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This chapter is from the book

Winning Strategies

Having analyzed the opportunities and challenges of Latin markets in four different sectors, it is useful to differentiate the key factors for each type of strategy.


  • Use global scope and diversity as a buffer against downturns. Example to follow: Cemex.

  • Rationalize manufacturing using Mexico and Brazil as the Latin American platforms and leveraging similar production assets in China and India. Example to follow: GM—leverage of Mexico's and Brazil's operations with European and U.S. operations.

  • Optimize supply chain and leverage presence in regional business-to-business (B2B) exchanges. Example to follow: Latinexus—B2B marketplace, a consortium of Latin American largest industrial firms.

  • Leverage global or regional brand and converge to the middle mass market. Examples to follow: Wal-Mart and Nestlé.


  • Broad regional specialists

    • Focus on expertise at one sliver of regional and global value chains, where best-in-class advantage commands above-industry returns. Example to follow: Embraer.

    • Focus on the right consumer value for uncertain times; do not compete on price. Examples to follow: FEMSA and Bimbo.

  • Narrow regional specialists

    • Focus on one or two top regional markets where geographic synergies and shared assets can be leveraged. Examples to follow: Alestra and Telecom Italia.

    • Quickly capture growth opportunities in a single market corridor and develop dominant market position through, superior quality and brand resonance. Examples to follow: Mexico's Gruma and Brazil's Natura.


  • Rapid integration of acquired firms. Example to follow: Santander.

  • Leverage financial, infrastructure, and marketing support of collaborators or parent firm. Example to follow: Terra Networks.

  • Shape fragmented regional markets and turn them into global markets. Example to follow: Unilever's ice cream market.

Regionals and National Champions

  • Rapid transformation into a global competitor. Example to follow: Brazil's Sadia.

  • Leverage incumbent's advantages and achieve large scale. Examples to follow: Mexico's Telmex and Sanborns.

  • Collaborate with global or regional integrators, shapers, or specialists. Examples to follow: Disco and Banco Itaú.

  • National brand leadership offering best consumer value possible. Examples to follow: Brazil's Pão de Açúcar and Chile's Falabella.

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