Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2015 Contents SBG6 FINANCE
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 8 • 2015
One sure thing is that all of
our governments have and
will continue to call for eco-
nomic diversification. Sug-
gestions over the years
include a port with a ship
repair facility, financial services, information
and communication technologies, agriculture
and even our energy sector (energy services).
Recently, with the threat of gas shortages,
we are even hearing that we may indeed
import gas (which was/is our comparative
advantage) to diversify the sector.
I have been recommending for many years
that in order to diversify our economy we
need to build an embryonic knowledge based
sector after choosing, via a foresighting exer-
cise, a limited number of technologies/indus-
tries in which we can build globally compet-
Further, I am convinced that serendipitous
approaches like the "i2i", in which the general
population is rewarded with a prize for its
ideas that may be commercialised, are most
inefficient and even a hopeless way to diversify
our economy. The fundamental exercise is
What then are the principles that should
guide our choice of technologies/industries?
Prof Michael Porter in his book On Com-
petition spells out these principles, factors
or forces that could or not, make the industry
chosen profitable for a new entrant.
These are; the threat of new/other entrants
into the sector, threat of substitute
products/services, bargaining power of sup-
pliers, bargaining power of buyers and rivalry
among competitors. This analysis is fairly
straight forward in industries that already
exist or use standard production/process
methods in which incremental innovation is
important in maintaining competitiveness
However, the analysis may be a bit more
difficult when disruptive innovation, accom-
panied by the generation of IP, is to be used
to build a different or highly differentiated
industry; opportunities that now exist given
the threats that face the world at present.
The latter analysis will require a judgement
call based on the five competitive factors.
It is worthwhile examining very briefly the
impact of each of these factors on the ability
of a new entrant to be competitive but prof-
New entrants or ease of entry, to the indus-
try brings in new capacity competing for
market share and hence can reduce prices,
costs and the rate of investment to compete,
so restricting the profit potential.
When the threat is high, prices will have
to be contained and competition is based on
price-reducing profitability. Powerful suppliers
can capture more of the value of the industry
by charging high prices, as Microsoft has
done in charging for its operating system
used by all suppliers of personal computers
and so reducing their profitability since cus-
tomers can easily switch among PC makers,
limiting price increases.
Powerful customers like the telecommu-
nications industry can force prices down,
demanding better quality and driving industry
costs up and by playing off competitors
against each other; decreasing profitability
in the market. Substitute products and serv-
ices in an industry also place a ceiling on
prices, on profitability. Competitors have to
differentiate themselves via product quality
and performance, or suffer lower profitabil-
ity.Lastly, many competitors in an industry,
intense rivalry, limit the profitability of the
Since our diversification options may indeed
include entry into an existing industry and/or
one that is new and emerging, the factors
discussed are important in making choices.
However, whatever we do innovation is crucial
to both jumpstart the company and to main-
Foresighting then becomes a crucial step,
the outputs of which will also define the
knowledge bases we have to create, our R&D
The reader may wish to apply these factor
tests to our government traditional choices
Mary K King
Due to continued growth and expansion, the ANSA McAL Group offers
a challenging and rewarding opportunity at its Automotive Sector.
• To develop and manage the operations of the Service and Technical
Departments by designing and implementing processes geared towards
increasing customer satisfaction, business growth and profitability.
• To manage the service transaction process and oversee all technical
personnel to ensure diagnostics, service and repair of all vehicles for the
division are done to the highest standard.
• Undergraduate qualification in Engineering
• Postgraduate qualification in Mechanical Engineering will be an asset
• Master Technician Certification which involves the completion of 5
levels of BMW Technical Training. This includes:
- Programming and Encoding
- Tyres and Suspension
- Workshop Management: How to calculate productivity and efficiency
• Minimum of 5 years experience in a senior technical position in
a premium brand
• Senior training and qualifications in Automotive Engineering
• Certified technical trainer with demonstrated ability to train, lead
and motivate a team
• Sound knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite applications
This Senior Management position offers immediate opportunities for
growth. A very attractive compensation package inclusive of Incentives
and Group benefits is being offered to the successful candidate.
No. 8 Bolai Trace, I.D.C. Estate, Chase Village, Trinidad W.I.
Phone: (868) 672-5329/3980 • Fax: (868) 672-5330
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.trintrac.com
"It's our service that counts"
The LARGEST stocking,
service provider of
compressors and parts
in the CARIBBEAN.
The BEST prices
available on request
We are pleased to offer you these... 21
• Other sizes and prices
are available on request
• Prices are Cash and Carry Only
• 15% VAT to be added
Diversify into what?
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