Chronic diseases have become common nowadays, a factor that has increased the amount of money needed in the treatment and prevention of such illnesses. An example of such a challenge in the case of upper and lower back pains. Many people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia experience problems of back pains due to their sitting position. Such problems are common nowadays and there has never been a safe means to regulate the sitting position that an individual adopts (Claus, Hides, Moseley & Hodges, 2009). For this reason, this project focuses on the development of a pad installed with four sensors designed in such a way that they have the capacity to detect whether or not an individual is sitting in the right posture.
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The target market for the product in Saudi Arabia, especially female and male employees who work for more than 4 hours sitting straight in their offices. In Saudi Arabia, there are high cases of people suffering from upper back and lower pains due to long hours of sitting in the wrong posture. As such, the proposed project aims at reducing the prevalence of lower and upper back pains in Saudi Arabia by encouraging the appropriate sitting position especially for people who sit for long hours. Such a product will increase the lifespan of the individuals, as well a ensure that no labor is lost in Saudi Arabia due to cases of lower and upper back pains in the country’s workforce.
Benefits of the product
The product will be designed and developed according to the health care requirement of safe standards of use to ensure that there are no harms caused by users of the pad. As noted earlier, wrong sitting posture is very instrumental in the development of upper back pain (also known as Dorsalgia), as well as low back pain (also known as Lumbago) among individuals who sit for long hours (Kremer, 2011). According to Drozda, Lewandowski, and Górski (2011), back pain refers to a type of musculoskeletal malady that affects nearly all people. This disorder results from wrong sitting posture and causes most cases of job-related disability’. It is for this reason that we came up with this idea to develop a suitable pad that could detect the right sitting position.
Product Market Positioning
Our product is quite unique since most of the existing products are only focused on relieving back pain as opposed to its prevention. For this reason, the product will be highly competitive in the market.
Purpose of the project
The primary aim of this project is to provide a medical solution that can be useful in the creation of a better sitting posture for the purpose of reducing back pain, as well as future backbone problems.
Product Feasibility Analysis
This section presents the characteristics of the product in relation to the needs and demands of the consumers. Such characteristics will help to ascertain whether or not the product is feasible in the proposed market, as well as the projected objectives are achievable. To understand the project’s feasibility, this section analyses the demand and the desirability of the product based on its significance and proposed use. The analysis of demand for the product will focus on the characteristics of the product in terms of its usefulness, while the desirability analysis will take care of the feasibility of the product with respect to its potential in the target market (Barringer & Ireland, 2015).
In this case, the focus of the product feasibility is on the general product, the state of the target market in terms of its suitability for the product, a brief analysis of the significance of the project, its positioning in the market, as well as an overview of the management team. Such analysis will be suitable to ascertain whether or not the product is desirable.
As outlined earlier, the proposed project involves the development of a pad with four sensors that can be installed in chairs to guide users into the right sitting posture. The figure below (figure 1) represents the electric circuit of the pad that will be designed for use in chairs, while figure 2 shows the key for the circuit.
The motivation to design this product is based on the fact that most people suffer from upper and lower pains due to consistent wrong sitting postures. Low and upper back pains are considered a major challenge in Saudi Arabia and can be very costly to deal with such challenge given that it affects the productive workforce in the country (Kremer, 2011). As such, the product will be designed in such a way that it can be installed in chairs. Additionally, the pad will have four sensors- two on the lower side and the other two on the upper side.
Then the sensors will be connected to the switch shown in figure 1, above. When an individual sits in the right position, all the switches will be closed, pressing all the sensors and subsequently lighting the light-emitting diode (LED) fitted at the lower side of the pad. On the other hand, if all the switches are not closed the LED will not light implying a wrong sitting posture. Thus, for the LED to light, the necessary pressure ought to be exerted on the sensors in the lower and upper sides of the pad. If the LED does not light, then it implies that all the sensors have not been pressed as expected and that an adjustment of the sitting position is needed.
The product targets the Saudi Arabian market in general, but with a specific focus in the healthcare sector of the country. In Saudi Arabia, there are many people who sit in the wrong position for many hours. For this reason, there are high chances of increased cases of upper and lower back pains in Saudi Arabia. To tap the entire market of Saudi Arabia, a firm will be started in Riyadh, where all the pads will be designed and produced for sale. However, in the future, several branches of the company will be established in other major provinces in Saudi Arabia to ensure that the entire Saudi Arabian market is served adequately.
Significance of the product
Upper and back pains have become a common challenge in the world. In Saudi Arabia, increased cases of upper and lower back pains have been reported in recent years. For example, a study carried out in Al-Qaseem indicated that more than 18.8% of individuals in this province suffer from lower and upper back pains. Lack of effective treatment methods of such pains has led to the disability of many people in Saudi Arabia leading to shortages in the labor force of the country. Saudi Arabia loses millions of days of work on a yearly basis as a result of lower and upper back pains.
Additionally, treating low and upper back pains in Saudi Arabia costs the country a large percentage of its total revenue (Drozda, Lewandowski & Górski, 2011). According to recent statistics, more than 50% of the Saudi Arabian total population is likely to suffer from lower and upper back pains in the future (Kremer, 2011). The number of those who do not recover from lower and upper back pains is high and the condition can continue to the chronic stage. At the chronic stage, individuals experiencing lower and upper back pains can no longer work and for this reason, the rate of unemployment and dependency increases in the country.
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Evidently, upper and lower back pains are becoming a national menace in Saudi Arabia. For this reason, there is a need for an effective medical solution that will help in preventing cases of upper and lower back pains among citizens in the country. In the recent years, the use of healthcare services for upper and lower back pains have increased significantly following increased cases of the problem among many individuals in the Saudi Arabia (Kamp, Kilincsoy & Vink, 2011).
Based on this analysis, it can be seen that the pad to control the sitting postures of users will be very significant in the Saudi Arabia market, especially in the healthcare sector. Cases of lower and back pains will reduce, which implies that the expenditure on such cases will be diverted to other sectors of the country’s economy. The adoption and the use of the pad in chairs in Saudi Arabia will thus help in increasing the workforce of the country given that the cases of disability resulting from chronic upper and lower back pains will be prevented.
The use of the proposed pad in Saudi Arabia will target the entire population of the country. However, a lot of emphases will be put on people working in offices and sit for more than 4 hours. To effectively gain a competitive edge in the market, the proposed product will be sold at a competitive price. By targeting the entire population of Saudi Arabia, the product will have a large market to serve and hence high chances of maximizing revenue over the invested capital. This is attributable to the fact that no similar products exist in the market nowadays. In addition, by focusing on the establishment of numerous branches in major provinces in Saudi Arabia, the product will be in a position to gain over 90% of Saudi Arabia’s market share in 2 years.
The success of any project is highly dependent on the skills and knowledge of the management team. A highly skilled and result-oriented management team will often lead to the achievement of the set objectives and goals of any given project. As such, the choice of the management team for this project was carried with a lot of care. The management team of the proposed project will comprise of four individuals. Such a small number of in the management of the project will be effective in carrying out the operations of the project. This can be attributed to the fact that the process of making decisions can be ineffective in a case where many people have to be consulted before particular activities are carried out. Thus, the team will include John Simon, Purity Michael, Cynthia Mulley, and Parmenas Ignatius. All these team members will have specific duties based on their skills and knowledge to ensure that the set goals and objectives of the project are achieved.
Demand of the Product
Many people in Saudi Arabia experience issues of acute and chronic lower and upper back pains. Dealing with upper and lower back pains has been a challenge in the country given that most of the available products just give a temporal relief, while few products are available that can help in the prevention of back pains (Drozda, Lewandowski & Górski, 2011).
For this reason, there is a high demand for a medical product that would offer the necessary solution as far as dealing with the challenge of lower and upper back pain in Saudi Arabia is concerned. According to a survey conducted on 20 government officials and 30 health care providers, and 50 patients of back pain to examine the need for a better medical solution for back pains indicated that all of the respondents agreed that there was a need to have a suitable product to prevent future cases of back pains in Saudi Arabia.
All the 50 individuals suffering from lower and upper back pain indicated that managing lower and upper back pains has been challenging to them since they lack the right resources to enable them to sit as expected without causing much harm to the back. For example, 95% of the patients pointed out that it is hard to ascertain the right sitting posture.
As such, any product that would help them adjust their sitting position until they achieve the right posture would be an advantage to them. On the other hand, 90% of the respondents pointed out that most of the existing back pain relievers are very expensive and are not effective since they do not deal away with the problem permanently as they are only focused on relieving the pain. Since our pad would serve the purpose of preventing as well as helping people suffering from lower and upper back pains manage their condition, it is likely that the product will have a high demand.
In addition, according to secondary research, it was evident that the Saudi Arabian government was spending billions of money in the treatment of back pain problems. This indicates that the possibility of the Saudi Arabian government buying the pad is quite high. Based on these findings, it can be seen that the proposed project is quite likely to have a high demand in Saudi Arabia, and hence it is feasible.
Target Market Feasibility
Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest-growing regions of the world. Such a high growth can be attributed to the availability of resources in the country such as oil and oil-related products. As such, the country has enough revenue to spend in the provision of services and products to improve the general well-being of the citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has a high Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is estimated to be more than $ 1.681 trillion. According to 2014 statistics, the country’s GDP growth was 3.5%. Trends in Saudi Arabia over recent years show that the GDP of Saudi Arabia is likely to increase in the next 10 years. Such growth in GDP is an indication that there will always be a need to prevent lower and upper back pains in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has a population of more than 28.83 million people, with a fertility rate of 2.7 births for every woman. The implication of such a high fertility rate is that the population of Saudi Arabia will be quite high in the future. Such a trend indicates that the number of people requiring attention as far as lower and upper back pains are likely to increase.
On a specific perspective, the healthcare sector of Saudi Arabia has been rapidly growing over the past, and trends indicate that such growth is likely to continue for many years in the future. Such growth is attributable to the need for better healthcare services to the citizens. The healthcare sector of Saudi Arabia spends on average about SAR 90 billion. In spite of this, there are high expectations that the expenditure will increases by 14% due to a high prevalence of chronic diseases and an increased rate of population growth.
According to recent statistics, the expenditure of the Saudi Arabian healthcare sector between 2005 and 2008 was SAR 23.5 billion per year. However, the expenditure increased to SAR 30 billion between 2010 and 2011. Such a high value is an indication that the healthcare industry in Saudi Arabia is very large and thus any product that can solve some of the major challenges affecting the industry is likely to be successful. Additionally, such a large industry indicates that is low competition in major products and services.
There are five factors that one should consider in a market to ascertain whether or not any given product is going to be successful. As such, below is a discussion of the attractiveness of Saudi Arabia’s market for the proposed pad based on Michael Porter’s Five Forces Analysis Model. In this analysis, the focus is on the five market forces identified by Michael Porter, which include a threat of substitutes, power of suppliers in the market, bargaining power of buyers, the threat of new entrants to the market, and the level of rivalry within the market.
The use of the Porter’s Five Analysis Model in the analysis of any market helps in gaining insights into the advantages and disadvantages of entering a given market based on the level of competition in the market, the influence of buyers and sellers, substitutes, as well as rivalry in the market. El-Habba and Al-Mulhim (2013) pointed out that a market that presents more disadvantages over the advantages is not viable for the proposed product or service.
Level of rivalry in the market
The level of competition in any business plays a significant role in the success or failure of the concerned business. Where the demand for a given product or service is high, a high level of competition is expected. Even though the competition is healthy in any industry, it is important for competing firms to engage in healthy business practices for them to remain in business. According to Hewitt (2016), a perceived threat in any given business is likely to lead to a fast response. Saudi Arabia has a high population which is ideal for the success of the proposed product. This is attributable to the fact that the level of rivalry in the market is low given that there are no firms producing similar products in Saudi Arabia.
The threat of entry of new firms
The design of the proposed product is capital intensive, which is likely to discourage any firms wishing to enter the market. In addition, a successful design of the pad requires high technological know-how, which might take quite some time to acquire. Generally, the product faces no threat of new entrants.
Bargaining Power of Buyers
The buyers of any healthcare product in Saudi Arabia have a high bargaining power that tends to influence the profitability of most healthcare products in Saudi Arabia. In a case where suppliers of a given product fail to deliver their order, the buyers can get a similar product from different sellers. In spite of this, the proposed product is unique since the probability of other sellers with a similar product is almost zero. Such a case lowers the bargaining power of the buyers. For this reason, the bargaining power of buyers is low, which implies that the price decision will be determined solely by the seller.
Bargaining power of Suppliers
To serve the large market in Saudi Arabia, there will be a need for suppliers to help in the distribution of the product. For this reason, the power of the suppliers will have a significant impact on the proposed product. In spite of this, the product will have an advantage in that there are so many suppliers in Saudi Arabia implying that the bargaining power of the suppliers will likely below. However, the high demand for the product in the market increases the need for reliable suppliers in the market.
Threat of Substitutes
Substitutes play a significant role in the success of any given product in the market. Often, substitutes affect the prevailing price of a given product that can easily be substituted. Whenever a product’s prices increases and that of its substitutes is low, buyers would tend to buy more of the substitute given that they satisfy similar needs. In the case of the proposed product, the threat of substitutes is low because there will be no substitute for the product.
Attractiveness of the Target Market
Considering the need for a healthy lifestyle and the demand to deal with issues of back pains in Saudi Arabia, the target market for the proposed product is very attractive. The product will target furniture dealers, healthcare sectors, government agencies, and institutions of learning in Saudi Arabia. The targeted sector will offer an adequate market for the proposed product in Saudi Arabia.
For example, as noted earlier, the healthcare sector Saudi Arabia spends a lot of money every year in the treatment of chronic diseases such as back pains (Hewitt, 2016). Evidently, the sector will have a high contribution as far as the sales of the proposed product are concerned since there is a high need to prevent as well as manage cases of upper and lower back pains in the country. On the other hand, furniture dealers are targeted because the pad has to be used alongside chairs. Evidently, the target market for the proposed product is very attractive given that the product has no competition.
Organizational feasibility is defined as the capacity of any given organization to effectively handle the operations of the organization. El-Habba and Al-Mulhim (2013) asserted that the feasibility of any organization depends largely on the availability of the necessary resources, competences, skills, and knowledge of the employees. Often, highly competent employees lead to the high productivity of a given organization.
The management team in the case of the proposed product will comprise individuals with complementary skills as demanded by the project. Thus, the management team will include John Simon (The HR Manager), Purity Michael (IT Specialist), Cynthia Mulley (Sales and Marketing), and Parmenas Ignatius (Head of operations). The responsibilities assigned to each of the team members are based on the team members’ areas of specialization and role in the management team.
Availability of resources
The main types of resources for the proposed venture include financial and human resources. Therefore, the business will require enough material for the pad, LED, connecting wires, and switches. In the second phase of the production, which will aim at the design of chairs fitted with the pad, raw materials for the chairs will be needed. On the other hand, the project is capital-intensive and hence will rely on stakeholders’ contributions and a bank loan to fund the activities of the business. The venture will also be required to employ qualified personnel to help in the daily operations of the venture’s activities. The availability of the right skill set in Saudi Arabia is an advantage for the venture as far as the employment of qualified individuals is concerned. Part of the owners’ contribution will be used in acquiring and setting up an office in Riyadh province.
Financial feasibility refers to the ability of a business to gather the necessary amount of money to run the activities of the given business. Making a budget can be a suitable way to ensure that sources of capital and its uses are identified. However, the process of drafting the budget ought to take consideration of likely returns from the projected investment as well as the period expected for the business to break even. For a successful venture, the return on investment should be high enough to cater for any debts accrued, banks loans.
Start-up Capital for the project
To set up the business, the venture will require a significant amount of capital, especially to procure office equipment, set up the office, as well as acquire other fixed assets. Half of the start-up capital (15 Saudi Riyal), will come from contributions of the stakeholders, while the other half will be financed by a bank loan. The table below presents an overview of the required start-up capital as well as the sources of funds for the proposed project.
Table 1: Overview of the required start-up capital and the sources of funds
|Sources of Funds||Saudi Riyal|
|Bank Loan||15, 000,000|
|Total Start-up Capital||30,000,000|
The table above indicates that the total start-up capital for the proposed venture is 30,000,000 Saudi Riyal. The table below shows the allocation of the total start-up cash.
Table 2: Showing the allocation of total start-up cash
The financial state of the attractiveness of the proposed project
The focus of the project is to ensure the use of the least amount of capital but get good returns after the investment. Outlined are the financial projections of the project based on a 3-year period of operation.
Table 3: The table below shows the projected income statement for the first three years in business
|1st Year||2nd Year||3rd Year|
|Total Sales |
|Cost of Sales||5,000,000||8,270,000||12,612,800|
|Salaries and Wages||500,000||600,000||350,000|
A review of the projections above indicates that the project is expected to make exponentially high profits. As the venture grows, the amount of money used in expenses increases as well and so does the total sales. In addition, the revenue from the business is also expected to increase. For this reason, the project can be considered to be financially feasible.
Numerous financial ratios are used to predict the earning potentials of any business. Often, such ratios assess the success of the business based on the operating expenses of the given business within a given period. For example, the profitability ratios are used to establish the potential of a given business in making profits in relation to the available assets of the business. An example of profitability ratio is the profit margin ratio, which expresses the amount of net profit over the gross revenue. It is calculated using the formula below:
Profit margin Ratio = Net Profit/ Gross revenue
For the case of the proposed project, the profit margin ratio for the first year can be calculated as follows;
Profit margin Ratio [year 1] = 10, 200,000/ 16,700,000
A profit margin of 61% is desirable as it shows that the business is very efficient in using available assets to settle its debts.
|Business Mission||Basis of Differentiation|
|Enhance the prevention of lower and upper back pains||Use of locally available resources such as LED, connecting wires, and switches. Get approval from the necessary standardization bodies to ensure that the proposed product causes no harm to users|
|Target Customers||Product and Market Scope|
| || |
|Core Competency||Key Assets|
| || |
|Core Structure||Source of capital|
| || |
|Designing a pad with 4 sensors and a light-emitting diode|| |
|Product and Market Scope|
The primary challenge of the proposed project is likely to face is related to the company’s expansion. Meeting the market’s demand will be a challenge given that the targeted market is quite large. Nevertheless, the venture will establish numerous branches in many parts of the country in order to satisfy the demand in the market.
Summary and Recommendation
The focus of this study was in the development of a start-up project idea of designing a pad that can be fitted on chairs to help users to sit in the right posture for a chance to prevent and eliminate cases of lower and upper back pains. From the analysis conducted, it was evident that the product is viable in the Saudi Arabian market.
Some of the factors that responsible for the viability of the product in Saudi Arabia included increased prevalence of upper and lower back pains, high expenditure in healthcare, as well as the willingness of the government to prevent the occurrence of chronic illness in Saudi Arabia. In spite of the suitability of the proposed project in the market, the project is likely to face some challenges of implementation due to a lack of awareness of the significance of the controlled sitting position. In addition, the project focuses on quite a large market, which might have different features making it hard to provide products in line with the needs and demands of customers in the target market.
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