The British-Chilean Chamber of Commerce is a partner of the Linguaphone Group, based in Santiago, helping support the Group’s entry into Chile. Here Karl Royce, their Business Development Manager, outlines why investors should consider Chile as a place to do business. He also offers tips for any potential Master Franchisee looking to secure the franchise rights to Pingu’s English or Direct English across Chile.
• What is the key remit of the British Chamber of Commerce in Chile?
The British-Chilean Chamber of Commerce was established in 1917 as a membership organisation. Since then, it has been a key platform for British and Chilean companies and individuals to network, conduct business, stage events, keep informed, and forward shared interests. In 2017, the Chamber celebrates its centenary with a healthy membership of 180 companies.
Since 2014 the Chamber has run a separate business unit providing bespoke, on-demand services to UK exporters. This unit is Britcham Chile Services, and provides business development to companies new to market as well as those already well established in the market. Projects include market evaluation, partner and distributor searches, creating meeting agendas and seminars/receptions. Britcham Chile Services gains access for clients and opens doors, and critically it associates the high reputation of its 100-year heritage with the quality of its clients’ brands.
• Why should an investor consider Chile for developing a business?
There are many reasons why British investors and businesses look to Chile first, when considering opening new business in South America. Chile has enjoyed over 25 years of economic growth and political stability, it has the highest GDP per capita in the region and is the first South American country to become a member of the OECD.
Chile comes first, or among the first, in the region in just about every ranking that an investor might wish to see: World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, WEF’s most competitive nation, transparency, respect for the rule of law, safety and security. In addition, Chile’s start-up sector has become a regional leader, leading many to dub Santiago ‘Chilecon Valley’.
Chile has free trade agreements with 64 countries around the world (including with the EU), more than any other nation on earth, allowing goods to reach a potential market of 4.3 billion people.
After Brazil, Chile is Britain’s second largest export market in South America and is refreshingly simple to trade with. It has a sophisticated demand profile that matches well with British goods and services, is open to trade and welcomes and values imports.
• What is the potential for a quality English language training business in Chile for children and adults?
Speaking English is highly valued in social and professional environments and greater levels of proficiency have been identified by businesses, authorities and parents as a key skill. Attainment is in general is still disappointingly low, and in a market that already has many companies and institutions offering a variety of English language training courses there is room for new programs that combine quality and flexibility to stand out from the rest.
Language training for children holds large potential with increasing numbers of parents aware that the earlier their children are exposed to English, the easier they will learn and the higher their educational and professional achievements will be.
• What is the franchise market like in Chile at the moment?
The franchise market in Chile, as in much of Latin America, is still seen as a relatively new, but fast-growing area. Currently it is estimated that the franchise market is worth an annual US$ 860 million per year in Chile, and is growing in excess of 20% per year. Indeed, estimates predict that at current growth levels, the market could be worth US$ 2.5 billion a year in Chile in the next few years.
The growth in the franchise market in Chile is currently being led by food and fast food outlets, fashion brands, and the construction of new shopping malls. With low entry barriers, and access to the Peruvian and Colombian markets, a franchise in Chile can reach a potential market of 100 million people in a region with a growing economy and increasing levels of disposable income.
• What tips would you give any potential Master Franchisees looking to secure the nationwide Chilean rights to an international ELT brand such as ours?
Talk to us! We combine high level guidance and ground level work in making the connection between Chile’s good prospects and getting a deal done. And for any potential Master Franchisee that wants to go it alone, be communicative, proactive and persistent.
• As a British company, what is your experience of working with the Linguaphone Group?
Linguaphone Group has a defined goal and a strong feeling of what they can achieve in Chile with the right partner and continue to bring experience and persistence to the project. The Chamber is pleased with the progress to date and delighted with Linguaphone Group’s proactive input. We will certainly toast Linguaphone Group’s success when they appoint a partner in Chile, and expect to raise our glasses soon.”