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Sk Securities (1510) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Sk Securities (South Korea)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Sk Securities is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – there is increasing trade war between United States & China, wage bills are increasing, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing transportation and logistics costs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing energy prices, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Sk Securities


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Sk Securities can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Sk Securities, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Sk Securities
2. Improving business portfolio management of Sk Securities
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in South Korea
4. Making a Investment Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Sk Securities




Strengths of Sk Securities | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Sk Securities are -

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Sk Securities 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.

Digital Transformation in Investment Services industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Sk Securities digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Sk Securities 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.

Ability to lead change in Investment Services

– Sk Securities is one of the leading players in the Investment Services industry in South Korea. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Investment Services industry in South Korea but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Sk Securities in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Sk Securities is one of the leading players in the Investment Services industry in South Korea. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in South Korea. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Investment Services industry

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

Training and development

– Sk Securities 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.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Sk Securities has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Sk Securities 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Investment Services industry

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Sk Securities is present in almost all the verticals within the Investment Services industry. This has provided Sk Securities a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Sk Securities has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Sk Securities in the Financial sector have low bargaining power. Sk Securities has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Sk Securities to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Learning organization

- Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Sk Securities emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.






Weaknesses of Sk Securities | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Sk Securities are -

High dependence on Sk Securities ‘s star products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Sk Securities 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 Investment Services industry using digital technology.

Employees’ less understanding of Sk Securities strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Sk Securities don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Skills based hiring in Investment Services industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Sk Securities has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Sk Securities is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Investment Services industry, but Sk Securities needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Sk Securities to focus more on services in the Investment Services industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Investment Services industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in South Korea, Sk Securities 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 Investment Services industry.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of South Korea, Sk Securities needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Sk Securities has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Investment Services industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Need for greater diversity

– Sk Securities has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Sk Securities, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Investment 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.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Sk Securities needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Investment Services industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Sk Securities can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Sk Securities is planning to shift buying processes online.




Sk Securities Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Sk Securities are -

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Investment Services industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Sk Securities can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Manufacturing automation

– Sk Securities can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Investment 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Sk Securities can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Investment Services industry.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Sk Securities has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Investment Services sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Sk Securities to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Sk Securities to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Sk Securities can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

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. Sk Securities can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Sk Securities to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Buying journey improvements

– Sk Securities can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Investment 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.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Sk Securities can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.




Threats Sk Securities External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Sk Securities are -

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Sk Securities in Investment Services industry. The Investment 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Sk Securities has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Investment Services industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Sk Securities needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Investment Services sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

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. Sk Securities needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Investment Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Easy access to finance

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

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Sk Securities.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Sk Securities can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Sk Securities prominent markets.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Sk Securities may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Investment Services sector.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Increasing wage structure of Sk Securities

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Sk Securities.

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 Sk Securities in the Investment Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Sk Securities 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 Investment Services industry and other sectors.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Sk Securities 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 Investment Services industry.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Sk Securities Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities 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 Sk Securities needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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