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International Trip to Lima Blog: Reflections of Lima

The 38 members of the Class of 2015 is in Lima, Republic of Peru the week of April 25 to May 2, 2015. Teams were conducting business meetings with their Peruvian counterparts on behalf of seven Canadian client organizations as a part of their International Business Consulting Project & Trip.


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Written by Rob Cihelka of Team 5

Team 5Our trip to Lima which culminated the final leg of the Telfer Executive MBA Program and our International Business Consulting Project has come to an end. The anticipation of the the possiblities ahead of us on this trip and the challenges we were nervous to encounter are behind us now. We can breathe a sigh of relief and reflect on our accomplishments.

Prior to our departure for Lima our team was apprehensive about the number of meetings we might actually secure in-country.  During the months of February and March we had reached out to multiple contacts associated with mining, government, and communications but received very little feedback initially and at best the replies were non-committal. We had only three confirmed meetings the week before we were due to leave for Lima.  

The tables quickly turned and from a business perspective we were astonished about how quickly meetings began to materialize in the eleventh hour.

Opportunities Arise

Our arrival in Lima had the team actually juggling dates and times in order to try to accommodate all of the valuable offers we had received in the previous days to meet with representatives from mining procurement, lawyers specializing in telecommunications, police services, and INDECI – the Peruvian disaster preparedness and emergency response organization.

Our client’s proposed solution, if they were to decide to pursue the Peruvian market, required one key element for its successful implementation; access to an allocation of the 700 MHz specturm. This range of spectrum signal allows it to penetrate buildings and walls easily and to cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure making it a valuable resource for both commercial and public safety usage.  Our greatest challenge was getting a clear indication of whether a segment of this spectrum would be available specifically for public safety and if it was available, who would make the final decision to send it to auction. From our initial secondary research we completed while in Canada it seemed promising but our in-country interviews created a lot of uncertainty around the issue.

From a team-dynamic perspective we encountered a challenge in deciding the best way to segregate the team in order to attend meetings given that were too many for each of us to join all of the meetings. We also did not want to overwhelm those who had agreed to speak with us by having too many participants present.

Lima

The City of Lima certainly exceeded our expectations on a number of fronts. We were particularly surprised by how cosmopolitan the city was given that we were cautioned during our information sessions back in Ottawa that there was a great deal of poverty, homelessness and corruption within Lima. 

Overall the city did not give off the feeling we were walking around in a city located within a developing country. Districts such as Miraflores and the financial quarter of San Isidro were however very affluent and rival their counterparts in any major city in North America or Western Europe in terms of efficiency, cleanliness and availability of services. However, there was a presence of corruption that was visible to us in Lima, especially within law enforcement. We were also surprised at the lack of infrastructure which undermined effective public security and governance. 

The Class of 2015 came to Lima with the expectation that the opportunity our client would be able to provide would be too far ahead of its time to be viable within the current context. What we ended up discovering was a potentially lucrative opportunity. There was an opportunity to leverage Lima's commitment to hosting the Pan American games in order to implement a unified communications solution for public safety. This was a route into market with opportunities for an eventual entry into the mining sector with the improvement of commodity prices and the mining sector overall.

All in all the week was a huge success as we were able to provide our client with some very positive recommendations to consider.


I found it extraordinary how the professors accommodate to the individual needs of candidates and how they are accessible outside of regular class time.
Bonnie Lindsay, EMBA 1998, CEO, Offramp Investments Inc.
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