HOW TO GET AHEAD: WORKING ABROAD ... SOUTH AMERICA - Business may be erratic but the salsa-filled nights will blast your cares away

Alex Riha, head of international sales at NatMags, spends most of his time working abroad. In his previous role at The Guardian, he frequented Buenos Aires, Santiago, Caracas and Mexico City on a regular basis, launching four editions of Guardian Weekly in partnership with local English titles.

Alex Riha, head of international sales at NatMags, spends most of

his time working abroad. In his previous role at The Guardian, he

frequented Buenos Aires, Santiago, Caracas and Mexico City on a regular

basis, launching four editions of Guardian Weekly in partnership with

local English titles.



’People think Latin America is an homogeneous entity but each country is

different,’ says Riha.



’Many pan-regional campaigns for fmcg brands are planned and bought in

Miami, which complicates communication because local customs and social

issues affect consumer attitudes. Consumers in Buenos Aires and Santiago

look to Europe for their inspiration, while in Mexico City and Caracas,

the focus is on the US.



’Doing business can be tedious. Speed and accuracy are not always

priorities. The flipside is there’s a great willingness to develop and

modernise. Technology and the net are opening up possibilities for

disenfranchised entrepreneurs.



’It helps to know the language (Spanish in all countries except Brazil,

where Portuguese is spoken) and, if you love football, you’ll find much

in common with the locals. Vegetarians have a tough time but if you

enjoy meat, fish and great wine, you’ll love it.



’Dancing is very popular in all cities, from tango in Buenos Aires to

salsa in Rio. The scenery is tremendous throughout the continent. If you

get a chance to live there, you won’t regret it.’



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