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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Day in Peru

I can't believe that after 7 weeks of classes, we are finally in Peru working with our client Inkasign. Our first day was action packed. We had a 7:30 breakfast meeting. I wasn't fully awake but it was productive meeting. Thank goodness for my teammates Bryan, Casey and Michelle. They are totally on it! Our client Arturo came to pick us up at 9am and we were off. Traffic in Lima is like nothing I have ever seen. Some of my classmates compared it to Ciaro, Mexico City and Mumbai but crazier! I thought we were going to get into at least 5 accidents in the 15 minutes that we were in the cab, but everyone is a really good driver so thank goodness we made it all in one piece. We got to the office and met Ricardo, the owner for the first time. After hearing so much about him and learning all the ins and outs of his business, it was great to finally meet him in person. We spoke to him for almost 3 hours and he gave us a good perspective on his business. It is really motivating to hear his story how he started with just a few orders and now he has built his business to where it is now. I am really humbled and am really hoping that we can provide him with good recommendations that can help further build his business. After his presentation, they took us to a fantastic restaurant called Caplina and it was so good. We had that best ceviche!! I know I am going to be saying that a lot this week but it is what Peru is known for. After our two-hour lunch, we headed to their factory where we got to see first hand how they made their beautiful sweaters. It is always fascinating to see how the garments go from just a design on a piece of paper to a finished product. We also got to meet their production manager who explained the intracate details of how they work with the artisans and the complicated the issues they they face. It sounded a lot like some of the issues that we talked about in Operations and Management. We ended the day back in their office at 6pm with a clearer picture of what needed to be done before Friday.

We really packed a lot into Day 1...I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store. Ciao!

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