Guyana’s manufacturing and business sectors hold a whirlpool of endless potential for dynamic and sustainable growth. The longstanding companies of many exceptional leaders in this sphere are proof of that.
Just recently, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) honoured the outstanding leaders of the manufacturing and business worlds. It is one of the biggest and most prestigious award ceremonies locally. Various companies are celebrated for their achievements at this annual event.
Here is a look at the companies and persons who were honoured for the year, 2015.
Abdool and Abdool Inc
For 41 unbroken years of consistency in superior Insurance Services to the Manufacturing and Services Industries, Abdool and Abdool Inc. was presented with a plaque by Guyana’s resident country manager of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sophie Makonnen.
This company was established and incorporated in 1974 as Abdools Ltd. Brokers and Consultants. The Company quickly rose to the top of its field with its client portfolio including manufacturing, banking, engineering, merchant shipping, construction, hospitality, aviation, agriculture and the list goes on.
The Company became Abdools RMS in 1992 as a result of a merger with Risk Management Services of Trinidad and Tobago, a subsidiary of the Neal and Massy Group. In 1998, Abdool repurchased all shares from Risk Management Services and the company returned to being a wholly Guyanese and family owned entity. The company is primarily involved in the provision of Insurance services, Brokering, Risk Management and Employee Benefit Insurance Services.
In recognition of its contributions to the growth and development of the ICT sector in Guyana, Qualfon was revered at this event. It remains the largest company of its kind in Guyana. It was noted that this entity demonstrated its confidence in Guyana by investing in the largest campus at the New Providence location for business processing services.
Upon completion, Qualfon expects to employ up to 6000 persons. This is the biggest investment that the company has made so far and they are justly proud of it.
Qualfon has not faltered in its commitments to its own employees and host communities. In fact, they have instituted various programmes which take care of the needs of employees, their families and the wider communities. They have also adopted the schools and orphanages located in their host communities and the employees provide voluntary support.
For rapid penetration, innovative labeling and packaging with Guyanese raw materials, Umami Inc. was honoured by the GMSA. The creation of this distinctive entity started with a flair for food chemistry, university training and quite a few years of experience at a highly acclaimed producer of cooking and eating condiments. Those years exposed Chris Persaud, the young proprietor of UMAMI Inc., to complex issues that most food industries deal with. He acquired the theoretical and analytical skills needed and paired with his spouse’s knowledge of computer science; they established UMAMI Inc. in 2013.
It was noted that the driving force behind the new operation was the need to produce high quality, value added products while utilizing home grown ingredients.
Aggressive marketing has put the products of the fast growing company on almost every supermarket shelf in all three counties of Guyana.
Amy’s Pomeroon Foods Inc.
Amy’s Pomeroon Foods Inc. was also presented with an award for introducing advanced technology to process and market ground Pomeroon coffee in superior quality packaging.
Coffee cherries are produced in the rich tannis found on the banks of Guyana’s Pomeroon River, just beyond Charity in the Essequibo. The original coffee variety, Typica, which was introduced here by the Dutch almost three centuries ago, has changed not by man’s hands but by nature. That change has bred a richer and tastier quality coffee bean which is now the essence and hallmark of this entity.
Amy’s Pomeroon Foods. Inc has established a coffee factory at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara with the most modern and sophisticated roasting and grinding equipment in Guyana. Mr. Louis Holder and his top notch crew of engineers, mixers and blenders work closely with their consultants, Boot Coffee of California to acquire the most optimum roasting profiles that give the most favorable taste and aroma to Amy’s Ground Coffee. Today, this product has earned high regard in markets both locally and regionally.
JTW Associates Ltd.
JTW Associates Ltd. was also one of the distinguished members honoured at the event. Joycelyn Williams, the driver behind this progressive entity, has for some years, been filling the needs of the public and private sectors for trained skills.
In 2012, she took a huge leap of faith and approached City and Guilds of London with a proposal to accredit Guyana once again. It was deemed as a bold and impressive move when she resorted to the highly accredited international certificate programme which had been absent from the education curricula for more than 30 years.
Since then, JTW Associates has been running certifiable courses for City and Guilds in Customer Service, English for Office Use and Marketing. In addition, their trainers are being called increasingly to offer on-the-job training to raise the quality of the companies’ public representatives.
As a result of its outstanding commitment to the private sector, it was given an award for its invaluable contributions to educational services in Guyana, especially for restoring City and Guilds Certification.
The Massy Group of Companies
The Massy Group of Companies, formerly Neal and Massy, has been in existence since 1932. After 26 years, the group of companies went public and continued with diversification of products and services and expansion into neighbouring territories. Another change was made in 2014 when the company was rebranded as the Massy Group. It is now a large conglomerate organized as business units located in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The group was honoured for its 50 years of service to Guyana and for attaining international certification.
The chief award, the Executive President’s Award for Export Achievement, was bestowed upon New GPC Inc, for rapidly expanding overseas markets for Limacol, Ferrol Compound and Nutrophos Nerve Tonic.
New GPC is a research driven pharmaceutical company which recognizes that continuous research for improving its products and developing new ones is key to keeping the top spot among competitors.
The aggressive marketing strategies employed by the NEW GPC have played no small role in the rapid increase in sales of their signature products. It closely guards the proprietary formulas for these products.
Guyana Colorete Inc.
The GMSA President’s Award was presented to Guyana Colorete Inc for attaining international certification and accelerating cross border trade with modern, innovative building materials made in Guyana. This company is a major producer of paints, thin set and grout. It serves local and regional markets. Just this year, it was able to penetrate the Suriname and Trinidadian markets with two of its most popular products—Thin set and Hiperbond.
Sattaur Gafoor – Proprietor of Gafoors
Two lifetime achievements were also given out, one to Sattaur A. Gafoor for the second time. This was noted to be a history-making moment in Guyana’s manufacturing sector as he was the first to attain the award for the second consecutive year.
Gafoor, the Captain of the mega-chain called simply Gafoors, is a consummate entrepreneur and has also become one of the most dependable philanthropists in the business sector.
He contributes to the educational advancement and social development of a wide assortment of people, particularly his employees.
Mr. Gafoor has often been described as a man of high morals and one who has always invested in the growth and development of his own enterprise and in the institutions that comprise the manufacturing and distribution landscape in Guyana.
He served as President of the GMSA around 1999 and together with his fellow Lifetime Awardee, Norman McLean, initiated the first Business Expo at Sophia, Guyana. He takes his responsibilities as a corporate citizen very seriously and goes beyond the call to give back to communities. This is what gives Gafoor satisfaction. The businessman was honoured for consistently fostering the growth of the Manufacturing sector with his strong pioneering spirit and philanthropy.
Norman McLean-GMSA President
Norman Mc Lean who serves as the current GMSA President was celebrated in like manner for serving the GMSA with distinction for over 25 years including four terms as President.
The GMSA’s 2015/2016 Board of Directors elected Major General (rtd.) McLean as its President at its last Annual General Meeting. This is his fourth time as President of the Association. He had led the Association for three terms in the 1990’s before it adopted the Services sub-sector in 2006.
McLean brought to the GMSA considerable experience in human resource development and Organizational Management. He is a retired Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, and the retired Human Resource Director and general factotum of the now defunct Omai Gold Mines.
He also consults with ETK Sand Springs, an expatriate gold and mineral mining company that is preparing to start up operations in Guyana.
In his numerous capacities, he has been a strong pillar for the GMSA. In his own inimitable way, he has fostered numerous programmes and implemented many procedures, some of which it still uses today.