Do you think that Trinidad & Tobago’s framework is open enough for attracting FDI?

In a nutshell the answer is yes. It’s not difficult to come into Trinidad. The country is ready to welcome investors.

What is your view on safety in Trinidad & Tobago?

We have our challenges when it comes to safety, but, like any prudent visitor anywhere, you need to follow certain practices. If you are looking at safety at the workplace, it is probably one of the safest places to work, not only in the oil and gas sector but generally. Safety is a habit and it has evolved here to where the country’s OSH laws are of a high standard.

What are the main challenges your sector faces nowadays? 

It’s essentially the lack of oil and gas production. With the price of oil and gas where it is, people are hesitant to put in money. But we see every day BP investing again into the country and so is Shell. They see potential. A lot is happening behind the scenes that people are not aware of. As the Managing Director of Caribbean Safety, I still see a lot of potential in oil and gas, but it is not going to be what it was three years ago. The price of oil and gas isn’t going to return to that level. Every country in the world is trying to be self-sufficient, so there is a lot more production taking place worldwide. A lot more product is being put into the marketplace which continues to drive prices down. With naming names, there are companies out there who can now produce oil at $30-$32 per barrel, which was unheard of a few years ago. This loss in revenue has taught us to do things differently and remain competitive.

You have been serving the Caribbean region and North America for 34 years. What are your plans to continue this growth?

Caribbean Safety Products (CSP) is a true Caribbean company founded to meet safety needs. We have found that to continue to grow we need to be the leaders in the market. We need to have our own products, so we do a lot of manufacturing of safety products under different brands. People don’t know that these brands are designed, developed, and produced by CSP. This strategy was applied because we want to be seen as providers of solutions. Being a solutions provider, we don’t want the customer to feel that we are pushing our brand of products, so we focus on being a cut above what is available.

Can you give us an example of an innovation you’re working on right now?

We just came up with 35-decibel disposable earplugs; the only one in the world.

What would you say, besides innovation, makes you stand out from your competitors?

The customer is our focus, that’s it. We believe firmly in that and we tell our employees that it is not the company that pays your salary, it is the customer.

CSP has been serving the Caribbean and North America. Do you have expansion plans?

At this time it is about consolidation because of what is happening in the world. One needs to go back to the drawing board to re-focus and re-establish oneself, because the world is in turmoil.

As the founder of CSP, where would you like to see your company in the next five years?

The only thing I can say is I would like to see a legacy left behind. A plan is already in place for transition in handing over the reins. I see myself in an advisory position to the newly appointed CEO. He is coming up with his own plans so that the company does have a strategic plan to take us beyond the year 2020.

Finally, what advice would you give to a person who wants to start a business?

Don’t go into business for money. Go into business to serve people and do it with a passion.