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THE STAR Businessweek DECEMBER 8, 2018

www.stluciastar.com

Futile Future or Great Growth of the Outsourcing Industry? By ED Kennedy, STAR Businessweek Correspondent

Recent months have seen extensive discussion in Saint Lucia surrounding its growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, and the future of the industry. While it’s clearly a good time to be an advocate for BPO locally, there remain challenges ahead when it comes to building a BPO strategy within the national and the wider global economy. Just as it’s a time of great opportunity, so too it is one that requires honesty and a clear-eyed look at the BPO sector as a whole.

Marlboro-maker Altria in takeover talks with Canadian marijuana group The maker of Marlboro cigarettes has held early talks to buy Canadian marijuana company Cronos in what would be the first major takeover of a pot producer by a big tobacco group, according to people briefed on the discussions Page 3

Continued on page 4

Thomas Cook faces deeper challenges than hot summer and late bookings Thomas Cook has largely blamed its weak recent performance on the unusually hot northern European summer, which meant Brits booked trips later and at lower margins Page 7


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The star businessweek

DECEMBER 8, 2018

www.stluciastar.com

Building Better

How building in tune with the environment can help the Caribbean create more resilient infrastructure By Catherine Morris, STAR Businessweek Correspondent

T

he devastating 2017 hurricane season was a wake-up call for the Caribbean on many levels, but one of the most crucial issues in the aftermath was recovery – how to repair and replace crumbling infrastructure with something more resilient. The storms pushed inadequate building practices into the headlines, but ineffective infrastructure is a longstanding problem in the region. Heavy rainfall often results in flooding and washed out roads; high winds down power lines; rough seas erode coastal sites. Building in tune with the natural environment can solve these problems in a way that is sustainable, low impact and cost-effective.

Green infrastructure

“Green infrastructure, low impact development, these are big key words but it’s really just common sense,” says Tom Hook, Principal at B+H Architects which develops green infrastructure strategies for developments all over the world. “The resilient landscape is about a system that is natural; you use things like parks, open spaces, streams and permeable paving. They become features and amenities on the site but they are also acting as storm management tools.” One of the Caribbean’s biggest challenges is water, according to Hook who says efficient drainage systems are paramount in reducing the damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. He has worked with hotel operators around the globe to develop smart strategies that divert water flow into appropriate areas. “Make it an amenity,” he says. “The rain has to go somewhere so have streams running through the property, a park or an open space. Let them flood when it rains because it’s better there than in a building. You can have those areas where water drains and you can also create underground cisterns to collect the water to use it for irrigation or other things.” Hook, who has consulted with the Ritz-Carlton in Saint Lucia on a green infrastructure masterplan, says the island’s unique geography can pose a challenge for developers. “Saint Lucia is tricky because of its topography; you have a lot more runoff. You have to look at where the water is

Sustainable architecture is about more than just the aesthetics. Integrated systems based on sustainable principles can mean significant bottom-line savings for both developers and the community

running to, and enhance that.” B+H Architects has a number of tools in its armoury when it comes to channeling run-off including green roofs that use vegetation on the top of buildings to absorb rainwater, bioswales to naturally collect and filter stormwater, and retention ponds to collect excess run-off. The architects perform site analysis and create masterplans to minimise the impact on local habitats and ecosystems, while ensuring man-made features are protected from erosion, flooding and other natural events.

Collaborating for change In the past, lack of resources, investment and political will stymied efforts to upgrade infrastructure in the Caribbean. Tightening purse strings are often used as an excuse,

but Hook says eco-friendly building practices are actually more cost-effective than traditional methods. “From the projects we have done, we’ve seen that it is cheaper to do it that way, or almost the same cost. This is not a cost issue. This is not new technology like solar or wind power where it is expensive and the returns are years down the line. This is an easy solution that is naturally based.” Research from the IMF shows that investing in public capital resilient to natural disasters can boost GDP in ECCU countries by as much as 11 per cent. Yet governments are often unwilling to take on the challenge of long-term structural investment. Once obtaining office, they tend to focus on short-term issues in a bid to secure their position with the electorate,

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failing to think beyond the next election. Hook is hopeful that change will come from the private sector. He would like to see his work with big name, international brands such as the Fairmont and Marriott chains build momentum and help spread the word. “It is unfortunate that we cannot get this moving; it would really benefit the Caribbean so much. Sometimes it takes a couple of successful projects for people to see the difference.” And it’s not just large-scale projects that can benefit; small boutique hotels can also take advantage of the green infrastructure approach. Hook says: “We are not only working on massive projects, we can do it with everybody and anybody. The more you Continued on page 5


Cannabis

The star businessweek

DECEMBER 8, 2018

www.stluciastar.com

© The Financial Times Limited [2018]. All Rights Reserved. Not to be redistributed, copied or modified in anyway. Star Publishing Company is solely responsible for providing this translated content and the Financial Times Limited does not accept any liability for the accuracy or quality of the translation

Marlboro-maker Altria in takeover talks with Canadian marijuana group Altria makes big tobacco’s first push into legalised cannabis By Eric Platt, Alistair Gray and James Fontanella-Khan in New York

T

he maker of Marlboro cigarettes has held early talks to buy Canadian marijuana company Cronos in what would be the first major takeover of a pot producer by a big tobacco group, according to people briefed on the discussions. A takeover of Cronos by Altria amid spreading decriminalisation would rank among the largest investments in the budding pot industry. Shares of Cronos, a Canadian group that grows and distributes cannabis, climbed 14 per cent in New York on Monday to $10.39, giving the company a market capitalisation of $1.9bn. The talks, first reported by Reuters, come as investors have piled into the sector; Canada became the largest country to completely legalise recreational pot use in October, and several US states, including California, have made similar legal changes. Beer and spirits maker Constellation Brands earlier this year pumped almost $4bn into Canopy Growth, another large Canadian pot group, while rival Aurora Cannabis in May struck a $2bn deal to buy medical marijuana group MedReleaf. Deals worth more than $10bn have been agreed so far this year, up more than seven-fold from 2017, according to data from Dealogic. Other large consumer companies have also been eyeing the cannabis sector as decriminalisation of the drug spreads across North America and western Europe. Coca-Cola, the world largest beverage maker, has held talks with Canada’s Aurora to develop beverages, while Altria

Juul Labs, the ecigarette start-up valued at $16bn that has seized three-quarters of the US vaping market since its launch in 2015. It is looking to take a 40 per cent stake in Juul, with an option to take full control at a later stage, according to several people close to Altria. The US Food and Drug Administration is planning to ban menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars, and also severely restrict the availability of flavoured ecigarettes to locations that are off limits to anyone under 21. The industry’s main product meanwhile is declining in the west at an accelerating rate. Cigarette volumes are expected to decline by about 4.2 per cent in the US this year, according to Wells Fargo forecasts, a slightly faster rate than the average for recent years. Shares in Altria, listed in New York with a market capitalisation of $105bn, have fallen 14 per cent in the past month. Altria did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Cronos could not be immediately reached for comment.

has also held talks with Tilray and Aphria. Diageo, the drinks group behind Johnny Walker whisky, has also been exploring investment opportunities in the sector, according to people close to the company. Cannabis has been legalised in Canada and in more than half of America’s 50 states, although it remains an illegal substance under US federal law. Spending on cannabis

is expected to climb to $32bn by 2020 from $9.5bn last year, according to analysts with ArcView and BDS Analytics. The series of talks come as Washington undertakes a wide-ranging crackdown on tobacco and ecigarettes as concerns mount that a new generation is getting addicted to nicotine. Altria is also seeking to acquire a stake in

Cannabis has been legalised in Canada and in more than half of America’s 50 states, although it remains an illegal substance under US federal law

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The star businessweek

DECEMBER 8, 2018

www.stluciastar.com

Futile Future or Great Growth of the Outsourcing Industry? Continued from page 1

A Looming Skills Gap

Earlier this year, Invest Saint Lucia and Nearshore Americas held a call centre career fair on the island to raise local awareness of job opportunities in the industry

Saint Lucia and BPO

When it comes to the growth of a BPO sector, Saint Lucia faces some hurdles commonly seen across other nations of a similar population and economy. A relatively small population is a challenge in attracting large-scale investment. There is no prospect of a company hiring 1,000 workers if there is no facility to employ them. While not quite a simple case of ‘build it and they will come’‚ the creation of premises to house staff could provide employment for job-seekers as well as those who already hold employment but seek additional income. The 24 hour nature of many call centres serving the global economy makes flexibility in staffing and employee lifestyle possible. Even if a facility doesn’t operate at full capacity or perpetually‚ the advantages of a call centre operation are its relatively uniform cost from one worker to the next. Put simply, while a car manufacturer may have wildly varying operation costs for different specialist roles, given the range of job duties, skills and equipment required‚ a BPO call centre role typically would require

the same equipment from one employee to the other: a phone and (usually) a computer.

that Saint Lucia holds a leading example of BPO in the Caribbean.

The Success of OJO Labs Locally

The Vulnerabilities of BPO

OJO Labs is a good example of the successful emergence of the BPO industry locally. First announced back in early 2017‚ and officially opened in November 2017‚ growth has gone so well for the call centre that the company declared in August of this year that 24 new jobs would be created each month. This is firm progress towards the original goal of employing up to 300 Saint Lucians before the third year of operations, so much so that current growth projections have been revised‚ with the expectation that OJO will have 700 employees by 2020. For critics who may look at such rapid growth with concern or scepticism‚ the partnership of OJO with the Saint Lucian government‚ alongside the integration of A.I technology into existing operations, offers two cornerstones for ‘future proofing’. The resources and knowledge available via public investment‚ and the growing demand for machine learning in the private sector, mean

While the BPO sector can bring huge benefits to a local economy‚ it can create new issues. BPO outfits, by design, typically exist to support foreign businesses with local resources, doing so via jobs that – whether due to the scope of the role or the distance between the BPO location and the foreign headquarters – can limit promotion within the company. This can place limitations on an individual’s career progression in a company and, at a community level‚ inhibit the development of home-grown businesses that have a wholly locally owned and operated identity. For those who wish to see local entrepreneurs and business thrive, not only for economic opportunity but also as a form of economic security against the unpredictable headwinds of the global economy‚ then prioritisation of other industries for growth over BPO is ideal.

When it comes to growing the BPO sector in the global economy, Saint Lucia has unique considerations surrounding its biggest industries. As detailed last week, there remains a sizeable percentage of Saint Lucians employed within the agriculture sector. There are also many now employed in the financial and tourism industries, today the two biggest drivers of Saint Lucia’s economy. The BPO industry offers a natural crossover with the financial industry. Yet they also make strange bedfellows when it comes to wages. Whether a banker is born and bred locally or dispatched to Saint Lucia from a bank’s headquarters abroad, either way the appeal of making themselves available for BPO work may be minimal. In turn, the specialist nature of expertise in the financial sector means bringing prospective employers and workers together is no easy task. While the online


The star businessweek

world may see a sizeable market of general services on offer in which employers and workers can easily match up, many prospective employers recognise that the BPO industry delivers the greatest benefits when it offers something they cannot acquire in-house, or can do so elsewhere at a more economical rate. The specialist knowledge they have in-house is unlikely to be replicated on the open market. Even if it were, it is unlikely to be at a rate that provides huge cost savings. As a result, the shift towards greater utilisation of BPO services continues to see some real hurdles in its path, even allowing for favourable currency conversion rates and other benefits.

Evolving Office Culture

While recent years have seen a trend towards BPO, it’s not guaranteed. Many big tech companies like Google and Yahoo are turning back from a culture of remote work and outsourcing towards wanting employees in their offices. This surprises many because a cutting-edge tech firm would appear a natural domain for advancing such changes.

But instead, whether it’s a mix of sheer size and scale (task management softwares like Slack and Asana may make talking to 100 employees a day easy but if you need to speak to them all at once then it’s much easier when they’re all in the same room) or simply the desire to instill a strong workplace culture, after some years of testing, many employers now see issue with having employees located outside the office.

DECEMBER 8, 2018

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Building Better Continued from page 2

Betting on BPO

Alongside the potential for change among foreign employers, there are also the present flirtations with protectionism that many nations around the world are engaging in once more. If it continues, it could increasingly see more jobs ‘brought home’ at the expense of the BPO sector. This should not put a damper on the success achieved here so far, just a recognition of how circumstances locally and globally have played a role in it so that those aspiring to see the continued growth of a BPO industry locally have firm stepping stones in place going forward.

Green roofs can improve stormwater management by reducing runoff and improving water quality. They also conserve energy, mitigate the urban heat island, increase longevity of roofing membranes, reduce noise and air pollution, sequester carbon, increase urban biodiversity by providing habitat for wildlife, provide space for urban agriculture, provide a more aesthetically pleasing and healthy environment to work and live, and improve return on investment compared to traditional roofs

Continued from page 2

do, the more it helps. The little things add up and make a big change.” Lasting change requires a change of mindset however, and this shift will only be achieved with considerable buy-in from the public sector. Governments can do much to enable a more environmentally-friendly approach so that resilient building becomes the norm, rather than a niche endeavour. Hook wants to see Caribbean-wide standards and guidelines to give the sector some clarity on what’s involved and offer developers and

architects more options when it comes to site planning.

Moving ahead

With weather events intensifying, resilient infrastructure is fast becoming a necessity for the Caribbean. Poor building practices are an economic liability, not least because they can have negative repercussions for the Caribbean’s bread and butter industry – tourism. Delayed recovery after hurricanes dampens the tourist trade in the short-term and, over time, gives the impression that the region is closed for

business. In addition, poor environmental management has a direct impact on the region’s biggest selling points, its pristine white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. “The Caribbean needs to think about these things,” says Hook, who has a personal connection to the region. “The Caribbean is a place I’ve enjoyed almost my whole life. I’ve been visiting forever and it is a special place for me.” He is optimistic that change is on the horizon however, adding: “It is going to happen, it has to happen, and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later.”

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The star businessweek

DECEMBER 8, 2018

Technology & Taxation

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Airbnb Refuses Mexican Government’s Pilot Tax ProgramME by Andrea Navarro, Bloomberg

Airbnb signed a similar agreement last year with the US Virgin Islands to collect taxes on behalf of hosts and remit them to the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue

A

irbnb Inc. has stepped away from negotiations with Mexico that would have required the home-sharing website to collect income tax from its hosts and send the money to the government, according to a person familiar with the talks. After a year of discussions, an agreement was close: the company was to give the

Finance Ministry a monthly report of taxpayer info and how much income each host generated. The company would also withhold a single-digit income tax, which it would remit to the government, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The talks about Airbnb’s participation in the voluntary tax pilot programme faltered a month before the agreement was to be

announced, with the company saying it faced technical challenges to withholding income taxes from hosts, the person said. The talks are essentially dead for now, though Airbnb has other agreements in place concerning payment of a separate lodging tax. “As part of our commitment to dialogue and to enter agreements with local governments, we’ve reached seven deals to voluntarily collect and remit lodging taxes in Mexico on behalf of hosts,” an Airbnb spokesperson wrote in an email. Mexico’s Finance Ministry declined to comment. Mexico was simultaneously negotiating a similar deal with Uber Technologies Inc., which resulted in a rule geared toward ridehailing and food delivery services that rival ride-sharing company Cabify has joined.

Danish Deal

The local tax question isn’t new for Airbnb. In May, the company reached an agreement with the Danish government to report users’ rental income to the tax authority. The deal in Mexico would have taken that one step further, with Airbnb not only reporting hosts’ income but also collecting and remitting the corresponding taxes.

Airbnb is working with hundreds of governments around the world to reach voluntary lodging-tax agreements. It’s begun sharing hosts’ income information, but has so far stopped short of collecting the taxes. Mexico, meanwhile, has been looking for ways to boost its tax collection, which is the lowest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The outgoing Mexico administration is also in talks with Netflix Inc. for an agreement to collect sales taxes from users, and the new government is expected to continue them. The talks are still in the early stage, the person said. Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined to comment.

Airbnb is working with hundreds of governments around the world to reach voluntary lodging-tax agreements. It’s begun sharing hosts’ income information, but has so far stopped short of collecting the taxes

ANTIGUA CIP APPLICATIONS UP 49% FOR 2018

The Citizenship by Investment Programme was established following parliamentary assent to the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Regulations 2014

T

he Antigua Citizenship by Investment programme (CIP) is beating records in 2018, with the first six months of the year having the greatest volume of applicants in the history of the programme. According to the the latest report released by the Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Unit, the applications to end June 2018 are at 278, up 49% from the 187 applications in the first half of 2017. There is no doubt that the government’s decision to cut prices from US$200,000 to US$100,000 for up to a family of four is one of the major reasons for the record start to the year. The high number of applicants may also have been influenced by the government’s decision to accept currencies other than just US dollars, such as Euros, and soon they

will accept payment in an as-yet-unconfirmed cryptocurrency. The investment into the country during this boost to the number of CIP applicants has been quite healthy as a result. Contributions to the government during this period, excluding real estate and business investment, are said to be over US$20 million. The report for the first half of 2018 also breaks down the nationality of the applicants, with Chinese investors leading the pack at 31% of all applicants. This is followed by Syrians, Russians and finally Libyans combining for the next 20% of applicants. With the US$100,000 price point for a family of four being extended by a further 12 months, the outlook is positive for the second half of 2018. The extension of the discount period will undoubtedly continue to make an impact on the number of citizenship by investment applicants in Antigua & Barbuda.


Travel & Tourism

The star businessweek

DECEMBER 8, 2018

www.stluciastar.com

© The Financial Times Limited [2018]. All Rights Reserved. Not to be redistributed, copied or modified in anyway. Star Publishing Company is solely responsible for providing this translated content and the Financial Times Limited does not accept any liability for the accuracy or quality of the translation

Thomas Cook faces deeper challenges than hot summer and late bookings

Shadow cast over tour operator as it warns on profits amid disruption from low-cost rivals By Jonathan Eley, FT Correspondent

T

homas Cook has largely blamed its weak recent performance on the unusually hot northern European summer, which meant Brits booked trips later and at lower margins. But lurking deeper in its financial results are hints of more deep-seated problems. This week a second profit warning in as many months knocked 30 per cent off the travel group’s share price. As well as the slow “late bookings” market, Thomas Cook revealed a £153m profit hit from “separately disclosed items” including charges for restructuring, asset impairments and store closures. On The Beach, an Aim-listed online travel agent that only began trading in 2004, and whose revenues are a fraction of Thomas Cook’s, now has a larger market value than the company that invented package holidays more than 170 years ago. Even after a decade of consolidation, cost cutting and investment in technology, analysts and industry executives say the travel sector — and Thomas Cook in particular — faces challenges. In addition to the usual external risks, such as terror attacks, recessions and natural disasters, traditional tour operators face disruption from capital-light online rivals, low-cost airlines looking to add new revenue streams and ever-rising customer expectations. Sold by Midland Bank in 1992, Thomas Cook passed through the hands of four different German owners before a 2007 merger with MyTravel returned it to the London Stock Exchange. Absorbing Co-operative Travel in 2011 added another 460 high street stores, just as travel was moving online. By 2012, its shares, which peaked at 280p after the MyTravel deal, were down to 13p. Harriet Green was appointed chief executive and undertook a widely praised

The tour operator has seen its profits pale in comparison to rival Tui as the latter has invested heavily © FT montage

restructuring, but departed abruptly in 2014. The company’s current Swiss chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, is adamant it “has come a long, long way” in recent years. “Maybe we underestimated the scale of the challenge, he says. “Customer needs are changing so we are having to constantly transform too.” Thomas Cook has invested in new hotel concepts, which it says generate higher levels of both new business and repeat bookings. But analysts say it is still behind its bigger Anglo-German rival, Tui, which has poured money into buying hotels and cruise ships. Three-quarters of the passengers on Tui’s airlines are going on its holidays, compared with between a third and a half at Thomas Cook. This has created what Simon Cooper, founder of On The Beach, describes as a “walled garden” targeting more affluent travellers.

Tui’s greater scale, stability and diversity is reflected in its superior share price performance. But Stuart Gordon, analyst at Berenberg, points out that in operated package holidays, it too is finding life tough. Underlying profits in its “source markets” business are likely to be around 450m Euros this year, down from more than 700m Euros in 2015. The internet has revolutionised travel for consumers, who can shop around and compare prices like never before. But it has also disrupted the old business model in operated tours — buying up airline seats and hotel rooms in winter in the hope of selling them in summer. “Doing that gives you exclusivity, but then you are beholden and if you can’t sell those last few weeks in the summer then that’s your profit gone,” says Tamara Lohan, the co-founder of boutique operator Mr & Mrs Smith.

Low-cost airlines now fly to airports such as Alicante in Spain, once dominated by charter carriers, while so-called “bed banks”, such as Webjet, act as wholesalers of hotel rooms. Both make it easier to buy flights and rooms dynamically, facilitating the growth of online tour operators who, in Ms Lohan’s words, “never had the money to take that sort of inventory risk.” Thomas Cook admits it made an old mistake last year. Its tour operating division bought too many seats on its airline upfront; the two operate separately. That soaked up an increase in capacity at the airline, but left the tour operator needing to offer margineroding discounts when bookings did not go as expected. “We want that proportion [of pre-booked seats] to be less next year,” says Mr Fankhauser. But even if the company better matches capacity with demand, it still faces challenges. One is the cost of distribution. Just under half of Thomas Cook’s total bookings are made online — but that masks big variations. In Scandinavia the group does not have a single high street travel store, whereas Germans overwhelmingly prefer to book in person. Mr Fankhauser says the group’s 600 UK stores — down from a peak of 1,200 — is “a reasonable number for now”. But online rivals with no stores can plough proportionately more money into technology and marketing. Mr Cooper points out that the total number of people going on packagetype holidays is the same as it was 20 years ago. But the number of traditional operators taking them has shrunk drastically, as low-cost airlines and independents have grown. “The only substantial new UK operator to emerge in that time is Jet2, which has built a tour operator business on top of a low-cost airline cost base,” he says. Jet2, which last year overtook Thomas Cook to become the UK’s second-biggest package operator, with a market value of £1.2bn, is owned by Dart Group. “My view is that you can either be a high-end, vertically integrated operator like Tui, or you can be a nimble, agile online operator like us. If you’re somewhere in between, then what is it that makes you different?,” says Mr Cooper.

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The star businessweek

NOVEMBER 8, 2018

MAKING

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MOVES

Martin Dorville opens up about his journey to becoming Managing Director of Massy Stores Saint Lucia By Keryn Nelson, STAR Businessweek Correspondent

M

artin Dorville is now a household name, and unsurprisingly so, as he bears several prominent titles. When he isn’t serving as Managing Director of one of Saint Lucia’s leading brands, Massy Stores, Dorville will likely be found attending to one of a long list of other duties including his role as MD of Massy Stores Saint Vincent, board member of Massy Stores Trinidad Ltd and of Bank of Saint Lucia, plus being a husband, and a father to 8- and 11-year-old sons. Many would also recognise him as the immediate past president of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, but few know his story.

How did your interest in business come about?

Dorville: I am a proud Samarian. In my days at St Mary’s College I focused a lot on sciences. You know, if it appeared that you had some smarts, you were put in the science class. The irony of it all is that I’m now a businessman and so it is clear that that philosophy doesn’t quite always work.

Faith, loyalty and commitment are at the heart of Martin Dorville’s success story

Afterwards I went to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, A level division, and I did a mixture of science and economics. It was very clear after that, that I wanted to do business so I went to the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, where I pursued a BSA in management studies. I was the proud recipient then of first class honours in management studies.

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How did you manage to jumpstart your career post-university?

Dorville: Well I came back and went into the hardware business working with M&C Home Depot but I was gravitating towards the JQ Group of Companies. At the time, my dad was a long-standing employee of JQs, in the motors division. He had gotten support then to finance my studies and naturally I thought, ‘Hey! I would like to work for this company.’ I went to work with JQs and it wasn’t quite seen as being the sexy thing then so, in many ways, I was discouraged but I felt it was a strong family business with very good values, which was always important to me above many other things including a hefty pay cheque.

That must’ve been an extensive learning experience.

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Dorville: Yes, as part of my arrangement with JQs, which was more of a family, they put together an arrangement to finance my MBA. So I was the proud recipient of an MBA from the University of Warwick. After Warwick I went back to work for JQs. At the time I did almost everything including work as a general manager. I think the only department I did not work in was finance. It was a very trying time then because the

I learn as much as I can along the way and I learn from my mistakes. I am not stopped by fear. You also must place yourself around the people who will support you

JQ Group of Companies did go through some challenges but the challenges that I faced – fear, working late hours, and trying to deal with what appeared to be insurmountable tasks – were welcomed as that was the start of my being moulded into the person that I am today. Then there was the merger between JQ and Juliens which formed Consolidated Food Ltd, and I moved. I transitioned into that newly merged organisation. I worked very closely with the then managing director, Andrew Chastanet, for about five years. My taking over the role of managing director was not a gift because I had to work for it. I witnessed the transition to Massy Stores. Massy always had a stake in Gablewoods, which was a 60% shareholder of CFL. When Massy bought the shares of Gablewoods, they then owned 60% of CFL which is now Massy Stores Saint Lucia, with JQs holding 30% and staff holding 10%.

what are the key strategies for success that you implement at Massy Stores?

Dorville: It starts with our values, our vision and our mission. To be the premier Caribbean retailer we need to focus on extending our reach. To do that we must enable continuous development of our people, not just in terms of technical competence, but competence about people management and interaction with others. Our mission looks at several components, like the satisfaction of our associates which refers to our loyal customers, and who takes care of that? Our people. Also we want to deliver a delightful and safe shopping experience to all. Who does that? Our people. And then there is fostering mutually beneficial and ethical relationships with our suppliers. Again, that’s human interaction, having that concern for others and caring about our communities and our environment.

Any GUIDING principles you can share with our readers?

Dorville: I learn as much as I can along the way and I learn from my mistakes. I am not stopped by fear. There will be moments of fear and you have to overcome that. You also must place yourself around the people who will support you, and I don’t know if it was me doing it or if it was a design by God, but I have always been in the presence of good people who supported me. You know, I actually believe it was a design by God. I’ve just always been in the right place with the right people and so my advice would be to surround yourself with the right people. You’re not going to be an engineer if you’re surrounding yourself with what has absolutely nothing to do with engineering. These things are key.

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Futile Future or Great Growth of the Outsourcing Industry?  

Recent months have seen extensive discussion in Saint Lucia surrounding its growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, and the futur...

Futile Future or Great Growth of the Outsourcing Industry?  

Recent months have seen extensive discussion in Saint Lucia surrounding its growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, and the futur...

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