Asian, Inc was created in 1971 by Harold Yee with the objective of strengthening the Asian American community and those living in northern California by boosting their economic and social development via providing them with the necessary infrastructures (Asian, Inc para. 1-2). The overall idea is to reduce or completely eliminate dependency among these communities. Asian Inc eliminates dependency in these groups by developing them collectively business wise, socially and economically. It has for a long time addressed the issues of Asian American communities through providing services like financial counseling, educating them on growth opportunities and opportunities for home ownership among others in order to empower them economically so that they can become independent.
In its mission statement, Asian Inc commits itself to providing economic empowerment to Asian American communities. The main target is to ensure there are enough business, education and housing opportunities to empower these communities and make them independent. The company founder, Harold Yee, emphasized the need for affirmative action in order to help create opportunities for the Asian Americans. Asian Inc has for more than thirty years met the ever increasing needs of low and moderate income earning Asian Americans. They leverage both public and private lenders funds in order to make funds available to meet the financial needs of this community and also enable them purchase homes and expand their businesses.
The company provides a wide variety of services including business services, housing services, programs like E4, workshops and events. All these services are aimed at educating Asian Americans and providing them with opportunities that will develop them socially and economically. These dimensions of development will make them independent and empowered.
Housing services: These include property management, first time buyers and foreclosure intervention and prevention services; all provided to low and medium income Asian American. First time buyers are educated on home purchasing processes and also how to finance such processes. Low and medium income earners are the main target market in this case. The company conducts education workshops every month in order to furnish the Asian Americans with relevant information regarding mortgages and foreclosures. This training is helpful as it enables them to be conversant with home purchasing process. This enables them to make informed decisions as far as successful home ownership is concerned. Workshops are mostly held in Mandarin, Hmong, Vietnamese or Cantonese targeting the people living in that area as well as other regions.
The company works together with cartels, federal agencies and even the state in order to enable its clients own homes. Under this service, the company offers a variety of services to make home ownership a success. First is education that enables people to make informed decisions and gives them insight concerning home purchasing process. Then the company conducts pre qualified interviews to assess who can qualify for the mortgage loans. This is determined on the basis of their earnings and ability to repay the mortgage. This also helps the company to determine the loan money individuals can qualify for. After the interview, those who have qualified are referred loan officers who then approve the interviewed clients and the amount they have qualified for. In addition the loan officers qualify these clients to a special mortgage programs. At this stage, the person is fully qualified for the special mortgage depending on the qualifications required. The person is then allowed access to a home assistance program where he is helped to get the kind of a home he wants to buy. The kind of home depends on the amount of mortgage qualified by the loan officer. The person is then informed about a home for sale and is also offered one on one counseling about housing in order to equip the person with information regarding the purchase agreement. The client is then given an education and counseling certificate to show that he has acquired full training on home ownership.
The other housing service is foreclosure prevention and intervention which protects the mortgage borrower from the lender in cases of default. The company educates the clients on how to avoid financial mistakes that are likely to lead to huge losses on their part. The following counseling sessions help in preventing foreclosures: there is the depth financial counseling, debt management measures and debt management repayment systems, tools for credit management and access to community systems.
Lastly, under housing services there is property management. As the company is striving to ensure there is genuine ownership of property by the Asian people, it has assumed the responsibility of ensuring that the properties are well maintained. This ensures that the properties remain in good condition even in the long term.
Business Services: These include the supplier clearing house, NORCAL MBEC, request for bids, plan on file and census institutions. The function of MBEC is to provide quality services to minority business enterprises (MBEs) and promote them through strategic partnerships. MBEC plays the following role in promoting MBEs:
First it offers strategic business consulting in several areas. It offers strategic and management services to businesses seeking to start up operations as well as those which are already established and seeking to expand. There are also consultations concerning market development to enable MBEs develop their markets. MBEC also guides MBEs regarding the best financial models to use and how to control costs and avoid unnecessary costs. Operational analysis consultations are also available for MBEs at MBEC. MBEs operations are complex and need workable guidelines. Should they not run their businesses in a professional manner and analyze their operations appropriately, they are likely to make losses that might throw them out of the market. Structural development is another area that MBEs need consultations. The company structure greatly determines its operations and development. The structural chart of the company should be well organized to ensure that the flow of power is beneficial to the company. The qualifications of persons in the organizational chart should match their position. There should also be harmony in the company meaning that all persons in the organization should work in unison to facilitate the smooth running of company affairs.
MBEC offers advice to MBEs on networking opportunities to ensure that they liaise well with suppliers and key players in their respective business sectors without wasting the available opportunities. Networking helps the business to learn where to get whatever they need and where to sell their products and services.
MBEs also get procurement assistance from MBEC. It is the responsibility of MBEC to ensure that procurement processes for the MBEs are carried out in the right manner. The MBEs are enlightened on procurement opportunity forecasting to ensure that their businesses are well equipped and carry out their procurement at the right time. The MBEs are also assisted in making contract proposals between themselves and other parties. The bidding process for MBEs is also made easier by MBEC consultations. The businesses are well informed and therefore can enter into fair deals which are profitable to them and at the same time cost effective. Under procurement assistance, MBEs are also advised on sales leads to make sure that they sell at the right price thereby building customer loyalty.
Financial services consultations are also provided to MBEs by MBEC. MBEs are advised on the best sources of finances such as loans and working capital among others. MBEC also assists businesses in obtaining certificates of incorporation or of operation. This helps to ease the bureaucratic processes associated with obtaining the required certificates.
The other business service offered by Asian Inc is the provision of census information to the disadvantaged communities who have no access to such services. Asian Inc collaborates with the US census bureau to ensure that census is successful in those communities. They establish census information centers in US and other parts of the region like Puerto Rico. The company also makes census information and data available to people for free.
Work Shops and Events: Asian Inc also organizes workshops, events and outreach services. Workshops are organized for both foreclosure and first timer home buyers. The latest workshop for foreclosures was conducted in San Francisco on 13th march 2010. Among the many issues discussed were the making home affordable program, loan modification, budget analysis and other foreclosure mitigation strategies. All these discussions were aimed at improving the lives of minority income earners. There is also a first timer home buyer workshop aimed at educating or advising people on how to acquire their first home. People are issued with homebuyer education certificates upon completing the workshop.
Initiatives: The other services are initiatives like opportunity centre, green campaign and training people on E4 (environment, energy, efficiency and education).
Current Target Market
The current target market for Asian Inc is low and medium income earners in the Asian American community. These are the people who need economic empowerment, and those wishing to acquire or buy homes. The first time home buyers and those who need mortgage adjustments are also targeted. The other target market is the minority business enterprises (MBEs) who require consultation services in the areas of operational analysis, marketing development, procurement assistance and structural development among other such issues. All other groups that need economic empowerment through workshop and events are also part of the target market. The company organizes events and workshops to enable them offer economic empowerment to their clients.
The other market is the disadvantaged communities that encounter problems in census exercise. The company liaises with the United States census bureau to ensure that fair census exercises are carried out for such groups. The company establishes census information centers in those regions they feel need these services.
Current Distributor Network(s)
Asian Inc teams up with various other partners to enable it offer better services to its clients and potential clients. Some of its strategic partners include institutions like the NORCAL MBEC (Northern California Minority Business Enterprise Centre) and the Supplier Clearing House (Asian Inc para. 1-4). The Northern California MBEC receives its funding from the federal United States government which oversees the operations of the Minority Business Development Agency and is controlled by the Asian Inc. The main services of the MBEC include packaging of loans under their Financing and Bonding division, business consulting services as well as contracting services (NORCAL MBEC para. 1-3). The company helps qualified marginalized people and entrepreneurs in the Northern California area who are seeking to expand their businesses in terms of the scale of production, ability as well as size to do so. Such businesses and people benefit from this partnership in that they are provided with strategic financial, marketing, networking and structural development information, together with other services in the procurement processes involving formation of contracts, bidding as well as forecasting on the benefits they are likely to accrue from their investments.
The clearing house also helps Asian Inc provide better services to the minority Asian Americans by auditing the status of women and other minority business owners and groups both in their individual and business capacities meaning that Asian Inc does not have to repeat the same when dealing with such individuals (Supplier Clearing House para. 1-2). These two companies provide such services directly to Asian Inc and its clients thereby making communication and availability of information easy for all the parties involved.
Asian Inc faces competition from other companies offering similar services in the Northern California region since most of these companies target the same population of people, who are the middle and low income earning Asian Americans. California hosts around forty percent of the country’s total number of Asian Americans who include the Japanese, the Filipinos and the Chinese. This makes up about fourteen percent of the total California population as at July 1 2007 (US Census Bureau para. 3). This is a large number of people and various other institutions have come up with their own ways of helping them develop economically, socially and financially. Some of these companies are non profit making organizations while others are in the business for the profits. This has been caused by the success of Asian Inc as well as other companies carrying out similar services.
The fact that all these companies are targeting the same people means that they have come up with strategic ways to ensure that they remain competitive. Their basis of competition is mostly on the quality of services offered, the cost of these services, the network these companies have been able to form as well as the level of publicity the companies engage themselves in. Profit making companies pose the biggest threat since they can be able to engage in more vigorous publicity activities and also offer better prices for their products and services due to their large capital base. In future, the competitive threats faced by Asian Inc are likely to be larger since most of the rival companies are engaging themselves in activities that will give them a competitive edge over the company. This is in terms of acquiring new technology and better ways of providing quality services.
The Influence of External Forces on Asian Inc
Companies are generally susceptible to the influences of the general business environment in which they operate and Asian Inc is not an exception as far as feeling the effects of the business environment is concerned. These effects can be categorized as follows:
Economic Factors: These include the financial and economic status of the company’s target market. The income level of the target market depends on the jobs and income they get from working in such jobs. Generally the income levels of Asian Americans have improved and most of them have resorted to starting and operating their own businesses (US Census Bureau para. 15). This means that the products and services provided by Asian Inc are more reachable to members of this community and therefore Asian Inc is in a better position of improving these peoples’ lives further. The economic crisis that hit the globe definitely had its impact on the company as well as its clients in terms of mortgage payments but with the economy showing signs of the recovery, the company is better set to achieve its goal of providing affordable housing for its target market. The crisis led to a huge number of fore closures and defaults in payments but the company is working towards educating its clients on how to better deal with the situation and also prevent them from making rushed decisions based on information provided by rival companies seeking to make quick money by taking advantage of the distress the Asian American Community has been undergoing following the economic crisis (Asian Inc para. 1).
Technological and Political Factors: Technology advances from time to time since people and companies keep coming up with new ways of doing things more efficiently and effectively. This is both in the product and services provision sectors. Asian Inc has taken to carrying out research in their region of operation meaning that they can access information concerning the needs of their target community and come up with improved services to meet these needs in line with the new available technology. Asian Inc has pledged to set up a fund for members of the Asian American community as well as computer learning centers to help members of the community develop and improve their skills (Asian Inc para. 10). The government offers their support for such programs as carried out by Asian Inc by providing direct funding for them. This kind of political good will works in favor of such companies as they are allowed to carry out their activities without much interference. Political stability in the country also offers a favorable working environment for the company as they can operate without fear of any political uproar that may lead to problems for the company.
Strength: Asian Inc has for a long time served the Asian American community especially those who earn low to middle incomes in fulfilling home ownership dreams and continues to do so up to date. The fact that they have been in business for so long gives them a better advantage since they have better knowledge of the operations of the industry they work in. By availing information on issues related to home ownership to new and existing buyers and foreclosure information to those willing to sell their homes, they help the Asian American community to make informed decisions thereby reducing the risk of making decisions that might prove detrimental on their part financially or otherwise.
Threats: Asian Inc continues to face competition from companies offering similar services and as such should adopt new technologies, procedures and processes of doing things in order to remain competitive in relation to these other firms.
Opportunities: Improving peoples lives has always been the major goal of the company and it has thus far managed to do so in California meaning it can do the same to the Asian Americans in other regions of the country by making expansion and sustainable growth the company’s priority.
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Northern California Minority Business Enterprise Center. “About Us”. NORCAL MBEC. 2009. Web.
Supplier Clearing House. “Who we Are”. The Supplier Clearing House. 2009. Web.
US Census Bureau. “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2009”. US Census Bureau. 2003. Web.