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Office of News & Public Affairs

MBA Students Weigh U.S. Market for Spirit of Peru

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (August 2010) – A team of Carroll School of Management MBA students traveled to Peru to present the results of a spring semester consulting course that offered them the chance to help a family-run vineyard evaluate whether to introduce its brand of Pisco, Peru’s national liquor, to select US markets.

BC MBA students in Peru
L-R (front): Adjunct Professor of Management Russell Corsini and students Wilson St. Pierre, Courtney Scrib, Kristen Rafuse; (middle) Krisha Deering, Tamara Grindrod, Kira Vassar, Caitlin Plunkett, Chris Cobb, Kevin Callaghan; (back row) Sean Connor, Marcus Deforest, Doug Bacon (Contributed Photo)

Adjunct Professor Russell Corsini led the two teams of students, who spent the spring semester preparing an international marketing plan for Produnsa, a small vineyard located in the coastal foothills south of Lima, where the Valera family produces grapes used to make Pisco, which they sell under the label Cruz de Valera. Half of the group evaluated whether apples produced at the farm could be used in a dried fruit product.

“The US liquor market is approximately $48 billion,” said Corsini, one of the CSOM faculty who teach the MBA program’s International Consulting Project courses, which pair student teams with businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America. “The students looked at whether there is space in this very specific segment of the market. Pisco is relatively small, but if there is space the students looked at how to target the market and build the brand.”

During a visit in late May, the teams presented their findings at La Universidad de San Martin de Porres, where Produnsa company president Daniel Valera is dean of Administrative Sciences and Human Resources and his son is a lecturer. The students worked with Nestor Villanueva, MBA ’09, who is a friend of the Valeras and served as a liaison on the project.

The weeklong trip also included sightseeing in the capital of Lima, visits to historical and archeological sites, a trip to the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu and a visit to the Produnsa vineyards and orchards. Students in Corsini’s course included: Kira Vassar, Krisha Deering, Kevin Callaghan, Chris Cobb, Marcus Deforest, Courtney Scrib, Caitlin Plunkett, Tamara Grindrod, Sean Connor, Kristen Rafuse, Doug Bacon and Wilson St Pierre.

Students enrolled in the International Consulting Project courses conduct and complete the research and analysis for their projects with faculty guidance over the course of the semester, and subsequently present their findings to clients in their respective countries.  ICP courses work with companies in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and each course generally offers cross-enrollment with students from BC’s law and social work schools.

--Ed Hayward is an associate director of the Office of News & Public Affairs;

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