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Contents FEATURES Cover Story
61. Feature – RG Group of Companies Youth the Future of Business
Editor’s Focus 04. Business Unusual 06. New government elected 06. Business Briefs Business Tech 12. Avoiding the threat of cyber-colonisation 14. LIME’s SME 75 for small businesses 16. Using technology to send work offshore Money Matters 18. US to provide Caribbean with $77m for security 20. Britain commits $40m to ‘Compete Caribbean’ 21. IMF recommends aggressive action 22. EU grants available for food exporters 23. IDB to help with natural distasters 24. OECS growth rate revised downwards for 2011 26. SEC develops CARICOM takeover code 28. Tourist Board & Digicel’s 3-yr sponsorship agreement Environmental Focus 30. IDB grant helping hotels become energy efficient
EXTRAS In the Know 32. Emera acquires LUCELEC shares 33. Caribbean Webcast helping entrepreneurs 34. Boost for Dutch Caribbean business 35. How companies bury their dead 36. Open seas for OECS yachtsmen 38. Being lean is not being mean 40. Chamber elects new executive Profile Focus 44. Disabled, but very able 78. Getting started in business 80. An enterprising education 82. CIBC to invest in youth business 84. How to assess your leadership skills 88. Young and in charge! 92. Global Entrepreneurial Week 94. Bizz Buzz 102. Events 103. Major Moves 106. New Company Registrations
Jan / Feb
Business Unusual! The General Election came and went like a thief in the night. In November 2011, true to his word, Prime Minister Stephenson King gave the nation exactly 21 days notice for Polling Day. Every voter intending to vote breathed a sigh of relief that the time had finally come to exercise his or her franchise - to decide which party and Prime Minister will govern the country for the next five years. Decision day came and the people spoke clearly. The winner was declared and the loser has conceded. Due to lengthy recounts, the new Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, was delayed in naming his Cabinet. Both the CARICOM and OAS observer teams gave St. Lucia a pass mark. Now that the battle is over it’s time to get down to work. The new administration isn’t new to the business of government, the party having previously served two terms in office. Like the preceding regime, this one has only two former Government ministers. Most are starting 2012 relatively new in the game of governance and BF Magazine is pleased to be able to present the ‘Faces of Government’- our leading Public Sector partners for the next five years. Prime Minister Anthony had addressed the Chamber as Opposition Leader ahead of the elections giving the business community clear hints about what its plans could be when in office. He outlined, in detail, some of his policies regarding everything from taxes and employment to concessions, energy policies, fiscal and financial strategies, etc. But he also said back then that whichever party won would not be able to do it alone. A review of the SLP’s manifesto details its Economic Development Program, ranging from restructuring the economy, creating jobs, supporting local businesses, encouraging investment and new policy measures to plans for improving tourism, agriculture and fisheries, creative industries and international financial services. The Chamber of Commerce and other Private Sector organisations need to hold the Government to its promises and to play a proactive role in recreating the positive atmosphere for business that St. Lucia has been known to offer. In addition, the Opposition and the entire financial and economic community will need to join hands with the new Government and work together to pull through the difficulties and deliver ”the better days ahead” as promised. Doing business in St. Lucia needs to become a pleasure and 2012 can be the start to making this year one of national economic revival. To kick-start the New Year, we chose to feature the youth in business for this issue; after all, they are the future of business. Mr. Rayneau Gajadhar of CIE Ltd. is a prime success story and a role model for young St. Lucian entrepreneurs looking for encouragement to take that big leap of faith in venturing out on their own. His contribution to youth business endeavours is also an example to other businesses looking to give back to the community. Attention is also given to other St. Lucian business owners and managers to show that if you dream big and work hard, with the right support you can achieve your goals. Happy Reading. Lokesh Singh Publisher/Managing Editor
The Business Focus Team at AMS wishes St. Lucia a
Very Happy New Year
Happy 33rd Independence Anniversary! and a
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh email: email@example.com Project Coordinator: Alex Foster - firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Designer: Donald Brower Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - email@example.com Hudson Myers - firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Advertising & Marketing Services Ashley Anzie Contributors: Earl Bousquet | Bevil Wooding | Harvey Millar Yvonne Grinham-Nicholson | Michelle Charles Rashid Jean-Baptiste | Richard Branson Raymond Smith | Tatiana Serafin Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email: email@example.com www.amsstlucia.com, www.stluciafocus.com Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication. On The Cover: Rayneau Gajadhar CEO of RG Group of Companies And His Management Team
Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony - Prime Minister of St. Lucia
New Year, New Government, New Challenges! St. Lucia began the New Year with a new government following the most keenly contested General Elections in living memory. Prime Minister Anthony appointed a cabinet that puts the country’s future economic and infrastructural development in the capable hands of experienced political and administrative operators. Philip J. Pierre – who served as the Commerce and Tourism Minister in the two previous Labour administrations – is the new Deputy Prime Minister, with responsibility for Infrastructure, Ports and Transport. Relations with the business community will also occupy a pivotal role in the new government’s thrust, with former Director of National Insurance, Ms. Emma Hippolyte, as Minister for Commerce, Business Development and Consumer Affairs. The business community is certainly looking forward to new opportunities under the new administration. The new Prime Minister indicated at the swearing-in ceremony installing his new cabinet that he’d appointed a team to take charge of returning the country to a state of financial and economic rejuvenation that will also include revival of agriculture and promotion of agro industries. The members of the new administration and their portfolios are as follows: • Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony: Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs • Hon. Philip J. Pierre: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Ports and Transport • Hon. Emma Hippolyte: Minister for Commerce, Business Development and Consumer Affairs • Dr. Ubaldus Raymond: Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of Commerce, Business Development and Consumer Affairs • Hon. Alva Baptiste: Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation • Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis: Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour • Hon. Alvina Reynolds: Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations • Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste: Minister for Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development • Hon. Harold Dalson: Minister for Social Transformation, Local Government and Community Empowerment • Hon. Lorne Theophilus: Minister for Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries • Hon. Shawn Edward: Minister for Youth Development and Sports • Sen. Dr. James Fletcher: Minister for Public Service, Sustainable, Energy and Telecommunications • Sen. Stanley Felix: Minister for Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal • Sen. Victor Lacorbiniere: Minister for Home Affairs, Legal Affairs National Security • Hon. Dr. Desmond “Pep” Long is earmarked for the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. • Attorney General At the time of going to press, this appointment had not yet been made as the position would be reverted to the Public Service. 6
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BOSL’s AGM Joanna Charles and regional good citizenship awardees & representatives of the ECCB
Bank of St. Lucia Honoured by ECCB for Good Corporate Citizenship FCIB to Buy Parent’s Cayman, Bahamas Wealth Arms FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited (FCIB) announced that it inked a deal with its majority shareholder CIBC Investments (Cayman) Limited, to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares in CIBC Bank and Trust Company (Cayman) Limited and CIBC Trust Company (Bahamas) Limited for a consideration of US$76.8 million. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. FCIB will issue 51,917,808 common shares in its capital as payment, which will give its parent 1,445,725,257, or 91.67 per cent of FCIB’s shares, up from 91.39 per cent. The acquired entities provide trust and fund administration services business in the Caribbean to private wealth management clients and institutional investors. Their acquisition will augment FCIB’s growth strategy in the wealth segment. “These businesses are... geographically complementary, they possess strong complementary balance sheets, solid and experienced management teams and their operations will integrate seamlessly with FirstCaribbean yielding cost and revenue synergies,” said FCIB CEO, Rik Parkhill in a press statement. FCIB chairman, Michael Mansoor said the acquisition, “at this time speaks to the confidence we place in our wealth segment to leverage the expertise and product offerings of our parent Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and become the market leading wealth services provider in this region.” ◊ 8
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Bank of Saint Lucia, the largest subsidiary of the East Caribbean Financial Holding Company (ECFH) Ltd., was recently honoured by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), receiving two major Good Corporate Citizen Awards for 2011 in the areas of Educational Development and Cultural Development. The ECCB made the announcement at its headquarters in Saint Kitts at a special awards ceremony on 2 November. For the Educational Development award, Bank of St. Lucia was cited for its significant contributions to St. Lucia’s socio-development via its Guaranteed Student Loan Programme, sponsorship and support of institutions such as the Centre for Adolescent Renewal & Education (CARE) and the National Enrichment Learning Programme; as well as major infrastructural assistance, and support for various school programmes island-wide. For the Cultural Development award, the bank was recognized for its work and support of cultural festivals such as Carnival, Jounen Kweyol, Schools’ Art Festival and St. Lucia Jazz, and also its contributions to the School of Art & Design – St. Lucia (SADS) and other local music, dance and arts academies. Bank of Saint Lucia was also awarded by the ECCB for good corporate citizenship in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Good Corporate Citizen Awards were introduced in 1997 by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to recognize banks that contribute to the development of the people and communities in which they operate through the implementation, support and participation in sound social responsibility projects. ◊
Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan
T&T Courts to Decide in Dispute Over Pan Ownership The Trinidad & Tobago Government and the creator of the Genesis G-Pan have turned to the courts over the ownership of the patent for the modified version of the national instrument, the percussive harmonic instrument (PHI) pan. Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, filed a civil intellectual property rights claim in the High Court late last year, asking for a revocation of the grant for the patent registered to Brian Copeland and two associates. “I would be acting in dereliction of my duty as guardian of the public interest, if, in the face of such advice, I failed to take action, after the country invested almost $50m in the development of our national instrument on this special project,” the AG said. “No one person was responsible for these creations. These are post-graduate UWI students and members of staff who worked on the research project on the understanding that this was a labour of love for the benefit of our country. The state invested heavily in this project and it would be a dereliction of duty if I ignored or failed to act on legal advice provided,” he added. The attorney general is asking, among other things, for the patent to be assigned to the government or its nominee. ◊
Caribbean Airlines Takes Delivery of New ATR 72-600 Caribbean Airlines will start replacing its ageing fleet of Bombardier Q-300s and adding frequencies, routes and passenger capacity with the introduction of new ATR 72-600 Aircraft. The airline took delivery during late November in Toulouse of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft. The Port-of-Spain-based carrier, which became one of the very first operators of the new ‘ATR -600 series’, booked a US$200 million-valued contract earlier this year for the purchase of nine of these aircraft. The aircraft are configured with 68 seats and equipped with the new ATR600s’ standards of comfort, including inflight entertainment. In a statement, ATR said, “With this new ATR 72-600 delivered today, Caribbean Airlines will start replacing its fleet of five 50-seat Q-300s and introducing newest and most technologically advanced turboprops into its domestic routes. The airline will also add passenger capacity and develop new routes and frequencies within Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.” ATR is well established in the Latin American and Caribbean region, with some 140 aircraft in operation, plus more than 60 on order. Commenting on the first aircraft delivery, Robert Corbie, Acting chief executive officer of Caribbean Airlines declared, “The introduction of this very first ATR 72600 aircraft marks a real milestone in our national aviation. It represents the arrival of the most modern and cost-efficient regional turboprop aircraft into our country. It will bring even better connectivity and comfort to our passengers, at optimal fares.” ◊
The British UK Development Minister Alan Duncan (left) cut the ribbon to open the new regional office in Barbados.
Britain Opens New office & Announces More Caribbean Funding Towards the end of 2011, Alan Duncan, the UK Development Minister, officially opened the new offices of the Department for International Development (DFID) Caribbean in Barbados, while at the same time announcing more UK aid for the region. Duncan also met at the function representatives from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the IMF Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). In February 2011, UK Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, announced the allocation of £75 million for the Caribbean (2011-15), as part of the review of UK’s aid to the region. DFID says its Caribbean assistance focuses on wealth creation, governance and security and climate change. The CARTFund was established with £10 million of funding from DFID and is managed by the CDB and overseen by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from DFID, CARICOM and CARIFORUM. It supports the implementation of the CSME and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM and the EU, with the aim of increasing trade within the region and with Europe, and ultimately providing more jobs and increased incomes for Caribbean people. To date, 30 CARTFund projects totalling approximately US $13.5 million have been approved, out of 119 proposals received. They include 8 regional projects and 22 national projects in 14 countries. ◊
ARC 26 – Bigger and Better The 26th annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) took place here in December 2011, with 217 boats from 28 nations leaving Las Palmas in the Canary Islands for the usually rough 2,700-nautical mile race to the IGY Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia. The yachts had onboard 1,188 sailors, 26 of whom were 18 years and under, with the first yacht arriving on 1st December. St. Lucia hosted the first ARC race in 1986, and 21 have ended here since then, each growing in size and participation, especially in recent years. ARC is the largest trans-Ocean sailing event in the world and is becoming increasingly popular. Yachts have capsized, lost masts and in other ways been forced to pull out, but no lives have ever been lost in its 26 races. At the time of going to print, it’s too early to call the full tab, but local tourism officials are confident that the 26th ARC did deepen the island’s tourism coffers. ◊
Jan / Feb
BUSINESS BRIEFS be different from the 2011 release in that it will “Celebrate 81 years of St. Lucia Rum Making” and so on into the future. Both brands have already won Gold Medals in the International Awards for 2011 and have been exported to Europe, North America and Australia. These rums are now available in supermarkets and bars throughout St. Lucia.
St. Lucia Distillers Launches Two New Rums On Thursday November 17th, St. Lucia Distillers hosted a grand Product Showcase and Trade Tasting at the St. Lucia Golf & Country Club in Cap Estate, Gros Islet. The event featured all the major brands produced by the distillery, as well as a variety of wines and imported spirits distributed by the company. With over 100 customers from hotels, bars and restaurants present, the showcase launched its two recent premium rums – Chairman’s Reserve: The Forgotten Casks, and 1931, a Celebration of 80 Years of St. Lucian Rum Making. Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Casks was produced after the company discovered a number of casks which were believed lost after a major fire destroyed the administration and blending facility of St. Lucia Distillers on May 2, 2007. Upon tasting the rum in these casks a wonderfully complex spirit was discovered and it was decided to offer it as a limited release. 1931 – A Celebration of 80 Years of Rum Making celebrates the inauguration of a new distillery in February 1931 in the Mabouya Valley. The distillery was founded by Denis Barnard and produced rum until 1972 when St. Lucia Distillers was formed out of the merging of the Dennery Distillery and the Roseau Distillery. 1931 celebrates this history and St. Lucia Distillers commitment to world class handmade rums. Every year the label colour will change and the passing of every year will be reflected in the updating of the labeling, closure coin, bar code and outer packaging. Therefore the 2012 release will 10
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CFL has Changed the Face of Grocery Shopping in SVG St. Lucia-based Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) has made its mark in neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where, in a short space of time, the company has opened three supermarkets that have changed the name and face of grocery shopping in the multiisland state. On November 21, Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Acting Governor General, Dame Monica Deacon cut the ribbons to open a new Save-a-Lot franchise, a multi-million-dollar investment that came hot on the heels of two Super J-IGA stores opened earlier this year. The newest CFL-affiliated supermarket launched a new brand chain (Save-a-Lot) that will offer high quality food and household items at affordable prices. CFL Chairman, Michael Chastanet said the sizeable investment in St. Vincent was paying dividends and described it as an investment in the growth of the OECS. “As each individual OECS economy grows, the economy of the entire region is strengthened and the prospects for further growth, expansion, employment creation are enhanced,” Chastanet said.
OECS Businesses Want to Invest in Doing Business with Cuba Businesses in the OECS are cautiously welcoming the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the OECS sub-region. The announcement was recently made here by Cuban Ambassador, Lydia Gonzales, who also pointed out that the 4th joint Cuba-Caricom Summit would take
place in Trinidad & Tobago on December 8. Cuba already has diplomatic relations with all independent OECS member-states and the new multilateral relationship through the St. Lucia-based Secretariat will upgrade its level of ties with the Englishspeaking Caribbean. However, several businesses across the islands, large and small, have been relishing opportunities to do business with Cuba. Many say they are aware of Cuba’s production and export of everything from sugar and rum to cigars and cement, but actual trade ties have been strictly limited, with not many businesses aware of the mechanism of how to do business with Cuba. Some local business persons feel that commercial trade should be opened up between Havana and OECS capitals and have been considering approaching the Chamber of Commerce and the Cuban Embassy to investigate the possibility of investing in doing business with Cuba.
New EC $2 Coin in Circulation The member-states of the OECS have a new EC $2.00 coin. It went into circulate towards the end of 2011 and is already being used across the member-states of the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union (ECCU). The new coin was issued in observance of the 10th anniversary of Financial Information Month, observed each October across the OECS member-states in which the monetary affairs of the ECCU are governed by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The new coin has the usual face of Queen Elizabeth II on one side, with the other side featuring the logo of Financial Information Month – a tree growing out of the palms of two hands and the motto “Grow Your Savings”.
A Proud Member of the St. Lucia Small Business Association
46 St. Louis Street, Castries, Saint Lucia
Avoiding the Threat of
Caribbean Cyber Colonisation By Bevil Wooding
The Internet and related technologies play an increasingly significant role in the development of the Caribbean. Yet, as countries in the region make necessary investments in information and communications technologies (ICTs), there is a real risk that we may be unwittingly ceding control of critical elements of our technological and intellectual security. In so doing, we may be missing out on a significant opportunity to take a leading role in the digital economy and surrendering our place in the emerging knowledge-based society. If this trajectory is maintained, current ad hoc, insular approaches to policy formulation, collaboration, education reform and ICT adoption can lead the Caribbean into an era of what can be termed “cyber colonisation.”
Signs of cyber colonisation
If colonisation is the process of establishing control over a country by a more powerful and often distant country, then cyber colonisation can be described as subjugation of country or society by a technologically more capable country by extending the mechanisms for consumption but withholding power of creation. It is important to note, that unlike colonisation of the past, cyber colonisation is not directly imposed, but rather it is being 12
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embraced, typically through ignorance, lethargy or uninformed leadership action. The signs are already emerging around us: 1. Internet penetration rates are increasing across the region, but without a commensurate increase in the creation of indigenous content or services. 2. Smartphones, like the Blackberry, iPhone and Android devices, are enjoying widespread popularity, but regional software developers are yet to register their mark in the burgeoning mobile economy. 3. Consumers are increasingly comfortable with online shopping, but overwhelming obstacles in the financial services sector and regulatory
environment make it easier to shop on Amazon.com and eBay.com than to transact with Caribbean businesses. 4. Companies and governments are planning moves to ‘cloud computing,’ but the ‘clouds’ exist in North America and Europe. 5. Media programming that makes it easier to find out what happens in San Francisco or New York than Dominica, Montserrat or even Tobago.
Critical Internet infrastructure Behind these are fundamental issues such as the absence of critical Internet infrastructure like Internet exchange points; deficiencies in the regulatory environment; outdated legislation; under-
informed technocrats and consumers with an increasing appetite for foreign goods, services and expertise. These factors all point to a clear and present Caribbean crisis. However, as the Chinese proverb goes: crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind. In reality, the potential to overcome these challenges and take advantage of the digital revolution exists today. What we face is more a challenge of paradigm than of technical possibility. The opportunity before us is to define and articulate a clear set of actionable priorities. These must be based on our native strengths and shaped to match our vision for development.
The underlying factors that currently hinder development and that, ultimately, can obviate the inevitability of cyber colonisation, include enlightened leadership, coherent vision, collaborative approaches, facilitative regulation, relevant education systems, modernised policy frameworks, tailored investment systems and indigenous innovation. What is required is a combination of
strategic and practical mechanisms for integrating peoples and systems through ICTs. Therefore, if the region has to define practical solutions, leaders and citizens must first ask what kind of society are we seeking to produce, before treating with what kind of technology are needed. Further, the promotion of systemic, evidence-based intelligence is a pre-requisite to providing an accurate context for any development road map and a practical tool for government policy and regulatory priorities. Together, these create new points of synergy nationally and regionally. A multifaceted approach is the only way to effectively respond to the threat of â€œre-colonisation.â€?
Riding the dangerous wind
Obviously, the task is neither straightforward nor is it without significant challenges. However, it is achievable. We can define for our societies an attainable vision for a preferred future. A future characterised not by dependency, but by a strong projection of our values, identity and creative capacity. In practical terms, this means that if we say we are after knowledge-based societies, we
should be able to find the evidence of this in the construct and output of the education system; the tenor and content of the media; and the policies, investments and practices in the public and private sectors. Further, if we say we are after diversification of the economy and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurialism, we should be able to identify policies, procurement practices, legislation, research and initiatives that support this. If we say we want to take our place in the digital age, then we must invest and trust in our human capital. We must also build the infrastructure necessary to support and sustain our ambitions. Whatever the scenario, the evidence should be observable and consistent with the kind of society we say we want to build. â—Š About the Author Bevil Wooding is an international strategist, innovator and technology ambassador. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding & Facebook: facebook.com/bevilwooding
Jan / Feb
Targets Small Business with “SME 75”
Members of Lime St. Lucia Sales and SME 75 Teams Mindy Chicot, Ingrid Louis, marvin Charlery, Shaka Bryan and Leslie-Ann Du Boulay St. Lucia SME 75 Team Leaders (L-R) Nigel Fulgence, Alana Williams and Donald Dorius - Sales Manager
Operating a small business is tough enough these days, without having to worry about how to make yourself available to customers, establish an Internet presence and run your office efficiently. That’s why LIME has launched SME 75 – an initiative geared towards providing personalised, tailored telecoms services to small and medium businesses, or SME’s. With keen emphasis on providing small and medium businesses with affordable, targeted and comprehensive solutions, the company has restructured its SME teams in all 14 territories where LIME operates under the banner SME 75. Across the region, 75 professionals have been recruited as business partners with a view to having them fully educated and 14
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trained in customer service and satisfying the communications needs of small and medium enterprises. They are provided with advanced training in company and product knowledge, presentation techniques and customer service to help hone their existing skills. Some of those solutions include landline and DSL upgrades, Mitel PBX systems, Internet Protocol, networking and data solutions, tailored digital TV packages, as well as mobile solutions such as closed user groups and BlackBerry packages. “Our business at LIME is changing and it is only through greater insight into the business and increased efficiency that we can consciously guide and drive improved customer experience,” said LIME VP
Country Operations, Chris Williams. “We know small and medium businesses have special needs in this challenging economic environment. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to enjoy the benefits of our vast range of custom-built communications solutions to promote and grow their businesses. We are also helping them embrace the transformational power of communications technology to drive their businesses forward.“ The St Lucia SME 75 team is headed by SME Sales Manager, Donald Dorius, and supervised by Alana Williams, with support from Nigel Fulgence, the pre-sales engineer. ◊
RIM Expects BlackBerry 7 will Strengthen Market Share
Library Now on the Web
RIM’s regional corporate communications manager, Arno Glompner says that the new Blackberry 7 line will continue the company’s strong growth.
Researcn in Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry smartphones, have released their new line BlackBerry 7 phones which are expected to further strengthen the company’s market share said Arno Glompner, RIM’s Caribbean corporate communications manager. Glompner said that although the company’s global market share has fallen in recent times, it continues to experience significant growth. He stated that, “The BlackBerry smartphone market was exploding tremendously so we have less market share than we had in previous years but that does not mean that we are not growing. We are growing at a rate of 30 to 40 per cent quarter to quarter but actually the Smartphone cake is getting much bigger. There’s more competition and we welcome competition because it makes us more innovative than ever before, as we have to keep pace with competition. But I think there’s enough room for everybody. That’s the beauty of being a global company because you gain market share in a lot of emerging markets. For example, we are very strong in Latin America, in the Caribbean and in Asia.” RIM announced the launch of three BlackBerry smartphones for the Caribbean — the Bold 9900, Torch 9860 and Torch 9810. The arrival of the Blackberry 7 marks the largest global launch of new Blackberrys in RIM’s history, said Wes Nicol, a managing director for RIM in the region. Among the new features that the updated operating system, Blackberry 7 provides, are faster and more fluid browsing, free inclusion of the premium version of ‘Documents to Go’ (a word-based application that allows one to create and edit documents), high definition video recording and several other software and hardware functions that are designed to deliver the best communications and multimedia experience. The new BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) integrates several popular social network applications, including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, which now allows easier sharing and connectivity with contacts. With regards to pricing, a common complaint of Blackberry customers, Glompner said that the smartphones have become more competitive in recent times and that pricing is subject to the carriers of the product. “Blackberry was always a premium sort of solution but also a reliable one,” he said. ◊ Courtesy: Paul Allen - Business Reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) new single virtual library space is a major milestone as the University continues to lead “by miles” in competitive higher education, says Professor Clement Sankat, campus principal of the University of West Indies, St Augustine. He was speaking at the launch of the UWI Libraries’ Information Connexion (UWIlinC) single virtual library space at the Alma Jordan Library, UWI, St Augustine. “This is a very big day for the University. It is a major milestone as the University continues to evolve and make itself known to the world,” Sankat said. “To bring all the UWI subscribed resources and the intellectual output from our various library collections and to make these available to users locally, regionally and internationally is truly phenomenal. What is happening allows the intangible knowledge resource of UWI, our information, our intellectual products, and our brand to enter the homes, classrooms, and offices of millions of people across the globe via the Internet.” He said in doing so, the university would achieve greater visibility and greater presence in the hearts and minds of its stakeholders. “This is exactly what we need to do to continue to distinguish ourselves as a university in a very competitive higher education landscape,” Sankat said. “I always like to see UWI in front and we are leading by miles.” The new UWI Libraries’ Information Connexion (UWIlinC) knowledge portal project was five years in the making and would provide instantaneous access to a range of library material including digitised print, audio, video and images from all the libraries across all four UWI campuses via a single web space. ◊ BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
Using Technology To Send Work Offshore By Rashid Jean-Baptiste
Small businesses can get a lot of value from sending work offshore via websites like elance.com, guru.com, and odesk.com. They can save a lot of money and time in the process but it can only be for tasks that do not require a face-to-face meeting. Some of these tasks are creation of flyers & brochures, website development, writing services (press releases, reports, proposals, business plans), search engine optimization, data entry, just to name a few. Business transactions are usually conducted face-to-face, or at least have a small face-to-face component, but this component is not always a requirement. It is more convenient for most people, because it is just what they are used to, and doing it any other way would be too foreign. But if one is able to look past the face-to-face requirement, then a world of opportunity will be opened up. The entire process can be so easy because of the systems put in place by websites like elance.com which has been enabling this for years. Some of the specific advantages of going this route are: • More Vendors Competing: There will be vendors or contractors from across the world that will compete for the opportunity to win your business. There will be reviews and ratings for each vendor so that they can be compared objectively. This heightened level of competition will only mean better and faster service for you as a consumer. 16
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• Established Framework: All the websites which enable this have an established framework in place for getting the job done. The description of the work must be spelled out clearly, the payment terms and various milestones must be agreed to before work commences, and if there is any conflict or disagreement it will be handled according to the arbitration rules which are transparent to all users. • Work Anytime: It is possible to pick a contractor in a totally different time zone to you and what this means is that your job request can be submitted at the end of your day and it could be fulfilled by the time you start work the next day. • Leaner Organisation: For certain tasks, instead of having someone working in-house, the work can be sent offshore. This, which results in a leaner organisation, would be ideal as long as this work is not a core competency of your company. If you do decide to send any work offshore, using one of the aforementioned websites, some useful tips are: • Review Contractors Diligently: You should spend time reviewing the ratings and reviews of contractors you are interested in moving forward with. You should especially seek out reviews on jobs which are very similar to the job that you are posting. That way you will get a better feel for the contractor’s capabilities when it comes to your job.
• Communicate within Framework: At times you may need to have a Skype call with your contractor or just email them from your personal account to their personal email account, but you should try as much as possible to keep all your communication within the website that you are using. This is so that there will be an independent document trail in case there are any misunderstandings down the road. • Establish Milestones: Milestones help in ensuring that both you and the contractor are on the same page throughout the life of the job. This helps in better managing the job especially when it is a complex or big job and you can even tie portions of the full payment to milestones which are completed satisfactorily. In this article, I only make mention of businesses being consumers of the various services offered but I do hope that it is also clear that there is a great opportunity for businesses in St. Lucia to offer their services on such websites. I strongly believe that we have the talent and skills to compete on a global scale and these websites open the door to us. About the Author Rashid Jean-Baptiste is the Managing Director of West Technology Group Inc., an IT services provider company based in St. Lucia. Prior to this he spent over ten years in senior IT roles at Microsoft Corporation.
US to Provide $77m
to Caribbean Countries in 2012 for Security The United States will provide US$77 million to the Caribbean in 2012 for projects to combat crime and violence in the region under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). The CBSI, launched in Washington in 2010, is a shared regional security partnership between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, the Dominican Republic and the United States. The partners have identified three core objectives to deal with the development threats facing the Caribbean. These are: • Reducing illicit trafficking through programmes ranging from counter narcotics to reducing the flow of illegal arms/light weapons; • Advance public safety and security through programs ranging from reducing crime and violence to improving border security; • Promote social justice through programmes designed to promote justice sector reform, combat government corruption, and assist vulnerable populations at risk of recruitment into criminal organisations. Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean, Bureau of Western hemisphere Affairs, United States 18
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Department of State, Julissa Reynoso, told the CBSI Commission, that the 2012 budget of US$ 77 million would be used to support greater coordination and control of border and maritime routes, training and capacity building for law enforcement and justice sector. Reynoso, who was co-chairing the meeting with St Kitts and Nevis, said that in the next few months, Washington would be delivering to the Eastern Caribbean, high-speed interdiction boats and relevant equipment as part of the US Secure Seas Effort. The boats will complement those provided to the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica as part of a broader regional maritime security program. Guyana and Suriname will also receive patrol boats and other equipment next year. “We are proud of the accomplishments of the past year under the CBSI. We have encountered many challenges but we believe that the CBSI provides a useful and necessary framework for coordination and collaboration with our partners in the region,” she said. Reynoso said that the partnership with the other stakeholders had spawned measurable results in the three priority areas including law enforcement
information sharing, justice reform and training on integration of information into national databases. She said that the CBSI had agreed to dedicate a regional legal advisor to develop a task force to address critical crime issues including homicides and to advise on legal reforms. In addition, the US and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) were working through the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to screen passengers into Caribbean ports of entry. In the area of promoting social justice, Reynoso stated that the partnership was supporting education and youth workforce development including youth entrepreneurship. “We are expanding our youth workforce development projects in the six OECS countries and in Suriname,” she added. The US is also working with its CBSI partners to promote effective prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, including money laundering, terrorism financing and public corruption. Preliminary assessments have been conducted in Trinidad and Guyana and technical financial crimes assistance and training were expected to begin in November 2011.
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Britain Commits US$40 Million to “Compete Caribbean”
Britain’s International Development Minister, Alan Duncan, speaking to a reception at the High Commissioner’s residence
Despite budget cuts at home, Britain reconfirmed its commitment to Caribbean development yesterday with the launch of a US$42 million ($3.6-billion) programme in Kingston attended by Alan Duncan, the Minister for International Development. “External donors cannot themselves deliver the growth the Caribbean needs, but the Caribbean private sector can,” said the Conservative minister as he formally launched “Compete Caribbean.” The programme, being run in conjunction with the Canadian International Development Agency, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, aims to improve the business climate in 15 countries around the region. While the current coalition government in London has ringfenced its international development budget, Duncan will still have to prove to skeptics, particularly in the press, that the money is being well spent. “My government can only justify this kind of investment where we can demonstrate clear results,” he said. While paying tribute to Jamaican success stories such as the tourism industry, Duncan said the Caribbean needs “to find new niche markets
to help create jobs and increase exports. Compete Caribbean can help make this a reality.” The British minister noted, in particular, the Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund part of the programme, which offers matching grants to underwrite the risk of developing innovative business ventures. The fund received more than 130 proposals from interested companies in 2011, which it whittled down to a shortlist of 60. Some ten applicants, including two from Jamaica, were asked to flesh out their ideas. In a similar project in East Africa, the UK and phone company, Vodafone, combined to help 10-million Kenyans access financial services through cell phones. “This has made it easier for countless budding entrepreneurs to do business and work towards pulling themselves out of poverty,” Duncan said. “I hope this Challenge Fund concept will have the same transformational impact here in the Caribbean as it has elsewhere.” But representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank said the Challenge Fund represented only a sixth of the programme. Among its most important works are projects to identify how the business climate can be improved, persuade governments to pass new legislation, ensure that the bureaucrats implement the new rules, and then measure the results
in terms of jobs created or reduced business start-up times, said Jose Jorge Saavedra, the Executive Director of Compete Caribbean. One US$750,000 project already underway in conjunction with the Planning Institute of Jamaica aims to build a knowledge base about what constrains private-sector development, develop a secured transaction framework to increase access to finance and foster public-private partnerships. Another US$600,000 is in the pipeline to promote productivity and economic development in Kingston. Duncan warned that growth trends in the region were already worrying before the credit crunch in 2008. Average growth has slipped from around 4% per year in the 1960s and 1970s to less than 1% today. And while world trade has been growing steadily, the Caribbean’s slice of the pie has not. “The current economic downturn has only exacerbated this position and the growth trends will not be reversed by tinkering at the edges.” Duncan strayed into support for JLP policy when he said: “Tough and sometimes unpopular decisions may need to be taken, for example by reducing fiscal deficits. No country or region is immune from the fall out, as we know back in the UK.” Courtesy: Jamaica Observer
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
IMF Recommends ‘Aggressive Action’ to Buttress Region’s Financial Sector in 2012
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Caribbean governments must act decisively to address “persistent” weaknesses in the financial sector while stressing the need for stronger resolve to reduce high public debt, if they are to fare better in 2012. It said economic recovery remains weak as states continue to struggle to recover from the protracted recession, and warned that a further decline in advanced economies would dampen regional recovery and add pressure to an already heavy public sector burden. “Fiscal consolidation efforts should, to the extent possible, preserve growth and competitiveness by avoiding step cuts in infrastructure spending,” the IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook stated. It cited as “troubling,” the fragilities in the region’s financial sector - specifically the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union,
where the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank forcibly intervened last year in the operations of ABI Bank because of liquidity problems. Reference was also made to the issues involving the failed CLICO and British American Insurance Companies that have still not been resolved. “In the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, ECCU, financial sector health indicators have continued to deteriorate, highlighting the importance of steps to further strengthen the sector,” the report explained. “The authorities need to diagnose the health of the financial system quickly and develop options for strengthening balance sheets, and avoid further compromising public finances.” The IMF said towards the end of 2011 that while countries such as Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis have moved to reduce their public debt,
greater efforts were needed over the medium term, as debt levels across the region had climbed by 9% of the Gross Domestic Product since the crisis. “A strategy to gradually reduce public wage and pension spending – not only in central government but also in autonomous agencies – will be necessary to guarantee public debt sustainability, with the added benefit of improving the region’s competitiveness,” it added. According to the report, tourism-intensive economies were projected to expand an average of 1.25% during 2011-2012, almost 1% lower than previously anticipated. However, it said the mineral-rich countries of Guyana and Suriname would benefit from record gold prices. Growth in Haiti, it stated, was expected to fall just over 2% from the 8.5% projected last April due to the slow pace of reconstruction efforts.
Jan / Feb
EU Grants Available for Food Exporters Caribbean Export Development Agency is offering European Union-funded aid of up to $3.6 million per applicant for food exporters who need help improving foodsafety standards. The money is sourced from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) under which Caribbean Export, a regional trade and investment promotion agency, is responsible for executing a Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP). Sonia Bowen, Caribbean Export programmer in Christchurch, Barbados, says companies will have to spend first in order to qualify for the EU’s free cash, which is intended to defray expenses attached to overhauling production systems and supply networks. “It is not a loan. It is reimbursable grants. They will have to spend first before they can get the money,” Bowen said. Businesses are being offered grants of €5,000 to €30,000. Caribbean Export is collaborating with Jampro and Jamaica Exporters’ Association on the programme. 22
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Bowen said the amount is calculated as 70 per cent of total spend. To qualify for the maximum €30,000 grant, the business would have had to spend €42,000 - €43,000 of its own money. The grant is treated as a reimbursement. Caribbean Export advised exporters of the programme in Kingston at the October launch of the €500,000 Special Assistance Programme for food exporters, funded by the European Union. Businesses can access €5,000 under the special assistance programme; applications for more funds up to the cap would be made under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme. The key objective is to equip affected producers with the right tools to respond to new legislative requirements of the US Food Safety and Modernisation Act, which takes effect January 1, 2012. Jamaica estimates that of the 200 food exporting companies the law will affect, 80 per cent (or 160) of them are below the required standard, prompting calls back in July by the exporters association for the Government to bail out its members.
Bowen said each application would have to be reviewed and approved, and that the requirements were outlined at www.caribexport.com. The company must be legally registered, and must, “also be exporting or demonstrate their potential to export goods and services and be operational for at least two years supported by the last two years’ financial statements/accounts. They must finance and sustain their projects fully at the beginning,” it said on the website. Companies which will not be eligible include start-ups, firms, entities or individuals not financially operational for two years; educational institutions such as universities, schools, vocational centres and non-governmental organisations. “No direct assistance may exceed 70 per cent (€30,000) of the total project cost. The project must be financed from the applicant’s or their partners’ own resources, or from other funding sources, including the donor community,” as stated on the website.
IDB to Help Region Better Deal with Natural Disasters
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that, as a result of requests of several Latin America and Caribbean countries, it has developed a financial risk management approach for natural disasters, aimed to help the countries be better prepared to deal with emergencies caused by catastrophic natural events. The IDB said its approach is focused in developing tailor-made integrated programmes to help the countries’ governments to better manage these financial risks, through the implementation of different innovative financing instruments and mechanisms, such as the Contingent Credit Facility and the Natural Disaster Insurance Facilities. “Currently, the bank is working with 13 member countries to support their efforts to improve their disaster risk management
capability and efficiency,” an IDB statement said. “Through the mentioned facilities, it was expected to provide during 2011 more than US$500 million in financing to help the region meet extraordinary expenditures that may arise during emergencies caused by natural disasters of severe or catastrophic magnitude.” The IDB has already approved a $100 million loan for the Dominican Republic and during the year it will consider further contingent loans for Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Honduras, totalling US$500 million. In addition, the IDB is expected to provide a US$24 million loan to structure and launch an Insurance Facility for Catastrophic Natural Disaster Emergencies for the Dominican Republic. The proceeds of the IDB contingent
loans will allow governments to cover extraordinary expenditures that occur during the emergency, in the immediate aftermath of a major event; including emergency medical equipment, vaccines and medication, facilities and equipment for temporary shelters, food for displaced people and livestock, emergency workers to assist victims, and short-term leasing of energy, transportation and communications equipment and facilities. Financial disaster preparedness is a growing concern in Latin America and the Caribbean. Last year the region saw devastating earthquakes in Chile and Haiti and a very active hurricane season. In addition, the La Niña-related weather phenomenon has brought severe flooding to Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, among others. BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
Governors of the OECS Central Bank at the meeting where growth estimates were revised downwards last year
2011 OECS Growth Rate Revised Downwards
OECS states began 2012 on a collective limp, with their economic growth outlook for 2011 in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) revised downwards to 0.4 per cent. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) told the 71st Meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union towards the end of 2011 that macroeconomic and financial conditions of the ECCU continue to be greatly challenged by the adverse global financial and economic situation. The sub-regional Central Bank said the sub-region experienced two consecutive years of negative growth - 2009 and 2010 - and although economic activity in the ECCU improved in the second quarter of this year following a 0.2% contraction in the first quarter, growth for 2011 had been revised downwards. Reviewing the sub-region’s 2011 performance, the ECCB said, “Available data suggests that economic activity picked up somewhat in the second quarter. Growth was largely driven by a 6.5% increase in tourist arrivals in the second quarter, relative to the number recorded in the second quarter of 2010. 24
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“In addition, a recorded increase in imports of building and construction materials, coupled with an increase in commercial bank credit for home construction and renovation, suggests that construction activity was at a higher level relative to the second quarter of the previous year,” said the communiqué. It added: “With the advanced economies continuing to perform below expectations, challenged by fiscal stresses, financial sector instability and pessimistic consumers, the near-term macroeconomic and financial outlook for the ECCU area remains highly uncertain, with significant downside risks. “Moreover, elevated unemployment rates and weak payroll growth in the advanced economies will restrict growth in tourism, a major export sector in the ECCU. “Accordingly, the growth outlook for the ECCU has been revised downwards, with real growth for 2011 was projected at 0.4%,” the bank said. During the second quarter, ending June 2011, liquidity in the banking system continued to improve due largely to increases in grant and official inflows.
Commercial bank deposits rose by 1.4%, roughly the same as the out-turn in the second quarter of 2010 and credit growth continued to be sluggish at 0.4%, but this is consistent with the weak economic activity over the review period and also reflects tighter loan terms and conditions in the commercial banking sector. The ECCU stated that commercial bank lending rates remained elevated despite the continuous rise in liquidity reflecting a higher credit risk premium attached to lending as the economic conditions impact businesses and consumers. The foreign reserves of the Central Bank expanded by 5%, relative to an expansion of 2.5% in the comparable period of 2010, due to grant and loan inflows, as well as an improved performance in tourism. It also said that the ratio of gross foreign assets to demand liabilities (the backing ratio for the EC dollar) rose to 96% at the end of June 2011, from 94.8% at the end of the second quarter of 2010. That was well above the statutory level of 60% and the operational target of 80%.
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SEC Develops CARICOM Takeover Code
Regional Securities and Exchange Commission heads (SEC) are said to be working on a common policy to govern the way takeovers and acquisitions of companies within CARICOM are done, says local SEC chairman Deborah Thomas-Felix. She said there was an urgent need for cross border cooperation among regulators on these issues and highlighted the fact that this country already had a working relationship with regulators within CARICOM, as well as the US. With T&T set to chair the Caribbean Group of Securities Regulators, Thomas-Felix said: “We have been working assiduously with regulators in the region to develop a common takeover code for mergers and acquisitions in addition to choice of law rules. The code and the rules are in the very final stages of completion.” Thomas-Felix said the aim was to streamline the way companies with large capital reserves, seeking to buy more wealth, did so. “Regulators need to combine their strengths to carefully monitor and manage risks by information sharing for greater efficiency, transparency and integrity in the market. “Ultimately, the burden placed upon regulators globally, is to bring order and sanity back to the table; all for the sake of renewed investor confidence and growth of the economy,” she said. Even as she mapped out a primary position for Trinidad’s chairing of the Caribbean Group of Securities Regulators, ThomasFelix expressed concern over the country’s failure to come up with a unified strategy to effectively deal with issues that could affect the financial sector.
Misbehaviour among equities traders
Expressing hope that new legislation would create a more effective regime for investor protection against unscrupulous traders, the SEC head was concerned that the legal framework did not go far enough to treat with misbehaviour among equities traders. She said, the Securities Bill, when it 26
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Private placements, regulatory oversight
becomes law would further strengthen the commission’s powers, to conduct onsite examinations and would also properly define the offence of insider trading. “There is, however, the need to harmonize all the legislation in T&T which deals with finance and the economy. The difficulties created by separate legislation, amended at different times over the years cannot be underestimated. “There is also a need for the establishment of a standing committee to review all legislations related to finance on an ongoing basis. A further regulatory challenge is identifying risks early and managing them well. At the SEC we have been strengthening our prudential oversight of the market with a view to detecting emerging systemic risks and taking the appropriate action to mitigate them. Market integrity and efficiency remain our cornerstone. “The market is getting more and more sophisticated with technological developments and emerging issues such as direct electronic access, dark pools, high frequency trades and exchange traded funds and we must ensure that regulation is appropriate and relevant.” The SEC chairman cited the rapid rate at which financial innovation continued to occur and lamented that regulators were under tremendous pressure to keep up with market developments. If regulators were to be effective, she said, they must have experienced human capital and adequate financial resources.
Thomas-Felix underscored the fact that effective regulators in this globalised world, need not only to be knowledgeable about new and complex structured products, but also be provided with the much need resources to conduct effective surveillance and monitoring of the market. Regulatory bodies across the board, she said, had generally been funded by the public purse and consequently had always competed, albeit unsuccessfully, for the best talent in the world of finance. “Commissions such as the SEC must be staffed with experienced and well qualified experts who are adequately remunerated. One possible solution to the financial resource constraint of the commission is to amend regulations to allow all penalties and fines which are collected by the Commission to be retained and used in the operations of the organisation,” said Thomas-Felix. She said the commission was presently examining the books of other markets actors to determine if there was any unwarranted and unlawful activity. “With the continued emergence of financial pyramids and sophisticated ponzi schemes, there should be a requirement for the licencing of all entities that contact the public to solicit funds for investments or speculative purposes. I am not knocking sou-sous which have traditionally provided funding for many,” said Thomas-Felix. She added: “I am talking about public solicitations to an indeterminate number of investors. As regulators, we must prevent the distribution of unregistered securities and as a country, we should rethink the law on private placement. In my view, the days for private placements without regulatory oversight are over.” Courtesy: Trinidad Guardian
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SLTB & Digicel
Sign Million Dollar 3-Year Events Sponsorship Agreement
Geraldine Pitt - Digicel’s General Manager for St. Lucia & OECS South signs sponsorship agreement with Louis Lewis - Director St. Lucia Tourist Board and Rupert Branford - CDF Chairman
Saint Lucia Jazz, ARC and Carnival among key national events to benefit
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has once again partnered with the island’s leading telecommunications provider - Digicel in a move designed to secure the further enhancement of major national events for which the island has gained world recognition. Recently senior officials of the two agencies affixed their signatures to a new three year contractual arrangement that fosters the growth and development of Saint Lucia Jazz - the island’s premier cultural showpiece, Carnival and the popular maritime Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), along with the possibility of other new events. Details of the sponsorship package were released to the media at a ceremony at the SLTB’s head office, where Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis, spoke of the 28
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contribution the iconic events have made to the fabric of Saint Lucian life. “It has become almost impossible to speak of this unique island of ours without our minds and that of visitors alike, conjuring up images of Saint Lucia Jazz, Carnival, the ARC and other signature events,” commented Lewis. He affirmed, “All of this has been possible due to the steadfast and committed dedication of principal sponsors, chief among which has been our partner for the past three years; a commitment Digicel, as platinum sponsor, is today signaling yet again, by way of sponsorship for another three years.” The $3M sponsorship package is a dynamic blend of cash and value inkind that will imbue renewed life into the earmarked events. Digicel’s General
Manager for Saint Lucia and the OECS, Geraldine Pitts, says the choice to partner with the SLTB was a logical one, as it represents the continuation of previous successes. “This unique partnership between Digicel and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board has over the years been mutually beneficial, not only to the corporate image of our two institutions but more significantly this collaboration has aided the sustainability of numerous national events, many of which have become staples on our national calendar,” noted Pitts. In addition to the cash contribution to the various events, the value in-kind includes mobile services, internet services, joint promotions regionally and the supplementing of regional advertising for events.
Pan-American Life Insurance Group Acquires ALICO and ALGICO Caribbean Operations from MetLife Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG), a leading provider of life and health insurance in Latin America and the United States, announced a definitive agreement to acquire select businesses and assets from MetLife. PALIG plans to acquire MetLife’s American Life and General Insurance Company (ALGICO) unit in Trinidad & Tobago, along with American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) branches in Barbados, Cayman Islands and the majority of the Leeward and Windward Islands, and the ALICO operations in Panama and Costa Rica. Upon closing, this transaction expands Pan-American Life Insurance Group’s size and extends
its geographic footprint. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Through this transaction, PALIG adds to its strong existing businesses in Panama and Costa Rica and expands its presence in the Caribbean. In total, the businesses being acquired by PALIG represent more than $125 million in 2010 premiums and $675 million in assets. “Post close, Pan-American Life Insurance Group will have more than $625 million in revenues, $2.8 billion in assets and more than 1300 employees,” said Jose S. Suquet, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Pan-American Life Insurance Group. “The acquisition of the MetLife
businesses and the establishment of our new operation in Mexico expand our geographic footprint, give us greater diversification and economies of scale, and reinforce the commitment our founders made 100 years ago to providing trusted financial security to customers in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Both MetLife and PALIG have received their required internal approvals, and the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2012. It is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Jan / Feb
Caribbean Hotels to Become More Energy Efficient with IDB Grant US$2M to facilitate sale of carbon credits by hotels that invest in efficient equipment
Guyana is to benefit from a US$2 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The money was recently approved for the Caribbean Hotel Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action – Advanced Programme (CHENACT-AP), which will assist in the tourism sector. Other countries that are set to benefit are Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. According to the IDB, the four-year project will finance energy audits for hotels in participating countries that want to cut their operational costs through greater energy efficiency. Efficiency measures in areas such as lighting, water use and air conditioning provide great opportunities for savings, particularly for small and medium-sized hotels. IDB studies have estimated that many of these hotels have the potential to reduce water consumption by 50% and overall energy consumption by 30% to 50%, when implementing an integral set of efficiency measures and micro-generation with renewable energies. But in order to make sound choices regarding efficiency improvements or obtain credit for such investments from donors or banks, hotels need to obtain detailed audits of their 30
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energy use. By providing grants for such audits, the IDB programme intends to jump-start efficiency investments in the hotel sector. The programme will also finance an innovative scheme to enable individual hotels to generate revenue from the sale of carbon credits in the international carbon market. Christiaan Gischler, project team leader at the IDB, explained that the transaction costs involved in selling carbon credits can make it prohibitive for an individual hotel or company to participate in the carbon markets. To overcome that barrier, the IDB will work with participating countries to bundle carbon emission reductions generated from energy efficiency or renewable energy application in the Caribbean hotel sector as a consequence of the CHENACT-AP. It will help them to certify those emissions using United Nations carbon finance instruments. “In this way, multiple hotels will be able to access carbon markets at once, reducing the transaction costs of this process,” said Gischler. “This will make it easier for participating hotels to sell carbon credits to offset the costs of their efficiency investments, while promoting green tourism and helping to market the
Caribbean as one of the main ‘low carbon tourism’ destinations.” Furthermore, the project will help hotels access existing funds and identify opportunities for new financial schemes to strengthen local governments and promote energy efficiency on a regional level. Counterpart funds provided by the governments of Barbados, Jamaica and The Bahamas as well as a number of regional and international organisations will bring the project grant up to a total of US$5.145 million. The grant will be paid out over a period of four years. CHENACT-AP was launched last year, at the 2011 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), the biggest and most influential gathering of renewable energy stakeholders in the Caribbean. Representatives of the Governments of Barbados, Jamaica and the Bahamas are expected to be present during the signature of the agreement between IDB and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), executing agency of the Program with operational support from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). Courtesy: KNews
Waste-to-Energy Project Delayed by Supply Assurance Issues Saint Lucia’s continued efforts to secure alternative energy continue into 2012, with some progress regarding continued efforts to harness solar, geothermal and wind energy at various stages of development. But a waste-to-energy project touted by the former UWP administration remains on the drawing board. More than two years ago, then Public Utilities Minister, Guy Joseph travelled to a small Canadian city called Sault St. Marie and signed an agreement with a company called Island Green Energy to transfer St. Lucia’s municipal waste into energy. Joseph said at the time the company, which had no such projects in practice, was a forerunner in the necessary technology. Thus, St. Lucia would have been its first real project. The plan was for the new company to transform the island’s municipal waste into energy to be fed into the national electricity grid, but the project ran into trouble no sooner than it got off the ground, as the speed with which it was being promoted was out of line with local regulatory laws. For example, the only company legally empowered to buy or sell electricity in St. Lucia, by law, is the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), the island’s lone electricity company. But for LUCELEC to buy electricity from any other company to feed into the national grid it will require certain clear and definite supply assurances, which would have to be absolutely guaranteed before a power purchase agreement can be entered into with any potential supplier. It turned out that the haste with which the then Public Utilities Minister wanted to see the plant established at the national dump site in Deglos was too fast for the comfort of the local regulators – and LUCELEC. Mr. Joseph several times accused LUCELEC of dragging its feet, his every statement indicating the ball was now in LUCELEC’s court. But LUCELEC officials consistently defended their process, saying they had to do both due diligence and get the assurances that there would be no supply shortage once the waste plant was hooked into the national grid. The island starts 2012 with LUCELEC discussing a separate agreement with a US-based company seeking to develop the geothermal energy at Soufriere’s Sulphur Springs, and, here too, the local company is seeking the necessary assurances of uninterrupted supply necessary for tapping into the national grid.
Jan / Feb
IN THE KNOW
EMERA Caribbean Ltd. Team
Canadian-Owned Barbados Electric Company acquires more shares in LUCELEC
Canadian-based, Emera Caribbean Limited, has agreed to sell its 19.1% indirect interest in St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd (LUCELEC) to Light & Power Holdings Ltd. (LPH) of Barbados, also an Emera Inc. subsidiary, for US $25.8 million. “This acquisition will allow for greater cooperation between two leading electric utilities in the Eastern Caribbean,” stated Peter Williams, Managing Director, LPH. “LPH having an equity stake in LUCELEC will allow for a sharing of skills and increased efficiencies that we believe will result in benefits to customers in both countries.” LPH is an investment company and the owner of The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited, a licensed supplier of electricity energy in Barbados. Formed as a holding company in 1997, it was created to allow shareholders to take full advantage of potential investment opportunities in and outside of Barbados, including equity investments in other utilities. The acquisition of 19.1 % of LUCELEC is consistent with this mandate and LPH is 80% owned by Emera Inc. LUCELEC is a vertically integrated electric utility serving more than 60,000 customers, with exclusive license to generate, transmit 32
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
and distribute electricity on the island of St. Lucia to the year 2045. The utility has 76 MW of generation capacity, primarily oil fired, and 1000 Km of electricity transmission and distribution assets. LUCELEC’s Managing Director, Trevor Louisy, welcomed news of the investment. He said, “It marks the start of a new era in the utility sector in the region. “Clearly the region has the financial and technical capacity to make such investments, which was unheard of in the past, and is indicative of a maturing of the sector. “It also suggests that LUCELEC has been and continues to be a sound investment option.” The terms of the acquisition agreement between Emera Caribbean and LPH provide for a potential sales price increase or decrease of US $4 million within 30 months of the closing date of the transaction. Any adjustment would be triggered by either an additional public offering by LUCELEC; or a change in its allowed return on equity as a result of a change in its regulatory framework. This acquisition is subject to relevant government and regulatory approvals and
was expected to have been closed by the end of 2011. Light & Power Holdings Ltd. is an investment company with electricity being its core business. The company has a wholly owned regulated electric utility - The Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd., which has been serving electricity customers in Barbados since 1911. Electricity service is available to the entire island community. Emera Inc. is an energy and services company with $6.6 billion in assets and 2010 revenues of $1.6 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera’s strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera operates throughout northeastern North America, in three Caribbean countries and in California. More than 80% of the company’s earnings come from regulated investments. Emera common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Bajan Tech Company to Help Caribbean Entrepreneurs
A Barbadian company aspiring to be one of the region’s leading media companies insists the plans aren’t ‘pie-inthe-sky illusions’. In fact, Andrew Jemmott, managing director of Caribbean Webcast Inc., a Barbados-based, regional technology company, believes the goal is well within his company’s reach as it continues to help aspiring Caribbean film makers and videographers with content production and distribution. “The Caribbean, and, in particular, Barbados, is investing significant time, energy and resources to develop the film and video industry. What has been missing is a major online distribution network... We are filling this void and expect to become
a major player in the rapidly changing marketplace,” said an optimistic Jemmott, whose one year-old company also offers promotion and distribution services to the literary arts and music industries. “I believe we can assume a leadership position in the region, and eventually the world, through hard work, regional and international networking, as well as providing the highest quality services possible,” contended the young entrepreneur who has been tinkering with computers since he was seven years old. Caribbean Webcast Inc., a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs, capitalizes on the exciting developments in new media by offering rich online content in the form of music videos, concerts and festivals, among other products. With the increasing use of the Internet and social media for entertainment,
information and advertising, the Barbadian company employs these outlets to unite the Caribbean region via a cross-cultural delivery of web content which showcases the best of Caribbean culture to the world. Jemmott credits its ‘unique combination of technologies,’ as central to Caribbean Webcast Inc.’s growing success. “We are constantly innovating,” asserted Jemmott whose team has satisfied clients through the building of cameras, computers and other equipment, skills associated with first world companies. Caribbean Webcast, which provides content and programming in four languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese and French – streams and markets audio and video content, produces live webcasts, and offers artiste licensing and digital distribution services.
Jan / Feb
IN THE KNOW
Dutch Caribbean Business
One year after the dismantling of The Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010, the Dutch Caribbean Business Foundation was created to serve the Dutch Caribbean business community and to facilitate foreign investments to the six Dutch Caribbean countries and territories. Dutch Caribbean Business is a quality focused information and research driven organisation set up to provide accurate and high value business information and intelligence, advice on trade and commercial issues, as well as contacts and networking opportunities for doing business with Dutch Caribbean enterprises. The foundation will address the need for a dedicated and reliable source of information – in English – for doing business in the Dutch Caribbean in the wake of the information gap which grew after the dismantling of The Netherlands Antilles. Key focus areas of Dutch Caribbean Business include financial services, the legal environment and other industry sectors of concern to overseas investors. To provide the most accurate and current information on anything to do with doing business in the Dutch Caribbean, the new foundation works with a team of independent contributors, experts and supporters of the private and public sector networking both in the Dutch Caribbean and in the Netherlands. 34
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Dutch Caribbean Business aims to use its network to provide the information and services needed for economic development and sustainable growth. The foundation believes creating greater business opportunities generates more employment and improves the standards for the business community of the Dutch Caribbean and all stakeholders. The foundation’s marketing approach and its business publications will address the needs of target audiences, offering a strategic plan for growth through value added services for the Dutch Caribbean business community as well as Netherlands and international investors. Dutch Caribbean Business will produce a series of individual, yet strategically aligned publications emphasizing the economic, financial and legal aspects of the Dutch Caribbean countries and territories. Media products – all published in English – include a quarterly newsletter and Dutch Caribbean Business guide to be published in early 2012. For further information, visit www. dutchcaribbeanbusiness.org.
About The Dutch Caribbean
The relationship between The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean was re-aligned in October 10, 2010. The Kingdom now comprises
four countries (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten) while Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are now called overseas municipalities of the Netherlands. Instead of the common laws and financial regime that were common to The Netherlands Antilles (and Aruba after 1986), each entity of the Dutch Caribbean will have its own laws and financial policy. With each entity running its own financial policy, different currencies will be legal tender in the different entities of the Dutch Caribbean leading to more disparity than before. Combined with various tax laws and other financial measures taken by the respective governments continuous updates will be needed for the local and overseas business communities. In spite of these differences, there is a common mission uniting the Dutch Caribbean: to stimulate business and foreign direct investment, as well as cooperation between its constituencies on commercial, cultural, financial and socioeconomical levels. Each of the six Dutch overseas countries and territories are able to write their own laws but they will also all continue to access the Common Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, and of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Courtesy: MPE Newswire
I read once that the true character of a company is measured by how they ‘bury their dead’, that is, how they say goodbye to those who have toiled long and hard within their offices. We recently had a very instructive lesson from Yahoo Inc about how a company should never, ever say ‘au revoir’, ‘adios’, ‘auf wiedersehen’ or goodbye to an employee. But is there ever a nice way to say goodbye? Must such parting of the ways always be ‘sour’ sorrow? Reuters reported back in September that the Chairman of Yahoo Inc Roy Bostock, fired CEO Carol Bartz over the phone, “ending a tumultuous tenure marked by stagnation”. Over the phone! Over the phone? But, perhaps it could have been worse, they could have zipped her a text message or cut her loose via Twitter. As someone who absolutely hates saying goodbye as much as the next person, I realise that firing an employee is a dirty job that someone has to do. The truth is that sometimes things just do not work out, even though we had all been optimistic of the relationship. However, a firing is never an easy task and ranks right up there alongside such bucket-list ‘must-do’s’ as a root canal without anaesthesia or dancing shoe-less on a hot bed of coals, just for ‘funnsies’. Saying goodbye to a relationship is never easy neither for a man nor a woman. But I am sure there are one or two powertrippers (you know who you are) who absolutely delight in firing people. In fact, I am sure some of you wished that was all HR had on your job descriptions! A phone firing of a CEO is nothing short of scandalous and sends a message to the remaining employees as well as to customers. The message that the company is sending from this single act is very clear. Now that things are not panning out, we do not value you enough to even meet with you face to face. You are worth so much less to us now. What a contrast to that bright morning of January 13, 2009 when Ms. Bartz was named Yahoo’s CEO, succeeding outgoing CEO and Founder, Jerry Yang. Can you imagine what now must be going through the minds of some of those remaining employees and managers of
How Companies Bury Their Dead
By Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, ABC
that company when they heard of the phone firing? They must have wondered: Do we take ‘phone firing’ as a new company policy? Is it now a strong part of our corporate culture? The customers too must ask a question or three: If you treat one who was formerly yours in this manner, what regard will your staff have for us? Needless to say in the case of Yahoo, Ms Bartz, who is herself no shrinking violet, did not take it well and communicated the following to her staff via e-mail: “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward,” the outspoken CEO said in a two-sentence email to employees obtained by Reuters. Well, she told them. My personal view is that she need not have let the cat out of the bag about how she was fired, but clearly she wanted to make an issue of it. And let’s face it if she hadn’t, we all would not be writing about it. However, no matter how painful a face to face meeting for saying goodbye is, it is the most acceptable route in the long run. A calm, private face-to-face, preferably without the presence of security guards, allows for decency to prevail. Of course this is not always possible, especially if there are huge personalities involved and larger fortunes at stake. If the departure is
not an ignominious firing, where seemingly everyone is angry and/or shame-faced, even a song and dance or a horse and pony show — by way of a goodbye, undertoned or lavish function for the departing executive — is in order at this level. Business is business, paths do in fact cross again and deals are built on the memories of great working relationships. That being said, there are some persons whom we would never ever want to work with again this side of Hades; no matter how much is being offered. A farewell event, whether large or small, allows employees to participate in a company’s development as they see themselves a part of its unfolding history. It also provides the space for reflection and recreation of a re-visioning of the company’s leadership. It helps the organisation to honour the worth and work of all employees as they bask in the reflected glory of the outgoing personnel. A company cannot lose if it ‘buries its dead executives’ with high honours if these are deserving. Courtesy: Jamaica Observer
About the Author Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, (MBA, ABC) is a Business Communications Consultant with ROCommunications Jamaica, specialising in business communications and financial publications. www.rocommunications.com BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
IN THE KNOW
Open Seas for OECS
St. Lucia-based Secretariat creating Single Yachting Space
Marine authorities in the Eastern Caribbean want to give effect to a single yachting space for the sub-region.
The seas of the Grenadines have long been a playground for the rich and famous while the Antigua Sailing Week is touted among the world’s top five regattas. Now, marine authorities in the Eastern Caribbean have been putting mechanisms in place to allow seamless travel for the yacht owners who sail down to visit the sub-region in 2012 and beyond. The initiative, called “ESeaClear,” will facilitate seamless intra-regional travel for yachts visiting the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), while implementing security management to ensure that movement of yachts between OECS territories does not compromise the integrity of the single yachting space. The go-ahead for this was given last September at a meeting of the recently re-constituted OECS Yachting Committee, which was re-initiated by the OECS Secretariat through a mandate given by the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers at an earlier meeting in April 2011 in St. Kitts. A unanimous decision was taken at the meeting to pursue an agreement by all OECS member states to fully implement the ESeaClear system. This would function as a web portal to enable yachts to enter clearance information online in advance 36
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
of arrival, to expedite their customs and immigration formalities at the port. The use of ESeaClear would also serve as a platform to facilitate hassle-free movement of yachts across OECS waters. Programme officer at the OECS Secretariat, Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, was in full support of the move, noting that, “Yachting visitors represent a potentially lucrative market for the OECS with opportunities for the further development of related business services, skills development and employment.” She added that the purpose of the Yachting Committee was “to deliberate on and make suggestions and recommendations to the OECS Secretariat for the implementation of the mandates and directives given by the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers with respect to yachting.” The committee would also play “advisory and facilitative roles with respect to implementation of actions required at the national level to fulfill ministerial mandates,” she explained. The committee comprises representatives from the nine OECS member states: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Monserrat, Saint Kitts
and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines (plus Anguilla and the BVI as associate members). Other agencies such as the Caribbean Marine Association and the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council have also been engaged by the committee. Revenue collection management, including the adoption of a mechanism that safeguards the income-earning potential of member states, was also discussed at the meeting and recommendations on this and ESeaClear were presented in a progress report to the OECS Authority with responsibility for yachting in November 2011. The move to create an effective single yachting space in the OECS has been welcomed by yachting enthusiasts in Saint Lucia and other OECS member-states and is in keeping with ongoing moves by the OECS Secretariat to develop mechanisms for adequate implementation of changes and new measures to further unify the islands. OECS Director General, Dr. Len Ishmael, is a proficient sailor and yachting enthusiast and also welcomed the move.
CARILEC Welcomes New OECS Energy Regulatory Authority The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) has welcomed the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority (ECERA), which came into being late last year and is expected to come fully on stream during 2012. CARILEC, whose membership includes over 30 regional electric utilities, including St. Lucia’s LUCELEC, says it, “supports the need for strong, independent regulation and oversight of the electric utility sector to the benefit of all stakeholders.” In a statement following the establishment of ECERA, CARILEC said it “is of the view that regulatory reform will support the development of the power sector, providing greater investor confidence, greater accountability to customers, and support the implementation of renewable energy technologies.” “The energy landscape is very complex,” the statement said, “and at CARILEC we believe it is necessary for all the design
of the regulation to properly incorporate specific characteristics and realities of the Caribbean region.” CARILEC however advocates that, “a plausible regulatory regime must constitute five criteria to measure its effectiveness: legislative mandate, accountability, procedures, expertise and efficiency.” All five criteria, it said, “collectively constitute a set of benchmarks for assessing regulatory regimes.” Said the statement, “Electricity demand continues to grow in our region of oildependant island-states,” and “CARILEC recognizes that the cost management of this important commodity is increasingly challenging with changes in the global arena, and is supporting the efforts of member utilities in the development of renewable energy options.” “Physical size is an important constraint to the development of RETs in all Caribbean countries, hence regional integration and the strengthening of countries’ relationships through initiatives such as
ECERA will ultimately lead to economic growth among its members,” said CARILEC. It described the establishment of ECERA as “visionary and commendable” and said it hoped ECERA “will pave the way to the establishment of independent regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions within the region, establish best practice regulatory principles, and provide meaningful, effective standards and guidelines for the Caribbean’s energy sector.“ The establishment of the regional regulatory authority for electricity and energy utilities is expected to be welcomed by other utility agencies, including CAWASA, the regional body responsible for Caribbean water utilities. Based in St. Lucia, CAWASA’s Executive Director Victor Poyotte, himself a former CARILEC Executive Director, has consistently advocated better and more efficient and effective regulation of water utilities in ways that will better redound to improvement of delivery of water services across the Caribbean
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Jan / Feb
IN THE KNOW
When Being Lean
is not about Being Mean By Harvey H. Millar Ph.D., P.Eng.
Manufacturers the world over are searching, on the constant lookout for the magic bullet; that critical strategy that will propel them ahead of the competition. Over the years, that search has lead to the development of many bold approaches, some magical, and some not so magical.
What is Lean Enterprise?
Lean manufacturing can be considered among the ‘more magical’ initiatives that has played a significant role in the success of Japanese companies worldwide, and in particular, the worldwide domination of Toyota. Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste, non-value-added activities, through continuous improvement by driving product production at the pull of customers, while simultaneously searching for
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
perfection. If you think of lean meat for a moment, much of the fat (non-value substance) is removed and we have a better product.
Japanese manufacturers, re-building after the Second World War, were facing declining human, material, and financial resources. The problems they faced in manufacturing were vastly different from their western counterparts. These circumstances led to the development of new, lower cost, manufacturing practices. Early Japanese leaders such as the Toyota Motor Company’s Eiji Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno, and Shingeo Shingo developed a disciplined, process-focused production system now known as the “Toyota Production System”, or “lean production”. The objective of this system was to minimize the consumption of resources that added no value to a product. The term “lean” was used because Japanese business methods used less human effort, capital investment, floor space, materials, and time in all aspects of operations.
A lean production environment has several objectives that are different f r o m
typical mass production principles. These objectives also span the role of line and staff organisational structures, as well as the nature of leadership and management philosophy. Leadership for lean manufacturing emphasizes a search for waste reduction throughout the entire organisation. Collectively, vision, culture and strategy focus on improving customer service, reducing delivery lead times, and improving product quality. As a business philosophy, lean enterprise proposes a new ‘way of organisational life’ that requires fundamental change in manufacturing practices and organisational culture. Lean principles are such that products are built just when the customer needs them; quality is built into the product and its related processes; the shop floor teams are empowered to make decisions that impact productivity and quality; and the firm uses visual management to track performance and maintain an open culture within the organisation. Overall, there must be a relentless pursuit of perfection.
Workplace safety is essential to a lean philosophy. One goal for a lean producer is for the workplace to be comparable in cleanliness to an operating room in a world-class hospital. The workplace must be bright and well lit and surfaces must be clean with a fresh coat of paint. Machines, floors, counter tops must be free of grease and grime. Garbage must be properly put away and disposed of. Everything should meet or exceed government safety standards. The organisation must strive to achieve safety compliance, brightness, cleanliness and orderliness. A lean producer will make to order, not to stock. This means that customer demand will pull products from the organisation. Inventory will not be stored in anticipation of demand. Too much inventory can hide problems. It can hide defects, poor scheduling and production planning, personnel problems such as
the need for training or absenteeism. Eliminating inventory frees up space and capital and can positively influence how the organisation functions. While mass producers employ several quality inspectors, lean producers adhere to the principle that quality should be built in, not inspected in. Achieving such quality performance requires a focus on continuous improvement, the use of problem solving teams, a focus on process and product design, and a long-term commitment to quality. Lean enterprise thrives on the empowerment of employees. Shop floor workers are organised into teams and the team is responsible for finding problems, recommending solutions, and implementing solutions. The team is also responsible for performance evaluations, and for identifying training needs of the group. Team members are crossfunctionally trained to ensure backup support for team members. In traditional organisations, it is not uncommon to find the philosophy “information is power” guiding interpersonal behaviour. The practice of visual management reduces the likelihood of such an environment. Information is shared widely throughout the company. Sales data, team performance data, defect data, financial data are all displayed for all members to see. Recognizing that ‘muda’ (Japanese for waste) is the enemy and that waste is everywhere, the lean producer must adopt a posture that there is always room for improvement and that more waste can always be eliminated. Not only must the lean producer look for waste on the shop floor, but also in administrative processes, and in the interfaces between the company and its suppliers.
It is important that a lean producer has processes in place to solicit and respond to in a timely manner, the suggestions from, employees, customers, and suppliers.
Bringing about lean transformation in an organisation is not easy. It is likely that a few senior managers may not grasp the strategic value of lean enterprise. There are sceptics who will point out that management fads come and go all the time and that this is another one. There are those who will say that we’ve done all right with our current approach, why change it (“if it isn’t broke, why fix it?”). The following is a summary of some of the obstacles to lean transformation: • Top managers lack strategic understanding of lean enterprise • Lack of specific lean enterprise skills and knowledge • Culture, ego, and organisational inertia • Management reluctance to empower people • Fear of change, loss of organisational power • Not invented here syndrome • Internal systems are hurdles The lean producer must be prepared to address these obstacles or face the inevitable failure of its lean effort.
Making Lean Work:
Simply making a decision to implement lean enterprise will not create a magical transformation of an organisation. There are several factors that are necessary for lean enterprise to flourish. The following are some considerations for successful lean implementation: • Prepare and motivate people • Ensure employees are involved in decision making
• Share information and manage expectations • Identify and empower champions, particularly operations managers • Create an atmosphere of experimentation and reward effort • Installing ‘enlightened’ and realistic performance measures, evaluation, and reward systems • The need to execute pilot projects prior to rolling culture out across the organisation
Benefits of Lean:
Companies that implement lean enterprise can expect to experience numerous benefits which include among others: • Fewer missed orders due to reduced lead times • Lower production costs relative to the competition • Increased market share • Improved employee morale; and • Increased production capacity. Some successful lean practitioners include Nova Scotia Power, Toyota, HP, Motorola, Michellin North America (Canada), Canada Post, Imperial Oil Refinery and IMP Aerospace Components. Any organisation can benefit from the practice of lean enterprise, but the journey to bliss begins with a single step - the decision to go forward! About the Author Dr. Millar is a full professor in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Canada and President of Management Technologies. He can be contacted at harvey. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan / Feb
IN THE KNOW
Chamber Elects New Executive
Gerard Bergasse at the Helm Chester Hinkson Immediate Past President Country Manager, Scotiabank
Gerard Bergasse - President Country Manager, Tropical Shipping
Cheryl Renwick - Director Deputy MD-Renwick Group
Ross Gardner - Director COO - Carasco & Son Ltd.
1st Vice President CEO, JQ Charles Group
Margaret Monplaisi 2nd Vice President HR Director, St. Lucia Distillers
Ian Peter - Director OECS Director of Finance - Courts
Trevor Louisy - Director Managing Director - LUCELEC
Martin Dorville - Director Deputy MD - Consolidated Foods Ltd.
Esther Browne - Director GM Corporate Services, ECFH Group
Christian Husbands - Director Director, Union Vale Estate
Country Manager of Tropical Shipping and former 1st Vice President, Gerard Bergasse was elected the new President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture at the 127th Annual General Meeting of the oldest private sector organisation in St. Lucia. Bergasse, served on the Board of the Chamber since 2001, and for the last two years as First Vice President. Also newly elected to the Board are Margaret Monplaisir who takes up the 2nd Vice President position, along with Ross Gardner, Martin Dorville and Esther Brown. The blend of old and new members on the new board is expected to provide continued leadership, new dynamism and strong advocacy for the case of the business community to the new Government. The Chamber is looking to work closely with the Government to chart a course of action to take the nation forward in a world facing unprecedented economic turmoil and crisis. 40
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
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IN THE KNOW
Sponsors UWI Journalism Course
ANSA McAL group Chairman Emeritus Anthony Sabga, left, presents University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus Principal Prof Clement Sankat with a cheque for $600,000.
The ANSA McAL Group is a sponsor of a new journalism programme being introduced at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad. The one-year Certificate in Journalism course has begun with some 20 students. The full-time programme is designed for prospective and practising journalists wanting to be prepared for the 21st century media environment. A ceremony was held at the Principal’s Office at the St Augustine campus to mark the commencement of the programme and Chairman Emeritus of the ANSA McAL Group, Dr. Anthony Sabga delivered an address. “The group’s support is an expression of our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship,” he said. Sabga, presented a cheque for $600,000 to the campus principal and said that ANSA McAL’s support had been consistent over the years. “The ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre has outgrown its space and we now are looking at a site for its expansion.” Sabga said ANSA McAL’s commitment to, and partnership with UWI, went back four decades. “We were among the original founders of the UWI Institute of Business (IOB) more than 20 years ago,” he said. Sabga further disclosed that in the 1990s, with the help of Professor David McGaw, the group pioneered the Sandwich Programme. They contributed to priority areas in business, engineering, and social sciences. “The reasoning is the same for our decision to support journalism education. The group, as you know, is heavily invested in media. Information is the lifeblood of democracy, and we understand our responsibility to provide the best information to our people. This is keeping democracy alive and functioning.” In the statement, programme coordinator, Patricia Worrell, said that the response to the programme was overwhelming and several applicants had to be deferred to next year’s session. At the ceremony, Sankat, noted that the journalism programme was a relevant and timely one, and wished for greater partnership between the university and the private and public sectors. Other media sponsors of the course are One Caribbean Media and CL Communications Ltd. Courtesy: Trinidad Guardian
OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in April
Entries Open for 2012
One Caribbean Media (OCM) is to reward outstanding Caribbean writing for the second time with a US$10,000 prize for the best book published in 2011. OCM is the parent company of the Express, CCN TV6 and Hott 93; and in the region, the parent company for Nation Publishing, Starcom Network, Grenada Broadcasting Network and OCM Radio Network. The annual prize, called The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, will be announced in April, and is declared open for entries. The best book is chosen from the winner in each of three categories—non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Published writers who are Caribbean by birth or citizenship, living and working anywhere in the world, are eligible for the prize, which in 2011, its inaugural year, attracted 60 entries from well over a dozen countries. White Egrets, Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s eloquent musing over age and mortality, was the winner of the first OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. In contention for the US$10,000 reward for the best book of 2010 was How To Escape From a Leper Colony by first-time published author and winner of the fiction category, Tiphanie Yanique; and Create Dangerously by young and celebrated Haitian author Edwidge Danticat, winner of the non-fiction category. Eleven judges, led by acclaimed Barbadian author George Lamming, will decide on the best book published by a Caribbean writer in 2011. Founder of the annual prize Marina Salandy-Brown says choosing the judges is a little complex. “If they have a book that is eligible for entry to the prize, we have to rule them out for that year. Then we must get a spread across the region and the diaspora, a good gender balance, a mix of genre specialists and, of course, they must have the time. Also, we cannot invite everyone at once. We have to save some of our big guns for future years. “We think we have another fine collection of judges for the 2012 prize, which is just as well since some very good titles have been appearing in 2011 by both emerging and established authors and we expect them to be entered for the 2012 prize.” The judges will produce a shortlist in March and the winner will be announced on April 28, 2012, at an awards ceremony that is a highlight of the four-day Bocas Lit Fest, the annual literary festival held on the last weekend of April 2012 at the National Library in Port of Spain. Information on the OCM Bocas Prize is available at www.bocaslitfest.com.
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
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Remarkable Woman with No Arms Veera Bhajan, who was born without arms but overcame all obstacles to earn a law degree, is now employed with the Office of the Attorney General. Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan said, “Veera is a personal inspiration to me. It is an accomplishment for a human being with no arms to pass through all levels of schools to become a lawyer. She is a shining example and role model for our youths. She appeared on Facebook and asked me to present her to the bar to become a lawyer. And I humbly accepted,” Ramlogan said. Bhajan, who is employed at the Central Authority at the AG’s office, said she deals with extradition matters and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Bhajan said she was excited that Ramlogan had agreed to present her to the bar at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, following which she can practise as an attorney and appear in court to represent clients. “I am enjoying all that is happening for me so far. It is indeed an honour and privilege. I am looking towards having a successful career,” she told the Trinidad Express while challenging others to step up “despite obstacles in their way.” She gave this advice: “Always believe in yourself, have faith in God and never give up. With self-belief and confidence nothing is impossible.” In 2009, Bhajan was awarded the Express Individual of the Year Award and in 2004, earned the Express Youth of the Year award. The Trinidad nation first got to know Bhajan when still an infant. Learning to live without arms, Bhajan, of Cacandee Road, Felicity, was enrolled at the Princess Elizabeth School for the differently abled, but excelled at academics and was transferred to the Felicity Hindu primary school. There she astounded teachers, and secured a place at the St Augustine Girls’ High School, going on to obtain full CXC passes and distinctions at the Advanced-Level examinations. Along the way, Bhajan, who received a State scholarship to pursue her studies, was awarded the Hummingbird Silver medal in 2005. She graduated with her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies last year, after studying at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, where her mother stayed, to be her hands. Her every word was written with her toes. Courtesy: Innis Francis - email@example.com
Julinna Florenthas for five years been a receptionist at the Bank of Nova Scotia.
She has an Associate Degree in Office Administration, but was paralyzed in 2004, which she says, “Was a life-changing experience for me.” Despite her disability, though, Scotiabank employed her. “I believe life must go on and it must be balanced in terms of spiritual, social, psychological, mental and even physical aspects.” Her advice: “I just want everyone out there, young or old, to know that once you have a dream, believe it, work on it and don’t let life’s circumstances deter you. Just rise up and take charge.” Julinna clearly has…
Yasmine Houson is 37 – and totally blind from birth. She started school at the
St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association at age 5. After succeeding in her grades she was employed, first with government as a switchboard operator, and then by Barclays Bank (now First Caribbean), where she’s been for 14 years. “I love my job. Not only has it made my dream come true but I am also able to access, send and receive emails like any other staff member. I enjoy socializing, travelling, listening to music, and getting involved in extra-curricular activities. Her words to the wise: “I’d like to encourage the young people out there, especially those with disabilities, to know that they can achieve anything they desire. I did – so can they!” 44
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West Indies General Insurance Company Limited
Contractors (All Risks) Computer (All Risks) Householders Motor Vehicles Money Fire Burglary Travel Insurance Goods in Transit Liability Marine
We cover the things you care for... A member of The Julian R. Hunte Group of Companies
Manoel Street, P.O. Box 64, Castries, St. Lucia, W.I.
Tel: 452-2230/1 Fax: 453-7671 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
AWARD WINNING RUMS FROM ST. LUCIA DISTILLERS
Jan / Feb
PROFILE FOCUS PROFILE FOCUS
Blue Reef Real Estate
Any self-respecting real estate agent should be able to match vendor and purchaser, lessor and lessee or landlord and tenant. They will say they are making your dreams a reality, whether that means a nice plot of land, a modest property, a large mansion/palace, a business premise or an investment opportunity. Blue Reef Real Estate is different. Yes, it does all of the above, but it does more. It’s not about what it does; it’s about how it does it. Visit their website (www.bluereefrealestate.com) and you will observe that not only do they make your dreams come true, but they do so with Integrity, Reliability and Diligence. These guiding principles have been the core values of Blue Reef since its inception in 2004. Blue Reef has an unrivalled reputation for providing the best quality in customer care, and the utmost probity in its business dealings. Former client referrals are at a strong level, indicating a high degree of customer satisfaction. Indeed, many former clients count the team at Blue Reef among their friends. You know that you are dealing with a different kind of real estate business from your first contact with a team member, whoever that may be. The Managing Director of Blue Reef, Maria Buchner, expects her team to deal with customers and potential customers in accordance with the firm’s core values above. All customers, whether local or from overseas, will notice the “joined -up” approach to their service. Blue Reef has a large and varied portfolio of properties for purchase or rent throughout the island of St Lucia, and an impressive knowledge of the development and construction scenes. You are cordially invited to browse the property listings on the website above, and choose your dream property. You are sure to find something that quickens the heartbeat! Remember, St Lucia is a premier Caribbean destination, and this is the best time to take advantage of the excellent investment opportunities presented by the increasing popularity of this largely unspoiled jewel of an island. Why not visit the website for a handy guide to purchasing property on the island, as well as useful background facts to assist you in determining to take the plunge, and make St Lucia part of your future lifestyle. You will not regret asking Blue Reef to assist you in coming to St Lucia. You know it makes sense to use a winning team! With kind words, a warm honest atmosphere and the willingness to attend to the needs of the client; Maria and her team provide the quintessence of the real estate business – Match Making, in its purest form, marrying you and your perfect property.
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
Integrity • Reliability • Diligence Blue Reef understands the precious value and potential of St. Lucian Real Estate. Let us guide you in making that wise decision. Estate House - Anse La Raye EC $4,000,000 Spacious 4 bedroom estate house on a lush 2.39 acre lot with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and an abundance of mature fruit trees. This captivating private estate is in a very peaceful and serene location on the country's Western coast. Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3 1/2 Land: 2.39 acres House Size: 6,000 sq ft Bon Vie Estate – Land Development in Monchy New subdivision of residential lots located in a quiet and affluent area in Monchy. Just a 7 minute drive from Rodney Bay. Lots will be released in phases. 90% sold in Phase 1. Phase 2 and Phase 6 available. Reserve your piece of Bon Vie today. Land Size: Lots starting from 8,500 sq.ft to 15,200 sq.ft Price per sq. ft: EC $10.00 - EC $13.00 Main House with Two Apartments - Bonne Terre (Income generating) EC $800,000 Situated in the quiet residential area of Bonne Terre, this two story property overlooks both the Beausejour Stadium and the wider surrounding mountainside. This property is located just minutes away from shopping malls, restaurants, beaches, stables, fitness centers and the famous Rodney Bay Marina. Upstairs House: 3 Bedrooms / 2 bathrooms Two Downstairs Apartments: 2 bedrooms/ 1 bathroom (each) Land Size: 9,116 sq.ft. Total House Size: 3,468 sq.ft. Vigie - Commercial Lot US $1,840,332 / EC $5,000,000 Bayside lot overlooking Castries Harbour. Great potential for development. This prime commercial lot is also favorably situated between the air and sea ports in Castries. Lot Size: 1.81 Acres Rodney Bay Affordable and super spacious 2 & 3 bedroom condos each with private plunge pool. Luxurious, contemporary newly built near the heart of Rodney Bay. Great rental investment at a competitive price. Outstanding value at only US $290,000 and US $390,000 respectively. Fully Furnished + Plunge Pool Various homes for sale in small gated community - Only 5 minutes to Rodney Bay All homes possess unique exterior designs and refreshing views of the surrounding landscape within the comfort of a secure neighborhood. Prices from 500,000 - 550,000 EC Bedrooms: 3 Baths: 2 Lot sizes: 4,958sq.ft. - 6,951sq.ft. House size: 1,363sq.ft.
Plan on selling your property? We will guide you from the sale and beyond through our local and international network of realtors. Tel:l: +1 Tel Te 1 (758) 452 2 8941 8 Cell: +1 (758) 285 2001 Cell: +1 (758) 716 2007 Fax: +1 (758) 450 0841 US/Can Toll Free: 1-209-233-6126 Email: email@example.com U
Maria Buchner Managing Director & Owner
Blue Reef Real Estate is very much Maria’s life’s work, since 2004 at least! That was the year she founded the revolutionary real estate business that was so different from anything else on the island of St Lucia. From the founding of the business, there was an insistence that clients were to be treated with integrity, reliability and diligence. Perhaps it was Maria’s previous experience in real estate in Germany, or her 20 years as a Project Manager, or her computer software background that made Maria ensure that these three core values not only ran right through her business dealings, but that this was explicitly and publicly stated to be the guiding principles of Blue Reef. Little wonder then that Maria is a wellrespected realtor on the island with a wealth of local and real estate business knowledge at her command. Obviously, Maria has the backing of a great team, who are also aware that these core values run right through the firm. Together they strive to ensure that a customer’s real estate experience is seamless, pleasant and as efficient as possible. At Blue Reef, it is a priority to cater to client’s needs and dreams in order to find that “perfect home, or perfect investment.” The team strives to offer the best real estate experience by discussing the needs of the client in detail. The locations, verbal descriptions and images of the properties are all provided promptly, for the client’s perusal. Familiarization with local communities and their various amenities are taken into consideration as well as the nature of the intended expenditure. Every detail, every client’s request is considered. They also extend a hand to their valued clientele by offering advice concerning necessary fees, applications and licenses. Blue Reef’s assistance never ends when you pick your dream property; the team goes the extra mile to ensure that the client is by all means comfortable and satisfied with their choice. They pride themselves in taking the time to regard the client’s interests personally, to truly understand the needs, and requirements of the property that suits the valued client. Maria is the embodiment of integrity, reliability and diligence.
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
Donnelly John Sales & Marketing Co-Director
Let me introduce you to a senior member of Maria’s team at Blue Reef Real Estate. Don is Sales and Marketing Co-Director, and Maria would admit, her right hand man. He comes from a finance, web design and teaching background, and his transferable skills complement those of Maria perfectly, creating a harmonious synergy. He is, quite simply, an indispensable asset to the organisation. For example, his teaching skills are relied upon for staff training and orientation, and the artistic side of his web design background is heavily utilised in the marketing process. He is very personable, caring and customer focused, and demonstrates great energy. His technical and interpersonal abilities, particularly in the areas of written and oral communication skills, and the three core values of integrity, reliability and diligence ensure that Don is an integral part of the driving force moving Blue Reef forward to new heights of customer service and satisfaction. Don’s local knowledge and contacts have proved to be invaluable to the firm, enabling them to liaise with potential buyers and sellers, at development and construction levels. Blue Reef is thus able to stay poised to benefit from opportunities, or avoid difficulties, other firms may miss. Why not call Don and seek out your next property, from Blue Reef?
advert - Business Focus.pdf 1 7/28/2011 12:50:01
St. Anthony Medical Centre
“Advanced Medicine - Compassionate Care”
DISTRIBUTOR OF YAMAHA PRODUCTS IN ST. LUCIA
Walk ins are Welcome
Monday - Saturday : 8:00 am to 4:00 pm For further information & appointments please call
We are located directly behind DIGICEL on Clarke Street - Vieux Fort
Tel: (758) 454-4040/454-4042 Fax: (758) 454-4043 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OUT BOARD ENGINES WAVE RUNNERS WATER PUMPS GENERATORS MOTOR CYCLES SCOOTERS SPARE PARTS P.O. Box Choc 8254, Orange Park Commercial Centre, Bois D Orange, Gros Islet, St. Lucia W. I.
Tel: (758) 450-KLML (450-5565) Fax: (758) 450 - 5739
Jan / Feb
JQ Motors Celebrates 100 Years of Chevrolet
JQ Motors Limited, a subsidiary of the JQ Charles Group, after many years of promoting Mitsubishi as the sole vehicle brand for their company, acquired from General Motors (GM), the Chevrolet distributorship for St. Lucia in 2006. In March 2007, JQ Motors commenced full franchised sale and support operations for Chevrolet in St. Lucia. On November 3rd, 2011 the company celebrated Chevrolet’s 100 Year Anniversary with GM and the rest of the world. Truly an endearing brand, Chevrolet is known for its “Gold Tie” logo, and the first sports car in the industry, the “Corvette” which today remains an American icon. This article highlights Chevrolet’s achievements in automotive history that make the brand what it is today. PIONEERING MOTORING TECHNOLOGY Over the years Chevrolet has remained committed to finding and developing new solutions to improve the driving experience of their customers. From engine performance, to design, and fuel efficiency, Chevrolet has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading automotive innovators. More recently the company has also embraced “Green Technologies”; with their electricity powered Volt currently being a leader in this innovative segment worldwide. Here are some notable technological advances that Chevrolet has made during its 100 year history: Chevrolet’s birth (1911): Louis Chevrolet, race car driver and William C. Durant, visionary businessman, get together to create General Motors in 1908. In 1911 they formed Chevrolet to develop a new vehicle: the Series C Classic Six. The first all metal one-piece roof (1935): General Motors keeps at the forefront of innovation, with Fisher Body who developed the all metal one-piece roof, covered by steel in its entirety, called Top Turret; and introduced it to all GM vehicles made in the US. A new engine arrives (1955): Chevrolet is still at the forefront when Ed Cole, Engineering Manager at Chevrolet creates what now is known as the “Small Block” V8, so powerful and durable that fifty years after it is still a strategic part for GM. The fuel injection engines arrives (1957): Chevrolet once again pioneers in new technologies: It presented the first mass produced fuel-injection engine in the Corvette. Chevrolet Chevette: the first gas saver (1976): The new model Chevrolet Chevette in 1976 was the leader in fuel efficiency in the US. Versions of the same car were produced and sold in plants in Argentina, Brazil and England. Corvette with anti-lock braking (1986): Corvette was redesigned, giving the future a more advanced use of electronics; GM introduces the first Chevrolet with anti-lock brakes, which would soon be in all GM vehicles. The new “Green” challenge (2003): GM turns green by working together with the US Energy Department as major sponsor of “Challenge X: crossover for sustainable mobility.” Engineering students faced the challenge of rebuilding the Chevrolet Equinox to minimize the consumption of fuel, emissions and greenhouse gases. Chevrolet Sequel: the most advanced technology so far (2006): The Chevrolet Sequel was presented at the International Car Show in Detroit as the first car in the world that integrates the hydrogen powered boost system with engines attached to the wheels, lithium batteries and a light aluminum structure. Chevrolet Volt Prototype (2007): The Volt is another breakthrough in fuel efficiency and environmental protection. GM presents a prototype that substitutes the fuel battery with a generator, powered by an internal combustion engine. It adds to the design new technologies and features. Volt’s arrival (2010): In Asia, Chevrolet Volt goes to Shanghai to join EXPO 2010 as a concept hybrid of electric power. This version substitutes the gas engine for the new system of bioelectric generation with a hydrogen based fuel cell. Volt was officially launched in the US in October 2010. 50
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A GLOBAL LEADER Although the brand was conceived and became legendary in the United States, GM recognized Chevrolet’s potential and the brand went global early in its development. Not only was the focus on vehicle distribution to new markets, but where conditions were favorable GM actually established manufacturing and assembly plants in some countries. The following are some important dates and places where Chevrolet has launched its operations and vehicles outside of the US: GM opens its first plant in Europe (1923): General Motors, like any other great company felt the need to roll out and that was the
reason why it opened its first plant abroad, in Denmark, under the leadership of President Alfred P. Sloan.
GM starts assembling in India (1928): After the success in Europe, GM decides to move on to Asia, where it set up a Chevrolet
assembly plant on the outskirts of Bombay (now Mumbai) in India. GM México becomes a member of the family (1935): General Motors goes to Mexico on September 23rd. Previous to the construction of the first assembly plant in Mexico, the cars would arrive already assembled and once on Mexican soil, some accessories, details, wipers and ornaments would be added. Aveo in China (2005): Chevrolet is present in Asia. The new Chevrolet Aveo sedan had its world launch at Auto Shanghai, a car expo hosted by China’s prime minister. Chevrolet Launches in St. Lucia (2007): JQ Motors Ltd. introduces Chevrolet to the St. Lucia vehicle market. Introductory models include the Captiva SUV and Aveo Sedan. The affordable new Spark makes its debut in 2009 and quickly becomes a favorite with St. Lucian drivers. Chevrolet Cruze in Europe (2009): Chevrolet launches the number one compact in the most romantic city in Europe. The Cruze was first presented at the Paris Auto Show in 2008. Chevrolet turns 100 (2011)
In 2011 Chevrolet fulfills a dream that 100 years ago would have seemed impossible. 100 years of history in which Chevrolet has attained numerous unprecedented goals and has shared the most important moments of millions of people’s lives. Chevrolet continues to be a symbol of innovation, perseverance and quality to its many customers.
Jan / Feb
Car Care Volume 6
In this issue, we go under the hood to look at some of the basics any car owner should be aware of.
Oil, Filters & Fluids
Your engine contains critical parts that need to be lubricated, cleaned and cooled by your car’s oil and filter. In addition to oil, your engine requires other fluids used for the operation and protection of systems and components such as brakes, cooling, power steering and transmissions. Your engine will also be equipped with a variety of filters for your transmission, fuel system and interior ventilation. Some of the most common products used in maintaining your oils, filters and fluids include: Engine Oil: Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It reduces friction, lessens wear, provides lubrication, forms a seal between the pistons, rings and cylinder walls and helps cool engine parts. Without the cleaning action of new oil, carbon and varnish buildup would be toxic to the engine. Engine oil even dampens the shock and noise of moving parts. Synthetic oils: Synthetic oils contain chemically compounded lubricants that provide: • Higher viscosity stability over a wider temperature range; • Reduced oil thickening; 52
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• Reduced wear and increased load-carrying ability. Oil filters: Oil filters are designed to trap foreign particles suspended in the oil and prevent them from getting to the engine bearings and other parts. Automatic transmission fluid: This is oil used in transmissions that lubricates and cools the transmission and transfers hydraulic pressure to shift gears automatically. Brake fluid: This is the hydraulic fluid used to transmit pressure through the brake lines in a brake system. Brake fluid also contains anti-corrosion additives that help protect hydraulic components like brake calipers and anti-lock brake pumps. Coolant: This is the mixture of water and antifreeze used in a car’s cooling system to maintain the engine’s temperature throughout its operating range. Air Filters: Air filters remove harmful airborne particulates so they are not introduced to an engine’s combustion process. A typical service will include: • Changing your oil and filter every 3,000 miles or three months. This is especially important if you regularly make short trips in your car, drive in stop-and-go traffic, idle for extended periods, or drive in dusty or dirty air conditions; conditions which are very typical for many Caribbean countries. • Coolant should be changed every two
years or 24,000 miles on cars with ethylene glycol antifreeze. Oil and lubricant warning signs may include: • Your oil pressure light comes on, flickers or stays on; • You see fluid leaking underneath your engine; • Dip stick inspection shows oil or fluid loss soon after adding oil or fluids; • You see oil in the spark plug wells and oil film on different parts of the engine; • Your transmission is not shifting correctly; • Your engine or transmission is making odd noises; • Fluids have a strong burnt odour. Typical questions to ask your automotive service technician include: • What fluids will you check? • Is an oil filter change included with this service? • Have you checked to ensure the oil you are recommending is the correct grade for my vehicle? • When should I get my next oil change? • Have you checked to see if any of my car’s fluids are low? You may visit any Automotive Art store to purchase a range of quality products that are vital to the maintenance of your car including Denso oil and air filters, Freezetone coolant, Valvoline lubricants and Cyclo brake fluid.
Pet Passions in a Pet’s Palace! Just for Spot opened its doors on September 20th 2010 to sell a variety of local and imported pets and pet care products. Pets include dogs, cats, fish, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs and other furry friends! Support is offered for all pets that are sold. This new store caters for quality pet food products, as well as a wide range of aquatic supplies, medicines, treats, toys, supplements, clothing, grooming supplies and other muchneeded accessories. Services include building and installing aquariums, as well as servicing them. The friendly and professional staff at Just for Spot will help you find the right product to keep your pets healthy. The man behind it all, Delano Pierre says, “Growing up in Choiseul, I was truly blessed with ‘boy days’ and it was then that my love for animals began. But never once did I imagine that it would take me to where I am today.” His story gets more interesting: “When my wife Chandra (then my fiancée) placed me in charge of her puppy (Brandy) while on assignment overseas, I set out to take care of her prized possession as best I could. I found myself researching products for dogs and animal care, and eventually pursuing a Career Diploma in Veterinary Assisting. “With enormous support from my wife, I decided to take a leap of faith and tender my resignation from the banking institution 54
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where I had been employed for nine and a half years.” Upon completion of his diploma, Delano knew he wanted to open his own business so signed up and completed SEDU’s Small Business Management Program. “From that point,” he says, “I kept my head on, thanks to Mr. Maher Chreiki, who coached and encouraged me to open Phase One of Just for Spot - a first of its kind pet shop in St Lucia.” In October 2010, despite an operation and facing many challenges, including almost losing his mother and becoming a first-time dad, Delano knew he had made the right decision and was now happy, doing something he enjoys, and best of all, he was his own boss! “Owning and managing my own business is an indescribable feeling and I thank God every day for pulling me through and placing the right people in my life to keep me going.”
Ground Floor, BayWalk Mall • Rodney Bay, St. Lucia Tel: (758) 453-7768 (SPOT) • e-mail: email@example.com
w w w . j u s t f o r s p o t . c o m
ABOVE & BEYOND!
Prestige Auto Holdings Limited Prestige Auto Holdings Ltd represents Suzuki, Subaru, Land Rover, and Porsche, while our associated company, Ultimate Automobiles Inc., is the BMW and Mini Importer for the OECS region. At Prestige we celebrate our customers. Our mission is to provide the highest possible level of service, in a Hassle Free environment through our well trained and dedicated team members. One element of Hassle Free is financing. We are celebrating our first anniversary providing financing through Simpson Finance Limited, where “FLEXIBLE FINANCING” is our mantra. Our responsive team is committed to designing custom financial solutions to meet your specific needs. We pay special attention to our dedicated Civil Servants and other Public Servants with their own financing options! To us, Hassle Free means after-sales support. Our service department is staffed by highly skilled, highly trained, certified technicians, led by our service manager, Temu Hinds. We will keep you running smoothly and efficiently, with regularly scheduled service appointments. We honor all manufacturers’ international warrantees, and are committed to using genuine parts. We know your vehicle is as important to you as it to us and as such we do everything we can to minimize downtime. Hassle Free means ensuring that we maintain a spirit of continuous improvement in all areas of expertise. We maintain a class-leading training program, and are the first company in the sub-region to be ISO 9000:2008 certified. We offer reliability, fuel efficiency and a low total cost of ownership across the range, whether it be the efficiency of the Suzuki brand, the ruggedness of the Land Rover range or the sporty reliability of Subaru. At Prestige our customers have made us the automotive leader in St. Lucia! We thank you for your business, and continue to work to retain your trust.
Prestige Auto Holdings Limited: Above and Beyond! 56
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ABOVE & BEYOND!
Prestige Auto Holdings Limited
Prestige Auto Holdings Ltd. dealers for Land Rover, Porsche, Subaru and Suzuki vehicles in St lucia.
Confidence in Motion
Call Now: 758-455-5000 Website: www.pahlslu.com
Facsimile: 758-451-3044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS
Kerchelle Jn Charles
Dr. Stephen King
Marketing Manager, Digicel St. Lucia
Customer Experience Manager Digicel OECS
Anatomical Pathologist and RISE Director
Mrs. Augusta Ifill
Outreach and Public Relations Director, Monroe College
Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Special Education
Dr. Jacqueline Bird
Community Health Pediatrician & RISE Director
Project Manager of RISE St. Lucia Inc.
Your application should be completed using the application form which can be found at all Digicel Outlets island-wide or at http://www.digicelstlucia.com/en/help_faqs/products/digicel-caring-connections-application-form All completed applications should be addressed and mailed to: The Marketing Department Digicel St. Lucia P.O. Box GM 791 Rodney Bay Gros Islet Email: email@example.com 58
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The Biggerâ€š Better Network.
Digicel Invests Over EC$300,000 to Assist Persons with Special Needs Persons with Special Needs are the focus of a new initiative of the Digicel Caring Connections programme, in association with like-minded partners across the country. In 2004, Digicel Caring Connections was born out of a strong commitment to serve and improve the quality of life in communities which have helped the business to grow. Past projects include supporting the Canaries Literacy programme, where over 200 adults were able to secure job placements or pursue tertiary education; and the organic farm, which was introduced in Anse La Raye. Digicel recognizes that the youth represent 50% of the population of most developing countries, including St. Lucia. Whilst young people can be a source of growth and development for their countries, there is a subset of differently abled persons who bear the brunt of the inequality, poverty and exclusion that plagues youth in every region in the world. As such, Digicel has enhanced the Caring Connections programme with a focus on persons with Special Needs. Digicel has set aside EC$312,000 for Special Need initiatives. It is significant to note that this represents the second largest sponsorship outside of Digicel’s strategic partnership with the St. Lucia Tourist Board. Over the past few months Digicel has supported the St. Lucia Special Olympics team to the tune of EC$70,000 to make their trip to the Special Olympics a reality. Digicel also provided EC$27,000 to the Child Development and Guidance Centre for equipment that aided over
thirty physically impaired pediatric patients and EC$5,000 to the Camp La Jwa of the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities. Digicel will commit a total amount of EC$210,000 to this aspect of the Caring Connections Programme. Digicel will provide the seed funding and administrative assistance for community groups and individuals to assist youth with disabilities in vulnerable communities across St. Lucia as they face the challenges of transitioning into adult life. The programme aims to assist in the following areas: Early Intervention, Adolescent Training and Placement, Socialisation amongst the Special Needs Community, and Special Needs Awareness. Geraldine Pitt, Digicel’s General Manager for St. Lucia and OECS South, said, “This new initiative is the merging of our concern for persons with special needs and our flagship CARING CONNECTIONS programme which seeks to encourage and empower communities across the island.” Dr. Jackie Bird, who is a member of the Digicel Caring Connections Board and a Community health pediatrician pointed out that, “People with Special Needs are in desperate need of someone to champion their cause,” and to this end applauds the proposal by Digicel to lend assistance in this vital area. “Digicel’s role will bring much needed focus, awareness and support to this critical area of our nation’s development,” said Dr. Jackie Bird. The call to action in this area in communities and across the nation is “long overdue,” Bird said, “and the DIGICEL CARING CONNECTIONS programme will
help to raise awareness and reinforce the rights of youth in the Special Needs community. With this programme, Digicel is moving from “articulation to action,” she said. The programme will invite submissions from communities, youth groups, nonprofit organisations and individuals of projects they consider worthy of support and funding or who are seeking continued support for a project already ongoing. The official launch was held at a press conference on Thursday November 10, 2011 at the Royal St. Lucian Hotel, with entertainment from the Dunnottar School Music Band and testimonials from four youth advocates who are all differently abled and from the Special Needs community: Nioma Edmund, Jessica Jacobie, Shanel Chedy and Sheldon Nelson. “We all face challenges in life, but just consider the challenges of today’s youth with special needs,” said Geraldine Pitt. “At Digicel, we are committed to enabling them to be the best they can be and so build our communities on equality, which is our responsibility as the Bigger, Better Network.” Digicel’s passion for special needs runs deep. Chairman, Mr. Denis O’Brien has championed the cause for years through Special Olympics. A core value of Digicel is that, “as we grow, our communities should grow with us.” Digicel will continue to strive to support projects that provide opportunities that inspire and build positive energy in St. Lucian communities.
Jan / Feb
R. G. Group of Companies Feature
Jan / Feb
The Story Behind St. Lucia’s
Largest Local Construction Company The RG Group, named after CEO Rayneau Gajadhar, is a veritable success story. It all started in 1995 when an enterprising teenager – then in his late twenties – decided, finally, that he would plant his future in the construction industry. That’s when he registered Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE)Limited. Shadowed by major competitors in the industry but determined to fit himself in, he invested both the patience and capital needed to start carving his place in the history of the industry in his native land. Small jobs grew into medium-sized jobs, and the first large job came when CIE was sub-contracted to lay massive water pipes from Castries to Gros Islet. From there, CIE took off, building roads and bridges,
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schools and hotels, warehouses and community centres. Its landmark contracts include the construction of Coco Palm Hotel, the latest extension of Almond Morgan Bay Hotel, construction of the Anse La Raye bridge as part of a village flood mitigation project that has changed villagers’ lives. CIE has built coastguard jetties funded by the US government in Castries and Vieux Fort. By the turn of the century, while expanding its reputation and taking its place, CIE also invested in people and equipment. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, CIE had mushroomed into several linked companies established to provide additional industry services. Chief among them was R.G. Quarry at Ferrand’s in Cul de Sac.
RG Group aimed for the most modern equipment and sought to attract the best skills available in the industry. The company’s construction portfolio was matched by the equipment aspect, with a wide range of equipment available for rent. They company secured the most modern environmentally friendly equipment on the island. The RG Group has the most advanced Asphalt Plant on island, approved by the US EPA and proven to be the best in the OECS. Gajadhar has invested in CIE’s expansion over the years by investing in raw materials. The company now operates four quarries in the north and south of the island (including stone, pumice and other mining, extraction and refining concerns at
Cul De Sac, Anse La Raye, La Retraite and Vieux Fort). The single largest importation of equipment was in 2007 when the company invested in excess of 40 pieces of equipment. It took three dozen drivers and an entire stevedoring crew on the wharf an entire weekend to offload. Added to the company’s large fleet of heavy equipment to service every sector of the industry, the new equipment placed RG Group of Companies on the front line and the cutting edge of construction technology. RG Quarry produced everything from rocks and stones to various grades of sand, quarry dust and other construction quarry-
based materials. The RG Group also sold sand, as well as pumice. They continue to promote the use of pumice for construction as an alternative to beach sand due to the absence of salt in the pumice and also for the preservation our local beaches. The RG Group awards have been won based on the vision of its owner, who constantly encourages staff to think and work “outside of the box.” The RG Group imported highly technological equipment in order to increase efficiency in the construction industry. In the process Gajadhar encourage his staff to be more with improve their skills.
In the process Gajadhar encourage’s’ his staff to embrace the new technologies. I will make the IT available, but they must use it to advance the quality and quantity of our work. “We must put the technology to work for us to develop better communication skills thereby improving quality and efficiency”. According to Gajadhar, “Construction equipment today is computerized, so you have to be computer literate to operate a tractor, bulldozer or excavator”. Gajadhar continues to work handson with his employees to build, develop and execute future projects to customer satisfaction.
Jan / Feb
Commitment! Three necessary ingredients for success!
Encouragement and inspiration are two essential factors necessary for business success. However, neither come with birth nor inheritance. They come separately – the former external, the latter internal – and each have to be accepted and nurtured, respectively, and with individual commitment and perseverance. This being the first issue of Business Focus for 2012 and dedicated to encouraging youth to aim high – whatever their aim – Publisher and Managing Editor Lokesh Singh sat with Rayneau Gajadhar, one of the island’s most successful young businessmen, for a wide-ranging interview about how he climbed the ladder of success. The interview:
BF: Tell me about your early childhood and family.
RG: I grew up on the Barre D’Lisle with my parents and siblings. I am the eighth of nine children and am the only boy. My father worked the fields and raised animals while my mother managed the home and raised the children. My parents were the best parents in the world – they were very strict and did a great job in raising their family.
BF: What about background?
RG: All of my siblings attended the Methodist Primary School in Castries. I passed the entrance exams and continued on to St. Mary’s College for my secondary education.
BF: What was your passion at school?
RG: I was an underachiever at school and left after fifth form with passes in seven subjects. My passion really was to enter the world of work.
BF: What were your thoughts set on for a career after school?
RG: My father had a plan for me to become a pilot, but my mind was always on working for myself. 64
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BF: Any regrets at not going on to a tertiary/university education?
RG: Not at all. It sure would have made me a more rounded person. However, I have become self-taught in all disciplines to run my businesses and can function very capably in any department whether it be accounts, information technology or mechanics.
BF: Talk about the realisation of finishing school and not knowing what the future held for a job? RG: I need to express thanks to Mr. Stanley Malaykan of Maraj Jewellers for my start. I had no job and would spend time at their store on High Street, just helping out. Eventually, they gave me a job and I worked with them. This was my first job.
BF: What other jobs did you have before starting your own business?
RG: I was good with my hands and did an apprenticeship with Shorey’s Garage where I got to understand auto mechanics. He actually allowed me the use of his car to do the test for my driver’s licence. The Maraj family operated a garment factory at Bisee and they were experiencing problems. I was then transferred to the factory and worked in all areas. I learnt to cut cloth, cut patterns, sew and fix machines, growing into the position of Production Manager and finally became the Manager. Along the way I did a number of other things, which gave me good business experience. I ran an ice cream cart and sold ice cream. Many of my college friends would laugh at me then. I worked
as a salesman with Mr. Thomas Roserie for a while doing sales around the island. This helped to develop my negotiating skills and outgoing personality. I started a car rental business with one car. Within a year, I had four cars in my system. I would rent the cars to tourists and contract my services as a driver and tour guide to take them around the island for an additional cost. The experience at Shorey’s Garage allowed me to service the vehicles myself.
BF: How did you get started in business?
RG: With the experience in the garment industry, I partnered with others and started a company called “Soft Furnishings”. This business did very well and was growing until it was gutted by fire. It was at this point that I got out and ventured into the construction industry.
BF: What pulled you to the construction sector? RG: A company called General Finance Ltd. had re-possessed two small Bobcat excavators which were up for sale. They did not get any serious offers based on the price they were asking. I negotiated with the Manager, Mr. Ray Atkinson, and bought these two pieces of equipment for $50,000. I gave him a deposit and arranged to pay the balance over time and this was my entry into construction. I started with my primary business being the renting of the equipment out to contractors.
BF: What was the catalyst that created the real opportunity?
RG: This really came from Cable & Wireless when they embarked on the island-wide upgrade and expansion of their systems and services. I was given contracts to dig trenches and repair roads that were damaged. With their contracts, I was able to accumulate funds and further invest.
BF: How did you venture into building construction?
RG: While on sites renting and working the equipment, the contractors were hardly present as they had many jobs running at the same time. This allowed me the opportunity to fully understand the construction process and techniques. In addition, the architects, engineers, etc,
mostly saw me at the sites and assumed that I was the man in charge. Shortly after I was called in and offered the actual contract to construct a building and the rest is history.
BF: What were some of the early challenges as a businessman?
RG: Managing money and growing pains. I did everything when I started. It is only when you get into business that you understand that cash flow and profit are two very separate things. Money management is critical. In addition, the bigger you get, you have to bring in support and hire key people in strategic positions, especially with my management style of being involved in all aspects of the business and leading from the front.
BF: For the benefit of persons looking to get into business what is your advice on getting started? RG: Dream big, start early, be focused and goal-driven. If you start early, then you can stumble, fall, get up, recover and go again. It is important to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them.
BF: Explain some of the challenges along the way in growing and expanding the business? RG: Having access to money – the major ingredient to driving growth. When opportunity knocks you need to be able to finance it to realise it. I started with very little cash and resources and went to the banks for financing. My first loan was with Royal Bank to purchase and build my property at Corinth. I then wanted to buy two new backhoes and the bank refused to grant me additional loans to buy this equipment. I persevered over two years to source a loan until RBTT gave me the loans to buy the equipment. I wish to register my thanks to Mrs. St. Hill and RBTT Bank for financing the purchase of these two pieces of equipment that really got me going. Financing your business is a critical aspect which requires the full support from your bankers or financiers.
BF: Who would be considered your role models that molded or influenced your career path? RG: Firstly, my father who showed me
strong values of discipline, attitude and application. He took care of the cows and they gave him milk - which generated money – so he took care of business and his family. Then the Syrians – they were my biggest motivators. They came to St Lucia with nothing, literally, and walked the island selling clothes from their ‘grip’ or suitcase and became major success stories locally. In my mind, I said, “If they can come to my country and be successful then so can I.” Then there’s Mr. Michael Chastanet – he had the confidence to give me big contracts as a young person and I was lucky to be able to spend time with him. His vision for opportunity, work ethic and guidance was very stimulating. We have developed such a relationship that he could call me at 5am to talk business.
BF: In building your business, share some of the highlights along the way…
RG: To be able to grow into one of the premier construction groups on the island is fascinating; To be able to hire a workforce of 1,500 persons in the peak is beyond belief; To see some of the fine structures dotting the landscape of modern St Lucia; To be able to build a professional management team who support me fully; To be able to give back to the community and share some of my success; and to be recognised by our peers with major awards for our achievements.
BF: How many businesses form part of your group?
RG: My group consists primarily of Construction & Industrial Equipment Ltd. – which sells building materials, leases construction equipment and executes all aspects of construction, and R.G. Quarry Ltd. – the old quarry in Cul De Sac which I purchased and is today a major supplier of all stone, sand, aggregate, concrete and blocks for our projects and sale to others.
BF: What was the long-term development plan with your expansion and diversification?
RG: The plan was to become a fully integrated construction enterprise where we provided a full turnkey operation for projects from concept, through supply of all material and equipment to construction of the finished project. Our group executes BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
residential, commercial and industrial construction including road works - we stock and supply all raw materials with the exception of asphalt for road works. We believe that all of these services are possible to be done locally and so have moved in this direction to acquire and have available some of the most modern and significant equipment inventory on the island.
BF: How would a young person like you achieve so much and grow so rapidly in an area which was controlled and dominated by the established players? RG: By identifying opportunity and executing a plan of delivering the projects to a standard and quality, and more importantly, within budget and on time.
BF: What was it like, at your age and boyish image, having meetings with the Prime Minister, Ministers and leading businessmen to discuss multi-million dollar projects? RG: Most of the work is executed by a team of on-staff specialists who coordinate the project tender documents for submission to overseas agencies such as the CDB, IDB, etc who finance these projects. Once we win the bids, that is when I get actively involved and this is primarily in the execution of the project, hence I can always be seen on the work sites. My role then is to give confidence to the developers and financiers that the job will be done to the agreed terms and they have my assurance and guarantee. 66 66 | | BusinessFocus BusinessFocusJan Jan/ Feb / Feb
BF: What is your workday like?
RG: I can be classified as a ‘workaholic’ and work long hours, seven days a week. This can be either at the office, on sites, in the quarry or even at home. I just enjoy working and keeping busy.
BF: It is noted that you lead from the front and can be seen on work sites more than in the office. What is your approach to leadership and execution?
RG: I believe in the ability to execute any aspect of the business. Whenever I purchase equipment I travel with a member of staff and we both engage in the training programmes to operate and maintain the equipment. We then train other local staff so that we always have a number of operators available. In the event there is a requirement to operate the equipment then as a last resort I am always available. The emphasis of our business is execution at work sites and that is where I concentrate my time and energies.
BF: I understand you own a helicopter and you are licensed to fly? Talk about this... RG: I purchased a helicopter a few years ago to use to fly over the island and visit some of the work sites. A senior staff member and myself did the training and became certified helicopter pilots. I intend to expand heavily in the south, and expect that this will significantly cut down the travelling time. I guess I can also say that I have fulfilled my father’s dream of
having me become a pilot. I enjoy flying and would do this with some frequency to look over the land mass and identify opportunities.
BF: What about your personal family? How are they integrated into your highenergy work day? RG: I involve them fully in my working and active life. You will always see me with my two sons on the weekend on construction sites. We enjoy our time together both at home and in the business operations and at work sites.
BF: What is your advice for young people today?
RG: I was once a young person who sent out hundreds of applications looking for a job and always got sad news – “We have no vacancies” and “Your application is on file”. That drove me into being who I am today – fulfilling the dream of being the owner of my business and challenging myself to go further. I want to share my story with the young people and advise that this is not the end. I want to motivate them to get into business and take control of their lives. The future of this country in the years to come is dependent on a growing and successful private sector of small and medium size businesses delivering quality products and services and new technologies. Without this, we will not achieve our true potential. I encourage them to get involved and take control of the opportunities now. Start early, dream big and keep working at it.
Donating to the
Future of Business Young local entrepreneur contributes $20,000 to encourage young minds to think business
Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE) Ltd. took the lead and became a major sponsor of the Chamber of Commerce’s St. Lucia Youth Business Trust (SLYBT) when Rayneau Gajadhar, CEO of the RG Group and Managing Director of Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE) Ltd. presented $20,000 to the Trust to support youth entrepreneurship on the island. CIE Ltd. had last year run the innovative and bold Generation Next (Gen X) program, which awarded a total of EC$50,000 to five outstanding young entrepreneurs who took part in the competitive application process. Gajadhar presented the $20,000 cheque to the St. Lucia Youth Business Trust Executive Board Chairperson, Thecla Deterville. Mrs. Deterville thanked “Mr. Gajadhar’s substantial donation” and applauded him for his “commitment and support to St. Lucian youth interested in being entrepreneurs.” She also noted that, “His own life is an example to other St. Lucians.” The cheque handover, at a special ceremony towards the end of 2011, was part of the launch of the 2011 Global Entrepreneurship Week in St. Lucia last November, which was spearheaded by the Chamber through its Junior Achievement and St. Lucia Youth Business Trust Program. This program attracted over 50 local partner agencies from the public and private sectors in St. Lucia and saw these agencies hosting pro-entrepreneurship activities throughout the week to build support and awareness of entrepreneurship. “The SLYBT is a critical component of the Chamber’s strategy to support, nurture and encourage the next generation of Chamber companies and members. CIE, as a serious business committed to Corporate Social Responsibility is playing its part in a real and tangible way in supporting youth, and grooming and helping new business formation in St. Lucia,” said a statement from the Chamber announcing Gajadhar’s donation. The SLYBT is another youth entrepreneurial project of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and was launched on November 15th 2011 as an activity to recognize Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 14th – November 20th).
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Rayneau Gajadhar Team Leader
Rupdat Mohammed R. G. Quarry Manager
Zephyrin Descartes CIE Manager
Donald Albert Accountant
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Rashree Jarbandon Business Development / Internal Auditor
Simon Straughn Operations
Garvin Manifold Production Manager
Service Beyond Expectation
Business Development Executive
Delbert Bynoe Lead Architect
Accounts Payables Supervisor
Welding Fabricating Supervisor
Amral Hosein Workshop Supervisor
Client Sales Executive
Concrete Production Supervisor
Marcus Amedee Logistics
Jan / Feb
From Humble Beginnings to
An Award-Winning Company
Businesses are started when individual owners and operators identify opportunities and apply their energies and invest their limited resources with the expectation of maximizing on their investment and delivering success. The RG Group of Companies was born out of this philosophy and continued to invest, grow and thrive against seasoned competition causing the company to be recognized among its peers and the wider society for the quality of its products, services and other initiatives. It was therefore a very humbling experience for the Group’s CEO, Rayneau Gajadhar when it was announced that The R.G Group had won the award at the 2010 St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards for “Idea of the Year”, for its GEN-X Program. This Program encourages young persons between the ages of 18 to 34 years to “think outside of the box” to develop sustainable business ideas. Again at the Chamber’s 2011 Business Awards Ceremony the RG Group was recognized with the Award for the “Entrepreneur of the Year” being bestowed on the Group’s CEO – Rayneau Gajadhar. In the year since the first award, his RG Group and its flagship CIE Ltd had taken the Gen X project to secondary schools island-wide. In addition the group was investing and doing more where other construction companies were watching the gathering economic storms and pulling back or putting everything on hold. He persevered and invested in purchasing properties for building middle-income homes, while working on extending CIE into a diversified construction group. In November 2011, The RG Group was announced as a Winner in the inaugural Caribbean Business Awards in the category “Small to Middle Caribbean Business of the Year” . This award was presented to Rayneau Gajadhar, CEO of The RG Group at a special function at his CIE’s Corporate Headquarters at Corinth by CBA Director Derrick Sutherland of Antigua. The Company has since been registered as a candidate for the 2012 St Lucia Chamber of Commerce Awards and hopefully the winning ways will continue. 70
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Supporting the Next Generation ‘Generation Next’ is a generic term used to describe today’s young generation, who are or will be the next in line to be in charge. They are both the ‘now’ and the ‘next’ generation – the bridge between today and tomorrow, between our present and our future. These are the young persons who will be tomorrow’s people, big and small – and among them is where we should seek those best willing and able to start getting ready for the future. That’s the sort of thinking that led young local entrepreneur Rayneau Gajadhar to set up the Gen X project to encourage youth and students to “Think Outside The Box” and come up with business ideas that he would fund for them. But not just any idea – they have to be innovative, creative, sustainable and capable of expanding. Gajadhar explained to BF, “I always want to encourage young people to take the business plunge early, like me, because they are the next generation and it is they who will be in charge.” So, he called the project Generation Next (Gen X), and put up $50,000 to create a competition to be judged by prominent individuals and fund the transformation of selected ideas into real businesses. Five projects were cho-
sen and revealed at the impressive first awards ceremony at the Gros Islet Secondary School and each winner started off on a new path in the business world – with a little help from a friend named Rayneau Gajadhar. But it was no easy road. Gajadhar had appointed a special committee comprising managers and supervisors at Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE) Ltd to oversee the Gen X project. They met weekly – as part of their job - reaching out to schools and businesses, interacting with banks, funding agencies and government ministries and, after a full year of preparation, launched the Gen X Project at its first awards ceremony at the Gros Islet Secondary School at the beginning of 2010. The Group CEO and CIE Managing Director took time off his daily workload to visit schools around the island to deliver lectures promoting Gen X and encouraging students to make better use of their time and talents. He would invite them to take application forms and apply online to be part of Gen X. Each student has an equal chance, but the project is also aimed at all young persons, in or out of school, between 18 and
34 years. They simply have to think hard, take time off, learn to prepare a plan and enter the competition. Staff at CIE associated with the project – particularly Business Development Officer, Navita Jarbandon – are always on hand to interview applicants and offer advice. Applicants who needed help got assistance to prepare business planning forms. Over 200 applications were received for the first competition – and scores are pending for the next. A winner of a Gen X prize receives the allocated amount, to be used to purchase raw materials or to cover other start-off expenses such as legal fees. But Gen X coordinators will also accompany winners to banks and funding agencies and provide the help along the way while Gajadhar is always available for mentorship support. Of the first five winners, two companies have excelled so far: Syreeta Alcee’s Divine Connections and Sharleen Lagon’s Jaeylu Designs. The former is into a whole range of activities involving desktop publishing, while the latter runs a design company that features young people in Creole (Madras) fashions.
Jan / Feb
RG Group offers most vulnerable youth
That Big Second Chance! Why it took only three minutes to convince a local company to give that second chance in life to one of the most highly vulnerable groups in the society... ‘Recidivism’ sounds like a big word, but in the context of imprisonment, it only means repeating the number of times you return to jail. In the local context, this has long been a continuous problem, with an increasing number of ex-prisoners returning soon after release on account of their inability to fit into the society they were let out into. With an increasing youth population, which is already the largest group, there have been efforts to introduce formal
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
levels of secondary education into the prison system at Bordelais. Inmates are now taking, and successfully passing CXC Exams, whilst also participating in skills training exercises to prepare them for the world of work when released. However, if businesses are not ready to employ them and society is not ready to give them a chance to integrate, efforts would have been wasted. Unfortunately, as a result of our societal shut-out attitude, those ‘recidivists’, firsttime offenders, or even some on life sentences hoping to be released, all of whom are ready to make a change, are being punished by the lingering societal rejection that keeps them out of the workforce. All doors are slammed shut on
them because of their brushes with the law – and their misfortune in being caught, charged, tried, sentenced and made to pay for their crime. Addressing this problem requires urgent and serious steps, joint by several stakeholders, all of which are aware that keeping the revolving door spinning at Bordelais is a threat to the entire society. The NSDC, in cooperation with CARE and RISE, built a program under the Caribbean Youth Employment Project (CYEP) aimed at reducing the incidence of recidivism in St. Lucia. Two sets of related projects were simultaneously implemented by the NSDC, both of which involved inmates at Bordelais: Training of 13 inmates
daily for five hours (9am to 3pm) in various skills ranging from bar tending to auto mechanics, computer repair and maintenance, office administration, culinary arts, massage therapy and general maintenance (plumbing, electrical and construction). The project also involves seeking employment opportunities and placements for trained and qualified exinmates prepared for and ready to work in private and public sector jobs when released. In the first phase of the training component (which ended in April 2011), 103 inmates were trained ahead of release, but only 20% were placed in jobs. Each was placed on a one-month contract with the ability to keep the job being based on performance. The other 80% joined the ranks of the trained but unemployed workforce. In the second cycle that started on June 6 and ended in October 2011, there were
145 persons with an aim of 60% placement. The problem, as always, was getting the trained young persons employed. Very few businesses were prepared to give the now qualified, now willing ex-prisoners that second chance they worked so hard for behind bars while serving their sentences. The NSDC’s big task was to identify a willing employer who would understand what they were doing and back their cause. They drew up a list of persons “to run the idea by” – and on that list was popular local businessman, Rayneau Gajadhar. By their account, it didn’t even take the NSDC team three minutes to convince Gajadhar to support the program. He reassigned them to his staff “to work out the details” and a fortnight later, his CIE Group and the NSDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on providing jobs for the jobless ex-inmates, now reclassified as “highly vulnerable.”
“It’s not because I just like to help, it’s because I like to help in projects that will benefit more than just one person or company…” - Gajadhar. Under the agreement, CIE will make job placements available within its enterprise for at least six young persons on a trial basis. If they qualify, they get to keep the job. The CIE Group will also provide other forms of assistance to the project, over a six months period. Gajadhar explained, “It took me three minutes to agree to help the project because it is one that involves people and will help more people. It’s not because I just like to help, it’s because I like to help in projects that will benefit more than just one person or company. This is one such project, so I had no time to waste agreeing to help.“
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Jan / Feb
The Stimulus Package! A Marketing Plan to Boost Construction
The longest-lasting low-price sale helped build, extend and renovate over 200 homes and other properties across the island. Now the man behind it all says he’s got another on the drawing board… Back in 2009, when the world economic financial crisis was just starting to bite in the big capitals, Rayneau Gajadhar never lost a night of sleep. He felt St. Lucians shouldn’t wait for the expected “tsunami” to hit our shores to build a better foundation, so he encouraged fellow contractors and hardware companies to “Do something to give our customers a chance to prepare for the future by doing what they have to do now.” Gajadhar argued that prices would definitely increase when things got tough in the countries from which local companies import, so companies should do what they could to encourage St. Lucians to do it while they could. The result: a large group of local suppliers of construction materials and services agreed to a joint offer of severely reduced prices for everything - from cement to nails and
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
paint, to lumber, doors and windows, to steel, sand and stones. This project also attracted several professionals such as contractors, quantity surveyors, architects, plumbers and electricians whom themselves gave huge discounts to the participants. The list of their commercial partners for the Construction Stimulus Package in 2009 were: Harris Paints (St Lucia) Ltd, Caribbean Awnings Production Company Ltd, All American Windows, Sunbilt Ltd, Saint Lu Metal & Plastics Manufacturers Ltd, True Value Building & Hardware Supplies Ltd, Du Boulay’s Building Supplies, Central Point Ltd, Caribbean Metals Ltd, Renwick & Company Ltd, Brice and Company Ltd, Bank of Nova Scotia, First Caribbean International Bank, J Q Cement Products and Charles Haywood & Company.
The project lasted for six months and it helped over 200 families build, refurbish or extend homes and properties around the island. One of the distinctive features of the success of the STIMPAK was that it lasted for sufficient time for clients and customers to plan and implement their proposed projects. The companies involved all saw the benefit of participation and customers moved from one to the other in quiet jubilation and satisfaction at this six-month low-price bonanza. The RG Group CEO is confident about a second plan. He told BF, “I think the island is ready for a STIMPAK II in 2012 and I’m going back to the drawing board to re-shape the plan to address the housing needs of potential home owners.”
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CIE Projects: From
Almond Morgan Bay
New Nat’l Hospital - Sub Contractors
Brydens Warehouse 76 76 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
J.E. Bergasse building
Choc Financial Centre
Foundation to Finish
New National Hospital Access Road
UCRP - Road Construction
Anse La Raye Bridge
Mount Du Cape Road
S & K Manufacturing
Fond Assau School BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
G et tin g
St ar te d
Bu si ne ss
By Michelle S. Charles
Becoming an entrepreneur or self-employed can be an exciting and at the same time, a frightening event. Exciting, because you are confident that you are sitting on this million-dollar idea. But why frightened? According to statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), 51 percent of new businesses survive at least five years. That figure can vary depending on the industry you are in. There are several ways to ensure that your business does not become a casualty or industry statistic. This article looks at some of them. For business success, consideration should be given to some key areas:
Are you in business for the right reason? What is your motive for going into business? Is it because you want to be rich? Is it driven by this burning desire to be an entrepreneur? Or maybe because you want to be the boss? If these are your reasons, then surely you are not aiming for business success. A business should be born out of an idea. This may seem obvious, but there are many people who don’t have an idea. Hav78
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ing only an idea however will not ensure that your business venture is exciting as well as rewarding. Personal skills, qualities and knowledge are also key requirements. They determine whether you are ready for the day-to-day realities of starting a business. You may wonder, “How does one get from conceptualization to actualization?” Some writers see it as a matter of alignment – aligning your heart and head. When the passion ignited by your idea is tempered by reality it is easier to make a determination on the viability of the business concept. Your business success will depend on you being real about a range of issues. These include your knowledge, your financial status, support and the personal qualities you bring to the business. Business Link (UK) cites the following checks as a determination for business readiness: THE REALITY CHECK: Are you prepared to face the following situations? • Personal sacrifice - The physical and emotional demands. • Financial insecurity - There can be times of financial uncertainty. • Pressure on close relationships - You will need the support of your family and friends. • Isolation - Shouldering all the responsibility for the success of the business can prove lonely.
If yes, then let’s move on…
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL QUALITY CHECK: Research has shown that there
are certain qualities commonly found among successful business people. A typical entrepreneur will have the following key qualities: • Self-confidence - A self-belief and passion about your product or service. Your enthusiasm should win people over to your ideas. • Self-determination - A belief that the outcome of events is down to your own actions, rather than based on external factors or other people’s actions. • Being a self-starter - The ability to take the initiative, work independently and to develop your ideas. • Judgment - The ability to be openminded when listening to other people’s advice, while bearing in mind your objectives for the business. • Commitment - The willingness to make personal sacrifices through long hours and loss of leisure time. • Perseverance - The ability to continue despite setbacks, financial insecurity and exposure to risk. • Initiative - The ability to be resourceful and proactive, rather than adopting a passive ‘wait and see’ approach.
Do you posses these traits?
THE BUSINESS SKILLS CHECK: As a
business owner you need core skills to execute your ideas to ensure that your new business survives in the long term. You need to assess your own skills and knowledge. Do you possess the following skills? • Financial management - Having a good grasp of cash flow planning, credit-management and maintaining good relationships with your bank and accountant. • Product development - The ability to make long-term plans for product development and identify the people, materials and processes required to achieve them. • People management - This includes managing, recruitment, resolving disputes, motivating staff and managing training. Also managing the relationship with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. • Business planning - The ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business and plan accordingly.
• Marketing skills - A sound marketing approach will help you set up and oversee sales and marketing operations, analyze markets, identify selling points for your product and following these through to market
THE MARKET RESEARCH CHECK: You need to research your target market and your competitors carefully. Many new businesses fail because they have not spent enough time on researching their business idea and its viability in the market. • Does your product or service satisfy or create a market need? • Can you identify potential customers and competitors? • Will your product or service outlive any passing trends or capitalize on the trend before it dies away? • Is your product or service unique, distinct or superior to those offered by competitors? • What competition will your product or service face - locally, nationally and globally?
• Can you sell the product or service at a price that will give you sufficient profit?
SO DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Starting up a business requires a considerable investment of time, funds and energy. Before you begin, you need to honestly assess whether you really have what it takes and how well you think you might handle the risks involved. Very few entrepreneurs can claim to be strong in all of the areas required. The key is to make the most of your assets and take action to address any gaps. This could include learning new skills yourself or drawing on outside help by delegating, recruiting or outsourcing. About the Author Michelle S. Charles holds a BSc in Management Studies and an MA in International Business and Management. She is the Managing Director of IBMC, a consultancy firm that focuses on the provision of, among other services, strategic direction and growth formulas to start-up, small and medium size enterprises.
Jan / Feb
An Enterprising Education
By Sir Richard Branson
Can entrepreneurship be taught? Can an aspiring business leader learn to choose the right plan, take the right risks, select the right team and then navigate all the turbulence that follows? With many major economies showing sluggish growth, at best, many in politics and business are keen to find answers, because a new wave of energetic entrepreneurs is urgently needed to kick-start trade all over the world, shake up the markets and create jobs. In my experience, success as an entrepreneur depends upon a fairly unusual combination of personality traits and instinctive skills, most of which can only be honed on the job. Formal course work is not enough. Most beginning entrepreneurs need the kind of guidance that only a trusted mentor can provide. It’s critical that experienced executives and chief executive officers volunteer to coach young entrepreneurs in their communities: This is one of the most immediately rewarding and concrete ways successful business leaders can foster economic growth in their region. There are many young entrepreneurs who, if they are given the critical boost of great advice as they launch their start-ups, will someday bring in new jobs. To find a mentoring group in your area, consult local universities, industry groups and smallbusiness development centres. Through our foundation Virgin Unite and with the sponsorship of Virgin businesses and local companies, our team has set up two Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, nonprofit organisations where entrepreneurs, mentors, community members and investors can gather to discuss projects, learn practical skills and spread the word about their ideas. Since we set up the first Branson Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, six years ago, more than 100 entrepreneurs have 80
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taken part in our programme, and, at present, 11 of their businesses are in operation, employing many people. One of our recent “graduates” is Lesego Malatsi, a fashion designer and entrepreneur whose stunning designs were showcased at London Fashion Week in September. We opened the second school in Jamaica just a few weeks ago. The new class of 15 people is working on launching businesses in industries ranging from hospitality to education services to recycling. Do you know someone trying to start a business? As a mentor, there are six things you should keep in mind: 1. A good coach tells it straight: Your most important job is to help a beginning entrepreneur cut through confusion and misinformation to the truth. The evaluations may be intensely personal: What sort of leadership style do they have? What can they do to improve? It may be difficult for your mentee to hear your critical comments, but you must explain very clearly what is going wrong. 2. Build a mentoring team: Many entrepreneurs need help in more than one area. My dyslexia made keeping accounts difficult when I was young, so a family friend who was an accountant stepped in and helped me. His advice was crucial in helping me to understand how things worked and how to run a business. If you are not able to provide all the advice your mentee needs, help her find someone who can. 3. Teach boldness: When the founders of our centre in Jamaica evaluated prospective students for the current class, they found that all of those who applied identified obtaining better access to capital through our programme as a key goal, but only 14 per cent had asked for a loan. In different cultures, there are different barriers to approaching
prospective investors; almost everyone needs advice and help in this area. Share your experiences, review the pitches and practice approaches. 4. Make the introductions: Start-ups often struggle to attract customers and then to keep costs under control as orders increase. Access to investors makes all the difference for many businesses. Be prepared to call industry contacts and old friends from university; whatever it takes to help your mentee connect with those who will see the potential of their business, just like you do. 5. Get that message out: When I was just getting started in business, Sir Freddie Laker, the famed British airline founder, advised me to build company promotions around my own personality—a strategy that has worked well for Virgin. He believed that small entrepreneurial businesses could survive and prosper if they were known about and marketed properly. Potential marketing opportunities are often overlooked by newcomers—it may be up to you to point out the possibilities. 6. Persistence is key: Setting up businesses is a risky occupation. It is important that we help newcomers understand that an early venture’s failure is a badge of experience, not the end of one’s career; that the most important thing to do if things go wrong is to bounce back. Do you know what it takes to coach an entrepreneur to success? Let’s share more best practices. Please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know how you are helping entrepreneurs in your community. Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group. He maintains a blog at www.virgin. com /richard-branson/blog. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/richardbranson.
THE WAY HOME SINCE 1968 Our commitment has stood the Test of Time. Our Devotion is Legendary! Interest rates are at an all-time low so build Today and Celebrate Forever. At SMFC we have something for everyone: From as little as $10,000 to our “High 5”- $500,000. Come, talk to us, and together we can develop the mortgage plan that best suits your needs.
So make that call! Join the thousands of St. Lucians enjoying life in their own homes! St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Limited Brazil & Laborie Streets, P.O. Box 455, Castries Telephone: 452-3464/7/8 – Facsimile: 452-6944 – Email: email@example.com
WHAT IS PHYSIOTHERAPHY
Physiotheraphy is a science-based health care profession which views human movement as central to the health and well-being of individuals. Its practice is directed at evaluating restoring and maintaining physical function.
PHYSIOTHERAPHY services provides treatment for: In Patients at Tapion Hospital
• Pre and Post-operative Surgical Conditions • Chest Conditions • Orthopaedic Conditions • Neurological Conditions • Arthritic Conditions • Home Visits and much more... P. O. Box 1068, Castries, St. Lucia W. I. Tel: (758) 452 3582 • Fax: (758) 452 5857 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan / Feb
Continues to Invest in Youth Business in the Caribbean
CIBC and CYBP Executives with Memorandum of Understanding
A new Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and the Caribbean Association of Youth Business Programmes (CYBP), as the bank reconfirms its commitment to the development of microbusinesses across the Caribbean. Through the MOU, first signed in 2008, CIBC FirstCaribbean provides funding to CYBP which is then used in the development of various business ventures proposed by young business people. Under the new MOU, US$340,000 will be provided over three years to youth businesses in Barbados, Jamaica, Belize, St Lucia, Antigua, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Dominica, through Youth Business Trusts administered by the CYBP. Jamaica will benefit from US$85,000 to be disbursed over a three-year 82
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period. Funds are provided through the CIBC FirstCaribbean Corporate Social Responsibility Programme administered by the CIBC FirstCaribbean Foundation. In 2010, eight young Jamaican entrepreneurs benefitted from J$4-m in loan support from the Jamaica Youth Business Trust for businesses spanning industries like information technology, agriculture, food technology and hospitality. Pointing to the CYBP as “one of many vehicles through which CIBC FirstCaribbean provides loan support to young entrepreneurs in Jamaica and the region,” Nigel Holness, Managing Director, CIBC FirstCaribbean said that the bank “is committed to the fostering of an entrepreneurial spirit among young people as a means of combating youth poverty and unemployment.” The CYBP, Holness
said, “complements the activities of the bank’s dedicated small business unit, established to assist in the development of small and medium enterprises which can make a significant impact both in terms of Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product and direct employment.” He noted, too, that Youth Business Programmes across the beneficiary countries are sharing best practices with each other while bank employees across the region act as mentors to some of the young entrepreneurs. The CYBP is an affiliate of the Youth Business International, a global network of Youth Business Programmes which provides loan funding and mentorship of young people ages 18-30, and has His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, as its patron. Courtesy: Jamaica Observer
Making that small business a success By Raymond Smith
Are you a potential small business owner seeking financing and have had the door shut in your face so many times by financial institutions your breath tastes like doorknob? Do you have a sneaking suspicion that banks and other agencies have a bias against the little guys? Raymond Smith, district general manager, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Ltd, argues however, there is no shortage of financing for businesses, including small and micro enterprises (SMEs). He was speaking at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) SME Conference 2011 held at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel, Port of Spain. He advised small business owners to get an understanding of the various financial products and services being offered and be innovative in your selection. He added that the risk tolerance of financial institutions vary so you will have to “shop around, mix and match.” He said “lesson number one” at Scotiabank was, “don’t mix personal with business.” He had heard many “horror stories” of entrepreneurs who lost all they had, including their spouses, and had to go back to their day jobs. Smith stressed that the less your business borrows the better the chances of it surviving in the long run. “Borrowed funds could be an albatross (a virtually inescapable responsibility),” he said. He also questioned how many SMEs had the “wherewithal” to weather the restrictions of the state of emergency. On the availability of financing, Smith pointed out that Government has been spending “huge sums” to assist small businesses and Scotiabank also has a small business department. So why are small business owners often turned down? Smith explained that very often the owners do not prepare their business to borrow or come with a weak proposal. He said that financiers look at a number of areas when they receive financing requests including who the owners are; financing skills and competencies; can they make this proposal work; does the financing request make sense; strength and weakness of competitors; is customer base well diversified and growing; and are suppliers dependable and varied. Smith recalled one small business owner who only had two suppliers and when he lost them his business crashed and he ended up losing his own money as well. Smith stressed that keeping good books was necessary to prepare the business to borrow. He said one issue on a daily basis is businesses failing to file their annual returns. He said by fulfilling the requirements of financial institutions when presenting the proposal and having the books in order you will not have to chase down financiers. “Trust me, they will come knocking on your door.”
St. Lucia’s First Comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) We partner with you to create a Psychologically Healthy Workplace
• • • • • • •
Our Services include:
Psychometric Assessments (job fit) Individual Counselling Organisational Development (OD) Staff Development Workshops Critical Incident Assistance Substance Abuse Counselling Group Therapy
Phone: (758) 452-8802
Visit us at: www.caribcare.net BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
How to Assess Your Leadership Skills By Tatiana Serafin
Are you as effective a CEO as you can be? “Practicing leadership in a variety of settings and observing leaders in a variety of settings will enhance leadership skills.” – Katherine Ebner “Often without meaning to, we create complexity for people who work with us,” says Katherine Ebner, executive leadership coach at Nebo Leadership in Washington. The first step is to recognize you can always do better. The next one? Follow Ebner’s seven leadership tenets. These steps will help you hone your style: 1. Clarify what your job is. Before anything else, you must understand your roles and responsibilities as a leader. Often people will do their old job; they will do what is familiar versus what’s needed. It is an adjustment to step up to 84
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a leadership role, often one that people are not prepared for. She recommends you define your work by researching your job description, making a list of your roles and responsibilities (according to you), defining outcomes expected of you and, invaluably, asking direct reports, directors, and other senior level staff what they expect from you. 2. Invite feedback. Just as you offer colleagues and subordinates constructive critiques to improve performance, those people can also help you evaluate how you’re doing. To get the deepest and most actionable commentary, make the feedback loop simple. It can be formal or informal, as long as it is confidential, respectful, and efficient.
Conduct such leadership reviews annually, or twice a year, because your staff may turnover and market conditions change. Ask key staffers open-ended, low risk questions such as: “What could I be doing better to support your success?” or “What do you need from me?” or “Is there anything I do that makes things difficult?” Observing non-verbal cues is important. Always be aware of the impact you make on others. You can observe it from body language. Do the staff fall silent when you walk in the room, say? Do key executives meet your gaze or look away when you are speaking? “The key is to understand that you are collecting observable data,” says Ebner. “Don’t project, or be overly
sensitive about what you may be seeing.” 3. Define goals. Establishing goals and milestones for performance over time is important not only in the financial arena but also in the organisational one. “The number of people you can impact everyday does not change in a big or small company. People who work most closely with you will pick up on your tone and mood,” says Ebner. This is then reflected throughout the company. You can track “people performance”: turnover of key positions, length of tenure in position, ability to attract top talent. 4. Refine your storytelling skills. Once you define your goals, you must be able to articulate them. An effective leader is the company’s chief storyteller, not just someone who keeps his or her nose to the grindstone. You have to be able to say where you have been as a company, where you are now, and where you’re going. Ebner recommends using a three-year time horizon. “When you can answer where you want to be in three years in detail, you can identify what it will take to get there, and start filling the gaps.”
Remember it’s not just financial or market positioning, it’s also organisational goals—everything from staffing to technology choices to office locations. 5. Check in on employees. It is important to find out if the message you are relaying is trickling down to employees. You can do so by asking around, or by setting up a more formal process. Take annual employee satisfaction surveys, or conduct a culture survey. There’s also a slew of online vendors that can help assess your company culture and its impact on performance. 6. Look into leadership training. Many universities and institutes offer leadership-training courses. You can also engage a leadership coach, or even go on one of numerous CEO retreats. Among the subject matter you might expect: how to use conversation to inspire action and results, how to garner respect and credibility through your presence, and how you can use social networks for career development. 7. Expand your circle. Networking is critical to being an effective leader. It can come in the form of professional
peer groups like industry associations or community involvement. “Practicing leadership in a variety of settings and observing leaders in a variety of settings will enhance leadership skills,” says Ebner. Don’t overlook peers as an important group with whom to network, either. “As you progress professionally, so do your peers,” points out Ebner. “By investing in these relationships and getting to know others at a similar level of responsibility and authority, you are building a community of colleagues who care about you and your success.” Another networking tip: The aspirational—or “stretch” lunch. One of Ebner’s coaching clients regularly invites leaders she admires for a bite, and focuses on talking with them about their lives, careers, and goals. She even follows up with ideas, articles, or an intro to someone relevant she knows. But she holds off on asking for anything. “Over time, the good will and relationships from these lunches has led to a powerful network of people who are more than happy to support, advise, and assist when the time comes.”
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Tel: (758) 572 3410 BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
J. E. Bergasse Corporate Social Responsibility Program, Y.E.S! – Youth Empowered to Shine focuses on supporting youth education initiatives in Saint Lucia directly and through the Ministry of Education. “Youth Empowered to Shine!” is the banner under which J.E. Bergasse and Company Ltd. officially launched on June 10, 2009 a formal statement of the company’s commitment to youth development and being a precursor to a number of strategic initiatives. These include further equipment donations and technical support to schools, human resource centres and providing sponsorship to deserving entities and projects. Y.E.S! is what J.E. Bergasse is saying to St. Lucia’s youth, encouraging positive constructive youth development through support of education and training initiatives with both physical equipment and expertise. This name portrays an organisation whose operational culture is dedicated to using some of its profits to identify social deficits and say YES! to the solutions. YES! is the exclamation of achievement, for both the company and its benefactors. “Social responsibility has been ingrained in the J. E. Bergasse culture since our earliest days as a company. Good citizenship in my view is, quite simply, good business. We take great care to balance a generous spirit with the wise stewardship of J. E. Bergasse resources. Making a difference is doing more than what you must, it’s about doing what you can.” says Anthony Bergasse, Managing Director, J. E. Bergasse & Company Ltd. J.E. Bergasse and Company Ltd. has always been a part of Saint Lucian communities ‐ supporting Government programmes, education and youth development. YES! is our way of saying thank you, and is the flagship for our continued integrated social responsibility. In the past two years, institutions, youth initiatives and schools that are chosen to receive assistance through the Y.E.S! Programme is usually a carefully selected process. Our concentration is mainly geared towards schools, institutions and programmes that are in dire need of the basic essentials for youth development. These include but are not limited to the under-privileged, the poor, youth development projects, communities devastated by disaster and schools not receiving sufficient assistance of equipment or supplies by the Ministry of Education. J.E. Bergasse and Company Ltd. stands behind social and economic development. A stance perhaps often overlooked for its simplicity: ‘give back to society and empower it to grow’. When it comes to social development, J.E. Bergasse and Company Ltd. has one thing to say... Y.E.S! (Youth Empowered to Shine!). 86
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Jan / Feb
Young & In Charge
In this section we feature the profiles of several young St. Lucian leaders in the world of Business and Enterprise. Their achievements are exemplary having started their academic and professional careers from very humble backgrounds and beginnings. Some have followed an academic career which position them for a natural progression in their chosen career path. Others have followed their passion and have blossomed after being given the opportunity which they grabbed with both hands and applied themselves to maximize on the potential of the position. We have highlighted these persons to share their stories as examples of what is possible when we identify a vision and define concrete goals and aspirations and work towards realising these for our personal development and success. This establishes the facts that all things are possible if we continue to be positive. As a message to all young persons in society - the achievements of these persons is a reflection of what you can be. The future of our society is dependent on ensuring that our young people are exposed to all opportunities and be given the relevant guidance and support to realise their true potential. We hope that these stories serve as an inspiration to helping you become another young St.Lucian who over time will achieve and excel and be a shining example for so many others to come.
Ian Peter, a fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), is currently the OECS Director of Finance for the Unicomer group of companies, trading as Courts, in the OECS. Prior to his appointment at Courts, he was employed as the Financial Controller for Peter & Company Limited. Ian was recently re-elected to serve as a board member of the Chamber of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce. Ian comes from a working class family of five children. He thanks his late mother, a true matriarch, for making his dream of a university education possible. His education in St. Lucia began at the RC Boys School and ended at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, where he graduated in 1987. After working with CIBC now operating as FCIB, for two years, he moved on to the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus, and graduated with a degree in Management Studies. He taught at St. Mary’s College for two years before moving to Trinidad to complete the ACCA professional accounting examinations and a year later was back in St. Lucia. KPMG was the foundation for his accounting experience and he has Frank Myers to thank for that opportunity. Ian attributes his success to perseverance, discipline and a deep appreciation of the value of working through people. He is keen to play his part in the development of St. Lucia and encourages all young St. Lucians aspiring to take up the reins from his generation, to remain focused and committed, to their goals.
Kerchelle Jn Charles
Kerchelle Jn Charles is living her dream. As Marketing Manager for Digicel she is doing what she always hoped as a child: being a part of an international company while making a difference to her country. The position wasn’t gained over night. Every step of her youth - from being a girl guide, doing Duke of Edinburgh Awards and starting her career in banking – were all stepping stones, along with aiming high on the path for success. “The early days taught me discipline,” she says with the broad, warm smile that is characteristic of this dynamic and vibrant, under-thirty manager. She credits her drive and ambition to her parents who were also achievers. “They taught me how to go after what I wanted with unstoppable zeal.“ Kerchelle also credits some leading businesswomen as providing the ‘oomph’ and sense of direction she needed to blaze her own trail. “They created the environment for younger women like me to reach for the stars, breaking through the perception of the management ‘glass ceiling’.” Kerchelle graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Cameron University in Oklahoma and completed her Masters in Finance at King’s Graduate School of Business, Monroe College, St. Lucia. Kerchelle believes that women should be empowered to take leadership roles, especially in areas traditionally held by men. Now it is her turn to give young people the wings to fly and to soar...to be the best they possibly can. “I love working with young people. I visit schools and am involved in a number of organisations as a mentor and leader but also as confidant. My message is always to not place limits on their dreams. I tell them they should just fall in love with hope and work dedicatedly to making their dreams come true.” But don’t be fooled by this career-driven professional. She also loves having a good time -whether it be for a costume at carnival, pumping iron at the gym or just relaxing at the movies or the beach. 88
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National Farmers & General Workers Co-operative Credit Union
STEP BY STEP
Ronald James - General Manager
Bois D Orange Branch
WHAT IS STEP-BY-STEP? The Introduction of saving accounts design specially for children the ages of 0 - 15 years old BECOME A MEMBER By Completing a Membership Application Form. No Registration Fee required and a minimum desposit of $5.00 Terms & Conditions Earn Interest Quarterly. At 16 years, the child becomes a full pledge member of NF&GWCCU can start buying shares.
BENEFITS FOR TEACHING CHILDREN TO SAVE: 1. TEACHES THEM ABOUT MONEY 3. TEACHES HIM / HER TO SAVE FOR THE FUTURE 5. TEENS CAN LEARN TO DO THEIR OWN SAVINGS
2. TEACHES THEM ABOUT SAVING 4. SAVING ACCOUNTS FOR MINORS 6. FUTURE GOALS
The NF&GWCCU offers loans at affordable and competitive interest rates for productive and provident purposes Providing quality, timely and professional services to its membership as it continuously encourages maximum participation, staff development, while remaining committed to its socio-economic responsibility to our people
We Are Located at the following locations: NATIONAL FARMERS & GENERAL WORKERS CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION LTD. Bridge St. Castries: Tel: (758) 452.7277 / 458.1268 Fax: (758) 453.2348 Vieux Fort: (758) 454.6710 Fax: (758)454.9526 Bois D’ Orange, Daher Building, Marisule: TEL: (758)452.9219 Fax: (758) 452.9218 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.nfgwccu.com
With over 13 years in the communications industry, Dominic Fedee is now conquering heights beyond his dreams. His passion for media and communications started in his boyhood days. “As a boy the plan was always to play cricket for the West Indies and cricket commentary after retirement. I used to go to bed doing cricket commentary and would read the sports pages of all the newspapers to my mom as if I was a TV sportscaster,” Dominic chuckled. His professional career started as a TV journalist for DBS and briefly Radio St. Lucia. In 2000, Dominic joined Sandals and was appointed as PR Manager for Sandals Halcyon and later for Sandals La Toc. Two years ago he was promoted to Regional Public Relations Manager for the Sandals Resorts Eastern Caribbean PR team, his current position. However, it was while working as a news and current affairs journalist that the 33-year old discovered other passions that now benefit his current post. He was made aware of the social, economical, and political climate of the country and became interested in wanting to help solve some of the problems. So in addition to getting to write, Dominic also got a chance to empower ordinary people everyday through the Sandals community outreach program and also to help promote St. Lucia as a tourism destination. Outside of work, he realized his boyhood dream to work in cricket commentary during the 2011 Pakistan series by joining the “Line and Length Network” panel. Previously, he had done several first class matches for the Radio St. Lucia commentary team and appeared on many talk-show discussions on the game.
Joralia St. Louis
From a very young age Joralia St. Louis seemed to know exactly what she wanted in life. With her father advising her that success can only be attained through a proper education, Joralia went on to do A-Levels after school. Her first job was at Minvielle & Chastanet Insurance where she worked as an underwriter and claims clerk. After marrying at 22, Joralia’s next goal was to apply to the University of the West Indies Distance Education Program where she successfully completed her BSc. degree in Management Studies. She later achieved a diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute of London and admits it was challenging balancing work and family while pursuing higher education, but her will to succeed, her unrelenting faith in God and the support of her husband kept her steadfast in the pursuit of her dreams. Her qualifications paved the way for her promotion to branch manager at The Beacon Insurance Company Ltd where she has been from 2003. Joralia is responsible for the St. Lucia branch operations. She also gets involved with the community in several ways - as Chairperson of the General Sub-Committee on the Board of the Insurance Council of St. Lucia, and as a youth leader and secretary for the Faith Baptist Church. She believes that to be successful you must set goals, keep focus, work hard and maintain a positive attitude. Most importantly she is governed by the principle, “We must put God first in everything we do” and encourages all young people, “No matter how humble your beginnings, strive always to be the best that you can be.”
From a tender age, Denny Raymond’s parents had high expectations. His mother, a school teacher, ensured he was accountable for his performance and conduct at school; whilst his father, a welder, plumber, and pipe fitter boosted Denny’s confidence by telling him that he could become an engineer. Denny developed a keen interest and excelled in Mathematics and Natural Sciences. His academically strong areas coincided with the pre-requisites for enrolling in an engineering degree program. He first took A-Levels and then taught for two and a half years. Denny Raymond became the first proud recipient of the Bernard C. Theobalds scholarship, which was awarded by LUCELEC, and after three years, graduated from the University of the West Indies with a BSc. degree in Mechanical Engineering. Since then, Denny has been working with LUCELEC in an engineering position. His current role entails actively participating in power generation expansion projects with the objective of ensuring a reliable supply of electricity to the nation. He feels elated to be involved in projects that have national impact. Denny says, “I would like to acknowledge firstly Almighty God for blessing me with the aptitude to learn, and the opportunities to excel. I am thankful too for the contributions of my family, teachers, church leaders, and co-workers who have all made an indelible impression on my life.” He encourages St. Lucians to identify and develop their talents so that they can capitalise on opportunities as they become available, and strongly believes that success happens when preparation meets opportunity. “If you have little to lose and much to gain by trying, why not by all means try?” 90
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Noorani M. Azeez
Mr. Noorani M. Azeez is a young high performance executive who has dedicated his professional career to the management and development of human resources in St Lucia. Empowered by a deliberate will to unlock and enhance human productivity, Noorani began as a teacher at the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School in La-Resource, Vieux-Fort. Fourteen years later, in January 2012, he is ascending to the position of Executive Vice President of the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA). Noorani previously held the post of Training and Development Manager for Sandals Resorts International. Committed to shifting human development and productivity paradigms within the tourism industry, he credits his stint with Sandals as providing tremendous personal insights and appreciation for the plight of hospitality employees and their invaluable contribution to the success of the industry. From 2002-2007, he served as General Manager of the National Skills Development Centre Inc (NSDC). During his tenure, Noorani provided operational leadership, directed grant funding proposal development efforts and spearheaded strategic goal expansion and growth plans for the company. In 2009, Noorani joined SLHTA as Project Manager and subsequently Manager, Finance and Administration, working his way up to Deputy Executive Vice President, charged with the implementation of its strategic plans and crafting policies aimed at re-engineering and enhancing the productivity of SLHTA and its Secretariat. Noorani is not daunted by the challenges accompanying the new role of Executive Vice President but looks forward to leveraging emerging regional and international best practices to foster private/public sector partnerships and the growth of the hospitality industry.
Dr. Merlina Joseph, MD
Dr. Merlina Joseph is a St. Lucian dermatologist and founder of the Derm-Med Clinic - a dermatology consultation centre located at the Blue Coral Mall in downtown Castries. Her medical background began in 1998, whereby she was awarded a medical degree by the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Medicas, Camaguey, Cuba. Prior to becoming a medical doctor she was a trained dietician from the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica. Upon returning to St. Lucia in 1998, she worked at the Victoria Hospital as a general doctor but her dream was always to become a dermatologist. She therefore pursued a postgraduate specialist degree in Dermatology, at the University of Wales in Cardiff, Wales. From 2002, she worked for the government of St. Lucia, as Consultant Dermatologist and the National Leprosy Control Coordinator. In 2005 she decided to leave the public health sector and go into private practice. She now runs a thriving dermatology and laser hair removal practice at the Derm-Med Clinic. The formation of this clinic arose from the need to provide the most affordable and safe laser hair removal for patients. She believes in continued personal and professional growth and as such is a fellow of these prestigious organisations: • American Academy of Dermatology • International Society of Dermatology • International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology • Caribbean Dermatology Association • Women’s Dermatological Society Her passions outside of the field of dermatology are karate, aromatherapy, graphic design, catering, crafts, interior design and floral design.
After graduating from St. Mary’s College in 1991, Rashid Jean-Baptiste joined Cable & Wireless (St.Lucia) Ltd., training at the Cable & Wireless Telecommunications College in Cornwall, England for eight months. He then worked with Cable & Wireless (St. Lucia) Ltd. until May 1995. Deciding to further his education, he attended Palm Beach Community College in Florida, obtaining an AA degree in Computer Information Systems in 1997, and then attended Florida A&M University from 1997 to 1999, graduating with a BSc degree in Computer Information Systems. He returned to St. Lucia every summer to work with Cable & Wireless on temporary assignments. In July 1999, Rashid was recruited by Microsoft Corporation to work in their Charlotte, North Carolina office as a team leader providing support for SQL Server, Microsoft’s database management software. In December 2003, he was transferred to Microsoft’s office in Mountain View, California to work on the team responsible for migrating the Hotmail infrastructure from a Unix environment to a Windows environment. He was the Database Administrator and eventually migrated to the role of Program Manager on the Operations team. From there, Rashid moved to the Development team, responsible for writing software for the Hotmail environment, also as a Program Manager. In April of 2010, Rashid’s family decided to move back to St. Lucia. The following month he started an Information Technology Services firm, called West Technology Group Inc in Rodney Bay. He says, “It has been great being back home and being able to contribute in a meaningful way.” BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
Global Entrepreneurial Week The Birth of Youth Business Trust St. Lucia has started 2012 with a new organisation aiming to encourage young people to enter the world of business. It is the St. Lucia Youth Business Trust (SLYBT), which was launched during observance of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) towards the end of 2011. The week was hosted by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and the SLYBTâ€™s launch was part of the week of activities. Many of the 50 plus partners in GEW attended both launchings, along with numerous young persons interested in becoming entrepreneurs. GEW is celebrated globally each year from November 14th to 20th in many countries worldwide, involving millions of students, policy makers, aspiring and established entrepreneurs, companies and businesses coming together to discuss entrepreneurship and global issues. Executive Director of the Chamber, Brian Louisy, applauded local partners for their enthusiastic response to the establishment of the SLYBT during GEW, saying it helped to inspire, mentor, engage and connect the youth, policy makers and opinion leaders.
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Jan / Feb
Journalism Industry School Launched Travel Adding Pressure Against UK APD in Name of Caribbean Media Mogul, Ken Gordon
Businessman Ken Gordon, third from left, is congratulated by Finance Minister Winston Dookeran, left, after he received a commemorative plaque from Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim (second from left) during the launch of the Ken Gordon School of Journalism and Communication Studies at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Trinidad. At right is Emmanuel Gonsalves, COSTAATT president.
Trinidad & Tobago’s College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts (COSTAATT), has launched a School of Journalism and Communication Studies in the name of media mogul, Ken Gordon, a media veteran who spent most of his working life dedicated to the building and defending of the media industry both locally and regionally. Scores of current and veteran media practitioners and media owners joined COSTAATT at the launch in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Gordon himself was moved by the tributes paid to him and got emotional when he recalled his own labours with colleagues to develop the media. He said however, that he’s not entirely satisfied with what he sees in the media today. Gordon, who chaired a committee that suggested to the previous government that a State of Emergency be implemented to address crime, says some of the criticism he has heard about the State of Emergency in the media is unwarranted, and he says the figures speak of success. He is also calling for more to be done to improve diction and speech in the broadcast media, a task he believes the school must undertake. Tertiary Education Minister, Fazal Karim, made it clear the government strongly supports a fiercely independent media, as he delivered an address on behalf of the government. The School of Journalism and Communications Studies starts in January 2012, offering Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate Degrees and Certificates. It will also include a state of the art media centre and research institute.
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
Through an open letter to chancellor of the United Kingdom, George Osborne, a coalition of over 30 American travel industry organisations has challenged the air passenger duty (APD) levelled by the British government on travellers to and from the UK as “excessively high and counterproductive” and urged it to abandon plans to raise the APD in 2012. The letter, signed by over 30 leading US travel industry organisations, called the APD “nothing more than a tax grab” for the purpose of reducing the UK’s budget deficit and charged that it unfairly penalised the airlines and their customers. Instead, the organisations – including the Air Transport Association, America’s largest and oldest airline trade association – called for the UK authorities to not only abandon plans to increase the APD rate, but also to begin a progressive reduction of the existing tax. Using many of the same arguments progressively put forward by Caribbean tourism officials, the coalition noted that the 225% tax increase was not only an onerous burden on a family of four travelling to or from the UK, but a party of four business travellers as well. The American travel industry representatives indicated that this was clearly having fallout for the UK as the decline in traffic from UK airports, when compared to other EU airports, was welldocumented. The 31 signatories strongly condemned the APD as “detrimental to everyone,” saying it punished consumers, harmed both foreign and UK airlines alike, caused economic injury to countries and cities that welcomed UK visitors arriving by air, and hurt the UK hospitality and tourism industry by discouraging air travel to that country. The industry representatives argued that there had to be “more economically sound ways” to reduce the UK’s deficit than “strangling tourism and the air travel trade.” The coalition’s letter followed a strong lobby put forward towards the end of 2011 by Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s 19th General Assembly in South Korea for travel industry officials across the world to band together to pressure the UK to rethink the APD. The US-based Business Travel Coalition (BTC) also noted last year, the urgency in breaking down the “silos” in the world travel industry to address the issue, given that not only could the APD increase again in 2012, but also that the EU Emissions Trading System will kick in during 2012, effectively taxing the UK twice for its role in protecting the environment, which would likely be passed on to consumers.
2012 Will See Full Effect of Common OECS Tourism Policy
LUCELEC’s Customer Incentive Campaign Paying Off St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) is reviewing the progress of its recently launched customer incentive campaign branded ‘LUCELEC Energy Champs’ – and signs are that it is paying off. The campaign, launched late last year, was designed primarily to reward customers for their diligence in paying their bills in full, while providing them with energy efficiency tips to help customers reduce energy consumption, save some money, and minimize their environmental impact on the planet. Customers who paid their bills in full from October to December 31, 2011, were given an opportunity to win cash prizes each month and a grand prize of a home or office makeover with energy efficient appliances valued at ten thousand dollars for domestic customers and twenty thousand dollars for commercial customers. These grand prize draws were scheduled for the first week of January 2012. The power company promised that “everyone will have an opportunity to win energy efficient prizes every week by answering energy efficiency related questions in an online quiz on the company’s website.” Speaking at a press launch for the campaign, LUCELEC’s Managing Director, Trevor Louisy, said this type of customer incentive campaign is new to LUCELEC, but is consistent with its strategic priorities for the next few years. “As a company we are constantly evolving to maintain our cutting edge, not just in terms of the delivery of electricity and related services to our customers, but also in finding new ways to contribute to the social and economic development of the country and in caring for our customers,” Louisy added. Louisy noted that ‘LUCELEC Energy Champs’ was “the initial phase of a wider and longer term” energy efficiency campaign that LUCELEC expects to unfold later this year, under the theme ‘Reduce Energy Consumption, Save Money and Save the Planet.’
The year 2012 will give full effect to the common tourism policy for the nine-nation Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which came into effect on October 1 last year. Programme Officer at the OECS Secretariat, Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, speaking ahead of the launching of the common policy towards the end of last year, said OECS Member States are “pretty close” to unveiling their first Common Tourism Policy. She said details were finalized at the second meeting of private and public sector tourism stakeholders, which looked at the draft common tourism policy. At the time, she said the consultants were refining the policy document to reflect decisions taken at the workshop and they expected to disseminate the revised policy to officials in all member-states. The OECS Secretariat stated that the tourism consultation focused on tourism development within the OECS Economic Union and how it further enhances the life of the thousands of persons employed in the sector. “I think I can say with some level of confidence, that the OECS member states have produced a very comprehensive, relevant and action oriented Tourism Policy,” Nicholas added. The OECS Secretariat said the Antigua and Barbuda consultation was a success, as tourism professionals from the private and public sector in the OECS and other stakeholders were able to agree on the key areas to be addressed in the OECS Tourism Policy.
Jan / Feb
BIZZ BIZZBUZZ BUZZ
Online Company Registration System Launched
Credit Unions to Observe Cooperatives Year
Antigua and Barbuda has become the first CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) nation to launch the CARICOM Online Company Registration System. This project when completed enables Registrars of Companies to access information on companies and other legal entities exercising the Right of Establishment in the CSME. The project will also provide web interface to allow public access to the online system. Minister of Legal Affairs Senator, Joanne Massiah, said the system would make it easier for persons and companies within the region to set up business in the country. “This project represents a significant step in the CSME arrangement and is an example of the single market phase of the CSME. It is intended to support a key component of the CSME… being the right of establishment through the networking of all national registries and database of companies and other legal entities,” she said. The CARICOM Secretariat as the manager of the project has facilitated the recruitment of an information technology specialist and a data entry operator within the office of the Registrar of Companies in Antigua and Barbuda. This CARICOM member state has also received assistance with database software for registering local companies. “This project is one of the significant concrete initiatives under the programme of the CARICOM Secretariat to establish the CSME,” CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador, Irwin LaRocque, said. “The project is expected to contribute to the operation of the CSME through the building of a secure IT infrastructure in member states and at the community level, to enhance the capacity and to enable registrars of companies to be networked in a regional repository of data and information on companies and other legal entities.” The online system was expected to have been completed by all 14 CARICOM countries by the end of 2011. Courtesy: Caribbean 360 News
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
The United Nations General Assembly last year declared 2012 as the “International Year of Cooperatives” to highlight the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. With the theme of “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World”, the year seeks to encourage the growth and establishment of cooperatives all over the world. It also encourages individuals, communities and governments to recognize the agency of cooperatives in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals. The designation of the first International Year of Cooperatives aims to increase public awareness about cooperatives and their contributions to socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to promote the formation and growth of cooperatives worldwide. UN member-states, observers, organisations of the United Nations system, cooperatives and non-governmental organisations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council pledged to take actions throughout 2012 to observe the designation. The International Year of Cooperatives was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 65/184. So what exactly are cooperatives? What differentiates them from other forms of business? What are the advantages of cooperatives for members and communities in general? Cooperatives are business enterprises owned and controlled by the very members that they serve. Their member-driven nature is one of the most clearly differentiating factors of cooperative enterprises. This fact means that decisions made in cooperatives are balanced by the pursuit of profit, and the needs and interests of members and their communities. Cooperatives take many forms and operate in all sectors of society. Most share a unique set of principles which keep them attuned with their member-driven characterisation. The logo for the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) is based on the slogan for the year, which is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” It evokes the definition of cooperative enterprises as autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. There was lukewarm response here last year when the UN asked member-states to prepare programmes for the observance of the year, but the local cooperative movement is expected to organise a series of activities across the island this year in observance of the first UN-designated Cooperatives Year.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
(Back Row, from L to R): Malcom Mathurin of the Soufriere Foundation; Bridgette Charles; Natasha Smith of the Soufriere Foundation; Michelle Vidal of the Soufriere Foundation; Noelle Roland; Esther St. Claire; Nadia Sydney; Mairi Low; Dellan Emmanuel of the Soufriere Foundation (Front Row, from L to R): Valine Gustave of the Soufriere Foundation, Lisa Charles, Jill Hagar
Soufriere’s Health & Wellness Retreat Focuses on Physical and Spiritual Well-being The inaugural Health and Wellness Retreat, an initiative of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, brought together speakers and practitioners of holistic living in a series of workshops in Soufriere recently. The aim of the retreat was to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. Among the highlights of the event were daily yoga sessions by internationally recognized Iyengar Yoga expert John Schumacher, seminars by Feng shui specialist William Spears, and author of ‘The Everest Principle’, Dr Stephen Brewer. The effort, according to the retreat organisers, was a first step in promoting both individual lifestyle education, and community development in the emerging wellness tourism field. Senator Allen Chastanet remarked, “There has been a global trend towards greater health and wellness awareness and Saint Lucia offers the complete package.” Participant Mairi Low concurred, “Soufriere was the perfect place to host the retreat. The views were stunning, the air quality fresh, and Soufriere in general is just so unspoiled and beautiful.” In addition to the workshops, participants enjoyed daily cooking demonstrations, a photography class conducted by Caribbean 98
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
photographer Danielle Devaux, and art and pottery workshops by St Lucia’s Luigi St. Omer and Michelle Ribot respectively. Schumacher, one of the workshop facilitators said of the retreat, “All of us are so fortunate to have been able to take part in the inaugural Saint Lucia Health and Wellness Retreat. From the excellent organisation to the magical beauty of Soufriere... everything conspired to bring healing knowledge and an awakening experience to the participants.” Low agreed, “I was extremely happy with the organisation and felt that everyone who participated came out of the event with something they could apply to their daily lives. The workshops addressed each individual at the point at which they were in their journey to overall wellness. I really appreciated that.” Lifestyle education has become an increasingly popular part of the health and wellness movement. Dr. Stephen Brewer observed, “I felt a great acceptance from the audience in terms of health. The amount of questions received afterwards and throughout the presentation was very much in keeping with what is happening in the world of health and wellness today.” Organisers are pleased with the profile
the event afforded by both the island and the community of Soufriere. “Our visitors, both local and international, kept remarking on how idyllic the setting was.” Guest speaker William Spears enthused, “The Soufriere Foundation, Senator Chastanet and all the local hoteliers, restaurant owners and organisers can be proud of this extraordinary effort that will not only boost tourism to this beautiful island paradise, but also become a focal point for what is possible when a few committed individuals think long range with an understanding of the bigger picture.” He continued, “As health educators for more than thirty years, my wife and I were honoured to be a part of this. Those communities wise enough to focus on preventative measures in the next few years will benefit enormously from events like this that carry such great promise to create a better life for Saint Lucians. The old adage, ”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind, since what we shared can hopefully inspire others to explore lifestyles that maintain wellness and prevent serious illness.” This is indeed the hope of the retreat organisers who are already making plans for next year’s event.
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
The three Cuban doctors who came here to promote their new anti-cancer drug. (Left to right) Dr. Caridad Rodrigues Torrez, Dr. Ivaris Martinez Montes de Oca and Dr. Ana Livis Fraga.
New Cuban Scorpion Anti-Cancer Drug
Hits Local Market
St. Lucians are showing quite some interest in a new anti-cancer drug developed in Cuba using scorpion venom. A team of Cuban scientists recently launched a new homeopathic cancer treatment following discussions with and permission from local health officials. The scientists were from the Labiofam Group, a Cuban government agency responsible for the production and handling of health products made on the island. The Cuban team launched Vidatox 30 CH, a cancer fighting medication made from the venom of a breed of scorpion indigenous to Cuba. The visiting team explained that for 200 years, native Cubans had used this venom as medication for various ailments, but over the past 15 years, Dr. Caridad C. Ro-
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
driguez Torrez and a team of Cuban scientists began an in-depth investigation into that particular breed of scorpion. They found that it contains five peptodes armed with the ability to inhibit the growth of tumorial cells and induce cell death, with this potent quality and its analgesic and anti inflammatory properties, Vidatox was created. ”It can greatly improve the quality of life for even terminal cancer sufferers,” Rodriguez-Torres said. “Our team discussed the potential of the use of Vidatox 30 CH in St. Lucia as a natural substance with no side effects. Since Vidatox is made from natural ingredients it will be available over the counter,” she added. Answering questions from members of the press on the effectiveness of the prod-
uct Dr. Caridad said, “Vidatox is effective on over thirty types of cancers. We have tested it on 30,000 patients with very positive results. It must be taken five drops under the tongue, every twelve hours and no food or drink should be ingested until thirty minutes later.” Vidatox was officially registered in Cuba in May 2011, and is already in use in Asia, Europe, Latin American and now in the OECS, But it all started in St. Lucia when the doctors visited late last year. Dr. Caridad was accompanied by Dr. Ana Livia Fraga Perez and Inarvis Martinez Montes De Oca. Dr. Caridad was accompanied by Dr. Ana Livia Fraga Perez and Inarvis Martinez Montes De Oca.
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Jan / Feb
REGIONAL TRADE SHOWS AND CONFERENCES IF YOU HAVE MISSED THIS YEAR’S EVENTS, ENSURE TO PENCIL PLANS FOR ATTENDING NEXT YEAR. LOOK OUT FOR NEW DATES.
CARIBBEAN ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL 2012 9th – 14th March 2012, British Virgin Islands At the last festival in 2010, over 50 artisans from 15 Caribbean nations participated and more than 1,000 visitors enjoyed the activities and crafts on offer. The 2012 festival is shaping up to be even bigger, with support from across the entire region. The festival brings together every interest in the Caribbean Arts & Crafts scene. For further info: www.caribbeanartisan.net
CARILEC’s PUBLIC RELATIONS & CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE March 2012 This conference is planned to provide a forum for growth, development and discussion amongst the mangers in charges of Corporate Communications and PR in their organisations. The address strategic communication planning, corporate culture management and effective reporting on issues especially technical issues related to Caribbean utilities. For further info: www.carilec.com
CARILEC’s OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY CONFERENCE April 2012 This conference and exhibition is planned to meet the demand and interest shown by HR Managers and Health & Safety Officers from its member utilities. The conference seeks to address the new perspective of health and safety as a feature of corporate responsibility; major issues of Occupational Health and Safety such as the: adoption of international standards and the associated benefits. For further info: www.carilec.com
RE-DISCOVER THE CARIBBEAN April 2012 Grow your Intra-Caribbean business. For further info: http://re-discover.com/rediscover_show.cfm
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE April 2012, Guyana This is the 13th annual Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC) staged by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO). It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives. This is a conference from which everyone involved in doing business in and with the Caribbean can benefit. For further info: www.caribbeanstc.com
CHTA INVESTMENT CONFERENCE (CHTIC) – CARIBBEAN HOTEL ASSOCIATION 24th – 26th April 2012 - Sheraton, Puerto Rico The 2012 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) will be the sixteenth year of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization managing the region’s most successful and longest-standing tourism investment event. It is anticipated to be a very well attended and supported conference. With 400 delegates and representatives from over 23 Caribbean countries, United States and United Kingdom, there are great networking opportunities. For further info: www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
Mr. Bradley Felix to the position of Senior Manager – Retail Banking. His appointment is the result of a career built on performance, dedication, patience and the right attitude on the job. In this new position, Mr. Felix is responsible for driving sales, improving service standards and performance of our branches. He has 27 years of experience in the banking industry and has worked in various capacities including: Manager – Bank of Saint Lucia Soufriere Branch, Manager – Bank of Saint Lucia Gros Islet Branch, Senior Branch Manager – Bank of Saint Lucia Financial Centre Branch. Mr. Felix holds a Professional Diploma in Banking from the Graduate School of Banking. and employees as he can in the coming weeks. He added: “We intend to position ourselves to work alongside our clients to ensure they in turn are positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that are sure to present themselves as the recovery of the world economy progresses. It’s an interesting and exciting time to be here,” read the statement. Ms. Cynthia Laurent - to the position of Senior Manager - Operations, Bank of Saint Lucia. Ms. Laurent’s career with the organisation spans over 30 years, throughout which she has consistently demonstrated commitment, loyalty and the capacity to work hard in order to achieve results. Most recently she served as Proj-
ect Manager for the centralization of the Central Services Unit. In this position, Ms. Laurent is responsible for the following units – Central Services Unit, Card Services, Operations, Customer Support Centre, Centralized Accounting Unit and other units that provide a central service to the branches of Bank of Saint Lucia. Ms. Laurent holds a Professional Diploma in Banking from the Graduate School of Banking. Mrs. Martina Dornelly - to the position of Manager - Personal Lending of Financial Centre Branch. She has 19 years of banking experience and most recently held the position of Sr. SupervisorLoans at the Gros Islet Branch and Branch Accountant at the Vieux Fort Branch. In her new role, Mrs. Dornelly is responsible for strengthening the Financial Centre’s lending team with an enthusiastic and results oriented focus on delivering ensuring excellence in customer service. Mrs. Dornelly holds a Professional Diploma in Banking from the Graduate School of Banking. Mrs. Jasmin Charles as Assistant Manager - Training & Development. Mrs. Charles’ credentials include a Post Graduate Degree in Education/Training and Development from York University where she also received her Ontario Teaching Certificate License. She also holds two B.A. Honours Degrees in Sociology and Psychology and has acquired over ten years of experience in the area of Human Resources Development & Training. She obtained most of her experience in both
the hospitality industry and private organisations in the capacity of Training Manager and Human Resources Manager. In her position, Mrs. Charles is responsible for managing the learning and professional development of employees across the Group. She brings to the position a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience that will enable her to make significant contribution to the Human Resource Team and to the continued success of the organisation. Mr. Omari Frederick - to the position of Assistant Manager – Corporate Communications & Customer Care. He is responsible for the implementation of the Group’s Public Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. Omari began his career in the financial services sector in 1998 and throughout his tenure acquired considerable skills and experience in a number of fields. He joined the ECFH team in 2006 in the position of Human Resource Officer responsible for Internal Communications & Employee Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree (BBA) from Acadia University in Canada, as well as a number of professional certifications including a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) designation from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). He has also undertaken a number of business communication and communication planning courses, and one of his many successes was attaining the Highest Award of Achievement from the Dale Carnegie: Effective Communications & Human Relations Course. He has earned the reputation as an excellent communicator and a dedicated professional, and is known for his approachable personality. He brings to the table a combination of creativity and enthusiasm; and we look forward to his contributions to the Marketing & Corporate Communications Team and to the success of the ECFH Group. BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
Jn Charl Miller Courts St. Lucia Ltd is pleased to introduce Mr. Jn Charl Miller in the capacity of OECS Management Accountant. Mr Miller who joined the Courts family on Monday 15th August 2011 is a past employee of the PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked as the company’s Audit Manager. In his new position, Mr. Miller has direct responsibility for identifying; measuring, analyzing and interpreting the business’ results as well as playing an integral role in contributing to overall management plans and decision making. As an accomplished accountant, with an eight year outstanding record in accounting and business advisory services, Mr. Miller is a valuable addition to the Courts family. Johnathan Johannes was appointed as Courts Senior Manager on Tuesday 14th June 2011 with direct responsibility for supervising the operations of the warehouse, the company’s seven outlets and the Technical Service Department. Mr. Johannes has over ten years of management experience in over ten regional jurisdictions where he has significantly contributed to the development of the organisations of which he has been a part. He last worked with First Caribbean International Bank as District Manager in Barbados. In recognition of his positive contributions Mr. Johannes was awarded First Caribbean International Bank Regional Employee of 104
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the Year and Regional Sales and Service personality will prove to be a valuable addition to the Courts team. Excellence Award. Ms. Thecla Alcee As the senior manager of Courts St.Lucia joined the Courts Ltd, Mr. Johannes plays a major role in St. Lucia Ltd. family the company’s success by developing on July 1st 2011 strategies that will maximize revenue and in the capacity control costs in the departments assigned. of OECS Internal Control Manager. Mr. Mozel Ms. Alcee is Isaacs joined directly responsible the Courts team for ensuring that on Monday 27th appropriate internal June 2011 after control processes he successfully are in place secured the position of Courts throughout the organisation to secure assets OECS IT Manager. and reduce company loss. Having worked within the tourism and M r. Isaacs is d i r e c t l y retail industry, Ms. Alcee has acquired responsible for over 20 years of experience in the field of installing and accounting and was last employed with maintaining computer hardware, software Renwick & Company in the capacity of and networks across the OECS sites in Accountant and Supervisor of the Accounts line with the Group’s IT Policies and Department. Ms. Alcee works closely with the Senior Procedures. He brings to the Courts family a number of years of experience in the Managers and the Executive Team to assist information technology field within multi- in implementing measures towards the national organisations. His experience and success of the business. Mr. Matthew skills have allowed him to develop very Render was important professional relationships and successful in he continues to utilize his communication securing the skills to provide significant support in any position of Courts technical area. OECS Development Courts St.Lucia Manager on Ltd. introduces Monday 9th May Ms. Stacy T. 2011. McVane in the Having worked capacity of Credit within the retail Manager. Ms. industry, Mr. Render McVane joined has a wealth of the Courts family experience in the use of his creativity to on Tuesday 8th significantly contribute to the development November 2011 of the business. He was last employed with and was last Duty Free Shoppers Inc. in the capacity of employed with General Manager where he impacted the Fastcash St.Lucia company positively. in the capacity of As the OECS Development Manager, Country Manager. Ms. McVane has direct responsibility for Mr. Render is directly responsible for managing the Credit Department where strategically and aggressively growing the she continues to utilize her professional company’s business by focusing on and skills and her several years of experience developing all non-core retail opportunities. Mr. Render’s extensive knowledge and in the retail and service industry. Ms. McVane is no stranger of Courts profound achievements have proven his St.Lucia Ltd as she last worked as Marketing capability of being a valuable addition to Officer. Her experience and outstanding our team.
Sir Ronald Sanders, the Guyanaborn international consultant, writer and a former Caribbean diplomat, has been invited by former US President Jimmy Carter to join the group of “Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” The Carter Centre serves as the Secretariat for the Friends. Only two other Caribbean citizens have been members of the distinguished group, currently comprising 36 members. They are former president of T&T Arthur NR Robinson and former Barbados prime minister Sir Erskine Sandiford. The Friends include Carter, former presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers and senior officials of the Western Hemisphere. They seek to increase “the viability and understanding” of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and to “more effectively prevent democratic tensions from erupting into crises,” according to the secretariat of the Carter Centre. In his letter of invitation to Sanders, Carter explained that the group of friends engage in a “variety of activities, including public education about the Inter-American Democratic Charter; private assessment visits to countries experiencing difficulties with democratic governance and also publication of joint declarations to draw attention to the potential contributions of the democratic charter.” In July last year, Sanders was appointed as one of ten members of an ‘Eminent Persons Group’ requested by Heads of Government of the Commonwealth to recommend options for reform “that will sharpen the impact” of the 53-nation Commonwealth; strengthen its networks and raise its profile.” He served as the group’s rapporteur. The report of the Eminent Persons Group was discussed at the Commonwealth Summit in Australia in October 2011.
IBM Corp. ushered in Virginia Rometty as the company’s firstever female CEO yesterday, as Sam Palmisano stepped down from the position. Palmisano, who turned 60 this year, has been CEO for nearly a decade. He will stay on as chairman. Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, 54, is in charge of IBM’s sales and marketing, and has long been whispered about by industry watchers as Palmisano’s likely heir. With Rometty’s appointment, effective January 1, women will be in charge of two of the world’s largest technology companies. Meg Whitman was recently named CEO of Hewlett-Packard. While Whitman’s HP is a sprawling company in disarray, Rometty will inherit a finely tuned IBM whose focus on the high-margin businesses of technology services and software has helped it thrive. Palmisano in a statement said that Rometty has led some of IBM’s most important businesses, and was instrumental in the formation of IBM’s business services division. She oversaw IBM’s $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting business in 2002, which is a key element of a strategy that has made IBM a heavily copied company. She is “more than a superb operational executive,” Palmisano said.
Trinidadian, Sean Albert, is the new Managing Director of Scotiabank Barbados and the Caribbean East. “I want to join our colleagues in the Caribbean in welcoming Sean to Barbados from Scotiabank Trinidad,” said Claude Norfolk, Scotiabank senior vice-president of international banking for the Caribbean region. “His experience with the bank and in the industry will be a great addition to the Caribbean East team and will serve our operations well as we continue to grow in the region.” He is expected to chart the growth of Barbados, St Maarten and the Eastern Caribbean states of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Since joining Scotiabank in 2005, Albert assumed several senior roles in international banking including director, international mergers and acquisitions and vice president of treasury and capital markets before taking on his previous role in Trinidad and Tobago as senior general manager of the Corporate and Commercial Banking Centre and managing director of Scotia Trust and Merchant Bank (T&T) Ltd. Albert holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics, both from the University of the West Indies and is a chartered financial analyst.
Jan / Feb
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
DIRECTORS NATURE OF BUSINESS
Elda Supreme Electrical Services inc.
Elvis Gidharry, Darcia Manda Brice
Asha Care Centre Inc.
Marlene Whitfield, Jennifer Joseph Dr. R G Swamy
Providing specialist mental health care
Landmark Corporate Services Ltd.
American Construction Supplies Davidson Mauricette, Larry Jordan and Services Ltd.
Importation and sales of all construction related materials, supplies, equipment, and parts.
Global Health Solutions Inc.
Consultancy on food safety, health and policy.
Superior Weights and Power Ltd Martin Johnson
To carry on the business of sales, services, scales, and electronic repairs.
Regional Lifts Ltd.
NHC Bau Saint Lucia Limited
Charles Broomfield, Jose Suarez, David Kendrick
Office of Managing Director of NHC Residential and commercial construction
Royal Crown Ltd. Vacacie Rodney
Clothing, shoes, accessories store, small restaurant
Dental Care Inc
Kassahun Aifa Arshe
Global Equipment Supplies Inc.
Gabriel Mc Gregor Pierre Shervon Chantal Pierre Gabriel John Pierre
Love Telecom Inc.
Avitus John Poleonhgy
Global Exchange St.Lucia Limited
Isidoro Joseâ€™ Alanis Marcos Juan Antonio Alanis Marcos
Business of money services
Pama Heights Ltd.
Patson Anius, Mary Amos
House and land development
Cool Breeze Service Station
Stephen Abraham, Julietta Abraham Andrea Faucher
Villa Marigot Hill Inc.
Daniel BĂźchner, Selma Ballantyne Marcus Kellan Joseph
St. Helen University Inc.
The business of higher education
Caribbean Guest Supplies St.Lucia Limited
John Leung, Mela Ganesh
The business of garment manufacturing
Rainwater Harvesting Technologies ltd.
Rhon Carlysle Stephens
Tabbylamb Design Studio Inc.
To undertake and engage in graphics designs
Cap Hope ltd
Eric Ruskoski Sandra Elizabeth Ruskoski
Property holding company
Elizabeth L. Felicien, Lisa D. Evans Emmanuel Mc Lorren, Shorn Jules
Business Support System
Jan / Feb
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
DIRECTORS NATURE OF BUSINESS
Soul By The Bay Inc.
Na’il Abdul- Rahman Strauss Abdul- Rahman
Restaurant & bar lounge
The Cellar Ltd Bruno Galon
To carry on the business of importation, distribution, wholesale and retail of food beverages
Ashok Vaswani Monica Vaswani
The business of retailing
Food Connexion Ltd
Restaurant, food processing, food catering
Daarsrean Greene & Co. CA International Financial Services Limited
Anthony A.G. Greene Christine Greene – Charles Daarsrean C.G. Greene
Providing legal services, real estate and trading in dry goods
Rene Sonneveld Josep Argelich Baro’ Oscar Ros Armengol
International financial services representation and any other business not prohibited by law
Vernon Francois Sharmaine Cherryl Rosemond -Francois
Land development, real estate, and any other related businesses
Jus’ Sail Limited
James D. Crockett Helen L. Demacque- Crockett James E. Child
Villa Roma Inc Roberta Polius Villa, to do any business which is not restricted by the law Rotciv Construction Limited Victor Donai, Alvina Donai Road and property construction, property management and development, sale of property Rena Limited
Everistus Jn Marie Denise Jn Marie
Real estate services
Kevkey Holdings Limited
Lyndon Arnold, Delise Arnold
Property holding and development, real estate
Cinnamon Hill Incorporated Calvin George and erty, of receiver
To engage in property and holding development to undertake or direct the management of the propbuildings or lands of any person whether members the company or not in the capacity of steward, or real estate agent or otherwise.
Professional in Action for
Development of the creative arts industry
Felix Bernard Fanis
Creative Enterprise Inc. Davina Iyanola Lee Raymond Charles Travis Weekes Armelle Chatelier Katherine Atkinson EMPIRE Ltd Osei Caesar, Bradford Worrell
Sporting, event management, buying and selling, real estate, generally to do any other business that is not restricted by the law. BusinessFocus
Jan / Feb
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
DIRECTORS NATURE OF BUSINESS
Daniel Eustace Jared Francis
Energy management and consultancy
Tribal Spot Ltd
Sports marketing promotion
Porteon Caribbean Limited
Paul Lincoln, Pascal Mahvi, Ken Montler Isaac Anthony
Manufacturing/assembly of road ready electric cars for domestic use and export
Dental Care Inc.
Kassahun Aifa Arshe
Gone Bananas Limited
Geoffrey Devaux, Loyola Devaux
Wholesale and retail of agriculture produce
Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, Ross Stevenson Bobo Bergstrom, McHale Andrew
Organization of the hotel Industry
Airlines Technical Support (AIRTECH)(ST.LUCIA) LTD.
Rodolphe Massal, Jean-Michel LaPorte
Toraille Waterfall ATV Park Inc. Darius Charles Escap Community Association Inc. John Boccato, Peter John Adolphus Joseph L & J Electrical Distribution Ltd. Jamal Francis, Noel Leon Browne Janet Rose Browne i2Balordi (The Two Thugs) Ltd. Davide Ghidini, Luigi Melis ICT Association of Saint Lucia
BusinessFocus Jan / Feb
Terrence Lewis Elliott Albert Henry Daniels Ian Cuthbert Douglas Mitchell Leslie Neville Jermaine Collymore Anya Arshelle Naomi Fitz
ATV rentals A community neighborhood association solely developed for the betterment of the community and inhabitants Selling of low power consumption lighting Restaurant and pizzeria Facilitating the service organizations involved in information communication and technology
RG Group of Companies