International Marketing Class Business Plan Leads to Full-Time Position

International Marketing Class Business Plan Leads to Full-Time Position
AU international students Faisal Altimyat, at left, and Saud Almubark, at right, pose with Doug Brown, president of Zephyr Industries, in the Zephyr Industries building located outside of Ashland.

4/6/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – A senior project in an Ashland University international marketing class has resulted in AU senior Faisal Altimyat receiving a full-time international position with Ashland’s Zephyr Industries.

Altimyat, a finance major at Ashland University, along with Saud Almubark, a senior information systems major at Ashland University, created and implemented a business plan in their international marketing class to help Zephyr Industries open markets in Saudi Arabia.

Zephyr Industries is dedicated to mounting and maintaining expensive emergency equipment such as wrenches, nozzles and tool mounts. Having quality products is important to the mission of Zephyr Industries; therefore, they believe in all products being made with custom aluminum. Not only do they use high quality aluminum, but the company’s products are constructed with finishers such as anodizing, powder coating and Plastisol dipping.

Through Altimyat and Almubark’s international marketing class, they were able to evaluate the Saudi market and see if there was a need for this particular product. Together they analyzed the Saudi culture to see how the people would respond to it and also studied the economy to see the potential market.

Altimyat and Almubark’s business plan consisted of installing and advertising the product in Saudi Arabia. “Our plan is to target one city in the first year, then expand into the whole country,” said Altimyat. “We then want to reach neighboring countries as well as targeting ARAMCO – a campus city for the biggest oil company in the world.”

Though there were challenges in expanding Zephyr Industries to a global market, the main challenge was finding a way to be successful in a global region.

Prior to this business plan, the international marketing class propelled Altimyat’s knowledge of global markets.

Professor (Kris) Hovsepian, the instructor for the class, was with us during the development of the plan,” Altimyat said. “We would study how to construct research on something, and then we would apply that to the project.”

Not only did Professor Hovsepian guide the business plan, but she made the business plan a reality by arranging a meeting for Altimyat and Almubark with Zephyr Industries president, Doug Brown. 

After the meeting, Brown and his team loved the business plan and decided to put it into action. Because of Altimyat’s involvement, he was asked to become the company representative in Saudi Arabi following his May graduation from AU. 

“I will be importing their [Zephyr] products into Saudi Arabia and selling it there,” Altimyat said.

Overall, the business plan he and Almubark created was successful.

“It was great experience. Doing the actual plan was long and frustrating at times but looking at the results, we learned so much on how to do business in the real world,” Altimyat said. “It gave us a better understanding on how global markets work.”

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###