Shortly after opening our doors in June 2008, we finished up work from Competitive America, and in quick succession were hired by Scuderia O2 and PayParade. i-nova and Customer Solutions Group followed suit. As I look back at our first 6 months, I'm thankful to our clients and proud of the work we've delivered for them. It's been a thrill for me to work with such talented creative individuals here in Buenos Aires including Arman, Maru, Gustavo, Tina, Carlos and Jimmy.
As I look forward to 2009, we're expanding our relationships with most of our clients, as well as welcoming a handful of new ones. Our growing portfolio (not yet posted to our website) now boasts Corporate ID, online promos, HTML Emails, flash modules and other work. We're well resourced and prepared to meet the challenges of 2009.
Creating Opportunity in Buenos Aires | Wednesday, June 4, 2008
After returning to the US from a Brazil vacation (July ’06), I met with friends and contacts in NY, Miami and California to discuss potential business opportunities in Buenos Aires. A friend from Santa Barbara, California put me in touch with a young entrepreneur in Buenos Aires who ran a burgeoning website development business out of his apartment. And then the entrepreneurial bug bit me.After further conversations in the states and Buenos Aires, I came up with the business model. Using my network from a 20-year marketing career in the US, I would recruit US-based companies, initially targeting ad agencies and small businesses, and provide them with a range of marketing services from Buenos Aires. With a wealth of technical, creative and bilingual talent, I would offer premium work to US companies. So Ventango was born. In mid 2008, after nine and a half years with JPMorgan Chase Card Services and after having launched 3 US Hispanic Marketing programs during that time, I’ve relocated to Buenos Aires and my shop in Palermo. I’ll also spend about half my time In Miami and New York.
The beauty of Buenos Aires and its reputation as a cosmopolitan and culturally rich city with a smoking nightlife has been well hyped as evidenced by the record tourism numbers over the last couple of years. The economy is making great strides from the devaluation of 2001 and tourism and the textile industries, among others, are leading the charge. While the peso remained pegged to the dollar on a one-to-one basis pre-2001, hip and stylish Argentines were buying the latest European and American fashions at local boutiques or on their trips abroad. After the peso devalued (initially to four and now) to three for every dollar, this became prohibitively expensive. Local manufacturers took note and the industry rebounded. Boutiques chock full of quality fashionable local merchandise dot ultra-trendy Palermo Soho and are packed on any given day or night by strikingly attractive locals as well as Americans and Europeans for whom this has become one the best bargain shopping destinations in the Americas.
I have my favorite shopping spots in the city and my fiancée and I frequent preferred restaurants like Bar Uriarte, Mott, the BoBo Hotel's restaurant and Casa Cruz. My latest discovery is Oui Oui on the outer edge of Soho. Try it for an amazing brunch and a homey but cool atmosphere. Of course, in Buenos Aires, whether in any of the Palermo neighborhoods, la Recoleta, Cañitas, Belgrano or Puerto Madero, to name a few, one can find a great new café, bar or restaurant by just walking down any street. And unlike in the US, when a couple or a group of friends park themselves on an outside table during a busy weekday evening or weekend, they're expected to spend at least a couple of leisurely hours in heated conversation or simply joking around about anything that strikes their fancy. And expect to see lots of PDA as couples are given to smooching and affectionate hugging. I’m sure that many of my US-based clients will force themselves to visit my shop in Palermo and am well prepared to show them about town. I only suggest they bring boundless energy and a joie de vivre to the city that I now call home and is the perfect mix of work and pleasure.
In Buenos Aires on Business | Wednesday, June 4, 2008
If you’d like to plan a business trip to Buenos Aires whether you’re in the hospitality, call center, textile, retail, financial or other industries or if you’d like to meet with local business chambers, potential marketing or trade partners, contact us and we’ll help you out or hook you up with someone who can.
And if you simply need to get a table at a popular restaurant, want recommendations on locals’ favorite boutiques and shopping centers or if you need tickets for a concert if it just happens that one of your favorite artists (U2, the Stones, Shakira and Ricky Martin all performed here on their last tours) is in town while you’re here on business, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
Tip: Feel comfortable in making hotel and restaurant reservations via e-mail; you’ll receive thorough responses to your requests/questions and services/prices delivered as promised.
Here’s a few hotel tips based on personal experience.
If you like a more old world style, la Recoleta is the neighborhood for you. Elegant hotels with responsive service catering to all your needs include the Four Seasons and Caesar Park. Think of the Biltmore or Four Seasons in Miami or the Waldorf in New York. Both of these hotels are minutes away from the corporate headquarters of many prestigious multinationals as well as the exclusive Patio Bullrich shopping center, home to some of the most fashionable shops and cafés in Buenos Aires.
If scenic and trendy is your preference, try Puerto Madero. The boutique and restaurant-laden boardwalks running for a couple of miles on either side of the Mar del Plata have made this a destination neighborhood. The Faena Hotel somehow combines highly decadent fashion with classic Argentine elements and first-class service. It’s expensive but well worth it. Think of a more upscale Delano (Miami Beach). Or the Unique in São Paulo. The Sofitel Madero is a stylish and very reasonably-priced boutique hotel with spacious accommodations and a delectable complimentary Continental breakfast chock full of local treats. Think of the Hotel on Rivington (THOR) in New York, or the Shore Club in Miami or the Mondrian in Los Angeles without the Sky Bars. Also, Puerto Madero is a short cab ride to the Microcentro, the major business district.
If you’d like a true cultural immersion into today’s hip Buenos Aires, stay in Palermo. One of the city’s largest neighborhoods, it has always included upscale sections as well as middle-class intellectual bohemian communities. Currently, its more prominent ‘hoods include Soho, Hollywood (named due to a burgeoning commercial production industry post -2001) and Alto Palermo with no clear demarcation. Soho and Hollywood are dotted with a diverse array of restaurants, bars and boutiques with one thing in common: they’re graced by beautiful spirited porteños (‘caretas’), expats and tourists. There’s an ample selection of great hotels in the surrounding neighborhoods, but Spanish-style houses that have been converted into picturesque bed and breakfast/boutique hotels provide a wonderful friendly setting smack in the middle of all the action. Start with the BoBo and Malabia House and make your reservations as far in advance as possible due to their limited number of rooms and high demand. And be on the lookout for Francis Ford Coppola’s boutique hotel opening (bought in June ‘07).