Any ideas for an MBA project? U.S. students coming to BA in June & need advice?

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geophluff

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Hello!

I am a Graduate Student (Masters of Business/MBA) at the University of Connecticut. Our 2010 class is coming to BA in June and we are looking for topics or subjects to study while we are in town.

We are coming down to study business climate and culture. As part of our project, we have 1 free day to meet with a local business to explore a cultural difference between conducting business in the U.S. vs. Argentina.

It is very loosely defined in scope. They have told us that we should think about something that we may want to import from the U.S. to Argentina.

My ask of this forum is - what CAN'T you get in Argentina that you miss from the U.S.? Anything? (obviously it would not make sense for us to import beef to Argentina as it is far superior down there).

If any of you are business owners or work in a corporate setting and would not mind hosting 5 students for a day to work on a project for you, let me know.

TIA,

Geophluff
 

2GuysInPM

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Peanut Butter, Bagels and Maine Lobster !! :D

No, seriously, there are many things from the US that you cannot find here. The problem is that imports are highly taxed, and thus many things are hard to come by, specially if there is a locally-made version of it. The other day I paid US$ 5.55 for a 10-pack of slice cheddar cheese (for burgers) because it was imported from France and its all they had at the shop that moment. The same would have cost me a fraction of that, had I bought the local brand at a supermaket.

Anyways, I think your project sounds interesting. There are some expats who have started businesses here in BA and may be good for you to meet and hear their stories. Some run businesses for the local market, and others export Argetine products to the US. I don't know of any that imports US products to Argentina, but I'm sure there are some. I know that with some imported food products, you will find a sticker label on the product with the name and contact info for the importer. That could be a start.

Good luck!
 

geophluff

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Thank you 2GuysInPM, you are a gentleman. It is appreciated.

Last question(s) and thanks for the earlier tips.

1. What about California wines, can you find many down there considering how good the domestic wines are?
2. Back to the bagels and lobsters - for bagels, are there no local shops in the bigger cities where a nice NYC family has setup shop to make a decent bagel? And for lobster, can you really not find Maine lobster down you way.

TIA
 

steveinbsas

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This is a dangerous and/or difficult country in which to do business or livel

The biggest cultural difference honesty.

It is far more common in North America.
 

Davidglen77

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Setting up a business here is challenging, as it is in most countries. Governments do not make the process easy ANYWHERE, and I know this first hand having owned businesses in the United States and am currently about to launch one here. The two things that the government wants to make sure of are the following:
1) That you are not setting up a "phantom business" to launder money
2) That you will pay all of the taxes that are required

Aside from the abovementioned items, the government really doesn't care if you sell seashells or pheasant eggs, as long as it's being done legally.

Everything else is pretty much the same in each country, incorportation, banking, payroll, purchasing, negotiations, human resources, contractors, lease negotiations, taxes, etc, I can go on and on.

One thing I find peculiar here is the "libro de actas". It's a big hard covered book that is required for all businesses to have. Everything that you do has to be notated in this book. This is not something that is used in the US and seems rather archaic to me. Apart from that, there is really not too much of a difference. Starting and running a successful business is a complicated venture wherever you choose to set up shop. Those that think it's so easy to do in the US as opposed to Argentina have never done it in both places. Best of luck to all.
 

Davidglen77

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And about bagels, I don't think that they would be hugely successful here. People prefer sweet pastries with their morning coffee or mate and bagels are too doughy and bland for the Argentine palate. Keep in mind certain items have been tried here and simply were not widely accepted or liked here:

1) Fried Chicken
2) Snapple Iced Tea
3) Wendy's
4) Pizza Hut
5) Dunkin' Donuts
6) Decaf Coffee
7) Unsalted butter

Many other food items, such as cadbury chocolate for example have the same name, however the recipies have been changed for the Argentine market. Milk chocolate here has a higher dairy content here than in other countries as Argentine taste has a preference for a higher milk content.
 
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