The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and the University was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create (ERRC) Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.
The case comes with a first-hand video interview with Manuel Olave describing his blue ocean shift. The video can be downloaded for teaching purposes from https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/teaching-materials/upb/
Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.
- Value Innovation
- Nonprofit organizations
- Blue ocean strategy
- Business School
- Latin America
- Blue Ocean Shift
- Strategy, Competition