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.


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.

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.