Generation and Screening of a project idea
♦ Which can cater to a presently unmet need and demand
♦ To serve a market where demand exceeds supply
♦ Which can effectively compete with similar products or services due to its better quality/price etc.
An organization has to identify investment opportunities which are feasible and promising before taking a full fledged project analysis to know which projects merit further examination and appraisal.
Tasks involved in Generation and Screening of a project idea
Generation and Screening of a project idea involves the following tasks :-
(1) Generation of ideas –
A panel is formed for the purpose of identifying investment opportunities. It involves the following tasks which must be carried out in order to come up with a creative idea –
(a) SWOT analysis – Identifying opportunities that can be profitably exploited
(b) Determination of objectives – Setting up operational objectives like cost reduction, productivity improvement, increase in capacity utilization, improvement in contribution margin
(c) Creating Good environment – A good organizational atmosphere motivates employees to be more creative and encourages techniques like brainstorming, group discussion etc. which results in development of creative and innovative ideas.
(2) Monitoring the Environment –
An Organization should systematically monitor the environment and assess its competitive abilities in order to profitably exploit opportunities present in the environment. The key sectors of the environment that are to be studied are :-
(a) Economic Sector –
State of economy
Overall rate of Growth
Growth of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors
Linkage with world economy
(b) Government Sector –
Government programmes and projects
Subsidies, incentives, concessions
Import and export policies
(c) Technological Sector –
State of technology
Emergence of new technology
Receptiveness of the industry
Access to technical know how
(d) Socio-demographic sector –
Employment of women
Attitude towards consumption and investment
(e) Competition Sector –
No. of firms and their market share
Degree of homogeneity and production differentiation
Marketing policies and prices
Comparison with substitutes in terms of quality/price/appeal etc.
(f) Supplier Sector – Availability and cost of raw material, energy and money
(3) Corporate Appraisal –
It involves identification of corporate strengths and weaknesses. The important aspects that are to be considered are:-
(a) Market and Distribution –
Marketing and Distribution cost
(b) Production and Operations –
Condition and capacity of plant and machinery
Availability of raw materials and power
Degree of vertical integration
Cost structure – Fixed and Variable costs
(c) Research and Development –
Research capabilities of a firm
Track record of new product developments
Laboratories and testing facilities
Coordination between research and other departments of the organization
(d) Corporate Resources and Personnel –
Clout with government and regulatory agencies
Dynamism of top management
Competence and commitment of employees
State of industrial relations
(e) Finance and Accounting –
Financial leverage and borrowing capacity
Cost of capital
Relations with shareholders and creditors
Accounting and control system
Cash flows and liquidity
Tools for identifying investment opportunities →
(a) Porter 5 forces Model → It helps in analyzing profit potential of an industry depending upon strength of –
Threat of new entrants
Rivalry amongst existing companies
Pressure from substitute products
Bargaining power of buyer
Bargaining power of seller
(b) Life cycle Approach → There are four stages a product goes through during his life cycle each stage represents different investment and net profit value →
(a) Pioneering Stage – In this stage the technology and product is new, there is high competition and very few entrants survive this stage.
(b) Rapid Growth Stage – This stage witnesses a significant expansion in sales and profit.
(c) Maturity Stage – It marks developed industries with mature product and steady growth rate.
(d) Decline Stage – Due to introduction of new products and changes in customer preference the industry incurs a decline in market share and profits.
(c) Experience Curve → Experience curve analyzes how cost per unit changes with respect to accumulated volume of production. Investment must be such that reduces costs.
(4) Looking for Project Ideas –
Various sources to look for good project ideas include:-
Trade fairs and exhibitions
Studying Government plans and guidelines
Suggestion of financial institutions and development agencies
Investigating local materials and resources
Analyzing performance of existing industries
Analyzing social and economic trends
Analyzing new technological developments
Studying the consumption pattern of people abroad
Stimulating creativity to produce new ideas
Reducing exports and imports
(5) Preliminary Screening –
It refers to elimination of project ideas which are not promising. The factors to be considered while screening for ideas are:-
♦ Compatibility with the promoter – The idea must be consistent with the interest, personality and resources of entrepreneur.
♦ Consistency with Government priorities – The idea must be feasible with national goals and government regulations.
♦ Availability of inputs – Availability of power, raw material, capital requirements, technology.
♦ Adequacy of Market – Growth in market, prospect of adequate sale, reasonable Return on Investment.
♦ Reasonableness of cost – The project must be able to make reasonable profits with respect to the costs involved.
♦ Acceptability of risk level – The desirability of the project also depends upon risks involved in executing it. In order to access risk the following factors must be considered:-
-Project`s vulnerability to business cycles
-Competition from substitutes
-Government`s control over price and distribution
-Competition from imports
(6) Project Rating Index →
It is a tool used for evaluating large number of project ideas. It helps in streamlining the process of preliminary screening. Hence a preliminary evaluation may be converted in project rating index.
Steps to calculate project rating index→
I. Identifying the factors relevant for project rating
II. Assigning weights to these factors according to their relative importance(FW)
III. Rate the project proposal on various factors using suitable rating scale (FR)
(5 point scale or 7 point scale)
IV. For each factor multiply the factor rating with factor weight to get factor scores
(FR X FW = FS)
V. All the factor scores are added to get the overall project rating index.
Organization determines a cut off value and the project below this cut off value are rejected.
(7) Sources of the Net Present Value
In order to select a profitable and feasible project, a project manager must carry out a fundamental analysis of the product and factor market to know about entry barriers which lead to positive net present value. There are six entry barriers which result in a positive NPV project. They are –
Economies of scale
(8)Entrepreneurial skills →
An individual must possess the following traits and qualities in order to be a successful entrepreneur –
He must be Willing to make sacrifices
He must be a good Leader
He must be able to make quick and rational decisions
He must have confidence in the project
He must able to exploit market opportunities
He must have strong ego in order to survive ups and downs of a business
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