Research assignment

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2. 1 | P a g e Tables of Contents: Topic Page Number Key Summary 1 Brief History of Trends 2 Part 1: Company Profile Brief Description of the Businesses 3 - 5 Comparative Analysis of the Businesses Competitive Traits 6 - 9 Recommendation 10 - 11 Part 2: Appendices Interview Questions 12 - 19 Minutes of Meetings 20 - 23 Photos and Captions 24 - 29 Part 3: Reference Reference 30 3. 1 | P a g e Key Summary This research report shows an analysis that compares and contrasts two different businesses, which, while both similar, serve different key products and have substantially different competitors. Our selected type of business is that of food and beverages, specifically beverages, the shops being Purple Cane, located in Shaw Parade, Jalan Pudu, whose main products are tea and tea-related goods, and the other being Mustache Houze, located in Georgetown, Penang, that focuses on mainly coffee, various beverages and cakes. This report consists of background information, as well as comparative analysis, the information mainly gathered from face-to-face interviews as well as the internet as a supplementary source. From this, we have gathered that Purple Cane is the more commercially successful comparatively to Mustache Houze, due to them having many more establishments and connections. We have also included many different ways to improve their businesses that we have identified from our findings. 4. 2 | P a g e Brief History Of Trends Tea is a famous beverage that has been part of Malaysian culture for centuries, hailing from the lands of China, this leaf based beverage is a popular drink among the various cultures. However, the tea industry only started booming from the early 1900s when the famous business man and entrepreneur J.A. Russell established a tea plantation in what is now a famous resort and holiday place, Cameron Highlands. He created the first highlands tea plantation in Malaysia, which completely changed the economy in Malaysia, since it largely depended on the tin and rubber industry. This plantation was named Boh, after the Bohea, the mountainous region in China where the tea originated from. Thus, tea was formally introduced into Malaysian lifestyle. However, coffee was introduced in a different manner. Coffee is a berry plant that is mainly found in South America, as well as various locations in Africa. It was brought into Malaysia by a British officer during the British colonial era, and was spread among the various Chinese cultures, particularly the Hainanese and the Hokkiens, coffee being known as kopi and coffee houses known as kopitiams. Another unique aspect of coffee in Malaysia is the way the beans are roasted here, as the method employed around the world is that the beans would be roasted with sugar, while in Malaysia, butter is also added into the mixture giving a more avid flavor and quality. 5. 3 | P a g e Brief Description of the of the business Purple Cane is an establishment that deals with such commodities. The companys first teahouse, as it was called back then, was first established in a shop lot located in Sultan Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the year 1987, originating from Taiwan, founded by Lim Hock Lam alongside many of his friends. In the following two years, they expanded quickly, opening new outlets in both Petaling Jaya and Ipoh. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly, with 25 branches spread out all around Malaysia, the highest concentration in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding Selangor district. The very first shop was set up on Sultan Street, and the idea of a teahouse was popular. This led to booming business that has allowed the company to grow since then, with an increasing number of investors and banks willing to lend a loan. Since then, it has grown out of the traditional teahouse mentality and has expanded to include the retail of tea related goods such as teapots and china cups, and has even held 6. 4 | P a g e workshops and charity events, examples being the Dream Factory and, all related to tea. To quote the words of founder Lim Hock Lam, the changes are inevitable, like a flowing river before it joins the vast expanse of the ocean, the company changing and transforming to suit as well as to change the environment, the market. Along the way, Purple Cane came up with a slogan, Tea Brings Feelings to Life, a phrase that represents the work culture of the company and its employees. With its rich heritage and high operating standards, Purple Cane has become famous among specific circles. 7. 5 | P a g e Mustache Houze is a coffeehouse that also serves cakes and pastries, founded jointly by two ex-college students, Catherine Yeo and Christine Ooi, They are both graduated from KDU, Kolej Damansara Utama, quite recently on the 27th of June, 2013. It was founded in Penang, and is now about to venture into the homestay business, already with 5 themes planned out to be fitted into rooms. The original shop, located in No. 24 Campbell Street, was renovated from a pre-existing shop owned by one of the founders brother-in-law. At first, it was originally planned to be a boutique, but with so many of them already established and successful in Penang, they desisted with that idea and decided to go with a coffeehouse instead. So far, during this 9 month period, Mustache has maintained a steady business and continues to operate at standard times and days. For them, creativity is the most important aspect of their business. 8. 6 | P a g e Comparative Analysis of the Businesses Competitive Traits Purple Cane As a large company that stretches across many states, the amount of competitors that Purple Cane has are very large, probably in their hundreds. This also accounts the diversity of Purple Cane as a company, as it delves into different sectors of the tea industry, since every sector has a specific market and their respective competitors. However, according to Wong Sook Yee, Senior Executive (CRM Dept.), the competitors of Purple Cane range from single store companies to several small enterprises, but to help maintain discretion, none of them can be named, apart from these two main examples, shops () Legend of Tea and () Evergreen, and that those companies mainly focus on the distribution of tea as a sole product, while Purple Cane has a larger range of products, such as health products and teapots, allowing them to be more flexible in the business. This gives them the upper hand on the market, annual revenue and investment possibilities. For their competitors to enter the businesses that Purple Cane is already in will be difficult, thus Purple Cane will maintain their strengths over other businesses. Another thing that Purple Cane excels at comparatively to its competitors is how they reach out to the public in terms of advertising. They set up 9. 7 | P a g e many workshops to promote their company, with aims to teach the youth of this generation about tea, how to brew, dry as well as the benefits of including tea in your lifestyle. Alongside this, they have started to help kick start many projects that people need help with, under the guise of Dream Factory as well as People submit their projects hoping for funding, and if Purple Cane deems it something worth investing in, then they help to fund the project, thus gaining popularity and the admiration of the public. They also have a magazine in circulation, talking about their dreams, aspirations and goals, further increasing their publicity in the public sector. Purple Cane aims to monopolise the tea market, already expanding their roots deep into each sector, so only time will tell if theyre successful. 10. 8 | P a g e Moustache Coffeehouse Moustache Coffeehouse is a small, private company run only by two individuals with not much financial support, thus making it a very susceptible to outside pressure. Since it is based in a very competitive environment, particularly in the tourist area of Penang, it has many competitors. However, it will inconvenience them to name the individual companies, as they are just starting out. Basically put, all cafs in that area which sells cake as well are competitors of Moustache, which makes it a very tough market, them being the underdog at the moment. And since they just started out, they dont have much capital to offer lower prices or promotions, thus making it hard for them to compete as the competitors constantly hand out offers and promotions. The only thing that it has got going for them is their uniqueness, their creativity and signature cakes. On the other hand, they insist on staying out of the food business, making them lose out in that sector, as many other cafs do sell food in that area. This will either attract or make them lose out, as Moustache focuses on cakes and coffee, making it more specialized in that field. Between the two companies, it is easy to agree that Purple Cane is the most successful, due to the large amount of branches, its product diversity as well as marketing strategies, while Moustache is not at that level yet, as it is just starting out. 11. 9 | P a g e The differences between Purple Cane and Moustache Houze Purple Cane Moustache Houze Price Above RM50 Around RM8~RM20 Location In Kuala Lumpur. Lot L1-01, 1st Floor, Shaw Parade, Changkat Thambi Dollah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Penang. no.24, Campbell Street, 10100 Georgetown, Penang. Branches About 25 branches No, only 1 Shop Customer