Strategic Management At CIMB Holdings BHD

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Question :



PETALING JAYA: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is looking at acquiring Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd from Olympia Industries Bhd for more than RM50mil as part of a larger corporate exercise to facilitate its joint venture (JV) with China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd.

Sources said that CIMB was looking at acquiring Jupiter Securities mainly to get an additional license for its stock broking business that would eventually merge with China Galaxy Securities as part of a wider exercise to expand its reach and reduce cost.

At the moment, CIMB already has a stock broking license under its investment bank (IB). However, sources said it required another license for the JV company that it is setting up with China Galaxy Securities to operate in Malaysia.

“CIMB would like to park all its stock broking business in the region in the JV with China Galaxy Securities. To do this, it would need a license to operate in Malaysia through that JV.

“CIMB IB’s license is for itself only,” a source said.

Jupiter Securities is a smallish broking firm that is loss-making and is presently a subsidiary of Main Market-listed small-cap numbers forecast operator company Olympia.

While gaming is Olympia’s mainstay business, it also has other business divisions including property and financial services through Jupiter Securities.

In the financial year ended Dec 31 2016 (FY16), Jupiter Securities posted a narrowed loss to RM1.39mil from RM2.5mil in FY15.

For FY16, Jupiter Securities raked in RM6.99mil in revenue, which was lower than the RM7.57mil revenue reported in FY15.

The financial performance of Jupiter Securities is affected by market share and trading volume, the company said.

For an acquisition price tag of RM50mil, Jupiter Securities is priced at 7.14 times sales for FY16, while its asset size is still unknown at this time. The stock broking business is generally a tough business to operate in and players usually lose money.

CIMB’s cost of running the business is estimated at RM600mil to RM700mil, noted RHB Research in an earlier report.

And these costs are expected to be lowered following the JV with China Galaxy Securities that is expected to be completed by the first half of this year.

China Galaxy Securities is one of the biggest Chinese securities companies and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with more than eight million customers that conduct its business mostly online.

Its economies of scale and reach pave the way for it to sustain its business in the ultra-competitive world of broking. The JV is on a 50:50 basis between both the companies.

The stock broking industry in Malaysia is quite fragmented and this acquisition will be the first for this year, but in recent times, other similar acquisitions have taken place.

Last year, KAF Investment Bank Bhd successfully privatised KAF-Seagroatt & Campbell Bhd for RM248.64mil or RM2.70 a share with the purchase of the remainder of the 76.74% stake. The mandatory general offer came after KAF Investment entered into an agreement to buy a 76.74% stake in KAF-Seagroatt from Akka Sdn Bhd, Akka Holdings Sdn Bhd, Datuk Khatijah Ahmad and Thariq Usman Ahmad. The KAF privatisation was first announced in 2015.

A similar consolidation was seen in the IB space then in 2013 when Hwang-DBS (M) Bhd (HDBS) sold its IB business to Affin Holdings Bhd for RM1.36bil.

HDBS also sold its 51% stake in its equity research unit to Alliance Financial Group Bhd for RM393,945 cash. Other standalone smallish stock broking companies that are in the market with a licence to operate in the local IB space include SJ Securities Sdn Bhd, Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd, TA Securities Holdings Bhd and M&A Securities Sdn Bhd.

a. Identify the main problem in the case.

b. What strategy is CIMB thinking of using?  Include excerpts from the case.

c. Do you think that the strategy in (b) is justified? Why or why not?


KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) has for the first time joined the ranks of the top 120 bracket of Asia Universities ranking 2017 by Times Higher Education (THE).

Universiti Malaya, a new entrant in the top 100 list, was placed at 59th.

Other Malaysian universities to make it in the ranking are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia (within the 121-130 band), Universiti Teknologi Petro¬nas (141-150 band), Universiti Sains Malaysia (151-160 band) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (161-170 band).

Universiti Teknologi MARA and Universiti Utara Malaysia ranked at 251+.

THE rankings editor Phil Baty said it was great news that Malaysia has more than doubled its representation in this year’s ranking of Asia’s best universities, claiming nine places in the top 300 list, up from four last year.

“Overall, this ranking of Asia’s best 300 universities proves what a dynamic, diverse and competitive higher education region the continent is becoming,” he said in a statement.

Malaysia is a key part of that development but must make sure it does not get left behind, he added.

THE World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research intensive universities across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. — Bernama


a. What is the main issue discussed in the article? Explain.

b. Search the internet for UTAR’s webpage.  What is UTAR’s main competitive advantage?

c. What are its main strengths?  What opportunities do you forsee for UTAR in the future?

d. What strategies would you recommend to UTAR based on the strengths and opportunities identified above?

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Answer :


In light of the growing complexities in the global business community, formulation of strategies serves as an important function for carrying on with the business operation smoothly. The concept of strategic management involves the formulation of important strategies in regards to goals and objectives o0f the organization. Notably, Strategic management attempts to provide a clear guidance to the organization and helps in the specification of the organizational goals and objectives as well. In simple terms, the strategic management involves identification of the strategies that are to be adopted by the management of an organization in order to enhance the performance of the organization. In regards to this, attempts have been made in the study to illustrate the significance and application of strategic management in context to two given articles. Efforts have been made in the study to discuss in detail the strategies that are adopted by the organizations as given in the articles and its related justification. 

Article One:

a) Main issue

The main problem that is identified in this case study is that the CIMB holdings Bhd is trying to acquire the Jupiter securities, which is a small unit business of The Olympia Industries in 50 million RM in order to facilitate its joint venture with the China galaxy securities Co, limited. Currently the Jupiter securities is a loss facing company and has been facing downfall in the market and is also narrowed a loss of 1.39 million  in the financial year of 2016. The market share and the trading volume affect the performance of the company. The stock trading and broking business in tough to operate and there are risk of losing the money in it. The share market in Malaysia is fragmented and it is tough to maintain the fluency of the trade (Hill et al. 2014)

The China galaxy securities on the other hand are a giant in the share market and are one of the biggest Chinese securities company as well. It is also listed in Hong Kong having more than 8 million customers. The company is facing a situation in which is risky to invest in a business which is in loss and is downgrading in every financial year as well. The Jupiter securities is facing losses due to which it value in the market has decreased and with that there is probability that the money invested by the CIMB Holding Bhd may also be wasted and no proper result may be achieved. The CIMB is also wanted to open a joint venture business with the China galaxy securities which will help it to grow its business in wider terms. However, in this case of the excess loss the company will also not be able to cope up and pay the amount to open a joint venture business with Business Company like China galaxy securities. The situation arises due to investing in a low profitable business, which may or may not incur profit. This may lead to either success or failure to the plan of the CIMB. Through the failure of such an important plan, the company will suffer in a huge way both financially and socially.                   

b) Strategy followed by CIMB

The main strategy that the CIMB is using to achieve success is that it wants to acquire the Jupiter securities to facilitate it in opening a joint venture business with China Galaxy Securities. The CIMB is mainly doing it to get an additional license, which will make it easier for the company to merge with China Galaxy Securities and will also help it to wider its business and also to reduce cost.  China galaxy securities are the one of the most widely knows best company in the stock market industry in China so merging with this company will help the CIMB  to improve basic needs to improvise on getting wider market expansion and get to its desired market  profitability. 

As the Jupiter securities are currently facing losses in the market it is easy for the CIMB to acquire it at relatively low value compared to other companies in the market. The company also ensures that it invest in the company which will help it to get an additional license. The company ensures that no other factors that may try to effect the agreement and that can easily merge with China galaxy securities (Chu et al. 2015). It is seen that the company is trying to mitigate risk associated to its investment in a loss facing company. As the CIMB is currently holding only one license of stacking brokers in Malaysia which is insufficient to create and embellish the joint venture business with the China galaxy securities. It is also seen that both China and Malaysia is place where stockbrokers and trade have a huge role in the global market. 

Implementing these strategies will be beneficial for the CIMB because it will be able to set properly up their business worldwide. The CIMB will be able to own a stock exchange not only in the domestic sector but also in Hong Kong. Some uncertain clouds remain over the future of the Jupiter securities that may concern the CIMB as they are investing and leading them into the market. However, if the CIMB can successfully start this joint venture it will be easy for the organization to support their loss if any.       

c) Justification 

According to the case study, it is evident that CIMB is using the acquiring strategy in order to widen the scope of their business activities. The CIMB is trying to acquire the Jupiter security to get an additional license, which the organization needs to open a joint venture business with China Galaxy Securities. The China Galaxy Securities, on the other hand, is already settled in the Hong Kong stock exchange market and is trying to get its entry into the Malaysian stock exchange market as well. The CIMB Holdings Bhd is well aware that the stock exchange is a very risk oriented process and needs proper support, so for that external support the company wants to get associated with the China Galaxy Securities. The CIMB also wants to enter the Chinese stock market in order to widen the scope of their business. 

CIMB is trying to acquire a loss facing company that is because the face value of the company is low compared to the others because it has not incurred sufficient profit in the current year (Chu et al. 2015). The CIMB wants to keep its investment low in getting an additional license that is why it is trying to buy a low valued company.  The CIMB wants a good financial adviser to put its steps in the stock market, which will be done by the China Galaxy Securities. The main reason that the CIMB wants to have a joint venture business with China Galaxy Securities is that the China Galaxy Securities is stable and will help the organization to stabilize in the market as well.  There is a sense of mutual benefits, which both the organization will get in this joint venture business. The cost is also divided mutually in a joint venture business so both the organization will have to implement the equal amount of cost that will be incurred in the business. Therefore, the cost implemented by both the company will be less, which will help both the organization financially. The CIMB is also a well-established company in Malaysia so the China Galaxy wants to step into the Malaysian market with the help of CIMB (Beamish, 2013)

This joint venture will globalize both CIMB and the China Galaxy Securities and the scope of the respective business will be widened. This initiative will also help the CIMB to grab future business opportunities, which will help the company grow their business at a rapid pace. By this strategy, the  CIMB will get access to run their business in both the Chinese and the Malaysian market simultaneously which will increase the probabilities of the firm getting transformed into a multinational company. Through this strategy, the chance of surviving in a tough and fragmented market of China and Malaysia for the organization will be high. Through this strategy, the company will also be able to survive on the long run. The company can also globalize itself faster and safer because of the financial support in the strategy. The company will also improve with their respective capabilities and rectification of errors supported in the joint venture business.

Article Two:

a) Main issue

In the above case study represents that the University Tunku Abdul Rahman over the years has grown and as has reached to the top 120 bracket of best university in Asia it is huge. The Malaysian education system was very delighted that most of the universities were now a part of the top ranked university, which brought excitement in developing the education system in Malaysia. The University of Malaya was the first entrant university in the top 100. According to other scholars, this was very good results, which will improve the education system and will excite the sense of competition in various university in Malaysia as well (Beamish, 2013).  There will be competition among the university to draw attention of more students by becoming a top ranked university. 

The student will also get attracted to the university if they develop themselves into a top university. The main aim for the university will be to better the educational faculty in order to compete with others. This competition will then better the education system in Malaysia, which will be good for the students in the country (Peppard and Ward, 2016).  This will further lead to the development of the country because with the development of the education system the country will also get better in future with better educated population.      

b) UTAR’s major competitive advantage:

UTAR is the initials for Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, which is a non-profit, and private-funded university situated in Malaysia and considered as one of prestigious and comprehensive educational institute. The university is founded in 2002 under the patronization of a non-profit academic foundation called UTAR Education Foundation and the diverse faculties have to offer eight degree programmes. This university relishes the reputation of fostering market-oriented management graduates of excellence and efficiency and consolidates its stature in this complex educational atmosphere with relative competitive advantage (Chu et al. 2015)

This sustainable comparative advantage enables the university to flourish with the ability to fathom greater academic value to the university and its stakeholders (Recently, the university is able to secure 120th rank among the top 150 higher education universities in Malaysia). The university has recently enrolled for the Cloudera Academic Partnership (CAP) programme, which can be cited as the consequent leap forward fueled by their competitive advantage in an atmosphere where the rapidly increasing number of IT graduates each year (About 30,000) happens to seem inadequate to serve the exponential industrial growth. UTAR is reckoned as one of the leading educational institute across Malaysia with the potential to cope with the emerging global information scenario, which maintains an objective inclination towards the rising demand of skillful professionals with desirable academic caliber. CAP, being the fastest and most secure data analytics platform, intends to equip the students with relevant skill sets in order to develop the ability of managing big information initiatives and encourages the up gradation of the prevalent workforce as well (Currim et al. 2017)

In addition to that, uninterrupted access to the latest Apache Hadoop curriculum expanded the opportunity of employment and appeared beneficial for public and private enterprises since the university can attach these data skills to formulate innovation and obtain competitive advantage as well. As per the statement of the Director of Capital Innovation at Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the shortage in supply of legible data professionals has boosted Malaysia to aspire of becoming one of the leading BDA hubs of Southeast Asia and developed hope to diffuse awareness regarding the increasing demand of data professionals and scientists. In addition to that, it is significant to cite in this context that UTAR happens to be the first university all over Malaysia to join the partnership program (along with 100 other academic institutes across the world). It seems committed to establish an ecosystem across the industrial partnerships in order to moderate more information professionals and resolve talent gap (Gamble and Thompson Jr, 2014)

c) Key Strengths and future opportunities for UTAR:

Evidently, the education system in Malaysia has gone through several revamping over the years and has attempted to provide the students with quality education thereby enabling them to achieve excellence. The changes or the innovation in the education structure has been adopted with the aim to change the current system and provide the students with high degree of education. In the new millennium, the education system in Malaysia has changed a lot and it is reflected in the top universities of Malaysia forming a part of the Global University Ranking Hill et al. 2014). The changes have been evident in the case of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), which joined the rankings of the top 120 universities in Asia. in the beginning of 2017, the Times Higher Education has provided the rank to the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in light of the good performance of the university in the previous year. Similarly, it has been noted that, there has been other new entrants in the top 300 bracket of the Asia University ranking for the year 2017 (Kay et al. 2014). This indicates that, there has been enhancement in the education system of the country. Notably, nine universities have secured their places in the top 300 list of Asia’s best universities. 

Over the past few years, the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has focused on providing the student with dynamic, competitive and diverse education that has enhanced the level of education system of the institutions. The Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) was established with a aim to deliver impetus and quality higher education to the people of the country and since its incorporation, the management of the institutions has attempted to provide quality education and training to the medical students in order to provide quality health care services (Khong, 2017). This institution was incorporated with an aim to become one of the recognized universities globally and an example of educational excellence. Notably, the education system of UTAR is based upon four mainstream features that include Intellect and Knowledge, Morality and virtue, Creativity and Innovation and Excellence. Market research shows that Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is provided with adequate competitive advantage in the market that enables it perform better than the others do (Kok, and Ang, 2015). Some of the basic features of the institutions that enable it to stand out than the other universities are listed below:

  • The faculties of the institutions attempts to provide the students with quality education along with leadership and creative skill set.
  • The faculty strength of the organization comprises of 100 advisors, over 2000 university staffs, and more than 90 member of the board of examination. 
  • The institutions provides with various programs that enables the students to enhance their level of knowledge. 
  • Notably, more than 95 % of the pass out student from the university get placement within 4-6 months of their course completion.
  • In addition to the normal course programs, the university also provides the students with diploma courses.

The features of the organization cited above tend to give the organization with an added advantage and enables them to enhance the level of education provided to the students. The Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) evidently has came a long way and their adoption of technically advanced education system has helped them to achieve this position. Over the years the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has developed to become one of the pioneers of modern education system in Malaysia. The management of the institution are focused at providing the students with quality education and training in exchange of reasonable course fees. This gives the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) a big competitive edge in the market. It is noted that the university provides the students with tailored made courses, i.e., in accordance with the interest of the students (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014)

In the initial phase of the institution, it faced several challenges regarding the management of the institution. In order to tackle the hindrances, committees of experts’ were formed that helped the institution to build a strong foundation. Another committee comprising of the international advisory council was formed for management of the global operations. The institution is noted to provide the students with quality resources that helps in facilitating research works and helps the students to gain an enriching experience (Beamish, 2013). The significant strengths and the future opportunities that lie in ahead of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) are listed below.

Potential Strengths:

  • Diversified courses and academic Support: Notably, the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) tends to provide their students community with a diversified course that includes both postgraduate and under graduate level. The usual courses that are offered to the students include subjects of arts, science and commerce. In addition to that, the university offers their students with medical and engineering courses as well. On the other hand, the postgraduate courses that are included consist of PHD courses on different streams (Chu et al. 2015). This gives the students a wide range of subjects to choose from and as desired. Offering the students with these diversified courses helps the institutions to attract a large number of students, thereby making it one of the top universities in Malaysia. It is  noted that, the other universities in Malaysia does the provide the students with this range of streams and courses to choose from, which provides the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) a competitive advantage in the market. 
  • Providing scholarships to students: One of the major strengths of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is that with its large community and immense financial stability, it is able to provide the students with scholarship programs and various grants under different schemes. It not only provides these scholarship programs to the Malaysian students but to the other students community as well. Evidently, a part of the Malaysian population in from the low-income background and that makes pursuing of higher studies difficult for students of low-income background (Cornelissen and Werner, 2014). The opportunity provided by the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in the form of Grants and scholarship programs gives the students community a financial support and a scope for them to pursue their higher studies. In addition to that, the institution is also involved in offering the intelligent students with scholarship programs for their merit as well. This makes the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) one of the soughted after and most recognized university in Malaysia.
  • Global Ranking: The global ran king is one of the major strengths that give UTAR a competitive advantage in the market. Often while getting an admission in any college or university students tend to check the ranking of that particular university. Thus, it becomes essential for universities to achieve academic excellence and grade up their ranks globally. Evidently, in the beginning of 2017, the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has achieved a remarkable feat by ranking among the top 120 bracket of the Top Asian Universities. The quality education system, diversified courses and experienced faculty has enabled the institutions to perform well in every aspect and achieve this feat. This has helped the UTAR in attracting a large number of students from Malaysia (Cummings and Worley, 2014). In addition to that, students from the every parts of the world have been noted to take admission in the university, which is good for the future of the institution. 

Future opportunities:

  • Diversified student community: As discussed in the previous section of the study, a large number of students from the all over Malaysia as well from different parts of the world come to take admission in the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). Thereby, the institution comprises of students of mixed and diversified culture. Students from different parts of the world from different culture background have created a community of their own in the University of UTAR. This helps the management of the institutions as well as the students to share their experiences and culture with one another, which serves as a great future prospect for the university (Kay et al. 2014). It not only gives the institution a competitive edge in the market but also provides the students to mix with each other and gather knowledge about other cultures of the world. The mix of different cultural background helps the members of the institution to gain an enriching experience of various cultural practices, thoughts and beliefs. 
  • Experienced Faculty: Evidently, the achievement of global rank among the other top universities not only helps the institution to get a large number of students but attract quality and experienced faculty as well. This gives the institution another dimension in the education system. The university is already comprised of good and quality teaching staffs that aim to provide the students with quality education and guide them to excellence. In addition to that, the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is provided with the opportunity to get the best of the teaching staff from different parts of the world, thereby creating an influential bond of varied culture within the institution (Lim, 2015). Additionally, the adequacy of quality teaching staff helps the institution to improve the quality of the education system and achieve excellence.  
  • Technological advancement: One of the significant features of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is that they are registered with the Malaysian Qualification Register (MQR). This helps the organization in ensuring that all the usual requirement of e4ducation added with technological advancement is provided to them. Notably, the institution boasts for its diversified and large online library that is created for helping the students and provides them with knowledge. This facilitates the students with the required level of resources as well as the in carrying out research works. In addition to that, it is noted that the institution has the required level of infrastructure in order to support the technologically advanced system (Sallis, 2014). The technological advantage tends to provide the institution with a huge competitive edge and a growth prospect in the future. Over the years, the organization has adopted regressive policies regarding technological advancement and that has attributed in b\ringing innovation and advancement within the campus. 

d) Recommendation of strategies based on UTAR’s M's & O’s:

  • Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman has been accredited as one of the finest academic institute across the globe. In the course of this study, the learner is feeling an urge to prescribe few specific recommendations, which may facilitate the institute to accomplish their academic pursuits and sustainable competitive advantage. The strength and the opportunities which has been discussed above reflects the potential to impart significant differences in the profile of the university and the elements possess an inherent trait to attract the attention of several other globally acknowledged institutes and aspirants (Lee et al. 2015). Though the strengths of the university has been illustrated earlier, they can be summarized hereby as diverse disciplines and faculty support, fascinating scopes for scholarship, affiliation and alliance with other eminent institutes and its current status of relative competitive advantage offer extra feathers in the promotional brochure.
  • Diverse disciplines and faculty support: In accordance with the oeuvre of  UTAR, the strengths has been identified on the grounds of the relative advantages the institute is committed to provide which can develop an interest among the aspirants to enroll for the institute. The scope of research can be expanded to assist the aspirants with proper technical and other integral expertise, which will facilitate their exploration on their respective fields. Applicants usually evaluate academic institutes according to their worldwide acclaim and collaborative statuses with other reputed institutes, which UTAR already pertains in their brochure (Lim, 2015). They need to shed their attention on the promotional policies of their academic assets, which may intrigue the aspirants to join the institute.
  • Fascinating scope for scholarships: A considerable sum of scholarships with accountability towards the legible ones must be maintained in the native quarters. The evaluation of the actual intelligence is an imperative requirement for the authority in order to retain the impartial objectivity towards every aspirant (Wheelen, and Hunger, 2017). In accordance with the suggestions provided by the managing committee of the organization, the current system of the scholarship programs must be upgraded such that it must cover all the students’ community within its scope. 
  • Accreditation: It is seen that, a good accreditation helps an organization to gain repute in the market as well as a competitive edge. It not only provides the organization to create a sense of value among the students and the teaching staffs but to acquire quality teachers and potential candidates as well. In regards to this, the organization needs adopt new policies and techniques, such that it performs well in the market and achieve academic excellence (Wheelen and Hunger, 2017)
  • Top Global ranking: Evidently while taking admission in any college or university students tend to check the ranking of that particular university. Thus, it becomes important for universities to achieve academic excellence and grade up their ranks globally. It is noted that achievement of the global rank has played a pivotal role in the achieving academic excellence as well as get recognition in the country. The achievement of the global rank will give the organization an additional accomplishment in its basket. In regards to this, the management of the university must look to maintain the feat it has achieved and perform well to grade up their rank in the future (Slack, 2015)
  • Adoption of Technology: With the growing complexities in the global education system, it has become essential for the institutions of the world to adopt technological advancement. It not only, gives them with a competitive advantage in the market but provides the students with an enriching experience as well. Notably, one of the salient features of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) is that they are registered with the Malaysian Qualification Register (MQR). This helps the organization in ensuring that all the usual requirement of e4ducation added with technological advancement is provided to them. However, it is noted that, the current technology and infrastructure is not in accordance with the global standards (Sallis, 2014). Thus, it is essential for the management of the organization to adopt regressive technological advancement within the institution. 


In regards to the study conducted above it can be established that, strategic management tends to provide a well-structured road map to the organization that defines its mission and vision. The strategic management process within an organization comprises of the process of planning phase, analysis and assessment of the objectives of the organization, monitoring of the adopted policies and execution of plan. It is noted in the study that, the two organizations as given in the articles has been able to perform better and achieve excellence within their field of operation by application of strategic management process. Thus, evidently, adoption of strategic management process helps an organization to develop the best techniques as well as enhance their productivity and profitability.