In 2018, the Swiss Business Hub chile conducted a market study and published a brochure about the opportunities for Swiss companies in this market. Three years later, we wanted to hear directly from the companies and representatives how their experience in Chile have been. We interviewed the representatives of Swiss Medtech companies in the areas of ophthalmology, ventilation and emergency equipment, pain and physiotherapy as well as dental tools. In the following you can read about the insights we received.
When it comes to how relationships are established between the Swiss companies and their representatives in Chile, most of them mentioned they met at a trade fair or congress. In Chile, there are Expodent and Expo-Hospital, the latter being an exhibition and conference of medical technology companies, clinical-hospital equipment and solutions for the health sector. Its 9th issue is planned to take place this September. Outside of Chile, first contacts were also made in Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the USA.
Most of the representatives had only one Swiss product in their portfolio but showed interest in expanding their product range with other Swiss medical devices. This willingness was not surprising as all of them highlighted the professionalism, high quality and ethical standards as well as the reliability of the Swiss companies and their products. These were the main reasons for a cooperation.
However, there was one common critical element which can be expected: the price. Many said that in Chile (and Latin America) the purchasing power and budgets are smaller and hence, the buyers are more price sensitive. Competing with other premium products from countries like Germany, Japan or the US, the higher price sometimes could not be justified enough. But the interviews also shed light on strategies and arguments speaking for the Swiss offering and their price:
- The most difficult phase of a market entry is to break the habits of customers. Therefore, a good strategy can be to enter with a lower pricing model in order to show the quality and performance of the product to then later marginally increase the price.
- With a technical demo of the product and personal meeting, clients can be convinced of the mid-term benefits of the investment in the product.
- Premium products require a representative specialized in this segment who follows closely the marketing and sales strategy of the represented company and provides a perfect customer experience from end to finish.
- A high degree of innovation will justify the higher price.
- After-sales, guarantees and maintenance services are important to Chilean clients and can make the difference.
- Public tenders communicate their price range so the applying companies will compete with a similar price structure and the quality and other aspects weigh more.
- Public hospitals might have a lower budget but the volumes tend to be higher.
If you’re interested in Chile, take a look at our interview with a local expert that provides more insights and shows the current opportunities of the Chilean Medtech market.
For an overview about the Medtech market in Chile, read our brochure or contact us for an individual consulting session.