We offer hearty congratulations to all of the finalists named by the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce as 2019 Champions of Business. We also take the opportunity to applaud those companies selected for induction into the chamber’s hall of fame. These businesses, each in their own way, demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit needed to lead us into the next phase of the country's economic growth.
Worthy of singling out, however, are Cocoa Republic and emerging entrepreneur Kasey Phillips of Precision Global Music. Their success reflects the diversity our economy needs: Cocoa Republic is agro-based but with a global outlook reflecting the status of our cocoa internationally. Meanwhile, Phillips’ music studio signals our potential to be a player in the entertainment industry. Given our rich music heritage as well as our vibrant and diverse music scene, music production is a natural fit with our culture and is potentially an area in which we can hone a unique commercial brand for ourselves.
The past gives us many regional examples of businesses that have sought to do this, such as Robert Amar's Caribbean Sound Basin in Trinidad, Eddy Grant’s Blue Wave Studio in Barbados, and Byron Lee’s Dynamic Sounds in Jamaica. Considering how we continue to produce vocal talent of an international calibre in the world of soca, pop and even Broadway, there is certainly room for us to make headway as a force within international music production. As is often observed, music is probably our biggest export.
We hope Phillips can go on to become a major international producer.
In relation to businesses that have a more longstanding record we note companies like Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) continue to stand the test of time and to push towards the status of being international players. At ABIL, the importance of an orderly succession in leadership has evidently been a part of the formula with Nicholas Lok Jack in the driver’s seat as group CEO/deputy chairman.
Inducted into the TT Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame were Sieunarine Persad-Coosal, CEO of construction company Coosal’s, and, posthumously, Osmond “Ossie” Carlyle Hale, former chairman of Hand Arnold (Trinidad) who served that company from 1946 until his death in 1994.
Coosal has provided an example of the resilience of our entrepreneurs, many of whom have had to devise strategies to survive boom and bust within the construction sector. But beyond mere longevity is the philanthropy which has accompanied Coosal’s career.
The posthumous award to Hand Arnold's founder is a similar demonstration that TT has a wealth of entrepreneurial spirit to lead us into the next phase of the country's growth.
The chamber is to be praised for its initiative in singling our all of these businesses. It’s important to reflect upon and acknowledge the hard work of so many who contribute to our economic vitality.
We hope it will all inspire even more commitment, on the part of both the State and the private sector, in developing business incubators to nurture and groom future generations of business champions to come.