STRATEGY+BUSINESS ISSUE 70 SPRING 2013 By Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja
The structured approach to innovation favored by mature companies can’t deliver the agility and differentiation they need today
For three generations, Gustavo Grobocopatel’s family had pursued a small-scale, subsistence model of farming in Argentina. Grobocopatel dreamed of growing his farm into a larger, more sustainable enterprise, but his vision was hindered by scarcity. For one thing, he had difficulty accessing large tracts of land. Although Argentina is a vast country, farmland is hard to come by. Only 10 percent of the land is arable, and much of that is controlled by a few owners who are reluctant to part with it. Grobocopatel also faced a shortage of the skilled labor needed to scale up his business—people who could fertilize, sow, tend, and harvest crops. In Argentina, such labor is in limited supply, is not formally organized, is spread out across the country, and can be costly to hire, especially during peak harvest seasons. Finally, he didn’t have the capital to buy the farm equipment he needed. Funding opportunities for bootstrapping new businesses are very limited for entrepreneurs in Argentina.