Marketing strategies of small companies with particular reference to the textile industry in Egypt as an Islamic developing country
This study, in very broad terms, is concerned with the contribution of marketing to the success of small companies with particular reference to the textile industry in Egypt. There is abundant evidence that marketing has a fundamental role to play in firms of every size, even in small companies with limited resources. Nevertheless, an examination of the literature reveals that the marketing concept was introduced as a concept applicable to big companies and little attention, therefore, has been paid to marketing in small companies, particularly in underdeveloped countries such as Egypt. Small companies, however, cannot adopt the same marketing strategies as used by large ones. The study, therefore, examines possible marketing strategies for small companies with specific reference to Egypt. In addition to investigating the environmental factors prevailing in Egypt as a developing country and how these factors affect marketing development in small companies, it suggests that the ana lysis must be conducted in the light of Islamic teachings regarding marketing since Egypt is an Islamic country. These teachings, it is argued, are consistent with the societal marketing philosophy. However, it is suggested that there is a distinct lack of awareness and understanding of the Islamic marketing philosophy among the managers of Egyptian small companies - indeed of all Egyptian enterprises. It follows that linking the societal marketing concept to the Islamic doctrines may contribute to persuading the Egyptian management, with special reference to small companies' managers as exemplified by the textile industry, to adopt and implement the societal marketing approach in their business. In this regard, it may be useful to point out that the present study is the first attempt to deal with marketing strategies of Egyptian small companies on the one hand, and handling this problem within the framework of Islamic teaching and a developing economy on the other. To achieve the ends specified above, a thorough examination of the literature relating to Islamic marketing teachings as well as the literature pertaining to the applicability of the societal marketing concept and marketing techniques to small companies in general and in Egypt in particular, was carried out and based upon this examination specific hypotheses have been formulated and tested. The empirical investigation was undertaken in small Egyptian manufacturing textile companies in both the public and private sectors. The study was conducted using a sample of 5 public firms and 100 private companies representing the total number of firms working in this industry. Personal interviews employing three structured questionnaires was the method used for data collection from these companies. The findings of the field work reveal that the managements of the two kinds of companies investigated for the most part pay only limited attention to marketing and consider the societal marketing concept irrelevant to their business. In addition, there is an association between the degree of marketing development and the specific environmental variables which have been suggested as influencing the status of marketing in these companies, namely: 1. The lack of awareness, understanding and adoption of the Islamic marketing doctrines. 2. The small size of companies. 3. Government control over the marketing mix elements and other areas of decision making. 4. The shortage of competent managerial know-how, particularly in the field of marketing. 5. The lack of competition in practical terms.