entry of new players/Threat of new entrants.

A new player can enter in to the market at any time. The entry depends on the attractiveness of the market and the competition. As per porter there are a number of barriers to entry. Some of them are economies of scale- , cost leadership, brand loyalty, intellectual property of existing players, easy availability of raw material, high switching costs for existing customers to switch the existing players.

2) Bargaining power of customers- This decides how the customers can affect or bargain a firm's existing margins volume.

In the following situation bargaining power of a customer will be high.

a) When one or two customers are the large buyers

b) When the product gets easy substitutes.

c) When the customers are high price sensitive

d) If the customer has any idea of the production cost

3) Threat of Substitutes.

If there is alternate products exists there is a chance for threat of substitutes. This determines factors like, brand loyalty, customer relationship etc...

4) Rivalry among existing players

High competition results in to eating of margin, price, adding costs etc..

5) Bargaining power of suppliers. - This is high when the following conditions.

a) Few suppliers for the raw material

b) There may not be any substitute for the raw material

c) Huge loss may come if the company changes existing supplier.

The Porter's Five Forces Strategy Can be shown as follows. [5]

Potential Entrants

Threat of new Entrants



Bargaining power Bargaining power of customers

Of customers

Threat of substitute products or service


Task 3


Mission statement of a company is a small statement that describes the mission of the business.The mission presents strategic, important and long term information in terms of the uniqueness of what a firm or a company is going to achieve through its activities.

Usually the mission statement is conceptualized by the most experienced and senior executives in the company and this will provide an insight to people outside what a firm is going to do. The mission statement of a company is usually simple and easy to read and understand. In simple the mission statement provides or tells the company that where it is to go and what it is going to achieve in the long run.

The role of the vision in a company is to demonstrate the ability of the company in realizing its tactical and strategic objectives. Actually the short term strategy and other operational goals come from the mission statement. The vision of the company is to demonstrate the significance of the company to world and its intention in the direction of achieving the overall corporate objectives.

In simple terms mission of a company says where it is going and the nature of it is long term. Vision says how the company going to there and the ways to achieve the organizational objectives mentioned in the mission. So if companies have a proper mission and vision they are always aligned to achieve that.

Let us look in to the mission and vision of NDS group plc.

Mission: Secure, Enable, Interact.[6]

Vision: NDS doesn't have a published vision. Since it is a privately held company it may be available only to internal parties.


Objectives: The ethical issues that NDS has to tackle are many. The main un unethical issue NDS is facing is piracy. Due to this not only the company but also its customers also lose millions of dollars .The company is overcautious when they tackle this issue. An ethical issue that can be shown as an example in current environment is rival admiration. Due to the current economic situation companies can take over less financially sound companies. But it is an ethical question. NDS' is a very ethically managed company. For e.g. it does not accept products and supplies from suppliers those who uses children in their factories or at any stages of production.

Current Business condition and influence: Restricting the piracy (main unethical activity) assist in decreasing the damage to company and its customers. Even in this bad economic condition NDS refrain from any kind of unethical activities.


Objectives: The business objective of NDS is again clear. Even though the company face problems due to the current bad economic situation NDS could maintain its business objectives. Business objectives include revenue maximization, more market share, more customers, increase in profit and boost the brand NDS

Influence by current business climate: After the great depression in the 1930s current time is the worst climate for business. As we know many of the business has closed and thousands lost their job. But NDS has not affected much by this economic downturn. But the company is taking prudent cost cutting measures to avoid any eventualities.


Objectives: Here the objective is to provide equal treatment to all employees and customers regardless of cultures.

Influence by current business climate: NDS is well equipped to meet different cultural demands under any business situation. As such there is no situation now for this company to be sensitive on a cultural basis.


Objectives: Environmental objectives are to keep the environment pollution free and to contribute to burning issues such as global warming .NDS always adhere to the highest standard of environmental issues. Being a part of the renowned News Corp. Group it also follows the same group policy in this matter.

Influence by current business climate: Company is always trying to reduce the carbon foot print it produces. As a part of this company has changed its data centers in to a more energy efficient ones, and has done an audit to find out how many travel its employees is doing on an yearly basis. Being a B2B firm its executives travel a lot. After finding this the company is trying to restrict the only to where it is absolutely needed. 'NDS has announced a host of initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and helping digital TV subscribers reduce their energy consumption. The cornerstone of the NDS environmental strategy is its research and development efforts to reduce the power consumption of set-top boxes (STBs) and digital video recorders (DVRs).'[7]


Objectives: can avoid the society where he lives. NDS is not also an exception. It has to match the societal expectations. Society has many expectations on the company. This can be in the form of national, local or regional. In each case NDS keep up the expectations of the society.

Influence by current business climate: In most of the places it operate NDS has resorted to localization of talent. At the beginning of the business the company tried to operate business with engineers from UK and Israel. But now in most of the places it localized its talent pool.

Task 4

To assess this best way is to do the PESTLE analysis. By doing the PESTLE analysis we are actually doing the environment scanning.

PESTLE means Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environment.

This is an important tool in the strategic planning. Before doing the strategic planning one has to thoroughly scan or audit the environment in which the company operates. By studying the environment around an organization it can take precautionary steps to avoid any eventualities in case needed an also it can understand the opportunities. If a firm understands the opportunities where it works it can capitalize the same, and hence improve the bottom line of it.

The PESTLE analysis can be shown in the following table format [8].


Factors are made of


Political stability in a country etc...

Governments' tax policy

Laws relating to employment

Trade restrictions

Environmental regulations


Economic stage- boom/recession etc.

Exchange rates, interest rates

Living condition

Inflation rates

Unemployment etc..


Population, demography,

Culture &tradition

Social movements,

Education level in a society

Ethnicity, religion etc…


Technological development

Research aptitude

Intellectual property rights

Changes in communication technology etc..


Employment laws

Regulatory bodies

Trading policies

Judiciary system


Different environmental legislation

Ecological aspects

Government regulation etc…

So for the company we selected NDS also these factors are true. Since it working on much geography it has to act on a responsible manner to understand these factors and should act accordingly. For example the legal front. Since it operating in many countries it has understand the laws and regulations of that many countries. Otherwise legal in one country may be illegal in other country. For instance in India broadcasters can not broadcast adult content on their channels. But that is not the case in most of the western countries. So NDS has to make that many changes in its distribution softwares to make effect this thing.

Let us take the example of Economic situation here.

The recent recession has come to the world during the second half of 2008. NDS is a B2B company primarily. So immediately the effect may not affect it. But then also the company was prudent enough to respond to this changed and abnormal situation in the following way.

1. Immediately stopped most of its capital expenditure. Capital expenditure allowed only supporting the existing customers. All other type of routine capital expenses needs to be approved by the company's regional financial controller and if it goes beyond $50,000 by group CFO.

2. All fixed expensed like new offices, new leases etc… stopped.

3. All new recruitment must be pre approved by its VP at the regional level.

4. Instead of using hotel rooms company told its travelling executives to use the available company guest houses

5. Travelling of executives across the board reduced and any new travel should have gone through at least 2 levels of approval process. Also executives are told to use budget carriers wherever possible.

6. Finally company removed around 300 people from its pay rolls, whose performance were below average in the last Performance appraisal.

Through these measures NDS has ensured that the company will not face any eventuality in the field of liquidity and business. And these simple actions ensured the organization operates in a healthy form.

Another example can be given in the Technological front.

In recent years the number of people who are buying HD TV sets are increased. NDS' core business is in DTH and the company well understands this. So the traditional Set Top Boxes that the company normally gives will not give what the HD viewers want, the HD clarity. So NDS responded to this technological change immediately and came to the market with new

HD Set Top Boxes.

In any organization the strategic planning alone cannot survive. To do this the company not only needs its top managers. But all other departments and people have to respond to this plan. In the case of NDS, or for that matter any other organization, following are the main functional areas of business.

a) Finance & Admin

b) Marketing

c) Human Resource

d) Information Technology

e) Legal

Let us look in to some of them in details.

1) Finance & Admin- This department controls the financial and accounting functions of business. In large organizations usually this is headed by CFO or group financial controllers or some time Finance directors. Finance department usually process the bills and invoices, make payment to 3rd parties, make on time salary payment etc... They also follow up people to pay outstanding if any, work with banks etc… In some organizations admin and finance work together. Admin controls and maintain all facilities and smooth functioning of an office.

2) Marketing: Through marketing a company tells people that they have the products and services required for the masses. And through sales force it distributes those things to the masses. Marketing creates awareness about the product in people's mind. And through sales company leverage that awareness.

3) HR. All organizations employ people and they are the biggest asset of companies. HR departments function includes recruiting, selection, promotion, salary fixing, retrenchment etc…

Task 5


Below we are going to look in to a timetable for strategy implementation. Before that let us understand what is meant by the term strategy implementation.

Once the strategy is planned or conceived by the top management of the company it has to be implemented across the company. The point to be noted here is that strategy usually affect the organization as a whole and will have long lasting effect. This means we cannot implement strategy overnight and once implemented it takes its own time to give the result. Also it will be difficult to avoid this strategy one fine day. And for the smooth implementation the strategy needs to be converted in to the forms of policies, otherwise functional level people may not understand the whole thing. This will later come in the form of different functional policies. Examples are HR policy of the company, Financial policies of the company, Communication policies of the company, IT policies of the company, Staff hand books etc.... Another important thing to be noted in strategy implementation is the communication. The whole process must be clearly communicated to all levels of organization. So they will understand what the organization wants to do with them.

Strategies are for long term. This doesn't mean that it has to be fixed. Strategies needs to be evaluated and monitored and if necessary revised as per the requirements whenever needed. This means there should be a mile stone to achieve each and every objective. And these objectives needs to be achieved in a time framed manner. So in the evaluation and the monitoring process we will come to know that whether we have achieved the objectives as per the strategic plannig.

Following is the example of the time table which includes the milestone and timing. Here we assume that NDS is going to implement the following corporate strategy.

Key activities.

How to do/ Resources needed

Time line.

'NDS is and will always be a leader and innovator in Pay TV Technology'.[9]

Need to add 5 more R&D facilities (2-UK,2-India & 1-Israel) to cater the increasing demand of customers

UK and India facilities to be up by March 2010 and Israel facility by October 2010

'Help existing customers and assist them to grow their subscriber base'[9]

Make the applications more user friendly and implement the same

By Nov-2010

Sell novel function and services and products to existing clients

1. Instead of current C language change the applications to java oriented one.

2-Launch of XTV application

By June 2010

By Sept.2010

'Win new Pay TV customers with particular focus on cable'[9]

Revenue from cable should increase from current 10% to 25%

By 2015

'Capitalize on the convergence of digital broadcasting and the interest'[9]

Concentrate more on mobile platforms along with current DTH and cable platforms

Ongoing process

make tactical coalitions and purchase to increase market share and increase reach

1. Will acquire a small company with a maximum turnover of $500 million from the same industry.

2-Will Increase technical collaboration with hardware and software vendors and regulatory bodies

3-Company will open a new sales office in Dubai

1. By Dec-2010

2-Ongoing process.

3-By April 2010

Dissemination means distribution. The dissemination is a product of the huge magnitude of the companies, various geographic locations and companies' desire to operate in number of countries. Let us take an example. If the company doesn't have a proper channel to convey the communication to the lower rungs of organization then it will be difficult for the operational and other support level staff to understand what is happening at the top level. On the other hand top executives will not have the time to go to the operational level on a daily basis and explain the company strategy. If they do this, then they cannot concentrate on the core activity of business. So dissemination process is a very important process. Through this a proper communication channel is established in the company and information flows without restrictions. Also if the operations are not disseminated top executives will have to look in to the operations process on a everyday business. This will affect the quality of the operation. So in most companies functional and operations processes are distributed to respective cost centers or business units.

Dissemination helps the companies in the following ways.

Operational department need not wait for decisions from top management

Local issues can be handled at local level, with less time

Customer satisfaction can be improved

The company's all personnel are aware of what is going around

Support issues can be tackled locally resulting reduced turnaround time

Employees are trained in a better way

Team spirit and motivation among employees increase.

The corporate governance chart of NDS is as shown below. The hierarchy shows the initial flow of control in the organization.


Describe the importance of monitoring and evaluating a new strategy. Provide examples of how this might be done.

We can say that through strategy a company should satisfy the following general things.

1- A strategy should create consistent objectives and procedures

2- A strategy should be dynamic; means should be able to cope with the changes that may occur if any

3- It should provide a company a competitive advantage

4- It should comfortably make use the existing resources of company

Companies plan and implement the corporate strategy on the above framework. Once the strategy implemented then comes the part of monitoring and evaluation. Exactly like strategy implementation, monitoring and evaluation is a very important task during the implementation of the strategy. Strategies break in to small forms of functional and operational policies in every organization. Because strategy is long term oriented and strategic in its nature people at operational and support level may not understand what is meant those things. So it needs to be broken down in to pieces for their understanding. Once they receive proper communication then they will implement the strategy in their daily work life. One important thing here is to note that the top management should get proper feed back in regular intervals. To get this there should be a proper monitoring mechanism. And once the top management gets the feedback through monitoring and evaluation, if needed they have to take steps to correct any policies.

Evaluation and monitoring are very important in an organization where strategy is implemented. Because through this they get a feed back that whether the business objectives, plans, policies etc are correct, and whether the outcome from strategy implementation giving the desired result as expected etc...

Apart from the above the evaluation of strategy can be of two kinds. Financial and non-financial

Financial are as follows.


Return on Investment

Profitability of the business

Return on Equity

Company positioning in the market

And non financial measure are given below

Customer satisfaction

Performance of service

Is there any addition of customers

How much more customers added after implementation of strategy

Customer loyalty

Brand Value

Following is a diagram that shows how the Strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation work in a corporate scenario.