Reentry into Colombia

Problem: Ten years earlier, a large international industrial company had abruptly pulled all of its people out of Colombia and shut down its manufacturing operations in response to a deteriorating security environment that included the kidnapping of company employees. Recently, the company asked the Fairfax Group to help it determine whether to reenter the Colombian market and, if so, to what degree.

Action: The Fairfax Group first developed a three-step plan to assess the risk and vulnerability of doing business in Colombia, relying on both public and confidential sources inside and outside the country. After we completed each step of the plan, the client was able to review our findings in detail and decide whether we should continue to the next step.

The Fairfax Group was able to demonstrate that under certain circumstances the company would be able to build back its businesses. At that point, the firm requested specific empirical data to determine if doing so made sense; i.e., what were the risk/reward ratio and costs? As an independent company that has undertaken such studies around the world, the Fairfax Group enjoys a reputation for protecting its sources and not breaching business confidentiality. As a result, the Fairfax Group was able to survey the top thirty companies doing business in Colombia to determine the nature and extent of their operations, the cost of doing business in Colombia, and their suggestions for navigating this difficult and challenging landscape.

Result: The company decided to reenter the Colombian market in a significant way, following the blueprint we developed to insure the integrity and safety of its operations. Follow-up monitoring has confirmed the success of the reentry and its contributions to the bottom line. Our planned, staged approach served the company well in developing its comprehensive business plans.

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