Case Study

Coronilla (A): Change dilemmas for the Wille family

13 pages
September 2009
Reference: IMD-3-1997

In the colonial-style house built by the Wille family on the edge of the factory lands, Marta Wille sat facing her fellow shareholders in the family business. It was a warm Sunday afternoon in December 2000, and the pasta plant was silent. After an hour of intense and, at times, acrimonious deliberations, which had been preceded by months of informal discussions, they could still not agree on the future of Fideos Coronilla. Three generations of the German-origin Wille family built the company in Bolivia’s Andes Valley, with Marta the current managing director and two of her grown-up children also involved. Coronilla was Wille, and the Wille family lived for Coronilla. The pride was easy to feel, and so was the family’s sense of responsibility toward the employees. But the 4% gross profit margin on their pasta sales was no longer even covering operating costs. The Willes were confronted with three alternatives. They could continue operating at a loss and hope that the disastrous conditions in the pasta market improve rapidly. They could decide to close the company, liquidate its assets and lay off the workers. The third path was to seek external capital to modernize and find a new direction for the company, since pasta was going nowhere fast. Marta had an ambitious turnaround plan, but she would need to combine passion and strategic acumen to convince her father and the other family shareholders.

Learning Objective

Turnaround management; Family business management; Stakeholder management; Managing in a rapidly changing environment; Succession planning; Strategic repositioning; Emerging market issues; Political instability; Managing commodity businesses

Keywords
Succession, Crisis Management, Turnaround, Workout, Strategic Repositioning, Growth Management, Career Planning, Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Pasta, Food Distribution, Food
Settings
Global, Bolivia
Coronilla
1997-2000
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2009
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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