Latin America Research Center

The Latin America Research Center (LARC) was opened in Buenos Aires in 2000. The LARC was founded to satisfy strong interest on the part of the HBS faculty in this dynamic region. As a result, the LARC's work has greatly increased the volume of in-depth research and course materials that focus on business management issues specific to Latin American companies. In addition, the LARC has strengthened its relationships with important profit and not-for-profit constituencies throughout Latin America. Since its inception, the LARC has supported HBS faculty in developing over 80 research cases and projects on management and economic issues in Latin America. To further support research being carried out in this region, two senior researchers were placed in São Paulo and Mexico City.

The Latin American Case Consortium (LACC) is a program created by Harvard Business School Publishing, and supported by the LARC, to address the distribution and translation of academic material with partnering Latin American and Spanish business schools.


"Día Día Practimercados: Meeting the Daily Needs at the Base of the Pyramid (A)"

Chu, Michael, Regina Garcia-Cuellar, and Rosa Amelia Gonzalez
November 2013

No abstract available

YPF-The Argentine Oil Nationalization of 2012

Maurer, Noel, and Gustavo A. Herrero
August 2013

No abstract available

Grupo ABC and Nizan Guanaes's Path from Brazil to the World

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Ricardo Reisen De Pinho
July 2013

Internationally recognized Brazilian Nizan Guanaes, co-founder of Grupo ABC, a rapidly growing global advertising firm ranked 18th in 2011, had aspirations to be in the top 10 by 2015. Grupo ABC thrived by identifying national (Brazilian) challenges and incorporating them in creative messages. Guanaes steered the group toward thinking big while acting locally, tackling societal challenges and building partnerships, as he entered the world stage; serving as an informal ambassador for Brazil; playing important roles in international forums as the Clinton Global Initiative, UNESCO, and the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Guanaes needed to determine the best growth strategy, how to seize opportunities, and/or how to adapt to meet his ambitious goal.

Agriculture in Mexico

Bell, David E., Regina Garcia-Cuellar, and Cintra Scott
March 2013

No abstract available

Pemex (B): The Rebound

Maurer, Noel, Aldo Musacchio, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
February 2013

No abstract available


Doing Business in Brazil

Aldo Musacchio, Gustavo A. Herrero, Ricardo Reisen de Pinho, Cintra Scott
September 2012

This case deals with a decision that must be made by a U.S. private equity firm of whether to enter Brazil, one of the most attractive rising countries in the world, pondering the risks and opportunities that characterize it.

Doing Business in Argentina

Abdelal, Rawi, Amy C. Edmondson, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
September 2012

An imaginary oil company is invited to participate in a potentially lucrative investment in a large oil field just as the Argentine government is taking actions that seem to jeopardize private property rights within its borders. This case highlights the risks and opportunities of the proposed investment in the context of a country with plentiful natural resources that has experienced both booms and busts.

Mexico City Water Shortage

Macomber, John D., Regina Garcia-Cuellar, Griffin H. James, and Frederik Nellemann
September 2012

In this case, a property company, a water privatizer, and municipal engineers explore the causes of and solutions to a severe water shortage in Mexico City, a great global capital. The protagonist is a real estate investor doing due diligence on the magnitude of the crisis, the impact on the firm's operations, and the likelihood of resolution. Due diligence includes interviews with city water officials and global-scale water privatizers. This case is an excellent introduction to city scale infrastructure issues on a global level. A related case, "Water Shortage and Property Investing in Mexico City," HBS No. 210-085, contains more real estate finance and less water infrastructure finance material than this case does.

Vale: Global Expansion in the Challenging World of Mining (B)

Musacchio, Aldo, Tarun Khanna, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
September 2012

Supplements the (A) case

Itau Unibanco (A): The Merger Process

Villalonga, Belen, John A. Davis, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
August 2012

No abstract available

Itau Unibanco (B): The Merger Outcome

Villalonga, Belen, John A. Davis, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
August 2012

No abstract available

Start-up Chile: April 2012

Applegate, Lynda M., William R. Kerr, Josh Lerner, Dina D. Pomeranz, Gustavo A. Herrero, Cintra Scott
May 2012

Start-Up Chile is a unique program to encourage entrepreneurs to bring their new ventures to Chile. Policymakers must evaluate its effectiveness in achieving economic and social goals.

Banco Ciudad (A): Who Is the Owner?

Musacchio, Aldo, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Cintra Scott
February 2012

The state-run Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Banco Ciudad) was losing money in 2007. Early in 2008, Federico Sturzenegger, a renowned academic in Argentina, was appointed executive chairman by the city government and charged with turning the bank around. But just four months later, Sturzenegger was already facing the 45th day of a labor conflict sparked by union representatives on account of having fired six employees. The showdown raised several questions. First and foremost: Who owned Banco Ciudad? The city government? The citizens? Its employees? How could this bank use its strengths and overcome its weaknesses to best serve its constituents and the public? This case follows Sturzenegger´s eventful first few years in office to examine how a state-owned enterprise maneuvered in a challenging environment to hit its targets of greater efficiency and profitability.

Banco Ciudad (B): Transformation at Work?

Musacchio, Aldo, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Cintra Scott
February 2012

Returning to Banco Ciudad two years after executive chairman Federico Sturzenegger´s decision to "think outside of the box" to turn the institution around, this case tracks profitability and other metrics of success for the state-owned bank. The case ends with Sturzenegger asking: where can he take the bank next?


Amil and the Health Care System in Brazil

Herzlinger, Regina E., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
September 2011

Dr. Edson Bueno created Amil, Brazil's largest health insurer. Unlike many others, it is vertically integrated. Dr. Bueno has two opportunities for growth. Which, if any, should he pursue?

Mibanco: Meeting the Mainstreaming of Microfinance

Chu, Michael
August 2011

Mibanco, Peru's leading microfinance bank, faces intense competition as the banking industry rushes into low income segments. Companion video clips bring into the classroom the contemporary reality of a world-class microfinance institution, where the unpaved streets and cluttered markets of the loan officer coexist with the sophistication of technical financial analysis and premier professional management. Rafael Llosa, the General Manager of Mibanco, must find the way to maintain the financial performance of one of Peru's most profitable banks and meet the strategic growth goals set by his board while facing the most aggressive competitive scenario in the 25-year history of microfinance in Peru. Courseware No. 9-309-701, "Microfinance: An Operating Perspective," contains five chapters filmed at Mibanco: Introduction, Competition, Marketing, Operations and Human Relations.

Mibanco: Meeting the Mainstreaming of Microfinance

Chu, Michael, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Jean Steege Hazell
August 2011

Facing an increasingly competitive microfinance market in Peru, Mibanco must continually optimize its product offerings, marketing operations, and human resource management to stay on top. This multimedia courseware provides visual orientation to enable viewers to more fully understand the nature of microentrepreneurs and the microfinance market in Peru, as well how Mibanco attracts and retains clients, balances efficiency and risk management in its loan portfolio, and works to build an organization capable of sustaining rapid growth. The courseware includes five video segments: Introduction, Competition, Marketing, Operations and Human Resources, with a total run time of 52 minutes.


Khaire, Mukti, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Cintra Scott
June 2011

The case deals with an IT company born in Argentina in 2003 to provide software services to established companies in the developed world. After reaching sales of $57 million in 2010, the company ponders its next steps to achieve $500 million in revenues by 2015.

Aluar: Aluminio Argentino S.A. (A)

Hawkins, David F., Hernan Etiennot, Gustavo A. Herrero, and Cintra Scott
June 2011

Argentine government claims inflation rate is 8 percent but others claim it is double that rate. Analysts' attempts to adjust the company's financial statements for inflation.

Primedic-Providing Primary Care in Mexico

Hamermesh, Richard G., Regina Garcia Cuellar, and Lauren Margulies
April 2011

Primedic is a Mexican start-up that aims to deliver affordable primary and preventative healthcare to those at the base of the economic pyramid. The company is about to exhaust its first round of venture capital funding, and the business model has yet to gain traction. How should the business model be changed, and should the venture capitalists continue to fund the company?

Aluar: Aluminio Argentino S.A. (B)

Hawkins, David F., Hernan Etiennot, Gustavo A. Herrero, Hugo Pentenero
March 2011

Analyst restates Aluar's financial statements to account for inflation. Students are asked to critique the method used.

Volkswagen do Brasil: Driving Strategy with the Balanced Scorecard

Kaplan, Robert S., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
March 2011

A new management team at VW do Brazil develops and deploys a strategy map and Balanced Scorecard to accomplish a turnaround and cultural change after eight consecutive years of financial losses and market share declines. The team uses the strategy map to align financial and project resources to the strategy and to motivate its more than 20,000 employees by communicating the strategy in multiple ways and installing reward and recognition programs. It also establishes new programs to align the extensive networks of suppliers and dealers to the strategy. But after a sharp decline in sales triggered by the global financial crisis of 2008, the executive team faces a dilemma: should it cut back production levels and funding for strategic initiatives until sales recover, or should it continue to invest for the future?

Los Grobo: Farming's Future?

Bell, David E., Cintra Scott
February 2011

This case describes the international expansion plans of the second largest grain producer in Latin America, Los Grobo. Based in Argentina with US$550 million in annual sales, Los Grobo also operated in Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay--usually with local partners. Los Grobo had an unusual business model: it did not own land nor farm machinery. Instead, it created a network of partnered producers and suppliers. In other words, it outsourced as much as possible. CEO Gustavo Grobocopatel believed that Los Grobo's network model was the best way to work within "farming's new paradigm," in which knowledge and technological advancements were farmers' most important tools.


Farmland Investing: A Technical Note

Goldberg, Ray A., Arthur I Segel, Gustavo A. Herrero, Andrew Terris
December 2010

This note seeks to provide an overview of farmland investing; the investment thesis behind investing in agriculture, how and why investors would choose farmland, and the general risks and return characteristics of this asset class. In recent years, a growing number of individual and institutional investors have allocated a portion of their capital into agricultural farmland. Private investors, public companies, and sovereign wealth funds are now all currently purchasing and selling large amounts of farmland for profit.

Cresud S.A., Farmer or Real Estate Developer?

Goldberg, Ray A., Arthur I. Segel, Gustavo A. Herrero, Andrew Terris
November 2010

Alejandro EIsztain, CEO of Cresud S.A., is faced with the difficult choice of whether to sell, develop or continue to hold the 151,000 hectares of remaining undeveloped farmland at the company's Los Pozos farm in Argentina. Developing the land will further expose Cresud to a variety of risks related to owning and operating farmland, but the potential financial rewards are potentially significant. As competition has increased and farmland values have skyrocketed in the last eight years, Cresud's overall corporate strategy has been to increasingly focus on development opportunities outside of the country - in areas such as Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. Alejandro's looming decision on Los Pozos is in many ways, reflective of choices facing his company, in general.

Salud Digna: Dignified Health for Everyone

Grossman, Allen, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
November 2010

Hugo Moreno, CEO of Salud Digna, was considering his growth options for the next three years. Would becoming a for-profit with access to greater capital be the best strategy or would this cause the organization to lose its social mission? Salud Digna provided diagnostic medical tests to the poor, had experienced rapid growth, and was financially self-sufficient. Moreno was determined that the organization be as well managed as any company in Mexico.

Cosan: Thinking Outside the Barrel

Reinhardt, Forest, Noel Maurer, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
October 2010

The Cosan case introduces students and executive education participants to political economy and business strategy in the biofuels industry. Cosan, based in Brazil, is the largest grower and processor of sugarcane in the world and the largest sugar and ethanol producer in Brazil; it is also the world's largest exporter of ethanol for vehicle fuels. Rubens Ometto, Cosan's CEO, has staked out a leading position in the Brazilian ethanol and sugar industries by virtue of his efficiencies in agricultural production and in downstream logistics. He now needs to consider whether, and how aggressively, to expand abroad, either with production facilities or by exporting Brazilian output. He also needs to decide the appropriate vertical structure for the firm: whether he should be involved more extensively in agriculture, processing, distribution, or retail. The answers to these questions depend on his views of the future of the industry and on the governmental institutions that will affect the distribution of value along the value chain.

Vale: Global Expansion in the Challenging World of Mining

Khanna, Tarun, Aldo Musacchio, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
July 2010

In 2009 the management of Vale, a Brazilian diversified mining company and the largest iron ore producer in the world, was under pressure from at least two fronts. First, the emergence of China as the most important consumer of iron ore in the last few years had changed the pricing system for iron ore from long-term contracts based on negotiated "benchmark prices" to contracts based on spot prices, usually forcing mining companies to pay for shipping. Second, for Brazil's charismatic president, Lula, a former union leader, Vale's layoffs during the global financial crisis and its perceived move away from Brazil (as Vale increased its exports to China and purchased Chinese vessels to ship iron ore to Asia) were reasons to start an open campaign to pressure Vale and Roger Agnelli to invest in integrated steel mills in Brazil. In October of 2009, the CEO of Vale, Agnelli was going to meet with Lula and had to decide what to do to attenuate these political pressures. What could Agnelli do to deal with political pressures at home? Was the purchase of large vessels to ship iron ore to Asia a good decision at a time when the shipping industry had spare capacity?

Mexico: Crisis and Competitiveness

Musacchio, Aldo, Richard H.K. Vietor, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
July 2010

In 2010, the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico's revolution against Spain, President Felipe Calderon hoped he could orchestrate several crucial reforms that Mexico needed. Mexico had not grown much over the course of the last decade, losing competitiveness to China and other Asian countries. Several of its institutions, including labor, education, healthcare, energy, and antitrust seemed uncompetitive. But with a weaker peso and greater governmental attention to infrastructure, Calderon hoped that Mexico's higher-tech exports could recapture U.S. market share and make headway in Europe and Latin America.

Water Shortage and Property Investing in Mexico City

Macomber, John D., Regina Garcia-Cuellar, and Griffin H. James
June 2010

A commercial property company evaluates water risks including the government's ability to remedy, the company's operating exposure and mitigation, and whether to relocate because of water risk. A real estate fund manager assesses investment prospects in Mexico City in the context of a major water supply and distribution crisis facing one of the world's largest cities. Can the investment manager understand the water problems so she can make a decision whether to invest in Mexico City? What will she learn about how water is sourced and distributed in Mexico City? And how might the potential public-private partnerships being discussed affect her investment prospects? The fund's investors are seeking real estate exposure in major world cities, particularly Mexico City. How can they assess and mitigate this exposure? How can they extend this thinking to other cities and countries?

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Colbun-Powering Chile

Reinhardt, Forest, Gustavo Herrero, and Sanjay Patnaik
July 2009

This case is about Colbun, Chile's second largest electricity generator, which is facing significant uncertainty regarding the cost and availability of alternative energy sources. Problems with the contracted supply of natural gas and the volatility of oil prices, coupled with regulatory changes made by the government, force Colbun to revise its business strategy and its sourcing mix. New legislation will replace historically regulated electricity prices for certain customers with free market prices and therefore change the conditions under which the company must operate. The case also deals with the pros and cons of various energy sources in view of their perceived environmental impact. As the company's CEO, Bernardo Larrain Matte has to take all these different considerations into account when planning Colbun's future, especially in the light of new opportunities and challenges posed by global climate change. The case analyzes the Chilean electricity sector and the operations of Colbun to illustrate the complexities associated with conducting business under the influence of global energy markets, government regulations, and environmental activism.

Concha y Toro

Deshpande, Rohit, Gustavo A. Herrero
April 2009

Chile's largest wine producer faces a price versus value positioning problem. Its highest quality wines are not priced competitively at retail because "Made in Chile" connotes great value and low price.

Equity International: The Second Act

Retsinas, Nicolas P., Ben Creo, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
April 2009

Thomas McDonald, senior vice president of Equity International (EI), is weighing an investment in the Brazilian homebuilder Gafisa. Was this the right country? The right company? The right co-investor? The right time? McDonald would be investing alongside a Brazilian private equity firm, GP Investments, and must decide how to structure the investment. Especially, he must decide how to align his interests with those of GP. GP has recruited EI due to its prior experience with the Mexican homebuilder Gafisa. McDonald must also consider: Is that experience transferable to this investment?

URBI and the City Licensee Managers

Macomber, John D., Regina Garcia-Cuellar
April 2009

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.

WL Ross and Plascar

Foley, C. Fritz, and Linnea Meyer
March 2009

How can distressed investors take advantage of the procedures governing an international bankruptcy? Wilbur L. Ross, chairman and CEO of the private equity firm WL Ross & Co., LLC, has the opportunity to bid for debt and equity claims on Plascar Industria e Comercio Ltda., the Brazilian subsidiary of the bankrupt global auto components company Collins & Aikman Corp. In evaluating this opportunity, students must analyze Ross's strategy to reshape a global industry with significant overcapacity, consider the opportunities created by the legal procedures that govern cross-border insolvencies, study a debt overhang problem, and consider how restructuring alternatives can address this problem.

Grupo Bimbo: Growth and Social Responsibility

Rangan, V. Kasturi, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
February 2009

Bimbo, headquartered in Mexico with 2008 sales of $7 billion, was one of the largest bakery companies in the world. Even as it had grown spectacularly in the last several decades, the company had earned a stellar reputation for its corporate social responsibility (CSR). As the company set its sights on international expansion, its third generation CFO, Daniel Servitje, wondered how to keep its growth and CSR objectives neatly aligned.

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Chocolates El Rey

Deshpandé, Rohit, Gustavo Herrero, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
October 2008

In late November 2006, Jorge Redmond, CEO of Chocolates El Rey, called a meeting with senior management to discuss the company's growth strategy. A relatively small firm with sales of around $14 million, El Rey produced top quality chocolate made with single origin Venezuelan cocoa beans. The firm sold its chocolates in four different segments-food services, industry, retail, and beverages-and exported 17% of its production, mostly to the United States, Europe, and Japan. El Rey needed to grow, but Redmond wondered how to achieve growth and how to market the "El Rey" brand to its different target segments and international markets. With only 0.5% of the cocoa's world production, was it worth the effort to try and establish a country-of-origin image for Venezuelan chocolate? If so, how could El Rey go about it?

Banco Compartamos: Life after the IPO

Michael Chu, and Regina Garcia Cuellar
May 2008

After an international IPO yielding extraordinary returns to original investors, Banco Compartamos, Mexico's leading microfinance institution, contemplates its future strategic and competing priorities: maintaining growth, defending industry, leadership, preserving social mission and meeting the expectations of a demanding capital market. Additionally, Compartamos' Co-CEOs must decide how to face the highly polarized reactions in the microfinance industry to its IPO. In the process, the case examines the history of Compartamos, from its NGO origins to its license as a full service bank; describes the competitive context of low-income sector of financing in Mexico; and reviews the decisions leading to the IPO in the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Club Atlético Boca Juniors

Elberse, Anita, Alberto Ballve, and Gustavo Herrero
March 2008

Club Atlético Boca Juniors is the most popular soccer club in Argentina and one of the most decorated clubs in the world. Throughout its storied history, the club has recruited and developed dozens of star players. In his eleven years at Boca Juniors, president Mauricio Macri has significantly increased the club's net worth and annual revenues. However, he faces a constant challenge to remain competitive on and off the field. In November 2006, Macri is approached by Spanish and Italian soccer powerhouses, seeking to purchase the players Fernando Gago and Rodrigo Palacio. Should Macri enter negotiations with the clubs interested in buying the star players? If so, how should they approach the talks? Allows for an in-depth examination of Boca Junior's business model and how it differs from that of the richer soccer clubs in Western Europe. Also enables an assessment of successful talent and brand management strategies in the context of a sports franchise with a worldwide reach.

ProntoWash: Washing the World's Cars to a Tango Beat

Martínez-Jerez, F. Asís, and Katherine Miller
February 2008

ProntoWash management considers whether franchising and the Balanced Scorecard could be combined to help customer-facing employees provide consistent service across the world and capture relevant management information. In 2007, ProntoWash, an international car-wash company based in Argentina, was planning for rapid growth through a combination of owned and franchised operations. CEO Sergio Kompel needed to find a performance management system that would help the firm maintain a unified focus and operational consistency in new and existing points of sale around the world. One measure that Kompel and his team were considering was the Balanced Scorecard, a tool traditionally used by top management. The challenge for ProntoWash was to design a Balanced Scorecard that would be accessible throughout the organization, from the executives in the central office, to the franchises, to the workers at the front line.One measure that Kompel and his team were considering was the Balanced Scorecard, a tool traditionally used by top management. The challenge for ProntoWash was to design a Balanced Scorecard that would be accessible throughout the organization, from the executives in the central office, to the franchises, to the workers at the front line.

Corporate Responsibility & Community Engagement at the Tintaya Copper Mine (A)

Rangan, V. Kasturi, Brooke Barton, and Ezequiel Reficco
January 2008

Located in the highlands of Peru, the Tintaya copper mine has long been a source of intense conflict between local community members and mine operators. The mine, which was owned and managed first by the Peruvian state and later by BHP Billiton, stands on 2,300 hectares of land expropriated from local subsistence farmers. In 2000, to contest this loss of land, mining-related environmental degradation, and allegations of human rights abuses, a coalition of five indigenous communities forged an alliance with a group of domestic and international NGOs to build their case against the BHP Billiton and pursue it directly with the company's Australian headquarters. The outcome of these efforts was the inception of a unique corporate-community negotiation process known as the Tintaya Dialogue Table. In December 2004, after three years of negotiation, BHP Billiton and the five communities signed an agreement compensating families for lost land and livelihoods and establishing a local environmental monitoring team and community development fund. However, just as the company resolves one conflict, another group of local stakeholders emerges with new demands--ones that the company may not be able to meet. The conflict with this new group culminates in a violent takeover of the mine in May 2005, whereupon BHP Billiton staff are forced to shut down operations, abandon the mine site, and devise a new strategy for winning back local support.

Corporate Responsibility & Community Engagement at the Tintaya Copper Mine (B)

Rangan, V. Kasturi, Brooke Barton, and Ezequiel Reficco
January 2008

Supplements the (A) case

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Codelco Copper Mines

Upton, David M., Virginia A. Fuller, and Bradley R. Staats
September 2007

Codelco was a Chilean copper-mining company, widely considered to be one of the most professionally managed firms in South America in spite of the fact that it was 100% government-owned. A $10.5 billion company in 2005, Codelco faced the challenge of incorporating information technology into its production processes, which had historically been very manual in nature. CEO Juan Villarzu's initial turnaround attempts introduced a customer-centric corporate culture to his ranks, but he was still challenged by how to create an outsourcing strategy given his location and the traditionally low IT-to-total-spending ratio in the mining industry. Villarzu envisioned moving to a robust IT architecture, enhancing the solutions that were available, identifying further needs in the company and deciding how to fix them, and working together with Codelco's business processes to assess, plan, and build new IT projects.

Tetra Pak Argentina

Khanna, Tarun, Krishna G. Palepu, and Gustavo Herrero
September 2007

Deals with the hands-on management of a difficult situation facing the subsidiary of a multinational corporation (Tetra Pak) in a developing country (Argentina). The situation arises from a major economic, social, and institutional breakdown that jeopardizes the subsidiary's existence. Argentina defaulted on it sovereign debt and devalued the peso by over 200%, but it differentiated the treatment of the FX rate to be applied to various transactions, depending on the jurisdiction of creditors and debtors. Local dollar-denominated credits and liabilities were converted on a 1:1.40 ratio, while obligations held with foreign entities continued to be enforceable at the new rate of 1:3. The crisis led to the impoverishment of a large portion of the Argentine population, and to an institutional breakdown where the rule of law was shattered in the country, thus posing challenges not just related to the current situation, but also to the future of the operation. The crisis bore consequences for Tetra Pak Argentina on both ends of its value chain, involving suppliers and customers. Tetra Pak focuses growth on developing nations where it feels there is room for a valuable business, and it attains leading market positions. Shows how the foreign firm must cope with difficult domestic situations, where the levers of control are beyond its reach. The existence of value after the crisis turns out to be a relevant consideration.

Banca Regional Andino: Facing the Globalization of Microfinance

Chu, Michael, and Jean Steege Hazell
July 2007

Three leading Latin American microfinance banks join forces to face the new challenges of globalization, competition, and politics while common shareholder ACCÍON investments considers its options. From an initial project to share costs in the revamping of their IT systems, the Banca Regional Andino develops into the possibility of a common operating platform across three separate institutions, BancoSol of Bolivia, Mibanco of Peru, and Banco Solidario of Ecuador. The Banca Regional is a response to forces that the banks perceive as potentially threatening to their long history of success. In the process, presents the evolution of the national microfinance markets of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru within the context of global microfinance.

Parmalat Uruguay (A)

Marshall, Paul, and Gustavo Herrero
April 2007

Three young MBAs create a partnership to acquire the assets of Parmalat in Uruguay. Focuses on their analysis prior to submitting a bid and their plan for improving the operations once their bid is accepted. In addition to improving operations, they must negotiate with creditors to reduce the debt burden on the company.

Farmacias Similares: Private and Public Health Care for the Base of the Pyramid in Mexico

Chu, Michael, and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
March 2007

Farmacias Similares, serving Mexico's low-income sector, grew to $600 million sales and 3,400 drugstores while deep reforms to help the poor swept the public health system. Adjacent to each store, for $2 per visit, medical clinics provided access to doctors for 2.3 million people a month. Narrates the growth of the chain, examines the reasons for its success, and projects a pro forma of the company's financial returns. Places Farmacias Similares in the context of Mexico's public health system and the pharmaceutical industry.

Bolivia and Evo Morales

Di Tella, Rafael, Laura Alfaro, and Ezequiel Reficco
March 2007

Amanco: Developing the Sustainability Scorecard

Kaplan, Robert Steven, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
March 2007

Describes the challenges of using the Balanced Scorecard to implement a triple-bottom-line strategy for delivering excellent economic, environmental, and social performance. The owners and senior executive team of Amanco, a producer of plastic pipe and complete water treatment systems, want strong financial returns but are also deeply committed to improving the environment and making a difference in people's lives. Robert Salas, CEO, wants a management system that communicates and motivates Amanco's three high-level goals. Initially, he creates a simple scorecard of measures, but he soon migrates to developing a strategy map and Balanced Scorecard that places economic, environmental, and social objectives as the highest-level objectives. He faces the challenges of cascading the corporate Balanced Scorecard to operating units throughout Latin America and how to develop better measures of social and environmental impact. Salas must also address whether he can sustain Amanco's balanced strategy while entering the Brazilian market, where he faces an entrenched and much larger competitor.

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Applegate, Lynda M., and Regina Garcia-Cuellar
November 2006

Studies an entrepreneurial venture in Mexico City. The protagonists, two MBAs from HBS, started a pawn shop chain funded from their private equity office after finishing business school. This is timed at a point where the protagonists have to decide how to grow the pawn shop chain in order to compete with other Mexican and U.S. pawn shop chains that are growing aggressively in the country. Central is the decision of how to finance growth. Different growth alternatives are explored, each entailing different funding needs and exit strategies. The setting in Mexico illustrates the differences in entrepreneurship in Latin America or other developing regions compared to the United States. The difference lies in the difficulty of finding institutional funding. As a result, most of the funding has to come from "angel investors".

Natura: Global Beauty Made in Brazil

Jones, Geoffrey G., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
October 2006

Explores the globalization strategies of Natura, Brazil's largest cosmetics company. Founded in 1969, Natura grew using a direct selling model. Led by its three founders, the firm made distinctive use of Brazil's diversity and became characterized by high ethical and environmental standards. Natura began to seek international markets in 1982, but experienced many setbacks until surviving the economic crisis in Argentina in 2001. The company opened operations in France and Mexico in 2005, and the three founders are now exploring opportunities in Moscow. To pursue further globalization, Natura must now decide whether to continue to rely primarily on the direct sales model or to experiment with other models--and whether to make acquisitions or become part of a larger group.


Hamermesh, Richard G., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
September 2006

DentalCorp is the fifth largest provider of dental insurance in Brazil and has tripled its sales in the past two years. Whether to expand to Chile or to continue expansion in Brazil is the major strategic choice facing the company at the end of 2004.

Patrimonio Hoy

Segel, Arthur I., Michael Chu, and Gustavo Herrero
August 2006

Patrimonio Hoy is a program targeting the housing needs of the low-income population by CEMEX, a major Mexican company and a leading global cement producer. Originally conceived as a project to understand the customers in the self-construction segment better, a major component of Mexican home-building concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, Patrimonio Hoy has generated recognition and good will for the company. Its innovative approach reduces significantly the cost and time needed by the poor to improve their housing. Begun in 1998, the program has reached break-even in 2004, with strong prospects of growth in the future. The president of CEMEX North America wonders whether the program should be turned into a major line of business for the company. Provides a good understanding of financing mechanisms available to home builders in Mexico and represents an interesting application of microfinance and product design to open a new market segment based on the needs of low-income customers.

Patrimonio Hoy: A Financial Perspective

Segel, Arthur I., Michael Chu, and Gustavo Herrero
August 2006

Patrimonio Hoy, a program targeting the housing needs of low-income families launched by CEMEX, a major Mexican corporation and a leading global cement company, has gone from a market research project to a highly visible initiative in 22 cities and has earned public recognition. The president of Cemex North America must decide whether it is corporate social responsibility or a new business line. In the process, it allows analysis of the Patrimonio Hoy program versus the traditional alternatives from the perspectives of both the end-user and of the corporation. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

AIDS in Brazil

Deshpande, Rohit, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
May 2006

Abbott Labs has reached an impasse with the Brazilian government in negotiations over the pricing of a new anti-AIDS drug, Kaletra. The Brazilian government threatens compulsory licensing unless Abbott drastically reduces the price of Kaletra.

Martinez-Jerez, Francisco de Asis, Joshua Bellin, and James Dillon
April 2006, eBay's Latin-American partner, needed to decide how far it was going to follow eBay's practice of offering "free listing days" and discounted special-feature days. Was this type of promotion prudent, given's customer base, revenue expectations, and position in the Latin American market?

Magazine Luiza: Building a Retail Model of "Courting the Poor"

Frei, Frances X., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
March 2006

Describes the innovative retail model of the Brazilian firm Magazine Luiza. Magazine Luiza enables low-income consumer credit by applying a flexible and nuanced evaluation system. Additionally, its dedication to customer service, employee motivation, and progressive use of technology have driven its success and expansion.

ABN AMRO REAL: Banking on Sustainability

Kanter, Rosabeth M., and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho
March 2006

ABN AMRO REAL made corporate social responsibility central to its brand, adding to customer focus and reflecting its values. Leaders developed the Bank of Value theme and implemented it through activities such as microfinance in poor communities, environmentally oriented lending products, socio-environmental screening of customers and suppliers, employee diversity, and reduction of waste and recycling. Now the fourth largest private bank in Brazil, its top leaders are assessing the first four years and wondering what to do next, as competitors adopt similar practices, reducing its competitive advantage, and as it wants to ensure its impact on social change in a country with daunting social problems.

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Los Grobo

McAfee, Andrew, and Alexandra de Royere
December 2005

Los Grobo, a grain farming company based in Argentina, must decide whether to expand internationally to neighboring Paraguay and Uruguay. Los Grobo has built an IT-facilitated network with hundreds of participants who work together to produce corn and soybeans. Los Grobo controls this network while owning very few elements of it.

Arcor: Global Strategy and Local Turbulence

Ghemawat, Pankaj, Michael G. Ruckstad, and Jennifer L Illes
December 2005

Argentine confectionery manufacturer, Arcor Group, seeks to implement an international strategy but in 2003, recovering from the Argentine financial crisis, thwarts globalization plans. Already Latin America's leading candy producer and an exporter to over 100 countries, Arcor analyzes how it can become truly global with production facilities and distribution networks in various regions, such as North America, Europe, and Asia. First, however, Arcor must stabilize its operations at home, where a devalued peso, economic uncertainty, and political instability still linger from the devastating financial crisis.

Aguas Argentinas: Settling a Dispute

Wells, Louis T., and Alexandra de Royere
October 2005

The French-owned Aguas Argentinas faces a demand from the Argentine government that it renegotiate its concession to operate the Buenos Aires water and sewage services. The company must decide whether to continue with efforts to settle on a new contract or to exercise its rights to go to international arbitration. Either way, it must decide on its strategy going forward.

Tata Consultancy Services Iberoamerica

Chu, Michael, and Gustavo Herrero
April 2005

To launch its Latin American operations, the Indian IT giant Tata Consultancy Services recruits a seasoned executive who becomes the only non-Indian member of senior management. Reviews the start-up operations, from the site selection to staffing and training, the challenges of operating in a Latin American context, the integration of two very different cultures, and the strategic rationale for an emerging market company to invest in another Third World region at a time in which it is launching an initial public offering. Identifies a series of challenges that must be addressed two years on and poses the question whether Tata Consultancy Services should pause or accelerate its presence in Latin America.

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