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Flexibility Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

CASE DESCRIPTIONThe primary subject matter of this case concerns flexibility. Secondary issues examined include globalization.CASE SYNOPSISHenry Liu founded Voltage Electrical Corp. starting with close to nothing but his killer instinct. He rose to the top based on those principles, and he believed he would stay on top on the same grounds. Ironically, circumstances that occurred after his rise would lead to his downfall because he wouldn't sacrifice his beliefs despite its unreasonableness. As a result, he is left with close to nothing, just like when he first started.CASE BODYHenry Liu, the president of Voltage Electrical Corp., was a strong-willed man who came from nothing and fought his way to the top. He dug his teeth into the business, and with his leadership, Voltage Electrical Corp. became a hugely successful construction company that led the market from the 1950s all the way to the 70s. At its peak, the company provided materials to big name projects-Sofitel Plaza, Mandarin Oriental, Manila Peninsula, Cultural Center of the Philippines, even Malacanang Palace. It was part of the top 3 in many categories of construction materials and was specified by most architects and engineers. He was on top of the world.Wanting to make sure that his business would continue down the family line but still be in good hands, he sent his children to study in the best schools. After graduating, his children would then work for him in VEC, where he would groom them to eventually take over the family business.Having attained success by living out his personal beliefs, Henry grew to become stubborn and unwilling to listen to others who did not share his principles. His approach to business was very aggressive, and prior to the Asian financial crisis, he took advantage of very low interest on dollar loans because there was no indication that devaluation was on the horizon at that time. He borrowed around a hundred thousand dollars, and his peso exposure was around Php 3 million. However, the 1997 Asian crisis hit, and all of a sudden, the peso lost 50% of its value, so he was stuck with a huge peso exposure. Banks started tightening up, calling in their loans and were no longer willing to roll over upon maturity dates. Despite these conditions, Henry stuck to his guts, and doubled his bets by borrowing in peso to service these loans.Meanwhile, business was slowing down, so his children recommended that he liquidate his inventory below market but above cost to repay his debts then wait out the crisis. As someone who clawed his way to where he was now, Henry was very much against this idea, and hence did not listen to his children. He refused to listen to their advice because he didn't like the idea of selling below market. As a result, he used his line of credit worth around 25 to 35 million to pay interest on other credit lines every month. After a while, everyone else was trying to discount inventory and moving out of the business. After that, it was futile to...

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