For example, Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) has built unique exploration skills in deep-water wells in its home market, which it can sell globally. Once regional governments opened up their borders to foreign competition, some local companies such as Tenaris, a world supplier of seamless steel tubes, raised their game to compete on a global level. However, some basic management changes need to happen before more global companies come from this region.
First, they need to intensify the development of their global leaders. Many are good at developing local leaders but later discover that many don't want to be sent overseas.
Leading firms are showing the way forward; for instance, Tenaris set up a corporate university to train employees around the world. The other challenge for Latin American firms is to ensure there is successful cultural integration following an M&A. Strategies such as role modelling, in which managers are flown overseas to work at foreign subsidiaries, are being deployed.
Building global champions in Latin America
Pablo R Harberer
Adrian F Kohan
McKinsey Quarterly, Special edition, May 2007.