March 14, 2014
-How really, really “BIG” business is usually done in Latin America… as opposed to the kind of small enterprises most of us gringos and expats get involved in.
-In every Latin country there are 20 or so mega-wealthy land-owning families with a monopoly on basic agricultural commodities and traditional industries like coffee, sugar, tobacco, cement, electric utilities, steel, as well as some older technologies like radio and TV frequencies, stations, newspapers, etc. These entitled families traditionally buy politicians like candy … so they’ve been calling the shots politically for decades and thus easily squelch any local upstart competition (sound familiar?) But alas, in the past ten years first-world mega-companies like Nestle, Johnson and Johnson, Siemens, etc., with their first-rate marketing and advertizing machines have landed and are intent on conquering. Trans-nationals have their own kind of mega “gringo advantage” and as of late have been taking hefty bites out of the old-school moneyed class.
Bottom line: the old money never had that kind of serious competition before (or really any kind of competition) so they’re scrambling. Many of these lumbering giants are so inflexible and land rich (with such top-to-bottom management sclerosis) that massive structural changes are in the works. As the old saying goes, “Oh how the mighty have fallen.” No, not that they’ve fallen yet... but some are teetering: and with the massive real estate bubble that old money is now heavily invested in… they will soon get duly burned. Hurray! It’s about time too!
-Do follow the link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com to schedule a private consultation with me. If you want to discuss the details of living, working, playing, doing business and/or retiring in Latin America, now you and I can talk about your situation one on one.