A Side of Knowledge With Breakfast
Harbir Singh, Wharton’s Mack Professor of Management, co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management and vice dean for global initiatives, paid a visit to alumni in Monterey, Mexico, in September 2013 and held an open dialogue over breakfast regarding the evolution of the US/ China manufacturing sector. Participants talked about how rising wages have diminished some of China’s competitive advantages and led to some manufacturers opening operations in other countries, such as Vietnam and Mexico. They also spoke about the obstacles faced by Mexican corporations as they look to grow, including fiscal and education reform and access to capital.
East-Coast MBA Executive Class Gets Pumped up in Argentina
Our week-long international seminar trip, which followed the core courses Competitive Strategy and Global Strategic Management, took place in September. During that time, we visited a wide variety of businesses ranging from financial services companies to food manufacturers to pharmaceutical firms to local startups. The visits usually involved a tour, presentation and Q&A session.
The Q&As were really interesting because they gave us a chance to understand how these companies are handling the challenges caused by Argentina’s troubled economy. In addition to 10 to 25 percent yearly inflation (the number depends on who you ask), Argentina is locked out of international capital markets, and companies face extremely stringent currency and import laws. Our discussions often centered around financing because it’s very hard to get bank loans, which carry interest rates of up to 30 percent. It was amazing to see how well these companies are doing in light of those restrictions.
My favorite visit, which I helped set up, was to the first CrossFit gym in Argentina.
—Jennifer Navarro, second-year student
Editor’s note: Read more of Jennifer’s account on the Wharton EMBA Blog at http://whr.tn/EMBAinArgentina.