By 2016, the executive team at &samhoud Group were at a turning point concerning the future of their small conglomerate. The team of three: Ingrid, managing partner of the consultancy, currently responsible for the food business; CFO Jeroen, and Salem Samhoud, the founder. Salem, the “ideas man”, could unlock doors, win bids and was very well connected. He was the key figure that everyone deferred to. Founded in 1989, in recent years, &samhoud had leveraged off financial success by launching or merging with a handful of diverse, innovative start-ups – an educational games developer, a restaurant, a food business and a virtual reality developer. The consultancy business was a leading player in the Dutch market. Although it tried to expand overseas, it had varying levels of success and ultimately only the Netherlands-based consultancy was truly successful and delivering profitable revenues. &samhoud people were passionate about the ventures and dedicated to their values of authenticity, intensity and friendship. Yet, the businesses were almost entirely staffed by Dutch employees with little movement between HQ and Kuala Lumpur or anywhere else &samhoud had tried to enter. For Ingrid, Salem and Jeroen, they had to decide how to grow the company and what business model &samhoud should follow. How could they develop and sustainably grow their expanding businesses? What role should the center and management team play? Could they overcome the challenges of international growth? Should they prioritize international growth of the consultancy firm or growth through their other various businesses? Were they stretching themselves too far with the entrepreneurial brands? Furthermore, how could &samhoud grow beyond Salem himself?
How do SMEs make growth choices? Should they diversify or grow geographically? How can a SME develop beyond its own linguistic and geographic borders?
＆Samhoud, Travel and Leisure, Entertainment, Media, Consumer Services, Retail, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Business Management Services, Consultancy
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