This morning I attended the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s Post Budget Analysis Meeting at The Banquet and Conference Centre Movie Towne.

Speakers included Mr Anthony Paul, Energy and Strategy Consultant, who showed compelling reasons for the need for diversification of Trinidad and Tobago’s Oil and Gas sector through knowledge and technology transfer from foreign technical experts to locals. He also made the case for increasing local content and boosting exploration activity.

Brian Jahra, Co-Founder and Chairman of CinemaONE Limited put forward a case for enabling greater SME activity in the economy saying that approximately 70% of businesses are SME’s and that good preforming economies have a high percentage of strong performing SMEs.

Wade George, Tax Managing Partner at Ernst & Young said that while this years budget didn’t have a heavy focus on tax he could recommend areas for future improvement.

The Feature Speaker, Finance Minister Colm Imbert, indicated that according to CSO statistics there was 2% real growth in GDP in 2018.

He also said the Manufacturing sector grew by 7% and the Petrochemical by 9%.

The Minister promised to pay VAT refunds over the coming year and hold off on increases to income tax for the next two years. He said that the La Brea Dry Dock Project is expected to provide 13,000 jobs. And the Foreign Exchange Tax Credit incentive will be operational by January 1st 2019.

I look forward to seeing more incentive mechanisms for SMEs and the Non-energy sector in future budgets.

Our Chairman Angela Lee Loy shared a few perspectives as guest speaker to the opening ceremony of Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons (TTARP) 25th Anniversary today.  To celebrate their milestone, TTARP hosted a two day expo at Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

“We must not underestimate the power and influence of those approaching and in retirement. Many executives are now rethinking what it means to retire” she said.

One of her key points was the contribution retirees make to society in areas such as charitable work with NGOs in mentorship and the time they can give. Another important aspect was their voluntary work and care to their grandchildren. This is crucial for parents, saving the family economy. She highlighted professionals who have retired are making great strides in our country’s development as they offer advisory services and expertise in various industries.

Above all, wisdom comes with age and this age group is able to provide the emotional support and friendship to their networks. She encouraged the next generation to build an inclusive society and appealed to parents to continue to engage their kids to collaborate with elders.

From all of us at CRS, we wish the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons a happy 25th anniversary!

The Human Resource Association of Trinidad and Tobago (HRMATT) held its annual HR conference on “Disruptive HR, Leading Your People Through Economic Contraction” at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain in July.

The conference had 4 sessions with key speakers such as Alana Beaubrun, HR Manager at Methanex Trinidad who discussed talent development in challenging times. Alana demonstrated various ways to develop talent at zero cost. One way to develop talent was to allow employees cross functional acting opportunities.

Other areas discussed were people management playing an integral part of businesses’ ability to deliver goods and services to their clients. Effective people management is key to business performance. HR Managers must inform business  strategy by working closely with CEO’s / MD’s to achieve improved business performance,  efficiency and profitability. Especially in the current economic climate.

Another key aspect in these times, is HR practitioners ability to display high levels of emotional intelligence. Businesses can perhaps start employee engagement within the HR team before moving to other areas of the business.

Other key speakers were Richard Dick Soloman on “Redesigning the Organisation for Longevity”, L. Anthony Watkins on “Reframing Engagement” and Francis Wade who spoke about “How to develop an Assertive Blueprint to rescue your company’s productivity.”

 

This month, our free business series will be covering IT Security for your business: How to be cost conscious yet protective of your company data.

Join us: 

June 27th

10am – 11am

Board Room, Aegis Business Solutions

Corner Hosein Drive and Southern Main Road, Chase Village

View Aegis location

RSVP: catherine@crsrecruitment.co.tt

We continue to offer added value to businesses in Trinidad and Tobago in technical recruitment and IT support across industries. CRS offers SMEs the option to gain access to IT support needed for their business by offering IT and design freelancers when needed. Our CRS biz series aims to offer free business advice in technical areas that support business growth and sustainability. Contact us today!

 

CRS held its first Biz event last week Thursday 12, April on “Transitioning Your Business Operations Online”

Non-Executive Director, Susan Hale shared insights on how she moved CRS business to the cloud, saving average $30k per month. This learning is key in today’s marketplace as our session shared insights for SME’s thinking about moving key areas of their business online.

“Susan’s presentation was down to earth, relatable and well received. The attendees were very participative and quite a few of the business owners genuinely needed help with transitioning their operations online.” says General Manager, Shinelle Padmore.

One of the key points highlighted was how to ensure productivity and deliverables are done by staff:

  • Daily Timesheets with start/end times and task descriptions
  • Let staff know that you will validate claims
  • Compare effort vs achievements
  • Regular meetings and online calls
  • Constant feedback
  • Reliable internet

Guests enjoyed an interactive session and gained the opportunity to ask one to one questions with Susan. The event was held at Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services at 18 O’Connor Street, Woodbrook.

For more info for your business and need an I.T freelancer, contact us at info@crsrecruitment.co.tt

Moving Your Business to the Cloud

Join us at our first CRS Tech Hour series, ‘Moving Your Business to the Cloud’ led by Susan Hale, our Non-Executive Director. This free event discusses concerns and benefits to moving your workflow to the Cloud.

CRS Tech Hour series

Moving Your Business to the Cloud
April 12th
10am – 11am
At TTCSI office, 18 O’Connor St., Woodbrook

Your business database, storage, file management, production, disaster recovery are different key areas you can move online.Consider the benefits to your business –

  • Hardware savings
  • Maintenance
  • Centralisation
  • Software management
  • Staff management
  • Significant cost savings

Interested? RSVP to info@crsrecruitment.co.tt

Yesterday I attended AMCHAM T&T’s discussion on the 2018 Economic Outlook for Trinidad & Tobago.

Keynote speakers included Ravi Tewari, CEO Guardian Group, Racquel Moses, Country Manager Microsoft, Marla Dukharan, Chief Economist, Bitt inc and Dr. Terrence Farrell, Former Chairman, Economic Development Advisory Board.

Their presentations were of the highest caliber, also the President of AMCHAM; Mitchell De Silva, gave a strong contribution during his opening remarks.

Some of the “take aways” include Mitchell De Silva’s comments on the need for regulatory visibility and enforcement. Ravi Tewari’s inference that T&T’s needs to fix structural problems and that private sector participation is required in the provision of infrastructure. Racquel Moses showed how T&T could become more efficient through digital transformation, citing Estonia’s success story.

Marla Dukharan gave insightful analysis on T&T’s high levels of financial leakage, low fiscal multiplier, coupled with weak institutions. She stated that if we don’t change our modus operandi T&T is likely to end up turning to the IMF by 2021 / 2022. Dr. Farrell echoed Ravi Tewari’s sentiment about the need for structural change, he also suggested that our Government should regularise their accounting standards by adopting IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards). Dr. Farrell commented on our population’s dependency syndrome and rent seeking behavior, he presented arguments in support of the need for change.

All the presenters shared a common perspective on the need to diversify our economy away from its dependency on the Oil and Gas sector.

 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. More importantly I hope you still have a job.

How many of you attended the office Christmas party and received a warning letter the next day? I presume not many. In an office party setting it is easy to forget appropriate behavior, especially when inebriated, and over step the bounds of political correctness. Perhaps one should not have gotten that intoxicated in the first place.

Is appropriate office behavior only required during official working hours? How should one operate outside of this? In the current digital media age it is important to remember that politically correct behavior doesn’t start at the office front door. Unfortunately the ease of access to our private lives via social media often means that lines are blurred.

Now a days we live in proverbial glass houses, as a result it is important to conduct all aspects of life in a manner that doesn’t bring one’s reputation or career into disrepute. Do you agree?