1. How can the business activity of the company be best described? Is the market risk implied by these business activities expected to be above or below average?

Business Activity:

Vossloh is a global firm which operates in around 20 countries and primarily deals with products and services pertaining to railway infrastructure. The products of Vossloh include track fastening systems, concrete ties, switch systems and the innovative services associated with the life cycle of rail tracks. With over 30 production sites, Vossloh segregates itself into four basic divisions.

  • Core Components: This division of Vossloh manufactures standard and common products for railway infrastructures on an industrial level. The products of this division include railway fasting, screw-fastened and maintenance-free elastic systems which are applicable and required for all kind of railway tracks ballasted and slab tracks, mainline and conventional lines, high-speed lines, heavy haul and local transport.
  • Customized Modules: This division manufactures products which are customized to different clientele needs. Products of this division includes turnouts and crossings, manganese frogs, switch blade, switch actuators and locking devices, signaling products and rail monitoring systems; such products are unique and different for every other project.
  • Lifecycle Management: This divisions incorporates providing railway track services in order to increase the life of the tracks and keep them well maintained. Services of this division includes welding and transportation of long rails, the corrective milling and the preventative care of tracks and switches and reconditioning and recycling of old rails.



Market risk of “Vossloh”:

Market risk is the uncertainty which arises from external factors and which impact the whole financial system as a whole, also known as “Systematic Risk”. Market risk includes events and incidents like recessions, political turmoil, changes in interest rates, natural disasters and terrorist attacks etc.

Vossloh’s market exposure and risk are above average as compared to firms operating in other sectors for the following reasons:

  • Companies operating in infrastructure industry highly depends on the performance of governments of countries where they operate. Government only invests in infrastructure projects when they have budget surplus or enough room from lending so to invest in projects like railways which are not considered as important as providing the basic necessities like food, education, and health. So a recession, regional or global, can really hamper the business and financial performance of Vossloh.
  • The other external factor which can impact negatively the financials of Vossloh is increment in the interest rate. Operating in construction and infrastructure industry, sometimes require accumulating huge debts, which can result in higher finance cost. Vossloh’s net interest expense increased from £12.5 million in 2017 to £13.4 million in 2018 which tells that Vossloh has a significant amount of debt in its balance sheet and any hike in interest rate can shrink the net profit. However, this risk can be mitigated as Vossloh enjoys a fine reputation in the industry which can result in negotiated, better and fixed markup rate.
  • As Vossloh operates in 20 different countries and has supplied its products to more than 65 countries, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates can also impact the final profits if not hedged properly.

Above mentioned aspects show that the market exposure of Vossloh is slightly higher than the average but as with higher risks come higher profits, Vossloh has been mitigating such risks pretty well since its inception and we expect the same to continue. (Vossloh , 2018)

  1. What is the cost of debt of the company? Describe the critical issues you are facingand propose a well-founded solution.

Cost of Debt of Vossloh:

Total Outstanding Debt:

Net Interest Paid:

Source: Vossloh Annual Report 2018

The cost of debt of Vossloh should be (14.9/267.9 = 0.055), 5.5%.

Issues in calculating cost of debt:

One issue we faced in calculating the cost of debt of Vossloh is that Vossloh hasn’t provided the breakdown of its “Other interest expense” so we can’t be so sure that this amount only includes interest paid for its debt as companies also tend to pay interest on its outstanding account payables and other trade debts. In order to deal with this issue, we will add a caveat regarding this. However, this issue is not severe as the probable amount of interest paid for trade debts are not usually so high.

So, the cost of debt of Vossloh is 5.5%.


  1. What is the cost of equity of the company? Please identify a Beta-factor based onyour own calculations. For that purpose collect the appropriate stock quotes (e.g. and explain your approach. Moreover, discuss the problems in identifyingthe risk-free rate and the market risk premium and explain your solution.

Cost of Equity:

In order to calculate the cost of equity, we will take a step by step approach, which is the following:

Step 1: Calculate the risk free rate:

We are taking the rate of USA Treasury Bill – 10 years as our risk free rate which is currently 2.21%. (Source: US Department of Treasury)

A risk free rate is one which guarantees a certain rate of return and doesn’t have any uncertainty. US Treasury Bill – 10 Year offers the qualities of risk free rate as it is free from all kinds of risks including default risk, liquidity risk, and time horizon risk.

Step 2: Calculate the Beta.
In order to calculate the beta, we need to extract the closing stock price of Vossloh and the closing index value of the stock market where Vossloh trades. The data should at least be of last 4 years as having data of a shorter span may not truly portray the risk of the stock as it might not be enough to take into account all the ups and downs the company has went through.

After collecting the data, we will use the following formula to calculate the beta.

With the above mentioned formula, the beta of Vossloh is calculated as 0.50. We took the data from December 2015 to December 2019.

Step 3: Calculate the market premium.

Market premium is the extra return Xetra has provided over the risk free rate.Xetra’s last 1 year return has been taken as taking a return of longer horizon, i.e. 10 years, may take into account financial crisis period of 2008/09 which may distort the return the market has provided recently. Also, as per industry practices, market premium should reflect the current scenario rather than historical years.

Step 4: Using the equation of CAPM to calculate cost of equity:

CAPM equation is, Cost of equity = risk free rate + (Beta*Market Premium)

CE of Vossloh = 2.21% + (0.50 * 22%) = 13.21%

So, the cost of equity of Vossloh as per the CAPM model is 13.21%.


  1. How do you determine the weight of equity and the weight of debt? Again, describethe problems you are facing and propose a solution.


In order to calculate the weight of equity and debt, we first need to determine the total amount of funding Vossloh has acquired in form of both, debt and equity. After calculating the amount, we will calculate the share and weightage of each, debt and equity, in that amount.

Total Funding:

Hence, the total amount of funding for Vossloh is 512.5+267.9 = £780.4 million

Weightage of debt:

= 267.9/780.4 = 0.343

Weightage of Equity:

= 512.5/780.4 = 0.656

  1. What is the WACC of the company? Discuss your result in terms of robustness andreliability.

WACC of Vossloh:

WACC = (13.21% * 0.656) + (5.5% * 0.343 * (1-0.15))

WACC = 10.26%

As per our calculations, the WACC of Vossloh is 10.26%. We believe this is accurate and reliable as we have extracted all the data from relevant sources and used methodologies which are used by professionals. 


Vossloh , 2018. Annual Report , s.l.: s.n.



Innovation Strategy and Implementation in HP Company
Innovation Strategy and Implementation in HP Company


Innovation is required to manage a strategic business structure. It is widespread at the global level because management seeks innovative practices for rapid development. Innovation is also significant to implement a productive business strategy for a business and tackle key challenges (Instrve, 2019). Management provides a clear strategy to practice appropriate skills and required behavior to improve efficiency. The HP Company is truly focusing on implementing an innovative strategy for business efficiencies (Development, 2019). Its value proposition is to focus on a resilient framework to innovate on b2c strategy. This report is about HP Company and its innovation. The report will discuss organizational direction, innovation patterns, objectives, and collaborative practices for new product development.     

Defining Organizational Direction

HP Company is a global information technology framework that is situated in California, Pal Alto. The company is specialized in manufacturing software, hardware, and is engaged in technical solving problems. It is offering a broad range of services regarding small and medium businesses, large enterprises, and education & health sectors (Keogh, 2019). The product lines of the company are standard practices about networking products, servers, and imaging products. The company is engaged in consulting services for computers, laptops, and mobiles. HP is also the largest vendor for PCs. The computer industry is all about a wide range of services, PCs, tablets, Desktops, and hardware (Firth, 2019).

The industry has many competitors of HP, such as Dell, Sony, Gateway, Apple, and Samsung. The inbuilt technical framework and competitiveness of HP are advancing on the basis of new strategies. The rapid pace of networking is to stay sustainable in the computer world and to innovate in the marketplace. Global personal computer networking needs a solid and resilient atmosphere for the development of business. HP is focusing on the multi-step processes to evaluate the current offerings and involve in new business practices. For instance, the direction of the organization is moving forward to engage in diverse patterns to bring long term growth strategy (Igartua & Albors, 2011). The initial stage of business development is to ideate the solid concepts for innovation, and it is attained by launching new services. HP is generating new ideas campaigns for the formulation of innovation strategy. The organizational direction is orienting towards an effective customer portal to increase customers’ services. It is carried out with improved efficiency and increased customer retention. The direction of the company is also striving for the electronic fulfillment of needs. It is developed by dynamic personalization of information and creating innovative networking to target sales.

HP is working on launching creative channels of engagement to enhance the productivity of the customers’ portal. The fast response is integral for dynamic business needs, and it is also appropriate for the market shifts analysis (Schilling, 2019). The organizational direction is carried out by implementing the innovational strategy in all business frameworks (Solutions, 2019). The patterns of organizational performance are oriented to get diversification in product portfolio and to integrate services.

Sources and patterns of innovation

In HP Company, the innovative sources are divided into different sections. The reinventing journey of HP has engaged key influential ideas with a flow of new products. The creation of amazing technologies is inspiring everyone in the computing field. HP is also fulfilling requirements to embrace new ideas, conduct change related to marketing, and bring innovative concepts that can provide balanced opportunities. The assemblage of the powerful board of directors by HP is a step to bring in a diversity approach (Instrve, 2019). The core business strategy is aligned to implement innovative patterns on three main pillars. These pillars are core, growth, and future.

The pattern of constant innovation is related to playing progressively and protecting the core of the business strategy. HP has rolled over a new pattern of technology understanding. The core business growth strategy is managed by consumer preferences (Keogh, 2019). It has also managed print services with pocket-size sprockets. The technique is conducive for smartphone-toting millennials. The innovative commercial processes, such as Elitebook Folio G1, are beautifully delivered by HP (Development, 2019).

HP is capturing growth by pursuing in the adjacent technical markets. The A3 copier market with the LaserJet printers and Page Wide options, has accelerated innovation. The personal systems acquired commercial mobility solutions such as Elite X3, and it has also attained Mobile World Congress awards. The third pillar of the innovation pattern is creating for the future. HP has a rich heritage for innovation, and it is continuing with this tendency by establishing HP labs (Solutions, 2019). The undertaking of long and short-term perspectives of growth regarding computing and innovative 3D commercial printing system, has generated huge revenue, i.e., $12 trillion.

Choosing Innovation Projects

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, fifty years ago, strived for the innovative research lab. The researchers and designers of HP Company are focusing on the key ideas that can shape the future of the industry. The largest system of the world for the desktop scientific calculator is attributable to the HP labs. In the fields of immersive computing, 3D printing, the internet of things, hypermobility, and microfluidics, HP is working to establish innovative practices (Igartua & Albors, 2011). Shane Wall is HP’s global head of research and technology. He focused on the technology being used for HP labs, as it will be the idea of blended reality. The placement of people, things, and places for better interaction is based on digital reality. Communication is carried out on the virtuous re-enforcing cycle that can solve human needs. The technical innovation, company is focusing on is about disrupting technologies. There are different innovative projects that HP is developing, for instance, how urbanization can reshape future societies and the enabling of on-demand resources to maintain their standards.

In the field of 3D printing solutions and industrial solutions, HP is transforming manufacturing in terms of economies of scale and supply chains (Wall, 2019). Shane Wall has focused on a wide-ranging discussion about the impact of 3D on managing the industrial revolution of technology. The blended reality is another advanced line by HP that is blurring the boundary between the physical and digital worlds. This technology and innovation will improve the living standards of people living at home (Firth, 2019). The four HP labs, in this regard, are transforming products, thereby creating immersive experiences. This vision is opening up new technologies and streamlining the production ways to help investors.  

Collaboration strategies

There are different collaboration strategies that HP is working to undertake customers’ co approaches. HP labs are forming an improved collaboration with its forward-thinking customers. This innovation is driving next-generation products while managing data analysis. The customer co-innovation is developing ideas into reality by encouraging investors to collaborate in research-based activities of HP labs. This collaboration is fostering technology transfers. The customer co-innovation techniques are engaging a multifaceted environment for investors to enjoy open innovation. Under this approach, the innovation research program initiative is developed at a global level (Keogh, 2019). The program is responsible for supporting the technical universities at a worldwide scale by undertaking big bet research projects.

Diversity is a key to innovation, and the thought-provoking decisions by HP are providing diversity experiences. HP lab researchers are bringing a new mode to collaborate with customers on the basis of change. The customers-co innovation project is bringing business partners closer on integrity grounds. Innovative products are engaged in specific collaborative approaches to enhance practical capabilities. The creative decisions of the company are working on competitive dynamics, customer trends, and investors’ perspectives (Development, 2019).

Organizing for innovation

The innovation organization is a dependable situation for HP in order to develop a new networking mechanism. The business customer strategy by the company is engaging customers and related policies to work on an innovative basis (Wall, 2019). The customer-focused approach is critical to involve in business leadership. It has also included the critical competitors in managing technology, thereby supporting new horizons. HP is organizing innovative yet redundant technical solutions for the spread of e-processes enterprising. The son’s rationalized solution for maintaining internet protocols and standards is also being implemented. The company is involved in intense competition about bringing resources together, hence giving rise to the increased strength of innovation.

A new culture for better future innovation is driving a growth mindset. HP’s culture of innovation is diverse with the spirit of long-term growth (Igartua & Albors, 2011). HR is applying its knowledge on future-oriented projects under HP labs to maintain its long-term growth positioning. The individual growth rate on the foundational belief is supported by specific intelligence and skills level approach. HP is driving innovation by learning new concepts about growth, employment strategy, and leadership practices. Change is being organized on the basis of learning and adding innovative tools to the existing learning portfolio. For instance, the launch of Brain candy in 2016 is to enhance the learning approach. It is already getting more prominent and engaging employees to network with shared interests. The growth-building mindset is conducive for future growth as it is implemented by the Human Resource department.

The innovative approach by HP is being organized by the growth mindset and anticipates new changes. The technology industry is diverse; hence, HP is not letting in the complacency. It believes in working with proactiveness. The tasks, making informed and bold moves, and situational networking is increasing learning opportunities for the company. Moreover, the company is also setting up a growth mindset by believing in its own potential for employees. The technological drive is leading innovative patterns. It is managing the commitment to bring a creative change in existing services. The growth mindset is conducive for all the employees and encouraging them to share their interests and expectations (Wall, 2019). Employees at HP are driving growth patterns, resonating growth perspectives, and improving the existing framework of working.

The social responsibility director of HP, Zoe McMahon, has focused on the specific code of conduct for employees to disrupt the industrial technical goals. The foundations of future products by HP Company are aligned on HP lab services and products with immersive scientific experience. The research has provided the significance of diversity as an essential part of innovation to get a meaningful change. Technology is being developed by transforming people’s lives, by propelling people’s growth. Innovation is considered a pivotal aspect to reinvent into the future. The innovative solutions that are oriented by the company are maintaining intense internal competition by leading technology.

Moreover, the duplication of efforts in the enterprise is all about availing significant growth opportunities and implementing changes quickly (Keogh, 2019). HP has put forward the service-oriented architecture as well as web services. The worldwide expansion is helpful to collaborate at a global level and focus on real-time decisions. This system provides aggregating information structure and a model for diversification on a single interface.

New Product Development Process

The product development workflows in HP Company are oriented on high performance and reliability. Due to a high level of innovation and practices, the product development process is designed to maintain software. HP workstations work to focus on expandability (Solutions, 2019). The Z workstations are designed professionally to offer reliable service to the customers. The preferred choice of professionals decides powerful computing solutions that can bring rapid ease. In addition to this, HP invests in people, partners’ relationships, and maintaining equipment. This service is related to the independent software vendor process that, in turn, ensures professional excellence. Leading software companies are working with HP to provide quality products (Development, 2019).

The process of product development engages the necessity of ease and quality. HP’s application and the certification process are related to choosing the best service for the workstation. The activities involved in this process are necessary to equip the independent software vendors with these workstations and testing for support. These are also significant to perform the in-depth testing system to measure relevant performance. They also coordinate with the hardware issues and help to resolve any complexity. This effect also maintains the relationship between technology partners. The innovative aspect of product development is linked with the publication of certified configuration (Firth, 2019).

The process of certificate development records the performance advisor activities that can facilitate the driver selection process. The certification regarding the product development process is crucial to work with confidence. It allows the hardware solution to be compatible with the software products. The technology partners of HP are working to increase the performance of products by testing, certifying, and engaging with the most reliable processes. HP is among one of the leading technology companies that can easily recognize any new innovation at the global level. This structure provides that HP is working to bring performance advisor specifications. The product development system works on the basis of HP labs ad research centers and ensures that the products are working at the optimum level. Applications and software are designed to perform specific functions and to innovate.

The product development strategy is to bring forth the key structural elements that can accelerate performance. This aspect is crucial to maintain efficiency and bring proactiveness to team members. The breakthrough elements in the product development efforts require the key functioning of individual projects (Wall, 2019). HP has designed its product development strategy in relation to innovation and to establish its research labs.

New Product Development Teams

The innovative strategy for HP Company is to monitor its key operations in all departments. The innovative application and design practices for the team members activate and standardize the product development framework. To minimize cost-related operations, HP is managing to build a strong collaboration with its investors (Solutions, 2019). The logistic strategy of a company is important to consider for its product development framework. It does not have warehouse management that can establish its transportation. The company is working with the product development team to minimize costs while maintaining a good business relationship with third parties. The selection of logistics companies on account of security is essential for a company to secure the product development process (Igartua & Albors, 2011).

HP value chain is a long-term strategic oriented framework, and it plans to cut down the cost to develop a sustainable financial statement.

The restructuring of HP is to manage the cost and improve the functioning of product development. The company is also simplifying its process of product development by engaging professional team members. The strategic option includes product differentiation strategy and personal computing (Instrve, 2019). It has an innovative framework for the implementation of a cost leadership strategy. The computing industry is wide on account of awareness and market share. It has to add new attributes to get loyalty to customers. The product differentiation strategy is to combine based on the software and HPs server. The development concepts are center, progress, and future. HP has advanced the administration of situated engineering just as web administrations. The overall extension is useful to work together at a worldwide level and concentrate on continuous choices.

The product focus strategy under teamwork is to maintain its generic strategy. For instance, it holds for targeting public sectors by improving its linkage with the management (Development, 2019). The printing-related business of HP is quite important to discuss new product development aspects and with the team members. HP is working to diversify the business by focusing more on 3D and 4D printing technology. HP also has significant experience in printing and acquiring a central position to be a market leader. Service decisions and enterprises are subjected to cloud technology, servers, and software. The product development specifications about team members allow a distinction to acquire great potential in the future market.

The HP product development strategy under members is to lead the market with research and development. The well-known specialists, technologists, and researchers are inducted into the company’s management team to innovate solutions. It is also investing a lot of resources to innovate technical expertise and to achieve the targets. The acquisition strategy is implemented to achieve goals and maintain the necessary skills for the development of a new product. HP is also maintaining its process development aspects by undertaking a key skilled workforce. The restructuring of its strategy is significant to acquire efficiency (Solutions, 2019).

The reorganization of HP in the product development sector is varying due to different endeavors. From a central viewpoint, the scope of the company and the implementation of new technology to maintain product development are appropriate to attain modern excellence (Instrve, 2019). Digital future and long-term growth strategies are linked to acquiring innovation in all the products and services. In addition to this, the company is maintaining its brand name for the development of new products, according to demand. The key notion to strive better is discussed for the acquisition of long-term growth strategy that is also useful to keep long-term economies of scale (Firth, 2019). The center business system is adjusted to actualize imaginative examples of important principle aspects of development.


Innovation is a key to achieve modern-day development, and a technical company always strives to acquire the successful implementation of technology. HP is implementing innovative practices for the better development of the business strategy. The inventive arrangements that are situated by the organization are keeping up the extraordinary inward challenge by driving innovation. In addition, the duplication of endeavors in big business is tied in with benefiting huge development openings and actualizing changes rapidly. The company mainly acquires the focus on resource mechanisms and investment in research and development through different collaboration strategies.

HP likewise satisfies prerequisites to grasp new thoughts, direct change identified with advertising, and bring imaginative ideas that can give adjusted chances. The gathering of ground-breaking top managerial staff by HP is a stage to get a decent variety approach. The structural approach is a significant notion that describes evidence of excellence and allows for a better implementation of the innovative strategy. The innovative practices are proved to be appropriate with the modern world business and technical specification.


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