News & Highlights

  • June 2020
  • EVENTS

Virtual Event with Professor Jose Alvarez and CEO of Grupo Éxito, Carlos Moreno

This June Professor Jose Alvarez interviewed CEO of Grupo Éxito, Carlos Moreno. Mr. Moreno gave a heartfelt presentation about the company’s challenges prior to the COVID, its initial response, and the care of employees, customers, and suppliers. Professor Alvarez, who wrote the case titled, Grupo Éxito: Facing Colombia's Competitive Grocery Retail Industry, led the conversation proposing thought-provoking questions. The event brought together 120 alumni and friends of the School.
  • April 2020
  • EVENTS

Virtual Event with Professor Michael Chu and Chilean Entrepreneur Nico Shea

On April 7th the Latin America Research Center hosted its first online event titled, “Challenges of a Pandemic: The Case of Cumplo.com, the leading crowdfunding platform in Latin America.” This event was the first in a series commemorating LARC’s 20th anniversary. Professor Michael Chu interviewed Chilean entrepreneur Nico Shea. Mr. Shea shared the challenges Cumplo.com has faced due to the pandemic and the opportunities he envisions as part of the new normal. Mr. Nico shared lessons he has learned as an entrepreneur during the crisis. The event brought together 120 alumni and friends of the School.
  • JANUARY 2020
  • MBA EXPERIENCE

The Global Classroom: Student Immersion in Cuba

As part of the elective curriculum within the MBA program, students have the opportunity in their second year to enroll in an Immersive Field Course – or “IFC.” These courses are driven by faculty research and industry connections, and provide students with an opportunity to get out of the classroom and put the skills they have learned to practice in the field. Typically, about 200 students participate in IFCs annually. In January 2020, Professor Arthur Segel and Professor Charles Wu led 22 students to Cuba. During their stay they had meetings with Universidad de la Habana and local entrepreneurs to better understand what it means to do business in Cuba.
  • December 2019 – February 2020
  • EVENTS

Entrepreneurship Series with HBS Brazil Club

Together with the HBS Brazil Club, LARC hosted the first two events in its new entrepreneurship series. This event series will interview businesspersons who have an impact on Brazilian society. The first event in December featured Sergio Furio, CEO and Founder of Creditas and HBS Alumni Angels board member, who was interviewed by Oswaldo Garcia (MBA 2016). Mr. Furio focused on the impact that his company is providing through collateral loans at low interest rates. He also shared the challenges of expansion throughout Latin America. In February, the second event featured David Vélez, CEO of Nubank, who was interviewed by Monica Saggioro (MBA 2018). Mr. Vélez shared his challenges as a CEO of a large Brazilian fintech company and also talked about Nubank’s international expansion. More than 60 alumni gathered at each of these events to discuss entrepreneurship, funding, and company growth.

New Research on the Region

  • June 2020
  • Teaching Material

Global Brand Management of Anheuser Busch InBev's Budweiser

Brian Perkins, chief architect of the $6 billion Budweiser brand, was excited about 2018, in which the company would launch Budweiser into several new markets in Africa and Latin America. He was feeling the pressure to finalize a global brand strategy that would define Budweiser’s value proposition and guide its development and execution around the world. The problem was that Budweiser actually had two distinct brand realities that differed across geographies and that often interfered with each other. He worried whether the company could keep selling a premium brand proposition abroad as the brand’s less premium reputation faced challenges at home in the U.S., and whether he needed to force a monolithic global brand strategy everywhere or allow for local market customization. Could Budweiser simultaneously accommodate two or more brand realities?

  • 2020
  • Working Paper

EMEs and COVID-19: Shutting Down in a World of Informal and Tiny Firms

By: Laura Alfaro, Oscar Becerra and Marcela Eslava

Emerging economies are characterized by an extremely high prevalence of informality, small-firm employment and jobs not fit for working from home. These features factor into how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the economy. We develop a framework that, based on accounting identities and actual data, quantifies potential job and income losses during the crisis and recovery for economies with different economic organization structures. Our analysis incorporates differential exposure of jobs across categories of firm-size and formality status, as well as sectors and occupations. We account for the direct supply shock caused by lockdowns, the idiosyncratic demand shock suffered by sectors that rely on high contact with their costumers, the transmission of both shocks through IO linkages, and the overall aggregate demand effect derived from these shocks. Applying our framework to data for Colombia, which exhibits an employment distribution similar to that of other emerging market countries, in particular Latin America, we find that well over 50% of jobs are at risk in the initial stages of the crisis. Because informal jobs and those not fit for telework are at higher risk, this number goes down to 33% if the US employment distribution is imposed on the Colombian data. As the crisis deepens, the risk of unemployment grows. However, informality rebounds quickly in the recovery, an employment at risk is quickly reduced to 20% of the baseline, all concentrated in formal jobs. Our findings point to the importance of action to maintain formal matches from dissolving, given their scarcity and rebuilding difficulty, while protecting the poor and the informal via income transfers.

  • May 2020
  • Case

EFM Capital

By: Victoria Ivashina and Justin Oldroyd

Examples of successful middle-market private equity investments in emerging markets remain very limited. Among the primary constraints are lack of availability of reasonably priced debt capital, limited exit options for private equity capital, and absence of stable and diversified sources of capital for private equity firms. This case follows the founders of EFM Capital, a private equity firm operating in the Mexican middle market, as they navigate said challenges and deliberate the future of their firm. Students will learn about EFM’s unique business model for integrating acquired companies and will follow the co-founders’ thought processes as they evaluate new opportunities both within Mexico and abroad. This case's simple but rich platform allows students to understand the constraints of the traditional private equity model and discuss challenges of having a professional, systematic approach to private equity investments a market like Mexico.

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Buenos Aires Staff

Fernanda Miguel
Executive Director
Mariana Cal
Assistant Director, Research
Jenyfeer Martínez Buitrago
Research Associate
Maria Martha Ruiz Melo
Office Manager

São Paulo Staff

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

Mexico City Staff

Carla Larangeira
Senior Researcher