Harvard Business School

Inacap

INACAP was the largest tertiary education institute in Chile, with little more than 54,000 students and with coverage throughout the country. Since 1966 the organization had delivered technical and professional formation for work through its technical training center (TTC) and its vocational center (VC). In 2007, given the growing competition of many new private TTCs, VCs and universities offering education for work, INACAP decided to broaden its technical program mix and become a university: Universidad Tecnológica de Chile. The decision entailed venturing into the provision of university education, an area where INACAP had no previous experience. One of its competitors was the DUOC, with a long-standing presence in the market. It offered high quality technical and professional education under the wing of one of the most prestigious universities in the marketplace, Universidad Católica (UC). The other competitor was Universidad Santo Tomás (UST), a university that did not enjoy the high reputation of UC, but nevertheless granted academic degrees to its graduates. This meant that, even if its programs did not measure up to those of INACAP, graduates from Santo Tomás possessed a university degree, a valued asset, in a country that overrated academic degrees. In this scenario, when INACAP’s leaders saw the chance of purchasing Universidad Vicente Pérez Rosales, they made a decision to go ahead and buy it. However, the decision entailed changing INACAP’s strategic position. Few months into the purchase, the incumbent Rector resigned and the new Rector, Gonzalo Vargas, was confronted with the need to evaluate the cogency of the business model INACAP had been operating and decide its competitive strategy.

 

Publicado en: Harvard Business School