Organizational Flexibility in Emerging Economies
Chapter 7: Case Study: AGD Aceitera General Deheza
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF AGD 1948–1999 Founded in 1948 by Adrián Urquía, AGD (Aceitera General Deheza) transformed itself from a small oil-processing factory into the biggest indigenous ﬁrm in the industry. Nowadays AGD is a leading edible oil export company and also one of the frontrunners on the retail market for bottled oil with several successful brands. It ranked 40th among the 1000 top companies in terms of turnover in Argentina in 1999 (US$841 million), and it is considered the ﬁfth most important exporter in the country (Revista Mercado, 1999). After the changes the country went through in the 1990s, the company was able to adapt and thrive in an industry in which most indigenous businesses did not manage to survive. Nevertheless, the roots of AGD’s success do not date from the 1990s but long before, in its thinking ahead about ways of improving technology, scale and cost-eﬀective measures – a trio of decisions that would prove to be the right combination for survival and success. The ﬁrst generation tenure of the ﬁrm lasted 37 years: from 1948 to 1985, when the founder bowed out from the executive direction of the company and became its President. This foundational period can be split into three sub-periods: the founding period from 1948 to 1968, the crisis in 1968, and ﬁnally, the consolidation of the company between 1968 and 1985 (see stages of the history of the ﬁrm in Figure 7.1). The ﬁrst generation tenure is shaped...
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