Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 13th 2015 Contents 2 Friday, March 13, 2015 • Issue 174
Samsung Electronics Co.,
Ltd., recently announced the
winners of two contests held
in collaboration with the re-
tailer Fens of Marabella and in
association with their partner
distributors Capils and
Luxsam Distributors. A total
of eleven patrons received
their contest prizes at the
Fens Roundabout Store in
Both in-store contests were
held between the period of No-
vember 1, 2014 to December
24, 2014 at participating Fens
stores. The winners for both
contests were drawn at ran-
dom from the eligible pur-
The first promotion (held in
association with Capils) of-
fered the opportunity for one
customer to win a living room
makeover valued at an esti-
mated TT$25,000. With the
purchase of select Samsung
appliances from Fens' stores,
customers were eligible to
enter the drawing for the brand
new living room, complete with
a 3-piece living room set, luxu-
rious rug, TV/AV stand, and
two lamps. The grand prize
winner of the living room
makeover is Dave Debisaran.
For the second contest (held
in association with Luxsam
Distributors), customers vied
for the chance to win brand
new Samsung TVs. With the
purchase of a Samsung televi-
sion or audio system from
Fens' stores, ten lucky winners
were chosen to receive a 32"
SMART TV and matching wall
Pearyh L. Dipnarine
Susan S. Ali
Shirley Ann Charles
Entrepreneur and business professional,
Mario Baird, has made a career for himself in
professional consultancy. Well travelled, his
past experience in events planning, fashion,
marketing and information technologies have
equipped him with over eight years of knowl-
edge and practice. Owner of Islandermall, "A
full e-commerce marketing gateway system,"
according to Baird, it is the premiere destina-
tion for shopping locally, online.
"A lot was invested to bring Islandermall to
what it is today - we've come a long way -- we
heard 'no' many times," he revealed.
"The Islandermall idea came to me in 2008. I
was a part of the Fashion Association of
Trinidad and Tobago at the time and while
working within this industry, I realised some-
thing was missing. We want to promote local
culture and we want to promote the local in-
dustry, but where is the avenue to actually
showcase the goods and services? I came up
with the idea to not just create a website to
meet these objectives, but to also provide an
avenue for small businesses to finally have a
platform to showcase themselves."
Recently his business (Mario Technics) was
provided with a free paid pass for the Interna-
tional Consumer Election show aka CES that
was staged from January 6th to 9th 2015 in
Las Vegas, Nevada. This show has innovators
from all over the world in which
Islandermall.com was highlighted for the
"This is like a local Amazon!" It's usually the
first revelation when confronted by Islander-
mall, however, Baird noted, "When I hear those
words, I take it as both a compliment and a
slight. It's a compliment to be compared to
Amazon, but I am also thinking that Amazon
exports to the world, and Islandermall is trying
to do the same thing - export the island's prod-
ucts to the world."
Needless to say, there are many challenges
associated with this endeavour.
"My main challenge - besides the finance and
development - was convincing people of the
benefits of Islandermall. I usually refer to the
USA as an example as they are built on small
businesses. The entire world exports from the
USA. We have all these Caribbean islands -- Ja-
maica, Barbados, Grenada -- so why can't we
export from each-other? My challenge is now
trying to change the concept of importing and
trying to promote more of an exporting men-
tality. Support your own. Buy from each other."
In a society hardwired to purchasing non
local items, this is very hard.
"There is a belief that greater is outside, and
inside is inferior, but I embrace it as a challenge
so I utilise social media and advertising to com-
bat that perception."
Significant research goes into products avail-
able at Islandermall as Baird indicated, "We try
not to promote anything we won't use our-
selves - so yes - we must test our products. All
products," he added with a smile.
"I think Caribbean people are very passionate
and sensual because, to be honest, most of Is-
landermall's sales comes from the adult enter-
tainment section. I think the ability to acquire
these products locally and discreetly is attrac-
tive because, let's face it, nobody wants to go
to into an actual store to purchase a sex swing.
Businesses see the value in having just a ware-
house and selling online as opposed to owning
a store. It is economical."
Baird advised, "Currently, our health and well-
ness sections and adult entertainment sections
have additional incentives whereby you can get
a free item or discounts for other items upon
registering and shopping with Islandermall."
So, need naughty bachelorette party items?
A new case for your phone? Or maybe some
vitamins for that pesky flu? Feel free to check
out at islandermall.com and keep abreast with
updates at www.facebook.com/islandermall.
Congratulating Dave Debisaran, win-
ner of living room makeover, is Nigel
Scott of Capils. Looking on is Gracia
Whyte, Assistant Trade Marketing
Manager for Samsung Latin America,
Trinidad and Tobago Office.
Flanking the promotion winners are (far left) Gracia
Whyte, Assistant Trade Marketing Manager for Samsung
Latin America, Trinidad and Tobago Office and (far right)
Alvin Ramdoo of Luxsam Distributors Limited.
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