- Choose and identify a large MNC
- Briefly provide background information on the company
ING Group is a leading global business in banking services, originated from Netherlands. Its services include banking, investments, life insurance, retirement services, deposits or saving accounts among others (ING official website).
- Illustrate mission and vision statements of the company
ING’s mission follows its prospective focus, of helping the customers to manage and control their financial future. Permanently having the customers’ interest in mind, ING set as its goal to excel in the financial services offered to the customers at competitive prices.
The company aims to be a top provider in the financial market in Europe, offering its customers or potential customers innovative banking services and solutions, answering the permanently changing needs of the ones it serves, or anticipating their needs and proposing original banking concepts, meant to facilitate the customers’ operations.
The banking company’s vision is to continue to expand and to develop its cutting-end operations, searching for new ways to make the life easier for its customers, in a friendly and relaxed manner, in order to make the financials look easier and much more fun with ING.
- Briefly explain the type of organizational leadership of the company
Because the financial market imposes rigor and it implies following strict policies, procedures and guidelines, the studied company adopts a bureaucratic leadership style. This organizational is characterized by following strict regulations, and “managing by the book”, with no exceptions from the policies adopted. This is the organizational style that the company follows internally, wherein the employee throughout the world of this company comply with the rules imposed by the group. Formality, division of labor, standardized operations, rules and conventionality, memos and minutes, controls, demands and high efficiency, are some relevant aspect that define the bureaucratic organization, hence, ING’s internal working style. Nonetheless, externally, ING appears to its customers like the “unconventional” child of banking system, because it adopts a relaxed communication style and tone, it welcomes the customers in its units with happy colors (predominated by orange, the company’s corporate color), transmitting the idea of innovation, transparency and breaking the rules of standardization.
2. Explain its internationalization process
a. Show what countries the company have expanded into. You may use excel for this or you can simple make a table. Please make sure to state the year and the country the company internationalized in
Founded in 1991 in Netherlands, ING is currently present in 33 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia.
b. Tell us about the types of expansion the company have pursued. For example: Joint ventures, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions and Greenfield investments.
ING itself was founded by the merger of banking company NMB Postbank and the insurance business Nationale – Nederlanden in 1991. The company’s overseas expansion mostly followed the acquisition business model. As such, in the nineties, ING Group expanded international through acquiring banks in Europe or Latin America. The direct banking business model expanded quickly in the company’s retail banking internationally. Acquiring the Benelux Bank Lambert in 1998 consolidated ING’s position in the Benelux and the takeover of the English Bank Berings in 1995 created great publicity around ING. In the following years, acquisitions in United States and in other parts of the world imposed ING as a serious player in the international banking market. In 1997 the company started to export its direct banking service. Postbank and ING merge in 2009, turning the blue lion into the nowadays orange one (ING official website, “The History of ING”).
3. Take of the host countries that the company internationalized into in the past and briefly explain the process that it encountered there. i.e., its success or failure.
Throughout is activity, ING mostly experienced continuous growth periods that contributed to putting the banking company on the map, where it is today, among the leaders of the E.U. retail banking. Taking over the English Bank Berings in 1995 attracted the banking market’s attention to ING Group and boosted the company’s business. This success acquisition was later followed by the purchasing of BBL in Belgium, which strengthened ING’s position in the Benelux and with this successful acquisition, ING Group gained confidence for future overseas activities. The company acquired the BHF-Bank from Frankfurt, but it later disposed of it. Its business operations extended rapidly throughout the world, bringing more popularity and success for the banking company. ING boosted its success significantly with its product ING Direct. The service was initially launched in Canada, but it was quickly adopted in United Kingdom, United States, Germany or France (ING official website).
The company is currently passing through a restructuring and reorganization period, which implies laying – offs and closing down of the insurance business, investment management, ING Direct US and several retail banking businesses in the Netherlands (ING, Annual Report 2011).
4. Write a strategic plan including a new mission and a vision statement and a business plan for this company in order for it to stay competitive and to sustain its competitiveness. Please make sure that the plan includes mostly the internationalization aspect of the company.
ING is committed to making life easier, while introducing the concepts of facile financing and direct banking into the popular cultures of the countries in which it activates. The aim should be to determine people to associate the direct banking and other banking or financing services with ING. For everything that sounds complex, procedural, bureaucratic, ING aims to offer a transparent translation, making the financial market comprehendible for its customers.
Life doesn’t have to be complicated. Money doesn’t have to be a complex issue to handle. ING teaches its clients throughout the world how to handle their money, making life easier, more relaxed and more fun.
Therefore, under this new mission and vision, the company aims to offer not only competitive services, served in a friendly manner, as it already does, but also consultancy for its customers to become more familiarized with the banking and financial system, more financial savvy, in order to determine them to understand exactly how this market functions, so that they would better understand their financial needs, opting for the services that would most fit them.
The company should start implementing this plan in parallel with its restructuring process and should consolidate and strengthen it in all its subsidiaries, after the restructuring process will end, making this the core of its activity. Focusing on customers and making the financial services more comprehendible for them should be an internal procedure applied throughout the world, where ING Group activates.
Because ING Group is now in a restructuring phase, in the following period new acquisition or mergers would represent a business inconsistence for ING Group, as it is now closing certain businesses. However, at a closer attention, this aspect is debatable. ING Group is closing several retail banks in Netherlands, the insurance business, the investment management and its ING Direct United States. Nevertheless, ING offers varied services and it could strategically follow its overseas expansion in new territories with its retail banking, or with its ING Direct, focusing on the countries where these types of services would be easily absorbed.
As the world is passing through ongoing economic instabilities, ING could use the above proposed mission and vision in its business strategy, for teaching the customers how to save. This service should be supported by an additional support, a physical product, designed by ING for its customers, in order to help them spend. This product would be an economy deposit, ranging from three months minimum to an undetermined period. The key to this product would be that ING would have the biggest interest rates from the market, increasing the customers’ deposits more than other banks would. In order to offer integrated services, the company should recommend additional products, such as retirement deposits or direct banking, creating a delicious banking receipt determining the customers to purchase it.
Because Europe is severely impacted by the economic instabilities and the debt crisis, ING should pursue new regions for implementing this plan. Because Asia is a region in full economic expansion, with many emerging countries, it possesses a significant potential for foreign direct investment. Moreover, several Asian countries’ economic and political specificities imply the existence of incentives for entering the Asian market. Therefore, ING should focus its business through expanding its services in this region, through acquisition, mergers or fusions.
ING (2011) ING Groep N.V. Annual Report on Form 20 – F 2011. ING Groep N.V.: Amsterdam.
ING (n.d.) The history of ING. Retrieved from http://www.ing.com/Ons-Bedrijf/Over-ons/Explore-ING.htm#navItem=video;id=fa1c4bdf-ba9a-4f76-9b53-f501675b4959;mapEventType=getVideoDetail.
ING (n.d.) ING official website. Retrieved from http://www.ing.com/Our-Company.htm.
Roussel, L. (2006) Management & leadership for nurse administrators. 4th ed. Jones and Barklett Publishers: Sudbury.
6. Appendix (additional charts, graphs, tables)