Hydropower, Vineyards and Fine Dining: Conducting Business the Argentinean Way

In our first blog, we provided you with a high level overview of our team’s CAP project along with a little background on our client, IMPSA and our small team of three. Overall, it has been a whirlwind experience that has been challenging at times but extremely satisfying.  Since we were tasked with determining which country out of a continent the client should consider entering into, we have had to conduct a tremendous amount of research. As a result, we have learned a lot about hydropower, Africa and its economy.

We landed last week not realizing that our presentation would be moved up by three days! We met our client on a Thursday and were pleasantly surprised by their generosity and thoughtfulness. The challenge with conducting business through Skype is that it limits you from truly connecting with your client. In person, our clients were really charismatic and very personable.

Touring IMPSA and learning about hydro, nuclear and wind power as a group.

Touring IMPSA and learning about hydro, nuclear and wind power as a group.

They provided our entire CAP group with an overview  discussion of IMPSA, showed us a video and then took us on an exclusive tour of their hydropower, nuclear and wind-power equipment production facilities. After three months of researching, the tour really helped our team to solidify what we have learned by being able to witness the process in person.

At the hydropower equipment  facility- we are beginning to feel like specialists!

At the hydropower equipment facility- we are beginning to feel like specialists!

Walking by a turbine part in the equipment graveyard.

Walking by a turbine part in the equipment graveyard.

Afterwards we were surprised by our client’s invitation to lunch at their company-owned winery and restaurant. It was truly an Argentinean lunch! It lasted 3.5 hours and included a five course meal and a wine tasting. We were then given a short tour of their winery while we waited for our rides. Needless to say….we felt special!

Eat and drink first and then get down to business...hey...it's the Argentinean way!

Eat and drink first and then get down to business…hey…it’s the Argentinean way!

Enjoying the opportunity to connect in person.

Enjoying the opportunity to connect in person.

Pablo showing us the vineyard.

Pablo showing us the vineyard.

Harvesting is over and the wine has been stored. Na and the intern

Harvesting is over and the wine has been stored. Na and the intern, Anna.

At the end of the lunch, the conversation quickly turned to business. After the tour, we headed back to the office where we walked our client through our presentation, talked strategy and solidified our recommendations for two hours.

We rushed back to the hotel and prepared for another round of presentation review since the big day had been moved up to Friday. This time we had to present our presentation to Dr. Helm, Brian, Kristin (the T.A.) and Camden, our peer judge. After a 1.5 hour roasting (joke), we headed back to our rooms to incorporate the feedback into our presentation. Both teams probably averaged three hours of sleep that night!

Team IMPSA Africa: Presenting our findings after months of extensive research and  numerous meetings.

Team IMPSA Africa: Presenting our findings after months of extensive research and numerous meetings.

After the presentation, during the reception, we all relaxed and enjoyed the moment. It was over and we had the support of our clients, our peers and our teachers to celebrate the moment with!

A post-presentation picture with our clients.

A post-presentation picture with our clients.

Overall, yes this project was demanding at times BUT it was also very fulfilling and in the end we learned A LOT and gained very unique and valuable experience and connections.

Our team is very hopeful that our extensive research, hard work and strategy recommendations will make a solid impact. We also believe that it will result in a new direction for our clients in the future.

Over time, we came to realize that our project differed from two other groups in the Argentina CAP because it  focused on international business expansion and strategy and was not a marketing strategy project.

All in all, we were truly honored to be a part of this project and learned a lot about each other, alternative energy sources, Argentina and Africa in the process.  Now we’re ready to truly take a break!

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