Category Archives: News to share

Business Friday – Renewable energy monthly newsletter

So today ill tell you a little about what i do at work. As many know i work at a renewable energy company. We deal with solar and wind power, and sell systems focused mainly on households and small companies.

One of the first things i started when coming into the company was a monthly newsletter, with news and information about the latest in renewable energy and technology related to it. I didn’t mean to make any kind of advertising it it, i just wanted to have a monthly update of what is going on in the world for everyone who is interested. Today I have a few hundred readers, and growing.

If you are interested here’s the link to this months renewable energy newsletter (in Spanish)

And if you like it you can subscribe to it on the Consol Uruguay site on the bottom left.

Business Friday – Perception

This is going to be short, because it is all summed up in one simple sentence:

Truth is  a myth, perception is reality.

What does this mean? Well, lets say no matter how good your intentions are with your company, how great your product is, whatever the customers say about you will become the truth.

The fact is that customer trust other customers a lot more than what they trust you. So it does not really matter what you tell them, if they tell something else to each other you are in disadvantage.

Take the example from Coca-colas water Dasani, which (at least in Uruguay and Argentina) was called to be unhealthy and dangerous for children to drink. No matter what the company said, how many analyses they did just to show the public it was not true, the sales for dasani would not increase.

Peoples perception is whats dictates what is true and what is not in business terms.

Business Friday – Innovation

Today I heard a some news. Good news specially for our country, but good news for the rest of the world too.

Maldonado, Uruguay has seen the opening of the first School of innovation and business development in South America. Second in Latin America only to the “Universidad Madero” in Puebla, Mexico.

This is good news, because the concept of innovation and development has been taken too lightly for a long time in business schools. Innovation is a fundamental part of growing enterprises and markets around the world.

The university, located in Maldonado, about 120km from Montevideo, Uruguay, is offering a 4 year course that includes some very interesting subjects, like entrepreneurship, creativity and marketing in new environments, all very valuable concepts for a company.

No matter how big or how small, no matter if it deals in products or services, if they are b2b or b2c (business to business or business to customer),  innovation has to be on a companies prime cultural assets.

Heres the link to their site:

You are big, i am smart

Today im going to tell you a very interesting success story of a small local company, who outwitted big multinational companies in Uruguay.

As many of you know, Uruguay is a small country. This may be bad for a lot of things business related, but has one good aspect to it. Since its a small market multinational companies don’t care too much about it, which makes national companies have a little better chance to be successful in markets generally dominated by the big ones, as soft drinks and beverages, potato chips and other chiplike products or even bathrooms products and medical supplies.

This story is about a small beverage company (for those Uruguayans “NIX”), who fought hard and fair against the two big soft drink companies, “Coca cola” and “Pepsi” in Uruguay. Using the leitmotiv: “We are small and we all know each other” they started to grow and gain customers everywhere in the country. And since the big companies didn’t really care about this small company, they let it grow unimpeded. After some years in the market, this small company’s soft drink sales beat those of of Pepsi and was getting close to the ones of Coca cola.

So the two big ones had to do something. And what they might even sound ethically questionable. They used their powerful position with the supermarkets, and some say there was even some cash given, to make them close their doors to the products of the small company. This means the small company had a lot of trouble in getting to their customers. A lot people could not buy their products as they weren’t available in the places they looked for them. The big companies shut down the small ones best distribution channel. (note that over 70% of grocery sales in Uruguay are made through Supermarket chains)

Now what to do if you are small, try to sell your product, but big companies cut off your way to get to your customers? You go to these supermarket chains and tell them something like this:

“So, do you want to sell my product? No?… now why?

I know you are being pressured and maybe even getting money from those big ones… so lets do a deal.

I don’t bother you anymore with my products, and don’t report nor do anything about that, but only if you do something special for me.

What? Well, since they tell you not to sell my soft drinks i ask you to sell, and promote, this other product i have, my line of drinking water.” (for those Uruguayans, the water line is called “Nativa”)

In this way they avoided the big companies pressure on supermarkets, and got to the customers in a different way. They changed the game, leaving the big companies out of the picture and selling non competitive products.

Today they still sell Nix soft drinks, and still are not capable of entering in the supermerket chains with that product, but with the “Nativa” water sales they have reached 2. place in sales. A true success story, about  how being small does not mean you have to let yourself be beat by the big companies.