News & Highlights

  • JULY 2022

Conversation with Professor Michael Chu and Marcelo Escobar

In July, Professor Michael Chu and Marcelo Escobar, president of Banco Sol in Bolivia, talked to entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra about the impact of technology in financial services. Escobar leveraged his extensive experience in Latin America, venture capital, and base of pyramid markets.
  • June 2022

A Conversation with Professor Michael Chu and Professor John Kim

In Montevideo, Uruguay, in June 2022, a group of alumni and business leaders gathered with Professors Michael Chu and John Kim to talk about the importance of education as a driver for growth and human development in the world and the current and future challenges and opportunities of the educational systems globally and specifically in Uruguay.
  • JUNE 2022

Co-hosted Event with HBS Club of Brazil: Innovation on Boards

In June 2022, Celso Ienaga, Claudia Elisa, Michel Abadi and Renato Cunha (MBA’15) talked about the importance of innovation in boards of directors, how to measure innovation impact, and changes that generates growth opportunities (i.e. the Covid-19 pandemic). More than 70 alumni and friends attended the event.
  • June 2022
  • Creating Emerging Markets

Creating Emerging Markets Interview: María Emilia Correa

María Emilia Correa is co-founder of Sistema B, a Latin American organization promoting new economies and B Corporations. In her interview, she recalls how after returning to Colombia in 1985 after finishing her masters in New York City, she took a job with The Nature Conservancy and the Natura Foundation where she pursued her interest in biological resource conservation. After attending United Nations Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Correa became inspired by the idea that the business sector could be a positive agent to build a balanced and sustainable society. After working with in several civil society organizations focused on helping business to become more sustainable, in 1999 she became the first sustainability vice president at Grupo Nueva, a multinational investment holding company specialized in forestry and wood derivatives. This experience enabled her to acquire expertise in many key business functions. This interview is part of the Creating Emerging Markets project which provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East over recent decades.
  • JUNE 2022

Creating Emerging Markets Interview: Erling Lorentzen

Erling Lorentzen relates his experience growing up in Norway as part of family of shipping magnates and industrialists, his service during World War II, his educational experience at Harvard Business School, his marriage into the Norwegian royal family, and his eventual move to Brazil in 1953. There, he pursued a career in the petroleum industry and in shipping. In 1968, he founded the Aracruz Celulose company, which became a massive manufacturer of pulp and paper. Lorentzen oversaw the construction of the largest pulp mill in Brazil and the acquisition of large forestry operations. He describes the difficulty of growing the business amid periods of rapid inflation, the challenges of raising money overseas (including by becoming the first Brazilian company listed on New York Stock Exchange), and by facing and confronting issues of sustainability. This interview is part of the Creating Emerging Markets project which provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East over recent decades.

New Research on the Region

  • January 2023
  • Case

Natura: Weathering the Pandemic at Brazil's Cosmetic Giant

By: Brian Trelstad, Pedro Levindo and Carla Larangeira

Brazil's Natura, a multi-brand cosmetics group, has taken several measures to safeguard the livelihoods of its thousands of employees and millions of sales representatives during the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. The company has also made strides in its efforts to increase digital sales. Now the purpose-driven group must decide whether to vocalize its opposition to private companies buying COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate their employees before priority groups in Brazil's public health system.

  • January 2023
  • Case

Velong: Rethinking 'Made in China'

By: Krishna G. Palepu, Nancy Hua Dai and Billy Chan

Velong is a supplier of kitchen equipment and backyard grills for major global brands and store brands of large western retailers. In light of the Covid-related disruptions to the global supply chains, and the evolving trade tensions between China and the Western countries, Velong’s global customers were pressuring the company to move 30% of its manufacturing from China to other locations. Velong was considering a number of countries to shift its manufacturing – India, Vietnam, Trukey and Mexico. At present, none of these countries seem to be able to match the cost structure and manufacturing quality that the company is able to achieve in China. Velongs c0-founders, Jacob Rothman and Iven Chen, need to decide soon how to forumlate a strategy to deal with the challenge.

  • December 2022
  • Case

Mission Produce in 2022

By: Forest Reinhardt, Jose B. Alvarez and Natalie Kindred

Founded by CEO Steve Barnard in 1983, California-based Mission Produce was a leading supplier of Hass avocados with a global sourcing, marketing, and distribution network and $892 million in 2021 sales. Barnard had been influential in the global avocado trade’s transformation in recent decades. For instance, Mission’s use of ethylene gas ripening for avocados had allowed it to supply consistently ripe avocados to the U.S. market for the first time. Moreover, Mission had established an early presence in key avocado-growing countries, including Mexico and Peru, as they were on the cusp of gaining access to the U.S. and other key import markets. Barnard believed Mission’s scale, global presence, value-added offerings, and vertically integrated model gave it many advantages in the maturing avocado market. Yet, he recognized the challenges Mission would face in the years to come. In its supply network, these included political instability, declining cost advantages, and the high cost of land in California. Perhaps most of all, water scarcity and cost were mounting concerns with no obvious fix. Mission recently entered the mango category, which, in the U.S., shared notable traits with the 1990s avocados market: mangos were a relatively minor U.S. product that many consumers did not know how to prepare, and their ripeness was variable at retail. Like avocados, mangos could be ripened with ethylene gas in destination markets, but they were more easily damaged during handling and had a shorter shelf life post-harvest. Some observers speculated (though Barnard disagreed) that the avocado market had passed its peak. Still, Barnard believed Mission could continue expanding by leveraging its top-tier service to customers, consistency of fruit quality and supply, and continued diversification of supply and sales. Would avocados remain a desirable business over the long term? What could Mission do to improve its competitive position, reduce risk, and promote demand? Should Mission try to transform the mango category as it had avocados?

See more research

Montevideo Staff

Fernanda Miguel
Christopher P. Torto Executive Director
Mariana Cal
Assistant Director, Research
Jenyfeer Martínez Buitrago
Senior Researcher
Maria Martha Ruiz Melo
Office Manager

Mexico City Staff

Carla Larangeira
Senior Researcher

São Paulo Staff

Ruth Costas
Senior Researcher
Patricia Thome
Brazil Office & Regional Program Manager
Pedro Levindo
Senior Researcher