Marketing Research on Bashundhara A4 Paper

Marketing Research on Bashundhara A4 Paper

`Marketing Research’ is the appropriate term when marketing research is being conducted on a specific customer group in a specific geographic area. The purpose of marketing research is to link the consumer to the marketer by providing information that can be used in making marketing decisions. Successful marketing decisions taken by companies require extensive information through conducting marketing research. In today’s world of rapidly changing technology, consumer tastes are also characterized by fast changes. To survive in the market, a firm has to be constantly innovating and understand the latest consumer trends and tastes. That’s why marketing research should be used to ensure the firm is customer oriented.

Background of the study:

During the Han Dynasty paper was invented by the Cai Lun by 105 AD and spread slowly to the west via the Middle East. After that Paper was making and manufacturing in Europe and then it was started in the Iberian Peninsula, today’s Portugal and Spain and Sicily in the 10th century by the Muslims living there at the time, and slowly spread to Italy and South

France reaching Germany by 1400. In medieval the handcraft of papermaking was machines by the use of waterpower. The first water peppermill was been built in the Portuguese city of Leiria in 1411. The rapid expansion of European paper manufacture was truly enhanced by the invention of the printing press and the beginning of the printing revaluation in the 15th century.

The word “paper” derives from papyrus, which is Ancient Greek and it is come from Cyprus papyrus plant. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties of ancient China documents were ordinarily written on bone or bamboo, making them very heavy and awkward and hard to transport. The light material of silk was sometimes used, but was normally too expensive to consider. The first use of paper has been excavated in China. The reign of Emperor Wu of Han from the 2nd century BC uses paper for purposes of wrapping protection for delicating bronze mirrors.

Although paper used for writing became widespread by the 3rd century, paper continued to be used for wrapping purposes.

The first paper mill was water-powered mill that pounded the pulp by the use of trip-hammers. The mechanization of the pounding process was an important improvement in paper manufacture over the manual pounding with hand pestles. While the use of human and animal powered mills were known to Chinese and Muslim papermakers, evidence for water-powered paper mills is elusive in both of them.

The A4 paper is the standard paper size used worldwide with the exception of countries in North America. The US, Canada, and Mexico have standardized 8.5 inch by 1 1 inch paper, typically referred to as “letter” size. The A4 paper is slightly longer, at about 8.27 inches by 11.75 inches. In the present 21 st century of our globalization the whole world is thought as a unity of global village. In this global village Bangladesh is one of the most important county who produce A4 paper and place an important role in global market. Bangladesh is the country where the A4 paper was not only produce but also export in many other countries. Because the availability of the raw material and the low cost of labor. The most remarkable companies are Bashundhara A4 paper, Double A Bangladesh Ltd, Papertech company Ltd, Century A4 paper company Ltd, Paper Al products Bangladesh Ltd, and Bangladesh Paper Mills Ltd. In Bangladesh these companies are really place a significant role in Bangladeshi market as well as all over the world.

Moreover, A4 paper is mostly used for keeping office printing document. Additionally students are also using the A4 paper for academic purpose. So the use of A4 paper in Bangladesh has been increasing day by day.

 

Problem statement

The sales of Bashundhara A4 paper is not increasing.

Research objectives

Our research objectives is to find out

  • The ways Bashundhara A4 paper can beat the existing market leader and become future market leader.
  • The strength and weakness they have regarding their marketing strategies (4P) and overall management
  • The ways they can get more acceptability to the customers as well as retailers in order to increase their sales.

Definition of the key terms

Likert scale: It is a format of response measurement by which the intensity of respondent’s agreement & disagreement is measured.

Above the line: Above the line (ATL) is an advertising technique using mass media to promote brands. Major above-the-line techniques include TV and radio advertising, print advertising and internet banner ads.

Below the line: Below the line (BTL) is an advertising technique. It uses less conventional methods than the usual specific channels of advertising to promote products, services, etc. than ATL (Above the line) strategy, these may include activities such as direct mail, public relations and sales promotion for which a fee is agreed upon and charged up front.

Gantt Chart: A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart, developed by Henry Gantt, that illustrates a project schedule. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project.

Dichotomous questions: Dichotomous close-ended questions has only two options, “yes”, “no.

Study population: It means the entire group under study as specified by the objectives of the research project.

Cross-sectional study: it measures the units from a sample of the population at one point in time.

Reliability measure: It obtain identical & very similar responses from the same respondent.

Validity: It measures the validness or truthfulness of information obtained.

Significance of the study

If we observe the market scenario of A4 paper industry in Bangladesh, A4 paper of foreign Brands grab a large number of market share. Bashundhara A4 paper is one of the domestic

products in local market. Though many customers prefer domestic product rather than foreign product, they don’t buy Bashundhara A4 paper. This brand can’t be able to attract customer as well as grab the market share because of some lacking. We are pretty much sure that none of researchers made a research paper on why the sale of Bashundhara A4 paper is not increasing.

However, for the first time we did a market research on Bashundhara A4 paper and found out some lacking of this brand. If they can overcome those lacking, they will be able to grab a huge amount of market.

Literature Review

Introduction

In this chapter, we have described a brief history of Bashundhara group and their A4 paper. They are producing this A4 paper successfully in local and saving a huge amount of currencies that had been spent for importing A4 paper of foreign companies. Moreover they are providing the employment as well as contributing remarkably in Bangladesh.

Brief descriptions on all the terms

Bashundhara Group began in 1987 as real estate venture. It was founded by Ahmed Akbar Sobhan. Bashundhara invested in new fields, including manufacturing, industry and trading in 1990 including cement, paper, pulp, tissue paper and steel production, as well as LP Gas bottling and distribution. Bashundhara Group (BG) has been successfully producing quality papers locally for years now. According to this company, its papers are produced using local materials.

As raw materials are not imported from abroad, it saves a huge amount of foreign currency. Local industries also provide employment for lot of people and makes important contribution to the country’s economy.

Bashundhara Group launched its A4 paper in the local market in October `09. The paper has a monthly demand of one thousand metric tons in the country. The factory of Bashundhara group at Meghnaghat has the capacity to produce nearly two thousand metric tons of the paper every month. So if the factory operates in its full capacity then the A4 paper can also be exported abroad after satisfying the local market needs.

As the paper is produced locally buyers are able to get them at a 25% lesser price. The papers are available at 100 sheet and 500 sheet packets in the market. The paper is produced from local materials apart from a few chemicals which are imported from abroad. By producing A4 paper locally Bashundhara Group is saving up to nine to ten million dollars in foreign currency a year.

The factories are also employing up to seven to eight hundred people. For years Bashundhara has been successfully producing offset paper, white printing and writing paper, wrapping paper, color paper, newsprint, laser paper, poster paper, glossy paper, paper cement bags, tissue papers and other varieties of papers for the local market. According to Bashundhara Group officials, the papers had to be imported from abroad in past. But now they are produced domestically for the local market. Its factories are providing many with employment and contributing greatly to the economy of the country.

Research design

Research design is a set of advance decision that master plan specifying the method and procedure for collecting and analyzing the needed information. Basically there are three types of research. 1. Exploratory research 2.Descriptive research 3.Causal research. We followed the Descriptive research. Descriptive research is undertaken to obtain the answer of the question Who, What, Where, When and How. When we wish to know our customers are, what Brands they buy and in what quantities, where they buy the brands, when they shop and how they found out about product. We turn to descriptive research. Descriptive research is also desirable when we wish to project a study’s findings to a large population. If a study’s sample is representative, the findings may be used to predict some of interest such as sales. Our research designed would be categorized under cross-sectional study of descriptive research method.

We followed descriptive research analysis with setting structured questionnaire first & doing face to face interview with respondents. It was a quantitative research approach. As we are doing a research about the sales of Bashundhara paper and our study population is all the retailers/wholesalers of A4 paper in Bangladesh , we wish to know our retailers /wholesalers demography , what brand of A4 papers they buy & sell and in what quantities, to whom they sell the brands , what are the market demand condition, what are the strength weakness of the brands, how their consumer behavior change with product ‘ s marketing strategy etc. By studying our sample representative, it has been easier for us to predict the sales.

Measurement rationale

We used open ended question to find out demographic information from 1 to 6. To find out the current condition of the industry of A4 paper, we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 7 where we focused on the daily average sales of A4 papers. Again, we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 8 to know to how much of the total sales of each outlets is contributed by the most sold A4 papers of those outlet, by this we would be able to understand the popularity level of most sold A4 papers. We used dichotomous in question 9 to know the acceptability of Bashundhara A4 paper in each and every outlet. To find out the intensity of weakness in the perspective of quality, demand and incentive (commission) offered, we used likert scale in question no 10, 11, and 12. Additionally we used likert scale on question no 13, 14, 15 and 16 so that we can able to find out how a much strength the market leader has regarding the quality, Brand image, pricing strategy and distribution strategy . Again we used liker scale in 17, 18 to know about the target market as well as the knowledge of the respondent about their customers. Likert scale is being used by us in question no 19 to know how many people agree or disagree about the superiority of the market leader in promotional activities. We used dichotomous type in question no 20 to know whether customer have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 paper due to its pricing strategy or not. If the answer is yes then “why?”. We used multiple category of close ended question to know the answer of “why” in question no 21. We used dichotomous type question in question no 22 and 23 to know whether packaging of the market leader has any kind of impact in its success in the market or not and the negative impact on the sales of Bashundhara A4 paper. As we are instructed to give close ended question we used multiple category of close ended question to know the answer of “why” in question no 24. It is necessary to know how people do agree or disagree about that a different packaging of “Bashundhara A4 paper” that will help to generate more revenue by increasing more sales. That’s why we used likert scale in question no 25. To find out a specific problem of Bashundhara A4 paper we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 26. Finally in question 27, we used liker scale to know how many people agree that the sales of Bashundhara A4 Paper will dramatically increase, if they make more “printer friendly” papers remaining the same price and what is percentage.

Data analysis

The purpose of data analysis is to summarize the data that has been gathered in the research project, applying the understandable conceptualizations, finding of the underlying patterns, generalizing sample findings to the populations in a data matrix

Our research is focusing on descriptive analysis by describing the variables in a data matrix. Here. averages, frequencies, percentages will be used to analyze the data. For that, pie chart & frequency distribution tables has been used. Pie chart will visually show the categorizing of responses by expressing those in percentages where frequency distribution table will show the frequency of different responses of a question.

Question number 1-6 is used for acquiring demographic information only.

Question number one & two simply enlisted the names of retailer/ wholesaler & the owner of the outlets.

Question number three, recorded the age of the shopkeeper/ respondent of the outlets. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years.

Question number four required the number of years, for which the outlet is running business in that location. The minimum year of operating was l year where maximum years of operating business is 58 years. The average year was 11.43 years.

Question number five required the number of employees that works in the outlet. Maximum number of employees is 8 & minimum number of employee is 1. Here the average number of employees is 3.4.

Question number six listed the locations of Dhaka city where the research project has been carried out. The places are Nilkhet, New market, Katabon, Mohakhali, Kakrail, Segunbagicha, Shantinagar,Banani market.

From the next questions we shift to the quantitative research part with quantitative information. Pie chart & frequency distribution table is used there.

 

Findings

Introduction

In this chapter, it is reflected what we found after analyzing the data. Overview of the collected the data, profile of the respondents and result according to the each and every question are mentioned in this chapter.

Overview of data collected

Through collecting data we got to know about the average daily sales of each of the outlets. Majority of the respondents answered that the average sales of A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where some of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & the rest of the respondents answered that the A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

We also came to know the average sale of the highest selling A4 paper of each outlet. Majority of the respondents answered that the average sale of highest selling A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where some of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & very few of the respondents answered that the highest selling A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

There are different A4 papers brands in market & different outlets may have different brands as their highest selling A4 paper in those outlets. 21 of the respondents do sell their highest selling A4 paper at high volume where one of the respondents incurring low volume (1-2 packets). 25 respondents do keep Bashundhara A4 paper sufficiently where 5 of the respondents do not keep sufficiently because of the lower quality. Amongst the 5 respondents , 4 respondents agreed that low quality of paper is key reasons behind it where 4 others also agreed lack of demand is another reason of it. All of the 5 respondents denied the existence of commission giving system on sales.

Amongst the total 30 respondents of this question, 20 respondents (which means 67% of the sample size) replied that they “disagree” with the question statement that pricing strategy is a key success factor for market leaderA4 paper, where 17% of the respondents strongly disagreed & 16% replied “not sure”. None of the respondents anyhow agreed with the statement.

Amongst the total 30 respondents of this question, 28 of them replied that they “Strongly agree” with the question statement (which means 93% of the total respondents) that high quality of the paper is the key success factor for the market leader of A4 paper where 2 of the respondents simply agreed with the statement. None of the respondents expressed any sort of disagreeableness to this statement. 67% of the respondents do believe that good brand image is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 33% of the respondents said they are not sure about it, as all of our respondents are not equally educated enough & also aware about modern day’s business system it is their lack of knowledge for which they fail to understand the value of “branding” in modern days business & its impact on product’s success. 84% of the respondents expressed their disagreeableness (64% disagree & 20% strongly disagree) to the statement that distribution strategy is the key success factor for the market leader of A4 paper. Only 3% of the total respondents expressed agreeableness where rest 13% of the respondents said they are not sure about it.

56% of the respondents (including “strongly disagree” & “disagree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement that majority of the A4 paper consumer use it for academic purpose where the rest 46% of the respondents (including the “strongly agree” & “agree”) expressed their agreeableness to the statement. Again, approximately 94% of the respondents (including “strongly agree” & “agree”) expressed their agreeableness to the statement that majority of the A4 paper consumer use it for official purpose where the around 7% of the respondents disagreed to the statement.

In total approximately 37% of the respondents (including “strongly disagree” & “agree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement that the the promotional activity of market leader of A4 paper is superior to Bashundhara A4 paper where approximately another 37% of the respondents said they are not sure about it. Around 27% of the respondents expressed their agreeableness to the statement.

Do you think customer have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 paper due to its pricing strategy? 60% of the respondent said “no” which means they do not think that consumers have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 papers due to its pricing. On the other hand 40% of the respondents replied “yes”.

If the answer of the previous question is yes, then why? 12 respondents out of the total 30 respondents are eligible for responding to this particular question as it is for those who answered yes in the previous question & the frequency of “yes” response of that question was 12. Out of those 12 respondents 10 respondents( that is 83% of them) replied that they said yes to the previous question because the “competitors of Bashundhara A4 papers provide higher quality papers with higher pricing”. The rest 2 of the respondents ( that is 17%) replied that they said yes to the previous question because “Low price A4 papers available in the market are very poor in quality”.

Do you think packaging of the market leader has any kind of impact in its success in the market? In response to it 70% of the respondent said “yes”, which means they do think that packaging has impact on the success of market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 30% of the respondents replied “no”, which means they do not think that packaging has any kind of impact on the success of market leader A4 paper company.

Do you think packaging of the Bashundhra A4 papers create any negative impact on its sales? In response to it around 57% of the respondent said “no”, which means they do not think that packaging of Bashundhra A4 papers has negative impact on the sales of it. On the other hand around 44% of the respondents replied “yes”, which means they do think that it’s packaging has negative impact on the sales of it.

If the answer of the previous question is yes, then why? Logically only 13 respondents out of the answered “yes” in the previous question & the frequency of “yes” response of that question was 13. All of those 13 respondents (that is 100% of them) replied that they said yes to the previous question because of the “poor quality of the packet”.

“A different packaging of “Bashundhara A4 paper” will help to generate more revenue by increasing more sales”. 40% of the respondents agreed with the statement where approximately another 34% of the respondents said they are not sure about it. Rest 26% of the respondents (including “disagree” & “strongly disagree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement.

Do you notice any specific problem of market leader A4 paper in the industry which they should solve? In percentage 43% of the respondents replied the issue that price of market leader A4 paper is too high where 37% ticked the others option where they mentioned many other kinds of points related to it which carried qualitative information regarding the question. Rest 20% skipped the question.

Do you think, the sales of Bashundhara A4 Paper will dramatically increase, if they make more “printer friendly” papers remaining the same price ? 73% of the total respondents expressed strong agreeableness where 23 % of the respondents expressed agreeableness. In total around 97% of the respondents agreed to this statement where only one respondent from the sample size expressed that he is not sure about its reality.

Profile of the respondents

We got an idea about the profile of the respondents through collecting data. We got demographic information from first six questions. We got to know the name of the owner, age of the respondents. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years. The average of the establishment of the outlet is 11.43 year. Those outlets consists maximum eight employees or minimum number one employee. Here the average number of employees is 3 to 4. The respondents’ outlets’ location are Nilkhet, New market, Katabon, Mohakhali, Kakrail, Segunbagicha, Shantinagar, Banani market.

 

Results (question and sub category wise)

Demographic results: Question number one & two simply enlisted the names of retailer/ wholesaler & the owner of the outlets. Question number three, recorded the age of the shopkeeper/ respondent of the outlets. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years. Question number four required the number of years, for which the outlet is running business in that location. The minimum year of operating was 1 year where maximum years of operating business are 58 years. The average year was 11.43 years.

This averages are showing that our average sample units were experienced enough to participate in the survey & providing reliable , valid information, thus making our reliability & validity of research strong.

 

Quantitative result:

Question number 7 reveals that 80% of the respondents achieve high sales (which is more than 4 packets a day) in their outlet, where 17% of the respondents achieve medium sales in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & the rest 3% of the respondents answered that the A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

Interpretation of Q.7: The research has been done with 30 sample units who were wholesalers/ retailers of A4 papers in various locations of Dhaka city. As Dhaka city is the capital & the most modern city of the country with maximum number of offices & educational institutions it is no wonder that 80% of the respondents replied the sales of A4 papers is high in their outlets as the consumption of A4 papers in this city is very high.

On the other hand 3% of the respondents replied that the sales of A4 papers is low in their outlets due to the fact that those outlets are situated in locations where competition is too high such as the “Nilkhet book market” area There are few very small outlets in those areas whose main business is book business & very small amount of A4 paper are kept in those outlets. So, due to the fact of high competition & small size of business those outlets fail to sell A4 papers in high amount per day.

As 80% respondents daily A4 paper sales is high it means the scope & opportunity of doing good business in this industry is quit good which servers our research objective with the insight that Bashundhra A4 paper has opportunity to do well.

Question number 8 reveals,70% of the respondents answered that the average sale of highest selling A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where 27% of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & 3% of the respondents answered that the highest selling A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

Interpretation of Q.8:  There are different A4 papers brands in market & different outlets may have different brands as their highest selling A4 paper in those outlets. As 70% of the respondents said that the sales of highest selling A4 paper of their outlets is high, it indicates that the maximum portion of the total A4 paper sales in those outlets are occupied by the highest selling A4 paper brands of those outlets. It also reveals that consumers of A4 papers in those outlets do not generally go for consuming different brands of A4 papers rather they usually stick to a single brand of A4 papers. On the other hand 3% of the respondents replied that the sales of highest selling A4 papers is low in their outlets due to the fact that those outlets are situated in such places where competition is too high, the business size of the outlets is very small & consumers of those outlets are not brand loyal or quality conscious. So, due to the fact of high competition, small size of business & less brand/quality conscious consumers, those outlets fail to sell even the highest selling A4 papers of their outlets in high amount (more than 4 packets a day).

As 70% of the respondents said that the sales of highest selling A4 paper of their outlets is high, it indicates that the maximum portion of the total A4 paper sales in those outlets are occupied by the highest selling A4 paper brands of those outlets. It also reveals that consumers of A4 papers in those outlets do not generally go for consuming different brands of A4 papers rather they usually stick to a single brand of A4 papers. These information servers our research objective with the insight that the strength & popularity of market leader is quite high which in particular places the market follower Bashundhara A4 paper has managed to achieve.

Question number 9 reveals, 83% of the total respondents said that they keep Bashundhara A4 paper sufficiently in their outlets where 17% of the total respondents said they do not keep it in sufficient amount in their store.

Interpretation of Q.9: Since, the brand name “Bashundhara” has a familiarity & reputation due to “Bashundhara” group of industries various good products & services in Bangladesh, its product line “Bashundhara A4 papers” also carries that image to a certain extent to the general people of Bangladesh & managed to grab a good market share in this particular industry within a short span of time. So, no wonder 83% of the sample units store it sufficiently in their outlets as it has a certain demand in the market especially for the consumers who look for “fair” quality A4 papers with comparatively cheap price rate.

On the other hand 17% of the total respondents replied that they do not keep “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in their outlets due to the fact that most of those outlets are wholesalers of A4 papers who sell A4 papers in bulk amount majorly to different official places & business enterprises. These wholesalers do not sell those A4 papers which do not have very high quality of papers & significant demand to their consumers, in short they do not follow “push strategy” in their distribution process. They observe that the quality of “Bashundhara A4 papers” is not up to the mark & for that reason their consumers do not usually go for it. It creates a low demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” although its price is comparatively cheap, but their majority consumers are quality sensitive rather than price sensitive while consuming A4 papers. 83% of the sample units store it sufficiently in their outlets which serves our research objectives with the insight that its demand is not still fallen much in the market & thus it has the opportunity to grow again if it can solve the reasons of demand stagnancy.

Question number 10 reveals, 40% of the respondents “strongly agreed” with the question statement where another 40% of the respondents “agreed” with the question statement. Remaining 20% of the respondents “disagreed” with the question statement. In short 80% of the 5 respondents do not keep it sufficiently in stores for low quality purpose.

Interpretation of Q.10: Dissatisfactory quality is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores by the 80% respondents of total 5 respondents (an accumulated percentage of “Strongly agree” & “agree” response) because they strictly maintain the quality of their business service. These respondents are wholesalers & they do not compromise on quality at all because their consumers use A4 papers for official purpose & those consumers count on products quality not on the price. Rest 20% of the total 5 respondents disagreed with the question statement. These respondents are retailers & have small size outlets.

These outlets are situated in such places where neither there are many official enterprises nor there are significant consumers who look for low price A4 papers. So, there daily sale of A4 papers is medium (between 2-4 packets a day) therefore there focus is not on the quality of the papers but on the bulk of amount that they may sell a day. They find it easy to sell Market leader

A4 paper due to its high demand, though they believe that “Bashundhara A4 papers” quality is not bad either.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that it is the low quality/ unsatisfactory performance of “Bashundhara A4 papers” which is one of the prime reasons of stagnant demand.

Question number 11 reveals, 60% of the respondents “Agreed” with the question statement where 20% of them “Strongly agreed” & rest of the 20% “Disagreed”. In short 80% of the 5 respondents do not keep it sufficiently in stores for its low demand in market.

Interpretation of Q.11: Lack of demand is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores by the 80% respondents of total 5 respondents (an accumulated percentage of “Strongly agree” & “agree” response). These respondents are mostly wholesalers of A4 papers who sell A4 papers in bulk amount, majorly to different official places & business enterprises. They impose importance on the fact that their maximum sales of A4 papers incurs by market leader A4 paper & in comparison to that, the demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” is quite low to their consumers. Due to this fact, they do not want to keep “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores.Rest of the 20% respondents “disagreed” with the question statement as they may see that the demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” is not low, because there are significant level of consumers in the country who seek moderate quality A4 papers at a cheap rate. Still, these retailers/wholesalers do not keep it sufficiently in their outlets as they do not make any compromise in providing quality products to their consumers by overlooking the demand of the product.

Comparative interpretation of question 10 & 11 responses for errors: 80% of the respondents of question 10 replied that lack of quality of the papers is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in outlets. On the contrary, 80% of the respondents of the question 11 replied that the lack of demand in the market for this product is key reason behind not storing it sufficiently in outlets.. We found out that there is one respondent among the total 5 respondents of these question who ticked “agreed” option in both of the questions. As expressing same level response options for both of the questions makes it a “contradictory response” & very complicated to interpret, that is why this response got error. If we try to interpret this particular response than the interpretation would say that the respondents do not see any significant difference between the quality of the product & it’s demand & thus positively correlate this two variables. However, we are considering this response as an error as it was clearly mentioned in the questionnaire to tick the “Key” reason behind the action. We are marking it as data-collection error & it can be termed as respondent’s error which is caused by various unintentional respondent’s errors like attention loss, misunderstanding, distractions, fatigue etc.

In these two particular questions the likert scale format response like “strongly agree” & “agree” help to express the intensity of respondents agreeableness. If we deduct the error from the responses which means now total respondents of this question would be four, we see 50% of the respondents express a strong agreeableness towards the quality reason for not keeping it sufficiently while 25 % express a strong agreeableness towards the lack of demand reason. As in likert scale response format we focus on the level of intensity of responses, we find that quality as the key reason between the two reasons as 50% of the respondents express a strong agreeableness towards the quality reason for not keeping it sufficiently in their outlets.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that these respondents find a correlation between products quality & demand & thus their opinion brings same output. It also reveals the demand of “Bashundhara A4 papers” is very low particularly to the official consumers of it.

Question number 12 reveals, 60% of the respondents “Strongly disagreed” with the question statement where rest 40% of the respondents “Disagreed” with the question statement. So, cumulatively, 100% of the respondents actually denied the question statement.

Interpretation of Q.12: Out of the 5 respondents of this question 3 of them, that is 60% of the respondents strongly disagreed with the question statement as they do not see any kind of “commission” giving system in this particular industry. Currently in this industry, it is not required to offer commissions by the companies to increase their sales in the wholesaler’s/retailer’s outlets therefore it cannot be a reason to store “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently by the wholesalers/retailers. On the other hand 40% respondents disagreed with the question statement as they also do not face any kind of direct “commission” giving system in this particular industry. Although they see some sort of promotional offerings in this business where A4 paper companies occasionally offer monthly payment for setting up billboards or leaflet papers of their company in front of the outlets According to them this promotional strategy cannot be marked as commission giving system on sales volume.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that the commission system on sales does not exist & it do not currently creating competitive advantage, but Bashundhara A4 paper may use this tool to increase their sales.

Question number 13 reveals, 67% of the respondents replied that they “disagree” with the question statement where 17% of the respondents strongly disagreed & 16% replied “not sure”.

In short 74% of the respondents denied the statement.

Interpretation of Q.13: Majority of the respondents disagreed with the question statement because they do not find the pricing strategy of market leader A4 paper as a competitive advantage in market as they have seen the price of market leader A4 paper changing over times but the demand for it in the market did not change with that. So, they do not see any correlation between these two variables rather they see other parameters as competitive advantage of market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 16% of the respondents replied “not sure” to the question as they were confused because they are somewhat convinced by the fact that there are consumers in the market who measures the quality of the product by its pricing. It is the perception of consumers that sometimes motivates the marketers to raise the price of products in order to portray it as a quality product.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that pricing strategy do not play as a key competitive advantage for market leader A4 paper.

Question number 14 reveals, 93% of the total respondents strongly agreed with the statement where 7% of the respondents simply agreed with the statement. None of the respondents

expressed any sort of disagreeableness to this statement. In short 100% agreed the statement.

Interpretation of Q. 14: In accumulation of the percentages of both of the responses (strongly agreed & agreed),here 100% of the respondents believe that high quality of papers is the key competitive advantage of market leader A4 paper in this industry. These 30 respondents are from different locations of Dhaka city, many of whom are A4 paper wholesalers or having sufficient experiences in working in this industry. Their experiences support the fact that the main purpose of creating A4 paper is to use these papers for computer printing. Here, high quality of these papers is the core function for which people actually consume it. According to the respondents experience & observation, from the very beginning the market leader A4 paper producers have succeeded in constantly providing high quality A4 papers which satisfied consumer’s for years & gradually earned consumer’s reliance. In comparing to them the other brands failed to maintain such satisfaction level of consumers & consequently high quality of papers became market leader A4 paper’s “key success factor” in the current market.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that high quality is the dominant competitive advantage of market leader.

Question number 15 reveals, 67% of the respondents agreed with the statement where rest 33% respondents are unsure.

Interpretation 15: In accumulation of the percentages of both the responses (strongly agreed & agreed), 67% of the total respondents agreed with the statement where rest 33% of the total respondents said they are not sure about it. In today’s business world, brand image plays crucial role in the success of a company as well as the products. Both the market leader A4 paper & “Bashundhara A4 paper” brands has significant level of images in the existing market. As our respondents got experiences in this related business industry, they also share the idea that often “brand” of the product plays vital role in identifying a products quality by playing a credential role for the product. So, 67% of the respondents do believe that good brand image is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 33% of the respondents said they are not sure about it, as all of our respondents are not equally educated enough & also aware about modern days business system it is their lack of knowledge for which they fail to understand the value of “branding” in modern days business & its impact on product’s success.

Comparative interpretation of question 14 & 15 responses for errors: Here in these two questions we found out that there were two respondents who answered “strongly agree” for both of the questions, which indicates an error as same level of response for these two questions create contradictory situation as it was mentioned to find out “the key factor”. If we deduct these two responses & recount percentage considering only 28 respondents, then we see that more than 90% of the respondents express strong agreeableness to the fact that “high quality” is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper, on the contrary there is no one who showed strong agreeableness to the statement of question 15. Only more than 60% of the respondents expressed simply agreeableness to the statement of question 15.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that high quality is the dominant competitive advantage of market leader but beside that good brand image also adds value to their overall competitive advantage. Here, as Bashundhra is a popular big brand in Bangladesh, it should also use its brand image more efficiently.

Discussion & conclusion

Contribution of the research:

Our research brings out facts that they should focus on their overall management of production & distribution as it is too weak. Its also reveals that not only the products quality is unsatisfactory but also the packaging of Bashundhra A4 paper is very unsatisfactory which causes its stagnant demand. Moreover, they should re-plan their pricing strategy in order to maintain a good brand image.

Limitations & Future research direction:

  • Our first limitation was that we had to do the research project on Dhaka city only.
  • Secondly, we did not have the exact data about our study population.
  • Respondents error may took place in particular.
  • In future research on this kind of study, the researchers should prepare more structured questions
  • If a big sample size is taken than a more accurate results can come.
  • Certainly in future research all over the loction of Bangladesh should covered to achieve more reliability.

 

Conclusion

Finally we can say that Bashundhara A4 paper can bit the market leader if they can overcome that lacking that we found out of them.

`Marketing Research’ is the appropriate term when marketing research is being conducted on a specific customer group in a specific geographic area. The purpose of marketing research is to link the consumer to the marketer by providing information that can be used in making marketing decisions. Successful marketing decisions taken by companies require extensive information through conducting marketing research. In today’s world of rapidly changing technology, consumer tastes are also characterized by fast changes. To survive in the market, a firm has to be constantly innovating and understand the latest consumer trends and tastes. That’s why marketing research should be used to ensure the firm is customer oriented.

Background of the study:

During the Han Dynasty paper was invented by the Cai Lun by 105 AD and spread slowly to the west via the Middle East. After that Paper was making and manufacturing in Europe and then it was started in the Iberian Peninsula, today’s Portugal and Spain and Sicily in the 10th century by the Muslims living there at the time, and slowly spread to Italy and South

France reaching Germany by 1400. In medieval the handcraft of papermaking was machines by the use of waterpower. The first water peppermill was been built in the Portuguese city of Leiria in 1411. The rapid expansion of European paper manufacture was truly enhanced by the invention of the printing press and the beginning of the printing revaluation in the 15th century.

The word “paper” derives from papyrus, which is Ancient Greek and it is come from Cyprus papyrus plant. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties of ancient China documents were ordinarily written on bone or bamboo, making them very heavy and awkward and hard to transport. The light material of silk was sometimes used, but was normally too expensive to consider. The first use of paper has been excavated in China. The reign of Emperor Wu of Han from the 2nd century BC uses paper for purposes of wrapping protection for delicating bronze mirrors.

Although paper used for writing became widespread by the 3rd century, paper continued to be used for wrapping purposes.

The first paper mill was water-powered mill that pounded the pulp by the use of trip-hammers. The mechanization of the pounding process was an important improvement in paper manufacture over the manual pounding with hand pestles. While the use of human and animal powered mills were known to Chinese and Muslim papermakers, evidence for water-powered paper mills is elusive in both of them.

The A4 paper is the standard paper size used worldwide with the exception of countries in North America. The US, Canada, and Mexico have standardized 8.5 inch by 1 1 inch paper, typically referred to as “letter” size. The A4 paper is slightly longer, at about 8.27 inches by 11.75 inches. In the present 21 st century of our globalization the whole world is thought as a unity of global village. In this global village Bangladesh is one of the most important county who produce A4 paper and place an important role in global market. Bangladesh is the country where the A4 paper was not only produce but also export in many other countries. Because the availability of the raw material and the low cost of labor. The most remarkable companies are Bashundhara A4 paper, Double A Bangladesh Ltd, Papertech company Ltd, Century A4 paper company Ltd, Paper Al products Bangladesh Ltd, and Bangladesh Paper Mills Ltd. In Bangladesh these companies are really place a significant role in Bangladeshi market as well as all over the world.

Moreover, A4 paper is mostly used for keeping office printing document. Additionally students are also using the A4 paper for academic purpose. So the use of A4 paper in Bangladesh has been increasing day by day.

 

Problem statement

The sales of Bashundhara A4 paper is not increasing.

Research objectives

Our research objectives is to find out

  • The ways Bashundhara A4 paper can beat the existing market leader and become future market leader.
  • The strength and weakness they have regarding their marketing strategies (4P) and overall management
  • The ways they can get more acceptability to the customers as well as retailers in order to increase their sales.

Definition of the key terms

Likert scale: It is a format of response measurement by which the intensity of respondent’s agreement & disagreement is measured.

Above the line: Above the line (ATL) is an advertising technique using mass media to promote brands. Major above-the-line techniques include TV and radio advertising, print advertising and internet banner ads.

Below the line: Below the line (BTL) is an advertising technique. It uses less conventional methods than the usual specific channels of advertising to promote products, services, etc. than ATL (Above the line) strategy, these may include activities such as direct mail, public relations and sales promotion for which a fee is agreed upon and charged up front.

Gantt Chart: A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart, developed by Henry Gantt, that illustrates a project schedule. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project.

Dichotomous questions: Dichotomous close-ended questions has only two options, “yes”, “no.

Study population: It means the entire group under study as specified by the objectives of the research project.

Cross-sectional study: it measures the units from a sample of the population at one point in time.

Reliability measure: It obtain identical & very similar responses from the same respondent.

Validity: It measures the validness or truthfulness of information obtained.

Significance of the study

If we observe the market scenario of A4 paper industry in Bangladesh, A4 paper of foreign Brands grab a large number of market share. Bashundhara A4 paper is one of the domestic

products in local market. Though many customers prefer domestic product rather than foreign product, they don’t buy Bashundhara A4 paper. This brand can’t be able to attract customer as well as grab the market share because of some lacking. We are pretty much sure that none of researchers made a research paper on why the sale of Bashundhara A4 paper is not increasing.

However, for the first time we did a market research on Bashundhara A4 paper and found out some lacking of this brand. If they can overcome those lacking, they will be able to grab a huge amount of market.

Literature Review

Introduction

In this chapter, we have described a brief history of Bashundhara group and their A4 paper. They are producing this A4 paper successfully in local and saving a huge amount of currencies that had been spent for importing A4 paper of foreign companies. Moreover they are providing the employment as well as contributing remarkably in Bangladesh.

Brief descriptions on all the terms

Bashundhara Group began in 1987 as real estate venture. It was founded by Ahmed Akbar Sobhan. Bashundhara invested in new fields, including manufacturing, industry and trading in 1990 including cement, paper, pulp, tissue paper and steel production, as well as LP Gas bottling and distribution. Bashundhara Group (BG) has been successfully producing quality papers locally for years now. According to this company, its papers are produced using local materials.

As raw materials are not imported from abroad, it saves a huge amount of foreign currency. Local industries also provide employment for lot of people and makes important contribution to the country’s economy.

Bashundhara Group launched its A4 paper in the local market in October `09. The paper has a monthly demand of one thousand metric tons in the country. The factory of Bashundhara group at Meghnaghat has the capacity to produce nearly two thousand metric tons of the paper every month. So if the factory operates in its full capacity then the A4 paper can also be exported abroad after satisfying the local market needs.

As the paper is produced locally buyers are able to get them at a 25% lesser price. The papers are available at 100 sheet and 500 sheet packets in the market. The paper is produced from local materials apart from a few chemicals which are imported from abroad. By producing A4 paper locally Bashundhara Group is saving up to nine to ten million dollars in foreign currency a year.

The factories are also employing up to seven to eight hundred people. For years Bashundhara has been successfully producing offset paper, white printing and writing paper, wrapping paper, color paper, newsprint, laser paper, poster paper, glossy paper, paper cement bags, tissue papers and other varieties of papers for the local market. According to Bashundhara Group officials, the papers had to be imported from abroad in past. But now they are produced domestically for the local market. Its factories are providing many with employment and contributing greatly to the economy of the country.

Research design

Research design is a set of advance decision that master plan specifying the method and procedure for collecting and analyzing the needed information. Basically there are three types of research. 1. Exploratory research 2.Descriptive research 3.Causal research. We followed the Descriptive research. Descriptive research is undertaken to obtain the answer of the question Who, What, Where, When and How. When we wish to know our customers are, what Brands they buy and in what quantities, where they buy the brands, when they shop and how they found out about product. We turn to descriptive research. Descriptive research is also desirable when we wish to project a study’s findings to a large population. If a study’s sample is representative, the findings may be used to predict some of interest such as sales. Our research designed would be categorized under cross-sectional study of descriptive research method.

We followed descriptive research analysis with setting structured questionnaire first & doing face to face interview with respondents. It was a quantitative research approach. As we are doing a research about the sales of Bashundhara paper and our study population is all the retailers/wholesalers of A4 paper in Bangladesh , we wish to know our retailers /wholesalers demography , what brand of A4 papers they buy & sell and in what quantities, to whom they sell the brands , what are the market demand condition, what are the strength weakness of the brands, how their consumer behavior change with product ‘ s marketing strategy etc. By studying our sample representative, it has been easier for us to predict the sales.

Measurement rationale

We used open ended question to find out demographic information from 1 to 6. To find out the current condition of the industry of A4 paper, we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 7 where we focused on the daily average sales of A4 papers. Again, we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 8 to know to how much of the total sales of each outlets is contributed by the most sold A4 papers of those outlet, by this we would be able to understand the popularity level of most sold A4 papers. We used dichotomous in question 9 to know the acceptability of Bashundhara A4 paper in each and every outlet. To find out the intensity of weakness in the perspective of quality, demand and incentive (commission) offered, we used likert scale in question no 10, 11, and 12. Additionally we used likert scale on question no 13, 14, 15 and 16 so that we can able to find out how a much strength the market leader has regarding the quality, Brand image, pricing strategy and distribution strategy . Again we used liker scale in 17, 18 to know about the target market as well as the knowledge of the respondent about their customers. Likert scale is being used by us in question no 19 to know how many people agree or disagree about the superiority of the market leader in promotional activities. We used dichotomous type in question no 20 to know whether customer have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 paper due to its pricing strategy or not. If the answer is yes then “why?”. We used multiple category of close ended question to know the answer of “why” in question no 21. We used dichotomous type question in question no 22 and 23 to know whether packaging of the market leader has any kind of impact in its success in the market or not and the negative impact on the sales of Bashundhara A4 paper. As we are instructed to give close ended question we used multiple category of close ended question to know the answer of “why” in question no 24. It is necessary to know how people do agree or disagree about that a different packaging of “Bashundhara A4 paper” that will help to generate more revenue by increasing more sales. That’s why we used likert scale in question no 25. To find out a specific problem of Bashundhara A4 paper we used multiple category of close ended question in question no 26. Finally in question 27, we used liker scale to know how many people agree that the sales of Bashundhara A4 Paper will dramatically increase, if they make more “printer friendly” papers remaining the same price and what is percentage.

Data analysis

The purpose of data analysis is to summarize the data that has been gathered in the research project, applying the understandable conceptualizations, finding of the underlying patterns, generalizing sample findings to the populations in a data matrix

Our research is focusing on descriptive analysis by describing the variables in a data matrix. Here. averages, frequencies, percentages will be used to analyze the data. For that, pie chart & frequency distribution tables has been used. Pie chart will visually show the categorizing of responses by expressing those in percentages where frequency distribution table will show the frequency of different responses of a question.

Question number 1-6 is used for acquiring demographic information only.

Question number one & two simply enlisted the names of retailer/ wholesaler & the owner of the outlets.

Question number three, recorded the age of the shopkeeper/ respondent of the outlets. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years.

Question number four required the number of years, for which the outlet is running business in that location. The minimum year of operating was l year where maximum years of operating business is 58 years. The average year was 11.43 years.

Question number five required the number of employees that works in the outlet. Maximum number of employees is 8 & minimum number of employee is 1. Here the average number of employees is 3.4.

Question number six listed the locations of Dhaka city where the research project has been carried out. The places are Nilkhet, New market, Katabon, Mohakhali, Kakrail, Segunbagicha, Shantinagar,Banani market.

From the next questions we shift to the quantitative research part with quantitative information. Pie chart & frequency distribution table is used there.

 

Findings

Introduction

In this chapter, it is reflected what we found after analyzing the data. Overview of the collected the data, profile of the respondents and result according to the each and every question are mentioned in this chapter.

Overview of data collected

Through collecting data we got to know about the average daily sales of each of the outlets. Majority of the respondents answered that the average sales of A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where some of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & the rest of the respondents answered that the A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

We also came to know the average sale of the highest selling A4 paper of each outlet. Majority of the respondents answered that the average sale of highest selling A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where some of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & very few of the respondents answered that the highest selling A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

There are different A4 papers brands in market & different outlets may have different brands as their highest selling A4 paper in those outlets. 21 of the respondents do sell their highest selling A4 paper at high volume where one of the respondents incurring low volume (1-2 packets). 25 respondents do keep Bashundhara A4 paper sufficiently where 5 of the respondents do not keep sufficiently because of the lower quality. Amongst the 5 respondents , 4 respondents agreed that low quality of paper is key reasons behind it where 4 others also agreed lack of demand is another reason of it. All of the 5 respondents denied the existence of commission giving system on sales.

Amongst the total 30 respondents of this question, 20 respondents (which means 67% of the sample size) replied that they “disagree” with the question statement that pricing strategy is a key success factor for market leaderA4 paper, where 17% of the respondents strongly disagreed & 16% replied “not sure”. None of the respondents anyhow agreed with the statement.

Amongst the total 30 respondents of this question, 28 of them replied that they “Strongly agree” with the question statement (which means 93% of the total respondents) that high quality of the paper is the key success factor for the market leader of A4 paper where 2 of the respondents simply agreed with the statement. None of the respondents expressed any sort of disagreeableness to this statement. 67% of the respondents do believe that good brand image is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 33% of the respondents said they are not sure about it, as all of our respondents are not equally educated enough & also aware about modern day’s business system it is their lack of knowledge for which they fail to understand the value of “branding” in modern days business & its impact on product’s success. 84% of the respondents expressed their disagreeableness (64% disagree & 20% strongly disagree) to the statement that distribution strategy is the key success factor for the market leader of A4 paper. Only 3% of the total respondents expressed agreeableness where rest 13% of the respondents said they are not sure about it.

56% of the respondents (including “strongly disagree” & “disagree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement that majority of the A4 paper consumer use it for academic purpose where the rest 46% of the respondents (including the “strongly agree” & “agree”) expressed their agreeableness to the statement. Again, approximately 94% of the respondents (including “strongly agree” & “agree”) expressed their agreeableness to the statement that majority of the A4 paper consumer use it for official purpose where the around 7% of the respondents disagreed to the statement.

In total approximately 37% of the respondents (including “strongly disagree” & “agree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement that the the promotional activity of market leader of A4 paper is superior to Bashundhara A4 paper where approximately another 37% of the respondents said they are not sure about it. Around 27% of the respondents expressed their agreeableness to the statement.

Do you think customer have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 paper due to its pricing strategy? 60% of the respondent said “no” which means they do not think that consumers have negative perception about the quality of Bashundhara A4 papers due to its pricing. On the other hand 40% of the respondents replied “yes”.

If the answer of the previous question is yes, then why? 12 respondents out of the total 30 respondents are eligible for responding to this particular question as it is for those who answered yes in the previous question & the frequency of “yes” response of that question was 12. Out of those 12 respondents 10 respondents( that is 83% of them) replied that they said yes to the previous question because the “competitors of Bashundhara A4 papers provide higher quality papers with higher pricing”. The rest 2 of the respondents ( that is 17%) replied that they said yes to the previous question because “Low price A4 papers available in the market are very poor in quality”.

Do you think packaging of the market leader has any kind of impact in its success in the market? In response to it 70% of the respondent said “yes”, which means they do think that packaging has impact on the success of market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 30% of the respondents replied “no”, which means they do not think that packaging has any kind of impact on the success of market leader A4 paper company.

Do you think packaging of the Bashundhra A4 papers create any negative impact on its sales? In response to it around 57% of the respondent said “no”, which means they do not think that packaging of Bashundhra A4 papers has negative impact on the sales of it. On the other hand around 44% of the respondents replied “yes”, which means they do think that it’s packaging has negative impact on the sales of it.

If the answer of the previous question is yes, then why? Logically only 13 respondents out of the answered “yes” in the previous question & the frequency of “yes” response of that question was 13. All of those 13 respondents (that is 100% of them) replied that they said yes to the previous question because of the “poor quality of the packet”.

“A different packaging of “Bashundhara A4 paper” will help to generate more revenue by increasing more sales”. 40% of the respondents agreed with the statement where approximately another 34% of the respondents said they are not sure about it. Rest 26% of the respondents (including “disagree” & “strongly disagree”) expressed their disagreeableness to the statement.

Do you notice any specific problem of market leader A4 paper in the industry which they should solve? In percentage 43% of the respondents replied the issue that price of market leader A4 paper is too high where 37% ticked the others option where they mentioned many other kinds of points related to it which carried qualitative information regarding the question. Rest 20% skipped the question.

Do you think, the sales of Bashundhara A4 Paper will dramatically increase, if they make more “printer friendly” papers remaining the same price ? 73% of the total respondents expressed strong agreeableness where 23 % of the respondents expressed agreeableness. In total around 97% of the respondents agreed to this statement where only one respondent from the sample size expressed that he is not sure about its reality.

Profile of the respondents

We got an idea about the profile of the respondents through collecting data. We got demographic information from first six questions. We got to know the name of the owner, age of the respondents. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years. The average of the establishment of the outlet is 11.43 year. Those outlets consists maximum eight employees or minimum number one employee. Here the average number of employees is 3 to 4. The respondents’ outlets’ location are Nilkhet, New market, Katabon, Mohakhali, Kakrail, Segunbagicha, Shantinagar, Banani market.

 

Results (question and sub category wise)

Demographic results: Question number one & two simply enlisted the names of retailer/ wholesaler & the owner of the outlets. Question number three, recorded the age of the shopkeeper/ respondent of the outlets. Here, minimum age found was 20 years & maximum 40 years with an average of 30.53 years. Question number four required the number of years, for which the outlet is running business in that location. The minimum year of operating was 1 year where maximum years of operating business are 58 years. The average year was 11.43 years.

This averages are showing that our average sample units were experienced enough to participate in the survey & providing reliable , valid information, thus making our reliability & validity of research strong.

 

Quantitative result:

Question number 7 reveals that 80% of the respondents achieve high sales (which is more than 4 packets a day) in their outlet, where 17% of the respondents achieve medium sales in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & the rest 3% of the respondents answered that the A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

Interpretation of Q.7: The research has been done with 30 sample units who were wholesalers/ retailers of A4 papers in various locations of Dhaka city. As Dhaka city is the capital & the most modern city of the country with maximum number of offices & educational institutions it is no wonder that 80% of the respondents replied the sales of A4 papers is high in their outlets as the consumption of A4 papers in this city is very high.

On the other hand 3% of the respondents replied that the sales of A4 papers is low in their outlets due to the fact that those outlets are situated in locations where competition is too high such as the “Nilkhet book market” area There are few very small outlets in those areas whose main business is book business & very small amount of A4 paper are kept in those outlets. So, due to the fact of high competition & small size of business those outlets fail to sell A4 papers in high amount per day.

As 80% respondents daily A4 paper sales is high it means the scope & opportunity of doing good business in this industry is quit good which servers our research objective with the insight that Bashundhra A4 paper has opportunity to do well.

Question number 8 reveals,70% of the respondents answered that the average sale of highest selling A4 papers in their outlets is high (which is more than 4 packets a day) where 27% of the respondents answered it is medium in their outlets (which is between 2-4 packets a day) & 3% of the respondents answered that the highest selling A4 papers sales is low in their outlets (which is between 1-2 packets).

Interpretation of Q.8:  There are different A4 papers brands in market & different outlets may have different brands as their highest selling A4 paper in those outlets. As 70% of the respondents said that the sales of highest selling A4 paper of their outlets is high, it indicates that the maximum portion of the total A4 paper sales in those outlets are occupied by the highest selling A4 paper brands of those outlets. It also reveals that consumers of A4 papers in those outlets do not generally go for consuming different brands of A4 papers rather they usually stick to a single brand of A4 papers. On the other hand 3% of the respondents replied that the sales of highest selling A4 papers is low in their outlets due to the fact that those outlets are situated in such places where competition is too high, the business size of the outlets is very small & consumers of those outlets are not brand loyal or quality conscious. So, due to the fact of high competition, small size of business & less brand/quality conscious consumers, those outlets fail to sell even the highest selling A4 papers of their outlets in high amount (more than 4 packets a day).

As 70% of the respondents said that the sales of highest selling A4 paper of their outlets is high, it indicates that the maximum portion of the total A4 paper sales in those outlets are occupied by the highest selling A4 paper brands of those outlets. It also reveals that consumers of A4 papers in those outlets do not generally go for consuming different brands of A4 papers rather they usually stick to a single brand of A4 papers. These information servers our research objective with the insight that the strength & popularity of market leader is quite high which in particular places the market follower Bashundhara A4 paper has managed to achieve.

Question number 9 reveals, 83% of the total respondents said that they keep Bashundhara A4 paper sufficiently in their outlets where 17% of the total respondents said they do not keep it in sufficient amount in their store.

Interpretation of Q.9: Since, the brand name “Bashundhara” has a familiarity & reputation due to “Bashundhara” group of industries various good products & services in Bangladesh, its product line “Bashundhara A4 papers” also carries that image to a certain extent to the general people of Bangladesh & managed to grab a good market share in this particular industry within a short span of time. So, no wonder 83% of the sample units store it sufficiently in their outlets as it has a certain demand in the market especially for the consumers who look for “fair” quality A4 papers with comparatively cheap price rate.

On the other hand 17% of the total respondents replied that they do not keep “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in their outlets due to the fact that most of those outlets are wholesalers of A4 papers who sell A4 papers in bulk amount majorly to different official places & business enterprises. These wholesalers do not sell those A4 papers which do not have very high quality of papers & significant demand to their consumers, in short they do not follow “push strategy” in their distribution process. They observe that the quality of “Bashundhara A4 papers” is not up to the mark & for that reason their consumers do not usually go for it. It creates a low demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” although its price is comparatively cheap, but their majority consumers are quality sensitive rather than price sensitive while consuming A4 papers. 83% of the sample units store it sufficiently in their outlets which serves our research objectives with the insight that its demand is not still fallen much in the market & thus it has the opportunity to grow again if it can solve the reasons of demand stagnancy.

Question number 10 reveals, 40% of the respondents “strongly agreed” with the question statement where another 40% of the respondents “agreed” with the question statement. Remaining 20% of the respondents “disagreed” with the question statement. In short 80% of the 5 respondents do not keep it sufficiently in stores for low quality purpose.

Interpretation of Q.10: Dissatisfactory quality is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores by the 80% respondents of total 5 respondents (an accumulated percentage of “Strongly agree” & “agree” response) because they strictly maintain the quality of their business service. These respondents are wholesalers & they do not compromise on quality at all because their consumers use A4 papers for official purpose & those consumers count on products quality not on the price. Rest 20% of the total 5 respondents disagreed with the question statement. These respondents are retailers & have small size outlets.

These outlets are situated in such places where neither there are many official enterprises nor there are significant consumers who look for low price A4 papers. So, there daily sale of A4 papers is medium (between 2-4 packets a day) therefore there focus is not on the quality of the papers but on the bulk of amount that they may sell a day. They find it easy to sell Market leader

A4 paper due to its high demand, though they believe that “Bashundhara A4 papers” quality is not bad either.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that it is the low quality/ unsatisfactory performance of “Bashundhara A4 papers” which is one of the prime reasons of stagnant demand.

Question number 11 reveals, 60% of the respondents “Agreed” with the question statement where 20% of them “Strongly agreed” & rest of the 20% “Disagreed”. In short 80% of the 5 respondents do not keep it sufficiently in stores for its low demand in market.

Interpretation of Q.11: Lack of demand is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores by the 80% respondents of total 5 respondents (an accumulated percentage of “Strongly agree” & “agree” response). These respondents are mostly wholesalers of A4 papers who sell A4 papers in bulk amount, majorly to different official places & business enterprises. They impose importance on the fact that their maximum sales of A4 papers incurs by market leader A4 paper & in comparison to that, the demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” is quite low to their consumers. Due to this fact, they do not want to keep “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in stores.Rest of the 20% respondents “disagreed” with the question statement as they may see that the demand for “Bashundhara A4 papers” is not low, because there are significant level of consumers in the country who seek moderate quality A4 papers at a cheap rate. Still, these retailers/wholesalers do not keep it sufficiently in their outlets as they do not make any compromise in providing quality products to their consumers by overlooking the demand of the product.

Comparative interpretation of question 10 & 11 responses for errors: 80% of the respondents of question 10 replied that lack of quality of the papers is the key reason behind not storing “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently in outlets. On the contrary, 80% of the respondents of the question 11 replied that the lack of demand in the market for this product is key reason behind not storing it sufficiently in outlets.. We found out that there is one respondent among the total 5 respondents of these question who ticked “agreed” option in both of the questions. As expressing same level response options for both of the questions makes it a “contradictory response” & very complicated to interpret, that is why this response got error. If we try to interpret this particular response than the interpretation would say that the respondents do not see any significant difference between the quality of the product & it’s demand & thus positively correlate this two variables. However, we are considering this response as an error as it was clearly mentioned in the questionnaire to tick the “Key” reason behind the action. We are marking it as data-collection error & it can be termed as respondent’s error which is caused by various unintentional respondent’s errors like attention loss, misunderstanding, distractions, fatigue etc.

In these two particular questions the likert scale format response like “strongly agree” & “agree” help to express the intensity of respondents agreeableness. If we deduct the error from the responses which means now total respondents of this question would be four, we see 50% of the respondents express a strong agreeableness towards the quality reason for not keeping it sufficiently while 25 % express a strong agreeableness towards the lack of demand reason. As in likert scale response format we focus on the level of intensity of responses, we find that quality as the key reason between the two reasons as 50% of the respondents express a strong agreeableness towards the quality reason for not keeping it sufficiently in their outlets.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that these respondents find a correlation between products quality & demand & thus their opinion brings same output. It also reveals the demand of “Bashundhara A4 papers” is very low particularly to the official consumers of it.

Question number 12 reveals, 60% of the respondents “Strongly disagreed” with the question statement where rest 40% of the respondents “Disagreed” with the question statement. So, cumulatively, 100% of the respondents actually denied the question statement.

Interpretation of Q.12: Out of the 5 respondents of this question 3 of them, that is 60% of the respondents strongly disagreed with the question statement as they do not see any kind of “commission” giving system in this particular industry. Currently in this industry, it is not required to offer commissions by the companies to increase their sales in the wholesaler’s/retailer’s outlets therefore it cannot be a reason to store “Bashundhara A4 papers” sufficiently by the wholesalers/retailers. On the other hand 40% respondents disagreed with the question statement as they also do not face any kind of direct “commission” giving system in this particular industry. Although they see some sort of promotional offerings in this business where A4 paper companies occasionally offer monthly payment for setting up billboards or leaflet papers of their company in front of the outlets According to them this promotional strategy cannot be marked as commission giving system on sales volume.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that the commission system on sales does not exist & it do not currently creating competitive advantage, but Bashundhara A4 paper may use this tool to increase their sales.

Question number 13 reveals, 67% of the respondents replied that they “disagree” with the question statement where 17% of the respondents strongly disagreed & 16% replied “not sure”.

In short 74% of the respondents denied the statement.

Interpretation of Q.13: Majority of the respondents disagreed with the question statement because they do not find the pricing strategy of market leader A4 paper as a competitive advantage in market as they have seen the price of market leader A4 paper changing over times but the demand for it in the market did not change with that. So, they do not see any correlation between these two variables rather they see other parameters as competitive advantage of market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 16% of the respondents replied “not sure” to the question as they were confused because they are somewhat convinced by the fact that there are consumers in the market who measures the quality of the product by its pricing. It is the perception of consumers that sometimes motivates the marketers to raise the price of products in order to portray it as a quality product.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that pricing strategy do not play as a key competitive advantage for market leader A4 paper.

Question number 14 reveals, 93% of the total respondents strongly agreed with the statement where 7% of the respondents simply agreed with the statement. None of the respondents

expressed any sort of disagreeableness to this statement. In short 100% agreed the statement.

Interpretation of Q. 14: In accumulation of the percentages of both of the responses (strongly agreed & agreed),here 100% of the respondents believe that high quality of papers is the key competitive advantage of market leader A4 paper in this industry. These 30 respondents are from different locations of Dhaka city, many of whom are A4 paper wholesalers or having sufficient experiences in working in this industry. Their experiences support the fact that the main purpose of creating A4 paper is to use these papers for computer printing. Here, high quality of these papers is the core function for which people actually consume it. According to the respondents experience & observation, from the very beginning the market leader A4 paper producers have succeeded in constantly providing high quality A4 papers which satisfied consumer’s for years & gradually earned consumer’s reliance. In comparing to them the other brands failed to maintain such satisfaction level of consumers & consequently high quality of papers became market leader A4 paper’s “key success factor” in the current market.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that high quality is the dominant competitive advantage of market leader.

Question number 15 reveals, 67% of the respondents agreed with the statement where rest 33% respondents are unsure.

Interpretation 15: In accumulation of the percentages of both the responses (strongly agreed & agreed), 67% of the total respondents agreed with the statement where rest 33% of the total respondents said they are not sure about it. In today’s business world, brand image plays crucial role in the success of a company as well as the products. Both the market leader A4 paper & “Bashundhara A4 paper” brands has significant level of images in the existing market. As our respondents got experiences in this related business industry, they also share the idea that often “brand” of the product plays vital role in identifying a products quality by playing a credential role for the product. So, 67% of the respondents do believe that good brand image is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper. On the other hand 33% of the respondents said they are not sure about it, as all of our respondents are not equally educated enough & also aware about modern days business system it is their lack of knowledge for which they fail to understand the value of “branding” in modern days business & its impact on product’s success.

Comparative interpretation of question 14 & 15 responses for errors: Here in these two questions we found out that there were two respondents who answered “strongly agree” for both of the questions, which indicates an error as same level of response for these two questions create contradictory situation as it was mentioned to find out “the key factor”. If we deduct these two responses & recount percentage considering only 28 respondents, then we see that more than 90% of the respondents express strong agreeableness to the fact that “high quality” is a key success factor for market leader A4 paper, on the contrary there is no one who showed strong agreeableness to the statement of question 15. Only more than 60% of the respondents expressed simply agreeableness to the statement of question 15.

This result serves our research objectives with the insight that high quality is the dominant competitive advantage of market leader but beside that good brand image also adds value to their overall competitive advantage. Here, as Bashundhra is a popular big brand in Bangladesh, it should also use its brand image more efficiently.

Discussion & conclusion

Contribution of the research:

Our research brings out facts that they should focus on their overall management of production & distribution as it is too weak. Its also reveals that not only the products quality is unsatisfactory but also the packaging of Bashundhra A4 paper is very unsatisfactory which causes its stagnant demand. Moreover, they should re-plan their pricing strategy in order to maintain a good brand image.

Limitations & Future research direction:

  • Our first limitation was that we had to do the research project on Dhaka city only.
  • Secondly, we did not have the exact data about our study population.
  • Respondents error may took place in particular.
  • In future research on this kind of study, the researchers should prepare more structured questions
  • If a big sample size is taken than a more accurate results can come.
  • Certainly in future research all over the loction of Bangladesh should covered to achieve more reliability.

 

Conclusion

Finally we can say that Bashundhara A4 paper can bit the market leader if they can overcome that lacking that we found out of them.