March 10th 2008

Small business reality in Argentina

Business reality in Argentina. We met two younger BA residents on board. Hercules Lombard and Monica Aares. Hercules is an Afrikaans from South Africa, who traveled as soon as apartheid was dropped in S.Africa. He met Monica when he hit BA while looking for a room. Monica has a low cost hotel (pension). Once they met, his traveling days were over.
They shared the business challenges they face. BA has suffered through 2 economic crisis’s in the past years. Most of the middle class had their savings and equity wiped out. For Monica this means that employees see no hope except in gaming the system.One example is that they work about a year and then do their best to get fired. They receive one month pay as severance. Then they go to the labor board and lie that they worked perhaps 20 years. Hercules and Monica have not won a case like this yet. Monica went back to school and passed her bar exam, to at least reduce the legal bills.
Another issue is finding good employees, ones who will take any responsibility. They have tried many things including importing workers from Europe. However the imports soon figure out the rules and the game is played again.


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