Page 1

Issue No. 77

www.stluciafocus.com www.stluciafocus.com

Sept/OCT 2014


Automotive Art offers the best value on the island for all your individual and fleet tyre needs. We sell only new, safe, and durable tyres suited for the conditions of St. Lucia’s roads. • Attractive negotiable rates for corporate fleets • Year round specials on a range of tyres with our Automotive Art Smart Card for individuals

Automotive Art

• Free consultation. Free installation and balancing. Free vehicle 12-point inspection. • Enjoy complimentary beverages and wifi while you wait in our air-conditioned customer lounge. No other tyre dealer offers more value for less money

Vide Boutielle, Castries • Tel: (758) 453-6444 Mon to Fri 8am to 5pm • Sat 9am to 1pm New Dock Road, Vieux fort • Tel: (758) 454-8290 Mon to Fri 8am - 4pm • Sat 8am - 12noon

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

1


DIGICEL ONLINE BACK UP

Back up your data automatically online

Organisations store enormous amounts of data. However, many organisations and users do not back up their data on a regular basis because they don’t have the time, back up processes are too time consuming, or they simply forget to do so. The ramifications of a major data loss are so great that most companies that have the misfortune to experience it, don’t survive for more than six months afterwards. Business data is only as good as the back up system that is in place. That’s why it’s so critical to have a modern and dependable system in place to safeguard valuable business information. With Digicel Online Back Up, you can preserve and restore all of your files in a secure, offsite environment without a major capital investment. We even manage the setup and the maintenance for you, so you can concentrate on your business. Our Online Back Up solution offers the crucial protection you need to ensure the continuity of your business. Don’t leave your most valuable business assets vulnerable for another day. Why Digicel Online Back up Cost-effective with pay-as-you-go structure Ease of use Optimal business continuity Elimination of human error Scalability Largest private cloud in the region Data stored to Digicel’s Tier III data centre certified by the UpTime Institute 24/7 helpdesk provides continuous support

To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact Digicel Business at 1 758 724 6001 or digicelbusinessslu@digicelgroup.com Complete solutions for your needs BusinessFocus Sept / Oct WWW.DIGICELBUSINESS.COM

|

2


No. 77

BF

Sept / Oct 2014

CONTENTS FEATURE

33. M&C Group Celebrating 150 Years 80

08

Rotary Calabasher's Mini Feature

REGULARS 04.

Editor’s Focus

06.

Business Briefs

Business Tech 12. Dropbox for Business Beefs Up

Storage and Administrative Control

14. LIME Pushes for Deeper Broadband Penetration

16. Microsoft Calls End to

Android Nokia X Smartphones

20. Assessing Online Advertising

Opportunities Using Alexa.com to Uncover the Truth

Money Matters 22. BRICS Bank Established 24. Brand on the Brain 26. “OECS Needs Injection of ‘Serious Hard’ Cash

56. Book Reviews 58. Business Spotlight

Digicel Junes Catering Services St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Ltd.

Economy & Trade Focus 64. 15 St. Lucian Firms Benefit from Direct Assistance Grant Scheme 69. S&P: Wealth Gap Is Slowing US Economic Growth

34 Environmental Focus 70. CARICOM and the German Government Team up to Find Solutions to Climate Change 72. World’s Largest Wind-Solar Hybrid Installation Unveiled In Jamaica

22

Youth in Focus 76. Montserrat Teen Becomes Youngest Caribbean Entrepreneur and Author 78. Raising the Bar: A Conversation With One of St. Lucia's Top CSEC Performers for 2014

64

In The Know 86. Physical Security in a Sea Side Setting 88. Dr. Kenny Anthony Addresses Investment Summit in Miami 92. When “I’m Sorry” isn’t Enough Tourism Focus 97. Sandals Resorts Invests in Educational Development of Employees 99.

Health & Wealth

101. Events 2012 102. Major Moves

88

104. New Company Registrations BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

3


Sound Investments, Longevity and Success In difficult economic times all sectors of our economy face many challenges. Our Government and Private Sector do not have the resources to move us forward and this requires the input of foreign capital by friendly nations, international financial institutions and private investors. Countries the world over are competing for foreign investments including our Caribbean neighbours and we are pleased our Government is making the changes to create the necessary conditions to make our economy attractive for both foreign and local investment. The recent changes and concessions being offered by our Government has seen our Prime Minister travelling the world to source funds and projects as investments in St Lucia.

Lokesh Singh Publisher/Managing Editor

A healthy and buoyant economy will stimulate further investments by our citizens and private sector. Once managed well we can celebrate the success and longevity of our investments despite turbulent economic times. In this issue we celebrate the Minvielle & Chastanet Group as they celebrate 150 Years of Business Operations. This Group is testimony to all the possibilities during their existence. They have proved that despite all of the challenges and changes they have persevered and grown through sound investments. With prudent management they are guaranteed to survive and thrive for many more years. We at AMS and all of St Lucia salute this bastion of our private sector which would have touched the lives of all citizens in the conduct of their business. We also celebrate the Rotary Calabashers as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary. This group has evolved out of the social and humanitarian efforts executed by the Rotary Club of St Lucia and has continued to excite and entertain with their many well organised and presented concerts over the years raising significant funds in support of the charitable work done by Rotary in our communities. We also salute the efforts of our students and their success at the recent CXC Exams and have shared the story of our Best Performing Student in our Youth in Focus section. We hope that his story to date and his vision for the future will motivate many others. We also feature the story of the region’s youngest entrepreneur. His story shows that getting into business from early can also be advantageous with the right attitude and support. The success of our country and the next generation cannot be understated and we hope that these and the many other stories will be motivating for many more success stories in the future. We trust that you will enjoying these and all of the other interesting content in this Issue as we all move forward with our mission of longevity and success in our business endeavours. Happy Reading! BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh lokesh@amsstlucia.com Editorial Assistant Charmaine Joseph charmaine@amsstlucia.com Graphic Designer: Cecil Sylvester Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - cennette@amsstlucia.com Hudson Myers - hudson@amsstlucia.com Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Ashley Anzie | Cecil Sylvester | M&C Group Contributors: American Psychological Association | Caribbean360 Charmaine Joseph | Antigua Observer Bevil Wooding | Brian Ramsey | Dr Chris Bart Sanovnik Destang | Dr Harvey Millar Dr Keith Lequay | Dr Algernon Felice | Fern Smith Government of St Lucia | Jamaica Observer M&C Group of Companie | Kezia Preville Lyndell Halliday | Pilaiye Cenac Jamaica Observer | Antigua Observer Trinidad Guardian | Trinidad Express First Citizens Investment Services Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email: ams@candw.lc 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. 77

On The Cover:

M&C Group Celebrating Their 150 Anniversary www.s tluciaf www.stlu

ocus.c ciafocus. com om

|

4

Sept/OCT 2014


BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

5


BUSINESS BRIEFS

OECS Heads Look Towards a Ferry Service in Hopes of Solving the Continuing Problems of Inter-Island Travel Heads of government of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are seriously considering a fast ferry service that will serve all nine member states of the grouping. During a meeting of the 59th OECS Authority in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Chairman of the group, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, told a press conference that a ferry service was discussed extensively. “Heads of government have instructed that a study be done on the most energy efficient and cost effective modality for fast ferry service including the involvement of the private sector,” Skerrit said. He stated that the issue of transportation is a major challenge for the OECS. “We all hear and speak about the issues relating to LIAT and regional travel, the transportation of agricultural produce among countries and between countries is something that continues to occupy the minds of all of us,” he noted. “And today we discussed this extensively and that decision was taken to continue exploring the issue of a fast ferry for the OECS.” Skerrit described the meeting as successful and also pointed out that the OECS is considering the trimming down of the expenses of its operation. “The Heads of Government welcomed the initiatives presented to enhance the efficiency in and reduce the cost of operation of the commission,” he stated. “As you know we all live in challenging and difficult times fiscally, and whatever measure we can take both at the local level and regional level to reduce on expenditure, Heads are committed to doing so.” He said a more detailed analysis on the matter is to be conducted and submitted to the meeting of the Authority scheduled for November 2014. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

6

Government Negotiating Team Members Announced Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, recently revealed the list of members comprising the Government Negotiating Team (GNT). The members of the GNT committee include: Chairman Chester Hinkson, Director of Finance Francis Fontenelle, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Development Tracy Polius, Permanent Secretary in the Public Service MinistryPhillip Dalsou and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Eustace Monrose. The Prime Minister has said that he want negotiations to start as quickly as possible. He therefore promised to address whatever problem is causing the delay and that he will meet shortly with the chairman of the GNT to have the issues discussed and rectified. The Public Service Ministry is currently preparing a schedule to include all public sector unions to start discussions regarding the proposed wage cut through the GNT, a senior government official has said. These discussions are likely to commence within one week’s time, the source added. Discussions are expected to last two weeks after the commencement of negotiations. The government has proposed a five per cent wage cut which most majority of public sector unions have rejected. ¤

Tourist Arrivals up by 6% Tourist arrivals to St Lucia rose by 6 percent in the first half of 2014, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The island received 176,017 stopover arrivals in the first half, a 6 percent improvement over the same period in 2013. The island’s success was buoyed by a strong winter tourist season that saw a 6.7 percent improvement in visitor arrivals over the previous year. In the summer season, the country has seen a 4.3 percent increase so far. Last year, St Lucia broke its tourist arrivals record, bringing in over 315,000

visitors, the second consecutive year in which the country broke the record. ¤

Increase in Cruise Ship Arrivals Expected for Upcoming Cruise Season Port Authority officials in St Lucia are reporting that they are poised to welcome over 685,000 cruise passengers and over 375 cruise ships for the upcoming 2014/2015 Cruise Season, which is an increase from the previous year. Dona Regis, SLASPA’s Director of Marketing and Product Development says over the years, there has been a slight dip in numbers, but the upcoming season seems to be better than previous. "A number of cruise lines are returning including Carnival cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Windstar and MSC cruise lines which has contributed to the increase in numbers this season. Back on the itinerary this year after over an eight-year hiatus, is Disney Cruise lines, which will be making approximately five calls to the island for 2014/2015. "St Lucia has become one of the best performing cruise destinations in the Caribbean and this is no accident. "The port is located in Castries where there is an eclectic mix of traditional charm and modern day conveniences including Duty Free shopping at La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine Duty Free Shopping Malls. "We continue to work with our industry partners to ensure that passengers and crew receive the warmest welcome at Port Castries and continuously promote Port Castries and Saint Lucia as the ideal cruise destination," Regis stated. For the past two years, Port Castries has been ranked in the top 50 ports by the Global Cruise Market Magazine.

CARICOM Moves to Harmonize Business Rules in CSME The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has started work towards creating a harmonized framework within which


BUSINESS BRIEFS

companies and other businesses can be established and operate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). 
 CARICOM heads gave this mandate to ensure that the rules for establishing and operating businesses in one country apply throughout the CSME. The consultant BKP Development Research and Consulting, in consortium with AESA, has been awarded the contract to strengthen the CSME regulatory and market regimes. The two-year consultancy started last month, July 2014, with funding through the 10th European Development Fund and is expected to be complete by July 2016. There are four result areas within the project. In addition to the single jurisdiction, the project will also strengthen the framework for regulating competition, strengthen consumer protection and create the structure for companies from startup to bankruptcy. It is expected that systems and practices for business complaints administration and determination of competition disputes will be put in place through the training of staff of national competition authorities. A number of deliverables will also focus on enhancing consumer protection within the CSME. ¤

Argentina Names its First Ambassador to the OECS & St Lucia

Ambassador Luis Beltran Martinez Thomas, who presented his credentials to OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules last week, will be the first resident representative of Argentina in St Lucia. Argentina and the OECS established diplomatic ties about a year and a half ago, a relationship which has now seen the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on South-South and Triangular Cooperation and the establishment of an Argentine embassy in St Lucia.

The new envoy said Argentina had decided to “broaden and deepen its relations with Caribbean countries bilaterally and multilaterally,” recently tripling its number of resident embassies in the CARICOM region. He said the establishment of a resident embassy in Castries would “not only encourage diplomatic relations between Argentina and Saint Lucia, but will deepen the partnership with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States as well, especially in areas of mutual interest for our societies.” ¤

St Lucian to be Conferred Honorary Doctorate at the UWI Open Campus’s 2014 Graduation Ceremony

The 2014 graduation ceremonies at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will see the conferral of 20 honorary degrees: four at the Cave Hill Campus, six at the Mona Campus, two at the Open Campus, and eight at the St. Augustine Campus. The awardees will receive honorary doctorates in recognition of their stellar contributions to Caribbean development including St Lucian native, Dr Earl Long, a distinguished parasitologist. In 1990, Dr Earl Long published the first description of the tropical intestinal parasite, Cyclospora cayetanensis and documented its diagnostic characteristics. A native of St Lucia, he developed systems for disease diagnosis in three developing countries – Vietnam, Congo and Malaysia, and these systems were adopted in 14 other countries. Dr Long is an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and a Technical Advisor to the US Agency for International Development. In 1990, he published the first description and diagnosis characteristics of a pathogenic specimen from an AIDS patient suffering from diarrhoea that would later become known as Cyclospora cayetanensis. While in the Congo, Dr Long conducted research on malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and gastroenterology, working under conditions in which there was no cable-transmitted electricity. With the help of an engineer, he designed the battery-powered

“E.A.R.L light” – the External Autonomous Repositionable Lightweight Light, which became a valuable resource for field use. In 1996, Dr Long established collaborative research and training activities between the University of the West Indies School of Medicine, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). He left the CDC in 2004. Dr Long currently works at the Division of Parasitic Diseases in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), where he conducts training activities and research on parasitic and other infectious diseases. He is also a dedicated author of fiction, who counts West Indian authors like Vidya Naipaul and Derek Walcott as his inspirations. He has written four novels set in the West Indies: Consolation, Voices from a Drum, Leaves in a River and Slicer. The conferment of the honorary doctorate will take place at the Open Campus’s yearly graduation ceremony held in November of this year. ¤

PHOENIX AIRLINES Takes to the Skies New Caribbean Airline Based in St Kitts Emerges Air travel within the Caribbean region has been given a boost with a new regional carrier. Phoenix Airways recently launched in St. Kitts and will also serve the islands of Aruba, Barbados, Antigua, Nevis, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Tortola and Santo Domingo. Additional operations to St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico will begin in October 2014, officials said while international flight from the Caribbean to Miami and New York are slated to being in January 2015. Flights from St. Kitts to St. Croix will begin from the 1st October, 2014 and to San Juan, Puerto Rico from 1st September, 2014. Flights can be booked online at www.flyphoenixair.com or via telephone toll free: 1-800-744-2014 or 1-869-465-2014. Phoenix Airways executives say they have has a fleet of four aircrafts that include a King Air (89) seats, a Beech 1900 (19 seats), an Embraer 120ER (30 seats) and a Boeing 737 (141 seats). Phoenix Airways adds to regional airline service now provided by LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, interCaribbean Airways and Caribbean Airlines. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

7


The 3 “C’s” That Make a GREAT Corporate Director

I

t’s not easy being a good corporate director these days. Sure the perks and prestige are still there. But the amount of Regulations, Responsibilities and Risks directors face are also at an all-time high and represent real ‘spoilers’ in what used to be a fun job. As a result, the word is out that you should NOT consider becoming a director unless you are prepared to accept the challenges that now come with the position. So what does it take to be – or become – not just a good director, but a great one? Having met over 2000 directors in the 10 years since I founded The Directors College of Canada, I have come to the view that there are three essential qualifications – or tests – that all directors must meet if they are to properly do their job as ‘governors’ or ‘uber supervisors’ of their organisations and especially their most senior manager, the CEO. I call them the 3C’s of great governance.

‘C’ #1: Competence. To be sure, all

Directors intuitively know that they need to understand: the business model of the organisations on whose boards they sit; the complexity and intricacies of the industries in which their companies compete; and, the stakeholders upon whose support their organisations depend

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

8

for sustainability and growth. That’s tough enough. BUT, Directors today also need to know what they should be doing as board members and how their job is different from Management. They especially need to know how to effectively execute the basic ‘fundamentals’ associated with their position as ‘directors.’ These fundamentals include: their two major roles (as organisational ‘stewards’ and ‘sounding boards’ for Management’s ideas); their 5 major responsibilities (for CEO supervision; strategy setting; establishing their organisation’s risk appetite and risk tolerance; assuring financial statement reporting integrity; and legal compliance); and their 3 legal duties (i.e. fiduciary duty, duty of care and duty of loyalty). These fundamentals are distinct to the job of being a director. However, acquiring the competence needed to effectively execute them, does not come naturally to most board members since they typically only come to their boards as ‘trained managers’ and not as ‘trained directors.’ It therefore would help today’s board members a LOT if they were to register in some sort of formal director education programme which covers the new basics of their job (See, for example, the CGTI

Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognised governance a u t h o r i t y, 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 programme offered one night per week over six weeks and a major conference on Governance of the Family Owned Caribbean Enterprise is being planned for Dec 1 and 2. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute. com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500


‘Governance Fundamentals Programme’ which was launched in the Caribbean this past February to rave reviews!). Such programmes help diligent directors better understand their job and, most importantly, give them the confidence needed to perform their essential roles and responsibilities, especially in the face of sometimes considerable resistance – whether that resistance comes from management or from their fellow board members! Accordingly, director education is an essential qualification for anyone interested in becoming not just a good, but a really great, corporate director. It just might be the ticket that keeps you from being sued!

‘C’ #2: Curiosity. As the ultimate overseer of their organisation’s activities, one of the board’s most important functions is to review and evaluate the quality of the decisions and recommendations brought to them for approval by the CEO. Such decisions/recommendations should generally only be the REALLY BIG ONES which are typically referred to as the ‘strategic’ or ‘major capital spending’ decisions. In contrast, the ‘operating,’ ‘tactical’ or ‘day-to-day’ decisions and activities are usually left totally up to management. After all, that’s what they’re paid to do. So how should a group of directors go about determining the quality and soundness of management’s thinking on the big recommendations put forward by management for them to approve – or not? The way to do this is by performing their #1 behaviour…that is, by asking questions. The goal of this inquisitiveness is a simple one: to gain reasonable assurance that what management is proposing is actually plausible…that it really ‘makes sense’ in the current circumstances in which the organisation finds itself and that the directors cannot identify any risk, threat, weakness or superior alternative which would cause them to reject what management has put in front of them. Interestingly, in the past, boards have been criticised for being asleep at the switch, and for not providing sufficient diligent (i.e., careful) oversight of management’s activities by sufficiently probing management’s recommendations and proposals. Even more amazing, however, is that when quizzed about this, long serving and experienced directors have actually confessed privately to me that their reasons for this is that they did not know what questions to ask….moreover, they were afraid of asking a dumb question.

To counteract this fear, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has produced a series of monographs under the banner ‘20 Questions Should Ask.’ Each monograph provides a list of 20 questions related to an area where directors need to give diligent oversight – e.g., strategy, risk, crisis, internal audit, etc. I’ve written the one on the role of the Board in STRATEGY. See: http://corporatemissionsinc.com/20_ questions_directors_should_ask_about_ strategy But even without the help of the monographs, let me say for the record: where board oversight is concerned, there is no such thing as a dumb question, except one…which is, the question for which the answer was in your board pre-reading package. That’s THE dumb question for sure because it shows everyone in the boardroom that you did not diligently prepare for the meeting. Other than that, all questions from directors are fair game. And if you really do diligently prepare by reading all of the advance material, it should be IMPOSSIBLE for you to NOT have some questions about what management has written – even if it’s simply to seek clarification about some of the terms and phrases contained in the documents. So at your next board meeting, LET THE QUESTIONS BEGIN!...hopefully they will confirm the wisdom of management’s recommendations or just maybe even save the company from disaster!

‘C’ #3: Courage. Apart from the fear of asking dumb questions, there is yet another even more insidious fear that often paralyses directors and holds them back from doing their job, asking the tough questions and challenging the views of both management and their fellow directors. That fear concerns being ostracised at board meetings and social events (“Sorry we forgot to invite you to the dinner at the Chair’s beach house in Italy, Fred!”) or worse, not being asked to stand for re-election when a director is seen as ‘rocking the boat’ – especially the status quo or cultural ‘pecking order.’

Boards are social organisations in which a high level of collegiality – even camaraderie – is often seen as a hallmark of a good board. But such practices also have a dark side leading to ‘group think’ and ‘sycophantry.’ Good directors therefore need to be on guard against them and choose instead to be courageous, doing their job even in the face of possible negative consequences. Indeed, the job of being a director should not be so important to one’s own selfworth and social standing that a director

is prepared to compromise his/her own character and personal ethics just to keep the job or impress friends at the country club. Unfortunately, higher director’s fees only makes matters worse, increasing the pressure on directors to keep their mouths shut (and just keep cashing the cheques). After all, who wants to lose a part-time job that might pay up to $100,000 and where the work is not just pretty light but also extremely interesting. Nevertheless, a good director has to have the personal courage, character and conviction to ask the really tough questions (e.g. “When are we going to see some of the performance benefits promised in the strategic plan?” Why do we need to pay the CEO so much in the face of lackluster performance?” Why is there not a CEO or Board Chair succession plan in place?” “Why are there not more women and minorities represented on the Board?” “Why do we not have director evaluations that mean anything?”) and to not back down in the face of directors and managers who may feel uncomfortable with them. The key, however, is that intellectual conflict should not mean interpersonal conflict. The questions must therefore be asked in an ‘inoffensively contentious manner and tone of voice’ that does not promote domineering self-aggrandisement or cruelly demean others. When done in this manner, I have found that asking the tough questions are more often appreciated and admired than castigated and criticised. Moreover, oftentimes the questions are the ones that everyone else in the room has been waiting and wanting to be asked but lacked the courage to do so. To be sure there is an art and skill to doing this. But it is a skill worth acquiring and practicing in the boardroom. In conclusion, the way to build better boards is by having better directors. So here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: to what extent does your board have the competence, curiosity and courage required to give effective oversight of your organisation and its management? 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 programmes currently available in the region – like the one currently being offered by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

9


Technology Matters Towards A Single Caribbean ICT Space Political Will Not Technology Needed for Success

I

n the face of the mounting economic and social challenges, the Caribbean urgently needs to tap into new sources of growth. Across the region, the search is on for areas that will create new job opportunities, improve its competitiveness and drive innovation. Creation of a Single ICT Space in CARICOM is expected to provide tremendous benefits, if the region can muster the collective strength to make it a reality.

Cautious Optimism Bevil Wooding is the Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation, an international technology education non-profit organization. Reach him on Twitter @bevilwooding or on facebook.com/bevilwooding or contact via email at technologymatters@ brightpathfoundation.org.

On the global stage, strategic use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is widely acknowledged as a critical pillar for sustainable and inclusive growth. However, the Caribbean lacks a genuine single market for electronic communications. Seeking to address this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government recently announced plans to establish a CARICOM Single ICT Space. There is little debate over the need for such an initiative. The world is moving increasingly towards an Internet-based economy, directly affecting everything from traditional service sectors such as tourism, agriculture and finance to new

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

10

sectors such as online retail, and software development. If ever there was a time to use ICT to breath fresh life into the region’s economies, it is now. Yet the news of CARICOM’s plans was met with at best, cautious optimism, and in some cases outright cynicism. This is not surprising. The regional body has a notoriously poor implementation track record. And the challenges of implementing a Single ICT Space are similar to the challenges that hinder several other well-intentioned regional initiatives.

Missing Opportunities CARICOM is fragmented into distinct national markets, many with limited competition, aging infrastructure, outdated regulatory policy and high barriers to entry for new players. Consequently, the region is missing out on many of the opportunities of the digital age. In an article in the Barbados Nation, the Secretary General of CARICOM stated, “Despite the much reported benefits of ICT, its development and adoption by developing countries, such as ours, have so far been limited. Reasons for this include lack of awareness of what ICT can offer, insufficient telecommunications


infrastructure and Internet connectivity, expensive Internet access, absence of adequate legal and regulatory frameworks, shortage of requisite human capacity, failure to use local language and content, and lack of entrepreneurship and a business culture open to change.” The Secretary identified the benefits of the Single ICT space to the region, stating, “The establishment of a Single ICT Space brings to the fore real benefits for consumers and businesses in our Community. The objective is to fully establish modern regional regulatory and open telecommunications infrastructures with affordable networks using converged technologies, to provide affordable and universal access. This would positively affect such issues as roaming rates, provide for a single area code as well as address copyright, spectrum and broadband matters. Just as important as that single space is the development of a human resource capacity in the sector. This is fundamental as we seek to build a digital culture across the Community and increase the value and volume of the region’s trained ICT workforce that can create, develop and use ICT to improve lifestyle and economic value. Promoting such initiatives would also foster innovation and increase our competitiveness, both of which are essential in achieving our goal of sustainable economic growth and development.”

Confidence Lacking Unfortunately, the noble objectives articulated by the CARICOM Secretary General are already undermined by some glaring omissions: Firstly, the absence of an unanimous, unequivocal statement of commitment and support for an accelerated implementation by member governments; secondly, the absence of any evidence that there has been profound consideration of the implementation requirements; thirdly, the absence of a detailed execution strategy and resourcing plan.

The first priority in designing a CARICOM Single ICT Space is to devote attention and resource toward removing the barriers that hinder implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. This is an inescapable prerequisite to realizing the promise and potential of ICT at a regional level. Moving from lofty statement of intent to actual creation of a single, seamless ICT space will be a test of political will and resolve across the region. Ultimately, leadership, not technology will be key to making the dream of a CARICOM Single ICT Space a reality.

BENEFITS OF THE SINGLE ICT SPACE

Based on the “Working Document for the Forty-Eighth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) - Information and Communication Technologies”, it seems CARICOM is still very much in the preliminary stages of figuring out what exactly the Single ICT Space means for the region. Confidence to execute also seems to be lacking as the working document outlines its objectives in optional, nonobligatory terms. For example, in describing the delivery of telecommunications services across the CARICOM Region, the document states, “operators need harmonised access to basic ‘inputs’ like fixed networks or spectrum. In particular this could involve more coordination of spectrum assignment for mobile/wireless services, in particular to align timing and specific authorisation conditions, so operators can more easily organise cross-regional activities;” Such soft language places no pressure on member states to act or to comply. This is unlikely to instill confidence within the private sector. It is also unlikely to capture the interest and win the support of the Caribbean citizenry it is intending to benefit.

Test of Leadership The case for a CARICOM Single ICT Space is strong, however, it must be communicated with conviction, and supported by tangible, decisive action if it is to succeed. The boldness to act must be rooted in an understanding of what is at stake. The economic benefits of investment in the creation of the Single ICT Space must be quantified. Likewise, the consequence of inaction and the implications for Caribbean economic growth and longterm competitiveness must also be defined. Additionally, for a truly seamless space, every member states must be on board. This should necessarily include clear statements on the outright abolition of roaming rates within CARICOM; spectrum assignment coordinated at the region level; mobile and fixed broadband deployment; consumer rights and intellectual property protection harmonized across the region; and simpler, standardized rules across CARICOM to enable companies to invest more and cross borders with their service offerings. Making this all come to pass point to one fundamental reality - there will be no Single ICT Space without first a commitment to a single Caribbean space.

For citizens and businesses more competition will boost innovation, choice and quality of service. With more economies of scale, dynamism and innovation, the CARICOM telecoms sector would be more able to compete globally and to provide new affordable superfast services. A single telecoms market would have significant benefits for the wider economy, including industries in sectors such as automotive and health, for example, which rely on ICT inputs for production, for logistics and distribution, and for their products themselves. Operators would have the ability and incentive to invest in, develop and operate their networks. SOURCE: Working Document for the FortyEighth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) - Information and Communication Technologies - St. George’s, Grenada, 14-17 January 2014 ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

11


BUSINESSTECH TECH BUSINESS

Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Storage and Administrative Control

D

ropbox will continue beefing up the business version of its cloud storage and file sharing service, adding security features to shared links, full-text search capabilities and new tools for enterprise developers. Dropbox, which has about 300 million end users, is immensely popular among consumers, but is now trying to elbow its way into the fiercely competitive enterprise market for cloud storage, file sync and sharing services. “We’re taking the simplicity and ease of use of our core product and marrying it with IT admin controls in Dropbox for Business,” said Ilya Fushman, Head of Product for Dropbox for Business. For Dropbox content shared via links, it will now be possible for users to require a password for access to the content and set an expiration date for the link. This feature can now be turned on by Dropbox admins for their end users. In the coming months, Dropbox for Business will also gain a fulltext search engine, an upgrade over the current search feature that is limited to querying file names.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

12

Dropbox is also extending its improved Microsoft Office document preview capabilities to its Android application, so that users can check out a file without necessarily downloading it. For developers, Dropbox is releasing two new APIs (application programming interfaces). The Shared Folder API makes the core functions of shared folders available to third-party apps and tools. Meanwhile, the Document Preview API lets developers embed this feature into their applications. About 80,000 businesses pay for Dropbox for Business, which costs $15 per user/ month, for a minimum of 5 users, and features unlimited storage capacity. It came out of its beta testing period in April. The company declined to say how many people use Dropbox for Business. Other Dropbox for Business IT administration controls include the ability to remotely wipe Dropbox files from employee devices, to track how and with whom users share files via audit logs, and to transfer control of employee accounts.

Dropbox’s main competitors are Microsoft and Google, which offer their respective cloud storage and file share services— along with suites of productivity and collaboration apps—to both consumers and businesses, and Box, which focuses on the workplace market. All three are locked in a manic race to lower prices and increase storage capacity. Microsoft recently announced its plan to more than double to 15GB the storage capacity in the free, stand-alone OneDrive service for consumers, while also slashing the cost of additional storage. Meanwhile, with a free Google account, people get 15GB of storage for files in Drive, Gmail messages and Google+ photos, and can purchase 100GB of additional storage for $1.99 per month. Other Dropbox rivals in the enterprise space include IBM, YouSendIt, Citrix, Accellion, Egnyte and WatchDox. ¤ Source: PCWorld


LIME ANNOUNCES MAJOR NETWORK UPGRADE INVESTMENT

Company to inject US$13 million into LIME St Lucia

M

artin Roos, CEO LIME Caribbean (centre) met with Sen. Hon. Dr. James Fletcher (right), Minister for Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology while on a visit to the island LIME, one of the Caribbean’s biggest investors and employers has continued its network upgrade investment thrust across the region under a major US$1.05b capital investment programme, called Project Marlin. In Saint Lucia the company will be investing US$13m to upgrade its network and deliver a slew of other services. LIME will invest US$13m this year in network upgrade in addition to its commitments to its many sponsorships and community development programmes. Approximately US$5m is earmarked for investment in Broadband upgrade to provide higher speeds to Quantum

Broadband. Another US$4.9m will be invested to expand mobile HSPA+/4G services islandwide giving coverage to the entire island. In addition, there will be a US$1.8m investment allocated to improve the landline network and upgrade to ‘greener technology’ like energy saving power systems. LIME has also committed some US$0.5m to improve resiliency of the network system to the south of the island. This would minimise outages and facilitate quicker restoration during times of natural disaster. LIME Caribbean CEO Martin Roos, who is visiting Saint Lucia, said, “We are excited about our upgrade plans in Saint Lucia. We share the Government of Saint Lucia’s vision – to deliver greater broadband penetration and speeds. We are committed to delivering the best networks and the best customer service to everyone in Saint Lucia.”

In addition to this significant investment, LIME has been a major contributor in community development and sponsorship activities in Saint Lucia over the years. In the area of education, LIME’s contribution to national development include more than ten years of the LIME scholarship fund; free Internet access to primary schools and the full suite of free residential services to children’s homes and senior citizen’s homes. In the area of sports, LIME has supported Saint Lucia’s Sportswoman of the Year, and multiple award-winning High Jumper Levern Spencer, since 2007. LIME also sponsors the annual Blackheart Football Tournament, the biggest annual sporting showcase in Saint Lucia. In the area of culture the company is a major sponsor of the world-renowned Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival and over two decades plus additional commitment to the popular Saint Lucia Carnival. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

13


BUSINESSTECH TECH BUSINESS

LIME Pushes for Deeper Broadband Penetration Region's Telecoms Providers, Ministers Fail to Agree on VOIP Issue

L

IME says it wants to see deeper broadband penetration in the Caribbean. CEO of LIME Caribbean, Martin Roos, reckons that greater consumption of data service will lead to increased indigenous regional content, which can be exported to the rest of the world. "The Caribbean is behind in relation to smartphone penetration and usage," said the CEO of LIME Caribbean. "You must be able to consume in order to create. "Together we must enable entrepreneurs to tap into this global ecosystem." These remarks were made to representatives of governments in the region, and LIME's competition across the telecommucations markets, at his address to the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations' (CANTO). The CANTO Ministerial Breakfast is a flagship event on the calendar of the annual conference which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary under the theme, “Strategic Alliances for Sustainable Broadband Development.” BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

14

More specifically, Roos suggested that governments remove taxes and import duties on smartphone devices as part of their market liberalisation programme to better facilitate content creation and entrepreneurship, especially among young people. He believes that mobile data will increase by a factor of 10 over the next five years, and appealed for urgency in regional action so that the Caribbean is not left behind. LIME is currently undertaking a US$1.05-billion investment in its telecommunications network across the Caribbean. In a later roundtable discussion at CANTO, Caribbean telecommunication ministers and service providers failed to agree on how best to deal with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) platforms such as Viber, with the providers complaining that they were losing a significant amount of money due to illegal practices. The providers, such as Jamaica's Digicel, say VOIPs users use their data resources without paying and in some markets, access to these VOIP through cellular

data has been blocked. Digicel Group Board Director, Patrick James Mara told a roundtable discussion on strategic alliances for sustainable broadband development that "illegal' voice bi-pass service avoid paying taxes and licenses fees that other providers must pay. "Put simply, this is an unsustainable situation, one that a number of industry players have been trying to address for some time now, and one that no one has been able to successfully overcome, and one that we are tackling head on," Mara said. "Not only are we happy to take it head on, but a number of operators in the region will be tackling this issue in the coming months, because this is not something that can be sustained," he told the gathering. He compared the situation to drilling an oil well, "and some hobo came along and say I am going to pipe into this tank, take your oil, pay you no money, because I have got customers that I want to sell that oil". ¤


He said the situation results in a significant loss of revenue for telecommunications providers, and by extension the government of countries where they operate. Officials estimate that the losses are in the vicinity of US$500 million indicating that Caribbean governments stand to lose as much as US$150 million in the near future. St Lucia's Science and Technology, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr James Fletcher, added that telecommunications providers are being affected in much the same way as stores in Castries given the fact that more St. Lucians are shopping online and taking advantage of the country's duty free barrels provision at Christmas. "Unfortunately, VOIP has done the same thing for the service providers. There is a demand there that is not being met. And, like my colleague from Jamaica, I would be a lot happier if it were a Caribbean VOIP solution. But the solution cannot be to get rid of VOIP, because there is a very significant demand that these people are providing," he said. Dr Fletcher added that in the same way that Ministries of Agriculture across the Caribbean encourage persons to buy local produce, there must be a local solution to the VOIP issue. "...People are not just using those VOIPS for frivolous matters. They are using them to communicate with family members who before they could not communicate with; businesses are using them," Fletcher said, and called on stakeholders to "agree on a way in which we can come up with an option that works for all concerned". He said Caribbean nationals want to be able to call their relatives overseas and not pay an arm and a leg, to the point that they have to schedule these calls once every two months. "That (cheap/free frequent calls) is what they are used to. So, to tell them that they cannot use Skype, Vonage and Magic Jack and not provide them with an alternative is really asking a government, which is made up of politicians, who every five years have to face an electorate for re-election, to commit suicide. It does not make any sense," Fletcher concluded. 造 BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

15


BUSINESS TECH

Microsoft Calls End to Android Nokia X Smartphones

M

icrosoft is to stop developing Android-powered smartphones beyond those already available, the company recently announced. Nokia X models will now become part of the Lumia range and run the Windows Phone operating system, although existing Android handsets will continue to be supported. The move comes as Microsoft announced 18,000 job cuts across its workforce - the biggest round of job cuts in the company's 39-year history. In Mid- July the technology giant Microsoft reported a 7% fall in profit during the second quarter. The company said profit during the March to June period was $4.6bn (£2.7bn), compared with $4.97bn during the same period last year. Microsoft said its Nokia division, which it acquired in April, lost $692m.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

16

The tech firm acquired Nokia’s handset division earlier this year. Nokia unveiled its first family of Android phones at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona in February. The release of the smartphones, which were priced at the lower end of the market, was described as a “perplexing strategic move” at the time, given that Microsoft had its own mobile operating system, Windows Phone. In an email to employees on Thursday, Stephen Elop, Microsoft’s Executive in Charge of mobile devices, announced that Android handsets were being phased out. “In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest-growing segments

of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.” Microsoft had hoped the Nokia X would appeal to customers in emerging markets and this move is designed to drive sales of Microsoft’s Lumia range, which has lagged behind handsets from competitors such as Apple and Samsung. ¤ Source: BBC News


"For all your Building and Engineering Support Needs" P.O. Box CHOC 8327 Castries, St. Lucia Tel: (758) 450-4396 • Cell: (758) 728-9706/728-9707 E-mail: btsmslu@gmail.com

D

riven by over 50 years of combined experience, BTSM is a St Lucian run and operated company that provides support, design, installation and maintenance services to companies and the buildings within which they operate. Of our achievements, BTSM founders boasts of their 17 year relationship with ECFH Group where they have efficiently and professionally provided services and support for the Group's six-storey Financial Centre Building in Castries. BTSM is now proud to offer this same high level of facility management and solution to the rest of the business community across St Lucia and the OECS. What makes BTSM unique is our ability to obtain and address multiple services through a single point of contact, making it easy for the customer to outsource these functions without administrative headaches. Essentially we provide any combination of services on a local and regional basis for support, design, installation and service maintenance for all building and business support systems.

These services include:

solution from one of our competitors may in the long run cost more money than doing it the right way. The company employs skilled, hardworking, competent and professional people. BTSM meets and exceeds legal, union and staff demands for safe working conditions and career mobility.

Electrical & Lighting • Energy Solutions • Integrated Facility Solutions • HVAC & Mechanical • Electrical Testing, Energy Audits • Facilities & Systems • Plumbing and Reserve Water and Treatment Systems • Uninterruptible Power Supply Units (UPS) • Prime & Standby Generators • Transient Voltage Surge Suppression (TVSS) Surge Protection Devices and Lightning Protection Solutions • Landscaping

Our ethos for doing business center around: •

BTSM also offers facility system design, installation and upgrades, plus tailored security systems with service maintenance for home and business; CCTV and Automatic Gate Systems are just a few of the services they offer to clients. With a commitment to a high standard of work, BTSM pledges to remain competitive and never to enter into a bidding war if it means selling out on their values. Finding a cheaper, short-term

A needs-based approach. Clients come to us for lasting and reliable facility management solutions. We provide a needsbased approach to delivering services by building a business on listening to our clients. Company values. Our relationship with clients is built on respect, integrity and collaboration. We seek innovation and are dedicated to excellence. Innovation. We make every effort to not only lead, but to transform the industry through our knowledge, integrity, professionalism and technology, so that we can expertly handle anything you ask of us. Value-added relationships. We conduct business in a way that instills a sense of confidence in our clients. Beyond BTSM’s service competence; we provide a sense of security. You will know you choose wisely when you choose BTSM. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

17


BUSINESS TECH

A Family Scorecard: Bringing the Balanced Scorecard Home

I

got up this morning and felt a little chill in the Halifax air… A cool 13 degrees Celsius was that unwanted signal that summer was racing to an end. It was the 14th of August, my much-anticipated sunrise was taking its good old time to show up, and the all too frequent back-toschool commercials were doing a fine job of adding insult to injury. My wife and I, once our children became of school age, began to use the school year as our family fiscal cycle (mid-August to mid-Aug) for planning purposes. We know all too well major expenditures in preparation for the new school year starts towards the latter part of August – new clothes or uniforms, BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

18

shoes, socks, lunch kits, books, stationary, and all the other paraphernalia that comes with the period. Some keeners start much earlier than that. But for us, we delay thoughts of back-to-school for as long as possible. As we got together to plan this year’s family fiscal cycle (FFC) I excitedly asked, “what’s on the agenda for our family meeting?” You know the women are in charge here. So I awaited my orders. As my wife started to blurt out the agenda items which I hurriedly penned – items such as: family finances, the children’s development, expectations academic and

Harvey H. Millar Ph., P. Eng. Management Technologies Dr. 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 specialising in organisational 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.


• Be happy and have fun Strengthen family • relationships (loving) • Enhance our quality of life (living) • Give back to our community (legacy) • Become global citizens (learn) • Enhance physical and emotional health (living)

• • • •

Enhance understanding of the global enviroment (politics, economics, climate change, health matters etc.) Build competence in life-supporting technologies Share new knowledge among family members Buid capacity both to lead and to follow Build and sustain respect for family structure and culture

Grow and sustain family wealth (revenues and investments) • Optimize financial risks (liquidity and cash flow) • Manage family operating costs (spending)

• • • •

Find smart ways to work Make productive use of personal and family time Adopt best practices in budgeting, food preparation, household management Expand opportunities for new experiences

Our Family Scorecard-Driven Plan (as a word smart art)

personal development, family roles and responsibilities, support for each other, etc., etc., a very familiar picture began to emerge in my mind’s eye. “This sounds like parts of a balanced scorecard” I thought to myself. This observation, fortunately or unfortunately, was an example of bringing my work home – that’s supposed to be a nono in my household. As a strategic planning facilitator of some 15+ years, I tend to take a strategic approach to planning our family activities. With the balanced scorecard developed by Kaplan and Norton in the mid-1990s as part of my consulting tool chest, it was easy to see the opportunity to bring the balanced scorecard home. So after our initial brainstorm of agenda items, I thought that I’d superimpose the agenda items onto what could be called a family balanced scorecard in order to ensure that our planning was comprehensive and balanced. For those who are not familiar with Kaplan and Norton’s balanced scorecard for corporations, often referred to as BSC for short, the BSC is a summative framework developed by the pair after studying the practices of high performing firms. They discovered that firms that performed very well managed a comprehensive set of measures and indicators that went far beyond the typical “bottom line” measures of profit, return on investment, return on assets, debt/equity ratio and the like. They noted that “bottom line” measures were lag indices that were driven by a number of lead activities, that if not monitored by a corresponding connected set of lead

measures and indicators, would make it very difficult to achieve corporate success. Kaplan and Norton surmised that high performance firms managed business performance along four core dimensions or perspectives as they call them: The financial perspective - what do we need to accomplish financially for shareholders? The customer perspective - what do we need to accomplish for our customers that will allow us to win their business? The internal perspective - what processes must we be good at to deliver value to our customers? Finally the learning and growth perspective - what kind of development and growth must we undertake to ensure the internal capabilities that will help drive operational excellence? The four perspectives connect strategy to operations; the external focus of the firm to its internal focus; and it allows for the development of an operating logic that facilitates an organised path to success. Kaplan and Norton quickly recognised that in order to manage performance across multiple perspectives that a firm’s strategy as a necessary precursor to performance measurement needs to mirror the framework. Hence the BSC became elevated as a strategy formulation tool. Now back to planning our family fiscal cycle using a balanced scorecard approach, we decided to use the following perspectives: family and community, financial stability, family operations, and family growth and development. It is not difficult to apply the BSC to a family

as families are economic units, and family organisations are analogous to or a microcosm of business organisations. So we asked the following questions in order to clarify our family scorecard: What must we accomplish for our family (both nuclear and extended) and our community so we can enjoy a great quality of life; what must we accomplish financially to drive and support our accomplishments as a family and contributions to our community; what must we be good at in terms of how we operate as a family to be efficient and effective in accomplishing our family goals; and what kind of personal and collective growth must we ensure in order to function effectively, manage our finances, and achieve our family and community-related goals? Of course all of this must link to a vision of the kind of family we want to be. After pondering this framework for a while, we were able to have meaningful discussion as a family and pull together some goals that will guide our actions over the next fiscal cycle and beyond. Some of the goals that emerged from our discussion are shown below. We note that Stephen Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” talked about purpose in our lives and suggested the we all want to love, learn, live, and leave a legacy. Hence I’ve used that idea to help flesh out our family goals. Once we had completed the foundation of the family scorecard, my attempt to identify a strategy map, strategies, performance measures/indicators and establish the accountability framework, no doubt met with some severe push back… I have a 19 and 13 year old who thought this was way too adult. I was getting too excited and ahead of myself. We decided that that would be for a subsequent meeting. I’m sure if I don’t bring it up, no one will. Nonetheless, everyone felt the development of the initial structure of a family scorecard as a bit of fun and adventure and enjoyed it. You see, we were already addressing the goal of adopting best practices and the goal of sharing new knowledge that would have the lasting impact of building valuable capabilities in our children. We intend to use the framework to hold regular family meetings to see whether we are advancing the family scorecard. Now the real question is whether my family be able to practice what I preach to corporations… Hopefully we are off to a good start. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

19


BUSINESS TECH

Assessing Online Advertising Opportunities Using Alexa.com to Uncover the Truth

I

must get at least one or two unsolicited online advertising requests a week. All from sites who claim to be leaders in their niche with thousands of unique visitors a day, guaranteed to generate very high returns on investment all for a fee of $X per month or per year. Sound familiar? There are lots of travel sites out there. Some are better known than others and are no-brainers (think Tripadvisor, Kayak. com, major OTAs like Expedia, Orbitz etc) but how do you know who will actually produce. There's no crystal ball that will tell you which online marketing activities will produce bookings, but there are a variety of tools that I use to determine the potential of a website to generate referral traffic and hence bookings. Chief among them is Alexa.com.

BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Sept Sept / / Oct Oct

|| 20 20

Alexa, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, calls itself the "Web Information Company" and produces a wealth of information about tens of millions of sites on the world wide web. The most important one for my purposes is the Alexa Global Traffic Rank. Lest I misquote Alexa.com or botch up the explanation of this rank, here is Alexa. com's definition: Alexa Traffic Rank An estimate of brand.com's popularity. The rank is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors to brand.com and pageviews on brand.com over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1. All things being equal, the higher a website's Alexa.com traffic rank, the higher the potential traffic it can refer to your site. Of course, the site has to be relevant

Sanovnik Destang is the Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, an award-winning locally owned hotel chain in Rodney Bay Village, Saint Lucia. He also serves on the board of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) as the representative for Boutique and High End Hotels. He is also a Director on the Board of the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the newly launched Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).


to your market and your placement on the site is an important factor as well. Let's look at the ranking of a few popular travel-related sites to determine if the Alexa ranking makes sense intuitively: Tripadvisor.com - 288th in the world Expedia.com - 413th Travelocity.com - 1228th Kayak.com - 835th Bookit.com - 9,774th Makes sense, right? Expedia is the market leader among all the Online Travel Agency’s (OTA) in the North American market (although Booking.com is actually a bit larger according to Alexa.com, perhaps displaying its dominance in Europe) and Travelocity.com is a large but much smaller player. Bookit.com's ranking is nothing to sneeze at, but it is clearly much smaller than either of these two. But if you work with all of these OTAs then you already know that. So when I get a request from yet another travel site who claims to be a market leader and Alexa. com shows me a ranking of 583,380th in the world (true story, I just got this today), you can understand that I would politely decline their offer of an low introductory rate of $750/year! I will probably not see enough web traffic to even break even! But as I have always said, with any statistical tool, you have to understand where it gets its information from and what its limitations are. Some professional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultants don't consider Alexa.com to be worth the effort because it gets most of its information from a few million persons who have the Alexa toolbar on their browser. Not a bad sample in my opinion and it is international in scope (unlike Compete.com which focuses almost exclusively on US traffic) but some claim that those who download the Alexa toolbar are "techies" and not a typical sample. There are also some who claim that some companies can manipulate their Alexa ranking by downloading the toolbar onto their own browser and visit their own site several times a day to boost up their ranking! Be that as it may, if you have two proposals in front of me for online advertising, one from a site with a ranking of say 1200th and the other with a ranking of 200,000th in the world and the cost is pretty close, which one would you spend your limited marketing budget on? Additionally, I also like to use Alexa.com to research top sites in a particular niche. Want to find out who are the top adventure travel sites in the world? Utilizing Alexa.com's Top Sites tool can help to narrow your search. One of our top five clients is a niche tour operator with a Global Alexa Traffic Rank of 1,015,094! There were over a million sites with more traffic than this tour operator's site and maybe thousands of travel sites and tour operators ahead of them but yet still they are and have been one of our top 5 sources of business for over a decade! Therefore be careful not to discount "small" sites, especially in niche markets. The size of a website is not the only indication of the site's ability to generate high quality, relevant traffic that converts into sales. It is also not necessarily an indication of the relative size of the company behind the site.

Apple and Samsung Drop Patent Fights Outside the United States

A fighting.

pple and Samsung Electronics on Tuesday said they had agreed to drop patent litigation against each other in countries outside the United States, including Germany, Australia and Japan. But they said they were not done

In a joint statement, the companies said they were continuing to pursue existing legal cases in the United States. They also clarified that they had not agreed to license technologies from each other. Still, the truce outside the United States suggests that tension may be cooling down between the two electronics giants. Over the past few years, Apple and Samsung have been engaged in some of the most high-profile patent disputes in courtrooms. After Apple sued Samsung in 2011, accusing it of copying some features of the iPhone, Samsung fired back with lawsuits in seven countries, including Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and France. Many of those overseas lawsuits revolved around so-called standard essential patents, which cover basic technologies that companies must use in their products to comply with industry standards. In 2012, the European Union started an antitrust investigation against Samsung over its use of standard essential patents in its legal fights with Apple. Earlier this year, Samsung reached a settlement with the E.U. in which it agreed that it would not seek injunctions in Europe over standard-essential patents for five years. The biggest fights between Apple and Samsung have taken place in the United States, and the companies have not suggested that this would change. Apple won its first big patent fight against Samsung in a California courtroom in 2012, and Samsung still owes $930 million in damages. The case is under appeal. But Apple’s victory was less decisive in a second big patent trial earlier this year. Jurors concluded that Samsung owed Apple $119.6 million in damages for violating three patents, far below the $2 billion it had demanded in total. They also decided that Apple owed Samsung $158,400 for violating two patents. ¤ BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Sept Sept / / Oct Oct

|| 21 21


MONEY MATTERS

BRICS Bank Established

R

ussia, China, South Africa, India and Brazil, all part of a group of emerging economies, signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 billion BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion in early July 2014. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation will have equal say, regardless of GDP size. Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal to reach $100 billion. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai; India will preside as president the first year, and Russia will be the chairman of the representatives. “BRICS Bank will be one of the major multilateral development finance BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

22

institutions in this world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said recently at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within. “In terms of escalating international competition the task of activating the trade and investment cooperation between BRICS member states becomes important,” Putin said. Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa account for 11 percent of global capital investment, and trade turnover almost doubled in the last 5 years, the president reminded. Each country will send either their finance minister or Central Bank chair to the bank’s representative board. Membership may not just be limited to just BRICS nations, either. Future members could include countries in other emerging

markets blocs, such as Mexico, Indonesia, or Argentina, once it sorts out its debt burden. BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total. The $100 billion crisis lending fund, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), was also established. China will contribute the lion’s share, about $41 billion, Russia, Brazil and India will chip in $18 billion, and South Africa, the newest member of the economic bloc, will contribute $5 billion. The idea is that the creation of the bank will lessen dependence on the West and create a more multi-polar world, at least financially.


“This mechanism creates the foundation for an effective protection of our national economies from a crisis in financial markets," Russian President Vladimir Putin said. The group has already created the BRICS Stock Alliance an initiative to cross list derivatives to smooth the path for international investors interested in emerging markets. Russia has also proposed the countries come together under an energy alliance that will include a fuel reserve, as well as an institute for energy policy. "We propose the establishment of the Energy Association of BRICS. Under this ‘umbrella,’ a Fuel Reserve Bank and BRICS Energy Policy Institute could be set up,” Putin said. Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of cooperation on innovation was also inked. Bringing emerging economies closer has become vital at a time when the world is guttered by the financial crisis and BRICS countries can’t remain above international problems, said Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff.

She cautioned the world not to see BRICS deals as a desire to dominate. “We want justice and equal rights,” she said. “The IMF should urgently revise distribution of voting rights to reflect the importance of emerging economies globally.” ¤

“For All Your Construction Needs” • General Construction • Residential Commercial Industrial • Design & Build • Swimming Pools • Concrete Driveways & Drains • Construction Management • Project Management • From Start to Finish P.O. Box CP6342 La Clery, Castries Tel: 758 453 1698 Cell 758 724 5434, 584-4341 Email:s_hconstruction@msn.com BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

23


on the

Brain

W seconds.

Restaurant Radio Station Smart phone Insurance Car Camera Paint Shoes Chocolate Hotel

hich brand/company comes to your mind first in the 10 categories below? Try to provide an answer within 3-5 ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ ______________________

Top of Mind Awareness (ToMA) is like prime real estate to those in marketing — every company wants to own that space between the consumers’ ears. Once upon a time, we called all soap powder, Breeze; all toothpaste, Colgate; and all bleach, Clorox. That was ToMA at its best. What an achievement to define an entire product category! Consumers are faced with so many options, and to make it into the consumer’s consideration set is what marketers’ dreams are made of. Interestingly, a person does not have to be a consumer of a particular brand for that brand to claim that primary spot in his/her mind: an individual who has never had a need for pest control services may still be able to recommend a company off the top of his/her head. A Mercedes Benz can be at the top of mind of an individual who drives a Nissan.

list! Car – Audi and Toyota (14% each) Camera – Canon (24%) Paint – Harris (45%) Shoes – Nike (21%) Chocolate – Cadbury (35%) Hotel – Sandals (34%) The companies above are doing or have done something right to find themselves on the tips of those tongues. Here are Some Routes to Top of Mind Awareness: 1. Providing bad products/services: There is such a thing as negative ToMA. Consumers may be aware of a brand for all the wrong reasons, which means that the brand would not qualify for the consideration set. The brand is at the top of the consumer’s mind as a ‘Don’t.’ 2. Providing great products and services: Consumer satisfaction may land brands in that coveted top spot. This satisfaction could lead to positive word of mouth, influencing non-users to consider the brand in the face of need.

We surveyed 100 St. Lucians to find out which brands/companies top their minds in 10 categories. Below, see the top brands on the brain. Did your choices above fall in the top categories?

3. Frequent brand exposure: Companies/ brands ensure that they are always visible. People have short memories: out of sight, out of mind. Repetition is important but the brand message must be consistent and delivered to the right audience. All St. Lucians are aware of Digicel and Lime but those companies still issue daily reminders of their existence. While it is an expensive effort, ironically, they can’t afford to stop.

Restaurant – KFC (15%) Very fragmented category Radio Station – Hot FM (28%) Smart phone – Samsung (33%) Insurance – Sagicor (39%) Geico made the

4. Effective communication: Keep in touch with current customers/ patrons. Build relationships by forming emotional connections. Win the heart; win the head.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

24

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 pilaiye@gmail.com. Way back in 1885, Thomas Smith said it took a minimum of 20 impressions to achieve top of mind awareness: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it The second time, they don’t notice it The third time, they are aware that it is there The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before The fifth time, they actually read the ad The sixth time they thumb their nose at it The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again” The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering

Do you think this is still relevant today? ¤


However, see the timeline below:

By Choosing option A (NOW), you have the opportunity to invest these funds and increase the value in 3 years time: $20,000 + Interest) By choosing option B, you will only receive $20,000 in 3 years time The time value formula will show the true value of choosing option A. FV - Future Value (to be determined) PV - Present Value $20,000 i - Interest rate for the year 4.50% n - number of years. 3yrs

Understanding the Time Value of Money

W

hat is the time value of money and how can it benefit you in the future?

It is very important for investors to fully understand the concept of time value of money. As is commonly said, time is money. The value of money varies with time. In simple terms, a dollar today represents a greater real purchasing power than a dollar in the future. The difference between the value of money today and in the future is referred to as “time value of money.” The trade-off between money now and money later depends on the following factors. Inflation – defined as the impact of the rise in the prices of goods and services on the real value of money. As inflation increases, your money can pay for fewer goods and services today than it could have purchased in the past. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money. Investment options – An investor can earn interest on a sum of money received today by investing in various instruments such as a savings account, a bond or other securities. Question: Would you prefer to get $20,000.00 now or the same amount in 3 years time? Without understanding the basic concepts of Time Value of Money, you would most likely accept the $20,000 now. Why would any rational person defer payment into the future rather than getting it now?

FV=PV(1+i)n FV=20000(1+4.5%)3 FV = $22,823.32

Based on the formula above, the value of choosing option A is $22,823.32 Alternatively if we were to choose option B, the present value will not be $20,000. The time value of your money can be transposed to calculate the present value of option B. FV PV= ______ (1+i)n The Value today (PV) of choosing option B = $17,525.93

Basically, the present value of $20,000 in the future, or in 3 years time is $17,525.93 today assuming that interest rates are 4.5% per year. Option A is without a doubt the better one not only because it offers you money right now but because it offers you $2,474.07 ($20,000 - $17,525.93) more in cash. In addition, if you invest the $20,000 that you receive from Option A, this gives you a future value that of $2,823.32 ($22,823.32 $20,000) greater than the future value of Option B. In conclusion, time literally is money, — the value of the money you have now is not the same as it will be in the future and vice versa. The knowledge of time value calculations is a valuable skill to get real smart about how money works. The key to being financially smart is realising the potential value of every dollar. ¤ For further advice, speak to a financial advisor. Brought to you by:

First Citizens Investment Services BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

25


MONEY MATTERS

“OECS Needs Injection of ‘Serious Hard’ Cash to Address Challenges” says Chairman of the OECS

Monetary Council of the ECCB Gains New Chairman

T

he Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) must mobilise large sums of money if it is to address the challenges confronting its nine member countries. “And that is where we call on our development partners to appreciate the challenges with which we are confronted,” Chairman of the OECS, Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, told the opening ceremony of the 59th meeting of the OECS Authority. “The challenge which we have, with the issue of debt, the issues of our banking system, our financial system, strengthening those institutions, we are going to need an injection of serious hard financial resources to address these challenges,” he said. Skerrit said OECS leaders came to that conclusion during the 79th meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council where they received the ECCB Governor’s Report on Money and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

26

“As time goes by, with the global [financial] crisis not abating, it is placing greater stress on our resources,” he said, adding that none of the OECS countries has the fiscal space in which to maneuver. “What we are doing as governments, whether it is in St. Vincent, or St. Lucia or Grenada, or Antigua, can almost be described as marginal,” Skerrit said. “Because of the enormity of the challenge, unavailability of resources; it is amazing that these countries continue to provide almost adequately to our citizens,” said Skerrit, who is also Dominica’s Minister of Finance. “Our citizens must appreciate those things, because when demands are made on our governments, our governments must also find resources, and I know nobody in the OECS wants to pay any form of taxation; and, therefore, we have to be measured with our request of our citizens.” “Prime Minister [Ralph Gonsalves] here in St. Vincent is building an international airport using extraordinary means and strategies – an international airport during the most difficult financial crisis in our

lifetime. And I think these are the sort of things that we need to appreciate as citizens of our countries,” Skerrit said. As a precursor to the aforementioned meetings, Chairmanship of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was transferred to Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Council Member for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during the official Handing Over Ceremony held at the Buccament Bay Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister Gonsalves succeeded the Outgoing Chairman, the Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Council Member for Saint Lucia. The Monetary Council is the highest decision making authority of the ECCB and comprises the eight Ministers for Finance of the ECCB member governments. Chairmanship of the Council is rotated alphabetically each year among the eight ECCB member countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. ¤


T

This represents an increase of 1.3 per cent over the corresponding period last year, the bank said in early August.

and 8.5 per cent respectively, over the corresponding period in 2013 and the decline in non-performing loans to 3.6 per cent of total loans.” This, he added, was a reflection of the improved performance in the economies of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana and is tempered somewhat, by the continued weak economic performance in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Chairman Ronald Harford, in announcing the bank’s results said, “The Group is encouraged by the growth in our total assets and loan portfolio of six per cent

In speaking on the investment in HFC Bank Ghana, Harford said, “In April, 2014, as mandated by the Ghana Code on Takeover and Mergers and after obtaining approval

30.

he Republic Bank Group has recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of $869.1 million for the third quarter ended June

Republic Bank Records $869.1m Net Profit for 3rd Quarter from the Central Bank of Ghana, the Group submitted an Offeror Statement to HFC Bank Ghana and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Ghana, in which it was announced that Republic Bank would make an offer to all the shareholders of HFC Bank Ghana to purchase the remaining 60 per cent shareholding.” This, however, is now subject to legal challenge before the courts in Ghana. Republic Bank continues to pursue avenues to amicably resolve this matter, the bank said. ¤

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 Sept / Oct

|

27


MONEY MATTERS

Eastern Caribbean Agrees to the Sharing of Financial Account Information with the US

Bankers Association of St. Lucia Announces Compliance with New Reporting Requirements

M

embers of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) have officially formalised the sharing of financial account information with the United States. Laws are now set to go to parliament to facilitate the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). An Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) release said most of the ECCU countries have reached an agreement on implementing FATCA. The agreement is expected to be signed by December 31, after FATCA took effect in July. The ECCB said the agreement, which allows the information to be communicated, creates a legal framework for the sharing of information in accordance with the requirements of FATCA. The Central Bank said uniform legislation, which requires financial institutions to submit specific FATCA information to their respective Inland Revenue Departments, was drafted and is being reviewed by the respective stakeholders before submission to Parliament. FATCA ensures the collection of more taxes from US citizens with bank accounts overseas. The Act requires banks to report directly to the US IRS information about financial accounts held by US taxpayers,

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

28

or by foreign entities where US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. Local banks are now required to share account information with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if it is valued at US $50,000. In addition, FATCA will require foreign financial institutions to report directly to the IRS. The implementation of this Act has had a controversial past, as it was regarded by some in the region as a breach of secrecy in banking. However, in early August the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia (BA) announced that local foreign financial institutions, now classed as foreign financial institutions, have for several months been preparing and training employees for the changes and Saint Lucia's finance sector is ready to comply by the deadline date. Individual institutions have also issued notifications and information about the new rules to customers. Failure of an FFI to submit information could result in a 30 percent withholding tax levied on withholdable payments and may result in the potential loss of critical correspondent banking relationships and this would affect customers’ ability to transact with the USA, St. Lucia’s main trading partner. The services that would

be cost affected would be wire transfers, drafts and other payment mechanisms if banks can no longer clear these transactions through U.S. banks. The local Bankers Association pointed out FATCA does not replace the existing U.S. tax withholding and reporting regimes. It does, however, add additional requirements and complexity to the existing regimes. The IRS expressed its intent to eliminate duplicative reporting and withholdings where possible. The attributes which cause an individual or business to be classified as a U.S. person include: U.S. citizenship; Being a lawful resident of the U.S. and/ or; U.S. corporations, U.S. partnerships/ U.S. estates/ U.S. trusts where the U.S. exercises primary supervision over administration or where one or more U.S. persons has the authority to control all substantial decisions. On July 1st, 2014 financial institutions in Saint Lucia and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member countries were classed as Foreign Financial Institutions or FFIs, and are now required to adopt new account opening procedures in order to comply with FATCA rules. ¤


St. Lucia Marketing Board Suppliers of Tropical Fruits and Vegetables

Our aim is to provide you with fresh argricultural produce sourced directly from the farmers Islandwide and beyond. Retail Outlet-Conway, Box 441 Castries • Tel: 1(758) 452-3214 Head- Office, Wholesale Dpt Odsan • Tel: 452-3214 / 453 -1162 / 458 -1210 Fax: (758) 453-1424 • Email: slmb@candw.lc We Go To The Farms For You!!

Eat Healthy! For a Healthy Lifestyle!!

When it matters most...

You never think about what happens behind the scenes so you can have power whenever you need it, and at the lowest rate in the Eastern Caribbean.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

29


First Citizens Collaborates with ECCB on Financial Literacy Initiatives

F

irst Citizens Investment Services continues its drive to promote and improve financial literacy in Saint Lucia, not just with the company's own annual seminars, but by also providing support to partner agencies such as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). This year First Citizens collaborated with the ECCB for two immensely beneficial initiatives that focused on providing financial education to a cross section of persons. The first drive was the technical assistance First Citizens Investment Services provided to the recently held ten-week Savings and Investments Course facilitated by the ECCB in Saint Lucia. The course was first developed in 2002 as part of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s ongoing financial literacy programme and hundreds of participants have since received valuable insights on developing basic budgeting techniques, improving management skills and learned the basics of investing from practitioners in the field of finance and savings. This year's course was held from May 20th to August 5th and First Citizens assisted by providing tutors for several topics including: "Personal Financial Planning, Factors Affecting Your Financial Decisions, Types of Investment Instrument, How

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

30

to Protect Yourself From Financial Risk, Understanding Financial Markets, How Securities are Bought & Sold on the ECSE, Factors That Affect The Price of Your Investments, Developing & Managing Your Investment Portfolio." First Citizens Business Development Manager Priscilla Charles, who was also one of the tutors during the course, explained that teaming up with ECCB for this informative initiative was an easy decision. "Improving financial literacy has always been part of our mandate and we understand the far reaching effects of educating even one person, who will in turn share that financial knowledge with their communities, co-workers, family and others they come into contact with," Ms. Charles explained. Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Resident Representative, Gregor Franklyn, commended First Citizens Investment Services for the support calling it "timely and invaluable." "The participants were very excited to attend the sessions and the passion and knowledge exhibited by the staff of First Citizens has resulted in our next cohort being oversubscribed," said Franklyn.

"Additionally the level of professionalism displayed has manifested itself in the excellent reviews obtained by the facilitators after each session." Following the ten-week programme students received a certificate and graduates become part of an alumni family that ensures that they continue to develop their financial expertise and knowledge. First Citizens was also pleased to provide a facilitator for a developmental session with the netballers of the recently held ECCB/ OECS Under 23 Netball Tournament. The session which attracted over 100 women was conducted at the Pastoral Centre in Marisule on June 28 and provided netballers with practical financial advice. Speaking about this session, Franklyn offered thanks to First Citizens for "their unwavering support towards public education and community outreach programmes as we continue to educate the public on economic and financial matters." First Citizens is also expected to collaborate with the ECCB again for Financial Information Month officially marked in October and is currently preparing for a Men and Investing Seminar to be held in November. ¤


Chamber of Commerce launches 2015 St Lucia

Business Awards

T

he Chamber of Commerce recently launched its 2015 St Lucia Business Awards at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa. The 6th awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in January 2015 as part of the annual Nobel Laureate Week celebrations. Dr. Charmaine Garden, Chair of the Business Awards Committee, noted that the landscape of business in St Lucia has changed and the addition of more awards reflects the hope to have awards that a more inclusive of what is happening in society. The launch featured a video presentation of the 2014 Business Awards, as part of the presentation, Mr Robert Fevrier, Manager of Projects & Services at 1st National Bank spoke of the benefits that come being part of the Business Awards. “The submission process for the awards ceremony provides for us as a business to gain perspective,” he said, “we are able to highlight our strengths and weaknesses so we can better move forward.” President of the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Gordon Charles, spoke of the awards commitment to reward and celebrate the top companies in St Lucia’s private sector that continue to break boundaries, innovate and give back. The Chamber has again included the Ease of Doing Business award in their lineup though this award did not come to fruition after being included in their 2014 lineup. Mr Charles said the Chamber intends on working closely with the Ministry of Commerce to make this a award a reality. The Ease of Doing Business award offers recognition to those in the public sector who continue to support the development of private enterprises.

The award categories for the 2015 St Lucia Business Awards are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation Award for Service Excellence Entrepreneur of the Year Award Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Business of the Year Award Exporter of the Year Award [Goods] Exporter of the Year Award [Services] Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development Award for Marketing Excellence Award for Corporate Leadership Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Idea of the Year Award Green Award Ease of Doing Business Award

Of the integrity of the awards, Mr Charles ensure that the judging system will remain objective, transparent and independent. “There is a continuous review of the adjudication of the awards,” said Charles, “Our judges and adherence to the procedures continues to drive the standards of the awards up.” In conclusion Charles admitted that although the last year has been a trying one economically, he believes that what has become most evident is the businesses who continue to evolve through prudent decision making and innovation. “In these tough times it may be even more rewarding to celebrate the successes we can identify”, he surmised. The Chamber encourages all members to strongly consider submitting their application for nomination at the 2015 St Lucia Business Awards. Businesses now have eight weeks to submit their applications. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

31


44 Micoud Street JQ Charles Mall Castries Rodney Bay 451-3085 452-8615 BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

32

Corner Clarke Street Vieux Fort 454-9332

Bridge Street Soufriere 459-7322


FEATURE

Feature

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

33


The

Story

M&C Group Of Companies…. Traditional Values, New Horizons. On September 3rd, 1864, the island’s only newspaper, ‘The St. Lucian’, announced: “…Mr. H. Minvielle arrived by the last packet (R.M.S.C. ‘Conway’) from England with a small portion of his light goods for the new firm. The goods having been selected by himself in London and Paris, there is no doubt that they will prove suitable to our market…” One day after the announcement, his premises were blessed by the French Parish Priest I’Abbe Lecailtel, and by the next day, the establishment was open for business. The firm to which the news item referred was to eventually become M&C Group of Companies (M&C), one of the most significant participants in the commercial landscape of Saint Lucia, and a company which has contributed in no small measure to the island’s economic and social development. The small notation in that weekend’s newspaper could not have anticipated the success and longevity of the endeavour. With the observance of the 150th anniversary of M&C Group of Companies on September 5th, 2014, the company reflects with nostalgia and pride, on the origins and operations of the enterprise. The firm of Minvielle & Chastanet evolved from an earlier business partnership, DuBoulay, Minvielle & Co. Having bought over DuBoulay’s shares, Henry Minvielle went into partnership with Charles Chastanet. The legacy of this partnership is reflected in the name, Minvielle and Chastanet, known in the community as M&C. It was situated for several decades on Bridge Street, the main thoroughfare through the City of Castries. Through a shifting of partnerships, marriages, and contracts, M&C continued to BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

34

evolve. When Henry Minvielle died in 1886, Charles Chastanet became the sole owner. He soon brought in as partners, Mr. Gottfried Graf, a German-born businessman, and Mr. Lionel Devaux, who had married one of Chastanet’s daughters. This is the point at which the Devaux family, who had been established in Saint Lucia since1742, first became associated with M&C. On Charles Chastanet’s death in 1898, Messrs Graf and Lionel Devaux became the sole partners. Graf died in 1915. Lionel Devaux died in 1917, leaving his widow Therese as sole owner. She immediately entered into a five year management agreement with a Mr. Jules Salles-Miquelle and Mr. Henry DetcheparreDieudonne de Minvielle, a son of the late founder. Toward the end of the management agreement in the year 1920, the 19 year old Harold Devaux, son of the late Lionel Devaux, returned from his studies at Stonyhurst College in England. He entered the business alongside his widowed mother; and by 1925 had taken over the management. Five years later, another youthful Devaux was being introduced to the local world of commerce-- his name was Joseph (Joe) Devaux. On completing his studies at St. Mary’s College in 1930, the 15 year old was inducted into a parallel business interest, Minvielle & Co., by his ailing uncle, Henry de Minvielle (Jnr.). Joe was destined, through the merger of Minvielle & Chastanet and Minvielle & Co. in 1951, to become joint Managing Director of Minvielle & Chastanet alongside Harold Devaux. Harold Devaux and Joe Devaux were the respective grandsons of the original founders of M&C, Henry


In 1864, Henry Minvielle and Charles Chastanet brought an idea to life in Saint Lucia. 150 Years later, that idea that family values and dynamic business acumen could succeed hand in hand still drives M&C Group of Companies forward today.

M&C POSTCARDS - CASTRIES, 1902

Weathering local, regional and international changes in social, political and economic climates, we have experienced victories and adversity - always learning, adapting and

growing stronger - a true testament to the hard working staff throughout the Group, without whom we would not be here today. In 2014, our 150th Anniversary Celebration is an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to that core idea of the Company’s founding partners strive for business excellence through strong relationships, unwavering dedication to exemplary service and responsible corporate citizenship.

M&C Group of Companies 9-11 Bridge Street P.O. Box 99, Castries Saint Lucia (758) 458-8000 BusinessFocus Septwww.mandcgroup.com / Oct | 35


Minvielle (Snr.) and Charles Chastanet. Harold Devaux, writing in 1962, observed, “Although the names of the two founding fathers no longer figure in the present management, their spirit continues through their direct descendants….” In 1960 M&C embraced its fourth generation of business leaders, when Frederick (Fred) Devaux, great grandson of the founder (Chastanet) returned to Saint Lucia from his studies in England and joined the firm. A Chartered Accountant, Fred Devaux became joint Managing Director with Joe Devaux in 1969. In 1985, Peter Devaux (Joe’s son) returned from his studies at the University of Windsor in Canada, with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, to join the company. He moved initially to Bryden’s (a subsidiary of M&C) where he was appointed Marketing Manager, General Manager, and subsequently, a Director. Two years later, he also became a Director of M&C. After the death of his father Joe Devaux in 1990, the company appointed Peter Devaux as joint Managing Director with Frederick Devaux. Another generation of family members joined the company in the 1990s, both children of Fred Devaux, great-great grandchildren of the founder (Chastanet). Joanna Devaux Guillaume armed with a degree in Geography and Tourism from Oxford Brookes University joined in 1995 and was a member of the management team with responsibility for the expansion of the Tourist Department. Joanna has since worked in operational roles at Brydens and also held the position of Group Projects Manager. Currently she is Administration Manager for M&C Group of Companies. Nicholas Devaux joined the company in 1996 with a degree in Economics from the University of Kent and immediately took over the Hardware and Building Material departments which were later merged to form what is now M&C Home Depot. In 1998 Nicholas was appointed Director on both the M&C and Brydens Boards both of which he still serves and is currently Divisional Manager of Building Materials & Hardware, Goddard Group St. Lucia. In 1999 Frederick Devaux became Chief Executive Officer of the M&C Group of Companies, a position he held until 2001 with Peter Devaux as Director on the Board until 2010. From 1999 -2010 Frederick Devaux was Chairman of the Board. In 2001 Orval Vandendool assumed the position of Chief Executive officer until 2009. The business remained family-owned until 1973, when the British company, Booker McConnell Ltd. (Booker) bought 75 percent of M&C’s shareholdings, with a view to going public. The uncertain political climate of the time was a significant contribution to the failure of that effort. In 1983, the Devaux family bought M&C back from Booker. In the 1990s, to ensure that the company was equipped with an array of expertise that would support its growth strategies, M&C appointed non-family members to the Board. This incarnation of the company remained family-owned until 2008, when Goddard Enterprises Ltd. (GEL) of Barbados obtained majority shareholding. In 2009, Jonathan Powell became the new Chief Executive Officer and Joseph Goddard was appointed as Chairman of the Board in 2010. In 2013 Joseph Goddard retired and was replaced by Anthony Ali as Chairman who continues to serve in that capacity today. As M&C celebrates its 150th Anniversary there remain three Devaux family members on the M&C Board, namely: Frederick Devaux, Peter Devaux and Nicholas Devaux (son of Frederick Devaux).

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

36

About Goddard Enterprises Ltd. Goddard Enterprises Ltd., parent company of M&C Group of Companies, also started as a family-owned business. In 1921, Joseph Nathaniel Goddard went into partnership with his son, Victor, to open a meat and grocery store on a side street in Bridgetown, Barbados. Today, Goddard Enterprises Ltd. enjoys a presence in over 24 countries in the Caribbean, Central, North and South America. While the company continues to be involved in the traditional areas of retailing and wholesaling, it has extended its operations to the areas of airline catering, export manufacturing, and financial services.

Some Historical Highlights. •

• •

M&C established a reputation for the variety of goods and services on offer. These included clothing, food, horse-whips (when horses were the main mode of transportation), wines and spirits. The company also operated in the Shipping industry and offered two decades of Postal Service. From 1885 to 1940, the Coaling trade was a substantial part of the M&C business and represented the largest single economic activity of the company. Between 1923-1953 the company expanded into manufacturing with an aerated drinks plant and an ice manufacturing plant and in 1942, the company brought into St. Lucia the first major franchise of its time for manufacturing soft drinks – Pepsi Cola. During this period M&C established


• • • •

St. Lucia’s first Motor garage, “The St. Lucia Motor Company” and later established itself as a car dealer, and also opened St. Lucia’s very first Tire Rethreading service. In 1952 the company began its pharmaceutical business, known today as M&C Drugstore. In 1958, M&C built the island’s first-ever department store. It was a three-storey structure on Bridge that was equipped with the first elevator and escalator in a business place on the island. The store carried items ranging in size from pins to cars, but it was not just a department store, it also carried out the functions of Manufacturers’ Representatives, Commission and Steamship Agents and Travel Agent. In 1961, M&C became the distributor for Texaco in St. Lucia In its zeal to continually explore new business opportunities, in 1968, M&C achieved another “first” when it ventured into the Shrimp Trade. In 1975, Brydens & Partners Ltd. was established. In 1983 the Devaux family bought back the company from Booker.

In 1993, M&C entered a joint venture with Solar Dynamics Ltd. of Barbados to manufacture solar water heaters for the domestic and foreign markets (this operation was sold to its partner in 2013). In 1996, the M&C Insurance Brokers Ltd. was formed and eventually expanded into Antigua, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados. In August 2014 MCIB sold its portfolio of clients to CGM (St. Lucia) Limited (CMG), however, to facilitate an easy transition MCIB, as an entity, continues to work with CGM to address ongoing clients’ needs.

Peter & Company Ltd. (Agents of Nissan) Congratulates and Celebrates with M&C Group of Companies on the occasion of their 150th Anniversary of business operations in Saint Lucia.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

37


• • •

In 1999, M&C engaged in a joint venture with Royal Castle of Trinidad (this operation was closed in 2001). In 2000, M&C Home Depot was established and now has 5 locations island wide. In 2004, M&C General Insurance Limited was incorporated and now boasts 3 locations island wide with an agency in St. Vincent.

Challenges A true testament of M&C’s resilience has been its response to the ravages of four separate incidents of fire. The first was in 1927, and devastated the company’s premises, as well as most of the city of Castries. The other three occurred in 1948, 1960, and 1972. After each of these calamities, M&C has risen, phoenix-like, out of the ashes, each time demonstrating its ability to improve, persevere, and profit in spite of setbacks. Fire, however, has not been the only challenge confronted by the company. Between 1973 and 1983, the political climate in Saint Lucia was in flux, creating a challenging economic environment. In 1973, Booker Mc Connell Ltd., which had bought the majority shareholding in M&C, failed in its attempts to go public. As a result, M&C experienced severe retrenchments, and had to confront the closure of its Motor Department, Bottling Company, and its Dry Good operations in Vieux Fort and Soufriere locations.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

38

M&C image


2015 NISSAN QASHQAI

2015 NISSAN X-TRAIL

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

39


of

2014

After over 100 years in the Hardware and Building Materials business, M&C Home Depot was established in 2000 and was an amalgamation of the existing hardware and building materials departments. Its establishment was based on the principle of having everything under one roof for the construction industry and its launch was timely as it allowed the company to benefit from the tremendous boom in construction at the time. Currently, M&C Home Depot is the largest retailer of building materials, hardware and household items in Saint Lucia. With 5 locations islandwide - Queen’s Lane, Bridge Street, Vide Boutielle, Bois d’Orange and Vieux Fort, M&C Home Depot has reached a wide cross-section of the Saint Lucian retail market to become a household name. M&C Home Depot also has a large Distribution Centre located at Bois d’Orange that serves as the main supply facility for all of our stores. All of our locations offer excellent customer service, knowledgeable staff, and brand name products at competitive prices. Our signature store, located at Vide Boutielle in Castries, offers some 14,000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned retail space and 25,000 sq. ft. of building supplies, and delivers the ultimate retail shopping experience. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

40

Today the M&C Group of Companies remains a diversified group, with 7 businesses: M&C Home Depot, M&C Drugstore, M&C General Insurance, M&C LPG Distribution, M&C Shipping, Admiral Shipping and Brydens. It is one of the island’s l argest employers, with a cumulative staff complement of 510.

M&C Home Depot does not only cater to the building contractors and DIY specialist but to the homeowner as well. We aim to be a “one stop shop” for all our customers’ needs, and we currently have over 25,000 items in stock in order to offer this service. We continue to venture into, and explore, new market possibilities whilst maintaining our competitive advantage. We continuously source the globe for new and innovative products and are a member of both the True Value and Do it Best Cooperatives based in the U.S.A. We have built strong relationships with all our suppliers to ensure that that the products and services we provide meet and exceed our customers’ needs. There are a number of well-known suppliers that we represent, both regionally and internationally, that assist us in offering our product range. Some of our suppliers include Trinidad Concrete Products, Arima Door Centre, Cobra, Maccaferri, Berger Paints, Bonsal and Oran Limited. Over the years we have continued to invest in all areas of our business, especially in the area of retail technology. This investment ensures that we improve the customer service experience and remain efficient, thereby passing on savings to our customers.


In 1952 M&C established a Pharmacy as an integral part of their main department store, recognizing the shortage of medical supplies as a result of the 1948 Castries fire which destroyed over half the town. In the 1990s the pharmacy was re-located to its own location across the street where the Bridge Street location exists today. Subsequently other locations were opened namely, Gablewoods, Vieux Fort, JQ Mall and Soufriere. In 2010 the JQ Mall location was closed and a new store was opened in Baywalk Mall, Rodney Bay. Today we are the largest drugstore chain in Saint Lucia with five locations islandwide – Baywalk Mall, Gablewoods, Bridge Street, Vieux Fort and Soufriere. We proudly offer superior quality service and products to our customers at competitive prices combined with extensive operating hours.

Our range of products extends beyond pharmaceuticals and in keeping with customer demands and current trends we offer a variety of items in the following categories; stationery, cosmetics, toiletries, pet care, confectionery, gift items, health and wellness items as well as household items. M&C Drugstore’s Tagline is “Promoting Health, Creating Smiles for a Healthier, Happier You!”, and we pride ourselves in doing just that. The key to our success is a combination of our product variety, knowledgeable staff, and excellent customer service, backed by our 62 years of experience in the industry.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

41


Minvielle & Chastanet Ltd. (M&C) entered the Insurance Industry in 1866, as the agents for Lloyds of London in Saint Lucia. In 1992, M&C was appointed Principal Agent for Nemwil in Saint Lucia, expanding the Insurance Department’s capacity, and establishing a well-respected Caribbean connection. Later, in October 2004, the M&C Insurance Department, which operated the Lloyd’s Binder and Nemwil Agency, opened its doors under the new name of M&C General Insurance Company Ltd. (MCGI), with offices in Bridge Street, Castries, Bois D’Orange, Gros Islet and Beanfield, Vieux Fort. In 2011, MCGI began an agency operation in St. Vincent, represented by Coreas Hazell Inc.

years, conservative reinsurance program and local market expertise. With over 100 years of experience in the Insurance business and a skilled and dedicated team, M&C General Insurance has established itself as a comprehensive, dependable service provider. M&C General Insurance Company also has the ability to do risk mapping using Geographic Information System (GIS) tool. This enables the tracking of the level of risk in areas prone to various perils throughout the island. The real-time information helps to enhance our preparedness in handling claims, and the ability to conduct “what-if” assessments relating to flood, land slippage, wind exposure and sea surge.

MCGI has maintained a stellar track record, reflected in a number of accolades. In 2013, MCGI was recognized by the Insurance Council of Saint Lucia as being the largest general insurer on island in terms of premium income. In October 2013, MCGI was assigned a B++ (Good) rating by AM Best, reflecting the department’s excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, overall earnings in recent

MCGI’s Insurance Policies include: Homeowners, Motor, Commercial Fire, Burglary, Travel, Cash, Computers All Risk, Annual Personal Accident, Bonds, Goods in Transit, Public Liability, Employer’s Liability, Contractors All Risk, All Risk, Cash, Business Interruption and Marine Cargo.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

42


BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

43


The M&C LPG Distribution Department, then known as M&C Ltd. Texaco Department, was formed in 1961 when Minvielle & Chastanet Limited (M&C) became the sole agents for Texaco in Saint Lucia. The department handled the administrative, marketing and financial functions of Texaco West Indies Ltd. on a commission basis. During the early sixties, under the stewardship of Mr. Fred Devaux, then Director of the Commercial Division of M&C, the M&C Ltd. Texaco Department expanded its portfolio to include distribution. The department earned additional commissions for distributing cooking gas (LPG) and lubricating oils supplied on consignment by Texaco. This arrangement changed in the early seventies when M&C was given legal ownership of all cylinders. Under this new

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

44

arrangement, M&C was responsible for the purchase, maintenance and disposal of cylinders, the building and maintaining of LPG storage racks, and the set-up of resellers. M&C was also the sole importer and distributor for Texaco Branded Lubricants on the island. In October 2000, Chevron Corporation announced acquisition of Texaco. In May 2011, Rubis acquired the assets owned and operated by Chevron under the Texaco brand, and M&C continued to distribute for the new owners under the Rubis brand name. In December 2013, M&C went into an agreement with SOL EC Ltd. (SOL), the largest independent petroleum marketing company in the Caribbean basin, with operations spanning across 23 countries. M&C currently distributes 20lb and 100lb SOL LPG cylinders throughout Saint Lucia.


Bois D’Orange Gros Islet Highway Tel: 452-0945 /452-9092 • Fax: 452-8307/ 4580413 Email: inceatrasco@gmail.com • Website : www.rascoslu.com

Come in to RASCO today for: • The widest range of tire sizes for all applications at the best prices • Automotive batteries • Automotive servicing - brake change, oil change, fluids flush • Automotive repairs - engine mounts, suspension parts replacment • Solid press tyre installation and removal

A member of the Goddard Group of Companies

• Computerized alignment for all vehicles with Warranty • Muffler & automotive pipes and flex pipes • Exhaust repair and fabrication • Detailed car wash • Vehicle inspection/evaluation • State of the art equipment with professional & fastest serivce.

Cul De Sac, Castries, St. Lucia Tel 457-7000 • Fax 457-7019

Peter & Co. Ltd. congratulates the M&C Group of Companies on this momentous occasion of 150 years of serving St.Lucia with pride and distinction. We wish the management and staff many more years of dedicated service and success.

Mongiraud St. Castries (758) 457-7086 Cadet St, Castries (758) 457-7087 Clarke St., Vieux Fort (758) 457-7084 BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

45


The Shipping business has been part of the M&C Group’s core operations since the company’s inception. M&C Shipping continues to run as a department of Minvielle & Chastanet Ltd. and has evolved to become the most highly diversified and experienced shipping entity in Saint Lucia. In 1994, the company further expanded its portfolio with the establishment of the Admiral Shipping subsidiary, which also operates as a fullfledged shipping agency under the M&C umbrella. The Shipping Department handles a wide range of vessels carrying containerized cargo, bulk cargoes, such as oil and gas, break-bulk cargoes for bananas, lumber and cement, Ro/Ro vessels, car carriers, cruise passenger and pleasure crafts, and military vessels. Throughout the years, the Shipping division has cemented a reputation for ably executing all tasks relating to owner protecting agents, supplying bunkers, customs brokerage, ticketing and visa clearance for mariners, repatriation, chandlery, and P&I claims. The division’s dedicated and professional staff, backed by years of experience in this sector, ensure its ability to deliver exceptional service to Saint Lucian households and the business community at large.

We are currently Agents for: • •

King Ocean Services (Containerized and LCL service – sailing weekly from Miami to Castries and Vieux Fort. Also weekly Inter-Island Containerized service) www.kingocean.com Geest Line (www.geestline.com ) – provides a weekly direct service to St. Lucia from Portsmouth, UK and Le Harve, France. Inter-Island service within the Eastern Caribbean, for shipment of palletized cargo, crates etc. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) (www.mscgva.ch ) – is the world’s second largest containerized carrier providing

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

46

• • • • • •

global connections to and from the Caribbean. N.Y.K (Monthly Car Carrier service ex Far East calling at Port Castries) www.nykline.com K-Line (Monthly Car Carrier service ex Far East calling at Port Castries) www.kline.com Mitsui OSK (Monthly Car Carrier service ex Far East calling at Port Castries) www.mol.co.jp Logistics International (LCL/Breakbulk Service ex Trinidad & Tobago) RAM Shipping UK NVOCC (LCL consolidation ex UK for commercial cargo and personal effects including barrels) www.ramshipping.co.uk Lloyds Marine Surveying www.lloyds.com

Services Include: • • • • • • • •

Liner Agency Customs Brokerage Freight Forwarding Vessel husbandry Ships Chandlery Marine Surveying Logistics consulting Inland Haulage

M&C Shipping and Admiral Shipping both provide its principals with highly qualified and experienced staff to facilitate efficient port operation, customer-driven marketing activity, accurate documentation, and reliable accounting with fully integrated computer networks that facilitate electronic data interchange.


Not

Out!..

Geest Line would like to congratulate Minvielle & Chastanet (M&C) on their 150th anniversary of trading in St Lucia since their inception in 1864.

Geest Line have been associated with the M&C group for many years as a valued customer and since 1998 our agent under the umbrella name of Admiral Shipping in the beautiful island of St Lucia. Admiral Shipping have professionally represented our ships and services both in Castries and Vieux Fort, customer service is always to the highest standards. Geest line has been calling St Lucia since 1953 from the UK and today we offer services from the UK, France and Belgium to currently 11 different Eastern Caribbean destinations while also offering an extensive Inter-Island service and of course services back to Europe.

Here’s to the next innings of 150..

For further information please visit our website or contact our local office:

Admiral Shipping Ltd 9-11 Bridge Street P.O. Box 99, Castries, St Lucia Tel: (758) 458 8000 / 8262/63 E-mail: admiralship@mandcgroup.com Geest Line UK Eaglepoint Little Park Farm Road Fareham, Hants PO15 5TD United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 1489 873 500 E-mail: info@geestline.com www.geestline.com BusinessFocus Sept / Oct | 47


Established as a joint venture between Minvielle & Chastanet Ltd. and A.S Bryden & Sons Ltd. of Barbados, Bryden & Partners Ltd. (commonly referred to as Brydens) began operations in Mongiraud St., Castries in 1975. With an initial staff complement of approximately 35 persons, the company proceeded to market and distribute a range of products including, wines, spirits, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and other dry goods. Rapid expansion in the number of regional and international brands joining the portfolio, necessitated a move to larger premises in Vide Boutille in the 1980’s, and in 1993, Brydens moved to its current location in Bois D’Orange to facilitate its continued expansion. Today, Brydens employs 122 full-time workers involved in the representation and distribution of iconic brands such as; Bacardi,

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

48

Dewar’s, Campari, Gallo, Hennessy, Mount Gay Rum, Ponche Kuba, Grey Goose Vodka, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot and Dom Perignon Champagnes, British American Tobacco, Jack Daniels, Finlandia, GlaxoSmith Kline, Seven Seas, Kotex and many other pharmaceutical, food, household, personal care, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage brands and a frozen foods sector. Additionally, Brydens recently acquired a substantial portion of the J Wray & Nephew portfolio from Jamaica, comprising Appleton Rum, Colbeck Ginger Wine and the popular Skyy Vodka. In addition to distribution and wholesale, Brydens also owns three retail stores specialising in Wines, Spirits and Tobacco. The Brydens “House of Wines and Spirits” stores are located at Bridge St., Castries, JQ Mall, Rodney Bay, and Rodney Bay Marina, and offer customers a variety of wines, spirits and tobacco. Next year, 2015, Brydens will celebrate its 40th anniversary.


Distributed by facebook.com/brydenandpartners Tel: (758) 458-8500 Fax: (758)458-8506

Avoid the mess

MIX & MATCH

facebook.com/brydenandpartners

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

49


Managemet Staff

M&C has evolved from a family owned business into a subsidiary of a multinational corporation and over the past 150 years much of the company’s successes, can be attributed to the company’s philosophy of hiring highly skilled and motivated persons in all areas of the business and the strength of TEAM. That, combined with strong leadership and strategic planning has enabled the company to continually re-invent itself. M&C has always been committed to the recognition, professional development and support of its employees across its various subsidiaries. The achievements over the past 150 years would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all its team members.

Length of Service Awards The company is fortunate to have many long serving employees. For the M&C Group of Companies, length of service was historically marked by celebrating the mile stone achievement of twenty–five (25) years of unbroken service with a special BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

50

thank-you from the Chairman. This grew into the establishment of the 25th Anniversary Club. Members meet once a year for a Champagne Lunch, to induct new members and celebrate the continued service of all club members. In 2009 M&C Group of Companies adopted the Goddard Enterprises Limited Length of Service Awards. This event recognises staff whose length of service is any of the following 10, 20, 25, 35, 40 years. The employees’ length of service is recognized with a corporate memorabilia as well as a gift. To date we have 116 employees who have been with the company for 10 years or more and 39 employees who have been with the company for 25 years or more.

Continual Learning M&C prides itself on supporting, and providing continual learning opportunities for, its staff. This approach to professional development ensures that the workforce is equipped with


necessary and up-to-date information, and secures the company’s position by keeping it competitive and adaptable to changing trends within the marketplace. The company has proudly partnered with employees pursuing professional development in many fields including ACCA, Degree, Masters, Insurance and other Professional areas of Study. M&C is also committed to ongoing Management Development for its supervisory and management teams.

M&C Scholarship Scheme In 1975, M&C started a scholarship scheme for its employees that continues today. Under this programme, children of employees are awarded full scholarships every year, for students who qualify and are in either Secondary School, Associate Degree Studies or A Level. Today M&C Group of Companies awards 21 Scholarships each academic year. The Scholarships cover, School Books, Stationery and School Supplies, Fees for CXC & Cambridge/ Cape Exams. Scholarship recipients are required to maintain their academic performance and maintain an above average Conduct Report. The M&C Scholarship Scheme has over the years played a vital role in supporting the pursuit of academic excellence of many aspiring youth.

PAYROLL TEAM

M&C DRUGSTORE PHARMACIST

MARKETING TEAM BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

51


FINANCE TEAM

HUMAN RESOURCES TEAM

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS TEAM

MAINTENANCE TEAM

SECURITY TEAM

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

52


Taste A Piece Of Paradise At Soufriere Estate

Explore the Diamond Falls, Mineral Baths & Botanical Gardens Congratulatonsions to the M&C Group of Companies on your 150th Anniversary of Business in St. Lucia tel: 1(758) 459-7155 email: soufestate@candw.lc website: www.diamondstlucia.com

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

53


Corporate Social

Responsibility

From inception in 1864, the founding fathers of M&C have sought the opportunity to serve the community, and today, that commitment remains. M&C contributes annually to numerous charities through covenants, and also provides individual donations to various causes which include, but are not exclusive to, initiatives that support the youth in sport, and the arts.

The Fine Arts Awards M&C started the M&C Fine Arts Awards in 1979. It was a special independence gift from the company to the Government and people of St. Lucia and was initially intended that the Awards would run for 5 years, but due to its success, the company decided to support it indefinitely. The programme continued for 25 years as a significant highlight of the Fine Arts landscape, until 2004, when the company scaled back its involvement to make way for greater government and extended private sector support. What started with 3 awards in 1979, grew to more than 30 prizes a year when M&C formally handed it over to the government’s Cultural Development Foundation (CDF). With the new rebranding of the festival “Artreach” in 2013, M&C has re-established its sponsorship of this annual event in conjunction of other corporate entities.

The M&C Games 1984 marked the inauguration of “The M&C Games”. The mandate of the sporting event was to support and mobilise the sporting community with the ultimate goal of seeing St. Lucia represented at the Olympic Games. The initiative led to the wider “O.E.C.S Games” (Organization of East Caribbean States) sponsored by Texaco – one of M&C’s main agencies. This in turn led to the even wider Caribbean event – the Texaco Games. These games embraced the region from Bermuda to Guyana, and were financed by Texaco. This catalyst brought many talent scouts from the U.S.A. and elsewhere to Saint Lucia and the Caribbean, resulting in the on-going award of scholarships to Saint Lucian athletes to pursue studies in one or other of the sporting disciplines, including coaching. The M&C Games programme achieved its main objective, when Saint Lucia was represented by Pole Vaulter, Dominic Johnson, at the 1996 games in Atlanta. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

54


Group of Companies has established itself as a vital and enduring presence in the economic and social life of Saint Lucia. Historically, the company distinguished itself as an enterprise with a pioneering spirit and great foresight, a legacy that persists today, even in times of adversity. As a member of the Barbados conglomerate, Goddard Enterprises Ltd., M&C maintains its acumen for excellence. The company continues to seek out new business opportunities, and prides itself on being able to offer customers a wide variety of products and services. In addition to its contributions to the economic life of Saint Lucia, M&C has demonstrated a commitment to the community in which it operates, through a long history of philanthropic initiatives in social and cultural life. 150 years after its inception, M&C Group of Companies continues to expand and evolve, all the while adhering to the values espoused by its founding fathers.

M&C

Excerpts taken from “125 Not Out! The M&C Story” by Winville King with updates to the publication done by Mr. Guy Ellis.

Goddard Catering Group (St. Lucia) Ltd. Hewanora Int'l Airport P.O. Box #363, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia

Phone 758 459 6400 • Fax 758 454 6206 E-mail: paradise.water@goddardcatering.com Website: www.paradisewaterstlucia.com

AMS Congratulates M&C Group of Companies on their 150th Anniversary

Advertising Specialties & Promotional Products * Special Events * Calendars

* Corporate Gifts * Holiday Give Aways

* Personal Diaries * Much More........

We’ll Put Your Name Upfront Tel: 758 453-1149 • Fax: 758 453-1290 P. O. Box 2003, John St, La Clery, Castries, St. LuciaBusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

55


BOOK REVIEWS

endorsements of two such m o d e r n business icons is highly notable.

MUST READS

Volume 10

Business Tales

“Study the past if you would define the future.”- Confucius by Lyndell Halliday

Following this counsel of the ancient Chinese philosopher, this edition of Must Reads features two non-traditional business books, both of which consist of collections of real life business stories. The value of these books is that they offer practical lessons of business executives in action dealing with real issues. The two books are: How I Did it: Lessons from the Front Line of Business edited by Daniel McGinn (Harvard Business Review, 2014) and Business Adventures – Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks (Open Road Media, 2014). How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business – Daniel McGinn (Editor) How I Did It is a compilation of 34 first person stories of CEO’s of leading American corporations who tell of real business challenges they encountered and how they dealt with them. Originally written as a series of articles for the Harvard Business Review, the stories have now been complied into a single 336 page book divided into six sections: Picking the Right People, Building the Right Culture, Telling the Right Story, Growing around the World, Doing Smart Deals and Finding a Strategy that Works. Each section consists of four to seven stories with unique lessons grouped under the respective general theme. The CEO’s represent a wide cross section of corporate America - including wellknown names such as Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Bill Marriott of Marriott International, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Eric Schmidt of Google. Other familiar companies represented include Xerox, HoneyWell, Office Depot, Encyclopaedia BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

56

Britannica and IMAX. Even though the companies represented are large, the issues dealt with are typical of those faced by business executives at all sizes of companies such as hiring the right persons, dealing with declining sales, finding and executing the right strategy and negotiating deals. Each of the CEO’s writes about critical business issues they faced, their thought processes and deliberations, and how they ultimately made key decisions in order to resolve the pertinent issues. The stories are mostly written in a succinct and to the point manner and are all quick digestible reads. Moreover, the personal tone of the contributors adds tremendous value to this collection. Some of the executives speak very candidly, often talking openly about their trepidations, and admitting their mistakes, making them appear very human. How I Did It is a highly enjoyable and insightful book and is the closest most persons will ever get to having a personal armchair chat with a major CEO.   Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street – John Brooks Originally published in 1969, Business Adventures was out of print for many years, until its republication earlier this year. Clearly, the business environment has evolved significantly since the original publication of this book. Yet Warren Buffett has referred to it as one of his favourite books, famously recommending it to Bill Gates, who in turn called it “the best business book I’ve ever read.” The

John Brooks (1920 to 1933) was a contributor to the New Y o r k e r magazine. The twelve c a s e s selected for this book are quite diverse – each with unique lessons. They cover many iconic American companies such as Ford Motors, Xerox and GE as well as other lesser known companies. Some articles also cover government policy such as income tax and the stock market. In each case, Brooks writes in vivid detail with rich prose and a dry wit that makes each tale as entertaining as it is instructive. Many of the tales are stories of failure, such as Ford’s disastrous roll out of the Edsel mid-range luxury car in 1958 and an insider trading scandal at a leading minerals company of the day – Texas Gulf Sulphur. Brooks does not pretend to have all the answers, but instead provides the reader with enough detail and perspectives to allow the reader to draw his/her own lessons. In a sense, John Brooks might best be described as an investigative business journalist. The relevance of the business tales in Business Adventures varies significantly and the reader will not find all of them applicable to modern business. But there are enough timeless lessons in the pages of this classic 464 page book to make it a valuable addition to the book shelves of anyone interested in business. ¤ 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 Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for the Australia Institute of Business MBA and BBA programmes.


BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

57


DEDICATED INTERNET ACCESS (DIA) Reliable, high quality internet connectivity for your business

Internet access and its applications is serious business, whether you are using professional internet access or conducting transactions over the internet. If you need absolute, guaranteed reliability and security, a Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) is the right choice for your business. You’ll get a fully dedicated connection, over an unshared and uncontended line, directly into the Digicel Business network. The Digicel Business network meets the most stringent corporate security requirements for link encryption, information integrity and confidentiality, ensuring that your information is always protected. Digicel Business management of the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Global Internet Peering (GIP) provides enterprises with maximum control over service resilience and quality, translating directly into a commercial advantage. Our engineering and operational experience has led to a consistent and proven record of delivery of carrier grade reliability and performance that is assured through our Service Level Agreement (SLA). Why Digicel Dedicated Internet Access?

Greater Connectivity

Flexibility & Reliability

DIA is delivered seamlessly on Digicel’s Backbone Network to your premise(s) Dedicated connectivity with high availability and low latency. Easily upgradable to higher speeds

Digicel Business architecture can provide fully diverse paths for a fully redundant ‘Always on’ Service DIA is delivered via a fully resilient internet backbone with best in class IP peering

To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact Digicel Business at 1 758 724 6001 or digicelbusinessslu@digicelgroup.com Complete solutions for your needs BusinessFocus Sept / Oct WWW.DIGICELBUSINESS.COM

|

58

Digicel’s DIA offers dedicated, guaranteed bandwidth for highpriority business applications

High Security

Customer Satisfaction

The dedicated link to your premises is using secure encryption mechanism ensuring a secure transport at all times World-class network quality and reliability supported by a proven pedigree of service with the world's premier carriers Leading Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) guaranteeing delivery and service availability


Capella Resorts partners with Digicel Business and Now Enjoys Communication Cost Savings of Over 40% Left to Right: Selwyn Adams – Digicel Business Solutions Executive (OECS South), Jeroen Quint – General Manager Capella, Shian Paul – Digicel Corporate Sales Executive, Christophe Thakur – Capella Management Information Systems, IT Manager

Dedicated Internet Access Digicel's carrier network extends across the Caribbean and Central America to the United States and is built using a combination of optical fibre and stateof-the art microwave links. The entire connection is provided independently of any competitor infrastructure, and works entirely without sharing any network elements with or relying upon any other local telecommunications provider, either on or off-island. Digicel Business Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) service provides the best reliable, high quality internet service for any business. Digicel has provided Capella Resorts with a 28 Mbps Dedicated Internet Access link giving Capella greater connectivity at a lower cost. Capella can now enjoy the benefits of a single, unshared line directly into the Digicel Business Network. Our network meets Capella’s stringent corporate security requirements for data encryption, information integrity and confidentiality. This service is backed by our leading service level agreement (SLA) ensuring the Capella business, the best response time in case of technical difficulties.

Benefits for Capella Quality dedicated internet business connection Guaranteed service speed and bandwidth Consistent high performance service delivery highest level of data security world class internet infrastructure Providing industry leading SLA's ensuring maximum availability Guest Wireless Access / WiFi With the proliferation of mobile systems and devices used by travelers, Capella Resorts requires the deployment of a robust Wi-Fi network to offer internet access to guests of the resort. In responding to this need, Digicel Business has implemented a state of the art campus/resort wide Meraki Wi-Fi solution that covers the Capella Resort. With the implementation of the Cisco Meraki Solution, Capella Resorts can now offer it’s guests secure, easy to manage guest access without extra appliances, licenses, or complex configurations providing a complete guest solution, enabling secure, Internet-only access that protects Capella’s network and guests’ information.

IP PBX Digicel Business has provided Capella Resorts with a “turn-key solution” for their Telecommunication needs, delivered with the implementation of the Avaya IP Office IP PBX solution. Our solution offers a reliable, world-class information technology platform for the delivery of services including data, voice, fax, video and mobility. Digicel will deliver to Capella Resorts, a solution that will be intuitive, secure, easy-to-use, and provide a host of hospitality services, such as inroom guest services, advanced voice and unified communications applications. With these and other benefits, Capella will experience professional services, all with the goal of improving service quality and lowering the total cost of ownership. In summary with the introduction of these turn-key solutions from Digicel Business, Capella resorts will realize increased operational efficiencies, reduced cost and savings on telecommunications. Capella will enjoy greater business security, peace of mind and increased workforce productivity, business growth and revenue through Digicel Business’ leading technology solutions.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

59


"Cooking is like love. It Should be Entered Into with Abandon or Not at all.” Anonymous deliver an optimal sensory impact. As a result we have a love affair with the freshest that the food market has to offer – herbs, fruit, vegetables, roots and garnishes. With equal care, we augment our staff complement with carefully selected waiting and bar staff, based on the size of your event. From our Kitchens at Bois D’Orange in Gros Islet, we offer both a consultancy and catering service. Guided by her philosophy, that great food and excellent customer service ramps up the memorability factor, our Master Chef June consults on menu design, advising on themes best suited to deliver a gratifying culinary experience, within budget. Any Occasion, Anywhere: with over 30 years’ experience in catering, Simona Leon-Morille – known to all as “June”, delivers culinary excellence with every menu – the intimate dinner party, the ministerial or Diplomatic Corps cocktail, high profile events, the wedding feast, the staff awards or the VIP lounge at Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. From sweet and savory canapés, to finger foods, to edible displays, decadent desserts and everything in between, June boasts the best presentations and most variety. Junes Catering Service prides itself on its legendary emphasis on the olfactory appeal of our food. We plan always to BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

60

A La Corporate: CEOs and Executives trust June’s Catering Service because of our menu flexibility and budget management record. More so, we spare no effort in bringing an exclusive dining or cocktail ambience to any office space – effectively representing the brand to its valued employees and clients. We handle breakfasts, brunches, luncheons, dinners or working meetings with equal aplomb. Informal or Outdoors: We love the kitchen and thrill of exceeding expectations. We are adept with grills and tropically inspired sauces and dips as we with the thinnest crust pastry. So we

approach the laid back informal or outdoor family celebration with the same gusto as the reunion or corporate picnic. Check with some of our Client References: Bank of Saint Lucia, Digicel, LUCELEC, Government House, Prime Minister’s Official Residence, National Insurance Corporation, Office of Private Sector Relations, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards Some Sporting Events International Media group-CWC; Atlantic Rally for Cruisers; ICC WT20 (ESPN Star Sports India’s Singapore group); Media group 20/20 Cricket; Opening of Beausejour Cricket Stadium including VIP Lounge Awards Quality Assurance Award, OPSR SME Training 2009


Visually stunning presentations, a seduction of aromas, palette pleasing pastries and desserts – these are the ‘constants’ that have positioned June’s Catering Service as the preferred choice for corporate Saint Lucia, Government and those for whom quality is the only option.

Bois D' Orange, Gros Islet. P.O. Box CP 5483, Castries St. Lucia W.I. Tel: 1(758) 452 8854 • Mobile: 1(758) 285 8854 / 721 8854 Email: simonaleon911@hotmail.com BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

61


T

he St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Ltd. (SMFC) was established in 1968 as a whollyowned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC). SMFC currently has two share holders the Government of Saint Lucia (25%) and the National insurance Corporation (75%). It operates under an agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia to provide loans to Saint Lucians (resident and non-resident) for the purchase, construction or extension of dwelling houses and the purchase of land; the Company also offers “Home Equity “ loans whereby properties can be remortgaged to provide funding for special purposes. The Company has over the years been involved in numerous developments ensuring that adequate finance for housing was available to all St. Lucians especially those of moderate and low income households. Sans Souci, Ravine Chabot, Sunbilt, Entrepot, La Pansee and Reduit are a few of the earlier developments. The Company continues to work with agencies such as the National Housing Corporation and the Ministry of Housing - as well as BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

62

private developers - to ensure that persons from all walks of life can aspire to own a piece of St. Lucia. SMFC has a rich history of assisting society especially in the areas of education and sports. It continues to support a number of schools with their annual sports meets, calypso competitions and graduation ceremonies. It also supports homes for the elderly. SMFC ‘s commitment has stood the test of time. The Company is looking towards 2018 when it will celebrate 50 years of serving Saint Lucia with humility, empathy and integrity.

Rupert Orlando Martyr Bids Farewell After 37 Years SMFC in June 2014 officially bid farewell to Rupert Orlando Martyr who served as Chief Exeuctive From 1977 to 2014. At his official retirement function Mr. Martyr stated that it had been a Privilege and honour to serve as Chief Executive of SMFC. He spoke of his experience as a journey on which” along the route, one meets fellow-travellers – some helpful –

good Samaritans – some more obstructive – but all interacting and contributing to making the Journey challenging, thus worthwhile.” He indicated that retirement was a time to say thank you and went on to thank his fellow travellers on his 37 year journey; “Retirement functions present the opportunity to pause on completion of a leg or station of the journey, reflect on the trip so far; for the more ambitious plan or prepare for the next leg; but most importantly, to be able to say “thank you” to some of the fellow-travellers.


For the opportunities and achievements I must:First and foremost, thank the Almighty who made it all possible; to paraphrase my favourite psalm “fret not thyself…the steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord, he delights in every detail of their lives”. Then, I thank the “Founding Fathers” who had the vision to establish the Company in 1968 – many have since “moved-on” to much greener pastures. I must place on record that during my tenure, there was no political interference in the management of the Company. I appreciate the respect shown by the

various Prime Ministers.

I commend the many customers who continue to support SMFC despite the opposition and genuine competition in the mortgage market; The quality of technical assistance supplied by our lawyers and valuers must also be acknowledged. Permit me to recognise the inputs of the late Desmond McNamara and Desmond Sealy who were always available to advise on matters beyond SMFC:matters of “good governance”! Chairpersons and Directors (past and present) who gave of their time and talent with little or no remuneration......well done! To Staff, remember, “SMFC is the lender of last resort to many. Excellence is achieved through Empathy, Energy and Efficiency”. In recognition of the efforts of staff both past and present I say: without you, survival would not have been possible…… Thank You. I must acknowledge my mother (still alive at 92), who by example, taught that patience is indeed a virtue and to my wife, Catherine, who tolerated and supported my eccentric working hours, I reserve three words “amor vincit omnia” ….Love conquers all.

His passion for finance and banking was fuelled during his years of tenure with Bank of Saint Lucia from 1986 to 2011, where he had the opportunity to experience and develop expertise in a number of areas. Also an Attorney at Law, his areas of interest are general civil practice with emphasis on Banking, Corporate and Commercial matters, Offshore Banking, Trusts, Insurance, Personal Injury and Conveyancing, As such he brings a diverse knowledge base and skill-set to the role. Mr. Peter is currently a member of The Institute of Canadian Bankers, The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, UK, The Bar of England & Wales and The Bar of Saint Lucia. Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Peter stated that "St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Ltd is confronting an entirely new phase within the sector which will serve to define the role of the Company in these challenging economic times. I feel very privileged to be joining this long standing company at such a pivotal time in its history and look forward to working closely with the Board of Directors, our shareholders, our customers and the rest of our talented team to ensure that St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company realizes its extraordinary growth potential The new CEO recognised the yeoman service of his predecessor, whose tenure he described as characterising prudence and exemplary leadership. “It is indeed an honour to take over from Mr. Rupert Orlando Martyr who has excellently led SMFC for over three decades. His example is an inspiration to me certainly in terms of making a mark and leaving a legacy such as he has done.”

New CEO Takes Over the Helm at the SMFC St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Ltd (SMFC) welcomed its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the appointment of Mr. Ainsworth Peter on July 01, 2014. With over two decades experience in the banking sector Mr. Peter has been appointed to oversee the operations of the St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Ltd (SMFC) and the execution of the company’s strategies as it continues to grow towards being a preferred provider of mortgage financing opportunities for Saint Lucians. Mr. Peter is designated an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (AICB) and holds a BComm in Financial Services from Nipissing University, Canada and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom (UK).

THE WAY HOME SINCE 1968 Our commitment has stood the Test of Time. Our Devotion is Legendary! Interest rates are at an all-time low so build Today and Celebrate Forever. At SMFC we have something for everyone: From as little as $10,000 to our “High 5”- $500,000. Come, talk to us, and together we can develop the mortgage plan that best suits your needs.

So make that call! Join the thousands of St. Lucians enjoying life in their own homes! St. Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Limited Brazil & Laborie Streets, P.O. Box 455, Castries Telephone: 452-3464/7/8 – Facsimile: 452-6944 – Email: smfc@candw.lc

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

63


ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

15 St. Lucian Firms Benefit from Direct Assistance Grant Scheme

T

he Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has announced the awarding of ECD 10,910,529.98 (€2,992,287) to firms and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) across the region via their flagship programme, the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS), as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP), funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Caribbean Export published the Call for Proposals for both the Accelerated and Regular Procedures grant facilities under the DAGS on January 17, 2014 with a deadline for submission of application on March 7, 2014, receiving a total of 341 applications from across the region of which 136 firms and BSOs were awarded grants. The Agency recently disclosed that fifteen of these grants being awarded were to firms in St. Lucia with a cumulative value of BDS 1,003,543.80. The full list of grant awardees can be found on the Agency’s website. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

64

The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme [DAGS] beneficiaries under the Accelerated Procedures Call for proposals are Viking Traders Ltd. [Agro-Processing], Natmed Ltd [Health & Wellness], Island Interactive Ltd. [ICT], Windward Pasta [Manufacturing], St. Lucia Clay Products Ltd [Manufacturing], Tolyn Manufacturers Ltd. [Manufacturing] and St. Lucia Moz Inc. [Professional Services]. The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme [DAGS] beneficiaries under the Regular Procedures Call for proposals are Viking Traders Limited [Agro-Processing], Barons Foods (St. Lucia) Limited [Agro-Processing], Converge Solutions Incorporated [ICT], Windward Pasta [Manufacturing], Dahlia’s Baby Softness [Manufacturing], St. Lucia Distillers Limited [Manufacturing], Accela Marketing Company Limited [Professional Services], FDL Consult Incorporated [Professional Services] and Le Sport (St. Lucia) Limited [Professional Services]. The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support to firms looking to

increase their export capacity, either to new or existing markets. In particular, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME). The funding provided to beneficiaries is often utilised to modernise equipment, upgrade facilities to meet international food and quality standards, enhance products and packaging, implement alternative energy systems, market and promote products and services, train staff, and develop collateral materials. To date, Caribbean Export has awarded 475 SMEs and BSOs across the region via direct assistance grants totalling €8,372,277.82. The DAGS is a reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), individuals, and business support organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services. ¤


ATWELL DALGLIESH CO. St. Lucia Ltd. Since 1974

Distributors of: Soft Sheen-Carson Products • Wave Noveau •Carefree Curl •Moisture Oil Therapy • Optimum Relasers, etc And Much More ... Organic Root Stimulator • Hair Mayonnaise • Fertilizing Balm & Serum • Carrot Oil • Olive Oil Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm • Sat: 8:30am-12:20pm

La Pansee, P.O. Box 732, Castries, St. Lucia, W.I. e-mail: atweldalco@candw.lc

Tel: (758) 452-3668 • Fax: (758) 452-4387 Facebook.com/pages/atwell-dalgliesh • www.atwelldalglesh.com

West Indies General

Insurance Company Limited

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

65


ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

New Program to Create Pathways for Trade Between Caribbean and the USA Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, Dr. Larry Palmer urged the audience to give full support to the TFP, while making reference to the strength of AACCLA.

T

he U.S. Embassy Bridgetown is pleased to support the America Chamber of Commerce for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean (AmCham BEC) in the launch of its trade facilitation program (TFP), in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA). Speaking at the ceremony for the TFP launch held at the University of the West

“AACCLA has become the premier advocate in facilitating business in the Americas. AACCLA’s mission is to promote trade and investment between the United States and the countries of the region through free trade, free markets, and free enterprise. For nearly a century, American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) have been the most influential voice of U.S. business across the world. AmCham BEC is not only the newest AmCham in the world, but it also has the distinct status of being the only multijurisdictional AmCham in the world covering the seven countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica,

Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” noted Ambassador Palmer. The TFP will be based on a regional company survey, which will assess the region’s priorities for trade facilitation. Using the results from that assessment, a unified customs approach will be developed to improve the flow of goods in the region. The final TFP will be implemented in three phases. President of AmCham BEC Dustin Delany noted, “It is predicted that the project will significantly contribute towards building an active consensus among the private sectors of the region, support efforts to improve the competitiveness of the Caribbean economies, provide impetus to regional integration, and influence local policymakers and businesses to support policies to facilitate international trade.” ¤

IMF Cuts US 2014 Growth Forecast to 1.7%

T

he International Monetary Fund said in late July that it expects the US economy to grow 1.7 per cent in 2014, even more slowly than it predicted a month ago, as weakness in the first quarter offsets an expected pick-up in the second half of the year. The IMF, which in June 2014 forecast two per cent growth for the world’s largest economy this year, said US activity should accelerate to a pace of three per cent to 3.5 per cent in the rest of 2014, and grow by three per cent next year and in 2016. US GDP contracted at a 2.9 per cent annual pace in the first three months of the year, dragged down by a weak housing market, a slower pace of restocking by businesses and lower exports. It was

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

66

the sharpest decline in five years. Lower growth expectations should contribute to continued slack in the labor market for the next three to four years, with the United States remaining below full employment until 2018, the IMF said. It added that the US Federal Reserve could keep its benchmark interest rates at zero beyond the middle of 2015, the date implied by policymaker forecasts, as long as inflation and financial stability concerns remain subdued. The IMF said it believed the US Central Bank could then raise rates at every other policy meeting, in what would be a more gradual approach than median Federal forecasts currently suggest. ¤


Take Control of your future.

3 in Region “Partially Compliant” on Tax Transparency

T

he Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has rated St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Anguilla as “Partially Compliant” with international standards on tax transparency. But it noted that the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat and St. KittsNevis were “largely compliant”. In reviewing the exchange of information practices through Phase 2 peer review reports in 10 jurisdictions, the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes said it allocated ratings for compliance with the individual elements of the international standard, as well as an overall rating. It said five jurisdictions — Andora, Anguilla, Antigua, Indonesia and St. Lucia - received an overall rating of “Partially Compliant”. The Global Forum also said that four others - Chile, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montserrat and St. KittsNevis - received an overall rating of “largely compliant”, while Mexico was rated as “compliant” with Global Forum standards. While there are legal obligations for most entities to maintain ownership information, the report notes that compliance with ownership obligations was “not sufficiently monitored” by the St. Lucian authorities over the review period. With the release of the latest batch of reviews, the OECD said the Global Forum has now completed 143 peer reviews and assigned compliance ratings to 64 jurisdictions that have undergone Phase 2 reviews. Additional peer reviews will be completed by the next plenary meeting of the Global Forum, in Germany in late October 2014. ¤

MAMPA TRAINING INSTITUTE (MTI) / BTEC EDEXCEL CENTER Is now offering courses in the various sectors as follows: HOSPITALITY - Professional Cooking, Food & Beverage, Kitchen Services, Housekeeping, Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure Travel and Tourism BUSINESS - Management, Marketing, Law and Legal work, Principles of Business Administration, Understanding Business Enterprises, Understanding Enterprise and Entreprenership HEALTH - Medical Administration, Medical Secretaries, Knowledge of Custodial Care, Working in the Health Sector, Working with Individual with Diabetes, Introduction to Health and Social Care Duration of courses are from 4 weeks to one year. On completion, students are guaranteed interview with MAMPA Employment Agency for career development in their chosen field. For more information, please feel free to call or us: Register Now Mampa Training Institute 39 Brazil Street Castries, Saint Lucia, W.I Tel: - (758) 451 6163 Cell: - (758) 584 7262 Mampa18@hotmail.com

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

67


ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

ECLAC says Caribbean Economy Forecasted to Grow by 2%; Growth of 1.7% Forecasted for OECS

Forecast Is Down From Earlier 2.7% Growth Estimate; China Demand Called Region's Main Risk

T

he Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says Caribbean economies are expected to recover in 2014, while lowering the growth forecast for the entire region to 2.2 per cent. ECLAC has unveiled its report, ‘Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014,’ indicating that Caribbean economies will grow to two per cent “which implies a recovery from the 1.2 percent registered in 2013”. Overall, ECLAC revised its projections for Latin American and Caribbean economies, which it said will experience average growth of 2.2 per cent in 2014, “affected by the weakness in external demand, less dynamic domestic demand, insufficient investment and limited room for implementing policies to spur an upturn. Economic activity in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) territories is expected to expand by 1.7% in 2014, as the recovery in all six economies gathers momentum, albeit at varying levels. A rally in the construction sector, coupled with sustained growth in the tourism BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

68

industry, will continue to have positive spillovers on the transportation and communications sectors. Wholesale and retail trade activities are expected to grow exponentially as a consequence of these drivers. Positive impacts are also expected in the agricultural sector. However, continued fiscal consolidation strategies should limit government spending while weak economic activity in some member States ought to keep inflation in check, with a rate of the order of 1.8% expected in 2014. The primary risks to economic growth will continue to be weak public finances, high levels of public debt and the prohibitive cost of borrowing in international financial markets. “These elements have a differentiated impact on Latin American and Caribbean countries and sub-regions, confirming a high degree of heterogeneity in growth dynamics,” said ECLAC in cutting the regional growth forecast for 2014 that was issued last April when it predicted a 2.7 per cent growth. The ECLAC report said that the main risk to growth this year comes from China, as commodity-exporting nations could

be harmed if growth in that Asian nation doesn't stay above 7.0%. The study indicates that the economic slowdown observed in the last quarter of 2013 persisted during the first months of 2014, meaning that the region will grow less than the 2.5 per cent recorded last year. Nevertheless, the report signals that a gradual improvement in some of the world's major economies should enable the trend to change towards the end of 2014. “Macroeconomic policies have to take into account each country's specific vulnerabilities,” said Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary. “Without a doubt, it is important in all cases to increase investment and productivity to guarantee structural change with equality in the medium term. Both factors are key challenges for the economic sustainability of development, especially in the current context.” ¤


S&P: Wealth Gap Is Slowing US Economic Growth

E

conomists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the United States rebound from the Great Recession.

The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities.

thereby worsening the boom-bust cycle. Or they curb their spending, and growth improves only modestly, as it has during the current recovery.

Now, an analysis by the rating agency Standard & Poor's lends its weight to the argument: The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has made the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles and slowed the fiveyear-old recovery from the recession.

Part of the problem is that educational achievement has stalled in recent decades. More schooling usually translates into higher wages. S&P estimates that the US economy would grow annually by an additional half a percentage point - or US$105 billion - over the next five years, if the average American worker had completed just one more year of school.

Tax data tracked as part of the World Top Incomes Database project reveal just how much the economic chasm has expanded. An American in the top one per cent of earners had an average income of US$1.3 million in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. Average income jumps to US$30.8 million for the top 0.01 per cent.

By contrast, S&P concludes, heavy taxes that would be meant to reduce inequality could remove incentives for people to work, and cause businesses to hire fewer employees because of the costs involved.

Adjusted for inflation, the top 0.01 per cent's average earnings have jumped by a factor of seven since 1913. For the bottom 90 per cent of Americans, average incomes, after inflation, have grown by a factor of just three since 1917 and have declined for the past 13 years. 造

Economic disparities appear to be reaching extremes that "need to be watched because they're damaging to growth," said Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at S&P. The rising concentration of income among the top one per cent of earners has contributed to S&P's cutting its growth estimates for the economy. In part because of the disparity, it estimates that the economy will grow at a 2.5 per cent annual pace in the next decade, down from a forecast five years ago of a 2.8 per cent rate.

The report builds on data from the Congressional Budget Office, the International Monetary Fund and academic economists to explain how income disparities can hurt growth. Many consumers tend to become more dependent on debt to continue spending,

Source: Associated Press

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

69


ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

CARICOM and the German Government Team up to Find Solutions to Climate Change

Partnership Sees the Formulation of the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS)

T

he Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the German government are supporting the efforts of eight CARICOM member states to adapt the management of their natural resources and economies to the ever-pressing and farreaching socio-economic and environmental impacts of climate change. In an effort to strengthen the national capacities to mitigate the adverse effects of a changing climate, which inevitably impacts small islands and low-lying coastal states the most, the key objectives of the joint CARICOM-German government support are two-fold: (i) to conserve the unique marine biodiversity of the Caribbean Sea, and (ii) to foster the development and adoption of good practices and adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water/wastewater management. The main target groups include governmental and nongovernmental organisations, national farmers and fisherfolk organisations, the tourism industry, water utilities and small and medium sized businesses. To deliver on the CARICOM-German government partnership, the regional development programme titled Caribbean AquaTerrestrial Solutions (CATS) was formulated. The CATS Programme, headed by Dr. Horst Vogel operates through a marine component, namely CATS-2, which focuses on the conservation of the marine biodiversity and coastal protection, and a terrestrial component, BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

70

CATS-1, which leads all projects related to adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water/wastewater management. The CATS programme is executed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fßr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and by the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on behalf of CARICOM. CATS adopts a 'ridge-to-reef' approach that follows many of the lessons learnt and approaches from the GEF-funded integrating watershed and coastal areas management (GEF-IWCAM) project – guided by a deep understanding that agricultural, forestry and water/wastewater management operations upstream exert a direct influence on coastal and marine ecosystems. CATS-2 focuses on marine protected areas (MPAs) in five Eastern Caribbean countries, namely, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Hence, in keeping with the integrated watershed and coastal areas management 'ridge-to-reef' approach, CATS-1 centres its activities on the watersheds upstream, adjacent to the respective MPAs. Additionally, CATS-1 supports adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water management in Jamaica, Belize and Guyana. Between April and June 2014, CATS-1's principal advisor, Eva Maria


Näher (GIZ), organised and conducted two-day planning workshops with various stakeholders from the agricultural, water and forestry sectors in the five CARICOM member states of Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The aim was to identify priorities with regard to adaptation measures to climate change in agriculture and forestry and to formulate an operational plan for each country. As part of the two-day workshops, the stakeholders participated in field visits to the MPAs and adjacent watersheds for on-the-spot discussions on the linkages between agricultural and other land use activities, and the adverse effects of land degradation and water pollution into the coastal areas. The main activities identified by stakeholders in the countries include (i) training to improve capacities and the development of demonstration plots for good agricultural practices, (ii) establishment of agroforestrysystems, (iii) reforestation of degraded areas, (iv) implementation of water conservation measures (including rainwater harvesting and storage techniques), (v) land capability assessments to inform land use optimisation and (vi) investments in alternative livelihood solutions. To complement the national planning workshops and foster collaboration among key regional agencies concerned with agriculture, forestry, water and rural development, a focus-group regional agency meeting was held on July 10 at CARPHA's headquarters in Trinidad. Participating agencies included the Caribbean Farmers Network (CAFAN), the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Inter- American Institute for the Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The objective of this focus-group meeting was to exchange experiences and expertise in the field and to assess prospective partnership opportunities with the CATS Programme. CATS-1 is aiming to foster strong partnerships and generate valuable synergies between stakeholders whose livelihoods depend on the conservation and sustainable use of fragile and vulnerable marine and terrestrial resources and ecosystems, and the organisations both at the national and regional level that provide support in this regard. In short, it is a joint endeavour to develop, implement, and share best practices to support agricultural diversification and improved management of forests and water resources to support sustainable and prosperous agricultural and rural development, while conserving the Caribbean's precious natural resources by maintaining healthy environments and healthy peoples. ¤

Total Health Care Pharmacy Specializing In: Pharmaceuticals * Prescriptions * Medical Supplies Patient Aids e.g. Knee Braces * Wheel Chairs Special Senior Citizen’s Discount Cosmetics & Beauty Products * Baby Care Products Vitamins * Toiletries * Oxygen Theraphy Products Mon - Thurs & Sat. 8:30am to 5:30pm Fri. 8:30 am - 6:00pm Charlery Bldg. Cnr. Clarke Street & Laborie / Vieux Fort Hwy. Telephone: (758) 454 8055 Fax: (758) 454 8045

S MEDICAL SUPPL S E R P IES EX

Distributors of - Medical Supplies and Equipment Dental Supplies * Veterinary Supplies * Pharmaceuticals Also Available - Air Pressure Mattress Wheel chairs Other Patient Aids & Equipment and Supplies for Doctors.

We Order Supplies On Special Request. We Offer Competitive Prices and Island Wide Deliveries P. O. Box 395, Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia Telephone: (758) 454 6565 Fax: (758) 454 7862 BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

71


ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

World’s Largest Wind-Solar Hybrid Installation Unveiled In Jamaica

I

ndiana-based WindStream Technologies is set to erect the world’s largest windsolar hybrid installation in Kinston, Jamaica. The 80 kW installation consists of 50 WindStream SolarMill units that will generate more than 106,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually, (25 kW of wind and 55 kW of solar), and an expected return on investment of less than four years for Kingston law firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon (MFG), which commissioned the project. The SolarMill is a new distributed energy technology consisting of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT), solar panels and proprietary "smart" electronics. The energy generated by each SolarMill can be used off grid with a storage system or inverted for use in grid-tied applications, according to WindStream.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

72

Occupying the roof space about the size of a solar panel, each SolarMill provides the highest energy density currently available in the renewable market,” the company added. WindStream said it expects the energy cost savings to exceed $2 million over the course of the installation’s projected 25year life span. "We have been at the forefront of the Jamaican legal landscape for 70 years and we are pleased to be continuing that trend by leading in Jamaican sustainability and renewable energy," said Donovan Cunningham, MFG’s chief operating officer. "This was a bold undertaking and we expect to reap rich rewards through our partnership with WindStream." The MFG SolarMill installation is a part of a larger effort by Jamaica Public Service (JPS)

to provide greater access to renewable energy solutions in a country where the cost of energy is over three times the U.S. average. JPS and WindStream also collaborated with Eaton Houghton of energy services company Caribbean ESCO, who served as lead energy efficiency auditor for the project. "We are proud to be working with JPS, which is distributing our products within Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean," said WindStream COO Travis Campbell. "This SolarMill installation is an excellent model for other businesses to follow. If you are interested in energy efficiency and saving money, SolarMills are a simple, cost-effective solution." WindStream recently opened an office in Hyderabad, India, and has also secured distribution agreements in Turkey, Ghana, Liberia, New Zealand and Tanzania. ¤


CDB Supports Energy Project in Dominica energy efficiency investments by the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in the productive sectors. The CDB will provide a loan of US$500,000 to help fund the project. The project is part of an energy efficiency/ renewable energy (EE/RE) programme being rolled out in some of the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) that seeks to encourage greater use of EE/RE and clean energy technologies as part of a wider CDB green economy initiative.

T

he Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will be assisting the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank (DAIDB) in implementing a pilot initiative in financing

The project in Dominica should result in greater savings in energy consumption and fossil fuel usage derived from the implementation and use of EE/ RE technologies deployed MSMEs; the enhanced capacity of DAIDB to identify, appraise and supervise EE and RE projects; and better awareness of the use of EE/RE

technologies that contribute to a reduction in energy usage. CDB’s Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services will also provide technical assistance through the provision of energy audits, business plans and technical oversight during sub-project implementation. Several BMCs are now collaborating with CDB and other development partners to climate-proof their shorelines by building sea defences, and retro-fitting roads and other infrastructure to enable them to endure the now harsher climate conditions. CDB is also working with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), DFID, and the European Union to create more climate-resilient communities. ¤

SHOPPACKNSHIP No Need to Travel

SAVE MONEY Let us pack & ship for you • • • • • •

REPACKING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION STORAGE BARRELS CONTAINERS MULTIPLE SHIPPING OPTIONS

Sending the world to your door!

LOCAL AUTHORIZED AGENT

EGS Freight Services (758) 451-2920 Manoel & Jeremie St., Castries

WEB: www.shoppacknship.com EMAIL: info@shoppacknship.com

e-mail: renee.construct@gmail.com www.reneesconstruction.com

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

73


Our Organisations are US, So Why are so Many Dysfunctional?

W

ell, to no ones’ surprise, the short answer to the title is that our organisations are created, populated by and managed by human beings, and the latter can be very irrational. By irrational we mean thinking, beliefs and actions that are, or may seem to be inappropriate or more illogical than other more rational alternatives. Dysfunctional or abnormal behaviour, we define here as deviating from what is the norm (and of course norms differ from place to place) or typical and this can be subjectively defined. Just pick up your daily newspaper, or read the ‘odd’ news and we will appreciate that though we ‘beings’ may have the potential to be rational, like we have the potential

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

74

to be so many other things, depending on our passion and pursuits; but as irrational personalities we view the world and events through our peculiar socially conditioned or programmed lenses. We spend much of our life’s journey within organisational environments. In fact, we are born into an organisation and it’s called the family. It matters little whether it is a single parent, extended family with uncles and aunts, cousins by the dozens, or the traditional two parent structure. All forms are still a family and yes there are implications, as much research shows, for the efficacy of the family. But it’s also less about the family structure and more about the relationships within the family structure as many successful children of single parent homes can confirm.

Dr. Keith Lequay is an organisational psychologist and a director of CaribCare Ltd, St Lucia’s first full service Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Contact: keith@caribcare.net


In understanding our Caribbean organisations and organisational behaviour in general, there is a simple math equation constructed by Kurt Lewin, noted psychologist, who offered us the following; B = f (P, E) where Behaviour is a function of the Personality and its Environment. The individual providing their unique conditioned personality, while the organisation, be it private, state owned, religious, or a community based entity, provides the environment. It is therefore the combination of the individual personality and the organisational environment, inclusive of its co-created culture, which dictates the specific organisational behaviour. Another maxim that behavioural specialists offer for explaining individual or group reactions within an organisation is – that there are always antecedents to behaviour. This means simply, that behaviour does not operate in a vacuum. There are always prior events, people and situations in the individual’s and the institution’s past, which impacts on present personal and corporate behaviour. As individuals, we are the sum total of our unique experiences and these experiences affect and shape our view of the world, inclusive of our behaviour within our organisations. Regarding organisational behaviour, we can apply the same principle. Organisations can be irrational, stuck in their behaviour, living in the past or disconnected from a contemporary reality, in a dynamic market driven by a technologically fast paced economy. And

yes, when we speak of organisational behaviour, we are in fact referring to the leadership behaviour that gets implemented in the entity and projected outwards. Oftentimes for the actor in the present, these antecedents are operating at the very unconscious level, and according to Freud, well known as the father of modern psychology; the unconscious is the mental domain where socially unacceptable ideas, wishes, fantasies, trauma memories and hurtful emotions are repressed. From a psychoanalytical perspective, the unconscious is a force that can be recognised by its effects. You know, getting stuck in repetitive behaviour or cycles, without any apparent cause. Yes, groups and organisations, like governments and for-profit entities can get stuck in their behaviour just like individuals. Think back to the Wall Street frenzy and banking collapse of 2008 and beyond by the biggest names in capital accumulation, including financial institutions in Europe. Or refer here to the recent state and union negotiations at the local level. If we understood some of these basics for explaining and predicting behaviour, much of the mistrust, antagonism and discord that we have in our daily activities, in communicating and understanding the ‘other,’ would be more easily negotiated.

help to motivate our behaviour. To take recent local situations, we assume that interpersonal interactions around any issues are based on some rational grasp of the events at hand. As one of my former psychology lecturers often reminded us, for those who lay claim to being ‘objective’ in their choices or decision making – just ask them to describe or explain that objective state of mind? What is the alleged state of mind of individual’s who profess to be objective? This latter topic we will leave for another article. Is it that we just contain or abandon our personal biases, stop thinking as per our gender, forget political preferences and colours, educational level, religious and other beliefs, town vs country upbringing, etc. etc. Put another way, how can a subjective become objective? Occupational wellness, insecurity and stress are all related in a global competitive economy. Recent statistics suggest that as many as 40% or more of German employees are stressed, one wonders of the local reality. The relationship between work environment and burnout is much stronger, so it’s essential that we consider the health of our organisations. As we say in the Change Management discipline, if organisations adopt the personality of their leadership, is it any wonder that we create dysfunctional organisations. ¤

But we humans are invested in our own realities, they are very much a part of who we are and self -maintenance, pride and our conditioning (aka socialisation) BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

75


YOUTH IN FOCUS

Montserrat Teen Becomes Youngest Caribbean Entrepreneur and Author

15-Year-Old Launches Investment Holding Firm

W

arren Cassell Jr. is an internationally established entrepreneur, a published author of two books, and a highly successful investor from the Caribbean island of Montserrat. At the age of 15, he has during his youthful climb to fame and fortune founded multiple companies, contributed to the Huffington Post and has even earned a first degree black-belt in Tae Kwon Do. Citing his personal bio, Warren is a member of the Leaders Investment Club and has been constantly recognised as a prominent business leader and role model for young people. Just within this past year, the Montserrat Department of Youth Affairs recognised the young teen as a “Youth on the Rise” and named him “Caribbean Journal’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2013.” His business and investment portfolio is both quite expansive and impressive to include media engagement, Internet activity, and food manufacturing. He further actively invests in hedge funds, private equity and in real estate. Guided by his parents, at age eight, the fifth form student at Montserrat Secondary

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

76

High School started his first venture – a greeting card company. The still budding entrepreneur started his business journey at the age of eight when he launched his own greeting card business. Along with the assistance of a small capital outlay from his parents to get him started, he designed and marketed his cards to an international consumer base. Following his success in the greeting card industry, it was at this time at the age of 13 when he turned his attention to making investments in hedge funds, private equity and in real estate. He currently holds shares in Running Palmz. Warren published his first book, “The Farm of Wisdom: 25 Unforgettable Tales that Will Ignite a Wiser You,” in 2013. With the assistance of a fictional farm and caricature farm animals, our youthful author informs us, according to a review account, “That pigs, cows and even ants can teach us lessons.” In his second 2014 published title “Swim or Drown: Business and Life Lessons I’ve Learned from the Ocean,” Warren further underscores his contention that we can learn everything there is to know about life by simply observing nature.

He later went on to learn web designs and started Chupz Business Solutions, which provides domain names and marketing services for clients in Jamaica, Trinidad, The Philippines, US, Montserrat and the UK. "I love the world of investing because it teaches me patience, it tests my temperament and it allows me to get access to the place where the wealthy get richer," he stated. Warren is the Founder and CEO of the Abella Group, a privately held investment company designed to manage his investments in a number of sectors to include media, publishing, technology, and financial services. The Abella Group also works with institutional investors and high net worth individuals to coinvest in a diverse collection of investment opportunities. “I intend on doing anything and everything ethical to achieve my success,” he says in Benjamin Haggith’s June 11, 2014 posting, The Sport of Business. “I have defined my goals,” he adds, “and I am committed to reaching them regardless if it means sacrificing a few hours of sleep or doing things I don’t necessarily like doing.”


A very fast track competitive businessman, he seeks to always be “ahead of others who are not willing to go that extra mile or do whatever it takes to succeed. I know what I want and I’ve made it clear to myself that no matter what, I’m going to achieve my goals or at least fail trying as hard as I can.” His financial activity in both real estate and private equity funds at present welcomes inquiries for investments from $500 thousand to $5 million in US currency.

World Bank Hopes Animation Project will Benefit 15,000 Jamaican Youth

Warren Cassell Jr recently launched his third company, an investment holding firm named Abella Group LLC. The company, primarily aimed at purchasing minority stakes in firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is also seeking to take advantage of a number of opportunities on the Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago stock exchanges. "There are several gems in the Caribbean stock markets and regional stock exchanges are significantly undervalued," Cassell noted. No stranger to the world of business, Cassell currently holds an investment portfolio comprising US Government bonds and shares in Sagicor Financial Corporation, Bank of Montserrat, in addition to 10 per cent preferred shares in a legal publishing company, West Indian Lawyers. Through this newly incorporated investment vehicle, the teenager hopes to dramatically expand his investment holdings by carefully leveraging external capital to deploy in a number of globally diverse sectors, including media, financial services, commercial banking, Internet, technology, and consumer goods. "There is a particular company that I have been looking at on the Jamaica Stock Exchange that has been growing steadily over the last five years," Cassell stated. "However, despite the impressive growth, the stock price has been dormant." In fact, the young entrepreneur explained that the market price for the company is 50 per cent less than the actual value of the firm. "This simply means that if I purchase a stake in that company, I'll be getting it at a discount because the price that I will be buying the stock at is 50 per cent less than what it is actually worth. It is no different from buying a house for $300,000 that is really worth $600,000," the young entrepreneur added. Now focusing on established companies that are domiciled in attractive industries, Cassell hopes to build the Abella Group into a multi-billion dollar holding company over the next 35 years. "My goal for the Abella Group may be ridiculous, and even on the verge of delusional, but I prefer to fall short on an impossible goal than to fall short or even achieve a mediocre one," he said. ¤

T

he World Bank expects its ‘Youth in Digital and Animation’ project valued at US$20 million (J$2.2 billion) to benefit 15,000 Jamaican youth directly and indirectly. The project aims to train between 2,250 and 2,800 animators over five years. Currently less than 100 animators work on the island. The World Bank and Government view 2D and 3D animation as a new line of outsourcing, capable of securing multi-million dollar cartoon contracts. At the same time, the World Bank views software app development as offering self-employment and small business opportunities within the cashstrapped nation. The bulk of the funds, or US$10 million, will go towards training animators, developing infrastructure and accrediting institutions, while US$5.6 million will fund a tech incubator, Startup Jamaica. An additional US$1.6 million will support early-stage investments in the startups. “Youth unemployment in Jamaica is about 30 per cent. This initiative spearheaded by the Government is about providing opportunities for new talents to get new skills, find jobs or become entrepreneurs,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean in a release on the loan. “For the technology sector to become an engine for growth and employment, it requires the right environment with training opportunities,” she added. The global animation industry earns an estimated US$220 billion annually, and international companies are increasingly looking to outsource projects based on increased workloads. “This project facilitates Jamaica’s linkage into one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy,” the World Bank release quotes Julian Robinson, Minister of State for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

77


YOUTH IN FOCUS

Raising the

Bar:

A Conversation With One of St. Lucia's Top CSEC Performers for 2014

G

aius St. Marie is one of St Lucia’s top performers for the 2014 CSEC examinations. Upon his return from the prestigious SPISE programme, he received the amazing news that he had excelled at 17 CSEC subjects, earning him a grand total of 19. The recent St. Mary’s College grad recently spoke with Business Focus magazine of his present achievements and goals for the future.

BF: How and why did you decide to write 19 CSEC subjects? This all started in third form, writing Spanish at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations and later in fourth form writing English Literature, English Language and Mathematics where I obtained grade ones namely distinctions. With such confidence, I decided to do fourteen subjects in fifth form, with most of my subject choices driven by a passion for the Sciences. This includes Mathematics, English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture, Human and Social Biology, Economics, Business, Accounts, Geography, History, Information BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

78

Technology and French. I further picked up Social Studies, Technical Drawing and Additional Mathematics adding to a tally of seventeen CSEC subjects. All of this was done mainly because I wanted to test my capabilities a little bit more. In addition, I remember during my final week of CSEC examinations that I fell ill with the Chickungunya disease. This posed a great challenge to my mental capability but I continued to persevere amidst this dilemma.

BF: What motivated you the most to get through CSEC Examinations? The driving force for my success was achieved through God, my compassionate family, St. Mary’s College including the teachers and principal and the investment from the St. Lucia Workers’ Credit Union in my academic future for five years.

BF: What are your career ambitions? As a prospective student at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) my career

ambition is mainly to become an engineer with an interest in the human genome and aerospace.

BF: What do you like to do in free time? I love music and being a violinist, I frequently play at church and concerts. I represented SMC’s sporting house, Rodney, in volleyball competitions during the sports term. I also enjoy being outdoors and exploring Saint Lucia’s unique topography. In my tenure at St. Mary’s College I was; the Secretary of the Red Cross group where I felt indebted to assist others in society, President of the Interact Group where we launched an antibullying campaign in the secondary school and the Group Leader in the Science Fair making the “Joule Thief Circuit”. Being passionate about the arts, I participated at the memorable “SMC Talfest” and “Literary Night” bringing joy to the hearts of many. At SMC, I developed a keen interest in foreign languages; beyond learning French and Spanish I am currently pursuing the Chinese dialect; Mandarin. Finally like everyone else I like relaxing with peers or


sitting back and watching the famous Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and our own superhero Darren Sammy display their God-given talents.

BF: Why do you think some young men are underperforming academically and failing to thrive socially? Are you an anomaly or do you believe that there are many unsung young men in your generation? The underperformance of young men in society is due to the lack of support and love from family. As a result of being disowned by relatives, young men seek other avenues such as criminal activities to provide for their needs. Too many times, young men are only criticized for unlawful doings and society fails to acknowledge the other, more notable tasks being accomplished.

USAID and JA Launch Youth Start-Up Programme

If young men are given the support and opportunity as in the case of the inmates at the Bordelais Correctional Facility: the sky is the limit. Simply, I believe that God made each individual in his likeness however; we too have the capability and responsibility to shape our own future.

BF: How was the SPISE experience? Following completion at CSEC, I was enrolled in the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) sponsored by LUCELEC for the time period July- August. SPISE was held in Barbados for the most gifted minds in the entire Caribbean region from Belize down to Guyana. I served as the ambassador at the SPISE program being the only Saint Lucian student. This four week intensive program was based on Biochemistry, Physics, Calculus, Mandarin, Entrepreneurship, Electronics and frequent Career Seminars. There was a science fair project for electronics and I took the initiative to make a solar tracker using the Arduino Programming language and a solar panel. I must admit that SPISE was a complete success notwithstanding the tedious hours of work done with other Caribbean students. At the final banquet, Professor Cardinal Warde from M.I.T. presented me with the Most Outstanding award as a student for my performance, the John and Dorothy Herzog Award and I was also awarded the Most Improved Student for Electronics.

T

he Junior Achievement program for the Eastern Caribbean (JAPEC) and its local affiliate, Junior Achievement St. Lucia has launched a programme which is intended to make a difference through youth entrepreneurship. The United States Agency for International Development, USAID is making it happen through its funding for what is called the Youth Business Start-up Programme.

BF: What do your peers think of your successes?

The President of Junior Achievement Americas Leonardo Martellotto has commended St. Lucia for the tremendous strides made in advancing the concept of Junior Achievement and youth entrepreneurship over the years, noting the support of the St. Lucia government and the Chamber of Commerce.

As it goes “the company you keep around you reflects the character that is within you.” Therefore, my peers were appreciative of my performance at both SPISE and the CSEC Examinations. They were grateful for the assistance that I gave them in accomplishing their school-based assessments (SBA’s) and “brushing up” for the CSEC Examinations.

Junior Achievement St. Lucia and its programme of activities are facilitated through the offices of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Gordon Charles welcomed the focus on promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth, noting something needs to be done to lower the island’s worrying and unacceptably high level of unemployment.

BF: What other goals do you have? What subjects do you hope to pursue at Sir Arthur? As I look towards the imminent future, I will pursue five CAPE subjects namely Pure Mathematics, Biology, Environmental Science and Entrepreneurship, the fifth subject makes one extra subject than what is the norm. I am definitely enthusiastic for this new-fangled adventure with the dream that one day, I will be the Caribbean’s first and Saint Lucia’s first Nobel Laureate in Science and Engineering. ¤

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte noted the emphasis on self-employment and acknowledged that government could not provide all the jobs needed to reduce the unemployment rate in St. Lucia. She urged the participants of the YBSP to dream big and see entrepreneurship as a lifelong commitment, not just a temporary activity while they search for a better job. She commended Junior Achievement and USAID for the initiative to get the youth involved in entrepreneurship. The Youth Business Start-up Programme is being supported by Axcel Finance, the Small Enterprise Development Unit and other partners. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

79


ROTARY

CALABASHER S MUSIC GROUP MARKS,

TENTH ANNIVERSARY - AUGUST 2014 Founding Tribute It was on the eve of its Centennial in 2004, when Rotary Internationals USA Headquarters circulated its 34,000 plus Rotary Clubs worldwide, to design and submit a ‘Project’ in commemoration of 100 years of Humanitarian Service scheduled to be observed effective 1st July 2005. The Rotary Club of Saint Lucia, having given consideration to the invitation, concluded that whatever project it might be in a position to submit, would most likely have minimal impact, on the planned Global celebrations. It was then that Past President Malcolm Charles with Literature and Music as hobbies, decided to delve into his archives where he found a poem penned several years earlier, by way of a tribute to Rotary and named for the Rotary motto, “Service above Self.” Rotarian Malcolm penned an additional verse onto the poem, which spoke to BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

80

the 100 years of Rotary’s existence and offered that the Club might use his poem, as Rotary Saint Lucia’s tribute to Rotary International. Legend has it, that in the early hours of the following day, Malcolm began to write in his mind, music to which the poem might possibly be sung.

International Invitation It was then that the Tribute titled “Service above Self-100 Years”, came to life. Malcolm was said to have invited his long time Musician friend, Rudolph (Toto) Charles, to evaluate and modify if needs be, the performance potential of his musical composition. By August 2004, unsuspecting Rotarians were auditioned at subsequent Rotary luncheon Meetings and based on their vocal qualities during the Club’s weekly rendition of the Saint Lucia National Anthem, he invited them to his private residence for a musical experiment.

With subsequent rehearsals under their belt, the Group of singing Rotarians (then known as the ‘Rotary Calabash Chorale) made its debut on stage during a Rotary Charter Anniversary dinner held at the Sandals Grande Resort in October 2004, where their performance was video recorded. This recording was then fielded to Rotary International Headquarters, as Saint Lucia’s contribution to the upcoming Centennial Anniversary. Nothing further was heard for the next five plus months and the Group considered that its mission had been accomplished. Out of the blue, Rotarian Malcolm, received a written invitation from the Headquarters of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM), to perform at the International Convention in Chicago, where the group had been assigned a 45 minute performance slot on Stage, come June 2005.


Footware, NOW Available at

Ultra Mart Inc. Quality Shopping, Exceptional Service, Unbeatable Price

BAYWALK MALL 4580351 WILLIAM PETER BLVD CASTRIES 4521698

shop smart ! shop ultra mart ! Marchand, Micoud St., Chisel & St. Louis St., Manoel St., Corinth, and Soufriere. Open half day on Sundays and Holidays

Tel: 1(758) 457-7501 • Fax: 1(758) 451-9351

Growing your business isn’t easy, but watching it grow feels amazing. We can help take some of the growing pains away with specialized products, services and advice designed with business owners in mind. Let’s talk! Call 456-2190 or 456-2124. For more information please visit *

stlucia.scotiabank.com/smallbusiness

Discover what’s possible

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

81


The news spelt near panic amongst the Group, who had at best one song to their stage credit and that to perform for 45 minutes would necessitate preparation of at least another dozen songs.

Group Rehearsals Having gotten over the shock and with the retirement of ‘Toto’ Charles as their first Musical Director, then entered Barbara Cadet, who was tasked with the responsibility of preparing the Group for stage performances in Chicago. Under Barbara’s tenure and with her inimitable musical talents, the group underwent exponential transformation and growth, as she sought to convert “regular” business and professional individuals, into musical icons, a not inconsiderable task by any measure. In addition to Malcolm’s signature piece, music penned by other local Rotarian Musicians Llewellyn Gill, Gene Lawrence amongst others, ultimately began to build a stage repertoire ultimately billed as the Groups “on to Chicago” entertainment. Then there were the costumes and costume changes, the committing of all lyrics and stage renditions to memory, the getting into character for each song to be performed, the accompanying background music, the Sound Engineers and their accompanying equipment, the Choreography, Lighting, the travel arrangements, the works!!!

Chicago Stage Performances On Stage Chicago performances saw all of the at home preparations come together, with audiences calling for encores, while attracting the attention of Rotarians from across the 45,000 delegates registered for the Rotary International Chicago Convention. The Group had surpassed its own expectations and now had enormous International following of new found fans. The rest as they say is History!

Rotary Charity Concerts & Projects Upon returning home, the Group decided that its freshly minted Chicago Musical repertoire might be put to good use locally, in support of Humanitarian causes sponsored by the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia, from which they had originated and that all proceeds from their Benefit Concerts, would go to such charities. Performances resumed on the local Hotel Circuit, aboard a Cruise Line, on stage at a Regional District Conference in Trinidad, at the Group’s Charity Concert held at Gaiety on Rodney Bay, at Morne Coubaril Theatre in Soufriere, concerts with The Rotary Club of St. Lucia South and more recently, a benefit Concert staged at the St Mary’s College Auditorium and the list goes on, all in aid of charity. Apart from supporting Medical, Social, Educational and other Humanitarian projects, one of the more tangible projects in evidence today is the Rotary Mobile Youth Counselling Service (aka the Rotary Bus), which provides island wide access to Youth Skills training, Micro Financing and Planned Parenthood facilities as the “Rotary Bus” traverses our towns and villages often on a weekly basis. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

82


So far, the lives of some many your people have been positively impacted in collaboration with the National Skills Development Centre, The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund, RISE St Lucia, The HIV Prevention Programme and The St. Lucia Planned Parenthood Association, to whom sincere thanks is given for their co-operation.

Thanks and Appreciation Apart from the Volunteer Members of the Group (past and present) who give unselfishly of their time and talents, special tribute must be paid to the Groups Musical Directors without whom, the ongoing charity performances would not have been possible in the persons of: Rudolph (Toto) Charles - 1st Musical Director - (2004) Petronilla Deterville - 2nd Musical Director - (2004 - 05) (Deceased) Barbara Cadet - 3rd Musical Director - (2005 - 09) Gregory Piper - 4th Musical Director - (2009 - present)

Their performing cast today comprises a range of volunteer voices including: Sopranos – Sharon Eugene, Elizabeth Glace, Selma St. Prix Altos – Lorraine Moffat, Denise Lewis, Carole Jn Marie. Tenors – Ira Simmons, Anthony Bergasse, Leathon Khan, Kurt Felix BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

83


Basses – Chester Hinkson, Mallet Edwards, John Douglas, Malcolm Charles, Musical Director – Gregory Piper Powered by: - The Rotary Club of Saint Lucia The Group continues its legacy of Service above Self Through Music, being the global motto of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM) of which their Group Founder, Malcolm Charles, was recently appointed Vice Chairman for the Caribbean Region, from the Bahamas and Jamaica in the North, to Guyana and Suriname in the South.

‘Calabashers @ Ten’ - Benefit Concert 2014 There are plans presently being drawn up for a possible variety of events to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Rotary Calabashers Simultaneously, the Group is also currently preparing to stage a further Benefit Concert at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay, under the Theme “Calabashers @ Ten” on Saturday November 29th, 2014. This show will feature highlights from performances dating back from the inception of their first decade of Stage appearances, during which patrons will be taken down their favourite memory lane of the Groups unique repertoire. Sincere thanks are extended to their loyal patrons and sponsors, as the Group invites you to again mark your calendars for Saturday November 29th, 2014.

See you then. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

84


BACKGROUND INFORMATION on ‘ROTARY SAINT LUCIA’ (at a glance)

IN

1. ROTARY INTERNATIONAL-Founded Feb 23rd, 1905. (1.2M Members) 2. FOUNDER- Paul P Harris; Classification - LAWYER. 3. ROTARY Club of Saint Lucia (RCSL)-Chartered July 1966. 4. Sponsor Club-The ROTARY Club of Runcorn Cheshire, England. 5. RCSL has since sponsored two Clubs: 6. The RCSL-South (1975) and the Rotary Club of Gros Islet, (RCGI) 1993. 7. There are three Rotary Clubs in Saint and they are part of Rotary International’s (RI) District, 7030. 8. RI District 7030 is headed by a District Governor covering circa 2500 Rotarians.

PRINCIPAL CLUB PROJECTS, include viz: 1. Bilharzia (Health) Eradication Project (1960’s / 70’s) 2. Mobile Blood Bank Units (x3) 1980’s 3. Secondary / Tertiary Educational Scholarships (local & International) 4. Vocational Training Seminars. (UWI Centre 1980’s) 5. Easter/Summer Youth Camps (1990/2000’s) 6. Mobile Youth Bus Services (Skills Training/Micro Financing / Planned Parenthood) 7. Water Storage & Distribution in Rural areas. 8. Wheel Chair Distribution 9. Launching of INTERACT Clubs (15-18yrs) & ROTARACT Clubs (18-30yrs) 10. Disaster Relief / Food Hampers / Town Hall Poverty Meals / Other

PRINCIPAL FUND RAISING PROJECTS • • •

Annual Wine & Cheese Reception at the Official Residence of the Governor General of Saint Lucia. Annual Rotary Calabashers Benefit Concerts-Various Venues. Other

“Where Caring is Our Calling”

M-CARE General Practice Clinic Dr. Jeaneen PAYNE MB;BS, Dip. Fam. Med. / Dr. Misrak NEGA MD; Dip. Ophthalmology Certificate in management of HIV/STD

Services

• General Physicals and Check-ups • Chronic Disease Management • ECG • Blood Pressure Checks • PAP Smear • Face to Face Health Coaching • Lab Services (Blood, Urine etc).

• Walk-ins • Intravenous Fluid Administration • Nebulization • Wound Care • Minor Procedures (Suture/Abscess Drain) • Ear Syringing

Hours Open: Mon. to Sat.: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM No. 1 Alfiona Plaza , Rodney Heights P.O. Box GM876, Gablewoods Mall Web: www.memberclinic.com Email: info@memberclinic.com

Tel: (758) 453-2552 (758) 452-9032

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

85


IN THE KNOW

Physical Security in a Sea Side Setting

W

ith high or rising crime rates in many Caribbean countries, most individuals turn to physical security measures as a means of protecting themselves against the possibility of being affected by crime at their homes. In most instances those physical security measures usually involve fencing, gates, strengthened doors and burglar bars for doors and windows. Invariably all of these measures use iron or steel. At the same time we live in the Caribbean which means that our countries are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and those beautiful turquoise waters that draw thousands of tourists to our shores every year, also exact a heavy price in terms of the impact on many of the common security measures.

Dealing with Sea Spray All buildings close to the sea experience fast rusting of metal and this is attributed to what is commonly called “Sea Blast.� This Sea Blast is actually the salt from the ocean being carried inland by the wind. Many metals, such as aluminum and iron, BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

86

naturally have a microscopic layer on their surface to protect from corrosion. For aluminum, this layer is called aluminum oxide, while for iron, the layer is iron oxide. In each case, this layer acts to prevent corrosion from occurring. However salt (sodium chloride), or actually the chloride part of salt, changes the ability of the oxide layer to protect the metal. Chloride always breaks down this layer, causing pockmarks to form, which is known as pitting and once this occurs then the rusting of the metal begins. Another aspect of the Sea Blast is that in some locations the wind also carries fine particles of sand. This windblown sand has a double effect in that the sand constantly hitting on the metal causes pitting and the sand also has salt in it which begins to act on the pits further breaking down the top layer of the metal. Special attention therefore should be paid to the use of metal especially iron and steel in coastal environments. In addition certain protective measures should be implemented. The effect of not taking

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.


leafy varieties that are good for blocking the salt air. Fruit trees however have the disadvantages of attracting persons to congregate in the area of the fence under the real or fictitious reason of coming for the fruits.

Fencing at the Sea Side

the measures is that the metal surfaces corrode much faster and therefore the protective measures breakdown. In addition the building owner has higher maintenance costs because the various protective measures have to be replaced at a faster rate than at other locations.

Screening with Trees One of the easiest measures for dealing with sea spray is to have a screen of trees on the perimeter of the property. As the wind blows in, the leaves strip the salt and sand from the wind lessening the amount of the sea blast that will actually reach to the building. In having this screen of trees however one should not violate the principles of Natural Surveillance for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The trees therefore should not block vision at the fence and should not provide an aid for persons to surmount the fence. Ideally therefore the trees should be planted outside the fence and as the trees grow, branches under 8 feet should be cut off. The types of trees that are most beneficial for stripping the salt air are leafy varieties such as Almond and Sea Grape which have the added benefit of being able to live well in sandy slightly salty soil. Some fruit trees such as Breadfruit and Mango are also

Normal chain link fences will rust at a fast rate in a coastal environment. Therefore for those locations it is recommended that a property owner use fencing that is coated with a polyvinyl chloride resin. The resin is hot extruded coated and is up to 22 mils (or .025 inch) thick. This type of coated fence is smooth to the touch and will not rust, so it is ideal for installation in marine locations. In a Field Study of Fencing Materials conducted by the Naval Civil Engineering Lab at Port HUENEME, California “the evaluation indicates that the vinyl-clad galvanized chain-link fence and accessories are performing better than other corrosion- resistance chainlink fencing being investigated. Although cost of the vinyl- clad fencing was slightly more (11%) than the galvanized chainlink fence, the extra cost of the vinyl-clad fencing appears economically well justified because of its outstanding corrosion resistance, longer service life, and other benefits provided by the vinyl coating.” In addition to the fence material care has to be exercised with regard to the ties that are used to hold the chain link to the tension wires. If regular ties are used, as the wind blows and moves the fence these ties will braid the PVC coating and eventually wear it away allowing the salt to get at the actual wire and rust begins. Therefore PVC coated ties should be used with this type of fence. Along with the fence material, attention has to be paid to the type of posts that are used. Normal iron posts will rust at a fast rate next to the sea and you would have a situation where the fence will be good but the posts are leaning or fallen because the rust has weakened the post. To avoid this situation, galvanized iron posts should be used. An alternative to galvanized iron posts is to use large PVC pipes that are filled with concrete as the fence posts. The concrete provides the strength for the posts while the outer PVC protects the concrete from the salt. In erecting these posts the holes for the fence tension wire should be drilled in the posts after they are erected but before the concrete is poured and wire run through the holes when the concrete is poured. In this way the tension wire in in place while the concrete is hardening. Also after the concrete has

hardened, a cap should be placed on the top of the posts.

Lighting Fixtures at the Sea Side With regard to lighting fixtures Powder Coated Brackets and housing should be used to prevent corrosion of these fixtures.

Doors at the Sea Side The most common anti-burglary recommendation relating to doors is to have external steel doors. In the majority of cases it is recommended either hollow steel doors, wood steel fronted doors or ribbed steel doors. In a coastal environment however solid wooden doors made from a durable hard wood such as Mahogany, Mora, Green Heart or thick Pitch Pine planks that have been treated for termite and wood rot are actually preferred because the wooden doors are not affected by the salt air. Thus a solid wooden door made of hard wood will not only block intruders but last for many years without having to be replaced. In the construction of the doors, whenever possible, iron nails should be avoided as these nails will rust and eventually weaken the overall construction of the door. It is preferred that copper or brass nails be used as these have greater resistance to corrosion from salt spray.

Burglar Proofing at the Sea side Where steel is used, as in burglar proofing for doors and windows, the burglar proof should be on the inside of the door and window. By having the burglar proof on the inside, the door or the window pane gets most of the impact from the sea blast when the door or window is closed, thus protecting the burglar proof.

Painting at the Sea Side All steel in a coastal environment should be painted and it should be painted with special paints. The undercoat used should be a zinc-based primer. The second and third coats should be tar-based epoxy paint. Common household paints are not suitable for painting steel in a marine environment because they age very quickly when exposed to the sun's rays and once they age they lose the protective strength allowing rust to form under the paint. By making these changes one’s physical security measures will last for a much longer period thus ensuring that the investment is not rapidly eaten away by the wind and sand. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

87


IN THE KNOW

Dr. Kenny Anthony Addresses Investment Summit in Miami

Looks Towards African American Market as Source of Future Investment

P

rime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony was the keynote speaker at the 18th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and Trade Show that was held in conjunction with the 4th Annual Summit of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). The summit was held at the Miami Marriot Biscayne Bay Hotel in mid July. Dr. Anthony spoke on the topic of ‘Investment and Incentive Opportunities in Saint Lucia.’ According to CEO/President of the Horizons International Group Inc, Mr. Andy Ingraham, “The 3-day educational summit was designed to educate attendees on becoming a hotel owner or investor, share minority investment trends, explore supplier opportunities, how to market to minorities and diversity issues affecting the industry. Summit attendees included African American hoteliers, entrepreneurs, national leaders and hospitality representatives, professional athletes, restaurant owners, city/state/country officials, development representatives and financial experts.”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

88

Prime Minister Anthony expressed his delight on being invited to address the luncheon, as it gave him an opportunity to sell Saint Lucia to potential investors. Dr. Anthony said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to promote Saint Lucia as an investment destination. Research has shown that the Caribbean is not a very attractive investment market to African Americans. This is a unique gathering where African American hoteliers and potential investors in that sector gather to exchange ideas and explore opportunities. As such, I will endeavor to share the Saint Lucian experience as well as the incentives that are available to investors. There is now mounting interest in investing in Saint Lucia and it is vital that we make use of every opportunity that comes our way.” Representatives from Invest Saint Lucia were among the St. Lucian contingent who attended the Summit. The basis for ISL’s attendance was to meet with potential investors, highlight real investment prospects within the Tourism Sector in particular and solidify Saint Lucia’s position as an investment destination in general.

“Accepting the kind invitation of the CEO and founder of NABHOOD, Mr. Andy Ingraham, to attend the 4th Annual NABHOOD Summit, was seen as an opportunity to meet with potential investors and sell them the real investments that are available in the tourism sector,” cited McHale Andrew, CEO of Invest Saint Lucia. “We are of the view that it was well worth the effort and that there are some very encouraging signs of a resurgent interest in Saint Lucia as an investment location,” he added. The Saint Lucian delegation attended both the plenary and breakout workshop sessions, which provided useful information on trends in the US and Caribbean hotel investment markets as well as on new investment financing mechanisms, emerging tourism investment opportunities and structuring of hotel investment projects. The local delegation presented potential investors and key Summit participants with information on tourism investment opportunities and key facts on the country, designed to assist the exploratory efforts of potential businesses interested in investing in Saint Lucia. ¤


Coco Palm Opens Events Centre “Our corporate partners have become an integral part of our business and with our Events Department headed by Mrs Alta King-Destang and her team we have listened to what they need and have provided additional space,” Chastanet said. Events Manager, King-Destang, who has managed this department for four years, noted: “We pride ourselves on the service and attention to detail to cater to our clientele which has grown year on year. We strive to improve on each event and upgrade our facilities to meet the demands of our growing corporate partners from Saint Lucia; regionally and internationally.”

C

oco Palm announced the opening of the Golden Palm Events Centre to cater to the growing demand of meetings and events. Located at the AlFiona Plaza in Rodney Heights, the new 3,000-square-foot Golden Palm conference room caters for up to 200 theatre style with catering facilities by KoKo Cabana Bistro. Golden Palm is the largest of the five conference rooms adding to PalmVille, Kreole, Plantation and Kaiso Conference rooms. The opening night was hosted by Coco Resorts Chairman Michael Chastanet, with the first big event held by the Saint Lucia School of Music. “Coco Palm has become the preferred choice for meetings and the conference room has been added to accommodate the growing demand of this market.

Chef Richardson Skinner of KoKo Cabana Bistro and Creole Grill offers a variety of local dishes catering to the groups offering breakfast, coffee breaks, buffet lunches, hors d’oeuvres and dinners. “We have created a menu to work with both our corporate partners and those planning special gala events which has been increasing year on year. The feedback has been very encouraging resulting in the corporate guests returning for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and our Fun Fridays. Our Sunday buffet with the local steel pan has been a favourite for all our guests since the inception almost 10 years ago,” said Chef Skinner. The Golden Palm Conference Centre accommodates up to 200 theatre style; 100 boardroom style and 90 persons U-shape. Offering fully air conditioned, secretariat room, WiFi, dual voltage, multi system projector, sound system with microphones, built in projector screen, flip chart stands, podium, washrooms and wheel chair access. To plan your next meeting or special event contact Alta KingDestang and ask about our special offers on marketing@cocoresorts.com or telephone (758) 456 2800. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

89


IN IN THE THE KNOW KNOW

More Than Job Satisfaction- the Benefits of Finding Meaning in Your Work

New research shows that positively perceiving what we do has benefits for the employee and company

W

hat do you do? That's often one of the first questions people ask when they meet someone new — not surprising given that most adults spend most of their waking hours at work and that our jobs can influence our lives even outside the workplace. Our work can be a big part of our identity and offer insights into what is important to us, making it a rich area of psychological study. Several recent studies have concentrated on a particular aspect of work: finding meaning in it. Through their research, experts have gleaned new insights, showing that meaningful work is good for the worker and for the company — and that even employees in tiresome jobs can find ways to make their duties more meaningful.

Building Cathedrals In a 2010 review, Brent D. Rosso, PhD, and colleagues noted that finding meaning in one's work has been shown to increase motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment, and to decrease absenteeism BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

90

and stress (Research in Organizational Behavior, 2010). Unfortunately, meaningful work may not be the norm. According to State of the American Workplace, a new report by Gallup Inc., only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work — in other words, they're passionate about their work and feel strongly committed to their companies. The remaining 70 percent of American workers are either "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" in their work (Gallup, 2013). Gallup defines unengaged workers as those who are "checked out," putting in time but without much energy or passion. Actively disengaged workers, meanwhile, act out on their unhappiness, taking up more of their managers' time and undermining what their co-workers accomplish. That disengagement takes a toll. Actively disengaged workers, the report states, are more likely to steal from their organisations, negatively influence co-workers, miss workdays and drive customers away. To illustrate this, he points to the old tale of three bricklayers hard at work. When asked what they're doing, the first bricklayer responds, "I'm putting one brick

on top of another." The second replies, "I'm making six pence an hour." And the third says, "I'm building a cathedral — a house of God." "All of them have created meaning out of what they've done, but the last person could say what he's done is meaningful," Pratt says. "Meaningfulness is about the why, not just about what." As one might imagine, meaningful work and job satisfaction are linked, says Steger. In his 2012 paper, he found that having meaningful work predicts job satisfaction. But meaningful work was actually better than job satisfaction at predicting absenteeism – people who found their work more meaningful were less likely to miss work than people who merely reported being satisfied with their jobs. Meaningful work was also correlated with life satisfaction and less depression.

A Higher Calling Researchers have found that workers who feel a higher calling to their jobs are among the most content.


People who feel called to their careers are likely to find their work deeply meaningful, he says. Their personal connection with the job makes even the most trivial tasks feel significant. Often the experience of a calling comes with social benefits as well.

Make Your Own Meaning Fortunately, you don't have to always identify your higher calling, rather, you can redefine your job in personally meaningful ways through a process she and her colleagues describe as "job crafting" (Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace, 2013).

CGM Gallagher Acquires M & C Insurance Brokers in St Lucia

"Meaning doesn't take money," she says. "At any rank, people can make different meanings of their work, and also of themselves at work." Employees can shape their work experiences in three broad ways, Dutton says. The first is by altering the tasks they perform. Every job has elements that make it feel like, well, work. But most employees do have some leeway to tweak their duties. "You can be an architect of the tasks," Dutton says. Employees might choose to spend more energy on existing tasks they find particularly gratifying, for example. Second, Dutton says, employees can change relationships in the workplace. "We never make meaning in a vacuum. Work is very social," she says. Spending time with toxic co-workers can drain meaning from the most gratifying jobs. But just a few moments spent collaborating with a valued colleague can be reinvigorating. "Even if you talk to someone for five minutes, if it's someone you have a high-quality connection with, it's like taking a vitamin," she says. Finally, a person can use cognitive restructuring to reframe the way he or she thinks about work. Steger mentions an accountant who worked at a community college. She found her work very meaningful not because she kept the accounts balanced, but because she felt her work allowed others to advance themselves through education. "For all these things in our jobs that we just don't like, we can take a step back and link it to the things that really matter," he says. "The more you look for the benefits of what you're doing, the more it feeds you psychologically," Dutton says. Job crafting can pay off for employees and employers. As Steger has shown, finding one's work meaningful is associated with life satisfaction and overall well-being. Organisations, too, benefit from workers who are invested in their jobs. The Gallup report found that engaged workers are most likely to build new products and services, attract new customers and drive innovation. Dutton says she's seen firsthand how small changes can make a big difference for individuals, especially those at lower ranks. "These are people who were happy to have a job, but the work stunk. I could see the power of helping them have hope," she says. "It shouldn't change the push for organisations to be fairer and better. But at the same time, I want more self-empowerment for workers to craft their work in ways that will make it less depleting and more enriching." ¤ Source: American Psychological Association

I

nsurance Broker, CGM Gallagher (CGMG), has expanded its insurance portfolio in the eastern Caribbean with another acquisition. Goddard Enterprises transferred the portfolio of its subsidiary Minvielle & Chastanet Insurance Brokers (MCIB) to CGMG in August. The deal should enable MCIB customers to better manage their risk, given CGMG's Caribbean expertise and international reach through Arthur J Gallagher, according to CGMG's Chairman Peter Melhado. It also fits into CGMG's expansion drive in the Caribbean. Since partnering with Jamaica-based International Insurance Brokers in 2004, CGMG partnered with one of the world's largest insurance brokers, US-based AJ Gallagher & Co (AJG). CGMG then acquired Jamaican-based Zenith Insurance Brokers and its US$10-million ($860-million) portfolio in 2010, and Barbados-based Atria Insurance Brokers the following year, to add to its other acquisitions — CGM Gallagher St Vincent Ltd, Caribbean Risk Managers Limited as well as start-up operations in St Lucia and Grenada. Since then, AJG doubled its stake in GCMG to 80 per cent. The regional insurance broker has offices in Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent, St Kitts, Grenada and now, Dominica and Antigua. It has over 150 employees and is the largest broker in the Caribbean. "This transaction allows MCIB's customers the best possible service going forward and both Minvielle & Chastanet Ltd and the Goddard Group plan to remain involved in the early stages of the transfer of operations to ensure a seamless transition for our customers," added Anthony Ali, CEO of Goddard Enterprises Ltd, the ultimate parent of MCIB. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

91


IN THE KNOW

When “I’m Sorry” isn’t Enough Businesses Need to Show Customers They are Sorry – Not Just Say it.

“The dollar bills the customer gets from tellers in four banks are the same. What’s different are the tellers” – Stanley Marcus.

By Marvin Bartholomew

M Part 1

ost people who are on the front lines of service have either been trained to or otherwise know that occasionally they have to say “I’m sorry” to a customer. But are these people and their businesses truly sorry when there is a breakdown in service? Or an error? Or something that leaves their customer truly set-back or disadvantaged? How about the frequently seen “sorry for the inconvenience caused”? Are businesses truly sorry for the inconvenience caused?! I recently went to pick up some cheque books from a bank. They had been ordered several weeks before and given that they are usually ready within a week and we get a call indicating as much, I finally called to follow-up. A nice lady ‘upstairs’ who sounded reasonably senior, expressed surprise that no one had called given the time lapse, promised to check it out and to call me back. That she did and apologised and it sounded genuine. She told me where to pick them up and I give her a solid ‘A-’ for that.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

92

The following day, I went to pick them up. But this is where the ‘A-’ I gave my helpful friend upstairs quickly turns into a ‘B’ (generous) but really a ‘C-’. You see, I shouldn’t have had to wait and go through a long discovery related to the process. The people downstairs should have had things sorted out, the books prepared and ready for delivery with an attending and unsolicited apology. But that didn’t happen. I had to wait in line (no issues there) but then when I got to the clerk, she had no idea of the issue and had to search for the books, something which took much longer than I expected particularly given the initial delay and given that I had spoken to someone else just the day before. It sounds like a lot to expect but it shouldn’t be. I asked the young lady why no one had called to say the books were ready and she mumbled that she didn’t know. She didn’t really make any prolonged eye contact, didn’t speak directly and confidently and generally had an unengaging, even dismissive approach towards the issue, as if to say “Well, you’re getting them now so what’s the issue?” To be fair she didn’t say anything of the sort but she also didn’t say anything that would perish the thought. One her way back from getting the books, she stopped to chat with a colleague. It

might have been work related but it didn’t appear to be. Even if it were, unless it was related to my cheque books or something urgent, it should have taken second place. When she got back, the urgency didn’t uptick and she proceeded to call someone ‘upstairs’ to inquire as to why they didn’t call me. The conversation amounted to an effort to make it clear to the other person on the line (as well as to me), that it wasn’t her or their fault that I was not called. She said as much when she returned saying that she knew it wasn’t [them] who needed to call, and that the reason I wasn’t called was “because this is something the receptionist usually does” but that “she was out on leave with a temp filling in.” She didn’t seem to get my question about whether it was a failure of management to ensure that the temp knew that this was on the task list. And that the temp couldn’t just know that this was something to do. But to the point of this article, she did say I’m sorry – at some point in the conversation. But I’m sure by now you can well see how saying I’m sorry is far insufficient, particularly when all the other actions and words amount to so much less. What was really needed here was a series of


coordinated actions from everyone involved that communicated that the bank overall, and the individuals involved, were sorry and that the error mattered and they would attempt to ensure it didn’t reoccur. I got no such impression and walked away with no warm and fuzzy feeling that it wouldn’t happen again. Or that I mattered beyond being another customer – notwithstanding that that bank, in its language calls me a ‘premier’ customer. But the thing is, my story here is repeated many, many times. Everyone can give their own versions. The Friday after the cheque-incident, my wife and I were having dinner at a restaurant where, upon giving up on my already underwhelming dish, I found some foil in the food. I pointed this out to the waitress who barely said “sorry” and whose actions continued as if foil in food was normal. No one else came to speak to us and instead of offering the whole evening free (perhaps a stretch) or taking off the whole dish (reasonable), they discounted that particular dish by 50%. I noticed they proudly displayed their Trip Advisor certificate of excellence but actual excellence seemed to stop there. No one seemed to consider how much a bad, one-star review might be worth. Businesses need to do more to train and prepare their people to handle these occasional service faux-pas. Staff are being told to use words like “I’m sorry” but they aren’t being trained to truly demonstrate empathy and a willingness to correct the issue and leave the customer confident that that issue was a rarity. Apologies need to match the actions that proceeded and preceded. Au contraire, I once had an argument with a sales rep who told me “too bad” when I tried to pay by card for an item and they refused to take card payments because the product was on sale and they didn’t want to incur the 3% bank charge. I once heard a lady argue with an old man that “they couldn’t have and wouldn’t tell him to come to this branch” and insisted that he “must go back” to that other branch from which he had just come. No apology, no regret, no consideration to the fact that whoever said what didn’t matter at that point but that there was now, in front of her, an irate customer whose situation needed sorting out regardless of what the company policy was. Research findings are that sometimes the best opportunity for a business to make an impression is for something to go wrong so that there’s an opportunity to wow the customer by correcting it well. When things are great, customers are likely to think that this is what is expected so businesses get no marks for meeting expectations. But when something goes wrong, it is an opportunity to stand out and leave a customer floored with an excellent come-back. People expect things to sometimes go wrong, what they don’t always expect is for businesses to do an excellent job fixing it. Do that and you can often have a customer for life. Customer loyalty is made in how well businesses “fix” issues and perform above par for the course. And fixing it goes far beyond simply repeating “I’m sorry.” So next time someone says that to you, ask them: “are you really?” In part 2 in upcoming issue, I will go into simple steps organisations can take to create company-wide ownership of service quality and to get staff to delight in fixing issues and creating customer loyalty. Marvin Bartholomew is a Contact Centre Executive, a Business Consultant and Commentator. He is the Site Director for KM2 Solutions St Lucia and holds a Masters in Business Administration. Contact: marvin.bartholomew@gmail.com ¤

The Invisible Killer

Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Posioning Can Help Save a Life What can’t be seen, smelt or tasted but can kill you quickly without warning? No it’s not a superbug or lab generated toxin. The mystery substance is none other than Carbon Monoxide (CO). This extremely poisonous gas which cannot be detected by conventional means, is produced by incomplete burning of carbon based fuels like gas, oil, wood and coal. When suffering from CO poisoning, blood is prevented from distributing oxygen to cells, tissue and organs and as a result, an oxygen starved body will begin to shut down. Since we cannot rely on our senses to alert us of danger in this situation, even a small amount of exposure can cause serious harm if continuously breathed in over an extended period of time. Luckily, there are clear indicators which can flag incomplete combustion that result in the production of Carbon Monoxide. Knowing these can mean the difference between life and death. Look out for following: 1. 2. 3. 4.

yellowish or orange instead of a blue flame soot or yellow to brown staining on appliance pilot lights which constantly blow out increase in condensation inside windows

It is always wise to seek medical attention if you experience flu like symptoms coupled with headaches, drowsiness, weak or faint feeling, breathlessness, erratic behaviour, vomiting, problems with vision plus stomach and chest pains. Any combination of the above stated could mean you have been exposed and need urgent medical assistance. Never panic and be alert! A battery operated CO detector can put your mind at ease. If you aren’t certain if your appliance is spilling carbon monoxide, switch off and call for help. All windows and doors should be opened to allow free flowing air to assist in removing the threat. Be aware! Be safe! ¤

About 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 info.stl@1rfsgroup.com or (758) 451-3473 for more information. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

93


IN THE KNOW

Raising Taxes Not the Only Option says Guyanese Finance Minister

Guyana plays host to Tax Administrator Conference after 39-year break

T

ax administrators from eleven territories in the region met in Guyana in mid-July to discuss available options to improve and mobilise additional tax collection. The Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators 23rd General Assembly & Technical Conference was held at the Pegasus Hotel and according to Guyanese Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh; “the timing of the conference was impeccable given the global financial crisis.” During the conference the tax administrators strategically discussed and put forward recommendations to manage the region’s taxes effectively and efficiently. He noted that the more robust and vibrant economies of the region are confronted with challenges of unsustainable debt, inconsistent fiscal debt and slow economic growth. “Today we see more of our countries… some of the stronger economies of the region returning to institutions like the IMF BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

94

for the structural adjustment programme aimed at strengthening our macroeconomic situation.” Further, Dr. Singh noted that the temptation is high to raise taxes, however, a number of factors have to be considered before this is done. He said that significant strides have also been made that have seen an integrated tax system into a single authority, a single database that shares information for a more effective and efficient tax output of this service. “The opportunity of this meeting provides us with an important forum through which sharing of experience can be achieved…. and more importantly cooperation and collaboration across jurisdictions,” Dr. Singh said. “You as the heads of tax administrations in our region have an extremely important responsibility to play, it is the discharge of the functions of your office that will determine how well the private sector can sell the country [to potential investors].”

Meanwhile, CARICOM Representative, Desiree Field-Ridley said the 23rd tax conference convened at a time when there is a lack of “economic competitiveness and worrying macroeconomic imbalances.” “Having recognised the significant need for structural change, CARICOM heads of Government have been focusing attention on fashioning an appropriate agenda for the community.” Further, she explained that the tax administrators have a responsibility to advise Governments on the way forward in terms of its macroeconomic agenda. Meanwhile, Charles Codo, speaking on behalf of President of the Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators explained that they remain committed to moving the region’s tax regime forward and are also focusing on many other initiatives. The last tax conference was held in Guyana some 39 years ago. This conference was held under the theme: Efficient Tax Administration as a Catalyst to growth and development in the CARICOM. ¤


Prime Minister Optimistic About Saint Lucia’s Economic Future

D

r. Anthony has recently said that investment in the country has been slowly increasing.

His comments came at the 16th Biennial Convention of the Union of Saint Lucian Overseas Associations that was hosted in Saint Lucia in late July. The opening ceremony for the convention was held at the official residence of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony welcomed the missions home and said the economic future of Saint Lucia is promising. “Investment is slowly returning to our island,” Dr. Anthony said. “Two years ago, four of our major hotel properties were in distress, and in the hands of receivers appointed by banks. Today, all four properties have new owners and new management.” Ambassador Plenipotentiary to CARICOM and OECS with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, Dr. June Soomer, asked the gathering to empathise with the new Saint Lucia with which it has been confronted. “The home that you left behind 30 or 40 years ago has changed. The people have changed. You have changed. Take the time to understand that all peoples have their own idiosyncrasies and that perhaps what you try to stamp out in yourself, what made you Saint Lucian, is what you see in those you left behind.” The Union of Saint Lucian Overseas Associations comprises the Saint Lucia Toronto Association, the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association, the Saint Lucia Montreal Association, the Saint Lucia New York Association and the Saint Lucia London Association. The convention was seen as an opportunity for Saint Lucians living abroad to see and experience life in Saint Lucia today. ¤

Scotiabank Named St Lucia’s Best Consumer Internet Bank

S

cotiabank has been recognised by Global Finance Magazine as the Best Consumer Internet Bank in St. Lucia for 2014. In total, Scotiabank received recognition in 22 countries across the Caribbean and Central America.

“We are very proud to have been recognised by Global Finance for the quality of our online banking and customer service in St. Lucia,” said Country Manager Phillip Cross. “At Scotiabank one of our priorities is to make it easier for our customers to do business with us. Our online banking platform, which allows customers to bank when and where they want, is an important part of how we are delivering on that.” Scotiabank also received Best Consumer Internet Bank recognitions in Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands. Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy for attracting and servicing online customers, success in getting clients to use web offerings, growth of online customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from Internet initiatives, and web site design and functionality. “The Internet has transformed the way many consumers and most businesses bank,” said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher of Global Finance. “The continuing improvements in Internet offerings represented by this year’s entries show that more significant Internet banking developments are still ahead of us.” ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

95


IN THE KNOW

St Lucian Government Now Insured Against Excess Rainfall

E

ight members of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) have purchased excess rainfall insurance for the 2014-15 policy year, the Cayman Islands-based agency announced this week. The purchase of insurance policies comes in the wake of the 2013 Christmas Eve through that devastated the islands of St Lucia, Dominica and St Vincent. St Lucia destroyed houses, crops and killed six persons after the island was dumped with 12 inches of rain within a five hour period. In addition to these three countries Anguilla, Haiti, Barbados, Grenada and St Kitts-Nevis are now also insured Sixteen CCRIF member countries have had CCRIF hurricane and or earthquake policies since 2007 when the facility became operational. Developed by CCRIF and global reinsurer, Swiss Re, the excess rainfall product is aimed primarily at extreme high rainfall events of short duration ranging from a few hours to a few days, whether they happen during a hurricane or not.

Payout Within 14 days Like CCRIF's tropical cyclone and earthquake insurance, the excess rainfall product is parametric and estimates the impacts of heavy rain using satellite rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and exposure from CCRIF's risk estimation database. TRMM is a research initiative undertaken by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. In a release, CCRIF said that because the excess rainfall product is parametric, a payout can be made within 14 days after a rain event that triggers a country's policy, BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

96

without waiting for time-consuming damage and loss assessments on the ground. It quoted CCRIF Chief Executive Officer Isaac Anthony as saying that "the new excess rainfall product has been eagerly awaited by Caribbean governments, as we all realise that considerable damage in the region is caused by rainfall and flooding". He added that the policy complements CCRIF's hurricane coverage, which determines losses based on wind and storm surge and said he hopes that other countries in the region will follow.

Proactive Approach Swiss Re's chairman of Global Partnerships, Martyn Parker, said "securing excess rainfall insurance protection demonstrates that Caribbean countries are taking a proactive approach to manage the contingent risks posed by climate change". Having purchased the rainfall policy, CCRIF said, those countries will now be able to respond better to an event such as the trough that brought heavy rains to the Eastern Caribbean in December 2013, which resulted in loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure and widespread economic disruption. It said the excess rainfall product is independent of the hurricane policy and if both policies are triggered by an event, then both payouts become due. Taking into consideration the fiscal challenges facing many of its members face and their increasing levels of vulnerability, CCRIF said it continues to work towards reducing the overall premium cost.

Consequently, for the 2014-15 policy year, CCRIF offered two one-off premium discount options due to a third successive year in which none of the policies held by member countries were triggered by an event. The two discount options were a 25 per cent reduction on tropical cyclone and earthquake policy premium if no excess rainfall policy is purchased, and up to a 50 per cent concession if applied to an excess rainfall policy. In addition, as done previously, for 201415 policies, CCRIF allowed 50 per cent of the total premium to be held as paid-in participation fee - the one-time fee paid when a country joins the facility - with the excess therefore being available to cofund premium, providing an opportunity to further reduce current expenditure on policy premiums. Member countries which have not already done so can also exercise the option to reduce their attachment point to a 10-year return period for hurricanes. This would result in coverage being secured for events that occur more frequently. "As the main part of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, CCRIF remains committed to supporting its members in their disaster risk-management initiatives and their progress towards climate resiliency," the release said. CCRIF is a not-for-profit risk pooling facility, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean for Caribbean governments. Since its inception, it has made eight payouts totalling US$32.17 million to seven member governments including St Lucia after the island experienced the passing of Hurricane Tomas. 造


TOURISM FOCUS

Sandals Resorts Invests in Educational Development of Employees Sandals Corporate University Student Gets Full Master’s Degree Scholarship

T

he Sandals Corporate University has through its educational partner the University of Derby secured a full scholarship for one of its young and ambitious team members Kershiim Simon. Simon will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Hospitality Management online from the university. This is the first time the initiative is being offered and it will be extended annually. The University of Derby, a new SCU partner under the partnership with Education for Advancement formed in 2013, offers Sandals employees the opportunity to pursue higher education online. Through this partnership, a jointly funded scholarship was created to offer a full tuition scholarship to a deserving staff member. The MA in International Hospitality Management is designed to meet the needs of the dynamic international hospitality industry, equipping students with practical and relevant skills, which combined with their existing experience, can help them to advance their career within an increasingly complex industry. Kershiim Simon, who currently holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management, is currently employed as an Inventory/Retail Supervisor. He began his professional journey with Sandals Resorts through the Hospitality Training Program (HTP) and has steadily grown with the Luxury Included® resort.

Speaking about his award, Simon immediately credited his Training and Development Manager Melissa Clarke, who according to him has always been a motivator pushing him to excel. “From the onset I knew Sandals as being a very progressive company that values their human resource as an integral part of their operations. Work for me seems less of a job and more like an every day experience,” Simon said. He pointed out that his application to the University of Derby through the Sandals Corporate University was not one that he entered into lightly. “I know this scholarship will give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and make myself more marketable in this greatly competitive tourism industry, both regionally and internationally,” Simon said. As all of the resources Simon will require for this program are online, he will have the flexibility to fit his study periods around his existing work commitments and shift patterns. Course modules still operate within a fixed trimester but Simon can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures. Through webinars and online discussion forums, he will connect with his online tutor and fellow students from around the world to discuss and debate key topics and share experiences within the dynamic tourism industry.

Simon will also develop skills and awareness of the various management functions, as part of the total business structures in a variety of organisations. This will include an understanding of globalisation and the impacts of a multicultural workforce that can present organisational and operational challenges, as the concepts of service quality and customer satisfaction change rapidly in the market place. Launched in March 2012, SCU represents Sandals Resorts commitment to the professional development of their employees through reputable education and training programmes. Every staff member is invited to apply and experience courses that they are interested in to further advance their career and broaden their knowledge. Since its inception, over 1,200 team members have registered with SCU, with close to 1,000 certificates issued in internal courses such as customer service, leadership, the art of selling and professional communications. They now have access to more than 230 courses and external partnerships with 13 top-ranking local and international universities. Through this unique and invaluable program, Sandals Resorts hopes to make a meaningful impact on your experience by guaranteeing the best customer service, attitude, skills and knowledge from every team member a guest comes across. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

97


TOURISM FOCUS

SLHTA Contributes To Tourism Development

I

n addition to disbursing over EC$300,000.00 towards community based projects over the past six months, the Tourism Enhancement Fund made its biggest pay-out in early August with four organisations benefiting collectively from over EC$650,000. These organisations include the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, the Ministry of Social Transformation, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Ministry of Agriculture. Launched in October 2013, the Tourism Enhancement Fund has netted more than EC$1.35 million due to the coming together of several hotels. The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), which manages the fund, has announced plans to aid product development, marketing and airlift across the local tourism sector. The TEF is the brainchild of SLHTA’s President Karolin Troubetzkoy. “We’re very pleased and encouraged by the level of contribution we have seen thus far from our member hotels towards the Fund,” Troubetzkoy said, adding that the hotels’ interest charts a new direction for private and public sector collaboration within the tourism community. Providing details on the supported projects Yola St. Jour – Manager for Finance and Administration at the SLHTA, said the Association’s support to the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School is for the completion of a fully functioning culinary lab. In the case of the Ministry of Social Transformation it is for the implementation of after school programmes in two communities. The Saint Lucia Tourist board has also received a US$192,000 commitment for a minimum revenue guarantee towards increased airlift out of the North American market, which is expected to stimulate growth out of that market. In the meantime, the Association’s Director for Large Hotels, Dominic Fedee, said, “This significant start is a clear indication of the magnitude of the contribution that can be made when we pull our resources together.” ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

98

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa Opens Petting Zoo

C

oconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa is building a reputation of being on the cutting edge and taking the lead in the introduction of unique services for the benefit and pleasure of Guests. The hotel set the pace some years ago when it commissioned what remains the only Lazy River as part of what is the biggest water park on the island. That habit of leadership in service and product offerings continues with the recent opening of the Coco Coral Petting Zoo in early June. The Petting Zoo is the first of its type on the island within the hospitality industry. The opening of the Petting Zoo is the fulfillment of a dream by hotel General Manager, Mark Hawken - a pet project of sorts. The opening was witnessed by a gathering of curious hotel guests as well as proud staff members. Following the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon the guests who were present took turns in lavishing love on the various animals kept within the zoo. Among them were many young children who were clearly fascinated with the tropical creatures, some of which they may never have seen or got the opportunity to even touch. The opening of the Petting Zoo is a further addition to the onproperty attractions and assets of Coconut Bay. Management believes that through the process of interaction with animals in the Petty Zoo, guests can benefit from being educated about these animals and gain a greater appreciation of these creatures of nature. The Petting Zoo currently houses a range of residents including: goats, ducks, donkeys, sheep and one horse. This listing is expected to increase in time. The Petting Zoo is managed by a full-time Zoo Keeper. ¤


Caribbean Hopes to Become First Region to End AIDS

HEALTH & WEALTH

USAID Allocates US$500M for New Efforts to Achieve an AIDS-free Generation in the Caribbean

P

rime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas of St. Kitts Nevis said the Caribbean aspires to become the first region in the world to end AIDS.

"We did this for polio and smallpox in the late 1980s and can do so for AIDS," Douglas told delegates at the 20th International AIDS Conference held in mid-July in Australia. The St. Kitts Nevis Prime Minister, who has responsibility for health matters within CARICOM said the need to create viable partnerships aimed at sustainable development can be achieved through international cooperation and partnerships of various kinds. "In the case of the Caribbean, this is not only limited to NorthSouth relations but also embraces South-South Cooperation... for the Caribbean we have learnt the need to create indigenous regional structures rooted in the integration process that link community efforts with leadership at the highest political level," he said. Concerning the treatment of HIV, Douglas said this remains one of the most inspiring achievements in global health history. "Since 2001, the number of people receiving HIV treatment in low-and middle-income countries has risen from a mere handful to more than 12 million in early 2014. These advances are saving lives, with the number of AIDS-related deaths falling by 30 per cent from 2005 to 2012 worldwide," he explained. Douglas also pointed to the need for AIDS to be positioned within the broad context of health, poverty and equality. "Let it be our clarion call resonating in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the UN General Assembly, in every region and every country. Let us acknowledge that we have made much progress but AIDS is far from over. Let us continue to advocate for AIDS to be retained in the post-2015 development agenda. He told participants that there is a need to sustain and reconfigure the unfinished Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within those of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "The progress in attaining the international targets in the MDGs among SIDS shows marked improvements over the past decade. However, the recently released gap analysis undertaken by UNAIDS demonstrates, at least for the Caribbean, the need for more robust financing models based on shared responsibility,

accelerated and affordable treatment regimens and accenting the elimination of HIV related sigma," he said. Douglas stressed that achieving justice for all should be a fundamental requirement for getting to zero discrimination as the ultimate goal of human development. "I mention this mainly because we in the Caribbean have identified the elements of 'justice for all' as our overarching inclusive strategy," he said. He also said the recent CARICOM Heads of Government conference deferred the Justice for All Declaration to make provision for more national consultations. The 20th International AIDS Conference opened with Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) calling for an end to AIDS by 2030. Sidibé has urged world leaders to "stop the hypocrisy and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights." During the conference, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that over US$500 million will be allocated for new efforts to achieve an aids-free generation in the Caribbean and other countries around the World. The new programmes will support implementation of the blueprint for the US President Barak Obama’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). “With this substantial investment, USAID and PEPFAR are better able to sustain a lasting impact in the global fight against HIV and AIDS,” said USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos-Méndez. “By strengthening high impact interventions, engaging key populations, and supporting the capacity of local partners and host country governments, we know that it is possible to accelerate the end of this epidemic and realize the promise of an AIDS-free generation,” he added. USAID said the awards include US$250 million that will be implemented over five years for strengthening the impact interventions for an AIDS-Free Generation (AIDSFree). It said the award also comprises USAID’s linkages across the continuum of HIV services for key populations affected by HIV (LINKAGES), a US$73 million award that will also be implemented over five years. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

99


Juicing –

Is it worth the while?

The Risks and Benefits of Juicing

J

uicing seems to be the latest health craze. First, there was the cabbage soup diet, followed by the Atkins diet, gluten-free diets, the South Beach diet, the Paleo diet, and so on. Proponents of juicing claim it can help with a number of things, from weight loss to cleansing your system. Juicing has really taken off, but before you spend a fortune on a fancy juicing machine, make sure you're aware of the potential health risks and benefits.

are where the fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals are housed, and if you discard these parts, you're throwing out the most beneficial portions of the produce. •

The Pros •

Juicing is a great way to squeeze fruits and vegetables into your diet if you typically don't like them.

When making juice, you can add fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil. That way, you don't waste produce (the food we waste the most money on each year).

The Cons •

People think juice is a nutritionallyequivalent replacement for whole fruits and vegetables, which isn't true. There are certain nutrients that whole produce will give you that you can't get from the juice, including fiber. The skin and the pulp of fruits and veggies

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

100

Juicers are expensive. They can range in cost from $50 to as much as $400. That's a lot of money to spend on one piece of kitchen equipment, especially when it serves only one purpose. A blender, on the other hand, can be used for a variety of foods but costs much less. Juice, no matter where it comes from, is a concentrated source of calories. This is especially true if you use more fruits than vegetables in your juices. The juice isn't pasteurised, which could be a food-safety hazard. Wash your hands and all produce before preparing juice. Drink juice within one week, preferably on the same day that you make it. Also, wash the juicer with hot, soapy water after each use.

Juicing for Weight Loss "Cleansing" Purposes

or

Juicing to lose weight or ‘cleanse’ is not only unsuccessful, it can be downright dangerous. If you're drinking juices in place

of real food, you'll fall short on a number of nutrients your body needs, namely fiber and protein. Fiber keeps us full for longer, preventing overeating. Protein also keeps us full and helps us build and maintain lean muscle mass, which burns calories even at rest. If you cut your calories too low because you're just drinking juice all day, your metabolism may slow down. Then, once you start eating solid foods again, you'll likely put on weight in the form of fat cells. Your body has two wonderful organs to do any cleansing you need--your liver and your kidneys.

The Bottom Line Freshly-prepared juice can certainly be incorporated into a healthy diet, but it's not a miracle food that's going to make you instantly skinny or cure whatever ails you. Additionally, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting juicing in order to prevent potential drug and nutrient interactions. This is because a lot of people use dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach in their juice concoctions, and these greens are high in vitamin K, which could interfere with how certain blood thinners work. ¤


events 2014 2nd Annual “Love Elevated” Wedding Symposium September 24th – 28th, 2014 – St Lucia The five-day event will include noted speakers, who will address topics ranging from “Creating Bridal Bliss! What a Bride Expects From a Destination Wedding” to “How to Brand Yourself/How to Close the Sale.” Attendees can also observe a live chef demonstration by Saint Lucia’s Culinary Ambassador, Nina Compton, first runnerup and fan favourite in the most recent “Top Chef New Orleans.” For a complete schedule and more information, visit http://stlucianow.co.uk/loveelevated.

21st Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show October 6th – 10th, 2014 – St Maarten For many cruise executives, destinations, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet with key industry players, analyze trends and discuss current issues. It is because of the unique forum provided by the Conference that nearly 1,000 cruise industry partners, including approximately 100 cruise executives, attend each year. For more information email: Justin@f-cca.com.

29th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Organization October 25th – November 1st, 2014 - Rodney Bay, St Lucia Saint Lucia has been identified as the host country for the 2014 Biennial Conference with the St. Lucia Nurses’ Association having responsibility for the planning and organization of the prestigious event. This Conference is expected to attract over 300 participants throughout the Caribbean, including the USA and Canada. This Conference is expected to attract over 300 participants throughout the Caribbean, including the USA and Canada. The theme for the conference is “Nursing and Midwifery: Integrating Knowledge, Skills and Attitude for Delivery of Safe Quality Patient Care.” The Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses’ Organization (CNO) provides a forum for nurses from member countries to meet, discuss and conduct the business of the organization every two years. For more information visit: www.stlucianursesassociation.lc

URISA’s 7th Caribbean GIS Conference October 26-30th, 2014 - Curacao The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce its Seventh Caribbean Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference. The conference, themed “Spatial Technologies: Fueling Economic Growth and Development” features important regional conversations, preconference courses and workshops, comprehensive education, and opportunities to connect with experts, peers and private sector sponsors. The conference will be held at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. For more information visit www.urisa.org

World Travel Market 2014 October 26-30th, 2014 - Curacao The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce its Seventh Caribbean Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference. The conference, themed “Spatial Technologies: Fueling Economic Growth and Development” features important regional conversations, preconference courses and workshops, comprehensive education, and opportunities to connect with experts, peers and private sector sponsors. The conference will be held at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. For more information visit www.urisa.org BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

101


MAJOR MOVES

Hector Montanez Director of Marketing and Sales Seaborne Airlines

Fenna Williams Duty Manager Coco Resorts Coco Resorts has welcomed back Fenna Williams as Duty Manager. Ms William was previously in the marketing department before a short break and will now be in the forefront to welcoming guests on arrival and seeing them on departure. "Looking after our corporate and leisure guests is something I feel proud to do on behalf of Coco Palm which I have known from the day it opened almost 10 years ago" said Ms Williams. "The high repeat guests make my job easy but we can't rest on our laurels. Word spreads quickly and the internet has only made this faster and to a wider audience which means we have to go the extra mile each time" said the newly appointed Duty Manager. ¤ Ms Nicole Moore Human Resources Manager Coco Resorts After working in the United Kingdom with nine years in Human Resource, Ms Moore returned to Saint Lucia in April when she joined Coco Resorts. Nicole has taken up the role to assure both the well being of the team and to monitor trends in the industry to keep the team up to par. "The hospitality industry is a 365 day operation running 24/7 which can prove both physically and mentally demanding on the team. Assessing their well being and scheduling training have been my priority," said Ms Moore. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

102

S e a b o r n e Airlines announces the appointment of airline industry veteran Hector "Tato" Montanez as the regional carrier's new Director of Marketing and Sales. In his new position, Montanez will be in charge of overseeing the airline's marketing and sales initiatives in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Montanez brings with him more than 25 years of experience working for American Airlines, where he oversaw sales and marketing, operations, e-commerce and distribution, new product development, key account management and customer service for Puerto Rico. Montanez has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Inter American University, Metro Campus. He lives in San Juan with his wife Wendy and children Bianca and Jan Luis.

Finance Company Ltd

Ainsworth Peter Chief Executive Officer St. Lucia Mortgage

Ainsworth Peter has been appointed as CEO of the forty-six-year-old institution took effect on July 1, 2014. Peter takes over the mantle following the retirement of Rupert Orlando Martyr, which took effect from June 30, 2014. Peter’s passion for finance and banking was fuelled during his years of tenure with Bank of Saint Lucia from 1986 to 2011. Also an Attorney at Law, his areas of interest are general civil practice with emphasis on banking, corporate and commercial matters, offshore banking, trusts, insurance, personal Injury and conveyancing. He is

currently a member of the Institute of Canadian Bankers, the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, UK, The Bar of England & Wales and The Bar of Saint Lucia. ¤

Phillip Cross Country Head and General Manager Bank of Nova Scotia St Lucia Phillip G. Cross has been appointed Country Head and General Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia in St. Lucia. Phillip joined Scotiabank in 1989 in Alberta, Canada, his experience spans through Retail and Corporate/Commercial Banking, International Banking- Toronto, Wealth Management, Operations and Finance. In November 2005, Phillip’s first international assignment was in Turks & Caicos Islands joining the senior management team, and then transitioning to Director of Scotia Private Client Group. In 2012 Phillip headed the Corporate and Commercial team as Director, Credit Solutions in the Cayman Islands, up to his present appointment. Phillip has worked in 21 international countries on assignment for Scotiabank. He enjoys Golf, Fishing, Diving, and Reading with a keen interest in the Culture and History of the various locations around the world in which he has worked and calls home. ¤ Crisy Laurent has been appointed as the General Manager of Scotia Insurance Eastern Caribbean Limited. Crisy has over fifteen years diverse Banking and Finance experience. She started off as a Teller with Scotiabank and went on to assume a number of progressively senior roles within the organization. She has gained a wealth


MAJOR MOVES of knowledge and experience in Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Offshore Banking, Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking, Compliance, Operations and Insurance. In her most recent role, Crisy was the Senior Manager Business Support, Scotia Insurance Caribbean Limited. Her responsibilities in this role spanned across fifteen countries in the English speaking Caribbean. She holds a BSc (hons) in Banking and Finance from the University of the West Indies and is in the final stages of an MBA with the Australian Institute of Business. Crisy is currently a Certified Project Management Professional and a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist. Crisy thrives best in challenging environments. She is an avid sports fan, who has represented St. Lucia as a national volleyball player. She is passionate about youth development and continues to volunteer on a number of initiatives which spearhead this cause. ¤

Andre Bello Commercial M a n a g e r , Caribbean Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic has appointed Andre Bello as its new Commercial M a n a g e r , Caribbean. Bello is based in the Bridgetown office and takes the lead role in managing the Caribbean team. Bello has been with Virgin Atlantic since 2012 as the Caribbean’s Sales, Marketing and Communications Manager, leading his team to extraordinary growth in 2013. Bello’s career has spanned over twenty-five years in sales and marketing leadership. While working as a medical representative with Novartis, he completed his MBA before joining the advertising industry as an Account Executive with Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi. He joined the financial services industry as General Manager, Marketing for the Maritime Financial Group in Trinidad. He then assumed the role of Marketing Manager for Jamaica Money Market Brokers in Jamaica. Through his business novel The Sword & the Spirit - A Negotiation Tale,

Bello has influenced the approach to complex negotiations by corporate leaders across the Caribbean. ¤

Andre Dhanpaul Regional Director, Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean welcomes the innovative mind of Mr. Andre Dhanpaul to the office of Regional Director with responsibility for Sandals in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Antigua. Mr. Dhanpaul officially took up the new office in July 2014 following a successful career as General for Sandals Negril in Jamaica. With a strong financial background Mr Dhanpaul beings over 25 years of career experience to Saint Lucia with 15 of those years being in senior management at the company. ¤

Mrs. Hermina Danzie-Vitalis Country Manager Axcel Finance St. Lucia Axcel Finance has appointed a new Country Manager for St. Lucia. She is Mrs. Hermina DanzieVitalis, a professional with over 15 years of corporate management experience. She was born and raised in Saint Lucia and holds an MBA in Finance. Danzie-Vitalis began her career at Courts St. Lucia Ltd. And then held Accounts and Office Management positions at Microwest as well as the St. Lucia Banana Corporation (SLBC). In recent years, she served as General Manager of Carib Travel & Destination

Management Company where she spent 13 years and managed a team of twentyfive. During her tenure at Carib Travel, she increased profits substantially, and made the company a market leader. As Country Manager for Saint Lucia, Danzie-Vitalis has overall responsibility for operations of the company’s three (3) branches in Castries, Vieux Fort and Soufriere. She will also oversee business development and marketing efforts of Axcel Finance in St. Lucia. ¤

Alejandro Ramirez Acting CEO TCL Group Alejandro Ramirez was appointed an acting CEO of the TCL Group in late August following the suspension to the substantive group CEO, Rollin Bertrand. The new acting CEO is a Cemex Executive who has been a TCL Director since October 12, 2012. Alejandro Ramirez is Country Director of CEMEX Puerto Rico since April 2011 and under his directorship, the company has attained marked improvements in its operations. Since October 2012, CEMEX business units in Peru and Argentina also report to him. Ramirez joined CEMEX in July 2000 and has held positions in various areas including Strategic Planning Director and Projects Director at CEMEX Central, Planning Vice President of the Philippines and Asia, Country Manager (Thailand), Vice President of Planning (Venezuela), Vice President of Strategic Projects (South America and the Caribbean), and Director of Corporate Affairs (Americas). Ramirez has extensive experience in management of business units as well as development and implementation of operative and corporate strategies. He holds an MBA with a Major in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BSc. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

103


NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY

NATURE OF BUSINESS

DIRECTORS

Gorse House Properties Ltd.

Property Holding

PIF Corporate Services Inc.

EZ Management Ltd.

Retail of Petroleum Products

Eugenie Dalson, Peter Dalson

Braintree Ltd.

Property Holding

PIF Corporate Services Inc.

Tri-Ark Ltd.

Financial Advice

Cuthbert Didier

Noah Energy Ltd.

Retail & Investment Consulting

Jade Hutchinson

Brookfield Ltd.

Property Holding

PIF Corporate Services Inc.

Evenege Ltd.

Providing Unique Local Culinary Experiences to Tourists and Food Enthusiasts

Genavie Pierre

Emmanuel Global Corporation Inc.

Business Consulting Any Other Business Not Restricted by Law

Leonard Emmanuel

Islander Cars Inc.

Car Rental

Marcus Antoine, Janus Gyan

Nexus Tours Inc.

Tour Operator

Stephen Philip Hunter

Jade Sea Limited

Real Estate Investment

Nick Troubetzkoy

Soufriere Hills Limited

Real Estate Investment

Nick Troubetzkoy

Abascus Financial Services Limited

Registered Agent Under the Registered Agent & Trustee Licensing Act

Brenda Floissac Fleming, Geoffrey DuBoulay

Cardiovascular Medical Inc.

Medical Research Purchase and Sell Medical Equipment & Medicines

Jeanice Stanley

Duncan’s Equipment Services Ltd.

Rental of Heavy Equipment

Benjamin Duncan, Kemus Christopher

Nexus Networks Inc.

TV Program Company

Jeanille Marisol Bonterre, Sean Michael Field

Avant-Blue Medical Clinic Inc.

Medical and Health Facility

Dr. Gregory Crichlow

Funtertainment Factory Inc.

Event Management Theatre Arts

Barrington Dolcie, Shirley Ann Pilaiye Cenac

Pitt Security Services Ltd.

Security Services

Wendy Ken Allain

Illusionary Imagination Services Ltd.

Digital Consultant Firm

Dremond Tanic, Amanda Tanic

Flavien Ltd.

Advance Composite Manufacturing

Eglan John Flavien

Flett Property Ltd.

Property Investment

PIF Corporate Services Inc.

Suntixx Ltd.

Ticketing and Marketing

Thia Harvey, Jean-Marc Aimey

Own Your Own Home

Real Estate Brokerage

Jacqueline Theodore

Wolve Industries Inc.

Real Estate and Development

Brian Beepat, Danny Garcia

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

|

104


TECHNOLOGY TO KEEP YOU ON COURSE

THE RIGHT PARTNER CAN PROPEL YOU FORWARD In the sea of business, it’s important to have a partner you can trust. Digicel Business offers the mobility you need to help you navigate and choose the right solution for your business no matter what size of business you are. We partner with all the big fish in the technology industry to bring you the unified communications you need to ensure you’re never out of your depth. To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact us at 1 758 724 6001 or digicelbusinessslu@digicelgroup.com

Complete solutions for your needs WWW.DIGICELBUSINESS.COM


St. Lucia Business Focus 77  

M&C Group Celebrates 150 Years

St. Lucia Business Focus 77  

M&C Group Celebrates 150 Years

Advertisement