Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2009 (Revised May 2010)

Urbi and the City Licensee Managers

by John D. Macomber and Regina Garcia-Cuellar


A leading low income housing builder in Mexico decides which prospective new local partner best extends its advantages in managing twin production lines of homes and clients. URBI has built substantial competitive advantage in the technology and culture that matches the outputs of these two production systems. The company has also built extensive expertise in accessing the many mortgage and funding sources in Mexico. To grow, the company is interested in entering other Mexican geographies but faces a choice of doing this with its own staff and buying land for cash, or partnering with local entrepreneurs and local land owners. In evaluating the choices, students must think more deeply about what makes the two production lines work and how to balance the two lines. The discussion can end with comparisons of the Mexican political and government circumstances that encourage this method of producing workforce housing as compared with the U.S., China, India, and other markets.

Keywords: Mortgages; Government and Politics; Housing; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Market Entry and Exit; Production; Supply Chain; Organizational Culture; Franchise Ownership; Partners and Partnerships; Competitive Advantage; Real Estate Industry; China; India; Mexico; United States;


Macomber, John D., and Regina Garcia-Cuellar. "Urbi and the City Licensee Managers." Harvard Business School Case 209-144, April 2009. (Revised May 2010.)