1. Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
My business background is unusual. Although I work in collaboration with a selection of fellow Latin-American consultants, I essentially operate as a single trader based in
2. Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
The services I undertake include market identification, business strategy development, through-the-door sales & marketing, the identification and creation of sales channels, selection and appointment of distributors, agents or representatives, the creation of suitable materials in target languages for (digital) publicity media, attending exhibitions and championing stands, political lobbying and business visits to anywhere in Latin America. Essentially, anything that the commercial offices can not or will not do.
3. How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
It was so long ago, I can’t remember how I discovered EMITA. As for valuable benefits, these are numerous: the opportunity to learn about specific markets for self-edification or client utility; the opportunity to meet UKTI personnel on a one-to-several or one-to-one basis from markets of interest; the opportunity to meet others from the
4. How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
Although I have enjoyed a 35-year long relationship with
5. What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
I was already living in
(part-) owned a couple of small local companies. I was country manager in
6. What have been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
When Britons think of dealing with LA, they face a number of unsettling factors. The people out there look foreign, they talk foreign, they work in different time zones, they have different customs, and they have slightly or substantially different legal systems and business protocols. One of the key challenges is reassuring the wary that our cousins in
7. What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
There are probably half-a-dozen responses that would fit the bill here but, if I have to pick just one …. Never open a conversation with a potential customer by showing him a list of what it is you are hoping to sell, unless you are specifically asked to do so. Always try to engage in a rapport-building and curiosity-quenching conversation about your customer’s activities in general terms, first, in the hope of identifying an immediate need that you can help him with. Don’t waste his time and yours.
8. What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
Until Gulf War II, it was possible to go to LA and say ‘Look, you are buying this product from the