Brazil and Argentina
Course Pack March 2020

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    Brazil, a Portuguese speaking country, occupies roughly half of South America and is currently emerging from deep economic recession resulting in prolonged decelerated growth. In 2015 and 2016, the Brazilian economy faced a negative growth rate due to political instability, high unemployment and unfavorable tight credit conditions (World Bank report, 2017). Despite the challenges, Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy with rich biodiversity, abundant agricultural, mineral and energy potentials coupled with enormous internal growth potential.

    Similarly, the Republic of Argentina, a Spanish speaking country is South America’s second largest economy with GDP of over $550 million and a population of about 44 million in 2016. Argentina has vast fertile lands and natural resources in renewable energy and agriculture. In spite of all these resources, its economy is currently in recession with unemployment rate around 10% and about 40% inflation. Nevertheless, the Argentine economy presents a number of new investment opportunities (especially in manufacturing subsectors and innovative high-tech industry services) in the face of its political risks. Argentina is undergoing economic transformation creating business environment that attracts foreign investment across all sectors and implementing policies that promote sustainable economic developments (Forbes; 2017).

    As global leaders, it is vital to understand business and socio-economic culture of countries around the world. This course is on-field learning which will expose students to a unique experience covering the following key issues:

    • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of Argentina and Brazil.
    • Overview of Argentina and Brazil’s economic performance.
    • South African corporate investments in Argentina and Brazil.
    • Argentina and Brazil economic success and challenges.
    • Degree of Argentina and Brazil interest in South Africa and the Africa continent.
    • Nature of global investment in Argentina and Brazil.
    • Influence of Chinese, North America and Canada’s investment in Argentina and Brazil.
    • South Americans (Argentina and Brazil) employees’ values and behaviors.
    • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in Argentina and Brazil.
    • The central role of politics in doing business in these countries.
    • Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups.
    • The special and evolving characteristic of Argentina and Brazil capital markets and related risks.
    • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility.

    This study tour will provide students with exposure to different economies and cultures in various destinations. It is designed to expose the student to different organisations in Argentina and Brazil including business schools, government agencies, state owned enterprises and private corporations.

    At the end this course, students will be able to:

    • Develop contemporary knowledge about business practices, in Argentina and Brazil, which will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
    • Critically assess, the Argentina and Brazil economy and determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
    • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life of Argentina and Brazil in relation to South Africa.
    • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected company examples in Argentina and Brazil.

    This study tour underlies all other MBA courses as it contributes to the overall MBA qualification by providing a capstone integrated learning experience, whereby students can bring to bear their knowledge of the whole MBA programme. This knowledge will allow them to analyse a foreign economy and businesses in that economy. In addition, this course directly supports the core themes of the MBA in terms of critical engagement, context of South Africa and also issues of sustainability.

    Decisions and methodologies which students are exposed to in their company visits and cultural in country interactions – from Strategy to HR to Operations to Marketing – are expressed as the underlying issues and learnings of this course.

    Curriculum tied to the context in South Africa
    The study tour draws on various South African companies experience in various markets. Here the extensive use of company site visits shows comparisons between the company operations in South Africa and the Argentina and Brazil.

    Curriculum tied to context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies
    The overarching objective is to identify the opportunities for growth of the African continent as well as its challenges such as the slow-down of China economy and the associated drop in commodity prices. It maps these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms therein, thus enabling students to begin to address these issues at a management level.

    With the use of company and institution visits, the study tour addresses the optimality of overall resource allocation in economies and its role in economic systems such as free markets and command economies and mixtures thereof in Argentina and Brazil.

    Entrepreneurial action
    The institution and company visits provide insight into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking thus enabling students to make decisions at a management level.

    Critical engagement
    By focusing on examples of successful and unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and emerging markets, the course enables the student to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of action and business decisions.


    These schedules are subject to change, we will notify you when updates are made.


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    Course assesment and assignments

    Learning Contract
    Please note, all visits and events on the global study tour are MANDATORY. Please refer to the standing orders regarding the tours. As a student you should review the Learning Contract and ensure you are fully aware of the methods and implications of the assessment approach as mark allocations cannot be changed retrospectively. If you have any concerns about the assessment you should raise this with your tour leader at the start of the course.

    The Importance of Preparation for the Study Tour
    The prescribed readings should be read before departure. Students should also research on the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, thus a variety of readings have been carefully selected to provide different perspectives. It is essential that students focus on these readings and embark on company research. Appended with the readings are the links for ease of access. However, should you encounter any problems with the links provided consult the WITS library e-journals catalogue or consult the WBS Librarian.

    Teaching Methods
    Teaching emphasis in the MBA Global Study Tour is experiential and involves on-site action learning. The tour itself would entail visits to one or more destinations to provide broader international learning exposure for the student. Students should keep a learning log on insights that they gain from each business or organisation that they visit, and these logs are used for debrief sessions during the tour as well as to compile a post-study tour assignment on what they have learnt.

    Copyright Statement
    The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.

    Assessment: Individual Assignment
    Weighting: 75%
    Deadline: 20 April 2020
    Results Return Date: 1 May 2020

    Assessment: Amazing Race
    Deadline: To be determined by lead academic
    Results Return Date: To be determined by lead academic

    Please note: Students are required to sign and attach the WBS Plagiarism Declaration to each assignment submitted

    Pass Mark Requirements
    In terms of the Standing Orders, to pass a course a student is required to achieve a final cumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% for the examination. In a case where an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in the student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be removed from the programme.

    Based on the above MBA core themes, students will be exposed to experiential and on-site learning. Thus students will need to contextualise the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.

    By the end of this assignment, you should have gained practical skills in assessing business opportunities in Latin America. Your ability to conduct market sensing and due diligence will be enhanced. Finally, you should be familiar with various business opportunities in Latin America.

    The Brief:
    Choose one of the following assignments

    1. Provide a PEST ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into Argentina or Brazil.
    2. Provide a country risk profile for a company of your choice.
    3. Formulate a Business plan for a South African idea that could be sold in Argentina or Brazil.
    4. Discuss what you have learnt or gained from the trip:
        1. Discuss what you have learnt from the amazing race. What was new or different from what you have experienced before? Please include a picture to demonstrate this.
        2. Thoroughly discuss each business meeting. Give some background information about the company and environment that it operates in and highlight your key learning points from each meeting (at least 3 per meeting)
        3. Please discuss any other key learning points that you gained from going on this trip. This can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country, the people, your fellow travellers or anything not covered in the two tasks above. 


    • A 2000 word essay
    • Please submit a hard copy to Karen Trent at the International Relations Office with a plagiarism declaration before the deadline.
    • Use 1.5 line spacing and a 12-point font.
    • Please ensure that you reference correctly, as per the WBS guidelines.

    Penalty for late submission: For every calendar day, or part thereof, that your assignment is late, 10 % will be deducted from your marks.

    Mark allocation criteria:  

    • Application of theories developed and learnt throughout the MBA programme 30%
    • Integration of theories learnt and experience acquired during the study tour 30%
    • Research and use of relevant data to complement the assignment 30%
    • Presentation: Referencing, style, presentation, etc. 10%

    TOTAL: 100

    The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It’s fun and interesting. You will be put into a syndicate group and will need to work as a team. This assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, learn about the history of the country, all online attractions, and all modes of transport. 

    On completion of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

    • A brief report on the successes, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
    • Pictures of the locations visited and anything of interest, relevant to the task.
    • A short video summarising the core of the assignment. (Professional editing not required.)
    • Receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.

    Provide all the above, except for the receipts, on a memory stick. 

    Details of the assignment will be provided by the tour leaders.


    Submission Deadline:
    To be determined by the lead academic/tour leader

    Return Deadline:
    To be determined by the lead academic/tour leader

    Mark allocation:
    25% (Criterion will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/amazing race)

    1. Abreu, M. (2004). China’s emergence in the global economy and Brazil. No. 491. Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    2. Batten, J. A., Szilagyi, P. G. and Wong, M. C. S. (2014). Stock Market Spread Trading: Argentina and Brazil Stock Indexes.” Emerging Markets Finance and Trade 50.sup3, 61-76.
    3. Berg, J, and Sandrine C. (2007). The Doing Business indicators: Measurement issues and political implications. Geneva: ILO.
    4. Lael, B. and Martinez-Diaz, L. eds (2009). Brazil as an economic superpower? Understanding Brazil’s changing role in the global economy. Brookings Institution Press.
    5. Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Lant, P. (2015) “How business is done in the developing world: Deals versus rules.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 29, 3, 121-140.
    6. Mercenier, J. and Sousa, M. C. S. “Structural adjustment and growth in a highly indebted market economy: Brazil.” 1994. op. cit (1994): 281-310.
    7. Neto-Advogados, Pinheiro. Doing Business in Brazil. Juris Publishing, Inc., 2013.
    8. Nayyar, Deepak. “China, India, Brazil and South Africa in the world economy: Engines of growth?” Southern Engines of Global Growth 1 (2010): 9-27.
    9. Peng, M. W., Wang, D. Y., & Jiang, Y. (2008). An institution-based view of international business strategy: a focus on emerging markets. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 920-936. 
    10. Sinha, M., & Sheth, J. N. (2017). Growing the pie in emerging markets: Marketing strategies for increasing the ratio of non-users to users. Journal of Business Research (May), 1-8.

    Additional Info and Contact Details

    Don’t forget your documents and chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.

    Bring Formal Wear and Business Cards for Company Visits.


    Travel Tips



    South African Embassy in Brazil
    South African Embassy, Lote 06 – Quadra 801, SHCS – Brasília, 
    Brasília, Brazil DF, 70406-900, Brazil
    Phone: +55 61 3312-9500

    South African Embassy in Brazil
    South African Embassy, Avenida Marcelo T de Alvear 590, 8th floor
    Buenos Aires, Argentina Buenos Aires 1058, Argentina.
    Phone: (+54) 11 4317 2900
    Email: –

    Hotel in Brazil
    Melia Hotel
    Avenida Paulista, 2181- Consolação
    São Paulo
    +55 11 2184-1600

    Hotel in Argentina
     NH City Buenos Aires
    Address: Buenos Aires, Bolívar 160, C1066 AAD, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Phone: +54 11 4121-646

    Lead Academics

    DR RENEE HORNE is an International Political Economist. She joined WBS in September 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Business in Africa.  She is also the WBS Director of International Relations, a non-executive Director for the South African Supplier Diversity Council (SASDC) and a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa.

    Dr. Horne is also a Senior Associate at the University of Johannesburg, School of Leadership.  Dr. Horne holds five degrees, three degrees (BA – Law, Hons, MA) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and two degrees (MSc and PhD – IPE) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her area of interest is Business in Africa, BRICS economies, Macroeconomic Policy, and Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment. 

    Experience: With more than fifteen years’ experience as an award-winning political journalist, war correspondent, editor and political economist, Dr. Horne has been acknowledged by the government, business and academics as an expert political economist and journalist on Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

    Internationally, Dr. Horne has advised governments, media, and businesses on the political and economic policy of South Africa, Iraq, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Uganda. She has worked extensively in regions and countries such as East Africa, Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and Brazil, etc.

    Dr. Horne has worked with institutions such as Transparency International, Delta Economics, Royal Africa Society, Exclusive Analysis, Royal United Services Institute, BBC, SKY, ITV, SABC, and the World Entrepreneur Society. During this period, she interviewed politicians and high profile personalities such as South African Presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and Jacob Zuma, former Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, former Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President, Yasser Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres

    Since 1994, Dr Horne has been a lecturer and guest speaker on Political Economy and International Relations in Africa and the Middle East at numerous institutions such as SOAS, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Rhodes and Johannesburg University, John Hopkins University, and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC. Passionate about enterprise and skills development, she was also the Head of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Unit.

    Thomas is an enthusiastic scholar and management consultant with a keen interest in the issues of Innovation, Strategy, Enterprise Growth and Marketing in Emerging Markets. He constantly seeks knowledge through research and shares the same from the perspectives of both the customer and the value provider/brand. He likes to take up the challenge of helping companies (both small and large) to maximize the customer experience and value, on one hand, and corporate success on the other. 

    Prior to joining academia on a full time basis, Thomas worked in the services and marketing space for several years; and also consulted for a number of firms. His current research focuses on Competitive Strategy, Brands, Innovation, Services Management, Emerging Markets, Customer Experience Management, E-Marketing and Enterprise Development. His award-winning research outputs have been presented at reputable international conferences. Additionally, top tier international journals such as Journal of Business Research, International Marketing Review, Computer in Human Behaviour, Cross-Cultural and Strategic Management, International Journal of Innovation Management, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, European Journal of Innovation Management, International Journal of Bank Marketing, etc. have published his research outputs. 

    Thomas is a Research Fellow at McGill University, Montreal, Canada and a Research Partner to both Sight and Life, Switzerland and Motherfood International, Quebec, Canada. He is a visiting scholar at Desautel Faculty of Management, McGill, Canada; University of Ghana Business School; and University of Professional Studies, Accra. Thomas is a member of the American Marketing Association, fellow at the Academy of Marketing Science and Academy of International Business. He serves as the Track Chair – (International Business Theory) for the Academy of International Business – Sub-Saharan Africa Chapter (AIB Africa).

    Delegation details

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    Company visits, hotels and activities

    Natura Brasil
    Visit the biggest cosmetics company in Brazil. The visit includes a tour through the main facilities and explanation about the sales strategies, the concept and use of “consultants” to sell products using catalogues, as well as sustainability and social responsibility.



    Visit major facilities and explanation about the kind of support and business consulting given to the associated startups, as well as the work environment and the company’s values.

    Brazil – São Paulo

    Melia Paulista – Click to view on TripAdvisor

    Located on the most popular avenue in the city of São Paulo. It is close to museums and cultural centres, parks amidst great skyscrapers, bookstores, bars, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas, as well as being in the main business centre of the country.

    Argentina – Beuno Airies

    Melia Paulista – Click to view on TripAdvisor

    Samba School: No trip to Rio de Janeiro would be complete without visiting a Samba School. Learn about the history, impact and culture around this Afro-Brazilian music and dance. 


    Museum of Tomorrow: an Applied Sciences museum which explores the opportunities and challenges which humanity will be forced to tackle in the coming decades from the perspective of sustainability and conviviality. An example of a well-succeeded partnership between public power and private initiative, it has received over three million visitors since opening


    Museum Afro Brazil: Guided visit in English. The museum holds expositions that show African influences in Brazil, including the aspects brought by slavery.


    Half-day tour to coffee plantation: Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, supplying about a third of global demand. Visit a farm located 80 miles away from São Paulo, in the region of Campinas. The plantation has 840 hectares (2.075 acres) in production, growing 1.5 million coffee trees. It’s the best-preserved coffee farm in the region and is still actively producing coffee.

    Student Commitments

    Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
    1. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) has insured itself for its liability arising from the acts and omissions of persons acting on its behalf, and that its registered students, staff and individuals who are subject to the University’s rules, regulations, policies, procedures and standing orders as amended from time to time are insured during the course and scope of their registered courses and/or within the scope of University’s business. This is subject to the proviso that the University’s maximum liability will be limited, whether for a single or multiple events, to the extent that is covered thereof;
    2. When the University arranges for me to travel to locations which are outside of the University’s precincts, and when traveling in vehicles which do not belong to the University’s and/or are not driven by University staff, I will enjoy only such cover as referred to in Section 1 above, provided that I depart and travel from the University’s precincts and return to it from an excursion arranged by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;
    3. In cases where no fault can be attributed to the University, I hereby indemnify, absolve and hold harmless the University, its officials, employees, students and invitees in respect of any damage the property, death or bodily injury to/of myself and/or third parties, whether on/off the University precincts, or whilst engaged in any related activity to the University abroad; and
    4. I understand that I attend and participate in the WBS Global Study Tour in various designated countries around the world during specified periods in 2019 at my own risk where the event falls outside the cover provided to or by the University.
    5. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the contents of this indemnity in every respect.
    This document is applicable to all modes of delivery of the Global Study Tour from 2017 onward. 

    Assessment Policy
    All assignments, including the attendance of the Amazing Race and all scheduled visits to businesses, other organisations, and cultural activities, is compulsory.

    Failure to comply with this policy will result in an automatic failure of this course. A record of attendance at each prescribed tour activity will be kept by the Tour Leader and will be submitted to the International Office as a formal record for student assessment. Should a student fail (including as a result of non-attendance and failure to participate), the tour will have to be repeated.

    A candidate who has not completed all the requirements for this tour by the end of the minimum period of study and who is permitted in terms of Senate Standing Orders to continue will be required to register again for this tour at the beginning of the following academic year and pay the relevant fee.

    Registration for the Global Study Tour
    A candidate is required to register and pay in advance for the Study Tour in order to be admitted to complete the course.

    If a candidate wishes to amend his/her selection of destination, a prescribed period of time will be permitted as indicated by the Global Study Tour Coordinator. However, no changes to the selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.

    International Applicants
    Applications from international exchange and immersion students are welcome. All international students need to conform with the University’s requirements and the South African legislation that pertains to such students.

    Credits towards MBA or MM to other degrees
    Students may be granted credits for this tour at international partner schools however please note that the granting of credits is based on the credit weighting exchange between the WBS MBA and other international programmes.

    The pass mark for this course
    In order to pass the study tour, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% as a final mark subject to the subminimum rule.

    Students must register for the Global Business Study Tour (BUSA 7442A) in order to pay the travel component cost for the study tour. Students will be advised as to the Rand value that has to be paid for the study tour of their choice. The deadline for the choice of study tour and payments will be communicated to students by the School’s International Office. Failure to pay the full fee for the Global Study Tour in advance or failure to attend the tour for whatever reason will still hold the student liable for the full amount as indicated for the selected tour package. Please note that fees may not involve the same costing as certain travel destinations are cheaper than others. Also, note that whenever indicated students will be responsible for their own transport and cost of meals and incidentals on each tour. Tour leaders do not carry additional funds to allow for students who do not make personal provision for their own expenses.

    Allocation of Marks
    The mark composition for each assignment will comprise a combination of marks awarded for assignment projects and fieldwork, both individual and syndicate work. The mark allocation for the course is detailed in the course pack.

    Syndicates may apply to have non-performing members excluded from the syndicate mark for their assignment, or have a portion of the total mark allocated to the non-performing student.

    Publication of Final Course Results
    The results of the global study tour will be published by the Faculty Office as soon as possible, normally within four weeks from assignment submission.

    Disputes and Grievances
    Any disputes or grievances that arise as a result of the application of, or failure to apply, the provisions of these Standing Orders should be managed within the Faculty’s existing appeals and grievance procedure. Problems should always be resolved as close to the source as possible. The grievance procedure policy and applicable forms are available from the Faculty Office.

    Code of Conduct
    All students will abide by the daily dress code as indicated by the Tour Leader depending on the daily schedule of events and places visited.

    Students are also advised that whilst they are encouraged to enjoy the tour, they are reminded that they are participating in a Wits Study Tour programme and are not traveling for their own leisure purposes. As such, the prime focus is on teaching and learning and at all times students will need to participate in all prescribed activities and field visits.

    Students are advised to heed the guidance and instruction of the designated Tour Leader on each trip. In addition, students are advised to serve as professional ambassadors of Wits University and the Wits Business School at all times whilst on tour. Students are also advised to download a copy of the Wits Student Code of Conduct to familiarise themselves with the policy.

    During visits, students are to ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
    Students are to be punctual for all visits, failure to attend a visit without a valid reason will render your attendance as incomplete.

    Failure to adhere to the above could result in a disciplinary action being lodged against the student.

    Recording of Global Study Tour Activities
    Business visit sessions may only be recorded (by audio, images or video) with the express written permission of that organisation. Students will be required to agree in writing that:

      • recordings will only be used for purposes of their own private study and revision;
      • recordings will not be copied, shared, communicated, published or distributed in any format whatsoever and using any medium whatsoever, unless requested to do so by the lecturer;
      • unedited copies recordings will be provided to the lecturer if requested to do so; and
      • Copyright of all recordings remains the property of the University.

    It is noted that infringement of any of these conditions may result in disciplinary action being taken against the student.

    Please complete the Indemnity and Standing Orders forms

    NB: To be completed before you leave.

    Company visits and activities

    1. Natura Brasil

    2. The B3 Stock Exchange
      Site :

    3. Ahoy! Berlin – Sao Paulo co-working space

    4. Globant Software Development – Buenos Aires