Taking the first, or the next step in expansion through cross-border investment in growth is a complex and often high-risk venture for many firms.

Our client; a FTSE 100 Energy services company, with interests in the Nuclear, renewable, environmental and Oil & Gas sectors, had identified Japan as a potential growth market and sought to better understand the routes to entry and growth.

Turner Harris were asked to advise the senior leadership team on the routes to market, and the development of the country strategy.

Having had a historical position in the country, which had been subsequently abandoned, the client was cautious on committing any further funds towards entry, and executive support was divided.

In addition, a number of key strategic planning roadblocks were recognised by the client’s leadership team, including;

  • Dated understanding of the Japanese market environment, policy landscape or supply chain structure.
  • Unclear ownership of the country plan across the Business Unit.
  • Reluctance to commit funds to pursuing opportunities in-country due to past failures.
  • Unrealistic expectations for securing contract wins without an in-country presence or focused investment.

We exercised our first-hand knowledge of the Japanese energy market to assess the opportunity landscape and the capabilities of the client, to identify areas where focused investment would best realise a long-term competitive advantage in sympathy with the shifting national energy policies of the region.

From this, we worked with the lead team to create a clear vision and a robust 5-year entry strategy, that drew together the right capabilities from across the organisation’s global business units to offer an integrated service to the Japanese market, and a plan to align these capabilities to the Japanese cultural context.

We guided the development of, and supported the elevation of the country investment strategy to the Group Executive, and worked to build support for the plan across the leadership team in order to secure consensus on the case for investment, and the right level of sponsorship to pursue high-value contracts in-country.

We supported the establishment of the Japanese branch office, and helped to secure financial support from regional and national government organisations.

Lastly, we were engaged to help develop insights into the opportunities for strategic partnering and acquisitive growth, to support accelerated growth upon completion of the original 5-year strategy.

The strategy received consensus support for investment from the Group leadership, and is now reaching the end of its 5-year term.

Through the implementation of this strategy, our client has developed a strong position in the Japanese nuclear and environmental services sector, and has secured long-term strategic partnerships with Japanese tier-2 contractor organisations to support nuclear asset decommissioning and re-start programmes across the country.

It has also secured profitable revenue streams from direct contracts with utilities in the country, and national agencies.

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