Case Study

Coronilla (B): The quadruple bottom line

11 pages
September 2009
Reference: IMD-3-1998

Almost ten years after launching its radical change program, Coronilla was finally reaping the rewards of the ambitious and creative re-orientation. In that period, the family pasta business, based in the fertile plains of Cochabamba, Bolivia, had transformed itself from a traditional wheat pasta producer to an exporter of specialized gluten-free pastas and snacks made from Andean grains. Coronilla had pulled itself out of a desperate market situation with the help of risk capital from a Bolivian investment fund. During the worst of the crisis, managing director Marta Wille had a sudden revelation: Devoting your life to a company, especially during turbulent times, can only be justified if the company has a social purpose. Bolivia’s recurrent political and financial instability wreaked havoc on the operations of companies. On top of running their business, entrepreneurs had to contend with periods of hyperinflation, draconian government controls and the vagaries of an emerging market. When she accepted the leadership of the company, taking over from her brother and her father, Marta set a non-negotiable condition to the shareholders: They would let her run the business as she felt best. Marta was taking the reins at a difficult juncture, but there were few credible alternatives, so the shareholders relented. Marta immediately started to make far-reaching changes. She set-up a positive discrimination policy to favor the hiring of women and disabled people in the workforce, and she established Fairtrade relations directly with Andean farming communities to procure raw materials. For her, corporate social responsibility (CSR) was a reason to exist and persist, not a public relations tool. But, was Marta’s brand of social entrepreneurship sustainable over the long term? Marta was nearing retirement and her succession was uncertain. Would the next generation of the Wille family keep this ethos in Coronilla? Would a CEO brought in from the outside perpetuate it? Would the cost of corporate social responsibility scare away future investors?

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.

Succession, Crisis Management, Turnaround, Workout, Strategic Repositioning, Growth Management, Career Planning, Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Pasta, Food, Production, Food Distribution
Global, Bolivia
Field Research
© 2009
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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