Issue No. 76
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July / Aug 2014
77. Grant Thornton An instinct for growth
Business Tech 10. From Data to Dollars 12. Social Media for Small Business
27 Economy & Trade Focus 54. Roomer Has It 56. Minimal Economic Growth Shown for Caribbean in 2014 60,70 Business Spotlight
Money Matters 18. St Lucia’s Public Debt 20. The Secret to Smart Borrowing 21. Roomer Has It
In The Know 52. Caribbean Finance Education Institute to be Established
Health & Wealth
Environmental Focus 68. Caribbean Coral Reefs Could Vanish in 20 Years
94. Major Moves 100. Events 2012 101. New Company Registrations
Youth in Focus 76. A Partnership Approach to Youth Empowerment 78. What I Learned in College 80. Jallim Eudovic - Interpreting the Ineffable Tourism Focus 95. SLHTA Golden Jubilee Dinner
86 BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Be Motivated. Stay Focused. Success Follows.
ecent conversations across the local media seem focused on the current economic challenges facing the Government and People of St Lucia with the projections for very difficult times ahead. Challenging times call for bold decisions and we need to be motivated to want to not only survive but thrive in such situations. To achieve this we need to continuously revise our business strategies and remain focused on the issues we face. Being bold, being motivated, being focused will guarantee success. In this issue of Business Focus we highlight some members of our business community who have followed this approach and continue to make progress and enjoy success and Lokesh Singh recommend that you review and emulate some of Publisher/Managing Editor their strategies. Grant Thornton has evolved after a year of transitioning from PriceWaterhouseCoopers with renewed energy driven by their corporate tagline â€œan instinct for growthâ€?. Their motivated and focused leadership has created a team and culture which has generated growth and positioned them as the leading Accounting Firm in St Lucia and the region. They have also identified that growth can be achieved by expanding your foot print in new markets. CARILEC as a St Lucia based regional organization is celebrating twenty years of existence. Their growth has been generated through prudent leadership and a focus on their industry and members. They are also having to adapt to a changing environment and industry which is now being driven by the clarion calls for a shift to renewable and sustainable energy use and environmental protection. We salute Dr Tanya Destang-Beaubrun as she also celebrates twenty years of her Integral Health Care business which has thrived and expanded with opportunity in Rodney Bay. She is a shining example for women and young people of what is possible when presented with opportunity. We also note the new investments by Jermile Daniel of the Cell with his new Samsung Store and the official launching of Columbus Networks / Flow as indicators of their confidence in our economy and confirming that this a great time to expand and grow your business. You will note that we have expanded on our Youth in Focus section. We share the story of a young artist and the success of the NRDF Graduates and hope that these success stories will help to inspire them into action and make the right choices to progress their future careers. We trust that you will enjoy these and all of the other interesting content we have packaged for you to be enlightened, energized and passionate about being successful.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant Charmaine Joseph Graphic Designer: Cecil Sylvester Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - email@example.com Hudson Myers - firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Ashley Anzie | Cecil Sylvester | CARILEC National Research and Development Foundation SLHTA | Dr. Tanya Destang Beaubrun | The Cell Springboard | FLOW Contributors: Lokesh Singh | Charmaine Joseph | Anushka Singh Lyndell Halliday | Bevil Wooding | CARILEC Sanovnik Destang | Grant Thornton St Lucia Dr Harvey Millar | DIGICEL | Dr Chris Bart Caribbean Export | Dr. Tanya Destang Beaubrun Rodney Bay Medical Centre | Fern Smith Trinidad Guardian | Kezia Preville | Brian Ramsey Jamaica Observer | Antigua Observer | Keats Compton First Citizens Investment Services | Caribbean360 Pilaiye Cenac |Nerissa Golden | Richard Peterkin National Research and Development Foundation 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. Issue No. 76
On The Cover:
Grant Thornton An instinct for growth
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Media Association of St Lucia Elects New Executive Members of the Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL) have successfully elected a new Executive Committee for 2014 to 2016 at its first Biennial Meeting. The new executive comprises of President - Clinton Reynolds, Vice President - Dale Elliott, Secretary - Stan Bishop, Treasurer - Glen Simon, Communications Officer/ Assistant Secretary - Maria Fontenelle, Floor Members - Medalise Breen and Kendal Eugene. Of these three are returning members, namely Reynolds, Simon and Fontenelle. In his acceptance speech, Reynolds thanked the outgoing executive for its stellar leadership and sacrifice and told media workers, “There is a lot we have done and a lot more we can do together. The Media Association of Saint Lucia is not about the Executive. In fact, the Executive should be the least among us because we are your servants - we are here to represent your interests.” Outgoing Secretary, Richmond Felix, also congratulated the incoming executive. I wish to congratulate the members of the incoming executive, especially the newest members Medalise, Dale and Stan, who I hope will bring a fresh perspective and reenergize the Media Association of Saint Lucia in its quest to improve standards of the profession in Saint Lucia.” Reynolds warned the new executive that they must hit the ground running, saying, “As we enter the new biennium, we will continue to focus on professional and personal development for members. We forfeited a number of opportunities because of the status of members and their willingness to participate. We must do better this time around.” The May 25 meeting was the MASL’s second attempt to host the Biennial Meeting, after the first was postponed due to a lack of a quorum. The organization also saw several members of the media fraternity declining nominations to serve. BusinessFocus July / Aug
Returning Communications Officer Fontenelle noted, “Despite the challenges of the fledging association, MASL formed several partnerships with the private and public sector during the past two years”. He further noted that although media workers are largely time constrained they must realize that if they desire representation and opportunities to fraternize, they must make the sacrifice. Reynolds noted in closing, “The MASL is an organisation that has commanded much respect since its formation and that respect is growing. We want to build on that and ensure that the media - the most powerful organ in any state - continues to affect positive change in this society. Let us elevate our standards; let us follow for best practice; let us seek for truth, fairness, and balance at all times; and let us make our media fraternity the best there is in the world.” ¤
Turks and Caicos Secures First S&P Credit Rating of BBB+
The Turks and Caicos Islands was given its first sovereign credit rating of BBB+ from international ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on Tuesday. S&P’s rating highlights that the Turks and Caicos is a prosperous country with a gross domestic product of around $24,000 per capita, and benefits from high educational standards and good infrastructure. This strong rating will benefit investors by allowing them access to cheaper investment funding for their businesses in the Turks and Caicos. The government will also be able to use the rating to borrow at significantly lower costs. “This is terrific news for the Turks and Caicos economy, and just reward for the hard work of everyone who has helped the country reach this latest stage in its development,” said Governor Peter Beckingham. “I am pleased too that it notes that the Turks and Caicos benefits from the stability imparted though its status as a UK Overseas Territory.” “This rating is at the high end of our expectations and places us alongside
countries like Aruba, Curacao and Montserrat. This is crucial to our plans to continue to build and broaden our nation’s economy,” added TCI Premier Dr Rufus Ewing. “We can take great pride in noting that this terrific rating news bucks the trends of other Caribbean economies, some of whom have been recently downgraded and given negative outlooks,” he added. Finance Minister Washington Misick said, “We pledge to continue to work to maintain and, if possible, to improve our credit rating, by continuing to do what we already do well and to examine further ways in which we can broaden and strengthen our economy. “Today’s announcement supports our growth strategy and will play a significant part in allowing TCIG to begin to reinvest in the public services that our people want.” The TCI government has positively transformed its track record of public financial management over the past four years, turning longstanding annual deficits into surpluses of $47.6 million in 2012/13 and $30.7 million in 2013/14. The UK Overseas Territory is now showing perhaps the most positive fiscal trajectory in the Caribbean, and consequently rapidly reducing its net public debt. ¤
Antigua-Barbuda Signs $2 Billion Investment Deal With Chinese Investors
One day after taking up the position of leader of the government and following an eight-hour long session of negotiations, Prime Minister Gaston Browne signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Yida International Investment Antigua Ltd, paving the way for a two-billion dollar investment project in Antigua and Barbuda. The MoA, which binds Yida to the investment, will result in Guiana Island and surrounding lands transformed with the construction of five five-star hotels, 1,300 residential units, a casino and conference centre, a 27-hole golf course, marina and landing facilities and a commercial, retail and sports facility.
BUSINESS BRIEFS The 460-acre (184-hectare) Guiana Island and the additional patchwork of land was previously owned by convicted Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford, a Texas financier who based his fraudulent offshore banking empire in Antigua and funded the islands' government before his 2009 arrest by U.S. authorities. Developers will have to purchase the roughly 1,500 acres of land from Stanford liquidators. Yida is expected to invest over $200 million annually in the Antigua and Barbuda economy over the next ten years, as well as provide an Antigua and Barbuda presence in China to attract additional economically viable investments. ¤
CIBC to Take $420-Million Second-Quarter Writedown on FirstCaribbean
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said on Thursday it would take a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $420 million on its Caribbean unit due to challenging economic conditions in the region. The bank, Canada’s fifth-largest, said the charge will be included in its results for the fiscal second quarter ended April 30, which it will report on May 29. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce blamed losses on its CIBC First Caribbean subsidiary for a sharp decline in its net income, while Scotiabank set aside more money for soured loans. The latest quarterly results show that while the banks’ operations in this region are much smaller than their Canadian personal and business banking and wealth management segments, they can affect the bottom line. CIBC also said it will record $123 million in incremental loan losses for the unit, CIBC FirstCaribbean, “reflecting revised expectations on the extent and timing of the anticipated economic recovery in the Caribbean region.” Before the writedown was announced, analysts had expected the bank to post net income of C$818 million
for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. CIBC’s shares ended the session up 10 Canadian cents at C$97.29. The results were released after markets closed. ¤
financing that has not been entirely met by global multilaterals, which, for years, have been heavily criticized for meddling in the domestic policies of sovereign borrowers. ¤
CARICOM to Appoint Debt Relief Team
Dolphin Park Planned for Opening in St Lucia
A Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Debt Advocacy Team is to be appointed to campaign for debt relief and/or debt amelioration on behalf of highly indebted member states. This was one of the key outcomes of the recently concluded 35th Conference of the CARICOM Heads of Government held in Antigua and Barbuda. CARICOM Chairman Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said the team would advocate with development partners on behalf of member states. The initiative emerged out of the recognition that the current burdensome debt is not realistic for some member states, given their structural and other economic vulnerabilities, Prime Minister Browne said. Debt advocacy was one of the areas the Commission on the Economy zeroed in on as part of the measures to be taken to respond to the economic challenges facing the region. ¤
New BRICS Bank to be Established The five BRICS nations have reached a broad consensus on their $100 billion Development Bank ahead of a summit with BRICS Leaders in Brazil. The new Bank will symbolise the growing influence of emerging economies in the global financial architecture long dominated by the United States and Europe through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are expected to sign a treaty to launch the Bank officially and agree to fund the bank equally. The new Development Bank would help cover growing demand for project
Jamaican Marine Park operator Dolphin Cove expects to spend some US$6 million initially to develop its three overseas locations in two Caribbean territories. "It will cost between US$4 - US$6 million in total for the development of the three new locations," Stafford Burrowes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Dolphin Cove, said following the Annual General Meeting held at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica recently. The company currently operates a relatively low debt model with J$1.9 billion in total assets and with some J$500 million in total liabilities, according to March first quarter 2014 results. Management in previous discussions revealed plans to build two locations in Turks & Caicos Islands (Grand Turk and Providenciales) and a third in St Lucia. But the total cost of adding the three locations remained publicly unquantified. Burrowes expects to begin development in 2015 for the projects which are already delayed by nearly two years. He again blamed the delays on red tape surrounding environmental and planning permission. The company currently operates three locations in Jamaica at Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Hanover. The tourist attraction's March 2014 quarterly net profit totalled J$148 million or 26 per cent higher year over year. Revenues increased by 11 per cent over the period to J$436 million led by Ocho Rios, earning nearly three-quarters of that amount. ¤ BusinessFocus July / Aug |
FORMALIZING WHAT THE BOARD DOES: HOW TO AVOID CONFUSION AND CHAOS IN THE BOARDROOM
the decisions they vet and ultimately approve or reject.
By Dr. Chris Bart Corporate governance affects how well – or poorly - an enterprise is run. In the last article I wrote for Business Focus, I argued that the starting point of good governance (“the bricks and mortar of governance”) for all types of organizations begins with the identification, recruitment and selection of good board members. Specifically this means having company directors with the appropriate skills, competencies and experiences to both effectively oversee management’s activities and to contribute to the success of the organization through BusinessFocus July / Aug
So let’s assume for now that you have taken this advice to heart and have actually assembled a cadre of outstanding directors - intelligent, experienced, committed and independent - to populate your boardroom. Will good governance automatically follow? Sadly, the answer is “no”. Having a group of “smart directors” is no guarantee that they will do what is required of them, focus their oversight appropriately, make “smart decisions” and behave properly – either with management or each other. In fact, it is one of the ironies of governance that such boards are just as prone as their “lesser pedigree counterparts” are to doing only a mediocre job. Symptoms of boards behaving badly include directors “rubber stamping” whatever management happens to put in front of them for approval or the opposite, with directors micro-managing the minutia
of the organization. Board indecisiveness and boards consumed by trivia are also indicators that the directors are having problems understanding their roles and responsibilities. So how do you make sure these various states of bad governance do not materialize in your board? And how can a board doing a poor/”ok” job upgrade its performance. After working with thousands of directors in hundreds of boards, I have found that the #1 reason directors don’t do what’s needed of them is because they just don’t seem to know what their job is and what they should be doing as directors relative to management. To solve this problem, boards of directors need to spend some quality time drafting a detailed board charter (or terms of reference) which documents the governance arrangements for their board. As such, a board charter is a “job
description for the board” and it should lay out specifically and unambiguously what roles, responsibilities and decision making authorities the directors have set for themselves (both individually and collectively) relative to management. When done properly, a good charter identifies and spells out in high detail the board’s oversight duties and serves to remind directors of the governance framework within which they have chosen to operate. Most importantly, a board charter should specify precisely what decisions the directors have delegated to management (usually the operational/ tactical ones) and those they have reserved for themselves. As such, board charters make an excellent “orientation tool” for new directors and they provide much appreciated guidance to both shareholders and other stakeholders on the governance arrangements that the board has adopted. Today, board charters have become an often recommended “best practice” with organizations of all types – publicly listed, private, not-for-profit and charitable being encouraged to have one in order for the directors to deliver good governance. However, not all board charters are created equal. While organizations have considerable latitude in deciding the content of their charters, this is an exercise that boards should not take lightly because not any board charter will do. So don’t think that having a charter crafted by legal counsel or dug up on the internet is sufficient. It is not. The main reason for this is “director liability”. If your board ever gets hauled into court, the opposing legal counsel will want to know how much time was spent diligently setting the charter up (and by whom). This will establish whether or not the directors were properly exercising their legal/fiduciary “duty of care” obligations. The directors will also be grilled on why some things were included in their particular charter, what the words mean in reality and why other items were excluded (based on the charters of organizations similar to theirs). So take the time necessary to set up your board charter properly in the first place and be sure to review it regularly – at least annually – to ensure the appropriateness of its content. Notwithstanding this warning, my own research on the content and quality of hundreds of board charters has shown that good charters all appear to certain similar information. First and foremost, they remind directors what their primary legal and statutory duties are. These
would include their ‘fiduciary duty’ and its associated ‘duty of care’ and ‘duty of loyalty’ to the organization as a whole (as opposed to just the shareholders)! Good charters also discuss the various roles of the board relative to management emphasizing the need for directors to act as both stewards (protecting the assets of the organization) and as team players (willing to accept joint accountability with management for the decisions the board approves). Finally, high quality charters mention what many consider to be the four most important oversight responsibilities of every board. The first, and most crucial, is for the board to make sure they have the right person as their CEO and that he or she is properly supervised, motivated, evaluated and compensated for their performance. If directors get this decision wrong, their organization is usually doomed from the beginning. After that, the next most important area of oversight is for the board to constructively engage with management in setting and executing the strategy of the organization. To be sure, if this decision goes wrong, the directors have literally helped management drive the organizational car off the cliff. But beware. Most boards THINK their strategic responsibility ends with the approval of the strategic plan. It does not. Ninety percent of organizational failures are due to poor execution. So boards need to continuously monitor – and closely - the implementation of their organization’s previously approved strategy. The last two major areas of board responsibility concern the board’s accountability for the financial integrity of the financial statements (and related public disclosures) and ensuring that their organization is legally compliant. Of course there are dozens of other items that could be included in a board charter. My own research has counted up to 42 different topic categories itemized in an average charter document length of eight pages. However, if a board charter manages to list most of these items but forgets to mention the three duties, two roles and four responsibilities highlighted above, the directors will ultimately fail in doing what was expected of them from the getgo: to give proper governance oversight to its organization. And why? Because they either did not know (or forgot) what it was they were really supposed to be doing! Before closing. I should mention that there is today a related, companion charter that is growing in importance in governance circles called the ‘Individual Director Charter’. This charter is intended to specify the kinds of behaviours that directors
are expected to display in the course of preparing for and attending board and committee meetings. Such a document specifies and reminds directors about their having to diligently read all materials prior to attending a meeting; to have questions prepared in advance; to be economical with their words; to help manage and resolve any conflicts that might occur; and to be willing to change their minds in the face of cogent arguments on a topic. Most importantly, directors are told that their most valuable behavior around the boardroom table is not to make speeches but to ask questions in order to properly understand, vet and either approve/ reject management’s proposals. Indeed, asking probing questions is the directors’ major defense to avoid making the “dumb decisions” that can bring a company down! Amazingly, although they appear obvious, these sorts of behaviours were not done in the past because they were not clearly spelled out for the directors therefore they did not know what to do! Creating the individual director charter therefore obviates this problem and makes the directors more accountable for carrying them out. In conclusion, the way to build better boards is by having better informed directors. So here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: to what extent have your directors had their governance duties, roles, responsibilities and expected behaviours clearly articulated for them in writing along the lines discussed in this article? And if you think that there is room for improvement in the way they carry out their governance oversight function, you might also want to consider sending them to one of the corporate governance training programs currently available in the region – like the one being offered by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance. ¤ Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognized governance authority, the author of two best sellers, and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The Institute is currently providing a six part corporate governance program offered one night per week over six weeks.. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute. com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
BUSINESSTECH TECH BUSINESS
From Data to Dollars How Open Data Initiatives Can Support Business Innovation and Transparency in the Caribbean By Bevil Wooding Data is more accessible today than anyone could have imagined only a few decades ago. From corporate databases to Internet connected repositories is the lifeblood of the digital economy. With growth projected at 40 per cent a year into the next decade, it is unleashing a new wave of innovative services and opportunities.
Open Data World As more of the world goes online, there are increasing opportunities for businesses, governments and people to use data in new ways. For example, data allows us to to learn about customers, optimize business processes, better customize products and services. Add the Internet to the mix and you have a world of data possibilities that can be built upon the foundation of cloud computing, mobility, social networks. BusinessFocus July / Aug
But for those possibilities to be realized, the data has to be accessible. The more accessible it is, the more opportunities there are for everyone. Thatâ€™s where open data comes in. Open data is information that is available for anyone to use, for any purpose, at no cost. For example, the UK Department for Education publishes open data about the performance of schools in England, so that companies can create league tables and citizens can find the best-performing schools in their area. Open data applications can be as simple as mobile phone apps identifying gas station you will encounter on a trip to a different town, or as intricate as analyzing taxation data translating it into transparency programs and public policy.
Governments worldwide are working to open up more of their data. The number of countries with open data programs has grown rapidly over the last few years. More than 40 countries have now open government data sites. However, only one Caribbean nation scores above 35 percent in the International Budget Partnership Open Budget Index, which monitors budget transparency across the world, and few Caribbean nations currently publish data in open formats online.
Billions in Opportunities Open-data advocates, such as US President Obama's former chief information officer Vivek Kundra, estimate that raw government data from sectors such as weather, population, energy, housing,
commerce or transportation can spawn a multibillion-dollar industry by turning that data into products and applications for the public to consume or other industries to pay for. Waldo Jaquith, director of the nonprofit U.S. Open Data Institute, created to help governments release and promote their data, said the idea of turning government data from all levels of government into a multibillion-dollar industry isn't farfetched. He points to The Climate Corporation, which offers farmers software and crop insurance policies. The company, founded by two Google engineers using 30 years of government weather, soil and crop data, was sold to agricultural multinational corporation Monsanto for $930 million. In the UK, a range of start-ups are working with the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI) to build businesses using open data, and have already unlocked a total of £2.5 million worth of investments and contracts. This economic promise is the main reason why businesses are also starting to pay attention to open data. But there is a real investment that must be made. Maximizing the opportunities of the data-driven economy requires certain imperatives for IT organizations. Information security, for example, next- generation analytics, and data access tools and processes.
Caribbean Connections Tapping the potential of data in the Caribbean will take determination and a skilled workforce to find and put to use. The process has already started. A new regional open data project to support business innovation and transparency in the Caribbean has recently been launched. The initiative is supported by a grant from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank and its Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity
Building. The project will also partner with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and other regional organizations working in the Open Data area. St Lucia recently started an Open Data Readiness Assessment (ODRA). A pilot assessment in Antigua and Barbuda was completed in July 2013 and discussions are ongoing with several countries in the region to roll-out the initiative. Civil society and the private sector are doing their part as well. Jamaicabased ConnectiMass and Trinidad and Tobago-based Teleios Systems are supporting "hackathons," like Digital Jam and challenges like Code Jam, inviting businesspeople, software developers, entrepreneurs or anyone with appetite for manipulating data and building applications to take part. This year’s DigitalJAM, an initiative by the World Bank and Government of Jamaica, featured the development of the first Open Data Sports Hackathon in the World. The goals of these events vary. Some, like BrightPath Foundation’s App Master mobile app programs, solicit ideas for how government can present its data more effectively. Others, Like Teleios’ Code Jam target college students and software enthusiasts, seeking their ideas for mining open data repositories . Kevin Khelawan, Teleios’ chief operating officer, says many governments and firms want advice on how to use the data to make their organizations more responsive to the needs of citizens and customers. The appeal of open data is obvious, he says, “We live in an information hungry world. To feed that, you need the data. Governments have by far the largest amount of data from which real economic value can be created. They have a key role to play in activating open data in the region. However, so too does the private sector.”
Unlocking Economic Value He is correct. Although the open-data phenomenon is in its early days, its potential to unlock significant economic value is already significant. A recent McKinsey Global Institute report found that it already giving rise to hundreds of entrepreneurial businesses and helping established companies to segment markets, define new products and services, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. For the region to realize these same benefits much work has to be done by governments, companies, and consumers. Policies have to be crafted to open up datasets; protect privacy and intellectual property; encourage access; and invest in technology and expertise needed to use the data effectively. For open data to gain traction in the region, deliberate steps must be take in the public and private sectors to cultivate a vibrant open-data ecosystem that promotes openness, innovation and transparency. To achieve this consumers have to be educated, governments have to match words with action, and businesses have to step up and invest the development of the human resource talent and tech needed to turn data into dollars. ¤
Bevil Wooding is the Chief Knowledge Officer of Congress WBN (www. congresswbn.org), a values-based, international charity and the Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation, a technology education non-profit organization. Reach him on Twitter @bevilwooding or on facebook. com/bevilwooding or contact via email at technologymatters@ brightpathfoundation.org.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
BUSINESSTECH TECH BUSINESS
For Small Business Is It Worth the Effort? By Sanovnik Destang
have to admit that on a personal level I was a very late adopter of social media. I must have been one of the last of my friends to open a Facebook account and I have all of two followers on my Twitter page which was last updated in 2010! I have never left a review on Tripadvisor (or any review site for that matter) and let's not even talk about Google+, Digg, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and all the other social media tools out there. Who has the time for all that? But despite my late adoption of social media on a personal level I realized from very early the importance of social media for a business, especially a small hotel with a limited marketing budget. I am sure that most of you have read many an article espousing the benefits of social media and why you should jump on this trend but I am not going to do that here, but what I will do is highlight how embracing social media has benefited us at Bay Gardens Resorts.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
But first let us start with some of the reasons why many small businesses are still holding out on implementing a properly planned social media strategy:
3. You can't control it - itâ€™s not like traditional marketing where you can control the message. How do you plan for something like that?
1. It is just a passing fad - yes, even with 1 billion active users there are still some who doubt the long term viability of the world's largest social media company. Yes, larger companies have failed after initial success, but clearly those who still believe that Facebook is just a passing fad are in the minority.
4. It won't generate additional profit - and isn't that why we are in business in the first place?
2. It takes too much time - there are hundreds of social networking sites out there and monitoring and making use of all of them can be daunting. Some claim that monitoring social media is a full time job and in the midst of this Great Recession, small businesses cannot hire additional staff for something as frivolous as social media that will not generate additional revenue.
There is some merit to most of these arguments but here are three of the best reasons (from my perspective) why small businesses (especially hotels) should get started: 1. Be part of the conversation - Referrals and word of mouth advertising has been recognized as one of the most important sources of new and repeat business long before "social media" was even in the dictionary. The difference now is that with social media you (and everyone else) can monitor what others are saying about your brand online. Love it or loath it, what guests say about you on Tripadvisor and
other social media sites means more to potential clients than anything you put on your website or on a brochure and on television or radio. 2. Increase traffic to your website - this does not happen right away, but having an active, consistent presence on the major social media sites will help to drive high quality traffic to your site and will help improve your overall search rankings on Google and Bing as these are certainly seen by the search engines as links from "authoritative sites". 3. Potential to generate sales â€“ Social media marketing is not going to increase your sales overnight but it is possible to generate exposure from social media which will in turn lead to increased revenue and profits and because of the newness of this medium it is still relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of online and offline advertising. There are many other potential benefits as well such as the ability to glean useful information, share important news instantly and the ability to gain exposure and brand awareness in a cost effective manner. I always remind our guests that leaving a good review on Tripadvisor help small businesses like ours, who can't afford a prime time international ad, to get the word out there. Now that you are hopefully convinced on the need to make a start, here are a few practical tips from my experience over the last two years:
1. Focus on a few key social media sites â€“ Start small, focus on Facebook, Tripadvisor (or whatever is the top review site for your industry and your market) and probably Twitter and YouTube, if you have the time. For businesses for which visuals and photography are very important, Pinterest and Instagram are also becoming more and more important. 2. Setup the right kind of account - several persons set their businesses up as personal profiles with "Friends" on Facebook rather than as a business profile page with "Fans" (or "Likes" as they are now called) on Facebook. I am seeing a lot of restaurants and hotels with hundreds of Friends now having to cancel their profile page and set it up the right way. Better to get it right the first time. If you are looking to set up a profile on Tripadvisor, what you want to do is "claim" your listing as an "owner" so that you can manage it. 3. Be committed and update frequently it does not have to take a lot of time. But if you don't update your Facebook page at least once a day you will not see your fan base grow and persons will lose interest and "Unlike" your page. One update a day takes a matter of minutes. 4. Don't be overly focused on selling and marketing your product - at least not right away. I have found that our 39,000+ Facebook fans are more interested in our "Terrific Thursdays" staff spotlights or random photos of our garden or cocktails than they are in our latest specials. Build a relationship with your fan base first; people don't want to feel like they are constantly being marketed to on Facebook.
5. Measure your results - don't just set this up and hope that it works. Facebook offers "Insights" that allow you to measure the size of your fan base, how engaged they are, where they are from, gender, age among other interesting stats. Use this as well as Google Analytics to determine how much traffic these various media are sending to your site and whether they are converting into sales. More sophisticated tools such as Revinate provides a wealth of data on your business and your competitors. 6. Get your team involved - I started off doing 90% of the updates on my own but when you are a GM, owner or director in a business beyond a certain size, you have to delegate this. Within a few months I had handed control over to staff in the marketing department who were younger. Maintain good rules and guidelines and ensure that the person who is responsible for this has appropriate knowledge of the business and writing skills. Social media represents one of the best marketing opportunities for small businesses. Embrace this tool and "Like" it. You won't regret it. Â¤ Sanovnik Destang is the Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, an award-winning locally owned hotel chain in Rodney Bay Village, Saint Lucia. He serves on the Board of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). He is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the newly launched Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). BusinessFocus July / Aug |
New Programme to Train Mobile App Developers in Caribbean
he World Bank and the University of the West Indies have launched a new partnership that is intended to encourage the regional development of mobile app entrepreneurs. The World Bank said that the aim of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Program will provide training and mentorships to developers from across the Caribbean who hope to build viable mobile app businesses.
Bahamas, Microsoft Sign Agreement on Education Technology
he government of the Bahamas has signed a partnership agreement with Microsoft on education technology. “The Microsoft Partners in Learning Education Transformation Agreement is a “significant milestone” in the development of education”, according to Jerome Fitzgerald, the Bahamas’ Minister of Education, Science and Technology. He said it would allow the Ministry to forge ahead with its goal of “ensuring that teachers and students in The Bahamas are immersed in technology enriched learning environments.” The partnership includes projects to help the Ministry increase “digital inclusion” of all students in the Bahamas, provides technical assistance to refine the Ministry’s “e-Strategy” guiding
BusinessFocus July / Aug
The effort was launched recently at Jamaica's campus of the University of the West Indies and is a follow-up to earlier technology initiatives. People in six Caribbean countries will participate. A World Bank statement says the new programme is intended to "recruit and nurture a next generation of talented mobile entrepreneurs" in the Region. ¤
ICT initiatives and provides an email platform for all teachers and students in the public education system, among other features. The agreement will also allow 1,500 teachers and 22,000 students the ability to download Microsoft Suite programmes on up to five devices. Fitzgerald said the government said it was pushing to create an educational system that was “technologically sound” and “competitive.” “We have implemented a very aggressive and diverse professional development framework to ensure that teachers are able to teach effectively in an increasingly ICT-enriched environment,” he said. ¤
Internet Exchange Point to be Launched in Jamaica by August
amaica is expected to benefit significantly from an Internet exchange point (IXP) facility, which the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining expects to have in place by August. The IXP enables Internet traffic routing within the country where the provision exists, instead of through external providers, as currently is the case with Jamaica. State Minister, Julian Robinson, said the Ministry is currently working with an entity, the Packet Clearing House, to have Jamaica’s IXP established by August, pointing out that “we have already done the initial design”. Robinson gave details of the IXP during his 2014/15 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on June 11, under the theme: ‘Information and Communication Technologies as Enablers for Growth and Development’.
The State Minister told the House that Jamaica will benefit from significant cost savings, consequent on the IXP’s implementation, as well as increased Internet speed access for providers in the market. “This is important, because it will allow for those companies that are involved in developing products and solutions that require heavy use of the Internet, to locate in areas close to where an IXP is. So those, for example, in animation and other areas, can create a hub around which those (entities) can be located,” he pointed out. Robinson said Jamaica is “not alone” in this regard, as several other Caribbean countries are progressing along that path. “There are many other countries in the Region that are ahead of us. As such, we are moving quickly, and we intend to have an IXP launch by August,” the State Minister noted. ¤
We Provide the following services in addition to the refueling of vehicles: Soufriere 758-459-7729
Cooking gas – both Sol and TexGas * Telephone top up – Lime/Digicel Vehicle accessories, car batteries, air fresheners * Lottery Tickets Oils and lubricants * Ice * Convenient store
Location: Fond Cacao, Soufriere Telephone : 459 -7831/459-7729 BusinessFocus July / Aug |
says Nou Wive’! Columbus Communications St Lucia Officially Launches Operations Announces new Regional Initiative to Drive Community and National Development
esidential customers with Columbus Communications St. Lucia Limited, operators of the brand Flow, will soon have the fastest speeds in the country with download speeds of up to 100 mpbs and upload speeds of up to 10 mpbs, all at no additional cost. This announcement was made on July 10th, 2014 when Columbus St. Lucia officially launched operations with a cocktail function held at St. James Club, Morgan Bay. The event themed “One People, One Passion, One Purpose” hosted Government officials, that included Key Note speaker, Senator the Honourable Dr. James Fletcher, Minister of Public Service, Information and Broadcasting Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development; key members of the private sector, other stakeholders and members of the media. Speaking to these unprecedented announcements, Mrs. Rhea Yaw Ching, Corporate Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Columbus, stated “Today, I want to reiterate our commitment that we stand as your partners to make the journey with you. This commitment is the Columbus way.”
BusinessFocus July / Aug
“As we introduce our products and services, our commitment is to create an enabling environment that provides a strategic technology platform that integrates people, information and ideas. In every country that we have entered, we challenge the norms on what was defined to be broadband. We shake up the industry’s historical pricing regime to provide every household with a new value proposition forcing incumbents to raise their game, improving both the quantity and quality of products and services, and systematically reducing prices on products and services,” she continued. Country Manager, Jesse Edwards, announced the newly developed alliance programme that speaks to a very involved corporate citizenship. In a novel approach to nation building, Edwards introduced its Columbus Partnership Network (CPN), an initiative developed to drive community and national development through pooling resources for greater impact. In explaining the CPN concept, Jesse noted that “As corporate conscious citizens, we contribute to educating people’s understanding that having access to the technology is just part of the journey and that what makes the journey far-reaching is to understand how we utilize this technology to make any person, this island, this region, no matter our size, competitive on any level. Ultimately, we wish to leave a legacy that transforms the country in which we work. CPN is an inspired programme, designed to connect businesses, all of which are in strategic partnerships with Columbus, to form mutual education, training and networking benefits.” Columbus St. Lucia is the first to launch the CPN, which over time will become a regional initiative. Columbus St. Lucia is already on the verge of creating historic moments only
after one year in the market, under the Karib Cable brand, as Flow broadband customers, who currently subscribe for 1.1mbps will be upgraded to Turbo 2, and customers who currently enjoy 2.2, 3.3 and 4.4 packages respectively will automatically enjoy double their download bandwidth and increased upload speeds, at no additional cost. ¤ For additional information, contact: Mrs. Shermalyn Sidonie-John manager of sales, marketing communications Tel.: 758.721.7625 Email: ssidonie-John@columbus.co
About Columbus Columbus International Inc. is a privately held diversified telecommunications company based in St Lucia. The Company provides digital television, broadband Internet and digital landline telephony in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao and now Saint Lucia under the brand name FLOW and in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda under the brand name Karib Cable. Columbus also provides next generation connectivity and IT solutions, managed networking and cloud-based services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the Company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region. Through its fully protected, ringed submarine fibre optic network spanning more than 42,300 km and its 34,300 km terrestrial fibre and coaxial network, Columbus' 2,700 plus professionals provide advanced telecom services to a diverse residential and corporate clients.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Saint Lucia’s Public Debt
By Richard Peterkin Partner, Tax and Transaction Services, Grant Thornton Windward Islands
ublic Debt is the debt owed by a Central Government to its creditors, both internal and external, and includes the debt of state corporations that is guaranteed by Central Government. It is one of the methods used by Government to finance its operations.
Caribbean countries are among the most highly indebted countries in the world, and these high and rising debt to GDP ratios jeopardize prospects for mediumterm debt sustainability and economic growth. In 2012 the region’s overall public sector debt was estimated at about 79% of regional GDP.
Saint Lucia’s total public sector liabilities at the end of 2013 was EC$2,692.7 million, an increase of 5.2% over the corresponding figure for 2012. The composition of Public Debt over the last two years was as follows: Expressed in EC$
Central Government Debt
Government Guaranteed Debt
Public Non-Guaranteed Debt 62.5
Total Official Public Debt
Total Public Sector Liabilities
As a ratio to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Official Public Debt increased from 72.1% in 2012 to 73.6% in 2013. As indicated in the Table above, most of the increase was due to borrowing by Central Government to finance the fiscal deficit. BusinessFocus July / Aug
The Table above shows that the rate of increase in Saint Lucia’s Public Debt is in excess of its anemic rate of growth in GDP (at current prices), and its debt to GDP remains well in excess of the prudential level of 60%. Over the last five years, while both Government Guaranteed debt and Public Non-Guaranteed Debt declined, Central Government Debt increased by 52.0% and Domestic Payables increased by 149%.
External Debt, comprised mainly of multilateral loans, Bonds and Treasury Bills sold on the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) now accounts for 49.4% of Official Public Debt, and increased by 12.5% in 2013. Domestic Debt increased by 1.5% and accounts for 50.6% of Official Public Debt. 92% of Domestic Debt is due by Central Government.
The composition of the Central Government Debt portfolio is heavily weighted (69.1%) towards financial market instruments such as Bonds and Treasury Bills. The composition by type of debt is indicated in the table below.
Expressed in EC$ Millions
Bonds and Notes
World Bank Loans
Commercial Bank Loans
Total Central Government Debt
Currency Risk As most of the debt is denominated in EC$ there is no significant currency risk in the portfolio. Debt denominated in other currencies, due to multilateral organizations is denominated primarily in US$, to which the EC$ is pegged. Interest Rate Risk The weighted average cost of debt (WACD) has not changed significantly over the last 3 years. Interest rates on Bonds increased in 2013, but interest rates on multilateral loans and treasury bills have both declined. Due to increased liquidity in the region, the demand for shorter-term Treasury bills by institutional investors has driven down yields. Debt Instruments
Maturity Risk The maturity profile of Central Government Debt indicates that 61.7% of the debt instruments are maturing within 5 years. In addition, Governments preference for bullet-repayment bonds rather than amortized repayments (principal and interest) in previous years, will result in higher repayments on maturity.
Debt Servicing The total debt service for the 2013/14 financial year declined by 9.3% due to lower principal repayments and higher amount of debt rolled over on maturity. Expressed in Actual EC$ Millions 2012/13
Revised Estimates 2013/14 2014/15
Sinking Fund 3.0 Contribution
Total debt Service
Interest costs, however, increased by 13% as a result of higher debt and higher interest rates. Debt service as a percentage of current revenue declined to 22.5% but is expected to increase to 24.2% in the Budget for 2014/15 as a result of higher principal repayments during the year. Government has not been able to budget or make contributions to the Sinking Fund in 2013/14 or 2014/15 as a result of recurrent and overall deficits. In addition, the Sinking Fund set aside in prior years for future debt repayments was utilized in 2012/13 and 2013/14 as Government was unable to raise new debt to finance capital expenditure. Conclusion Saint Luciaâ€™s current and budgeted levels of debt and debt servicing is too high and has become a major drag on economic growth. High borrowing costs discourage private investment and constrain fiscal flexibility. The high level of debt will make it extremely difficult for Government to raise the budgeted level of bonds on regional markets to finance projected capital expenditure. Institutional investors have indicated that Saint Lucia is overexposed on the regional financial markets, and will experience difficulties in rolling-over debt at existing interest rates and terms, and problems in selling new financial instruments. There is therefore urgent need for robust fiscal consolidation and debt restructuring that must include significant reductions in Central Government recurrent expenditure, and more efficient implementation of public sector investment. Â¤
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
The Secret to Smart Borrowing
he incidence of borrowing is an ancient phenomenon predating the presence of banks and credit unions, at a time where people just went on each other’s ‘word’. Needless to say, most people will need to borrow money at some point in their lifetime to acquire large items such as a house or car, to fund special event such as a wedding or going to college, or to tide them over in case of an emergency. In a nutshell, if borrowing cannot be avoided; why not go about doing it the right way, the smart way? The first step to smart borrowing is ensuring that you can afford to repay the debt owed. You must budget to manage disposable income wisely, as by deciding to borrow funds that income will be reduced even further. It does not make sense to have a repayment schedule of $200.00 for the amount borrowed, when your disposable income is only $250.00. That is what we ‘call living above your means’. The second step after confirming disposable income is deciding on the type
BusinessFocus July / Aug
of borrowing that is most suitable for the present need. The types of borrowing would include: 1. Hire Purchase - a type of borrowing that is different from other types because you don’t own the goods until you have paid the debt in full. The goods are paid by an agreed amount of installments and the lender may repossess (take back) the goods if you fall into arrears with payments. 2. Plastic Cards - this entails bank debit cards, prepayment cards and credit cards amongst others; however the most commonly used ‘borrowing card’ would be the credit card. This method of borrowing is using money on ‘credit’ from the bank and is usually loaned to individuals at a high interest rate. 3. Personal Loans - a fixed amount that is borrowed with a (variable/ fixed) rate repayable by set monthly installments over an agreed period of time called ‘the term of the loan’.
After deciding on what type of borrowing method is best for you, you need to decide on what length of time you would need to repay the debt as you never know what other circumstances may occur in your lifetime. You have to ask yourself, “Am I expecting a change in circumstances during the lifetime of the repayment period? ‘If so, how will it affect my ability to repay?” All in all, smart borrowing would be dependent on your disposable income, matching the type of borrowing to your need and also taking into consideration the length of time you can repay the debt. These three are essential in borrowing and would start you off on the right track to borrowing. ¤ Brought to you by:
First Citizens Investment Services
has it... By Pilaiye Cenac
Are your customers showroomers or webroomers? E-commerce (better known as Amazon) has not yet demolished brick and mortar retailers. Says who? Well, the latest webrooming trend appears to provide hope to traditional businesses. Apparently the much-despised showrooming is giving way to the reverse. Let’s define those buzzwords before we go on.
Showrooming: Customer goes to store
to view product but does not purchase there. Customer then sneaks back to that smartphone, tablet or computer to make that purchase online. Some retailers abroad fought against this by instituting a ‘just looking’ fee —a move guaranteed to alienate customers.
Webrooming: Customer spends time online researching a product, becomes an ‘expert’ in a matter of hours, then heads to a store to test, assess and buy. Research shows that persons from all age groups webroom; men tend to do so a little more than women. Persons looking to purchase items such as electronics and shoes are keen webroomers. Forget the clever marketing jargon, consumers WILL take advantage of all reasonable channels available to them; retailers expecting them to do otherwise will be disappointed. It’s best to find ways of satisfying consumers across the different channels, and to do so retailers will need to understand consumers’ motivations.
What drives a consumer to purchase in store? • The opportunity to touch the product, test it, try it out, try it on, twirl in front of the mirror, try another… • No shipping cost and no risk of items being damaged en route • Instant gratification: no long wait for the product to be delivered
• Less hassle to return the item to the store if the need arises. No one wants the headache and additional cost of shipping items whence they came. • In-store ambiance: Some consumers enjoy the look and feel of the store. A friend of mine describes the sound of hangers sliding across racks as “music to her ears”. • The human touch: knowledgeable, and hopefully friendly, human attendants make a difference to many people. • Security: Many consumers still feel safer purchasing in store rather than providing their payment information online. Also, persons purchasing very expensive items tend to prefer purchasing in store.
What drives a consumer to purchase online? • Variety, variety, variety: online, consumers can access a lot more than a physical location can hold. Online shopping offers the world at a click… or a few hundred clicks. • Convenience: they can literally shop till they max out their card (s) in pajamas, or less, in the comfort of their home, at any hour of the day/night. It provides the opportunity to save gas money, bus fare, time and energy. No walking from store to store, no bags to tote around, no unfriendly human attendants… • Better price: Online shoppers love the deals and the opportunity to compare prices easily • Reviews from product users: to consumers this feedback is more powerful than advertising and, in many cases, information from sales staff.
• Discreet shopping opportunity: it allows privacy so buyers are spared the embarrassment when purchasing particular items. Consumers want a hassle-free, safe and consistent retail experience. Retailers will need to continue to monitor the trend, keep talking to their customers to appreciate their preferences. Few St. Lucian businesses offer consumers the option to purchase online but organizations can: • Ensure that customer expectations are met or exceeded by examining drivers for in-store purchasing. • Offer online coupons for in-store purchases. • Keep in store inventory up to date with what is available on their website. • Employ knowledgeable and dynamic sales staff to convert showroomers into customers. • Evaluate online competitors. • Explore offering online purchasing option. Offering some of the elements traditionally found in online stores is sure to position you ahead of other retailers and increase customer purchases. ¤ Pilaiye Cenac is an entrepreneur. Her qualifications include a BSc. in Psychology and Sociology and an MSc. in Marketing. She is also a PMP and a published writer. One of her companies, In Tandem, focuses on low cost approaches to enriching the customer experience. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Outsourced Accounting Services are a Win-Win for Businesses
Successful firm management requires an eye on tomorrow and a willingness to implement change with thoughtful planning. Adding bookkeeping and accounting services can increase firm revenue, and provide your clients with more options to suit their businesses with a higher level of satisfaction.
Leave It to the Pros
irst, there is a paradigm that needs to be broken before a good plan can be formulated for this new line of work. When it comes to effective bookkeeping and accounting systems, there is no such thing as data entry or basic bookkeeping. The old-school concept of write-up work was based on the idea of pushing down to the lowest level. Before exploring the addition of outsourced accounting services, firms must educate clients on this concept. Accounting is the foundation of any business and clients benefit when a professional adept in the entire process does this work from source document to financial statement analysis. The accountant must be entrenched with the transactions to correctly classify, be current, consistent and compliant. Once your clients understand this concept, they’ll be more likely to see why outsourcing the entire accounting function makes sense. There are significant advantages for clients who decide to outsource
BusinessFocus July / Aug
starting with cost efficiency. According to a survey conducted by Northwest Staffing Resources, an employee can cost approximately 57 percent more than the stated wage due to the cost of benefits and the amount of time they are actually focused and on task. For example, a $50,000 employee could actually cost the company almost $78,500 a year. An outsourced firm, however, can provide complete accounting services for roughly $3,000 per month or $36,000 per year. For the monthly fee, the client receives a higher level of expertise since the outsourced firm brings experience from a variety of client situations, continuing education, and the firm’s other resources. The work is done in much less time without the normal distractions of an internal employee, such as routine staff meetings to vacations. One of the biggest client advantages is objectivity. An outsourced firm can coach a client on sensitive matters, whereas, an employee may feel the need to avoid
certain topics such as confidential owner compensation issues. The firm is privy to all the intimate financial details and develops a relationship as a trusted objective advisor with the client.
Can It Work for Your Firm? Through outsourced accounting, more intimate client relationships naturally develop because there are more client interactions and the firm is privy to confidential information. Because of the trust created, the relationship may lead to other roles such as tax work and CFO advisory services. Accounting services can be a drain on the firm’s resources without implementation of a well-planned structure. There are four areas to consider when planning for this service line: resources, service philosophy, client relationship and fees/engagement agreement. ¤ Source: CPA Practice Advisor
Five Money Mistakes Caribbean Entrepreneurs are Making By: Nerissa Golden
t didn’t take me long to compile this list as they are mistakes I’ve made and some of them more than once. With the right systems and discipline you can change your money game in order for your business to stay afloat.
1 – Setting your prices too low. Many entrepreneurs believe that they will get ahead by being the cheapest on the block but that’s not so. If your prices are too low and they don’t allow you to properly serve your customers then they won’t do business with you for long. Don’t be afraid to be more expensive than your competitors if you are offering more value and better service. 2 - Setting prices based on time and not value. Consider a software developer who may deliver a business application to a client in a matter of days but which allows them to make millions of dollars. If she only charged for the time spent on the work it doesn’t represent the true value of what she delivered, which is the opportunity to make millions. Know the true value of what you provide to your clients and price accordingly. Charging too low sends the message that your work is subpar. 3 - Setting prices based on supplies and not including your time. It may seem like a no-brainer but often when you enjoy what you do, you forget to include the fact that it takes you time to do the work and that has a cost. Going to pick up the wood, building the cabinets, delivering and installing them has a value. Keep track of your hours over several tasks to help you understand how much time it takes you to deliver on different types of projects and include that in your quote. 4 - Not saving. Oh happy day. You got paid and there are bills to pay and fun to be had. By all means pay your bills but save as well. While it would be a real ego boost to run out and buy that new SUV with your profits, a better plan would be to reinvest the money in the business, even if it means hiring a financial planner, taking a marketing course or purchasing a new computer. Practice this rule. Spend some. Save some. Give some. 5 - Not keeping good records. There is nothing more embarrassing than a bounced check. Take the time to file your bank slips, invoices, and receipts. At all times you should be aware of how much money is outstanding, how much you need to pay out to suppliers and service providers. Design a strategy to collect payments in a timely manner to keep your business out of the red. ¤
About the Author : Nerissa Golden is an award-winning Media Strategist, Business Coach and author who helps her clients accelerate their business growth by leveraging high impact communications solutions and income generating strategies. Get tips on starting and growing a business at www.trulycaribbean.net. Follow her on Twitter @trulygolden.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
The Culture of Discipline: The Essential Ingredient for Excellence in Corporate Governance Harvey Millar Ph.D., P. Eng
recently completed a governance retreat with a client where a rather interesting question was raised by one of the participants: “Why do Boards do the things they do?” he asked. The question gave much pause for thought among those present. The first response was a follow up question seeking further clarification, “what do you mean by the things they do?” Boards govern, or at least they are supposed to. Boards do many things: plan strategy, hire the CEO, develop succession plans, develop corporate policies, ensure integrity of the financial records, etc. But the original question was really not about why boards govern, but rather about a more disturbing question of “why boards govern so poorly?” The geographical context for
BusinessFocus July / Aug
this question, if I am not mistaken was not North America and Europe, but rather the Caribbean. This begs several questions. “How do Caribbean boards govern?” Is the Caribbean governance landscape riffed with success stories or colossal failures that we are simply not aware of?” The dearth of publications on Caribbean corporate governance practices makes it difficult to answer these questions. The governance failures of the past decade or more have led to a heightened focus on corporate governance while simultaneously fueling an appetite for governance success stories. While corporate governance is not new to the Caribbean, it lacks the level of scrutiny, research, publication, etc.
that characterizes corporate governance in OECD countries. Hence, we are hardpressed to offer with great certainty, commentary on the level of maturity, the level of success, and the extent of failure among Caribbean corporate boards. Based on my experience with local and regional boards, many if not all, use the classic structural model that is made up of a mix of executive and independent directors and possess standing committees each with their terms of reference or charter. The Board has responsibility for running the corporation and will do so by delegating roles and responsibilities to the Board Committees, CEO, and executive management team. The Board speaks as one voice and the Chair is
usually deemed the “voice of the Board.” Suffice to say that this model is also prevalent in North America and Europe. As such, it is reasonable to assume that many of the issues that plague corporate boards in OECD countries would also plague Caribbean corporate Boards. The difference between the extent and nature of successes and/or failures for the two groups (OECD countries and the Caribbean) may be influenced by cultural factors that impact how governance is executed. In my search for answers to “why do Boards do what they do?” I had to begin by acknowledging some likely truths: for example, most boards have a well-defined and documented structure or framework for governing; most directors understand the structure of their boards and have a sense of their roles and responsibilities; most directors come to a board with the intention of doing some good; and that most directors do their best with the knowledge that they have. We can question whether the board structure is optimized for the type of organization, or whether a director’s knowledge is adequate and relevant for the task. But many of the factors that give rise to governance failures has less to do with the governance framework and more to do with the execution of governance. An analysis of corporate governance failure in the financial industry highlighted several contributing factors which include among others: management incompetence; nonobservance of the procedures stipulated in internal regulations; insufficient attention paid to risk management; inconsistent distribution of duties and responsibilities; inefficiency of internal audit; ignorance showed to the signals provided by external audit; influencing the external auditors to express an audit opinion inconsistent with reality. All of these factors point to one crucial ingredient: organizational culture, and in particular the culture of discipline and ethical behavior. Discipline and ethical behavior speaks directly to governance execution, and while I’ve said that the governance failure has more to do with execution than structure, it is possible that a weak governance structure or framework can provide fertile ground for ill-discipline and unethical behavior. The book “From Good to Great” emphasizes the importance of selfdiscipline as a critical factor in modern corporate culture. What then are some essential types of discipline that can have a positive impact on governance practice? For the purpose of this article, I will discuss 5 essential disciplines for excellence in corporate governance.
1. The Discipline of Self-Awareness: Directors must have an acute sense of who they are; their likes, dislikes, skills and abilities; their beliefs and values; what drives them; and their sense of loyalty. Directors must park their egos and honestly self-assess whether they are a good fit for the organization. This is the starting point of personal integrity in the context of the role as director. 2. The Discipline of Self-Improvement: It is one thing to know one’s make up. It is another thing to act upon one’s weaknesses in pursuit of self-improvement. Directors must be willing to take the necessary steps to improve their contextual skills, knowledge and understanding, and reflect on their spiritual ethos. Self-improvement can be a challenge. But directors must find the time to close critical skills and knowledge gaps if they are to add value to the governance of the corporation. 3. The Discipline of Thought and Analysis: It is crucial that each director sharpen their analytical sword. Effective decision-making requires an evidence-based disposition and hence great analytical skills, the ability to reason, the ability to think both shortterm and long-term, and the ability to ask the right questions cannot be overstated. Asking good questions is both an art and a science. Good questions often emanate from a location of healthy cognition. Directors must have the discipline to ask the right questions, the hard questions, and the discipline to work through the fuzzy data or scenarios before making decisions that will have serious consequences for the company. There must be the discipline to resist the temptation of expedience over due diligence. 4. The Discipline of Ethical Praxis: All directors must check their moral and professional compass and act in a manner that respects universal principles of right and wrong. Directors must be willing to act in accordance with a set of core principles and values that are defensible in the court of morality and the court of public opinion. Directors must have the resolve to walk away when asked to make decisions that are in direct conflict with their moral and spiritual code. Unfortunately many boards lack a spiritual ethos, which makes it possible for unethical and unspiritual directors to thrive unchecked. Many boards don’t even start with a simple prayer. The 42 principles of Ma’at (the ancient Egyptian philosophy) offer a fantastic starting point for ethical self-reflection. The principles are embodied in confessions such as: I
have not done iniquity; I have not stolen; I have not caused pain; I have not judged hastily; I have not stirred up strife; I have not acted with insolence; I have not fouled the water. These are powerful principles that can guide both individual and group ethical behavior. 5. The Discipline of Action: Governing is an act and as such, directors must therefore take action before the benefits of good governance can be realized. What actions are taken and how these actions are executed will determine the outcomes that follow. Directors must have the discipline to act timely; act with confidence; act forthrightly; act in good faith; act with knowledge; act with a sense of purpose; act in the best interest of the sustainability of the corporation; act morally and ethically; and act with skill and agility. Directors, individually and collectively must have the fortitude to act on both the hard painful decisions as well as the fun and pleasurable ones; for procrastination of tough decisions or an over-emphasis on easy pleasurable decisions will both lead to failure. Finally disciplined action is required for both planned and emergent events. The latter is particularly hard; as emergent issues, crises, market collapses, economic decline, social unrests, etc., often carry with them the seeds that can germinate into chaos. Achieving excellence in corporate governance is by no means an easy feat. Given a corporation submerged in the complexity of its internal and external environments, the interests of its shareholders and stakeholders, the skills and capabilities of its managerial assets, optimizing governance practice is indeed difficult. Having an efficient governance infrastructure is immensely important and is the natural starting point. But even more important is the culture of governance and in particular, the culture of discipline that is needed to fuel the successes of this engine called the Board. ¤ Dr. Harvey Millar is a full professor in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Canada. He is the principal consultant with Management Technologies specializing in organizational improvement interventions, which include among others: strategic planning, strategy execution, performance management, and governance evaluations. He can be reached at Harvey.H.Millar@gmail.com.
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BusinessFocus July / Aug
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Who we are and what we do
How we work
Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax, and advisory firms. These firms help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, forward looking advice. Proactive teams led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to understand complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients and help them to find solutions.
We aim to be the leading business adviser to dynamic organisations around the world by unlocking their potential for growth. This means looking at all aspects of the business at the same time. Financial measures, process efficiency, new ways of working and stakeholder relationships must grow in harmony to fully achieve your objectives.
Where are we
More than 38,000 Grant Thornton people, across over 131 countries, in 696+ offices are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work. Although not as widely known in the Eastern Caribbean as other parts of the world, Grant Thornton has offices in the following Caribbean countries – Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
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Grant Thornton clients want forward thinking service providers who can adapt quickly. They expect us to get to the heart of the matter fast, providing clarity and discovering fresh opportunities. We do that by combining our technical knowledge and sector expertise with an in-depth understanding that can only come from asking insightful questions and listening to every detail. Our CLEAR global values are the foundation for what we do. • • • • • •
Collaboration – we work well together Leadership – we challenge each other to be the best we can be Excellence – we never get complacent Agility – we thrive in change Respect – create honest relationships Responsibility – we own our actions
Growth is central to our strategy. Grant Thornton led the six largest global accounting organisations in reported revenue growth rate for the past year. Grant Thornton firms have access to a network of international Business Centres (IBCs) that provide a gateway to the resources of Grant Thornton globally. IBCs are led by experts in international business familiar with the wealth of experience held by colleagues around the world and they coordinate their expertise to serve clients across borders. What we have to say
While we are proud of our growth accomplishment we know our people will say the true measure of our success is how well we served our clients. Our continued ambition is to be recognised as the leading provider of high quality, professional services to dynamic organisations, helping them unlock their potential growth. The transition to Grant Thornton (from PWC)
Already embodying many of the core principles of the GT brand, the Firm transitioned into the GT network on July 1, 2013 which will allow us to continue our excellent quality of service that our clients have been experiencing for years. Following the unanimous support and confidence from both clients and staff, the Firm was assured that the right decision has been made. Clients were prepared for the transition and given
relevant information on the new network. That, coupled with the strong relationship already established, helped to ensure that sector of the transition was a smooth one. Clients were assured that the standards would remain the same, and the transition would prove to be more effective for their respective businesses, through a more efficient service delivery. Anthony Atkinson, Managing Partner, explained, “Culturally, the Grant Thornton network is a better fit for our market at this time – better for the staff, clients and the partners. We have found it to be a little more agile …….whilst allowing us to remain autonomous, they provide a very supportive network and at the same time enabling us to deliver our products and services in the most effective way based on the local market”. He further noted, “We tell people up front, and it’s not secret, that we apply the highest standards ….so if you have a philosophy problem with high standards, then you should not engage us”. “At the end of the day, we need to merge the client’s philosophy with our own for a greater outcome”, added Partner, Richard Peterkin. “In addition, the partners recognize that our market place is a dynamic one, and the only thing that is certain is change. We believe that the GT philosophy and network better enables us to be proactive in planning for shifts in the needs of our market; so that we can serve our existing clients better as well as attract new clients who may have new needs or opportunities,” concluded Anthony Atkinson.
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We’ve always had that Grant Thornton “instinct for growth”. The people in here have always worked on the basis that not only can we help ourselves grow, but we can help others grow, and we can help entrepreneurs grow.
Anthony Atkinson Managing Partner St. Lucian National, Anthony Atkinson took the opportunity to join the then Peat Marwick Mitchell office in St. Lucia in January 1976 after studying Business Administration and Accounting at the University of New Brunswick and McGill University in Canada and then working in Canada, qualifying with the then Coopers & Lybrand office in Montreal, Quebec. The Peat Marwick Mitchell office in St. Lucia then subsequently became KPMG which then merged with Price Waterhouse in 1989 with Atkinson becoming the Managing Partner. The subsequent merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand in 1998 created PriceWaterhouseCoopers which in July of 2013 then became Grant Thornton with Atkinson as the Managing Partner. Atkinson’s current responsibilities include the overall management of the St. Lucia practice of Grant Thornton with specific responsibilities for Audit, Insolvency and Business Advisory Services. For the years prior to the firm’s transition to Grant Thornton, effective July 1, 2013, he served on the Executive Committee of Price Waterhouse and subsequently PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm, which had responsibilities for offices in Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts and St. Lucia. During his tenure with the Firm he has also served as Treasurer of the St Lucia Tennis Association, Treasurer of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, Member of the St Lucia Government Negotiating Team and a Member of the island’s BusinessFocus July / Aug
Integrity Committee. Atkinson was also President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of St. Lucia and the first President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean. Business Focus sat down with Atkinson to discuss the practice and the recent transition to Grant Thornton. Considering the Firm’s growth over the last 60 years, what have been some of the most significant changes?
The Firm is fifteen times as big as when it was first started by Mr. William Rapier in the 1960’s. It began with three people and now we have a staff of 47. The Firm has also gone through quite an evolution from the original name of the founders DeGale & Rapier to Peat Marwick Mitchell, KPMG, Price Waterhouse and then PriceWaterhouseCoopers to now Grant Thornton.
Major challenges have always been with recruitment in terms of attracting the right people and having the right resources in place to service the demands of our clients; and then keeping up with the demands of change and technology. The real challenge for the Firm has always been to keep on top of service and delivery in an expanding client base across many lines of service, matching the resources to keep our existing clients happy, while also providing for continued growth. We gradually developed beyond Audit and Tax Services, creating a whole suite of Advisory Services, including expertise in the area of Business Restructuring, Business Reviews and Insolvency Services.
We also expanded into other Islands of the Eastern Caribbean, starting with Antigua in 1982 where a full office was opened to service existing client needs there. The office in Antigua was opened by myself and one Manager and grew over the years to be an independent office within the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Eastern Caribbean network managed by Charles Walwyn. Today that office has 46 people and three partners and also opened an office in St. Kitts a few years ago. Like us that office made the transition to Grant Thornton so that we are both still part of the same network. While we do not have an office in any of the other Windwards, we do work there and have several audit and advisory assignments in Grenada, St. Vincent and Dominica, all of which are served from our office here in St. Lucia. Business Focus:
Have the goals of the Firm evolved since the
Anthony Atkinson: The goals of this Firm have all been met. The basic goal of the Firm has always been to provide the best possible quality service to our clients, to help them grow, and to grow with them. To do this we know we had to hire the best quality staff, and give them the best quality training, both academically and on the job. To this end, we only hire University graduates from recognized Universities and they are then all required to register with one of the recognized Professional Accountancy bodies to lead to their qualification. Trainees are then assigned to senior staff at various stages, to work under their supervision; so as to have adequate on the job training with proper supervision. There are also numerous in-house training programs on Audit Methodology, International Financial Reporting Standards, Accounting Standards, and Taxation. The office is fully automated as is our Audit Methodology and each new recruit is issued with a computer, unlike the early days when they were issued with pencils and paper, and put through a series of local courses as they progress in the Firm. Business Focus:
How have clients’ demands evolved over the
Anthony Atkinson: Clients are always very demanding in the service industry. One thing I have found is that they are now much more demanding in terms of the timeliness of delivery of the services requested. Quality has never been compromised. Our clients, over the passage of time, have themselves grown and their requirements have become greater. They require more services from us and delivery within a shorter period of time. One of the challenges in that, obviously, is to keep our clients happy with our service delivery and ensuring that they remain satisfied and loyal.
What can clients expect from the Firm now that it has joined the Grant Thornton network?
Anthony Atkinson: We will continue to develop the practice along the lines that it was originally established in a methodical way that does not compromise, in any way, what we have achieved in the past, in building a tremendous client base and a group of people both of which are so critical to our continued success. From a visionary point of view we are happy where we are, but we need to continue to grow. We can’t stay stagnant; and we need to assist Grant Thornton in developing a wider footprint in the Eastern Caribbean generally. By so doing, one will hope that the partnership will grow, both in St. Lucia and Antigua and St.
Kitts-Nevis and provide continuing opportunities for the persons in those practices to obtain Partnership Status in more or less the same manner that I did more than 30 years ago. We are currently a two Partner Firm in St. Lucia with four Directors who will in time all be eligible to become Partners. We would love to be able to grow to eventually become a five Partner or even a six Partner Firm. Business Focus:
Are there any plans for a new Partner?
We’ve always had a succession plan in place which included the addition of a third younger Partner who would operate primarily in the Audit arena. The economic issues globally and regionally, notwithstanding, it was important to make that appointment at a time when we feel the persons are ready. We sense there is additional growth coming into the marketplace so a fourth and fifth is also very likely. At the end of this transition year will be the opportune time to demonstrate our growth to the public from a two-Partner Firm, emphasizing our ability to meet our clients growing demands for a variety of services. We definitely wanted our third Partner to be home-schooled and home grown. This is an important yardstick to demonstrate in this marketplace that we were able to survive, first of all, and then grow our resources to the point where we have been able to train someone all the way through from Junior Accountant to Partner.
It is in our succession plan, starting with this coming year, to make other Partners over the next five years to allow for the progress of the younger upcoming staff and the retirement of the older ones. Business Focus:
What are more pronounced misconceptions of
Anthony Atkinson: Image is important to us and perhaps because of the international recognition of the Firm’s networks over the years, there are still many people who believe that we only cater to large and predominantly foreign owned businesses. This is false. We ourselves are small in the global context, while large in St. Lucia. We’ve always had that Grant Thornton “Instinct for Growth”. The people in our Firm have always worked on the basis that not only can we help ourselves grow, but we can help others grow, and we can help entrepreneurs grow. A lot of the clients that we have now, are fairly new businesses established over the last 20 years, and they’ve grown significantly as well. Success is to attract small businesses, help them grow and to grow with them.
The second thing is the expatriate image of the Firm because of its name through all the stages of the name changes over the years and the presence of a couple of expatriate personnel. Upon examination one can see that this is not so. The name today and the various names in the past are the international affiliation that is necessary to ensure that our people are provided with the best and most up to date audit methodology, training material, working tools, regional and international connections needed to give our clients the best possible service and our people the best possible training. It also gives our clients the benefit of independent oversight on the quality of service we provide them. This is important in small islands and small offices where it is necessary to ensure that the profit motive does not compromise the quality of service. Our leadership below the practice level is very strong and local except for two persons. We’ve really cultivated a strong base of personnel resources that are local and we are very proud of this. As we like to say, we have created more BusinessFocus July / Aug | 31
”firepower” in terms of our ability to field numbers of qualified and experienced staff, more than all of our other competitors combined. Essentially our clients are local; the ownership of the Firm is local and better than 95% of our staff are local. From time to time, at certain levels expatriate personnel had to be hired to fill gaps to provide training to our local staff and expertise at certain levels as well as introduce new and fresh ideas and methods so that we could continue to provide our clients with the best possible service. As we have invested in our staff, through, the selection of University graduates and the facilitation of their professional training programs, the expatriate content out of a staff in excess of 40; has dropped to a low of two versus a high of five some years ago. This took some time as notably we feed industry when it comes to providing qualified Accountants. As the major Firm we are the ones training the majority of St. Lucia’s Accountants. Clients knew that we provide the best training and so were always hiring our best people simply by making an offer above what we were offering. This is perfectly normal throughout the profession and throughout the world. So we always considered ourselves privileged to be the major source of supply. In fact we take great pride in looking at our alumni, amongst whom have been former Prime Ministers, present Ministers of Government, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, competing Firms, and some of the most senior positions in St. Lucia Industry. What does Grant Thornton do in terms of Community Outreach? Business Focus:
Anthony Atkinson: An essential function of being a good corporate citizen is a company’s presence in the community, usually measured by their outreach programmes. The Firm
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has always made substantial donations annually, usually on an anonymous basis. Like so many other businesses in St. Lucia, Grant Thornton receives their share of solicitation letters for both private and community request. Our focus has been in the fields of education, health and medical. We try to assist persons and organisations that touch us on a genuine and personal level. We consistently assist a select number of secondary schools in rewarding performance of their best graduates and we assist in the sponsorship of the Junior Achievement Program in Secondary schools. We have assisted in the education of the blind and the mentally disabled. When natural disaster has struck in the past, we have been quick to step up to the plate and in the case of Tropical Storm Thomas a few years ago, we solicited contributions from our network offices in other Caribbean Islands and as far as Bermuda and came up with a cash donation to the cause of over $90,000, which I believe was the single largest donor from the private sector. Unfortunately we cannot always promise that this will happen. No one knows what the future holds for us all, so realistically if you are in a position to help the community, we believe that his is a very good thing to do. Business Focus:
What has kept the Firm above the competition?
I think what keeps us ahead is our unrelenting commitment to client service, and unrelenting commitment to our people. We ensure that we have the right ethic in terms of service delivery and the right ethic in terms of attracting and retaining the best possible staff. We have mandated reinvestment in people, training and technology as a requirement of all our previous and present International affiliations. Our fees are not first for rent and salaries but a large portion goes to continued reinvestment in people and technology. That’s it in a nutshell.
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“We use a planned approach to target new business with existing clients and new targets”
Richard Peterkin Partner What a difference a year makes.
Just over a year ago, Richard Peterkin was looking at the likelihood of retiring from the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean effective June 30, 2013. Not quite ready to hang up his spurs, he mulled his options for the future and looked back on 40 years of experience in public accountancy, 36 years of which had been spent in Saint Lucia. Born in Grenada, he had lived and been educated in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, England and Canada, and had become a resident of Saint Lucia in 1971 when his father, the late Sir Neville Peterkin, was assigned to Saint Lucia as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and subsequently Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. “It was one of the most enjoyable summers of my life, and when I subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Canada, the decision as to where I would eventually settle and work was a no-brainer”. Richard had obtained degrees in Economics from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, and Commerce from the University of Windsor in Canada, and had articled with Peat Marwick (now KPMG) in Canada before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1976. He was recruited by the Saint Lucia office of Peat Marwick as a Supervisor in 1977 and joined the partnership, which then included Willie Rapier, Angus Bain, Bert Husbands, Ricky Cave and Anthony Atkinson, in 1981. “It was a fascinating and rewarding time in my life. Saint Lucia had just become independent, Bananas was the main industry, tourism was expanding rapidly, and being the biggest accounting firm on the island, our services were in great demand”
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The practice which Willie Rapier had started in the 1960’s also had a rich legacy and alumni of individuals who had worked with the firm, and had left to later make their mark in commerce and politics in Saint Lucia – Emma Hippolyte, Mikey Pilgrim, Costello Michel, to name just a few. “We were more than just Auditors and Accountants to our clients, community and country, and corporate social responsibility was in our DNA” Though the firm has re-branded many times over the years, the investment in its people and society has remained stronger than ever. Changes in brands and alliances saw the firm become Price Waterhouse in 1989, PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean in 1998 and Grant Thornton Windward Islands in July 2013. “The wonderful aspect of all of this commercial metamorphosis, was that we worked with and benefitted from some of the biggest and best global professional firms, and were able to train our people and help our clients using new technologies, best practices and professional standards as good as any international office” The move to Grant Thornton, one of the world's largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms, has been the most progressive and productive of all of the changes for the Saint Lucia firm over the years. The Grant Thornton global operating model has allowed the freedom and flexibility for local growth and succession, and provided the international support to ensure the continued maintenance and practice of the highest professional standards. As the Partner responsible for Tax and Transaction Services, as well as a wide variety of assurance, insolvency and offshore financial clients, Richard intends to remain as long as it takes to ensure that the firm remains the leading professional services firm
in the region in the transition to the next generation of younger leaders. The current Management Team of Partners and Directors will provide continuity and leadership while allowing for growth and development of younger professional staff with the technical skills required to meet the growing and changing demands of clients in the years ahead. The Saint Lucia firm has the practice rights for the Windward Islands, and a network that includes some of the best tax and corporate service professionals in the Caribbean. The firm will continue to provide efficient and innovative tax planning, compliance and corporate services to local, regional and international clients operating throughout the Caribbean region. Richard has been active in community affairs, especially in the field of sport. He served as the President of the St. Lucia Olympic Committee for 20 years, and was instrumental in obtaining recognition for the local Committee from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1993. He was inducted as a member of the IOC in 2009, only the second such member in the Englishspeaking Caribbean. “I believe that as citizens and professionals, we all have a responsibility to assist in the advancement of our institutions, organizations, and to contribute to the development of financial and economic literacy in the country”. He has also served as President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, President of the National Economic Council of Saint Lucia, and a member of the Commission on Pension and Pension Administration Reform for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. He is currently the Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of Spain in Saint Lucia.
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BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Joining a Firm of Excellence
Grant Thornton, St. Lucia, formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers, is synonymous with excellence and superior quality. For most, if not all accounting students, the goal during study is to at least intern at this prestigious Firm. Benefitting from the Firms impressive portfolio, many have passed through the Firm gaining not only their professional qualifications, but a wealth of invaluable experience that has accelerated their careers. Some will even admit to wondering what happens behind those doors at Pointe Seraphine, but not all who are interested will be accepted into this organisation. Priding themselves on attracting the “brightest and best” minds to the Firm, the opportunity to be employed there goes beyond the scope of academic merit. On average, the Firm may, in a given year, have three or four position to fill but will receive in excess of 50 applications, which means an applicant begins with a less than 10 percent chance of being offered the job. The first process of elimination is the absence of a university degree. If the applicant does not have a degree, then the application will not reach the desk of any of the Partners for consideration. This of course, does not apply to application for administration or basic office positions. Once the elimination process has been completed, the suitable candidates are then assessed on the basis of their transcript which includes not just the university results but also their secondary school results. The second phase is to call the candidates selected in for an interview. As a part of a rather stringent process, this stage satisfies the basic requirements, scrutinising skill and competency. It is in the second phase of the recruiting process, their interview process that a candidate must be prepared to go beyond the scope of their academic credentials. Likened to a friendly interrogation, the candidate meets with the Managing Partner and two Managers or Directors who will them decide on candidates who best fit into their team.
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Successful applicants are then placed on a three-month probation period to prove their competence. Director Sharon Raoul explained. “Our environment is very fast and the learning curve is steep” which is why we don’t accept persons with low academic performance… our previous experience has shown that such persons tend to struggle in this environment. In addition, there are some things that we just can’t teach without a solid academic foundation. For example, you must have an analytical mind and be a problem-solver. Being a service industry, candidates must demonstrate a natural aptitude for dealing with people. The art of conversation cannot be taken lightly, as representatives of the Firm are expected to liaise and communicate directly with clients. For the candidate, who for example, possesses high grades and was exceptional on their entry exam, but struggled to communicate or even compose a simple sentence, their chances of joining the team significantly diminishes. Director Malaika Theobalds who sits on the interview panel, noted that while book knowledge is important, the interview serves to provide a glimpse of the applicant’s personality and an indication of their character. Stressing the significance of relationships, Managing Partner Anthony Atkinson remarked, “Investment in relationships has been key to the Firm’s long-term success. We invest heavily in relationships with clients and our staff, so it is paramount that someone working here understands the importance of customer service… at the end of it all, we are judged on our service quality and delivery.” Besides being the ‘brightest and the best” when hired, Managing Partner Anthony Atkinson added that successful candidates are expected to “perform at a level above (their) grade to always catch the attention of the Partners and the clients. The demands are quite large if you want to go all the way in the organisation.” (Suitable candidates desirous of applying for a permanent Accounting/Audit position at GT should send their resume along with a copy of their official university transcript, to the Human Resources department at GT for consideration. Consideration and selection of new recruits is normally performed in April – May of each year.)
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Meet The Directors
Rosilyn Novela Director Assurance Director, Rosilyn Novela, joined the Saint Lucia office of the then PricewaterhouseCoopers Firm in August 2006, after working for five years in Ernst & Young, Philippines. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Business Administration and Accountancy in the University of the Philippines and later qualified as a member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the Eastern Caribbean – St. Lucia Branch. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners since 2009. She has more than 13 years of experience in auditing and advisory services and has expertise in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards on Auditing. Her portfolio of clients has specific emphasis on telecommunications, manufacturing, hospitality, services, entertainment and educational institution industries. Rosilyn believes that the transition to Grant Thornton has proved to be fitting based on the market structure surrounding the Firm. Grant Thornton’s methodology is different from what she was used to but the focus on risk and quality did not change. The benefit of the transition to Grant Thornton is that the Firm is able to cater to the clients’ needs and thus give more value adding services. With Grant Thornton, the St. Lucia Firm has tapped into even more resources to be able to service the existing and prospective clients in all service lines.
Malaika Theobalds Director Malaika Theobalds is a Director with Grant Thornton St. Lucia with responsibility for Assurance and Business Advisory Services. With over 14 years of experience obtained at the local, regional and international levels, Malaika has acquired a wealth of knowledge and a range of skills which have proven her to be an invaluable asset to Grant Thornton, its mission and its clients. Her career and interest in the field of Accounting started in the summer of 1996 just before embarking on studies leading to a BSc in Accounting and Economics (Hons) from the University of the West Indies. She is currently a licenced Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as a practicing member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean. During her career Malaika has worked on a broad cross-section of sectors, industries and companies including the hospitality/hotel sector, manufacturing and in particular banking and finance where her experience is most extensive and includes - retail and offshore banks, wealth management/trust companies, pension, retail and private equity funds, other finance companies and special purpose entities as well as non-profit organizations and privately owned businesses, publicly listed entities and subsidiaries. Some of the specific activities and services which she has provided to clients over the years include receivables management, purchased-debt management, activities relating to mergers and acquisitions, leading due diligence teams, assisting companies with strategic planning and process improvements and performing opening balance sheet audits. Malaika also finds time to participate in various Community life activities such as engaging with the worthwhile work of the National Trust and facilitating the firm’s corporate responsibility objectives with organisations such as the St. Lucia Diabetic and Hypertension Association. In many ways she is an embodiment of the core principles and philosophy of Grant Thornton as one given to excellence and the quality service of her clients.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
Meet The Directors
Sharon Raoul Director Sharon has been with the St. Lucian Firm since 1999. She obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Management from The University of the West Indies and later qualified as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is currently a fellow member of the Association (FCCA). Sharon is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean and is currently a council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean Saint Lucia Branch. Sharon has over fourteen years of audit and accounting reporting experience within the frameworks of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), International Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium Sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs), US GAAP, US Government Auditing Standards and US Auditing Standards. Sharon’s experience is across a broad range of industry sectors; namely retail, manufacturing, financial and other services as well as non-profit organization and projects. Sharon also assists in the tax department of the firm and in the recruitment, training and development of the professional staff. Sharon has always enjoyed the challenges and continuous learning, development and exposure that this profession and Grant Thornton, in particular, offer as well as the various opportunities to share the learning with her colleagues and clients. Sharon believes that the fundamentals to a successful professional life are being conscientious about work, taking pride in the work you do and having respect for others.
Maria Martinez Director Maria joined the St. Lucia office of the then PricewaterhouseCoopers Firm in November 2002. Maria obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from The University of Zaragoza (Spain) and later qualified as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). She is a member of the Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean and she is currently a council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean - Saint Lucia Branch. With over 11 years of experience in audit and accounting reporting within the framework of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), she has a wide range of experience with clients in industries such as financial services, insurance, hospitality, not for profit, wholesale/retail and telecommunications. Working in audit has given Maria the opportunity to work in different industries that has helped her to develop personally and professionally. In 2012, in addition to her portfolio within the Assurance Department, Maria took responsibility for the Corporate Services Department following the departure of the Corporate Services Manager. “Although it is challenging at times to balance the work between Corporate Services and Audit,” she says, “I am appreciative of the opportunity to develop another aspect of our client service”. Grant Thornton prides itself in being the fastest growing and most dynamic brand in the global accountancy market, and are constantly changing and growing alongside their clients. Maria’s experience in Audit and in Corporate Services Department has enabled her to ensure that the Firm’s clients receive the highest quality advice, providing a truly distinctive client experience. The Grant Thornton experience offers a full range of services to help clients of all sizes address the challenges and find opportunities for growth.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Meet The Managers
Aristotle Yague Manager
Jessica Peterkin Manager
Manager in the Audit Department, Aristotle joined the firm in 2007. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy from San Beda College in the Philippines in 2002 and became qualified as a member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants in that same year. Aristotle is also a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners since 2010.
Audit Manager, Jessica Peterkin, joined the Firm in June 2004, her first job after graduating from Queens University with a Bachelors in Commerce and a Queen’s Option in Spanish. With over 10 years of experience in audit and accounting reporting within the framework of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), she is a member of the ACCA and of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean.
Aristotle has over 10 years’ experience in auditing and accounting services. Prior to joining the firm, he worked with the largest and preeminent auditing firm in the Philippines, where he gained significant experience in the financial services industry. Aristotle has worked on a broad cross section of companies ranging from non-profit organisations and privately owned businesses to publicly listed entities and subsidiaries of such entities.
The constant learning coupled with the exposure to different clients has certainly held Jessica’s interest in the Firm over the last 10 years. As such, she has gained a wide range of experience with clients in industries such as banking and finance (including retail banking, social security institutions, corporate and offshore financial services, and pension funds), local manufacturers and distributors, wholesale/retail, hospitality and telecommunications. Her experience has also included audits of international donor backed projects promoting health & welfare, and preservation of the environment, as well as local charitable organizations.
Aristotle believes that the Grant Thornton way of doing business promotes clients who are happier and more satisfied. The Firm’s commitment to excellence treats each client uniquely according to their needs instead of applying the one-size-fits-all approach in dealing with clients.
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For Jessica, Grant Thornton promotes not only quality in the services they provide to clients, but also provides a healthy worklife balance which is invaluable to working parents in an industry which often requires long hours. In addition, Jessica’s experience with the Firm has given her the confidence and abilities to serve as volunteer, in a financial capacity, on various Boards for local sports, education and charitable agencies.
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Meet The Assurance Team
Ferdinand Henry Supervisor
Rowain Moore Senior Accountant
John Atkinson Senior Accountant
Gavin Fricot Senior Accountant
Lisette Gustave Senior Accountant
Gilliana William Staff Accountant
Solange Edwards Staff Accountant
Stacia Augustin Staff Accountant
Latoya Sonson Staff Accountant
Charlene Hunte Staff Accountant
Jevon Peters Staff Accountant
Genie Francois Staff Accountant
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Blossom Paul Staff Assistant
Karyl Laurent Staff Assistant
Gibran Mc Doom Staff Assistant
Vineeta Sudhakaran Staff Assistant
Kelvin Augusta Staff Assistant
Vernessa Adams Staff Assistant
Finelle Smith Staff Assistant
Vanessa Granderson Staff Assistant BusinessFocus July / Aug | 43
Meet The Corporate Services, IT and Tax Team
Fleur Ferdinand Senior Corporate Services Associate
Corporate Services Department
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Gibbs Medar Systems Administrator IT Department
Anya Trim Senior Tax Associate Tax Department
Meet The Administrative Team
Gita Tulsie Executive Assistant/ Office Manager
Patricia Timothy Personal Assistant
Sheran Mark Secretary
Philina Augier Accountant
Flora Solomon Printing & Stationery
Herman Charles Office Courier
Natasha Williams Office Assistant
Tessa Elibox Receptionist
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Forever embracing the Grant Thornton “From day one, Grant Thornton has offered learning opportunities to all of our staff. It’s the nature of the trade … you take in young, university qualified accountants and convert them into professional qualified accountants, and that’s always been the goal of our organization.“ – Managing Partner Anthony Atkinson. Immediate awareness of our strong belief in professionalism is a requisite for entry into our Firm. Our accountants are expected to progress professionally and upon qualification, try to do more in the area of extended study and professional development. Referencing the administrative staff, Managing Partner - Anthony Atkinson noted, “Although it is not required of them to qualify professionally, we encourage them to pursue studies and gather skills that are professionally beneficial to the organization in different ways.” To date, the Firm, now Grant Thornton, has the notoriety of successfully training most of St. Lucia’s qualified accountants, a record that is second to none. Many of these accountants have gone on to hold executive financial offices in other organization and industries. Known for recruiting the brightest and the best, Managing Partner - Anthony Atkinson indicated that the Firm’s reputation for quality service is largely attributed to their unrelenting investment in staff. “We’ve had a long history of investment in our people,” he added, “you don’t acquire such a reputation for quality without first recruiting the brightest and BusinessFocus July / Aug
the best, and then investing in their professional development.” “We spend a lot of time developing an environment where you can come in and work and become a part of the team, understanding true teamwork. We do not operate on individualism; you are as strong as your weakest team player; therefore we try to ensure that everyone is strong. The reward for that, buying into the team, is that the team then pushes you through our professional exam process. The process is quite a daunting undertaking, not everyone can work and study and be good at it.” In the accounting fraternity, becoming a qualified professional is no small feat as exams from the respective international accounting bodies can be grueling. As part of this teamwork effort, the Firm developed a Coaching System which offers a mentorship support structure for staff. In Charge of Learning and Education - Director Sharon Raoul, who has been with the Firm for 12 years, noted the primary function of the Committee was to ensure that students were on track with their studies. “It is not an easy feat to prepare for exams while working, so we try to coordinate their studies ensuring that they have sufficient time to prepare for exams. We also try to work with the managers to ensure that they do not have any jobs that have a strict deadline that would require them working a significant number of overtime hours.” Partner - Richard Peterkin remarked, “It is a collaborative effort taking the student from day one and qualifying them. They have to write it by themselves but
we encourage them, and make necessary adjustments to prepare them.“ Mentors assist with the organization of student schedules and assess the students’ readiness to write the exams. If a student has not done enough preparation, they may be advised to defer the exam or try a different method of approach. Usually, preparation for exams begins after joining the Firm. Students are prepared for one of the four qualifications offered: the Chartered Accountant (CA); the Certified General Accountant (CGA) which is a Canadian designation; the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which is one of the UK designations and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) which is the American designation. With 3 students successfully completing their respective programmes in 2013, there are 13 students currently preparing for the CGA, ACCA, and the CPA. The CPA can take a year and a half to complete, while the ACCA can take up to two and a half years. All the qualifications generally have the same end result; the choice therein lies with the student’s preference. In keeping with Firm policy, it is mandatory for employees within the audit department to write a professional designation. Reflecting on her own experience within the firm, working and studying, Raoul in no way underplays the challenges on such an accomplishment. “That’s also why I take my training role seriously. I recognize the amount of sacrifice it requires in order to be successful. There is a great degree of balance that you need to maintain in order to be successful in the exams. At the end of the day, you are part of a Firm that has responsibilities to clients, and you also have a responsibility to the Firm, who is financing the exam, so you have to balance the two – getting your work done in a reasonable time that allows you to prepare for the exams each evening in the period before you go on study leave.
“The Firm in itself is a good training ground not only for the preparation of the exams, but afterwards, as all of these qualifying bodies requires professionals to report approximately 40 hours of continuing education each year, thereby ensuring the learning does not stop at qualification.” In addition to the internal learning institution, the Firm also introduced a Summer Internship Programme where applicants, usually college students or graduates, receive the opportunity to gain invaluable experience within different departments of the Firm. The Firm believes it is important to give young people the opportunity to be in a professional environment where they can understand more about the world of work and professionalism. As a prerequisite, applicants must be in their final year of university, with a concentration in Accounting and with a GPA no less than 3.75. Raoul stressed the importance of having a particular work ethos to excel in the Firm. “This is not an easy environment by any stretch of the imagination and we do not believe that what we do here on a daily basis is for any and everyone. But if you come here and have the right attitude, the right work ethic and you can cope with the pressure, you will do well. The environment is built to help people succeed. Our teams at GT are well established, and we like working with each other. Therefore, we are very discerning when adding new members to the team to try to select individuals who will get along with and be embraced by their colleagues, and who are keen to add their knowledge and value to build the existing core team.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Pictured from left to right (Sheran Mark, Gita Tulsie, Philina Augier, Patricia Timothy). Grant Thornton staff engage in Community Outreach programmes â€“ Schools, Disaster Assistance, Health and Welfare.
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level or engagement of the employee than the organization itself, the pay, benefits, corporate leader or any other factor. Thus organizations that want to succeed should focus on developing great managers at every level.
Unconventional Advice by Lyndell Halliday
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble-makers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently - they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. The foregoing quote has been attributed to the late Steve Jobs - a business pioneer and technology revolutionary who was known for challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box. In the spirit of this late visionary, the focus of this issue’s Must Reads touts the unconventional. Must Reads selects and reviews two books which offer uncommon and counterintuitive advice: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams (Porfolio Hardcover, 2013) and First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
areas – from exercise and diet, to career planning and business; to relationships and happiness. This is all interspersed with a gentle and at times self-deprecating humour that entertains while educating. The best teachers are often the ones that challenge one’s thinking and belief systems and this book ably succeeds in doing this. Some of the thought provoking examples are Adam’s admonishment to focus on systems rather than goals and his dismissal of the importance of passion in the route to career and business success. Some of the advice might seem rudimentary and some of it the reader may disagree with. But there is enough value in this 256 page book that should make it a worthy read for just about anyone at any stage in life or their career.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams Scott Adams is better known as the creator of the well-known Dilbert comic series than as a serious writer. Sceptics may baulk at the idea of taking advice from a cartoonist, but those who overcome this initial apprehension will find an interesting and very worthwhile book. It can be described as part humour, part self-help and part biography. Scott Adams shares intimate details of his life and career, talking freely about his weaknesses, failures, health challenges and ultimately his successes. Through stories and anecdotes he shares his philosophies and the lessons he has learnt along his life journey. The lessons cover a wide span of
First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman Marcus Buckingham, the principal author, is a graduate of Cambridge University who has written several bestselling books including Now, Discover Your Strengths (co-authored with Donald O. Clifton, The Free Press, 2001); and The One Thing You Need to Know (The Free Press, 2005). According to Buckingham and Coffman, only 13% of the world’s employees are engaged at work – a staggering statistic. The authors claim that great managers are the difference between organizations and business units with a high ratio of engaged employees and those without. The employees’ immediate manager has a far bigger impact on the
BusinessFocus July / Aug
According to the authors, the most successful managers do not have one size fits all approaches - they each have their own individual style. What they do have in common, however, is that they “break all the rules”. For example, they do not treat all employees equally and they do not focus on employee weaknesses. They defy conventional wisdom in many ways. The authors base their premise on interviews with over 80,000 managers in over 400 companies conducted by the Gallup organization over the course of 25 years. Based on this research the authors identify twelve diagnostic questions that will help any organization to assess the level of engagement of their employees. They further deduce four key principles that define great managers. The principles are: select for talent, define the right outcomes, focus on strengths and find the right fit. Throughout the book, the authors develop and explain each of these four keys – giving practical examples from actual companies. At 278 pages, this is a fairly short read, but it is packed with material. The key strengths of this book are that the findings are all based on empirical data and it offers very concrete advice. It should prove useful to managers and supervisors at all levels within any organization. ¤ About The Author: Lyndell A. Halliday BSc., DipFM, MBA Lyndell Halliday is a business executive who has served in a range of leadership roles across the Caribbean. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd. Mr Halliday is also a part time facilitator at the National Research and Development Foundation where he teaches Leadership and Strategic Operations Management for the Australia Institute of Business MBA and BBA programmes.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
SWEET SUCCESS OFTEN COMES THROUGH COLLABORATION
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Closed User Group (CUG) Pan-Caribbean Closed User Group
Managing the cost of communication between your employees just got easier with Digicel Business Closed User Group – an affordable solution that enables closer collaboration, tighter group integration and increased productivity amongst your employees. Digicel CUG provides your business with unlimited calling between your employees on the Digicel network. With Digicel Business your packages are designed around business needs so you know that you are receiving the best valued guaranteed.
Digicel Business also provides a PanCaribbean Closed User Group product which offers corporate customers the ability to sign-up to several offices in multiple Digicel territories. Calls made between Busiess units with Digicel territories are zero rated when part of a Digicel Pan-Caribbean Closed User Group. The Closed User Groups (CUG) will be tailored so that the corporate customer will be able to make calls and send SMS messages to other Digicel numbers across the Digicel territories for FREE for a single subscription fee($) per CUG subscriber. The fees will be charged to one corporate entity/business account for each member of the zero rated Pan Caribbean Closed User Group.
Features and benefits for Pan Caribbean CUG Affordable calls between Digicel territories – companies can easily budget and control costs as it’s a fixed subscription fee. Easy billing – all member subscription fees will be billed to one master account. Roaming CUG – customers will pay a single monthly subscription fee that covers unlimited calls and SMS while Digi Roaming. Home Plus CUG – single monthly subscription fee covers unlimited calls and SMS from one country (home) to other employees in another country (e.g Barbados). The Pan Caribbean CUG is available in Digicel territories throughout the Caribbean.
Helps Sandals Cut Communication Costs by 44% Sandals Resorts International (SRI) reported a 44 per cent decrease in its communication costs just one year after implementing a Pan-Caribbean ClosedUser Group (CUG) solution from Digicel Business. The communication solution enables unlimited calling on the Digicel network between the company's employees across its fifteen locations throughout the Caribbean. Having partners and co-workers across the Caribbean no longer means expensive phone bills for your business. With a Closed User Group from Digicel Business Sandals Resorts International has enabled groups of colleagues to make unlimited calls to each other- at a much reduced monthly rate. At Sandals, communication is a critical part of what we do," said Wayne Cummings, SRI director of business administration and
processes. "Therefore, we have to ensure that we have the most efficient solutions in place to keep the lines of communication open in our company-the exclusive level of service we are able to provide to our customers is dependent on this." Flexibility is the name of the game. Business’ have the option of incorporating pre-paid, postpaid, mobile and fixed wireless broadband into a CUG for your business. Here’s some examples of typical CUG’s: Multiple users can make free calls only to a single number, ideal if your business has a dispatcher with multiple drivers or a controller who communicates with workers in the field. An assigned group of suppliers, employees and customers can make unlimited calls to each other. It’s great for
connecting employees to each other and to the suppliers and partners they speak to most. You can also set it up so that one phone number can have both postpaid and prepaid accounts, so work and personal and work calls. You can even set a credit limit for employees with postpaid accounts and allow unlimited calls to coworkers. There is also the ability to set up a CUG with members spanning any of Digicel’ s territories. Digicel Group operates in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific, while Sandals has 15 resorts across Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados and Grenada. BusinessFocus July / Aug |
ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS
Sir K Dwight Venner
ECCB Reports Net Loss of Almost EC$18 Million
he Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is reporting an almost $18 million net loss for the financial year ended March 31, 2014, the first in recent years. Governor of the ECCB Sir K Dwight Venner made the announcement during his annual presentation on the performance of the Central Bank. The banks profits have been slipping over the years. In 2009/2010 it was as high as $37.1 million, decreasing to $22.6 million in 2010/2011, and $11.7 million in 2011/2012. “The Bank reported a net loss of $17.97 million compared to a profit of $4.81 million in the previous year,” Sir Dwight said in a presentation broadcast across the sub-region. The governor explained that the bank’s main source of income is derived from the return on its foreign reserve assets, which, in large part, is dependent on the performance of the US economy and financial markets.
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The Governor pointed to several key challenges that member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) must assess and correct. He pointed out that changes were needed to economic policies that would lead to increased productivity, expanded market size and lowered cost. He indicated, also, that a return to the 1980s level of economic growth of 6 percent was needed to create jobs, increase incomes and sustain growth. Real GDP growth indicators were at 0.7 percent in 2013, and projected to be at 1.9 percent in 2014. Among the recommendations he provided were the need to consolidate the “fragmented financial sector”, and voiced the need for an indigenous banking sector supported with strong regulatory and supervisory frameworks. The ECCB Governor called for the Private Sector to be more vibrant and innovative, and boost exports, while urging Governments to adopt greater regional coordination that’s needed to reduce costs and enhance levels of efficiency in addressing fiscal imbalances.
“The deterioration in the bank’s financial performance was due to the unprecedented low interest rates and volatility in the international markets,” Sir Dwight said. Governor Venner reported that the ECCB has worked to improve the stability of the Banking Sector by restructuring and recapitalizing the Banking Sector, by amending the legal framework of the ECCB Agreement and the Banking Act, and by establishing an Asset Management Corporation to address the level of nonperforming loans and the stability of the Banking Sector. The Bank worked, also, with ECCU Governments to manage debt and fiscal management issues, and involved several capacity building technical support to regional Governments. On a more positive note, he also reported that, as at March 31, the bank’s total assets stood at $3.9 billion, up $188.6 million, an increase of 5 per cent compared to its position last year. ¤
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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS
Minimal Economic Growth Shown for Caribbean in 2014
he World Bank released its midyear Global Economic Prospects report in June 2014, which included its updated growth projections for the Caribbean. Regionally, the Bank said growth remained “broadly flat” in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting “stable or declining commodity prices, the continued slowdown in China, the drop in first quarter US GDP growth and domestic challenges.” Some countries in the region did manage to post solid growth, however. Within the Caribbean, Guyana was projected to post the biggest improvement, with a forecast of 4.4 percent growth, followed by the Dominican Republic at 4 percent and Haiti at 3.6 percent. In the wider Caribbean basin, Panama led the way, with a projected GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent in 2014. The report did not include GDP data for overseas territories or for Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados or Grenada. The World Bank did not list a reason for their absence.
Table: World Bank Annual Country Forecasts showing yearly percent change in GDP (at market prices)
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2009 2010 2011 2012
2014 2015 2016
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Recently Transitioned to High Income Countries Chile
Trinidad and Tobago
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(758) 458-2130 email@example.com
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BusinessFocus July / Aug |
ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS
World Bank Commits US$10.2 Billion to Boost Caribbean Economic Growth
he World Bank says it has committed US$10.2 billion this year to support Latin America and the Caribbean efforts to boost economic growth and maintain historic social gains. The Washington-based financial institution said that the amount included resources from its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The World Bank’s IBRD and IDA “maintained its strong support for the region” by approving more than US$5.1 billion in new loans in fiscal year 2014, US$4.6 billion from IBRD and US$455 million from IDA, the bank’s fund for the poorest countries, the statement said. Brazil ($1.6 billion), Colombia ($870 million) and Mexico ($356 million) were BusinessFocus July / Aug
the largest IBRD borrowers in the region. Haiti also received $103 million in IDA grants. Transportation, fiscal management and education received the most IBRD funding. And the region received one fourth of IBRD’s total global new lending. “Support was aimed at generating opportunities for all through public and private sector projects that expand public services, improve regional productivity, competitiveness and integration, create new quality jobs and assist those most in need,” said the bank, adding that Haiti received US$103 million in IDA grants. Transportation, fiscal management and education received the most IBRD funding, said the World Bank, with the region receiving one fourth of IBRD’s total global new lending. The bank said that this fiscal year, IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, identified infrastructure as one of the most urgent priorities to help
boost competitiveness and job creation, especially for the region’s growing urban population. In total, IFC supported 148 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean with US$5.1 billion in investments, including US$1.1 billion mobilized from other financial institutions. In the fiscal year 2014, IFC invested $1.7 billion in 34 infrastructure projects, including energy, ports, telecom and more. Special focus has been on supporting renewable energy, such as hydropower, wind and solar energy projects, which help mitigate or adapt to climate change. The World Bank said IFC clients help support jobs for more than 1,580,000 people and provide over 25 million people with connections to power, water and telephone services. ¤
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BusinessFocus July / Aug |
CARILEC extends assistance to the ELECTRICITE D'HAITI
25 Years and Still, Lots More to
n 1989, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) implemented a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)funded project to modernize electric utilities in the Caribbean. Nine utility CEOs bought into the project: Crefton Niles of Anguilla, Frank Mc Conney of Barbados, Hind Jabbal from Dominica, Hilton Howson from Montserrat, Joel F. Huggins of Saint Vincent, Peter Benjamin of Antigua, Ronnie Skelton from the British Virgin Islands, Gregory Bowen of Grenada and Bernard Theobalds of Saint Lucia. From this was born the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) under a five-year "Co-operative Agreement." There were four major reasons for the formation of CARILEC: 1. Electrification - to provide electricity service to residents in all communities within the jurisdictions of the utilities where they serve; 2. Capacity-building - to provide and/or promote training opportunities for all employees of the utility companies in their areas of expertise/specialisation; 3. Advocacy - to create and promote forums to discuss issues that affect CARILEC member utilities in their operations and the provision of electricity services; and
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4. Disaster Management - to provide assistance to member utilities that have been affected by natural disasters. As the organization celebrates its Silver Jubilee, the major question is, are the reasons for CARILEC's formation twentyfive years ago still relevant today? The answer - Undoubtedly! Except, of course, for the electrification aspect, which has been achieved, for the most part, in most of the founding utilities of CARILEC and in the other jurisdictions served by electricity providers that have become CARILEC members since then. However, there continues to be constant improvement in the reliability of electricity service to customers in all CARILEC member states. Today, the organization is fulfilling its vision to be the premier association of electric utilities and industry partners with its membership of eighty eight (88), comprising thirty-two (32) full member electric utilities, fifty-two (52) Associate Members (companies providing various services in the electric utility business), and four (4) Affiliate Members. With constant change in the global electric utility industry it is necessary for workers within the sector to stay abreast of developments in order to serve their constituents better. When CARILEC started, the electricity service in most of the founding member countries was characterized by private and quasi-private
sector ownership and local technical staff having little formal training. In the region today, electric utility companies are among the best structured among all sectors with highly trained management and staff. CARILEC has assisted with these developments in the last quarter century by putting on an average of twenty training courses for members annually in areas of engineering, technical services, administration and management. That is in addition to the Secretariat's annual and occasional regional conferences in the fields of Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Executive Management, Engineering & Purchasing, Information Systems, Finance, Customer Service, Human Resource Development and Renewable Energy. CARILEC's partnerships with regional and international training institutions and similar associations such as the Pacific Power Association, and Edison Electric Institute have also benefitted its members. More recently, CARILEC has led in regional and national energy policy formulation advocating for effective regulation of the electricity sector by providing training, discussion forums for the exchange of ideas and formulation of strategies to address regional energy challenges, and through the formulation of a position paper on regulation. Today, the Secretariat serves as the authority on electricity sector matters in the Caribbean for regional and international organisations. CARILEC's
Hurricane Tomas Humanitarian Outreach
CARILEC Coordinated Post Hurricane Restoration effort in Bermuda
Disaster Management Plan provides another dimension by assisting members in disaster planning and allowing the organization a pivotal role in the restoration of electricity services on islands affected by storms and hurricanes. All full members subscribe to a fund attached to the plan, from which restoration expenses are charged and CARILEC's Project Manager coordinates assistance from sister utilities not affected by the disaster. All this is being achieved through the work of an energetic staff of 12, led by the visionary Executive Director, Allison Jean who is poised to take the Secretariat into the era of renewable energy and regulation. Though small, the staff is committed to ensuring that CARILEC's members get the most out of their association. But the work of past Executive Directors, Boards and staff cannot be overlooked. As the organization matures, and changes in the electricity sector become more pronounced, CARILEC will have to expand its role further to maintain its relevance and provide even greater leadership on issues such as regulation, renewable energy (RE) technologies, the high cost of diesel fuel, as well as the impact of climate change on the regional electricity industry, reduction in carbon emissions, and the promotion of energy efficiency. Capacitybuilding through the sharing of members' challenges, experiences and successes will, undoubtedly, form the basis for informed decision-making that will have a positive impact on the continuance of CARILEC
member companies in the electricity industry. Notwithstanding, three of the founding CEOs of CARILEC have passed, and the remaining six are now far removed from the electricity industry, their mark on the development of the regional electricity industry is irrefutable. CARILEC has metamorphosed from a five-year project
to modernize Caribbean electric utilities, to an authority on the direction and future of the electricity industry in the Caribbean region. And as the organization celebrates its Silver Jubilee we are reminded of a call by the Executive Director, Mrs. Jean for "strategic introspection and retrospection" to build resilience and create sustainability for the regional power sector.
CARILEC's Engineering Conference & Exhibition 2002
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Past and Current Chairmen of CARILEC
From Top Left Bernard Theobalds Joel Huggins Hilton Howson Nigel Wardle Frank J. Crothers Lynn Young Jose Lacle Trevor Louisy Vernon Lawrence Peter Williams Thornley Myers
Past Executive Directors of CARILEC
From Left Christopher Farrell Basil Sutherland Victor Poyotte Nigel Hosein Dr. Gary Jackson Mrs. Allison A. Jean
CARILEC built on the Commitment of Industry Stalwarts ... Chairmen
Years of Service
Years of Service
Frank J. Crothers
Dr. Gary Jackson
Mrs. Allison A. Jean
CARILEC is a membership based corporation consisting of electric utilities who form the core, their vending partners, and their affiliates which include universities and international organisation that are similar to CARILEC. The Corporations Mission and Vision are driven by a board of directors who although elected by the entire membership, volunteer their time and expertise. BusinessFocus July / Aug
Vision Statement To be the Premier Association of Electric Utilities and Industry partners; facilitating the development of world class electric energy services for all peoples of the Caribbean..
Mission Statement CARILEC will enhance the effectiveness of its members by providing industry related services, creating regular networking, training and knowledge sharing opportunities; supporting mutual assistance programs and being an advocate for the industry throughout the Caribbean..
CARILEC - Governance
From L-R 1. Thornley Myers - St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd. (Chairman) 2. Hugo Hodge - Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (Vice Chairman) 3. Allison A. Jean - Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corperation 4. Trevor Louisy - St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd 5. Collin Cover - Dominica Electricity Services Ltd 6. Peter Williams - Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd 7. Kevin Basden - Bahamas Electricity Corporation 8. Fitzroy Harewood - The Power Generation Company of Trinidad & Tobago
9. Courtenay Mark - Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission 10. Walter Higgins - Bermuda Electric Light Company Ltd./Ascendant Group 11. Eddinton Powell - Fortis TCI Ltd. 12. Leroy A. E. Abraham - British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation 13. Edmund G. Phillips - Wartsila (Associate Director) 14. Cartwright Farrell - St. Kitts Electricity Company Ltd. 15. Jeffrey Locke- Belize Electricity Limited 16. Jose Fernandez - Aggreko (Alternate Associate Director)
CARILEC - The Secretariat
From L-R 1. Allison A. Jean, Executive Director 2. Andrew Thorington, Project Manager 3. Sonji Baptiste, Financial Controller 4. Alison Pascal, Marketing & Membership Coordinator 5. Laurena Primus, Training Coordinator 6. Cornelia Auguste, Admin Oficer 7. Nakita Dusauzay, IT Admin/Desktop 8. Fay Brown, Accounts Clerk 9. Keitha Isaac, Assistant - Marketing & Membership 10. Nicole Charles, Training Officer 11. Irmar Frank, Admin Clerk 12. Marcus William, Office Assistant 13. Antoinette Stephen, Office Attendant
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Success Built on Collaboration Head Table of Distinguished Speakers at the 2006 CARILEC Engineering. 2006
The Work Of The Secretariat.
midst global economic, social and environmental pressures, CARILEC members have had to take a long, hard look at their business continuity planning. These pressures underscore the need for and the value of CARILEC to its members. CARILEC has provided critical support through its networking, knowledgesharing and capacity-building activities by coordinating disaster restoration activities (reconstruction of transmission and distribution networks when they have been damaged by hurricanes or tropical storms). These are essential for maintaining the reliability of the power supply in the Caribbean region. Observing trends, recording and analyzing these patterns is critical to disaster planning and this is the reason CARILEC engages in this activity. The organization has had success in coordinating the production of basic comparative data on the operations of member utilities.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
The benchmark studies, tariff and other surveys have oriented the utilities, investors and industry stakeholders on the characteristics, behaviour and outlook of the electric utility industry in the Caribbean region, thereby facilitating improvements in operational efficiency, the establishment of operating standards and best practices to improve the electric energy services in the region.
regard CARILEC, has built relationships with industry partners, multilateral corporations, Colleges/Universities and vendors to enhance the Corporation's capacity to assist in promoting and improving energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy technologies and alternative fuels in the region.
Through meaningful partnerships with industry stakeholders, CARILEC has provided critical support for the development and implementation of projects that have created awareness and enhanced member utilities knowledge and technical capacity, while impacting the entire energy sector, positively.
CARILEC's successes extend to collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the development, funding and execution of a three-year (2009-2012) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project. That project included the installment of a Renewable Energy advisor, who steered the course of the organizationâ€™s training and advocacy on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The organisations are getting set for a new 18-month (2014-2015) project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Energy Programming. The
Over the past five years, the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation has retained a focus on the big issues of our time - alternative energy generation sources and energy security. In this
Successful Collaborations & Partnerships
CARILEC signs Historic Partnership with IDB Commissioning a Resident Renewable Energy Advisor at the secretariat and a Regional Benchmarking study
Project will support CARILEC in developing and implementing climate change adaptation strategies for its electric utilities and strategies for optimizing generation, transmission and distribution functions with greater penetration of renewable energy (RE) and the reduction of operational losses. Another key area for the organization is developing and promoting the use of renewable energy sources in the Caribbean. In that regard, the Secretariat is working with several industry partners on building capacity for Renewable Energy (RE) implementation, which includes a partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS) on the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP). The aim of that project is to improve sustainability options for the Caribbean's energy sector. A major component is the Renewable Energy Education Programme
Caribbean Development Bank offices : CARILEC Regulatory Forum held in partnership with the World Bank & Caribbean Development Bank
which raises awareness among school children in higher primary and lower secondary schools between the ages of 9 and 14 years. It also seeks to spread knowledge about non-renewable and renewable energy and promote energysaving practices among the population of seven OECS islands and the Bahamas.
CARILEC linesman Training
The organization has established a working Memorandum of Corporation with CDEMA on disaster preparedness, disaster response, training, education and information sharing. BusinessFocus July / Aug |
L-R CARILEC's Current Chairman Mr. Thornley Myers,Mr. Poyotte a past Executive director of CARILEC, Mr Trevor Louisy Managing Director of Lucelec, Roel Verlaan of KEMA, Roy Kolader of NuCapital, Andrew Gittens past CEO of Barbados Light & Power, Julius Lambert of NV GEBE, Stellan Linidstedt
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is also collaborating through a workshop on “Accelerating Renewable Energy Developments within the Caribbean” to discuss the specific challenges and opportunities for renewable energy deployment in the Caribbean, focusing on technical and financing issues in the region. CARILEC has formed a partnership with CARICOM through its Sustainable Energy Forums (CSEF I, II & III) where the organisations hold coordination meetings to facilitate more efficient planning, optimal utilisation of limited resources and minimising clashes. In March 2013, CARICOM published its Energy Policy - a document to which CARILEC was a significant contributor - which seeks “Fundamental transformation of the energy sectors of the Member States of the Caribbean Community through the provision of secure and sustainable supplies of energy in a manner which minimizes energy waste in all sectors. The hope is that it will ensure all CARICOM citizens have access to modern, clean and reliable energy supplies at affordable and stable prices, and to facilitate the growth of internationally competitive regional industries towards achieving sustainable development of the community. BusinessFocus July / Aug
The Secretariat is also cooperating with CARICOM on a regional level sustainable energy planning, management and implementation framework - the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) - which is expected to change the approach to sustainable energy development in CARICOM, radically. CARILEC's Outreach for the Mutual Benefit of Its Members and the Region CARILEC has worked with the World Bank in rendering a series of regulatory forums over the past 2 years aimed at engaging regional industry stakeholders in discussions on electricity industry regulations. This was preceded by significant work with Organization of American States (OAS) and GIZ/CREDP on zeroing in on the issue of regulation in the power sector. The promotion of policy, advocacy and trade development between the Caribbean and international markets has also been addressed through a joint initiative with the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC). Public Private Partnerships CARILEC has targeted diversity and quality in its services and training programme offerings. Developing partnerships with
highly reputed training agencies has allowed for variety, flexibility and quality improvement in CARILEC professional development programmes. Some of these institutions include Universities of Walden, Liverpool and Edinburgh Napier. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with the University of the West Indies for training and other industry relevant services including student attachments; collaborative research; co-sponsorship of academic projects, and conferences; sharing of scientific information on areas of mutual interest in the context of the policies of both institutions; equipment testing and technical training. The Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation has recognized that success can be achieved only when it partners with other regional and international agencies that have specific competencies. CARILEC will continue to utilize this approach to ensure success into the future. The high level of collaboration supports CARILEC's view that it cannot do it alone especially as the world becomes even more globalised.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Caribbean Coral Reefs' Could Vanish in 20 years
any of the Caribbean's coral reefs could vanish in the next 20 years, according to a report published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Data from more than 35,000 surveys suggests that habitats have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. The report's authors believe that overfishing and disease is mainly to blame. They say the trend could continue if nothing is done, but with protection the reefs could bounce back. Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of IUCN's Global Marine and Polar Programme, said the findings were alarming. "The reefs support a number of different countries and populations," he said. "Tourism is one of the biggest industries, and the health of the reef is essential to the well-being of many of the people living there. And of course they are immensely beautiful and wonderful places as well." The report, which was also authored by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, looked at data collected between 1970 and 2012 from 90 reef habitats and is the
BusinessFocus July / Aug
most comprehensive assessment of corals in this region. The authors concluded that many reefs in the Caribbean were undergoing a dramatic transformation - changing from colourful realms, bursting with life, to barren habitats, covered in slimy algae. They said the damage had been driven by the loss of some of the reefs' key inhabitants. In the 1980s, a disease, thought to have been brought in from the Panama Canal, wiped out a large number of sea urchins. While fishing on the reefs has also caused parrotfish to plummet. Both of these creatures graze on reefs, and without them, algal species take over. Dr Lundin said: "We saw that reefs with no grazers ended up getting smothered by algae. And after a period of time they see a significant or even complete collapse of the reef area." He said that if no action was taken, the outlook for Caribbean corals would be bleak. "If we do nothing, I'm afraid the most likely scenario is that we will continue the slippery slope to slime," he said.
"We'll lose a tremendous amount of coral cover and we'll end up with algal reefs with a much lower diversity of species." However, the report concluded that there was evidence that damaged reefs could be revived if they were protected. Dr Lundin said: "We have been able to document a number of cases where we've seen recovery of degraded reefs, so that is very positive - it means we shouldn't give up hope." The Caribbean is not the only area that has seen losses to coral reefs. Around the world, these habitats are doing badly. Conservationists say that warming ocean temperatures are also driving some of the losses. As temperatures rise, corals lose the tiny algae that live in their tissues, causing them to turn white - a process known as coral bleaching. The continued destruction of coral reefs has shown to lead to frequent coastal flooding and increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, all which has proven to be a continued threat to the Region. 造
St Lucia Aims
for Renewable Energy-Dependence
n an effort to pursue the government’s aim to become renewable energy-dependent by the year 2020, regional and international energy donors convened in Saint Lucia in late June for an Energy Donors Conference. The aim of the conference was to consolidate a national energy road map for Saint Lucia. Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Sylvester Clauzel, said the meeting would advance the island's cause to move from its reliance on diesel to renewable energy. “We have support coming from many different places, so we felt it was important to bring these partners together so we can create a roadmap, and address in a more structured way our path towards achieving this 35 percent renewable energy by 2020," Clauzel said. “The intent,” he added, “is to find ways to optimize the assistance received from donor agencies, and to identify financial, technical and capacity building support available for the renewable energy plan”. “This forum is critical because now that so many people are on board, we can bring them together to find the best ways to provide support to Saint Lucia in a structured and efficient manner.” Thus far, Saint Lucia has been able to secure funding through various agencies and organizations to pursue the exploration of renewable energy. Attending the meeting were entrepreneurs, health and agriculture Ministers of several countries, representatives of international organizations and delegates of Spain, China, Russia, Rumania, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Bolivia and Chile, among other nations. ¤
"Where the Patient and their Safety Comes First"
• Group Health Plan • Rapid Response Medical Loan • Individual or Family Discount Card • We also boast well-stocked Pharmacy which has extended (3 mins from the Capital Castries) • P.O. Box 1780, Castries, St. Lucia, W.I. • Tel: (758) 459-2000 • Fax (758) 459-2302
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
St. Lucia’s First Walk-in Clinic – 20 years later
Rodney Bay Medical Center (RBMC) can be described as more than just a clinic but more fittingly as a family unit. For more than 20 years the clinic has served the community with the best of quality patient care and integrative medicine in an effort to ensure the good health and well-being of their patients. Today, the Rodney Bay Medical Center can be justly categorized as one of the leading medical facilities in St. Lucia and the wider Eastern Caribbean. The Clinic first opened its doors in 1994, conceptualized by Dr. Tanya Destang-Beaubrun, a passionate young physician who held a natural affinity for being a trendsetter as well as the undoubted strong influence of a family of successful businessmen and women. The vision to expand into a full-service walk-in clinic was realized six years before it eventually opened at its new location, in May 2009.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
She undertook this expansion as her first major project with careful consideration being placed into the finest detail, from interior design to décor, so much so that it feels nothing like a typical medical facility. The clinic was first established in Rodney Bay, adjacent to the former Islander Hotel, at a time when there was barely any infrastructure in the area and the present and opulent Rodney Heights community was nothing but a hill. As the demand for medical care grew with an increased migration to the North, there was a need for more space and better facilities. Dr. Beaubrun saw the need to evolve from a small medical practice to becoming an entrepreneur and owner of a medical enterprise that would be able to meet the growing demands for quality and urgent health care in Rodney Bay’s developing community. A new clinic was constructed and is today situated between the JQ Mall and the Bay Gardens Hotel.
“I think the clinic came out of necessity. There was no pharmacy nearby, the closest lab after the first few years was at the Gablewoods Mall and the nearest pharmacy was located in Bois D’ Orange. We realized the necessity of building this clinic, for the efficiency of the practice and also for the seamlessness of providing patient care,” recounted Dr. Beaubrun, “gradually we began to have a branch of lab services within the clinic. Then I realized we needed extra services including the provision of some emergency services. As Rodney Bay developed, we got an increased patient load and needed more facilities, more equipment and more of everything and I was always willing to try something new. I drove by this empty parking lot one day and I just pictured the clinic being here.”
What Makes Us Truly Special What Rodney Bay Medical Center offers is a clinic where all medical needs are attended to by certified staff and medical professionals within a friendly, calming environment. That commitment to the holistic and empathetic care of each patient is what guarantees that every patient leaves with an extremely pleasant and satisfying experience. Excellent patient care is what each member of this clinic strives towards and that is the defining key to our success.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Staff Complimentary and Additional Services
physiotherapist, massage and reflexology and a chiropractor in the firm acknowledgment that many of the problems persons experience may have a natural component to them.
RBMC provides an all-encompassing and comprehensive model of patient care. Beyond basic medical care for both acute and chronic illness, the clinic provides treatment for diabetics and hypertensive patients. The clinic was a trendsetter for providing a facility that offers access to varying specialists in one place. In keeping with this, they established an Urgent Care Unit to attend to most types of emergencies and also have on staff a dermatologist, full-time pediatrician, a general surgeon and an Otolaryngologist or ENT surgeon who visits the clinic twice weekly. This complete and integrated management of patient care allows doctors to share patient history as well as to follow up on patient cases, ensuring that no patient becomes lost during the transfer of care.
Though the practice has evolved to become majorly successful, Dr Beaubrun admits to that she was at first a little hesitant at the viability of the business but that fear was extinguished after the first four months when two lives were saved and she ‘never looked back after that’. “It was about saving lives, and providing access to complete care,” she said.
The clinic prides itself of having the island’s first Digital Radiology Unit offering x-rays, ultrasounds and mammograms. Digital images are advantageous as they allow for easy modification to be done on the computer, can be e-mailed to patient’s specialist for observation or be placed on a CD for travelling purposes which can then be immediately retrieved for future reference and also allowing the physician to see the pathology better.
Alternative Medicine and Future Endeavors
In keeping with any international Urgent Care facility, patients are guaranteed to always find a fully trained physician on site, a licensed practice nurse who performs a basic assessment of patients and an office manager, all between the hours of 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. All their staff members are trained as emergency first responders. In tune with their commitment to a holistic model of care, the clinic offers access to a psychosocial therapist, BusinessFocus July / Aug
The business of saving lives is in no small part due to the full complement of services available to patients, services that have been further strengthened by a partnership with Laboratory Services & Consultations Limited upstairs, the first accredited lab in St. Lucia.
So what’s next for Rodney Bay Medical? The clinic believes in the strong promotion of patient centered care as the focus of the facility as opposed to strictly disease management or disease based care. Dr Beaubrun explains that the clinic’s attention is placed on detecting the source of each individual’s cause of sickness and treating them according to these discoveries. This is followed up by an understanding that some people are afflicted with some types of disease that cannot be effectively treated only with pharmaceuticals, while others can.
The identification of this phenomenon amongst some of her patients has led to her interest in integrative medicine and its use in treating patients holistically and as a possible substitute for pharmaceutical drugs that may sometimes be very costly. Though she expressed the continued need for Western or Allopathic medicine, she believes that there is some room for Integrative medicine as well. She revealed this to be a future focus for the clinic, merging the ancient methods of treatment with the new.
Balancing Work and Family Life Like many other St Lucian women, Dr Beaubrun is a wife and mother as well as managing a hectic practice. She shared with Business Focus how she was able to design time for family life around her practice. She revealed that being a good wife and a mother of three are the most important duties of her daily life. Despite the demands of the good doctor she has always tried to strike a balance with professional and family responsibilities. Her ability to handle stress is key, balancing the rough days with something good. Not immune to the effects of a 21st century demanding life, she admits to sometimes falling victim to the stress of juggling her many roles. “I’m stressed most of the time but it’s all worth your while when we at the clinic have saved a life or helped a patient. I’ve learnt to create a balance. A patient could always find a new doctor but your family can never replace you. I’m always advancing in my studies, pursuing new courses. Presently, I’m doing a course in Nutrition. My dream is to bring in young family members and young people who are truly interested in medicine to work at this clinic and to continue providing the quality services we are known to give,” confessed the doctor.
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
So what’s her secret to managing it all? Dr Beaubrun is a strong advocate for improved lifestyle through lifestyle modification which includes eating as close to nature as possible, regular exercise, yoga and spiritual practice. Twenty years later, Rodney Bay Medical continues to go from strength to strength and challenges what all of us thought possible for a medical clinic in St Lucia. Behind it all is a woman who describes herself as a ‘successful feminine soul’. Dr Beaubrun concludes that who she is and what she has done is in no small part to her upbringing that provided ‘the type of support system that believed that there are really no limitations’. With that in mind, it is with complete certainty that whatever the future holds for Rodney Bay Medical, it guarantees to be limitless.
BusinessFocus July / Aug
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
YOUTH IN FOCUS
A Partnership Approach to Youth
Empowerment Springboard Training & Development Centre Helping to Tackle St Lucia’s Youth Unemployment
Springboard Directors: Ann-Marie & John Quail
e are all aware that youth unemployment is a global phenomenon with many factors contributing to this crisis including the global financial downturn that is further compounded by the many young people lacking the skills and qualifications needed for work. Tackling this beast requires all hands on deck (no pun intended) and this is exactly what is being done at Springboard Training and Development Centre. This budding organisation opened its doors to young St Lucians only 18 months ago and its success at up-skilling and securing employment, largely in the cruise ship industry, is commendable to say the least!
Private/Public Sector Partnership Approach As the new kid on the block the centre has had its fair share of hurdles to overcome but has always believed that a private/public sector partnership approach is the most effective way of tackling the up-skilling and employment of young people. Although the Centre offers a range of accredited qualifications ranging from the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Food Safety Certificates, Leadership and Management Qualifications that focus on the hotel industry. By far the most popular programme has been the VTCT Hospitality Industry Skills Qualification and the cruise ship employment programme. Integral to the success of this programme is the Centre’s genuine desire and commitment to motivate, develop and support young people through a crisis not of their making, and to hold an unwavering determination to secure employment opportunities on their behalf. The involvement and support of the programme by the government of St Lucia has been a game changer for many of the BusinessFocus July / Aug
young students who are mostly unemployed. Without financial support to assist with some of their training and post interview costs such as medicals, visas, flights etc., they would never make it on board. This of course could threaten the viability of the programme as no employer wants to spend time, money and effort recruiting skilled staff if they are unable to take up their positions in a timely way. Other stakeholders include VTCT, the UK accreditation body who have been incredibly helpful in working with Springboard to design the qualification that best meet the needs of the employer partner. VTCT assessors have already visited St Lucia twice to assess whether quality standards are being met as well as to interview students. Springboard, needless to say, was given a clean bill of health. Carnival Cruises, the cruise ship company that works with Springboard, has also visited the Centre on several occasions. They have provided job offers to 260 young people, most of whom are already working on the cruise ship in well paid customer facing positions. The St Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) also plays a critical role in processing loans and assisting students through this ‘life changing’ journey. Other service providers include the Rodney Bay Medical Centre, Laboratory Services and Consultations Ltd and Budget Travel who have all provided services at a discounted rate to the students. (Wow - it really does take a village!) The biggest stakeholder of all however, is the students themselves who, through their commitment and hard work, go on to obtain a UK qualification along with sustainable and well paid employment.
The Programme The programme has two main objectives. First, the qualification element requires the student to complete 120 GLH (guided learning hours) which is delivered over an intense full-time four week period. Students are required to have good written English in order to complete their assignments to the required standard. Practical work is assessed through Q&A sessions, demonstrations and observations that are videotaped and produced as evidence to the VTCT along with the students’ portfolios. Preparing for employment is the second element which is intricately woven into the fabric of this programme. Support and guidance on “life skills”, so critical to success in the world of work, is particularly relevant to Springboard students as they are going to work in a unique environment, where work and home combine and, for many of the students it is their first time travelling abroad. Carnival, the cruise ship company that works with Springboard, requires the students to have both technical and soft skills. As the positions are customer facing excellent verbal communication
skills, a strong work ethic including punctuality and reliability, a friendly personality and a ‘can do’ attitude is only a few of the required attributes. The work can be physically demanding and success is very much dependant on performance, so it’s not for anyone who is afraid of hard work! Springboard students are doing exceptionally well with some of them achieving ‘employee of the month’ status in their very first assignment!
Cost vs Benefits According to the directors of Springboard, the benefits far outweigh the cost when considering the contribution the programme is
making to reduce the social and economic costs associated with the high unemployment and resulting disenfranchised young people. Additionally, the students earning capacity is significant and sustainable with most of this new disposable income coming back into St Lucia’s economy. Apart from the financial benefits, the programme represents for many of the students a degree of hope for a bright and successful future, where they can work, travel, grow and develop into successful and productive citizens due to their financial independence that will allow them to provide adequately for their families. Surely, at the end of the day, this is what it’s all about! ¤
BusinessFocus July / Aug | 77
YOUTH IN FOCUS
The Author (Second from Left) and fellow Graduates
Lessons I Learned in College
By : Anushka Maya Singh
t almost feels like I’ve been caught in a time warp of sorts. Its like just yesterday I was 17 on a plane headed for boarding school. It’s now two weeks since my graduation and I’m now part of the working world. I guess they do say time flies when you are having fun. Throughout it all, I’m extremely grateful for all my experiences from Boarding School in Florida to University in Washington, DC and then Denton, Texas. I’ve made some lifelong friends along the way and I’d like to think I’ve become a better version of myself with each year. With all of that said, for those of you just starting, or still pursuing your degree – Here are some corny life lessons that I’ve picked up in college. Don’t settle in your comfort zone – Staying with the same group of people you knew from back home, or from high school is easy… but you will regret it later. You don’t need to completely change but college is all about new experiences so don’t be afraid to join organizations, go to different events and meet new people. Accept that change is constant – Undoubtedly, you will not be the same BusinessFocus July / Aug
person you are when you start and finish college. You also can’t expect that your friend group will stay the same. Be ready for change. Party Hard….but not too much – You are finally on your own – no parental supervision, no curfew, no rules. Have at it. But remember that you did come to college for an education. Don’t let partying prevent you from getting stuff done. Recognize that you need to put yourself first – There will always be parties, distractions, friends knocking at your door or calling you. Recognize that sometimes you need to put yourself first. Don’t let people guilt you into doing things you cannot or do not want to do/feel comfortable doing. Understand that mistakes and failures are okay – They say you aren’t learning if you aren’t making mistakes. Mistakes and failures should be taken as learning experience. The fact that they happen is inevitable – it’s how you react to and recover from them that is the the true test. Changing your major is not the end of the world - I’ve been around so many people freaking out about changing their major – It really isn’t that big a deal. You just need
to be logical in your decision. When picking a major or deciding to change understand that it’s not all about the money – but you should pick something you actually enjoy doing (It makes it easier!). Also, the major you choose doesn’t necessarily dictate what you do for the rest of your life, you do! Challenge yourself – Don’t always pick the easy classes! Some of the most fulfilling and useful classes were the hardest ones. I also formed better relationships with professors who taught the hardest classes. Dare to Dream – You’ve heard it before, but it’s true – the sky is the limit. Have big dreams, don’t doubt them, and share them with your peers. If people don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, they can’t help you. ¤
About the Author: Anushka Maya Singh is a St Lucian
national and a recent BBA Marketing Graduate from the University of North Texas. She is currently employed as a Digital Marketing Specialist.
New Event to Create Networking Opportunities for Young Professionals RSVP Marketing and the Secrets Lounge launch Cocktails & Contacts
SVP Marketing in collaboration with the Secrets Lounge hosted a Networking Event with a difference for business professionals dubbed “Cocktails & Contacts”. The event, the brainchild of Shernell Lionel and Ron Isidore is a two and half hour event held every other Wednesday at the Secrets Lounge in Rodney Bay. Cocktails and Contact is targeted at young professionals over the age of 25 who are motivated, willing and able to take full advantage of the potential business opportunities that come from networking. “We created the concept because we recognized the need for social activities where professionals can expand their knowledge, learn from the success of others and obtain new clients by telling
others about their business,” explained Shernell Lionel, Principal Consultant at RSVP Marketing. Business Focus Magazine was invited to their inaugural event held in partnership with RBC/RBTT. The night saw a myriad of businessmen and women from various industries within the private sector. Perfectly orchestrated to present an elegant environment in an atmosphere that is youthful enough to bring a sense comfort and ease; helped pave way to a constant stream of professionals handing out business cards and engaging in short conversations with persons whom intimately understand their goals, dreams and frustrations of working in a St Lucian environment.
Blue Arch Construction Holdings Ltd Client Satisfaction, Quality, Timely Deliver
What Cocktails and Cocktails provides is an invaluable opportunity to be introduced to persons you may not come across in your daily activities and create inside tracks into organizations that may often prove difficult to permeate. The event proved to be a breath of fresh air, bringing forth professionals at varying levels of management and at the same time creating a relaxed enough environment that encourages easy conversation among all. ¤ To be a part of the next event contact email@example.com or visit our website at www.cocktailsandcontacts.rsvpmarketing. net
The Montessori Centre
Project Management: • Construction Budgeting/ Estimating • General Project Over Sight • Sub contractor Coordinator
Age range from
General Construction Experience • Design/Build • New Construction • Facility Upgrade
18 months -12 years ( Toddler - Grade 6 )
Trained Staff in all classrooms. Small class size, individual / small group instruction
Extra Curricular Activities includes:
French, Spanish, Music, Creative Arts, IT, Football, Track & Field, Tennis, Swimming & Dance
Greenheart Products Available in Store or upon ORDERS P. O. Box GR5078, Morne Serpent, Grande Riviere, Gros-Islet Tel: 450-2311 Cell: 758 285-8520
Rodney Heights, Box 220, Castries Tel: (758) 452-8114 www.themontessoricentre.org (758) 450-1572 www.themontessoricentre.com Fax: (758) 452-9409 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
YOUTH IN FOCUS
By Charmaine Joseph
A young St Lucian Sculptor Speaks of his Work, his Aspirations and his Hopes for Art in St Lucia
n unbridled passion that is thought provoking and seen through awe-inspiring style; this is how Jallim Eudovic describes his artistry, a passion that is best described as his life’s work. That passion shone through immediately when he sat down with Business Focus Magazine for this interview. Jallim’s love of Art may be genetically derived at its foundation; he is the son of renowned St Lucian sculptor, Vincent Joseph Eudovic, whose art studio he now runs. However Jallim pointed out that his genesis as a sculptor came way before he was conscious of his father’s prominence. He remembers sketching from the age of 3, by Kindergarten he was being commissioned to create posters for his entire school, his talent undoubtedly recognized by his Kindergarten teacher, Miss St Catherine. “Subconsciously, my father’s passion for Art had an impact on me, but it was not only my dad who encouraged me,” he said, “Art was not something I went along with just because it was the family business.” What Jallim does it indeed extraordinary; at 33 his work has been featured in Paris, Ottawa, Africa, China, Martinique and England. His sculptors can be found in parks in China, as gifts for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of
BusinessFocus July / Aug
Cambridge and a specially commission piece by the Queen’s Royal Committee on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s II Golden Jubilee in 2012. While acknowledging the eminence of his achievements, Jallim succinctly describes what he does as “interpreting words and life through tangible mediums that are 3 dimensional. I sculpt in wood and clay as well as do some bronze work. I consider myself to be an interpreter of the ineffable.” Jallim himself is an anomaly, though we have lauded the works of Sir Derek Walcott, among others, our professional ambitions remain quite traditional in nature. To Jallim, Art is more than a profession; it’s an identity. “I knew from very young that I was an artist, that there was value to what I did and it was important,” he said, “As I grew I was really in tune with the power of art as a transformative medium.” Jallim describes the creative process as a psyche infiltrating, society enhancing phenomena. “To impact society and your country through your work is the most fundamental thing you can do,” he adds, “ people choose to do this through many ways, my way is through Art.” Unadorned yet powerful in nature, is perhaps the simplest way to describe the impression left upon the audience of Jallim’s work. Jallim remarks that he is
Leap, Changchun China Hi- Tech Sculpture Park
most drawn to portraying imagery that describes family, the power of community, the power of love, and people coming together to make things happen. “Now, I enjoy depicting social commentary and satire and a little sarcasm as well as my aspirations for my society,” he added, “I want to open people’s mind to wider possibilities.” At thirty-three, Jallim has found that being a young businessman in St Lucia is seldom easy, added to that the problem
of an unfamiliarity with the complexities of his art form. For Jallim, finances are not the biggest issue, he bemoans that sometimes his work gets turned down because people simply believe he is too young to contribute anything noteworthy or that his work is too complicated to be understood. The creative process in and of itself can also be sometimes frustrating, sometimes ‘you just get stuck’. Despite this, Jallim asserts that he is not discouraged. “Our society is developing and I believe that people are going to want more creativity,” he predicts. “There is going to be a time when the coming generation is awakened and people are going to want more of the arts in society.” Locally, many persons are still frustrated with the seeming stagnation in the development of our creative industries. Jallim firmly believes that art in schools is imperative and should be made mandatory. “Creative persons make better lawyers, doctors, and businessmen”, he pointed out. He goes on to add that although the need for creative minds is a difficult concept to adopt he believes that it is a mentality that has to be conditioned and massaged. “In our part of the world it is difficult to make a career out of Art so you cant really blame parents for not wanting their kids to pursue this field but society as a whole does not understand the value of a creative mind. A creative mind will not litter, a creative mind will not steal or murder, a creative mind would not sabotage their own country, and a creative mind will not blindly follow a certain color; because your thinking is beyond that”. From Jallim’s point of view, the need for the infusion of creativity into our society
could not be more vital than it is right now. He describes Art as “a litmus test to when society is at its peak, an intellectual peak. Historically societies that have embraced art have historically done very well economically”. An anomaly or not, Art has done much for Jallim, beyond traveling the world and inheriting his father’s business; Jallim considers the greatest lesson learned as that of the journey of conscious enlightenment that his work has taken him on. A journey where spirituality and introspection become fundamental not only to the creative process but are transposed onto every area of life. “Art makes you more aware of who you are,” he revealed, “when you know who you are and what your role in society is, it empowers you and that occurs well for society on a whole”. In recent years, St Lucia has seen an emphasis placed on the creative industries through governmental support though some still remain despondent at the few resources made available for young creative minds. Jallim believes that our current economic situation has served to benefit the creative industries. “When people are the most despondent, creative means of expression is what they run to, we are desperate for what makes us happy, a self-therapy so to speak”, he explained. He applauds this current generation for attempting to break through the status quo and finding innovative and non-traditional ways of expressing their creativity. Indeed the latest influx of flash mobs, poetry slams and musicians shows that young persons are becoming empowered to express themselves in ways never seen before. The challenge to succeed has mostly empowered Jallim. He plans to soon open his own factory unit that will allow him to become more self-sufficient in creating his monuments and special pieces without third-party assistance. Ever focused on the future he hopes to see his work featured in the best museums around the world; but beyond his own opulence, he wants to give back. With the assistance of the Cultural Development Foundation and the National Skills Development Centre young artisans will have the opportunity to take part in a training workshop at his studio. Perhaps his greatest dream is not to be an anomaly, a lone wolf. He concludes that what he most wants is to proudly say, “yeah man, that’s where I’m from, that mad creative place”. ¤ BusinessFocus July / Aug |
NRDF Plays Sheron Baptiste (BBA)
Jenny Alcide (MBA (HRM))
Albertha St Catherine (MBA (HRM))
Joan Phillip-Emmanuel (MBA)
Petal Jhardat-John (MBA)
A Critical Part in Supporting the
Environment Sarah Serieux-Lesmond (MBA)
Fedra Faucher (MBA (Finance))
Kendra Noel (MBA)
Alison Leonce (MBA (Finance))
Selena Charles (MBA (HRM))
Changing Lives, Changing Communities, Changing Saint Lucia Charmaine Anthony (MBA (HRM)) and AIB MBA Valedictorian 2014
ational Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) hosted its second annual Graduation Ceremony for the Australian Institute of Business's (AIB) 2 Year BBA and 12 Month MBA, while you work, programmes; at the Bougainvillea Conference Room, Bay Gardens Hotel on Sunday, 29 June 2014. Eleven of fifteen graduands received their awards in an intimate ceremony witnessed by friends and family and even some proud employers, who were present in support of their staff. The NRDF General Manager, Ronald Charles, said, “We celebrate the efforts of business professionals who recognize the contribution they can make to their livelihoods and by extension to their society, through the proactive pursuit of higher education in spite of (and more so because of) this challenging economic environment. As advocated by our own Nobel Laureate, Sir William Arthur Lewis, ‘the fundamental cure to poverty is not money but education’. In that regard, we see NRDF’s facilitative role as a critical part of the process, that of offering the opportunity to attain the knowledge and skills that individuals can take back to the workplace to massage business models and institute innovative change that will BusinessFocus July / Aug
redound to more competitive businesses, and ultimately a more robust economy.” The theme of this year’s graduation was “Take Us Somewhere: A Call to Impact”. This theme spoke to the need for each Mrs. Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood, Keynote Speaker individual to make their contribution count in these difficult economic times, and the and enhancement of the Nation’s human responsibility of those thus trained. resource” and applauded the NRDF-AIB collaboration in that regard. The keynote address was delivered by a local business leader, Mrs Jacqueline The MBA Valedictorian 2014 was Ms Emmanuel-Flood, Director of Saint Lucia’s Charmaine Anthony who testified, “We Trade & Export Promotion Agency and have walked out in many ways better the Office of Private Sector Relations. Mrs than we entered. Our resilience, our time Flood’s speech was as refreshingly daring management skills, our strategic thinking as it was inspiring. She encouraged the mode and enhanced competencies can graduands to be ‘M.A.D.’, that is, admirably all be attributed to the pressures of AIB bold, daring, creative and passionate over the course of this programme…We about Making A Difference. In a direct could boast of having gained considerable and personal appeal to the graduating knowledge directly transferable in our class, she urged, “…apply your business personal and professional spheres… administration expertise to positively Our journey was a capacity building one influence and impact your fields, your ...one which breeds hope. Hope for our sectors, your communities, your country futures and that of our nation, our region and your world. Be ‘M.A.D’. Make A and beyond. The breadth and depth Difference.” of knowledge which we have garnered over the duration of this programme are The Hon. Dr Robert Lewis, Minister for immensely invaluable.” Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, conveyed to the NRDF Applications are open for the September the gratitude of the Government and 2014 intake. NRDF encourages prospective people of Saint Lucia “for providing students to apply now as places are filling such opportunities for development fast. More info at nrdf.org.lc
The NRDF and AIB Collaborate for an Innovative Practical Learning Experience
he AIB alumni cocktails are held globally in conjunction with graduation activities. In Saint Lucia the main event is primarily held on graduation weekend each year and is in essence a part of the students’ learning experience in which students are invited to network and seek to forge business alliances with the peers in a social atmosphere. Held this year at Bay Gardens Resorts, the event was a well attended evening that by all accounts was as fun as it was intellectually stimulating. Keynote speaker, Dr Adrian Augier - artist, producer, economist, and entrepreneur, addressed the gathering on the topic “The Art of Enlightened Strategy”. Dr Augier’s presentation focused on what he termed “the enlightened strategies” of some contemporary leaders such as Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Nelson Mandela, whose strategies transformed their nations. Dr Augier encouraged students to have the freedom to explore their full potential without feeling pressured to dissect their various passions; this freedom is in harmony with his own multifaceted professional portfolio.
The evening’s programme included an icebreaker in which students, facilitators and invited guests shared their experiences of how their BBA or MBA studies affected their lives. Dr Augier’s presentation was followed by a question and answer session, which was then followed by prize draws from sponsors Cap Maison and Almond Morgan Bay Resort and an autographed copy of Dr Augier’s book “Navel Strings”. The evening’s entertainment featured saxophonist Rob Zii Taylor who opened the champagne hour, whilst the gathering was serenaded by Tatiana Patrice. Dr. Adrian Augier, Keynote Speaker
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
IN THE KNOW
Sometimes, You Just Have to Create Your Own Opportunity.
By: Fern Smith
ot a week goes by without hearing about the gloom and doom of the economy. All this talk about salary cuts, lack of jobs, recession, rising supermarket prices and a general unstableness, is enough to make anyone nervous about the near future and what it holds. And as if this incessant chatter wasn’t bad enough, the scope for opportunities in the marketplace, appear to be limited. There are some of us who wait for luck or chance to gain opportunities, but truth be told, sometimes you just have to create them. It is likely that our creative sides come forth when alternatives are scarce, forcing individuals to come up with innovative ways to survive and thrive. However, we must first determine what we would like to achieve and only then will we know if we are able to create an opportunity and ascertain if is right for us. We must be able to see with not only the natural eyes, but with the eyes of our minds if we are going to create our own opportunities. This is where our imagination kicks in and henceforth, we devise a plan to accomplish what we see in our minds. Let me warn you though, creating your own opportunity is not an easy task, for it requires patience, perseverance and effort, on your part, to become a reality. Some of us are not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices and actually hope that we get lucky, but we usually get left behind and wonder why we can’t catch a break. Below I offer you four helpful guides to creating your own opportunity: 1. Challenge the status quo- real opportunity seekers sometimes have to break the rules or deviate from the norm to find and create an opportunity. In the face of opposition, they are the individuals who dream and believe that what they want to accomplish can be done. After all, Christopher Columbus proved that BusinessFocus July / Aug
the world was indeed round, when others believed that it was flat. He lived to tell that tale! What is seen as common and acceptable sometimes keeps one in an impoverished state of mind because it limits one’s capacity to think beyond their current circumstances. This limit’s their ability to look out for opportunities and come up with ideas, because everyone seems to agree that things should remain as they are, because it’s no use changing it. I dare say, challenge whatever it is, because there is always a better, easier and more innovative way to get something done or come up with an entirely new opportunity. 2. Take some risks- lots of people have a tendency to be risk-averse and wouldn’t dare venture past their comfort zones because of fear of the unknown. Neale Donald Walsch says it well, that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” You will never know what your true potential can be, if you are satisfied to just barely get by. What are you willing to risk to create an opportunity for yourself and perhaps others? Of course, I am not suggesting that you go blindly into anything, but some amount of due diligence and preparation on your part would increase the likelihood of a successful outcome when embarking upon an opportunity. The marketplace is a dynamic entity, constantly changing and providing opportunities to fill a need or solve the problems of consumers. Technology, globalization, education and finance all present avenues for advancement if one puts in the effort and will spend some time thinking about what areas they can use to their advantage. 3. Have a thirst for knowledgewhen one has the requisite knowledge and makes proper use of it, there’s no telling what can be accomplished. It is imperative to constantly be learning if one is going to create their opportunity.
Besides, how else would you know what to do? How would you even know when an opportunity presents itself? Surround yourself or seek the advice of others who have succeeded. Read books, listen to cd’s and other informative literature which gives sound information on a path to follow towards accomplishing your goals, desires and dreams. The knowledge you would have gained, will help you to plan and strategize to be better prepared to engage in a meaningful opportunity. This advice seems simple and easy enough and it would appear that anyone can do it. But it is amazing how many of us don’t do it and would rather sit around and complain about our lot in life. For the most part, many persons find it hard work to even gain the knowledge which would catapult them further, instead they prefer to engage in episodes of mental lethargy. I say to you break this habit and keep on learning. 4. It pays to be instinctive- we humans have an inner knowing of when an opportunity is worth taking. Our internal compass uses all the information in and around us to guide us in a direction that produces a positive outcome. How many of us listen? When one feels this way, it does take courage to believe and pursue that idea that one has stumbled upon. One may have to stand alone or go the journey alone for something he or she believes in. But at times, this is the price to be paid when an opportunity is to be sought. Go for it. I leave you with a quote by Orison Swett Marden who said, “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.” Surely, if you can’t find an opportunity that suits you, rather than sit around and complain, dig your heels in, and create one, or some! ¤
Caribbean Growth and Development Stunted by Continued Brain Drain
Sir. Ronald Sanders
t an event organized by the Honorary Consul of Guyana in St Lucia in honor of Guyana’s 48th anniversary of Independence, guest speaker Sir Ronald Sanders commented on the impediments to development in Guyana and the Caribbean. He commented on one issue of great concern; the startling rate at which tertiary educated individuals that are emigrating away from the Region.
“Today, over 80 per cent of Guyana’s tertiary educated people and many other of its creatively-talented people live abroad. Indeed, according to the most recent measurement available, Guyana leads every other country in the world in terms of its tertiary educated people who live abroad. “ In addition, Sir Ronald pointed out that this problem is not isolated to Guyana. Figures indicate that Grenada is second in the world for the number of its tertiary educated people who live abroad at 85.1 per cent; with Jamaica in third at 85 per cent. St Lucia lies not far behind at 10th in the world with 71.1 percent of its tertiary educated people living abroad. Sir Ronald pointed out that, “our inability to keep our tertiary educated and skilled people at home impacts our capacity for development in many ways – in entrepreneurship, in technological innovation, in the provision of services such as medical care and education, in financial
services and in government, particularly in economic negotiations including trade and finance”. Dissimilarly, Jamaica and Guyana are recipients of high remittances in the millions and billions of US dollars each year. However, Sir Ronald cautioned that although remittances are important as a social welfare measure; both for the families who are the recipients and for the contribution to the domestic economy where the recipients spend on goods and services – the flip side is the loss of enormous talent and skills over many years, the cost of which to the economy and the country outweighs the benefits of the remittances. Sir Ronald concluded by posing the question; “to what height might the country [Guyana] have climbed over the last 48 years had it been able to retain that large body of tertiary educated and other skilled people within its boundaries”. ¤
Gaston Browne Elected as Antigua’s Youngest PM, Names his 10 Member Cabinet The Cabinet Includes:
aston Browne, a one-time banker who campaigned on turning around Antigua and Barbuda’s struggling economy, became the country’s youngest prime minister on June 13th, 2014 when his Antigua Labor Party returned to power after a 10-year drought. New Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne has named a 10-member cabinet that was sworn into office by Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack at her official residence in late June 2014. But former Prime Minister, Lester Bird, 76, the oldest member of the new government, was not able to attend the ceremony after being admitted to hospital. “We wish him well and do hope it won’t be long before he could be sworn in,” the Governor General said, adding that Bird will take up the portfolio of senior minister in the Cabinet, but gave no further details. ¤
Robin Yearwood -
Minister of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation Asot A. Michael Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Molwyn Joseph Minister of Health and the Environment Eustace S. Lake Minister of Works and Housing Charles Fernandez - Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Arthur Nibbs Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Barbuda Affairs Michael Brown Minister of Education, Science and Technology Paul Chet Greene - Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industries, Sports, Culture, Community Services Samantha Marshall - Social Transformation and Human Resource Development Melford Nicholas - Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology BusinessFocus July / Aug |
IN THE KNOW
The Cell CEO Jermile Daniel in the New Store
The Cell & Samsung Launch a New Store
Experience Something New!
The Cell CEO Jermile Daniel and Staff in the New Store
he Cell Group Ltd, the largest mobile retailer and Digicel dealer in the OECS has opened its second experience store in Saint Lucia at Baywalk Mall. The first experience store was opened just two months ago in Grenada on Granby St, Saint Georges. With 12 stores spanning the region, (St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis) the company prides itself on being the first to offer the latest selection of unlocked phones, tablets, cameras, SMART TV’s, BusinessFocus July / Aug
laptops and mobile accessories along with certified repair services. In this one of a kind retail outlet, The Cell teamed up with the world’s largest mobile phone company Samsung to provide not only the latest and greatest Samsung products & services but a new shopping experience with live demos and expert customer service. This partnership allows The Cell to bring Samsung technology into the hands of all Saint Lucian’s providing a wide variety of low, mid and high end unlocked devices.
Jermile Daniel, Chief Executive Officer – The Cell Group says “We are extremely excited to partner with the world’s leading mobile phone brand. Through the creation of superior products and services Samsung strives to enhance the lives of people all over the globe and we are proud to extend this to the people of Saint Lucia.” Michelle Alvarez, Project Manager for the Samsung Experience stores for Samsung Latin America, Miami office noted, “Samsung realizes the everincreasing demands of our consumers, and this experience area is designed to create a truly unique experience where our consumers can interact in a new way with the latest Samsung devices. This Experience Area promises to provide our customers, who are heavy technology enthusiasts, access to the most cuttingedge innovations.” The Cell Saint Lucia looks forward to bringing a new retail experience to all customers as we continue to expand our operations alongside Samsung in the region. ¤
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IN IN THE THE KNOW KNOW
Ways Private Security can Work with the Police Service in the Caribbean By Brian Ramsey – Alternative Security Services As the battle rages to arrest the burgeoning tidal wave of crime that threatens to drown the citizenry, it is pertinent to look at all methods that can be used to confront this crime wave. One of those methods is an increase in the collaboration between the Private Security industry and the Police Service. This collaboration can take several forms. Information Sharing The simplest method of collaboration and the one that is the easiest to implement is where security officers report to the Police any crime that they witness. Indeed one could argue that given the nature of the duties that security officers perform and the training that is supposed to be given to them, security officers are best positioned to perform such reporting. There presently exists some avenues for this reporting in some islands; Crime Stoppers, 555 and each local Police Station. Though it may be that some reporting does exist, it does not seem to be occurring on a wide scale. In order to publicly emphasize this reporting activity and also to galvanize in the minds of the individual security officers that they have this role, there is benefit in building a campaign about this reporting. Under such a campaign there would be a single BusinessFocus July / Aug
telephone number at a designated Police office for receiving these calls. Information from calls to this number would then be routed to the relevant Police Department. The benefit of this single number is that it makes it easier for all security companies to know where to send the calls. In addition the Police staff receiving these calls would be able to record statistics about these calls so that the effectiveness of the campaign could be measured. The idea of security officers calling a designated Police number, while being a good first step, is a one-way form of communication that does not truly take advantage of the numerical strength of the security industry. While information would be fed to the Police for their use, there should also be a methodology for the dissemination of information to security companies so that companies can have their staff be on the look-out for specific persons, groups, vehicles etc. A two-way information flow increases the number of persons who are on alert and also increases the possibility of more relevant information being fed back to the Police. At the same time the technology now exists to allow this two way communication to be fast and have widespread dissemination of information. Within the United States of America, this
type of two-way information sharing Law Enforcement – Private Security Partnership has been credited with successes that range from immediate communication about protests that appeared to be turning violent; quick captures of suspects (e.g., bank robbers, escaped prisoner, jewelry store thief); recovery of missing persons, arrests in situations when a rash of crimes is committed against similar businesses, such as fraud and laptop thefts at hotels, thefts from autos in parking lots. Some examples of the communication approaches of these information sharing partnerships are: • Philadelphia Center City District and Philadelphia Police Department: e-mail, text messaging • Secomnet, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (North Carolina): secure radio network • Anaheim (California) Crime Alert Network: fax and e-mail alerts • Minneapolis SafeZone partnership: common LE-PS radio channel • Greater Chicago Hotel Loss Prevention Association: secure web site on which incident information is often posted immediately • Boston Financial District Information Network: e-mail, closed-circuit television (CCTV)
It is interesting to note that in the U.S. the more successful partnerships have gone beyond email and fax communication to the development of secure web sites for the transmission of information. Intellectual Resource Sharing Within the private security industry, particularly those engaged in the areas of electronic and computer security, there exists a wealth of knowledge that can be used by the Police Service in their investigative capacity. Examples of viable types of resource sharing would cover areas that include video enhancement, provision of container trailers with surveillance and tracking capabilities for use in cargo theft investigations and assistance in tracking these phones in an effort to bust stolen cell phone rings. Physical Resource Collaboration Another level of collaboration, which has been used in Guyana, is where Security Companies provide a vehicle with a security officer as a driver for use by the Police Service in conducting mobile patrols at no charge. This type of collaboration enables the Police Service to achieve greater proliferation of its resources. A third level of collaboration and actually an extension of the above level is where security companies provide security officers to the Police Service for use in a variety of roles. These roles would include foot patrols, mobile patrols, traffic control at peak times, station duties etc. In performing any patrol duties the security officer would be accompanied by a regular police officer. The objective in this level of collaboration is to remove some strain on the human resources of the Police and enabling them to conduct more direct crime fighting activities. Sub-Contracting Beyond these levels of collaboration, one enters the realm where Government hires security companies to perform specific functions that are presently conducted by the Police Service. These types of functions would be those that are not direct crime fighting but more centered on the maintenance of order such as traffic control. The difference at this level is that companies would not be donating limited blocks of time but providing services for extended periods of time again allowing the police to use its manpower in direct crime prevention and crime fighting activities. In seeking to develop a widespread Law Enforcement â€“ Private Security Partnership there should be an advisory council composed of senior law enforcement and private security professionals to oversee the day-to-day implementation issues of the partnership. The advisory council would work to institutionalize partnerships, address tactical issues and intelligence sharing, improve selection and training guidelines and standards of private security personnel and market the concept of law enforcementâ€“private security partnership. Â¤ About the Author Brian Ramsey has a B.A. in Accounting & Management, along with an M.B.A. in Finance and over 25 years in the Caribbean security field. He is the Regional Development Director for Amalgamated Security Services Limited which is the parent company of Alternative Security Services St. Lucia Limited. Amalgamated Security operates in Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. BusinessFocus July / Aug |
IN THE KNOW
Neal & Massy Rebrands to Massy Group
inety years after Henry Neal and Charles Massy came together to create one of the region’s most expansive and trusted conglomerates, the company and its 41 subsidiaries have gotten a makeover. As of Monday 30th June 2014, the former Neal and Massy Group unveiled its new look and name, the Massy Group, as a way to enhance the brand’s individual brand identities under one uniform and ubiquitous umbrella: the Massy Group. In a statement, the Port-of-Spain-based conglomerate said: “Redefining the corporate brand strengthens cohesion and clearly communicates the advantages of choosing to do business with the Group. The Group’s CEO, Gervase Warner, explained the reasons for the rebranding and the meaning of its new logo. “We chose Massy because people already abbreviated the name of the company that way; but we retained the “N” from Neal in our logo, an interlocking N&M based on an infinity sign”. While Warner said the company’s 10,000 employees had met the change positively, some customers were miffed about the changes, or at least found them strange. “Some of Neal and Massy’s brands have been around for generations—Hi-Lo has been a brand name for over 50 years—and are iconic to people; changing something so familiar, so comforting, has not been without some sort of backlash—especially from the customers,” Warner said. “Everyone knows their neighbourhood supermarket and is attached to the name. The logic for it is not that we wanted to change Hi-Lo (now Massy Stores); the logic is when you have a common name like Massy Stores supermarket, Massy Stores Pharmacy, it is very easy for a consumer to see a connection between all of these businesses and they have the Massy card where they can get points and redeem and each of these different places. It becomes something the consumers can feel comfortable—the system is the same group of people, treated the same way. It’s very hard to do that (with all these different brands). We wanted to move towards a group of companies that provides value to consumers and we had to pick a name,” he said. A corporate advertising campaign that demonstrates how Massy companies work together to simplify customers’ business transaction will run in the media in Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and St. Lucia. Neal & Massy recently acquired the CFL Group in St Lucia and also has other businesses operating in the island. ¤ BusinessFocus July / Aug
10 Reasons Your Fire Alarm Could Save
1. A fire alarm system detects early signs of smoke and heat emissions so you can make a quick escape and alert the proper authorities. 2. Smoke detectors scan the air 24/7 for smoke particles which can prove essential when your senses of sight and smell cant detect the threat, or the building is unoccupied. 3. Full fire alarm systems are outfitted with horn strobes to alert the visually impaired and blind persons of the eminent danger. 4. They can be linked to a sprinkler system, hence extinguishing any fire before the situation becomes hazardous 5. More advanced systems can be linked to a monitoring station or company, therefore minimising the amount of damage done to the building as a quick response team can be deployed in event of fire. 6. Buildings outfitted with fire alarm systems are less likely to sustain damage from a fire than buildings with no system installed at all, as detection mechanisms in place will alert personnel. 7. They can detect electrical fires in ceilings which wouldn’t be visible until too late 8. A fully functioning and well maintained fire alarm system cuts the chance of death or smoke/fire related injuries in half. 9. With such an investment, home and business owners alike are more likely to keep the system maintained to safeguard investment and personnel. 10. Once installed, training on use and other fire safety practices is generally the next step by most businesses. Always remember that it takes only two or three breaths of toxic smoke for an individual to become unconscious. Put safety first! Whether battery operated or a hardwired system, speak to an expert today to find the best solution for your workplace and home. ¤ About the Author Kezia Preville is the Business Development Manager at Regional Fire & Security Ltd which operates offices based in St. Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago; the location of its parent company. She currently manages the St. Lucia office, now situated in Rodney Bay and can be contacted on email@example.com or (758) 451-3473 for more information
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IN THE KNOW
St Lucian Prime Minister seeks investment opportunities in the UK Establishes network of Business Ambassadors
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony, in an effort to promote investment in Saint Lucia, traveled to the UK in June to address a gathering of investors in London.
he Prime Minister sought to inform the audience of investment possibilities in Saint Lucia, and the efforts of the government to make the island more investor friendly and attract new investment. Dr.
Anthony outlined the work being undertaken by Invest Saint Lucia, the reforms being made to the investment facilitation landscape and the projects available for private investment and public-private partnership initiatives. Dr. Anthony’s discussions also focused on some areas for immediate investment were identified as tourism, property development, creative industries, national infrastructure, medical research and education, and renewable energy. Dr. Kenny D Anthony announced that the Government of Saint Lucia has started efforts to establish a network of Business Ambassadors. The Ambassadors will help the Government of Saint Lucia to identify sources of investment and promote Saint Lucia as an ideal location for investment. This initiative is modeled on the United Kingdom Department of Trade and Investment Business Ambassadors Group and was a recommendation of the Foreign Policy Review Committee. Additionally, the Prime Minister was the Guest of Honor and delivered an address at the Saint Lucia Gala Dinner and Awards Night hosted by the Saint Lucia High Commission in London. Saint Lucians in the United Kingdom, diplomats, British Government officials, investors, and tourism representatives attended the black-tie affair. The Gala raised funds for the Comfort Bay Senior Citizens Home in Vieux Fort. ¤
Caribbean Airlines Projects
BusinessFocus July / Aug
rinidad & Tobago’s state owned carrier Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is projecting a loss of just under TT$100 million ( approx US$16 Million ) for its financial year 2013, TT Finance Minister Larry Howai has said. “CAL has had some struggles getting its accounts done, they should be able to bring them up in a couple of months. It hasn’t been very good news but they have narrowed the loss down,” he said. Howai was speaking with reporters after he delivered remarks at financial group RBC’s “Cocktails with Clients” event at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel in Port of Spain. “We are hopeful we can bring (CAL’s loss) down to less than TT$100 million,” Howai responded to a question. “The airline has a new CEO (Michael Dilollo who was appointed in May), there is some new management coming in and my next move is to strengthen the Board (of directors).” CAL’s Board is chaired by former independent senator Philip Marshall. Howai said he hoped the national airline could make a “full turnaround” maintaining that the airline industry worldwide was not an easy one. “Every one of those (international airlines) has gone bankrupt at one time or the other so it is a challenge,” he said. According to its financial statements for 2012, CAL’s losses moved from US$43,647,732 in 2011 to US$83,780,546 in 2012. ¤
HEALTH & WEALTH
What is Chikungunya
hikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya are abrupt onset fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Symptoms usually last for a few days to a few weeks, but some people may feel tired for several weeks. The joint pain is often very debilitating and in some people, may last for months or years.
Management of Chikungunya:
How is it Spread?
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent Chikungunya. The only way to prevent Chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite. The following steps can reduce the chances that you will be bitten by mosquitoes during your trip.
• Remove discarded containers from around the house; • For containers that are in use, turn them over or empty every 3–4 days to prevent mosquito breeding including any waterfilled containers indoors. Alternatively, completely cover them to keep out mosquitoes.
Prevent Mosquito Bites:
What is the Difference Between Chikungunya and Dengue Fever?
Chikungunya is spread by the bite of an Aedes mosquito, primarily Aedes aegypti. Humans are thought to be the major source, or reservoir, of Chikungunya virus for mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, though there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Ae. Aegypti will also readily feed indoors. The Aedes mosquito commonly breeds in domestic settings such as flower vases, water-storage containers, air coolers, etc. and peri-domestic areas such as construction sites, coconut shells, discarded household junk items (tyres, plastic and metal cans, etc.). The mosquito usually transmits the disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else. After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between four and eight days but can range from two to 12 days. Chikungunya cannot be spread directly from person to person.
There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms. The use of pain medication - Paracetamol / Tylenol, increased fluid intake and rest can provide relief for some of the symptoms. Aspirin is not recommended.
What Can be Done to Prevent Chikungunya?
• Cover exposed skin by wearing longsleeved shirts, long pants, and hats. • Use mosquito nets to protect babies, older and sick people and others who rest during the day. The effectiveness of mosquito nets can be improved by treating them with WHO-recommended insecticides. • Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed. Apply onto exposed skin and on clothing in accordance with label instructions. • Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients: • DEET • Picaridin • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel
and Off! Botanicals) • IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart) • Always follow product directions and reapply as directed: • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second. • Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
To Reduce Mosquito Breeding:
Symptoms for Chikungunya and dengue are almost identical - high fever, headache, eye ache, joint pain, rashes and lethargy. Simply put, Dengue plus arthritis equals Chikungunya, Several methods can be used for diagnosis. Blood tests can detect the dengue virus or Chikungunya virus in the blood during the first few days of infection, or antibodies against the viruses subsequently. In some cases, the joint pain caused by Chikungunya may persist for several months, or even years. ¤
Brought to you by: Rodney Bay Medical Centre Source: CDC WHO BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Agriculture and Tourism Linkages Get a Boost CTO and IICA Sign MOU
en years after they began an informal relationship, the region’s umbrella public sector tourism organization and the western hemisphere’s agriculture agency have formalized an agreement to strengthen linkages between tourism and agriculture. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York City. As part of the MOU, the two organizations have agreed to cooperate in areas that will help improve the livelihoods of agricultural and rural producers through their inclusion in the tourism value chain. “The CTO is committed to strengthening linkages between tourism and agriculture because it’s a win-win for both sectors. Our cuisine is one of the most attractive and authentic elements of our tourism product, therefore stronger links between the two sectors can mean more memorable experiences for our visitors, greater economic independence for our farmers and a reduction in the Caribbean’s food import bill,” said the CTO’s secretary general, Hugh Riley, who signed on behalf of the organization. Ena Harvey, the management coordinator for the BusinessFocus July / Aug
Caribbean region, as well as agrotourism specialist, signed on behalf of IICA. The two organizations have agreed to cooperate in the areas of trade and investment partnerships along the tourism value chain; food and agro-eco tourism; community-based tourism; health and wellness and spa tourism and culture and heritage tourism as it relates to agriculture and rural sites and associated events, attractions and products. Some of the specific areas covered under the MOU include: strengthening of the institutional and policy framework to facilitate advocacy and joint promotion of trade linkages and investments between agriculture and tourism; knowledge management and information sharing on trends, success stories, best practices and lessons learned in agrotourism development; training and capacity building of stakeholders in the agriculture-tourism value chain; inclusion of agrotourism sites and attractions in product development programs of the CTO and regional destination marketing; and collaboration on studies quantifying the contribution of agriculture to tourism and vice versa. Ten years ago, CTO invited IICA to sit on its board of directors as an affiliate member. As a result of this overture IICA
has made significant progress in promoting linkages between agriculture and tourism, in terms of trade linkages as well as the development of new and authentic tourism products in rural and farming communities, Ms. Harvey said. “This success has been due in no small part to the commitment and support of the CTO. We have collaborated on regional projects funded by the several regional and international agencies, which resulted in the creation of a regional agrotourism strategy, a food tourism strategy, manuals and best practice stories, and partnering of farmers with hoteliers. In addition, through participation on CTO committees and Sustainable Tourism Conferences, IICA has been provided with the opportunity to advance the issue of linking agriculture with tourism,” she stated. On the signing of the MOU Ms. Harvey added: “We believe that through this collaboration with the CTO and our partners, we could contribute in a very tangible way to economic growth in our countries and to providing opportunities for the agricultural and rural sectors in the Caribbean to create sustainable livelihoods through linkages with tourism.” The agreement is for an initial four year period. ¤
Differentiating Our Tourism Product Necessary for Continued Survival says Dr Jules OECS Director General Delivers Feature Address at SLHTA’s Golden Jubilee Dinner
ecently appointed OECS Director General, Dr Didacus Jules, addressed the SLHTA Golden Jubilee dinner recently held in commemoration of their 50th Annual General Meeting. In a feature address entitled ‘Gearing up for the next 50’, Dr Jules called upon the SLHTA to look beyond the policy and strategic options presented at Ministerial meetings. “Although these meetings are necessary, they are insufficient to effect progress in an industry as intensely and globally competitive as tourism,” he continued. On the occasion of the Golden Anniversary of the SLHTA, Dr Jules expressed his congratulations on the “marvelous milestone that is 50 year”. However, he cautioned that the organization must be mindful as they chart the road ahead. “What got us this far will not take us to the next ten years unless we understand and address the challenges ahead,” he added. Worldwide, the tourism industry was estimated at over US$10 trillion in 2013. He reminded the gathering that tourism is increasingly being driven by the desire to see the world in all of its manifestations and not just as a respite from cold climates. “Bringing visitors to our shores for sea and sun is not enough,” he advised. Instead he pointed to the need to forge greater linkages with other sectors of the economy and community.
“Imagine the possibilities for a more engaged tourism model in which local cuisine and tradition, cultural practices, music, dance and festivals, community interaction are all interwoven in a richer, more immersive, visitor experience”. “What is significant in this 50th year,” he continued, “is to focus on the structural weaknesses, the missed opportunities and the potential of the industry to be more than it has been.” Of greatest importance to Jules is the challenge of differentiation of which he outlined three inter-related dimensions: differentiation of place, product and value. It is necessary for industry stakeholders to decide what distinguishes their destination from the rest of the world. Most decidedly, “It is a matter of how we keep them coming and once they are here, what do we need to do to ensure that the engagement of the visitor in the destination is optimized”. In seeking differentiation of the product, he referenced some critical questions that industry makers must ask. First, “what are the things that will enchant the tourist and add uniqueness to the visitor experience,” and also that “we must begin to offer luxury at a reasonable cost”? The Tourism Benchmarking and Competitiveness Assessment that was undertaken for Saint Lucia in 2013 highlighted that offering value for money of our product is a critical issue that needs to be addressed in order to enhance the destination’s competitiveness.
Dr Jules commended the Governmental decision to collaborate with the SLHTA and SLTB to provide the much needed assistance and training to small properties. “Customers are seeking value for money,” he said, “and we need to be strategically poised to offer that value. Before the recession, consumers were willing to pay high prices for a five-star luxury experience, but since the financial downturn, most consumers have a maximum room rate in mind”. In May 2014, Dr Jules was appointed Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. In keeping with this, he called upon the gathering to face the inescapable reality that no island can solve our intractable problems by ourselves but instead we must rely on converged, integrated and collective solutions. “We must find strategic purpose, opportunity and balance in the creative tension between competition and collaboration,” he emphasized, “we are very good at competing against each other but not as adept at collaborating with each other.” He added that the OECS has begun to work closely with Ministers of Tourism to guide policy and investment decisions as well as to improve the competitiveness of the sector. He concluded that the focus must be on “creating mechanisms for continued conversations that can lead to a consensual vision of how to optimize tourism in our single economic space”. ¤ BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Industry Experts Lead Panel Discussion at SLHTA’s 50th AGM Executive Vice President says the Association is ‘Prepared to do More to Address Country’s Economic Issues’
n commemoration of the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association’s Golden Jubilee, an open session was held featuring presentations by industry experts representing varying fields of expertise. The discussions were part of the 50th Annual General Meeting held under the theme ‘Together for a better Saint Lucia’. Following the closed session of Association’s Annual General Meeting, Mr Azeez, SLHTA Executive Vice President, welcomed the small gathering to the afternoon’s panel discussion featuring presentations from five professionals from varying sectors related to the tourism industry. In acknowledgement of the impact that the tourism industry has had on St Lucian society, Mr Azeez noted that ‘the association is prepared to do more to address the economic issues facing the country and that the afternoon’s discussion was to identify what framework the board is going to adopt’. Moderator, Dr Hilary Modeste, suggested that the topics presented ‘require intelligent and objective analysis to provide opportunities to create new approaches and new operational management structures to help drive the BusinessFocus July / Aug
St Lucians tourism industry along the path of success’. Dr Rodinald Soomer of the OECS Secretariat focused his presentation on the development of the OECS Common Tourism Policy, the product of discussions among OECS Tourism Ministers within the Eastern Caribbean. The policy is in keeping with the mandate given under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre that establishes the OECS Economic Union and requires member countries to work towards the harmonisation of their tourism policies and ultimately develop a common tourism policy. Dr Soomer described the policy as aiming to achieve balance, growth and development and increased competitiveness of the tourism sector in the OECS via progressive harmonization of tourism policies. Among other areas of priority, the Policy focuses on human resource development, community participation and sectoral linkages, marketing and communication, environmental and cultural sustainability, and addressing crimes that involves visitors. Dr Soomer also noted that there was a great need for more research to be carried out in an effort to develop our
tourism product. “If there is a problem of quality in our product then how can we move to a common tourism quality scheme where accommodation, health and safety standards can be internationally recognized and certified,” he said. He also called upon industry leaders to work with community colleges to develop courses focused on St Lucia’s areas of comparative advantage. “Each country should identify what is their comparative advantage. There is currently a lot of confusion as to what each country’s comparative advantage is. We hope that is not the case for St Lucia and we can best place our efforts and best identify our strengths?” he concluded. Dr Adrian Augier, local economist, gave a sobering commentary on St Lucia’s economic decline and its inevitable impact on the tourism industry. Government statistics show that St Lucia’s GDP has steadily declined since 1971 from 6.4% to 0.93%. To Dr Augier this shows that not only are their major problems in the economy but that ‘we are operating in a dying economy and unless something changes we cannot really expect a difference. The most apparent indicator of our economic woes is St Lucia’s
level of unemployment. Statistically, Dr Augier showed that unemployment has remained high even when the economy is growing with the number of unemployed persons increasing at a rate of 4% over the period 2000- 2012. This is substantially higher that the 1.4% growth of the labor force. To Augier, this implies that the unemployment is structural, ‘that something is wrong with the structure of our economy that is causing this, something is fundamentally wrong’. Dr Augier suggested that there must be a radical reformation of the education system. With 60% of Secondary school graduates
failing CXC Math and 50% failing CXC English, it indicates that many of the persons seeking employment are not trainable thus sending employers elsewhere in search of suitable employees. “Stop being complicit, complacent and cowardly! We know what the problems are and we do absolutely nothing and we return to our all inclusive homes and offices and continue to not take the hard decisions that we know need to be taken,” he cautioned. “We all have million dollars sunk into the ground here that we can’t just take up and leave. We cannot think that those of us that have access to privilege are immune, we really are in this thing together,” he concluded. Nigel Mitchell, a consultant in the Ministry of Tourism spoke to the necessity of linkages among various industries. “I propose pragmatic and flexible policies that benefit investments in tourism,” Mitchell expounded, “that includes the injection of domestic investment into the tourism sector and the strengthening of linkages with other sectors such as agriculture, creative industries and manufacturing would serve both markets”. The event also saw presentations from Mr Richard Peterkin, Partner at Grant Thornton St Lucia, who addressed the issue of taxation as it relates to the tourism industry, he spoke to the need of the government to reevaluate their current policy of zero taxation of cruise ships. His presentation also focused on the Tourism Incentive Act put forward by the Government of St Lucia. Mr Bishnu Tulsie of the St Lucia National Trust delivered the final presentation on the environmental implications caused by a growing tourism industry and the necessity of adapting to an environmental friendly way of doing business. ¤
Adds Service to Saint Lucia From JFK Iternational Airport
he Saint Lucia Tourist Board has announced Delta Air Lines will add non-stop service from New York’s JFK International Airport to Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport (UVF). Commencing December 20, 2014, the weekly service will operate every Saturday throughout the year. The flight marks an expansion in service by Delta to UVF; the airline currently operates nonstop flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “Delta customers will have the ability to conveniently connect from a variety of feeder markets throughout the Northeast and Canada,” said Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “We look forward to continued work with the carrier to increase the number of arrivals at Hewanorra International Airport.”
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
Keigan Cox GM/CEO SLASPA The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority ( S L A S P A ) announces the appointment of Mr. Keigan Cox as the organisation’s G e n e r a l Manager/Chief Executive Officer effective June 16, 2014. Mr. Cox most recently served as Head of Business Development, Digicel OECS and currently serves as a Director on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited as well as the National Insurance Corporation (NIC). Mr. Cox holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree, Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA), is an accredited Director and Member of the ICSA and is currently completing a Masters in Law (LLM). Mr. Cox is an accomplished executive, with experience in, management, finance, business development, corporate governance and project management and brings both regional and international business experience. ¤
W i n s t o n A n d e r s o n – General M a n a g e r , Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Beach Resort & Sap Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Beach Resort & Spa welcomes the return of Mr. Winston Anderson to the post of General Manager. Mr. Anderson returns to the office following a year-long stint in Grenada where he held the position of General Manager for the resort from its genesis to the date of its official opening in April 2014. BusinessFocus July / Aug
In 1996, he joined Sandals Resorts International and has since held several management positions including that of General Manager at four properties across the Caribbean. Mr. Anderson holds a Doctor of Management degree from GULL and an honorary Doctor of Professional Studies degree for his contribution to leadership development. He also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Hospitality Management and a Bechelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science. ¤
Alex Holder – Public Relations M a n a g e r , Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean welcomes Mr. Alex Holder who has joined our team in St. Lucia as Public Relations Manager. Mr. Holder brings a wealth of related experience to this post having held several senior roles in the field of journalism in Antigua, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica and Guyana. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Master of Arts Degree in Mass Communications. ¤
Corliss CharlesSutton RBC RBTT Area Vice President - St Lucia and Dominica Mrs. Corliss Charles-Sutton has been appointed as RBC/ RBTT Bank’s new Area Vice President – St. Lucia and Dominica. Mrs.
Charles-Sutton brings with her over 19 years’ experience in the financial industry having previously held a similar position in St.Kitts & Nevis. This appointment is part of RBC’s overall restructuring of the company’s operations across the Caribbean region, as it seeks to focus more deeply on the market opportunities and client needs in the markets where the Bank operates. ¤
C h e s t e r Hinkson Chairman, Government Negotiating Team Mr. Chester Hinkson, former Bank of Nova Scotia Country Manager, has been appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT). Mr. Hinkson, who has served in various capacities at the Bank of Nova Scotia locally, regionally and internationally. He has also served as the director of the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Bankers, a member of the Salaries Review Commission for senior civil servants in St. Lucia, and is currently the President of the Rotary Club of St. Lucia. ¤
Atlyn Forde A c t i n g Marketing Director for UK & Europe Saint Lucia Tourist Board Atlyn Forde has been appointed as the acting Director of Marketing UK & Europe, taking over from Jean-Marc
MAJOR MOVES Flambert, effective July 7th 2014. Of Saint Lucian heritage, Forde has worked with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board as Assistant Director of Marketing, UK and Europe for three years and has a wealth of experience working in the marketing and communications industry for over 12 years. Her past roles have included Head of Communications at British Airline Pilots’ Association, Marketing Manager at British Dental Association, Marketing Manager at MRI Ltd and Production Editor at Haymarket Publishing. Forde also brings vast tourism knowledge to the role having previously worked with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board marketing team for an additional two years in 2005. ¤
Jacqueline Graham Re g i s t ra r, Caribbean Court of Justice The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has appointed G u y a n e s e n a t i o n a l , Jacqueline Graham, as Registrar and Marshal effective July 1st, 2014. Graham holds an MBA in Finance (University of Manchester, UK), an undergraduate degree in Management Studies (University of Guyana) and is a graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School at St Augustine. In addition to her legal training, Graham has worked in the banking and finance sector, as a prosecutor in the High and Magistrates’ Courts of Guyana, and was employed by the private law firm, Interlaw Consultants. She was also an assistant lecturer at the University of Guyana in the Faculty of Social Sciences. ¤
C a r t e r Hyacinth Service & Support Manager J.E. Bergasse & Company Ltd. C a r t e r Hyacinth has been appointed as the Service & Support Manager for J.E. Bergasse & Company Ltd. Carter has worked with Dove Productions as a Videographer; before moving on to Regional Computer Services as a Computer Technician. He then worked at CCS/The Office Centre Ltd as a Computer/Office Equipment Technician and then with Advanced Business Systems (ABS) as a Supervisor/ Merchant Support Officer providing island wide technical/ customer support for financial institutions and mobile phone top-up agents. In October 2008 Carter joined the J.E. Bergasse Group of Companies as the Sales & Marketing Manager/Merchant Support Agent for TSL. St. Lucia. He took up this position on May 2, 2014. ¤
Xavier-Marc Becker Sales Manager J.E. Bergasse & Company Limted Xavier-Marc Becker has been appointed as Sales Manager for J. E. Bergasse & Company Ltd effective June 1, 2014. He has more than twenty-five years of managing commercial activities in the print industry in Europe, Brazil and the North Africa region. He has developed strong abilities to sustain the growth of activities through business plan development, ROI, assessment of investment, searching new markets, contracting people, managing a company, a sales team and reporting to top management and shareholders. He holds an MBS ESSEC in the context of vocational training. ¤
K a r o l i n Troubetzkoy 1st Vice President, Caribbeant Hotel and Tourism Association The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) elected K a r o l i n Troubetzkoy as The 1st Vice President during its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held July 1, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Mrs Troubetzkoy is the President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and Owner and Executive Director of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia. ¤
Mr Dominic Fedee – SLHTA Representative for Large Hotels The Saint Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has announced the election of Mr Dominic Fedee to its Board of Directors. Dominic Fedee, Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Resorts International in the Eastern Caribbean, has been elected to the position of Representative for Large Hotels. The appointment came at its recently held Golden Jubilee Annual General Meeting.
Mr Simon Bryan – SLHTA Representative for the Maritime and Yachting Sector The Saint Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has announced the election of Mr Simon Bryan to its Board of Directors. Simon Bryan, General Manager at Island Global Yachting (IGY), has been elected to the position of Representative for the Maritime and Yachting Sector. The appointment came at its recently held Golden Jubilee Annual General Meeting. ¤ BusinessFocus July / Aug |
34th Annual Conference of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists 17 – 24 August, 2014 at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Grand Anse, Grenada The Caribbean Association of Pharmacists is a network of care providers dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people. The association achieves this by fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement among the membership in pursuance of the advancement of the profession of Pharmacy. Members aspire to practice Pharmacy with a social conscience and commitment to the growth and development of the people of the Caribbean. The year’s theme is ‘Shaping the Future of Our Profession with One Mission and One Voice’. For further info: www.cap-pharmacists.com
5th Pan American Aviation Safety Summit 8 - 12 September, 2014 at the Marriott Curacao Resort & Emerald Casino, Curacao The Regional Aviation Safety Group-Pan America (RASG-PA) and the Curacao Civil Aviation Authority in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association - ALTA, will be sponsoring the 5th Pan American Aviation Safety Summit and the 7th Annual RASG-PA Meeting, focused entirely on the Pan American region. The collaborative actions stemming from this meeting have contributed significantly to the improvement of aviation in the Pan American region. For additional info: ALTA at email@example.com
State of the Industry Conference 17 – 19 September, 2014 – Marriott’s Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, St Thomas, USVI During two full days of passionate exchanges delegates at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) will exchange ideas with leading Caribbean and international tourism experts on a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the sector in the region. This year’s conference will be held under the theme: ‘Realizing the Vision; Positioning Caribbean Tourism for Major Change’. For further info: www.onecaribbean.org
Caribbean Expo Week 22 – 26 September, 2014 at the Hilton Hotel, Bridgetown, Barbados Caribbean Export is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. Caribbean Export, as part of its mandate to promote export led growth for the Caribbean region and to facilitate increased exports to regional and international markets will be hosting a trade expo and conference in September, 2014.
GUYEXPO 2014 2 – 5 October, 2014 in Georgetown, Guyana Guyana’s premier trade fair and exhibition, GUYEXPO, provides a platform for importers, exporters, retailers and wholesalers both local and foreign to showcase their products, interact with each other, and create trade linkages. This year’s expo will be held under the theme: “Transformation: Partnering for a Better Guyana”. For further info: www.guyexpo.net BusinessFocus July / Aug
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
NATURE OF BUSINESS
Josie Charles Collection Inc.
Sales of Clothing, Clothing Accessories, Shoes, Sales and Other Investments
Josephine Charles Sherlock, David Ian Sherlock Laura Shavon Charles
ACS Corporate Consulting Inc
MG Energy Ltd.
Simple Investments Inc.
Apartment Rental, Car Rental, Tools Rental, Property Management Services, Retail of Goods
Elisha Clarke- Malaykhan, Michaeline Joseph Juliana Clarke- Malaykhan
Atlantic Aviation Inc.
General Aviation Services Including the Carriage of Passengers by Air. To Provide Helicopter Flightseeing, Aerial Tours & Helicopter Charter Services Including Airport Transfers
Mervin Fredrick Robert, Ann Euphena Robert
Property Investment & Development
Stephen Phillip Hunter
Security Training Institute & Security Services Inc.
Security Training / Security Services
Titus George Leo
Destiny Driven Software Solutions Inc.
Software Development Consultancy
Pier 28 Inc.
Restaurant & Bar
Lisa Williams St Prix, Ian Atkins
Dax Wholesale & Retail Inc.
To do Any Other Business That is Not Restricted by Law
Dax Kaunda Norville
Prudy’s Construction Services Ltd.
Prudence Montrope, Edvira Montrope
Full Circle Solutions Inc.
Christiana Marcion, Claudia Henry
Antilia Brewing Company Ltd.
The Brewing Distribution and Selling of Craft Brewed Ales, Lagers and Associated Products
Andrew Hashey, Greg Potten, Winsbert Louison Leslie Prospere
Modern Business Associates Inc.
Carib Prem IC (St. Lucia) Ltd.
Damien O. Donohoe, Daniel O’Connell Rhory McNamara
Saint Lucia Sculpture Park Inc.
Establishment of a National Sculpture Park; Production of Works of Art, Display of Art and Management Control of Park and Artistes.
Llewellyn Xavier, Andrew Barnard Susie Lubin-Wilson, Randall Bain, Christina Xavier Terrence Elliott, Leo Clarke
Villa Soufriere Ltd.
Baron Gabriel Van Der Elst, Kim Waldron
Hyperion Risk Solutions (St. Lucia) Ltd.
Callistus Vern Gill
Sugar Beach Residences Ltd.
Roger Myers, Lesley Myers
Sweet Sensations Inc.
Retail Sweets and Other Condiments
Jazzbo Travel Inc.
Stephen Clery, Louise Algodel – Clery
International Development Empowerment & Representation Agency Ltd. - IDERA
Economic Policy, Capacity Building, Research, Research, Representation and Public Relations
Edwin Pontien, Joseph Laurent
Hill J Farms Limited
Farming – Retails & Wholesale Import & Export of Farm Supplies Food Processing Water Production
Kimran Jankie, Ajid Jankie, Oliver Jankie Jason Jankie, Bernil Jankie, Lilian James
BusinessFocus July / Aug |
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
NATURE OF BUSINESS
Rentals and Tours, Hospitality Related Activities
Andromeda (St Lucia) Ltd.
Installation of Cable and Internet Lines
Declan Pattron, Keith Tambie, Dana Nagassar
Tampa Tank (St Lucia) Inc.
Provide Tools, Equipment, Consumables and Man Power to Execute the Maintenance Operations as Directed by Buckeye St Lucia Terminals, Ltd.
Calvin H. Reed, David Hale
GG Holdings Inc.
Daniel Belizaire, Martina Belizaire
Ahimsa Holdings Inc.
Property Developments & Supplies and Equipment Acquisition
Mariella Daniel, Joshua Runako Daniel Jonathan Romel Daniel
Cacoa Holdings Ltd.
Property Holding Any Business not Prohibited by the Laws of Saint Lucia
Turf Pro Landscaping Ltd.
Marlena Avril, Martinus Avril
Macamboo Villas Ltd.
Media Company Focus on Luxury Lifestyle Travel & Lifestyle Magazine Focused on the Caribbean
Andre Chastanet, Sophia Chastanet
5M Solutions Inc.
Trading, Events Management
Mitchelson Phillips, M. Michelle Phillips
HRM Solutions Inc.
Human Resource Information Management & Consultancy
Perry Anthony Longville
Safe T Inc.
Provision of Security Products and Related Goods and Services
Shanti Maraj- Straughn
Kaede Farms Inc.
Livestock, Fisheries and Agricultural Farming Production
Guillaume Simon, Sisera Simon
Raul Seth Joseph
Lambirds Academy Inc.
Vocational, Trade, Educational & Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Shams, Sayeed Ahmed Shams Professional Training Education, Human Resources and Management Consultancy
Property Holding Company
Crowne Corporate Services Ltd.
Corporate Services Any Business Not Prohibited by the Laws of Saint Lucia
Kendell M Gill
Island Rehab Supplies Ltd.
Kim Jackson, Gary Jackson, Baby Kaywan Lord
Property Holding Company
Back-In-Time (BIT) Inc.
Jouvert Band Event Management
Christopher St. Marthe, Arcadius Phillip Johnny Cyril, Garth George, Julian Lagon Evelyn Lagon
Edmund Taxi Services Inc.
St Lucia Scenic Eco-Tourism & Adventure Tours
Taxi and Touristic Tours Services
Constantine Holdings Inc.
Holding Company & Commercial Investment
Nesa Constantine, Hyde Constantine â€“ Felix Donnalin Constantine
Ecentric Caribbean Global Booking Agency Ltd.
Travel Agency / Entertainment
AdIt St. Lucia Ltd.
Online Business Through a Website Facilitating the Purchase and Sale of Consumer Goods
Maria Dupal Augustin Dupal
BusinessFocus July / Aug
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