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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A pleasurable stench of "hands on" education

Unique to the GLOBASE experience is "hands on" learning about your client's product and operations. Pictured above is one team's experience at a fish processing site. Their client, Gervasi, purchases seafood from fisherman at the dock, outsources the processing of it at the site, and sells final product throughout Peru. The team must identify a "go to market" plan for Gervasi's entry into the U.S. frozen fish market. This includes recommendation of local U.S. markets to target, vetting of cold storage sites, and forecast of product profitability based on U.S. prices.

To understand the business, the team toured a processing site to understand the different fish that Gervasi sells and the chain of production from fisherman's boat to final packaging. While a great time was had, the most memorable moment occurred in the Casa Andina lobby after hotel staff asked team members to hurry to their rooms and shower. Arrival of our esteemed Kelley MBA team was evidently not kind to their olfactory senses.

Another team works for client Selva de Oro. The company wants to export bamboo to the United States. During their research in Bloomington, the team determined that no market exists in the U.S. for Selva de Oro's bamboo. There task while in country is to determine a market for the bamboo internal to Peru - the hypothesis is furniture. The team's "hands on" research included a trip to the Bamboo Society and a tour of a furniture assembly facility. The team's six hour lunch with their client one day was a fun immersion in Latin business culture.

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