Today was our first full day in Chile. Given the opportunity, I decided to compare Brazil and Chile both internally and externally. Immediately I realized how much more developed Chile was compared to Brazil. Like Brazilians, many Chileans drive cars. However, there is substantially less traffic in Chile. This is in part due to the number of effective roads and
highways in Chile.
In Brazil, there were many conversations about the government and how it affected Brazilian
businesses. Many of the locals in Brazil, had very strong opinions about their government. The exact opposite is true in Chile. During our presentations today, neither of our speakers spoke pessimistically about the Chilean government. Although there were things that they wished
were different, our speakers had faith in the potential change in politics.
Our first speaker was Martin Perez. Mr. Perez had been involved in corporate investment banking for over 20 years. The purpose of his presentation was to support his following claim: Financially, Chile is one of the strongest countries in the world. Unlike many similar
governments, Chile has a fiscal surplus. The central government is considered financially, an
asset. For this reason, Chile was able to support itself when the financial crisis hit.
Mr. Perez also spoke about the Chilean banking system. He said that “if you destroy the banking system, you destroy the country”. The Chilean banking system has high credit quality, an attractive return on equity, good capitalization, and strict regulation, with increasing focus on consumer growth. By the end of his presentation, Mr. Perez had convinced the group that indeed, Chile is financially one of the strongest countries in the world.
Our second speaker was Peter Murphy. Mr. Murphy was one of the founders of La Bicicleta Verde, or the Green Bicycle in English. When starting up La Bicicleta Verde, Mr. Murphy’s initial focus was the Chilean culture. With their 100% satisfaction guarantee, La Bicicleta Verde quickly
became a top search on TripAdvisor.com. In the following years, La Bicicleta Verde made the
front page of the New York Times. This created major publicity for La Bicicleta Verde. It was exciting to hear that even Beyoncé rented out a number of bikes from this company!
Like many other successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Murphy had overcome adversity multiple times.
Mr. Murphy talked about persistence and how it had been the key to his success. More than anything, this speaker’s perspective on life was very eye opening. He emphasized the
importance of relationships, balance, and happiness, in regards to both work and one’s personal life. He told us, “the one and only thing that you can control is your attitude”. Mr.
Murphy’s positive attitude and outlook on life, has made him the successful entrepreneur that he is today.
Chile is an amazing country. We can’t wait to see what else it has to offer the remainder of our trip. Stay tuned!