Growing from the South in the seed market: Grupo Don Mario

Marin, A., Stubrin, L. I., & Palacín Roitbarg, R. (2022). Growing from the South in the seed market: Grupo Don Mario. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 12(4), 656-672.

PurposeThe authors aim to draw lessons for research and policy from an exception(nal) case of a firm´s international expansion in the seed market: Grupo Don Mario, a company originally from Argentina that supplies 20% of the soybean varieties used in the world. The authors describe the processes of expansion of the company, identify key features of its internationalisation, marketing and technological strategy and capabilities, and discuss implications for research and policy and questions for future research.Design/methodology/approachThis is a case study. The paper uses quantitative and qualitative information collected from existing datasets and documents and new information from open ended interviews. This study method is exploratory.FindingsFirst, new entrants from emerging economies should and can adopt an unique technological and marketing approach that distinguish them from incumbents to be able to overcome entry barriers in global concentrated markets. Second, technological capacities need to be complemented with regulatory and political to succeed in highly dynamic, uncertain and regulated sectors like seeds.Research limitations/implicationsPolicies oriented to support business from emerging countries in highly dynamic sectors need to consider technological alternatives.Originality/valueGrupo Don Mario is a case of great interest since it expanded in a period in which the global seed market concentrated massively through an unprecedented process of mergers and acquisitions, which involved the disappearance of hundreds of independent seed companies.

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