In an increasingly global economy, international experience for Indiana University MBA candidates comes from hands-on work in the field as much as the classroom. A group of students, led by Dr. Phil Powell, travel to Peru to help local entrepreneurs tackle business challenges using cutting edge business practices. The Kelley MBA GLOBASE initiative provides a unique social enterprise experience by partnering with Peruvian businesses to make a global impact.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lima Chamber Visit

During our third class, we were honored by the presence of the Director of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, Carlos Torres Rivarola, who traveled nearly 4,000 miles to help our class learn more about Peru, its economy (both formal and informal), and the industries where our partner companies operate.

The Lima Chamber of Commerce provides many resources to its member companies and we are pleased that they also help support GLOBASE. In the coming weeks, GLOBASE groups will be able to ask detailed questions to Peruvian business experts in their respective industries. Another step toward successful consulting projects.

We were also joined via teleconference by David Zegarra Huamanchumo, an Associate of the Lima Chamber, and experienced economist from Peru. He recounted the success stories of some Peruvian upstarts that have gained market share from MNC's. Grupo Gloria and Kola Real were experts at marketing to their target customers. They also diversified their product offerings and their geographic locations, which has driven their overwhelming success. Following his presentation, GLOBASE participants asked detailed questions regarding their specific partner companies and the industries in which they operate.

GLOBASE participants Jairo Ochoa and Felipe Rodriguez translated as our guests presented and answered students' questions. This was a real-life international experience in only week three of the program. A big thanks goes out to all who helped make this week a success.

Getting to know Peru

Peru 101

During class 2 we took a deep dive into Peru. Denise and Rashid led a presentation that covered various topics, from Peruvian history to key industries that drive the economy. Peru was the capital of the Incan empire that spanned the west coast of South America. During the past several years, Peru has begun to rise to prominence again due to a more stable political situation and sound economic policies, including free trade agreements with the U.S. and China. Peru is a land rich in natural resources, in which minerals drive the economy. Agriculture, textiles and handcrafts are also major sectors.

Meet the Xion's

The second half of the class focused on how to adapt to new cultures. Our Faculty Advisor, Roberto Garcia, led a simulation currently used by leading international business scholars. Students volunteers role-played, with some being from the fictitious country Xion, and others being reporters looking to visit this fictitious country. The Xions had customs all of their own. They never made eye contact, the women held the power, and they never used words with more with more than two syllables. It was a challenge for the reporters to try and get an invitation from their reclusive counterparts.

While the reporters were denied invitations to Xion, the entire class was able to learn just how important cultural norms are...and how everyone perceives the world through a different lens. These differences in culture will definitely be experienced as we work to complete our consulting projects.

We are also thankful that Sofia Leon, a second year Kelley Finance MBA from Lima, wrapped up the class by explaining Peruvian cultural norms. Girls, remember that one kiss on the cheek when greeting each other is customary. Guys, a handshake and a one-armed hug will do.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Special Event

Over the past year, the Peruvian economy has been one of the fastest growing in the world. A stable political environment and sound economic policies have fostered business expansion. One major issue that Peru now faces is how to include the indigenous population in its newly found success. Please join us for a brown-bag lunch to learn more about the topic on February 3, 2010, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in CG0034. Please RSVP for a seat (lunch included).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And so it begins

After months of planning and preparation, GLOBASE is officially underway. During our first class, participants were presented with the companies that we will be working with. Denise Denson-Hanson, our External Relations Manager, has worked tirelessly to arrange a great set of companies and one non-profit. We can't forget, either that Maryori at AMCHAM has been extremely helpful and put in many hours to help us coordinate in Peru. A special thanks also to APOMIPE for allowing us to partner with them to take on a non-profit project for the first time.

GLOBASE 2010 will feature the following projects:

PeruVerde is a food processing company that is focused on exporting and importing food products. The company also offers commercialization and trade support to small businesses in the agriculture and food processing sectors.

Laban handcrafts fine Peruvian silver into jewelry, combining ancient Peruvian designs with modern styles. Laban aspires to become a premier exporter of silver jewelry. They are also committed to creating employment opportunities by helping young people develop skills in the art of jewelry making.

Metalic is specialized in the manufacturing of metal furniture and for 28 years has established a reputation for high quality in Peru. Although several of their products have been exported indirectly through business customers, Metalic aspires to establish business customers in the international market in 2010 .

Inkasign, is a textiles manufacturing business that exports to France, Italy, Venezuela, Chile, and the USA. Inkasign offers fully designed, cut and sewn knitted garments and accessories for women, men and children. Inkasign’s products are made of alpaca, baby alpaca, cotton (Pima and Tanguis) and blended with other fibers.

APOMIPE is a collaboration between COSUDE (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and the Peruvian Ministry of Production. After 2011, COSUDE will no longer be funding APOMIPE. As APOMIPE approaches 2011, they have several exit issues to consider: how will their established business networks continue to gain funding? Are they self-sufficient and ready to manage themselves?

GLOBASE teams now have some basic company information and the contact info for their companies. Each GLOBASE team is now responsible for scoping, analyzing, researching and ultimately delivering high quality recommendations and implementation steps. With the backing of our Faculty Advisor, Roberto Garcia and other Kelley School of Business resources, lets see what great things we can do.