Part of the group travelled to Guatemala City to meet with various local suppliers, in order to find new sources of raw materials ranging from organic cotton, fabric, zippers, precious stones, an assortment of beads, and precious metals. Our objective was to initiate the relationship with suppliers on behalf of Mercado Global, and then evaluate each supplier based on a list of predetermined criteria.
We quickly realized that doing business in Guatemala is very different. The importance of face to face interaction is crucial. In addition, being foreigners gave us instant credibility with suppliers. Business here is based on forging a strong relationship in order to facilitate trade. For example, credit terms are not based on financial credentials, but rather on trust between the seller and the buyer. There are also no formal contracts that are signed in order to do business.
These are some photos of some of the vendors we met, and some samples of products we were sourcing. Our visits in the capital were very successful.