Rosa Amelia Gonzalez
IESA Business School Venezuela
CA. Ron Santa Teresa (CARST) is one of Venezuela’s oldest family-owned businesses. Ron manufacturing ranks among the most typical Venezuelan industries, as it dates back to colonial times –in fact, Venezuelan rum is globally renowned for its superior quality. In 2004, Venezuela ranked ninth among the world’s rum producers, with annual sales of 2.75 million 8-liter cases. CARST is the world’s fourth rum manufacturer (1.3 million cases), following America’s Bacardi, the Philippines’ Tanduay, and the United Kingdom’s Diageo, and it holds 40% of Venezuela’s domestic market. Its international operations are also expanding, with exports primarily to the United States and Spain, where this product category has been growing steadily.
This case describes the challenges faced by a company launching innovative social initiatives to address the threats of an impoverished setting marred by political and social divides –with land invasions, muggings, etc. The case enables students to analyze how these initiatives unfolded and how they were incorporated to the company’s strategies.
The dilemma presented takes place in April 2004, when Alberto Vollmer, CARST’s new Executive President and a majority stockholder’s son, must make the case for the company’s social initiatives before its Board. To this end, he needs to prepare a plan for their evolution.
This case may be used in graduate and executive education programs, specifically at courses on social corporate initiatives, leadership, ethics and organizational change.