Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2015 Contents BG4 COVER STORY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 16 • 2015
Local businesses must be pre-
pared before they come to
the Trade and Investment
Convention (TIC) and
expose themselves to the
international market, said
Taufeek Ali, managing
director of Packaging Centre
He advised companies that they must be
prepared with sufficient inventory and other
basic requirements to take part in the TIC.
"One of the problems I see sometimes in
businesses in T&T is they do not realise there
is such a thing as too much business. If you
have capital and you have facilities and infra-
structure that can only handle up to a certain
point and you rush after business and you
come to TIC and you get all this business and
you cannot supply, then you are going to lose
your opportunity to supply at a later date
because you would have muddied your waters.
"I think TIC needs to have the right mix
of people in terms of who is coming. It is not
only about having money to put out for a
booth. But the next time someone has a trade
mission they will think twice about coming
to T&T as they may think that businesses
cannot supply them," he told the Business
Guardian last Thursday at the TIC.
This is TIC s second year since the inter-
national trade fair, hosted by the Manufacturers
Association (TTMA), was moved back to the
Centre of Excellence at Macoya from the Hyatt
Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain.
He was happy that TIC was once again held
at the Centre of Excellence this year.
"One of the deterrents for entering TIC in
the past was the location. We need the space.
Just look at the kind of space we have here
at the Centre of Excellence and picture this
at the Hyatt. The layout is much better than
in Port-of-Spain. Traffic is another problem.
It is easier to come here than to go to Port-
of-Spain in the morning."
This is the first year that the company took
part in the TIC and he said on the first day
it already sold equipment.
"The equipment we sold will be used for
packaging, shrink-wrapping cocoa in boxes
as well as the raw cocoa used for grating choco-
late. This costs about $15,000 to $20,000.
Then there is a heat gun which costs $1,000,"
The 20-year-old company is situated in the
Central Warehousing Complex, Charlieville,
and it supplies packaging materials and
"This is not be confused with contract pack-
aging. We do not do that. We provide the cus-
tomer with the equipment and material for
them to do their own packaging with their
products. So let us say you are in the market
of making pepper sauces. When the customer
makes the pepper sauce, we supply them with
the bottle, we supply the cap, we supply the
seal to go around the cap, we supply the filling
machine. In other words, a complete list of
everything that goes with packaging," he said.
He said they do not manufacture the equip-
ment or the supplies but import everything,
which they then sell the clients.
He said they supply throughout the
Caribbean region including Guyana, Suriname,
the English-speaking islands and Martinique.
"We actually have had inquiries as far away
as Africa and China for our packaging
machines. We have not supplied as yet but
we have inquiries. We also supply to well
known brands here in T&T."
He said there is no company in the local
market that provided their service.
"It is too many products for one company
to carry. In terms of specialisation, you do not
have people specialising in all different types
of machines and materials. There maybe a
person who knows about a shrink wrapper.
When you buy a case of soft drink or juice,
it comes with a plastic, that s what the shrink
wrapper does. There are people who specialise
in that. But they would not know about the
filling machine or a labeling machine and that
is what we do. We do all the equipment and
not only do we sell, we commission and we
install, we train and we do repairs."
He said they get to know the customers and
try to meet their needs.
"We find out more holistically what they
want. People have good ideas but they have
not thought it through. They may have the
best product since sliced bread, but when you
ask about what sort of quality of packaging
they want to do, they have not thought about
that. How do they intend to distribute it? They
have not thought about that. We try to get
them to think holistically where business is
concerned. I have done lectures in the uni-
versities in Guyana and Suriname."
Ali spoke to the Business Guardian last
Thursday on the second day of the Trade and
Investment Convention (TIC) at the Centre
of Excellence, Macoya.
get a boost at TIC
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