Alvaro Cuervo-​​Cazurra says that busi­nesses must expand their oper­a­tions beyond their bor­ders to survive—especially in a world in which the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trans­porta­tion sec­tors are growing like never before.

Maybe it was great at one time to only focus domes­ti­cally, but for many com­pa­nies it’s no longer an option,” says Cuervo-​​Cazurra, a newly appointed asso­ciate pro­fessor of inter­na­tional busi­ness and strategy in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion.

Whether you like it or not,” he says, “your com­peti­tors may come into your market and increase com­pe­ti­tion, and if you’re not as good as they are you might disappear.”

Cuervo-Cazurra’s research focuses on how firms in emerging mar­kets can suc­ceed by expanding into other coun­tries. He recently returned from Brazil, where he gave com­pa­nies in the food and bev­erage industry advice on improving their inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion strate­gies, which can include repack­aging prod­ucts to rebrand them for global markets.

Inter­na­tion­al­izing, Cuervo-​​Cazurra says, gives firms valu­able insight into new cul­tures, con­sumer bases and dis­tri­b­u­tion methods, which often helps them improve their prod­ucts at home—even if for­eign expan­sion fails.

But busi­nesses in emerging mar­kets that seek to expand glob­ally face a unique set of chal­lenges. As Cuervo-​​Cazurra puts it, “Multi­na­tionals in the devel­oped coun­tries such as the United States must deal with coor­di­nating existing oper­a­tions. Yet prob­lems are larger for those in devel­oping coun­tries, including how com­pa­nies focused on the domestic market move into the inter­na­tional arena, and how they deal with the poor image” that their country might have overseas.

Prior to joining the North­eastern fac­ulty, Cuervo-​​Cazurra served as an asso­ciate pro­fessor of inter­na­tional busi­ness at the Darla Moore School of Busi­ness at the Uni­ver­sity of South Car­olina. He earned two PhDs, from the School of Eco­nomics and Man­age­ment Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca in 1997, and from the Sloan School of Man­age­ment at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology in 1999.

Cuervo-​​Cazurra, whose schol­ar­ship aligns with the Col­lege of Busi­ness Administration’s emphasis on global research, plans to col­lab­o­rate with fac­ulty in crim­i­nology and law on his research into cor­rup­tion in inter­na­tional business.

He was drawn to the North­eastern for many rea­sons, including the University’s Center for Emerging Mar­kets, com­mit­ment to sus­tain­ability and sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram.

A native of Spain, Cuervo-​​Cazurra was urged by his advisor at the Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca to study in another country. He says Northeastern’s emphasis on inter­na­tional expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties is special.

There’s some­thing unique here,” he says.