In a recent blog post we unveiled the top 4 British brands we spotted recently in Punta del Este, a beautiful premium resort in the Atlantic coast of Uruguay. Punta del Este is in itself an attractive market to explore for some niche products and services, but it can also be the gateway to Uruguay and, more significantly, to the whole region (including Argentina and Brazil, who supply “Punta” with most of its high-end visitors).
We visited Punta del Este and tweeted live – so check out #sunnypunta for some random comments, useful tips and interesting pictures!
So where are the opportunities in Punta del Este? Of course we could answer “in real estate, tourism, hospitality, luxury, retail…” but let’s go beyond the obvious and give you a flavour of how this particular economy works, and the opportunities it offers…
1- Fitness – everyone keeps fit in “Punta”, that’s a rule. And you get seen when keeping fit, so you wear top brands, or
quirky ones with good design and performance.
2- Sport – and premium ones. With all the accompanying paraphernalia. And the services that supply it. From golf buggies to polo ponies, from tennis rackets to hockey sticks, it’s all here. And remember cycling, that’s a big one (check out Brompton bikes on our last post).
3- Complementary therapies – whether it’s hot stones or yoga, they are in high demand, as well as the goods that go with them.
4- PR, branding, advertising, marketing and communication services – Punta is a seasonal market where fortunes are decided in a space of weeks (about 8 weeks, to be precise), so businesses invest. A lot.
5- Event management – this is a party place, but it also concentrates congresses, conferences, exhibitions, gourmet tastings, fashion shows and much more. If you’re a real event pro, this is your place (talking of which, this was David Guetta at Punta del Este early this month).
6- International services – Uruguay is probably not the international capital of South America, but Punta del Este is an unusual melting pot – if you can offer international banking, communications, relocation services or education, this is the place for you. And many of these services are now demanded year-long, as “Punta” becomes more attractive as a place for foreigners (particularly Argentines but also Europeans) to live in.
7- Construction – it was cranes and building sites everywhere when I visited. Construction is booming (minus a bit of a hiccup last year). Local architectural, engineering and construction services are strong, but there’s always demand for niche products and services, and opportunities for partnership.
Punta del Este definitely offers more than yachts, sunshine and polo. It is a small and seasonal market, but one worth exploring for certain products and services. It can serve as a test market, or as a bridge for the rest of Uruguay, and for Argentina and Brazil. Summer 2014 is in full swing. It might be too late now. But there’s always 2015…