IXP Course: Brazil; Opportunities for Success in Resource-Rich Emerging Markets
Course Number 6005
Professor Aldo Musacchio
Several on-campus meetings during the Fall and Winter Terms
Program fee & travel costs (see details on financial aid eligibility)
January Term travel
1.5 credits applied toward Winter term requirements
Enrollment: Limited to 30 students
This course is intended for future business leaders who will operate in emerging markets, preferably in a commodity-rich country or in Brazil. This IXP focuses on three aspects of the Brazilian economy. First, the recent commodity boom in Brazil and the impact it has on the rest of the economy. Second, we will study the rise of the middle class (almost 30 million people joined the middle class in the last eight years) and the boom in private consumption. Finally, the visits and field projects will also examine the challenges of doing business in a country that is growing rapidly, but that has shortcomings in infrastructure and regulation.
Provide an insightful hands-on education experience through field exercises and close interaction with players in the business startup, financial and commodities sector. The trip would be primarily focused on understanding the dynamic entrepreneurial culture of the country. In particular, students will see first-hand, an unprecedented credit and consumption boom. They will also be given a hand-on opportunity to understand the business opportunities that the recent global commodity boom offers in Brazil. Students will see the importance of management/strategy and R&D for the success of such companies and the impact such industries have on the development of the country as a whole. Countries and companies that just extract mining products/oil or produce agricultural products without investing in developing technologies and knowledge to increase their productivity on a sustained basis cannot develop a long-term competitive advantage. Brazilian companies and farmers have developed a competitive advantage in mining/oil and agriculture and we want to understand how this process has taken place, what kind of strategies have been successful? What kind of government involvement in business has worked? Finally, we want to study the positive spill overs and negative externalities that the commodity boom has had on the rest of the economy.
Course Content and Organization
The course is based on the experience of the Brazil IXP of 2010 and 2011 and the long experience in Brazil of Prof. Musacchio and other HBS and Brazilian faculty members who contribute to the design of field exercises. The trip has three parts:
- Field components. This IXP will have field projects in at least two areas. First, student teams will work with startups to understand the challenges of doing business in Brazil. Second, some teams will work with commodity companies or companies that are taking advantage of the commodity boom. Teams will work for a week with their respective companies in Sao Paulo. The whole group will then visit the leading commodity and financial firms in Rio de Janeiro.
- Site visits. There a series of visits to businesses in the mining, oil, biofuels, and farming business as well as conversations with research centers that develop technology and know-how for the commodities sector. These visits are complemented with interactions with government officials and entrepreneurs in industries that are not directly related to commodities, but that struggle to get access to funding and attention because they are not in the resource-export business. Finally, there is a site visit to a favela to see how life and businesses operate at the bottom of the pyramid.
- Plenary and capstone presentations. Site visits and field exercises are discussed by the group on a regular basis as a way to get take aways for each of the activities.
Students with experience in mining, oil, energy, biotech, nonprofit, government, and finance will benefit the most from this course. Students who took GEM, The Energy Business, or Global Strategic Management in the fall will have preference in the selection process, but the course is open to any interested students.
Course Credit and Fees
Students who successfully complete this IXP will earn 1.5 course credits, which will be posted in the Winter term. HBS will provide in-country logistics for IXPs (including accommodations, select meals, and local travel) but students will need to contribute a fee of $2,500 towards defraying a part of these costs. In addition, students are responsible for their international round-trip air travel to Brazil. Students who have an existing financial aid application on file may submit for additional financial support to participate in this IXP. Please see the Financial Aid website for more information on financial support for IXP courses.
Please see the IXP website for information regarding student accommodations on IXP courses.