With declining domestic U.S. defense budgets and increased competition, the smart money is on U.S. and European defense firms who are diversifying internationally into new emerging / less crowded markets. One of those markets is Latin-America. With an attractive spending budget of more that $82 Billion dollars per year, the military and law enforcement markets of Latin America are located in a region of the world where there is an increasing need for your products. However, most U.S. and European defense firms don’t have a clear strategy to sell their products in Latin America and very few of them have a well trained and experienced business development team capable to truly create purchasing preference for their equipment and services. It is critical for defense firms to accurately understand the markets in which they want to operate (with a “robust” cultural understanding of the end user) and how well your products will be accepted.

For instance, and while conducting business in the Colombian defense markets, you will find companies from all over the world competing against you for the same projects, and for access to the exact same MoD clients. Therefore, a fact-based analysis of competitors, early identification of well funded Army programs (to include an intimate understanding of their internal decision-making process and an accurate translation of the political and economic factors that affect the decision making process of the Colombian generals) are all part of the market intelligence profile package you want to have on your desk before you start operating in this country. For instance; which military clients are well funded to buy your tactical equipment right now? What’s the price to win? Who’s the senior key decision maker? What’s the strategy you will implement to create purchasing preference? Do you even have a local sales agent in this country? etc.) So… how do you achieve success? Answer: By using duly vetted and properly selected local agents and in-country distributors.

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