Step 3: The Adventure Starts | Country Visits

by | Jul 16, 2019 | Knowledge Center | 0 comments

“When is the right time to do Country Visits?” – 

“Which country is the most attractive market for my expansion in Latin America” – 

“What is the best strategy to enter and conquer this market?” –

“How do I find the right partner to support my business in Latin America?” –

“What are the costs and risks involved in our market entry and how can we control them?”

If you are in charge of expanding your company’s presence in Latin America you will inevitably be confronted with questions such as these. And you will have to come up with the right answers. Every case might result in a different answer, yet there are some generally valid points that every company or investor should keep in mind when planning to do business or invest in Latin America.
Here’s what I have learned in 9 years of advising and supporting foreign companies and investors as Market Entry Specialist in Latin America:

Step 3: The Adventure Starts: Do Country Visits to the Country You Have Selected

Once you have made a selection of the most attractive countries in the region it is time to get to know them in person. No amount of research and investigation about a country can replace the insight gained from a personal visit and by spending time ‘on the ground’. In just a few days you will get a feel for the market that will shape your decision. Experienced business developers and sales managers have a trained eye to gauge market potential from little details that can be observed in every corner. As they have previous experience in entering new markets they do not spend much time in the country but use every minute of their visit to gather information and reach a conclusion very quickly, based on what they learned.

We recently had the pleasure to observe a prime example of how to conduct a highly effective site visit. An international BPO company hired us to help them organize their site visit in Lima, Peru. Based on our previous comparison of different countries in the region they had chosen Peru as their favorite option to open their first call center in Latin America. Before taking the final decision, the company’s ‘A-Team’ consisting of CEO, Head of Business Development and Global Operations Manager flew in for a lightning visit. In less than 36 hours (!) they pushed through the following agenda:

    • Were given an expert country briefing with a Q&A by our legal and operations team
    • Met with 4 different HR recruiters (previously scheduled by us)
    • Visited 3 different rental office spaces (previously scheduled by us)
    • Visited the city’s main business districts to get a feeling for the best office location
    • Visited some middle class residential areas to gauge living standards
    • Visited some shopping malls to gauge consumer interest
    • Ate in different high-end restaurants – a pure pleasure given the country’s famous cuisine!
    • Spent one night at a business hotel
    • Were debriefed by our country manager to wrap up the visit and review the lessons learned 
    • Took the final decision to enter Peru as their first market in Latin America before catching their flight back home (!)

Only 30 days later we had already established their subsidiary, 30 days after that they had recruited their first team of call center agents, another 30 days later their office was outfitted with high-speed internet and all their IT systems and they were ready to start operating. That is how fast things can go in Latin America!

Summary: How to conduct effective Country Visits

    1. Conduct preliminary research to compare and choose your focus countries.
    2. Use local help to schedule as many meaningful meetings as possible and to organize the logistics of your visit (hotel and restaurant reservations, airport transfer, city transport etc.). 
    3. Talk to as many people as possible during  your trip. Every taxi driver, hotel receptionist or waitress  can give you valuable insights that will complement your perception of the country.
    4. Last but not least: Bring your A-Team on board! Your top management must be fully committed to make your market expansion a success. By inviting your superior or CEO on this trip you will ensure he is vested in the decision and will support you in the long run.

Following the 9 steps during your market entry process will bring you a big step closer to success. At Ongresso, we help you unlock the potential of Latin America by assisting you with successful market entry and hassle free Country Visits

Contact us to set up a free consultation to talk about how we can help you succeed in Latin America. Follow our social media at Linkedin and Facebook.

Daniel Breitenmoser is the Founder and CEO of Ongresso, a Market Specialist in Latin America who assists foreign companies with market entry and the achievement of long term success in the region. In his 9 years in Latin America, Daniel has helped an extensive list of clients across a variety of industries understand local business culture and implement their business model. His passion is to share his knowledge with like-minded people to jointly unlock the potential of Latin America. Originally from Switzerland, Daniel has found his new home in Medellin, Colombia. 

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Our Offices


Ongresso Colombia

Cra. 41 # 9-60 Office 202
Phone: +57 (4) 501 73 78

Cra. 7 # 116-50

Phone: +57 317 441 0629

Ongresso Colombia

Cra. 41 # 9-60 Office 202
Phone: +57 (4) 501 73 78

Cra. 7 # 116-50

Phone: +57 317 441 0629

Ongresso Perú

Jr. Monte Rosa #256,
Office 502

Phone: +51 962 206 868



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9 StepsFor A Successful Market Entry In Latin America

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