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Baillie Gifford Japan (BGFD) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Baillie Gifford Japan (United Kingdom)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Baillie Gifford Japan is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, there is backlash against globalization, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, geopolitical disruptions, wage bills are increasing, increasing commodity prices, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Baillie Gifford Japan can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Baillie Gifford Japan, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Baillie Gifford Japan operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Baillie Gifford Japan
2. Improving business portfolio management of Baillie Gifford Japan
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United Kingdom
4. Making a Misc. Financial Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Baillie Gifford Japan




Strengths of Baillie Gifford Japan | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Baillie Gifford Japan are -

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Baillie Gifford Japan has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Baillie Gifford Japan staying ahead in the Misc. Financial Services industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Training and development

– Baillie Gifford Japan has one of the best training and development program in Financial industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Ability to lead change in Misc. Financial Services

– Baillie Gifford Japan is one of the leading players in the Misc. Financial Services industry in United Kingdom. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Misc. Financial Services industry in United Kingdom but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Baillie Gifford Japan in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Strong track record of project management in the Misc. Financial Services industry

– Baillie Gifford Japan is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Misc. Financial Services industry

– Baillie Gifford Japan has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Baillie Gifford Japan to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Misc. Financial Services industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Baillie Gifford Japan to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Baillie Gifford Japan comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Misc. Financial Services industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Baillie Gifford Japan are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Analytics focus

– Baillie Gifford Japan is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Misc. Financial Services industry. The technology infrastructure of United Kingdom is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Innovation driven organization

– Baillie Gifford Japan is one of the most innovative firm in Misc. Financial Services sector.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Baillie Gifford Japan has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Baillie Gifford Japan has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Digital Transformation in Misc. Financial Services industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Baillie Gifford Japan digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Baillie Gifford Japan has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Learning organization

- Baillie Gifford Japan is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Baillie Gifford Japan is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Baillie Gifford Japan emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.






Weaknesses of Baillie Gifford Japan | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Baillie Gifford Japan are -

High bargaining power of channel partners in Misc. Financial Services industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United Kingdom, Baillie Gifford Japan is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Misc. Financial Services industry.

Lack of clear differentiation of Baillie Gifford Japan products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Baillie Gifford Japan needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Baillie Gifford Japan supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Baillie Gifford Japan is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Baillie Gifford Japan vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Baillie Gifford Japan has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Misc. Financial Services industry using digital technology.

High dependence on Baillie Gifford Japan ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Baillie Gifford Japan still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Misc. Financial Services industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Baillie Gifford Japan has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United Kingdom, Baillie Gifford Japan needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Misc. Financial Services industry, Baillie Gifford Japan needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Baillie Gifford Japan is one of the leading players in the Misc. Financial Services industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Misc. Financial Services industry in last five years.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Baillie Gifford Japan is just above the Misc. Financial Services industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Baillie Gifford Japan has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Baillie Gifford Japan, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Misc. Financial Services industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.




Baillie Gifford Japan Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Baillie Gifford Japan are -

Buying journey improvements

– Baillie Gifford Japan can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Misc. Financial Services industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Baillie Gifford Japan in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Misc. Financial Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Baillie Gifford Japan to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Baillie Gifford Japan to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Misc. Financial Services industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Baillie Gifford Japan can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Baillie Gifford Japan can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Misc. Financial Services industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Baillie Gifford Japan in the Misc. Financial Services industry. Now Baillie Gifford Japan can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Loyalty marketing

– Baillie Gifford Japan has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Baillie Gifford Japan to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Baillie Gifford Japan can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Manufacturing automation

– Baillie Gifford Japan can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Misc. Financial Services sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Developing new processes and practices

– Baillie Gifford Japan can develop new processes and procedures in Misc. Financial Services industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Baillie Gifford Japan can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Baillie Gifford Japan to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Baillie Gifford Japan is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Baillie Gifford Japan can utilize new technology in the field of Misc. Financial Services industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Baillie Gifford Japan has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Misc. Financial Services industry. This can help Baillie Gifford Japan to build a more holistic ecosystem for Baillie Gifford Japan products in the Misc. Financial Services industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.




Threats Baillie Gifford Japan External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Baillie Gifford Japan are -

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Baillie Gifford Japan high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Baillie Gifford Japan business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Baillie Gifford Japan can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Misc. Financial Services industry.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Baillie Gifford Japan in the Misc. Financial Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Misc. Financial Services industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Baillie Gifford Japan can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Regulatory challenges

– Baillie Gifford Japan needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Misc. Financial Services industry regulations.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Baillie Gifford Japan demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Misc. Financial Services industry and other sectors.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Baillie Gifford Japan in Misc. Financial Services industry. The Misc. Financial Services industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Baillie Gifford Japan is facing in Misc. Financial Services sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Baillie Gifford Japan will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Environmental challenges

– Baillie Gifford Japan needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Baillie Gifford Japan can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Misc. Financial Services industry.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Baillie Gifford Japan needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Misc. Financial Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Baillie Gifford Japan needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Baillie Gifford Japan to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Baillie Gifford Japan needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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