Terra Colligo Latam is the new member of the Finnish-Latin American Business Council. Attached please find our interview with the new member.

Which kind of commercial activity the company you represent has in the Latin American markets – in which country/countries?
Terra Colligo Latam is part of Terra Colligo group. We have operations in both Finland and Mexico. Our main job is to provide IT solutions for organizations. We specialize on ERP solutions and are an official Odoo partner.

Which kind of advice would you like to give for a Finnish company planning to enter the Latin American markets?
We started our operations in Mexico in 2017 and here are my two cents:

  1. You absolutely need to speak Spanish. You simply cannot make by with English only. There is no shortcut.
  2. Even though Mexico and European Union have a free trade agreement, in practice it means very little. European businesses who want to start their operations in Mexico face excessive bureaucracy. Starting from company formation which is total pain compared to the Finnish process. You need to get used to visit Mexican offices multiples times and the bureaucracy is staggering. If you happen to have a last name with diaresis (öäå), prepare to encounter an extra pain before your business is even registered.
    Immigration procedure and tax office (SAT) give many challenges to newcomers.
  3. Get a decent lawyer who can manage bureaucracy on your behalf and outsource everything possible to him or her.
  4. As a Finn you would expect to agree on a business meeting and that the meeting will happen on agreed time and date. This is not the case in Mexico. Meetings frequently get cancelled and no-shows are a common occurrence. For those to happen, one needs to confirm the meeting at least three times, last time on the previous night.
  5. Auxiliary staff in the office is cheap. Do not be stingy when it comes to hiring assistants
  6. Do not expect the staff to be similarly self-starters as in Nordic countries.
  7. Mexico from the eyes of a Finnish person is very hierarchical.
  8. You cannot overdress. Get a tailored suit and use it.
  9. Mexicans tend to like to do business with persons who they know. Smile. Take it easy. Do small talk. Do not go straight to the point.
  10. Always, always ask your business partners about their family.

Please, tell us your success story in one of the Latin American countries?
Mexican IT systems are pretty much still in the pen and paper (or Excel sheets) era. It is rather easy to show value of advanced IT systems.

How do you see the position of the Latin American countries in your activities during the 5 coming years?
There is a ton of opportunities to automatize processes of Latin American countries. We see digitalization being a real megatrend.

Your moto to do business in the Latin American countries? We are passionate for your success.

Company in a nutshell

Name: Terra Colligo Latam SAPI de CV
Products: Odoo ERP, Repsly, Edufar
Home place: Mexico City, Mexico
Personnel: 6 persons
Turnover: 4.5 million pesos