Home to rich, fascinating cultures, long-standing traditions and warm, sociable people, Peru is a country that embraces the personal touch when doing business.
Personal relationships are key to successful business interactions in Peru. Of course, there is always a degree of formality, but less so than most western countries.
Meetings happen in person. You won’t get very far doing business with Peruvians over the phone or emails alone. Initial meetings will be the most formal you will experience in Peru, until you establish a closer, friendlier, relationship with your colleagues. After this, the meetings will become more relaxed and informal. Often, you will find that meetings don’t have official agendas or even a chairperson, but rather the attendees verbally create one at the start of the meeting.
Though Peruvians tend to employ rather rigid hierarchies within most businesses, in meetings, everyone is allowed to speak at any time. This makes meetings generally a very productive affair, with input from various levels within a company.
Negotiations in Peru can be tricky and require a direct, no-frills approach, due to the patriarchal nature of society in the country. Peru’s history of nepotism is also often a factor when negotiating. Many businesses comprise entire families, with one family member in charge who will be particularly protective over the family business, so any offers must be realistic and reasonable. Peruvian business-owners respond to an honest and frank negotiation style.
The Business of Entertainment
Peruvians pride themselves on being brilliant hosts, and there is no exception when it comes to business. Expect late nights and early starts for the duration of your stay.
Entertainment frequently involves dining out at restaurants and it will usually be assumed that you eat meat, so it is wise to make it known early on if you are a vegetarian/vegan. Lunches will be treated differently to dinner, which are a purely social occasion with minimal business chat. You will find far more business talk at lunches, which are often just a more social way of continuing business matters.
It is quite common to be invited to a business breakfast when time is short and there are few other opportunities to get through everything that needs to be covered. They are fast-paced and to the point so go prepared.
Peruvians are proud businesspeople, who have not lost that endearing personal touch when it comes to professional etiquette. A long-standing business relationship with a Peruvian is an extremely rewarding and unique experience.