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The economic crisis that Venezuela is going through is under the focus of the international gaze. Are there businesses that thrive despite the crisis?
The answer is yes, according to Luis García, general manager of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Venamcham), who affirms that Venezuelan companies are not disappearing, but are adapting to the crisis. Of course, such a claim depends on certain variables, such as changes in consumers and their needs. "If we talk about consumers, the Venezuelan consumer of today is different and in that sense, as a company, I have to know what product or service the Venezuelan is interested in acquiring," says García. For that reason, not all companies will succeed in the middle of the crisis, but only those belonging to industries that have constant consumers.
Leer en español: 5 negocios que aún dan dinero en Venezuela
Here are the five industries or businesses that come out in the middle of the crisis:
We must bear in mind that one of the strong points that companies have in the midst of this economic crisis is that, by decreasing imports, indigenous products have more presence and are more consumed because they are cheaper and more accessible. That is the case of rum, which today is very competitive in the Venezuelan market.
Years ago, the most widely consumed beverage in Venezuela was the imported Scotch whiskey, but now with the crisis, there are no longer so many foreign currencies and among the products that are scarce is whiskey. For this reason, the rum made in Venezuela has gained weight.
"Due to the country's problems, the big importers of whiskey have seen their import limited and more rum has begun to be consumed," Jesús Alfaro, president of the Ron Producers Association, told BBC. He also affirmed that the increase in the production of rum has led to the creation of new Premium categories that have raised the status of the beverage, which was previously considered to be well below whiskey.
Even in difficult times, entertainment is an industry that will always attract, and in Venezuela, although the entertainment industry has also been affected, there is still a part that has made efforts to overcome the crisis and adapt to the needs of the consumer. In the field of theater, for example, there are groups that continue to organize events and festivals to reach citizens and distribute culture in the midst of the difficult situation. Likewise, movie theaters do not disappear either and offer special offers and a variety of options to purchase tickets.
In the midst of the crisis Venezuelans continue to worry about their academic training and for that reason, universities and institutes do not disappear, on the contrary, they offer options for people to continue training. The modalities of online education, for example, are a good option to avoid facing the transport deficits of the country, and in this way can be certified without the need to take face-to-face classes.
4. Used items
With hyperinflation, the prices of items such as clothing and household appliances are also inaccessible to Venezuelans. This, added to the need to generate additional income, has meant that the sale of second-hand items has increased.
5.Technology: Apps and Bitcoin
With the advance of the internet and smartphones, designing applications is a good option in the midst of the crisis, since they can reach different parts of the world and are paid in dollars. Likewise, the development of new technologies is also seeking the benefit of Venezuelan citizens. This is the case of Vikua, a technology company that has dedicated to developing new ways to pay the Metro, Trolleybus, and buses of Venezuela by means of cards or electronic devices.
On the other hand, the famous Bitcoin cryptocurrency has become a means of coping with the alarming devaluation of the bolivar. According to the BBC, in 2014 a bitcoin was equivalent to 40,000 bolivars, and at the beginning of last year, it was negotiated at 3.2 million. The way to obtain bitcoins is by calculating operations using special computers. This process consumes a lot of electricity, but the people who operate it do not have to pay for it because in Venezuela electricity is subsidized by the government.
According to Coindance, a portal of bitcoin performance statistics in different countries, between May and June of this year 3,354 bitcoins were traded in Venezuela. The amount that exceeds by 40% the number of bitcoins traded in Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Mexico as a whole.
LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Barinas Ortiz
Translated from "5 negocios que aún dan dinero en Venezuela"