A former U.S Ambassador to Venezuela is teaching students on Duke Fuquas's Daytime MBA
about business in Latin America, and taking them on a trip to Brazil and Argentina to discover opportunities for themselves!
Latin American economies are thriving these days, and markets such as Brazil and Argentina look tempting. The region’s best companies are making double digit returns on equity and experiencing exponential growth in revenues.
Some fine examples include Chilean retailer Falabella
, which in the past two decades has replicated its successful business model in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
Brazilian Aircraft maker Embraer's
strategy of sharing development risk with overseas partners from more mature markets in return for a share of the revenues has become the global standard in aeronautics.
Another example of success is Mexico’s Banco Compartamos
who has made a name for itself as one of Latin America’s leading microfinanciers by lending to more than 14 million low income households that mainstream financial services providers had ignored.
These amazing opportunities are cushioned in a region that is increasingly receptive to foreign investment. In 2010 and 2011, Latin America attracted more foreign investment than Asia. Brazil has received a third of foreign investment into Latin America since 2003 and Chile leads the region in ease of doing business rankings.
Some of the hottest industries in Latin America are natural resources, energy, including alternative energy, automotive, aerospace and transport, communications, IT and life sciences.
The opportunities in the region cannot be denied and there seems to be plenty of room for MBAs since a study
carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the World Economic Forum showed that companies based in Latin America’s largest economies are having difficulty filling jobs.
In about two weeks, 25 students from Duke Fuqua will head to Brazil and Argentina, two of the region’s most vibrant economies, on the Fuqua Global Academic Travel Experience(GATE). The trip is being led by former US Ambassador Patrick Duddy.
Duddy’s career spanned 30 years and he served in eight Latin American countries. He was the US Ambassador to Venezuela under both President George W. Bush and President Obama.
Upon Duddy’s retirement, he was one of the US Department of State’s most senior Latin American specialists with exceptionally broad experience in trade, energy, public affairs and crisis management.
In the lead up to the trip, Duddy has been teaching a weekly three-hour class which explores Latin America’s contemporary history and economics. Fuqua wants to give students the opportunity to learn about this dynamic region. The school also wants to develop stronger links with leaders within the region.
The class will visit Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Students will meet companies and government officials and explore the culture of the three cities.
International students make up 40 per cent of Duke Fuqua's
Daytime MBA class, and there has been a growth in applications from students from Latin America.
Its Latin American club is very active and represents students from 14 countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. They host regular meet-ups to share their culture and experiences and all students on the MBA are welcome to join in. They even have a Happy Hour
and an end of term get-together