This work aims at gaining deeper insight into firms’ ability to identify and successfully exploit new business opportunities within their ongoing offshoring activities. Empirical evidence is drawn on a case of an Italian medium-size software company, which has been offshoring its R&D activities in Bangalore since 2000. Leveraging on its internal resources, on the knowledge of the final users of its software products, on its current offshoring experience, on the resources offered by the Indian context and on the ability to reconfigure in a dynamic way the existing set of resources, the company succeeds in creating a brand new ‘global’ business. More specifically, from selling computer-added design (CAD) products, the company moves to selling the design expertise to use the product. To use a metaphor, from the external wrap (the shell), the company evolves towards selling the content (the pearl), which adds strong value to its final offer. The study enables a deeper understanding of the process through which new business opportunities are recognized and successfully exploited by SMEs at international level.
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