Chilean companies team up with future business leaders

Top business students from MIT travel to Chile as part of a joint study to work with and learn from budding Chilean enterprises.

Chile, a regional leader for entrepreneurship, finance and global economics continues to draw attention from those seeking a more global understanding of the world of business.

Last month students from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) travelled to Chile to meet with companies as part of an ongoing project though the Sloan School of Management’s Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab). Each year groups of students connect with companies from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa in order to study their marketing, business and development strategies.

In order to better understand the future of business in Latin America, the MIT students chose to work with local companies — Aqua Chile in Puerto Montt and Fashion’s Park in Santiago — with good business models and notable success.

However, the cooperation between the students and the Chilean businesses has created an exchange where everyone involved is learning and developing.

“Participating in the MIT G-Lab doesn’t only give us the opportunity to work with postgraduate students knowledgeable in various areas of business, it also allows our employees to share professional experiences with them, experience another culture and open their eyes to other ways of doing things,” Anton Felmer, Chief Business Development Officer at AquaChile, said. “In the working groups we have discussed a range of issues and the MIT group has shown us different angles to address challenges, improving the management techniques of our executives.”

AquaChile is dedicated to improving the technology and science behind genetically controlled Salmon and Tilapia. Their work continues to gain relevance in Chile as the country is now the second largest producer of salmon in the world.

“Our principal goal for our work with the group from MIT is to define a strategic growth plan,” Felmer explained. “To this end we are conducting a study of the global market, a study of the business model and a strategic guide of client growth. This will allow us to create a shared proposal to be implemented over the next years.”

For the owner of Fashion’s Park, Chong-Chou Chien, the project is a way to develop a solid plan for expanding her business internationally. With stores already open from Calama to Puerto Montt, Chien is now looking to break into the Peruvian market.

The G-lab is not the only way MIT and the Sloan School of Management is connected and working in Chile. Last year the program opened an office in Santiago as a way to foster a closer relationship between the country and the prestigious school. The office will both work to bring more Chileans to the program and also to allow professors and students to learn more directly from Chile’s success stories.