News & Highlights

  • June 2017

MBA Alumnus Behind Colombian Infrastructure Proposal

Mariano Ospina-Hernandez (MBA 1951) is the visionary behind an ambitious proposal to improve and expand Colombia's transportation infrastructure, which would open new possibilities for international commerce and travel by linking some of South America's largest rivers.
  • April 2017
  • Alumni News

Harvard Business School Names Winners and Celebrates 20th New Venture Competition at Finale

Mexican talent agency, Apli (founded by Vera Makarov, MBA 2010) wins Alumni Track award during the 20th annual HBS New Venture Competition.

New Research on the Region

  • June 2017
  • Teaching Material

Hilti Fleet Management Video Supplements

By: Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Oliver Gassmann and Roman Sauer

This case explores the introduction of fleet management in the construction industry by the premium power tools manufacturer Hilti in 2000. Following its customers’ needs, Hilti moved from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. The introduction of the new business model contributed significantly to the success of Hilti, since it sustainably differentiated the company from its competitors. For instance, the adoption of fleet management resulted in customer loyalty levels five times higher than under the dominant business model Hilti had formerly employed, and over-proportioned profit contribution at Hilti. Hilti’s Chief Technology Officer described the importance of the innovation as follows: “Hilti developed many very innovative and successful products over the years, but they paled in comparison with the fleet management business model, which was the most important innovation in Hilti’s history.” All told, Hilti, which had about 22,000 employees and made about 4.5 billion Swiss Francs (or $4.589 billion USD) in sales in 2015, managed 1.5 million tools under fleet management contracts in 40 countries, resulting in a contract value of more than 1.2 billion Swiss Francs (approximately $1.4 billion USD). Case A describes the strategic decision-making process regarding the introduction of fleet management in its early planning stages.

  • 2017
  • Book

Profits and Sustainability: A History of Green Entrepreneurship

This book explores whether profits and environmental sustainability are compatible through the lens of a global history of green entrepreneurship between the nineteenth century and today. It tells the story of the extraordinary and often eccentric men and women who defied convention and imagined that business could help save the planet rather than consume it. The social and religious beliefs that drove many of these individuals are explored as the book explores how they overcame huge obstacles to execute their strategies in industries as diverse as renewable energy, organic food, natural beauty, eco-tourism, recycling, architecture, and finance. The pioneering efforts to build certification schemes and environmental reporting are examined, alongside the contested relationship between green business and governments. The struggles of entrepreneurial pioneers have rarely proved profitable, as they were forced to compete with conventional businesses that ignored negative environmental externalities and were often subsidized by governments in the United States and elsewhere. Yet the book shows that these entrepreneurs contributed significantly to the growth of environmental awareness among consumers, business leaders, and others. However the Earth's environmental health has continued to deteriorate. If combining profits and sustainability has proved challenging in the past, and remains so today, the book argues that one reason was how they have both been defined.

  • June 2017
  • Case

MIA: Profit at the Base of the Pyramid

By: Lynda M. Applegate, José Antonio Dávila Castilla, Sarah Mehta and Aldo Sesia

In January 2016, Guillermo Jaime had just returned home to Mexico City after attending a Harvard Business School executive education program. Jaime was the founder and CEO of Mejoramiento Integral Asistido (MIA), a company providing affordable housing to low-income Mexicans living at the base of the pyramid (BOP), defined as those living on less than $10 per day. Since its launch in 2009, MIA had built nearly 25,000 homes—which provided safe shelter to more than 100,000 Mexicans—while generating an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin of over 8%. At the executive education program, Jaime had learned that entrepreneurs could build on their unique attributes and capabilities to expand and grow their businesses. Should he continue to expand the services MIA offered to BOP customers? Could he leverage what made MIA unique—offering affordable homes for its BOP customers in Mexico—to fulfill other critical needs at the BOP for water, clean energy, and health care services? Jaime was an expert in housing, but could he translate that expertise to such diverse sectors? If so, how should he begin?

See more research

Buenos Aires Staff

Fernanda Miguel
Mariana Cal
Research Associate
Maria Martha Ruiz Melo
Administrative Assistant
Laura Urdapilleta
Research Associate

São Paulo Staff

Priscilla Zogbi
Ruth Costas
Senior Researcher
Vanise Andreasi
Office Manager

Mexico City Staff

Samantha Rullán Rosanis
Assistant Director