Business Express

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Top Story

Willie’s Rise and Fall

Any hope for the resurrection of Willie’s Homemade Ice Cream may have died along with its founder Wilbur “Willie” Balgobin last July, as the company’s assets are being sold off in an auction. A newspaper advertisement last week listed Willie’s Ice Cream Ltd’s assets for sale by the mortgagee - the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB). Read more »

  • Slump in oil prices cause for concern

    A steep drop in crude oil prices that saw West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI—the benchmark for Trinidad and Tobago’s mix) plunge perilously close to US$80 a barrel last week, is cause for concern. Since July 2013, WTI prices averaged approximately US$100, peaking last June at US$105.79. Three months later, both Brent and WTI prices have dropped by more than 20 per cent—and the outlook for 2015 is ominous. Read More »

  • Divali Dollars

    The National Council of Indian Culture’s (NCIC) nine-night Divali Nagar wraps up tonight with a fireworks display and traffic on the Uriah Butler Highway. And with the end of another successful production, comes the annual concern that the celebration is becoming more about commerce than culture. Read More »

  • No police eh see

    I was in a line at the Digicel outlet in MovieTowne and there was a policeman behind me waiting impatiently, squirming and very uncomfortable. I figured he was wishing for a siren that he could blast, push me out of the way and accost the cashier demanding service. Read More »

  • InvesTT wins UNCTAD award

    On October 13 at the World Investment Forum 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, InvesTT Trinidad and Tobago (InvesTT) was announced as one of four winners of the UNCTAD Investment Promotion Award for Excellence in Promoting FDI for Sustainable Development. InvesTT’s submission was based on Gravita India Ltd a publicly held entity and investor from Jaipur, India which specialises in the recycling and trade of lead internationally. Read More »

  • Getting CNG on the road again

    The State-owned National Gas Co (NGC), already burdened, along with its wholly-held subsidiary, National Energy, with a wide range of responsibilities, is cheerfully taking on another one – transportation fuels retailing. Yes, you read correctly: NGC will be running five mobile compressed natural gas (CNG) outlets as a major part of its programme of enticing Trinidad and Tobago’s motorists to convert from gasolene and diesel to the cleaner-burning and less expensive CNG. Read More »

  • The ten biggest energy company bankruptcies

    Running a multi-billion dollar energy company isn’t easy. Just ask the executives in the corner suites of some of the energy companies that have gone bust over the years. Some, like Enron, were brought down because of insider malfeasance. A few, like ATP, blamed damaging government policies, while others went off the rails due to market forces that left the company and its shareholders flat-footed, deep in debt, and eventually broke. Read More »

  • The power of social media

    Service industries have long understood the value of customer feedback as an effective tool to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Businesses were able to use this vital tool to boost performance and service recovery and improve competitiveness to inevitably increase profits. Read More »

  • Internationally known and T&T-owned

    Sacha Cosmetics Ltd is the brainchild of one man ’s magnificent obsession with serving an ancient and universal human longing- to look beautiful. Founded by Satyakama “Kama” Maharaj some 35 years ago, the locally-owned, locally-manufactured range of premium cosmetics has been a beauty boon to women of all skin tones. With its selection of highly-pigmented products, Sacha serves a growing niche of what its tagline terms “women with exotic skin” – a demographic notoriously overlooked by large cosmetics manufacturers. Read More »

  • Good debt and wealth creation

    In the recent article “Be Uncomfortable With Debt”, (check out if you missed it) we promoted the idea that you should approach borrowing carefully, not casually. Treat debt with respect and agonise over having to borrow. When making an informed decision if new debt is right for you, a major consideration would be the impact of new debt on your net worth: does it add or erode? Read More »

  • ... a thousand words

    A picture paints a thousand words, it is said. In the case of Naalri’s Photoplanet, the company says its images tell an entire story, no words necessary. Naalri’s founder Arvin Isaac has created a market niche that has allowed the company to grow from a typical photography business to a sought after brand. Read More »

  • DIGICEL launches Fibre

    It was a case of out with the “old” – copper and in with the “new” – fibre technology, when Digicel hosted a cocktail reception to launch “FIBRE to the Business” last Thursday. The event took place at the La Cantina Restaurant, Port of Spain, as potential customers, existing partners and key stakeholders were introduced to the latest technology from Digicel Business. Read More »

  • Ease of doing business

    For several years, India’s Suhas Gopinath – owner of multi-million dollar company Globals INC – grew a moustache so he could look older and get the recognition and respect he wanted. Even though he was an IT genius at 14, and later became the youngest chief executive in the world at 17, he still needed to look more mature for clients and businesses to take him seriously. Read More »

  • Energy consumption - it’s now or never

    Trinidad and Tobago ranks third among global “energy gluttons”, according to a United Kingdom publication,, which reported it had compiled the rankings based on the most recent World Bank data. Read More »

  • Caricom Visas: ‘Hell for Haiti Business’

    “It is hell for Haitian businessmen to visit Caricom countries. But they can go to Latin American countries with open arms.” Visiting president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti Philippe Armand registered his angst while attending the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum 2014 at Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) in Port of Spain last Thursday. Read More »

  • Develop the human imagination

    “We have entered an economic era in which the need for creative insight is at a premium and it is imperative to develop the human imagination.” Planning and Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie made this comment last Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum at Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. Read More »

  • Who’s paying what in taxes

    The latest report of the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI) shows for fiscal 2012, Government received nearly $21 billion in revenue from the country’s major oil and gas companies. Read More »

  • Sunil-vision

    We called him “Akai” although I think it was really “Arc Eye”, a condition associated with welding, and which he may have suffered as an apprentice in a garage or working in the oilfield. He was a really nice person – loved his cards and his rum – and whenever we wanted to win a match we asked him to umpire. He had tunnel vision. Read More »

  • The methanol ‘advantage’

    Trinidad and Tobago businessman, George A B Naime (he runs Aerogas Processors Ltd down at Point Lisas) has hitherto been a strong supporter of delivering energy to the rest of the Caribbean in liquefied form, as LNG. Read More »

  • Stronger ties with Costa Rica

    Avenues for forging greater bilateral and diplomatic ties which can result in mutual benefits between countries were the focus of discussions when Trade Minister Vasant Bharath received courtesy calls from Welmer Ramos Gonzalez, Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Costa Rica and US Ambassador Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State last Thursday at his Nicholas Tower Office in Port of Spain. Read More »

  • Caribbean growth slows

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean continued to slow in early 2014 even as it predicted that regional growth will pick up to 2.2 per cent in 2015, 0.7 percentage points weaker than previously projected. Read More »

  • Innovation in marketing

    Innovation is defined as the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value for which customers will pay. One of the widely accepted standards of marketing is Kotler’s definition which states it is the process of getting the right goods and services to the right people at the right places at the right time at the right price with the right communications and promotion. Read More »

  • Data the future

    Technology has an effect on everyone, particularly in the way how business is done. “You can’t just be in the tech business. You just can’t be in the software business,” says futurist Gerd Leonhard. Data, he says, is a trillion dollar business that affects the consumer, the manufacturer and the businessman. Read More »

  • How Canada, US are cutting greenhouse gases

    Unsatisfied with the pace at which the United States federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several US states and a few Canadian provinces are forging ahead with their own initiatives. Read More »

  • Expert: Bdos tourism past its best

    A “learning society”, not tourism, is the future of the Barbados economy. A prominent American economics professor who has taught at The University of the West Indies thinks Barbados’ tourism industry is past its best and will neither “revisit its halcyon days” nor “generate high growth rates in the future”. Read More »

  • Members matter most

    Credit Unions (CUs) symbolise the tenacity and fortitude of working-class men and women to join forces in achieving economic and social well-being for all. Starting from the early part of the nineteenth century the CU movement was seen as a solution to what craftsmen and factory workers in the UK considered to be the economic injustice brought on by industrialisation. Read More »

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