Babson Professor Bill Bygrave, Case Director
Andrea Alyse, Case Writer
Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
© Babson College, 1998.
With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there appeared to be tremendous opportunities for American businesses. There were deals to be made on both the export and import side of business with the newly liberated former Soviet republics. Scott Berggren, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, after a series of unsuccessful international ventures, begins to import aluminum from Russia to sell to several major U.S. companies including General Motors. Lower labor costs etc. appear to provide Scott with a major opportunity to beat current market prices.
However, political and economic instability including currency fluctuations soon place the young owner in a perilous position. He must decide whether to invest more of his own money in the old Russian smelting companies, which were formerly state-run, or face eventual unsustainable losses due to the unpredictability of his suppliers.
Location of the company: Boston, Massachusetts
Years spanned by the case: 1993 through 1997
Industry segments: Scrap Metals/Aluminum
Stage of the company: Early Growth
Age of the entrepreneurs: 32
Key Words: Import/export, Eastern Europe, International Business, Russia, Soviet Union, political instability, aluminum, currency, scrap metals, smelting.
There is no DVD available for this case.
A seven page case teaching package, written by Bill Bygrave, is available for this case. Also included in the notes are nine pages suitable to being reproduced as transparencies.