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Business Etiquettes and Practises in South America

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The basic brief was, what are the things which you will like to keep in mind..if you are attending a meeting in South America

The basic brief was, what are the things which you will like to keep in mind..if you are attending a meeting in South America


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  • 1. Business Etiquettes and Practices in South America -- Group III 2-Vaibhav Awasthi 3-Govind Singh 56-Sachin Sharma 68-Jatinder Pal Singh 80-Anshul Gupta 81-Puneet Piyush
  • 2. India & South America
    • South America relies heavily on the exporting of goods and natural resources
    • Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world and the second largest in America.
      • Brazil has a total amount of exports at $137.8 billion dollars
      • Chile has $58.12 billion and Argentina $46.46 billion
    Source: Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India Key Info Country Imports from India(in Rs lakhs, during April to Aug ‘09) Brazil 329580 Colombia 71422 Chile 57699 Argentina 46164 Peru 39123
  • 3. Chile
    • Independence from SPAIN on February 12, 1818
    • German immigration in 1848 influenced ethnic composition
    • Military dictatorship (1973–1990) government sold many state-owned companies
    • Steady growth and reduced poverty rates by sound economic policies
    • Privatization by democratic governments since 1990
    • Currently, Chile is one of South America's most stable & prosperous nations with technologically avid people.
    • Chile is strongly committed to free trade with high FDIs
    • 80% of FDI to electricity, gas, water and mining sectors
    • The Constitution provides freedom of religion
    • World class industries in Copper Mining, Forest products, Fruit, Fishing and Salmon
    • One of the best places to invest and do business in all of Latin America.
      • stable economy,
      • very low inflation
    Language Spanish Population 17 million GDP growth 5.1% in 2007 Key Info Source: Press
  • 4. Chilean Business
    • Conservative and honest- Hard-sell techniques are not appropriate
    • Well versed in international business and technology, well travelled, well-educated, and quite sophisticated. 
    • Dominated by small cliques of company owners centred around business associations.
    • At the individual level, Chilean companies are fairly rigid in their hierarchy
    Source: Press
  • 5. Chilean Business People Customs
    • Two surnames on business cards -the father's first and then the mother's.
    • Proud of Chilean wine and the natural beauties of Chile
    • Slow business activities in January and February
    • Jobs available if you no someone in company “ JUGAAD”
    • Do not answer e-mails, faxes, letters or phone calls promptly.
    • Less punctual
    • Highest rates of working hours in the world
    • Clearly established hierarchy in companies
    • It is illegal to work in Chile on a tourist visa though many foreigners find temporary work
    Source: Press
  • 6. Brazil – Certain Key Facts Type of State Federal Republic based on parliamentary documentary Type of Economy 15 th largest world economy Upper- Middle Income Economy Emerging Financial Market Human development Index Rank 70 th /177 Political Stability Stable with friendly relations with all western countries Top Business Centres Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Belo Horizonte Ethnic groups 55% whites, 38% mixed white and black, 6% black, 1% others Business Language Portuguese followed by Spanish Market 5 th largest market oppurtunity after China, India, Indonesia , USA Source: Press
  • 7. Brazilian Social Culture
    • Fusion of Portuguese, African and indigenous Indian influences, resulting in a rich, distinct culture
    • Famous for hospitality, openness and colorful and rhythmic events such as Carnival
    • Family-
            • Collectivist Society
            • Large and Close knit families
            • Most business are family run
    • Relationships
        • People spend time knowing each other personally and professionally
    • Time -
        • Relaxed and Flexible manner
        • Punctuality and Precise plans are not common
        • Life and Business run at slow pace leading to delayed negotiations and deals
        • Meetings are also delayed and cancelled without any prior warning.
    Source: Press
  • 8. Brazilian Business Culture
    • Schedule business appointments at least two to three weeks in advance
    • Brazilians love socialising and spending time with each other
    • Brazilians are quite fashion conscious. It is important therefore to dress smartly and conservatively
    • Business Practises
      • Handshakes while greeting business colleagues.
      • Addressing brazilian counterpart with their title and surname .
      • Hiring middleman, to help in business dealings
      • making eye contact shows you are paying attention, interested and honest.
    • Brazilian companies
      • vertical hierarchies
      • managers at the top make most of the decisions.
      • Top positions mostly dominated by men
    Source: Press
  • 9. Colombia
    • Official Language: Spanish; Business Languages: Spanish and English
    • Currency Used: Colombian Peso
    • Business Scenario: An inviting country to international investments and business opportunities
      • Companies are family owned
      • Communication tend to be in an indirect and subtle manner. It is important to not offend others and always be as diplomatic as possible
      • Meaning is conveyed through non-verbal forms of communication and often a Colombian will say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ instead of saying ‘no’ to avoid losing face and maintain harmony
    • Business lunches are a favourable method of conducting business in Colombia and often go on for several hours
    Source: Press Key Info
  • 10. Colombia
    • Handshakes are the most common form of greeting. Offering your hand upon arrival as well as departure is an essential part of Colombian culture
    • Titles are important and frequently used when addressing someone
      • Since first names are generally only used with family and close friends, one should wait until invited to address someone in this way
      • Titles are important and should be used to show respect to those with authority, especially elder and more senior members of the group
    • Business negotiations are generally a lengthy process
      • It is imperative not to rush this process and take the time to continue developing relationships for negotiations to be successful
    Source: Press Business Practices
  • 11. Colombia Source: Press Business Etiquette (Do’s and Don’ts) Do’s Don’ts Expect to spend a lot of time getting to know your business counterparts before any business takes place Rush business dealings with your colleagues and avoid pressing for final decisions Translate all your marketing literature, business cards and any other documents you present in your business dealings into Spanish. Failure to do so may jeopardise your business potential Be overly aggressive while negotiating business deals, as it is considered rude and often perceived as arrogant Accept invitations from your Colombian business counterparts to social or business occasions as these are an ideal time to develop relationships Ignore formal Colombian dining etiquette as this will reflect poorly on you as an individual and will also negatively impact any business dealings in Colombia
  • 12. Argentina– Certain Key Facts Type of State Federal Presidential republic Type of Economy Upper- Middle Income Economy Emerging Financial Market Human development Index Rank 49 th /177 Political Stability Stable with friendly relations with all western countries Top Business Centres Buenos aires, Ethnic groups 85% Europeans, 13% mixed ethnic origins and 2% Amerindians. Business Language Spanish , contractual documents need to be in Spanish Business culture History of turmoil and unrest , more focus on quick wins and personal relations Source: Press
  • 13. Argentina Business Habits
    • A state conscious society ,extreme hierarchy, published organization chart may not reflects the actual structure .
    • Boss act like boss, yet deep interpersonal relations exist
    • Clear instructions. Greater emphasis on the spoken word. Don't rely solely on email message — follow up with a phone call.
    • It is difficult to arrange meetings too far in advance , which begin with small talks.
    • Less pre-meeting preparation. Flexibility of thought and action are valued
    • Free debate viewed positively .Express opinions strongly.
    Source: Press
  • 14. Argentina Business Habits
    • Noisy meetings , frequent interruptions and extensive use of gesture and exaggerated body language.
    • Tough negotiations, no easy concessions , Good relationships helps
    • Dress is very important for making a good impression
    • Maintain eye contact, do not be put off if people stand in close proximity to you .
    • Business meals as social situation, Essential Good table manners following the European convention
    • Avoid issues such as past political problems, South American levels of poverty or the Falklands/Malvinas.
    Source: Press
  • 15. PERU Source: Press
  • 16. ABOUT COUNTRY
    • Total Population : 27,898,182
    • Annual growth rate: 1.1%
    • Density: 22 inhabitants/km²
    • Main Cities: Lima (Capital), Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura.
    • Languages Spoken: Spanish, Quechua (Mostly spoken) Aymara and English.
    • Religion: Catholics 93%, Protestants 5%, Others 2%.
    • Literacy rate: 87.9%
    • Type of State: Republic based on parliamentary democracy.
    • Type of economy: Lower-middle-income economy, Emerging Financial Market. Agricultural, mining and tourism activities are the dominant sectors.
    Source: Press Peru
  • 17. BUSINESS CULTURE AND ETHICS
    • Peruvians have a relatively flexible approach to time so don’t be surprised if business meetings or social functions begin late. Keep a few hours open for appointments.
    • Peruvians place a high emphasis on relationship building. Cultivating friendships will help to be more successful in the business world in Peru.
    • Decisions and ideas are often generated at the top so it’s important to schedule meetings with high level managers.
    • Business in Peru is conducted mostly in Spanish. Thus, it is wise to bring an interpreter to meetings if you do not have a proficient knowledge of the language.
    • Love for oneness, for country. Eg: Coca Cola, after years, could not hold major share in soft drink market. Inca Kola, local soft drink, always had majority market share.
    Source: Press Peru
  • 18.
    • Peruvians prefer to go on holiday between January and March. So do not plan business meetings during these months.
    • Peruvians prefer to knit their private and professional lives together. So, don’t get surprised if they ask you things about your family or personal life which you may consider to be private.
    • A handshake is the standard greeting. Business attire is formal and professional but conservative.
    • Do address your Peruvian business colleagues with the appropriate title. If you are unsure of the exact title, it is important to use “Señor” or “Señora” followed by his or her father’s surname, as opposed to using the entire name.
    • Remember to keep your hands on the table during dinner functions. Do not bring a set of knives as a gift or any gift that comes in odd numbers to your Peruvian counterparts.
    • Do not use your index finger to beckon someone to come closer as this is considered rude.
    BUSINESS CULTURE AND ETHICS Peru (Cont’d)
  • 19. South America
    • Holiday and Business hours
    • Punctuality
    • Small talk
    • Gestures
    • Attire
    • Greetings and names
    Source: Press Business Etiquettes
  • 20.
    • Thank you