Brazil and Argentina
Course Pack March 2019


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.

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 above 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.

The course assessments will be weighted as follows:

  • 60% Individual assignment.
  • 40% On-field syndicate assignment.
  • No examination.

Please Note

A student is 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 accumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% in the examination.

When an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in a student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be failed off the programme.

Individual Assignment

Individual Written Assignment Brief
(50% of the exam equivalent assignment)

Assume that you have recently been appointed as the Head of International Markets for an organisation. With consistent growth over the last 5 years, the Board of Directors believe that it is time to enter new markets to sustain further growth and profitability. So, your organisation has sent you on a business trip to Brazil and Argentina. Your task in your new role is to determine, among other things, the business opportunities in Latin America, in particular Brazil and Argentina.

During your trip, you are required to address the following issues

  • Is Brazil / Argentina suitable markets for your organisation to enter for ONE of the industries discussed during your lectures in Brazil / Argentina?
  • (Choose one industry ONLY). You may also choose an industry that was not discussed, but you are familiar with.

Some of the key issues to consider for this brief are the following

  1. Should your company enter Brazil / Argentina? Why and why not? Motivate the reasoning and rationale for your decision.
  2. What business opportunities and challenges are present in these Latin American countries?
  3. What are the cultural implications that your company may need to consider when entering these markets?



  • Report must be 2-3 pages long (without references and appendixes).
  • Please submit a hard copy to Karen Trent in the International Relations Office with a plagiarism declaration by 13h00 on 01 April 2019.
  • Use 1.5 line spacing and 12-point font.
  • Please ensure that you reference correctly as per WBS guidelines.
  • Submission Deadline 01 April 2019.
  • Return Deadline 15 April 2019.
  • Mark allocation 60%.


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

Your exam equivalent assignment will be integrated with the syndicate assignment in Brazil.  It will be a combination of both syndicate final project presentations, which will be both oral and through a submission of a power-point written presentation, that will be conducted on 13 March 2019 and 2-3 pages of individual written assignment.

The details of the project syndicate assignment will be provided to you on 11 March 2019, in Brazil.  In addition to the final syndicate presentations, you will be required to write 2-3 pages on your perceptions of business opportunities in Latin America, as an individual assignment.


This assignment relates to the following MBA themes: Context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies, market entry strategies, sustainability and entrepreneurial action.


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.


At the end of this assignment, you should gain 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.


Syndicate Assignment Brief
You will be given on 11 March 2019, in Brazil (50% of the exam equivalent assignment)


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


At the end of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

  • A brief report on the success, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
  • Pictures of the locations visited and any other thing of interest relevant to the task.
  • A short video summarising the core of the assignment (professional editing not needed)
  • Provide receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.
  1. Provide all the above (except receipts on a memory stick).
  2. Details of the assignment will be provided on-site on 10 March 2019.
  1. Abreu, M. (2004). China´ s emergence in the global economy and Brazil. No. 491. Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  2. Besley, T. (2015). Law, regulation, and the business climate: The nature and influence of the World Bank Doing Business project. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 29, 3, 99-120.
  3. 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.
  4. Berg, J, and Sandrine C. (2007). The Doing Business indicators: Measurement issues and political implications. Geneva: ILO.
  5. 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.
  6. Carolyn, T. and Cachanosky, N. (2016). Argentina’s post-2001 economy and the 2014 default. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 60, 70-80.
  7. Epstein, G. A., ed (2005). Financialization and the world economy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  8. Ghemawat, P. (2001) Distance Still Matters: The Hard Reality of Global Expansion, Harvard Business Review, 1-12.
  9. Ghemawat, P. (2007). Differences across countries: the CAGE Distance framework. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press.
  10. Gragnolati, Michele, et al. (2015). As Time Goes By: Economic Opportunities and Challenges of the Demographic Transition in Argentina. 341-338.
  11. 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.
  12. Mercenier, Jean, and M. C. S. Sousa. “Structural adjustment and growth in a highly indebted market economy: Brazil.” 1994). op. cit (1994): 281-310.
  13. Neto-Advogados, Pinheiro. Doing Business in Brazil. Juris Publishing, Inc., 2013.
  14. Nayyar, Deepak. “China, India, Brazil and South Africa in the world economy: Engines of growth?” Southern Engines of Global Growth 1 (2010): 9-27.
  15. Peng, M. W., Wang, D. Y., u0026amp; Jiang, Y. (2008). An institution-based view of international business strategy: a focus on emerging markets. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 920-936.
  16. Sinha, M., u0026amp; 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





Ayenida Marcelo T de Alvear 590, 8th floor
Buenos Aires 1058, Argentina.

(+54) 11 4317 2900



Lote 06 – Quadra 801, SHCS – Brasília,
DF, 70406-900, Brazil

(+55) 61 3312-9500



Melia Hotel

Avenida Paulista, 2181- Consolação, São Paulo.

+55 11 2184-1600.


Recoleta Grand Hotel

Av. Gral. Las Heras 1745, 1018 CABA, Argentina

+54 11 4129-9800


Brazil and Argentina numbers to be provided.
SA mobile: +27 83 601 6130.


Melody Memela

Ms. Melody Memela is a Sessional Lecturer at the Wits Business School, where she is currently completing her PhD studies focusing on the Corporate Sustainability of the Mining Sector in South Africa.


Melody is an IT and Management professional with over 23 years of experience working with and consulting for multinational companies across different industries, in South Africa and internationally.  She possesses a distinctive combination of Technology, Strategy, Leadership and Consulting experience.


Her academic research interests include subject matter on Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Governance and Business Ethics.

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

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 arrange 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 off 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 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.

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 field work, 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 remain 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.

NB: To be completed and returned to before you leave.