Roberto Cifuentes

CASE TITLE: Roberto Cifuentes (PDF)

AUTHORS: Gianni Romaní and Carolina Rojas

UNIVERSITY: Universidad Católica del Norte




ABSTRACT: This case looks at an example of opportunity creation. Roberto Cifuentes lives in one of the major copper-mining regions in the world. Despite his lack of education in mining or business, he created an R&D company, GProcess, with the goal of finding products that improve the copper-obtaining process. After starting in a family business that served the copper-mining industry, he discovered that a special reagent, DXG, could improve the copper-recovery process. He also developed two other products, a reagent called AJR and the enhanced anode. Roberto signed an agreement with Cognis for sales and distribution rights to DXG, which allowed him to focus on new product development. AJR is being commercialized by GProcess, and Roberto is waiting for an industrial trial of the enhanced anode, which saves energy and improves the efficiency of copper production. Roberto is uncertain whether GProcess should remain an R&D firm that outsources manufacturing and distribution or start developing promising new products itself.

TOPICS: Entrepreneurship as a career choice, creating and recognizing an opportunity, networking, business model, entry and growth strategies, creative problem solving, innovation, supply-chain management, cost/benefit analysis

COURSE POSITIONING: Early in a new ventures course

OVERALL TEACHING OBJECTIVE: To generate discussion about opportunity recognition and creation