Scientific Gases Unit, Indura Argentina

Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, July 2015 | Go to article overview

Scientific Gases Unit, Indura Argentina


THE SITUATION

Sensing that his meeting with Mr. AnibalGervasoni, product manager of the Scientific Gases unit of Indura Argentina was ending, Professor Carlos Aimar gathered up his notes. Although he might, later on, need specific information from those notes, Aimar knew he would have no trouble remembering the challenge Mr. Gervasoni had given him, that is, to identify (within the next 30 days) a set of opportunities which could dramatically increase(over the period 2014-2018) the revenues of the Scientific Gases unit. Because his teaching schedule was already quite intense, Aimar knew that taking on this assignment meant that for the next 30 days, he would be very very busy.

THE COUNTRY

At 2.78 million square kilometers (larger than India, approximately 1/3 as large as Brazil), Argentina is South America's second largest (by land mass) country. The country is 3,500 kilometers long (2,170 miles), and 1,400 kilometers (868 miles) wide at its widest point. While the climate ranges from tropical in the north to sub-Antarctic in the far south, most of Argentina lies in the temperate zone. Similarly, while the landscapes range from jungles to glaciers, a significant portion of Argentina consists of fertile alluvial plains covered in grasses and known as "pampas." In the west (that is, in the rain-shadow created by the Andes mountains), these grasslands are quite dry. In eastern Argentina, however, the pampa receives adequate rainfall, is one of the best agricultural areas in the world, and is intensively farmed (soybeans, wheat, corn, sunflower and other grains) and ranched. Other parts of the country support a wide variety of additional agricultural activities, including the growing of fruits (including grapes for wine), tobacco, sugar cane, and vegetables. Patagonia (the southern quarter of the country) has a cool, wet climate, and supports some agriculture plus a large sheep-raising industry. Given all the above, it is no surprise that the production and processing of agricultural commodities accounts for a substantial portion of total economic activity in Argentina.

Institutionally, and as indicated in Appendix 1, Argentina is composed of 23 provinces and the Buenos Aires Federal District. Since 1995, the president and vice-president are elected for 4-year terms and can be re-elected once. The bicameral national congress has 72 senators (three from each of the above areas) serving 6 year terms. The lower house has 257 deputies, proportionately elected and serving 4 year terms. Because greater Buenos Aires makes up more than 40% of Argentina's total population, the city's influence on the lower house is very large. There is a federal judiciary system, and a nine-person supreme court.

In addition to the federal institutions, there are provincial institutions. In Argentina, each province has a governor, a legislature, and a judicial system. Across the country, the major political parties are the Justicialist Party (Peronists), the Radical Civic Union (UCR), the FAP (Frente Amplio Progresista); and the PRO (Propuesta Republicana).

THE PEOPLE

Prior to the arrival of the first Europeans, the area which has become Argentina was lightly populated. Starting in 1506 and continuing for the next 300 years, most of the immigrants coming to Argentina were Spanish. While African slaves were brought to Argentina in the 17th and 18th centuries, they were very susceptible to a variety of problems which disproportionately impacted the poor (wars, yellow fever and other epidemics, terrible living conditions for the poorest members of society, etc.), and relatively few of them survived. Beginning in the late 19th century and continuing on through the first third of the 20th, 3.5 million new immigrants arrived in Argentina, mostly from Spain and Italy. However, many other nationalities are represented in Argentina's population of approximately 41 million people, including the Welsh (primarily in Patagonia), the British, the French, the German, the Swiss, various Eastern Europeans, and Chileans. …

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