Vodafone Analysis Essay

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Vodafone’s Business Strategy

Vodafone’s business strategy provides an integrated and coordinated set of commitments and actions that are based upon the company’s core competencies and guides corporate behavior toward achieving performance goals. It also fits in with the existing external environmental conditions, which have enabled Vodafone to grow substantially over the years. Vodafone’s strategy has been, in some ways, based on the concept of growth at all costs—though, as its sale of its business in Japan and its failed takeover of the market in the U.S. both show, there is a limit to which Vodafone will exert itself in order to achieve growth. If growth is viewed as too costly for shareholders, it is avoided—and that self-regulation is one part of the reason for Vodafone’s success over the years.

With more than 150 million customers from 26 countries all over the world, Vodafone’s ascension in the market to the number one spot came through a serious of strategic acquisitions (Banzhaf & Som, 2006, p. 830). It also engaged in developing strategic relationships with network providers in regions where it had no equity, which enabled the company to pursue its mission at low costs. Integrating its various operations around the world required Vodafone to initiate its “One Vodafone” plan in 2008, which aimed to integrate its business architecture via eight different programs—from IT to customer service. The goal was to become more customer-centric, with more power distributed across localized centers so as to help the company to grow its brand across a wide range of regions and customers, with the latest in networking and technology made available to clients and employees. One Vodafone was a policy that represented the company’s core competencies in action.

Vodafone’s Organizational Structure

Vodafone’s organizational structure under One Vodafone places the CEO of the company at the very top, with the various regional heads reporting to the CEO. The regional heads includes the company’s station chiefs in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Poland and Romania serving as the European Affiliates group.
Station chiefs in China, Fiji, Kenya, the U.S. and South Africa serve as the non-European Affiliates group. Germany has its own group, as do Italy and the UK. Other subsidiaries within the Vodafone structure are found in the various regions from Albania to Spain to Ireland to Egypt. There is also an Asia Pacific group that includes station chiefs in Australia, Japan and New Zealand (Banzhaf & Som, 2006, p. 837).

This structure is facilitated by a new governance scheme as well, which consists of two separate management committees that have responsibility for overseeing the firm’s overall strategic policy. These committees are the Executive Committee which oversees strategy, finance, planning and organizational development; and the Integration and Operations Committee, which oversees operations, budgets, forecasts, product/service development, etc. Both Committees are chaired by Arun Sarin, which gives them cohesiveness.

This structure effectively supports Vodafone’s strategy by giving it the proper oversight for directing a diverse range of operations in a diverse field among a multitude of regions with different consumers and markets in each one. By integrating the various aspects of the company under the two umbrella committees, Vodafone has ensured that every part of the firm is geared within a unified structure towards a common goal—to be the world’s largest mobile operator.

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Banzhaf, J. & Som, A. (2006). Vodafone: Out of many, one. Integrative Case, 15.

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