Felipe Antonio Custer
Peru
Felipe Antonio Custer
  • CEO, Corporacion Custer (Food and Chemicals)
Born Lina, Peru, 1954. BA, Harvard College (1976); MBA, Harvard Business School (1979).
“Most business leaders I know take themselves too seriously. You can do business very seriously, but you should never become too detached from your own humanity, who you are as an individual.”

Summary

Felipe Antonio Custer reflects on how his education Harvard and the Harvard Business School helped prepare him for joining his family's company, originally called Richard O. Custer, which by 1979 was Peru’s leading distributor. He speaks at length about challenges he faced as a business leader in Peru at the time, including having to navigate a hostile government . He emphasizes strategic alliances, diversification, branding strategies, and expansion into the generic drug market, as key factors contributing to Corporación Custer’s success. In the interview Custer also discusses the development of Fundación Custer, a charitable foundation which focuses on learning disabilities and education, and which is now funded in part by Custer's publishing of cookbooks and children's books.

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Felipe Antonio Custer reflects on how his education Harvard and the Harvard Business School helped prepare him for joining his family's company, originally called Richard O. Custer, which by 1979 was Peru’s leading distributor. He speaks at length about challenges he faced as a business leader in Peru at the time, including having to navigate a hostile government . He emphasizes strategic alliances, diversification, branding strategies, and expansion into the generic drug market, as key factors contributing to Corporación Custer’s success. In the interview Custer also discusses the development of Fundación Custer, a charitable foundation which focuses on learning disabilities and education, and which is now funded in part by Custer's publishing of cookbooks and children's books.
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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

  • Tony Custer, The Art of Peruvian Cuisine, foreword by Eric Ripert; photographs by Miguel Etchepare, with Jorge and Felipe Ossio Guiulfo; Alison Light, translation and research. Ediciones Ganesha, 2000
  • Tony Custer, El Osezno Febezno, un osito valiente y cortés, 1998
  • “Tony Custer on His Business and Peru’s Economy,” Peru This Week, August 6, 2012
  • “Tony Custer of the Corporation Custer on Business,” YouTube, Uploaded August 1, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ingntw6gPvo
  • Martin Monsalve Zanatti, “Evolution of the Peruvian large family business 1896-2012,” in Paloma Fernández Pérez and Andrea Lluch (eds.) Evolution of Family Business Continuity and Change in Latin America and Spain. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016

Interview Citation Format

"Interview with Felipe Antonio Custer, interviewed by Andrea Lluch, June 12, 2013, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/creating-emerging-markets/."