Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents BG4 COVER STORY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 26 • 2015
To be an entrepreneur, you
must be persistent and have
a passion for business. This
comes from Dominic
Hadeed, managing director
of Blue Waters Products
Ltd, who is this year s recip-
ient of the Ernst&Young (EY) Master Entre-
Now that he has mastered entrepreneurism,
he is ready to assist T&T in deepening its
Concerning diversification, he said the Gov-
ernment has been "engaging" with Blue
Waters efforts in the agriculture sector adding
that the Agriculture Minister, Clarence Ramb-
harat, would be touring the company today
to look at its accomplishments in agriculture.
Referring to his award, he said recognition
as an entrepreneur should be differentiated
from gaining recognition as a businessman.
According to Hadeed, "An entrepreneur
creates a new space in the market. Entrepre-
neurs add to a country s economy, especially
businesses that did not exist before."
Hadeed started Blue Waters 16 years ago
with 12 employees and is now an employer
of 500 at his T&T operations, with about 100
at his St Lucia operations. His T&T operations
surrounds 250,000 square feet of land. In
2009, he established a joint-venture business
in St Maarten and, in 2011, went into a joint
venture with Pepsi Company Trinidad and a
second joint venture with a raw material sup-
plier he did not want to name.
"You must have a certain amount of stub-
bornness about you because people will say
you can t do that. You must persist and persist
until you are successful. When you can get
that recognition (for starting a business) it s
confirmation that you re not crazy. That what
you have done was worthwhile and is sus-
To be a master entrepreneur---according to
Ernst and Young s description of the award---
a recipient has to be "an individual who has
maintained excellence over a sustained period
of time. The business must have been founded
more than 10 years ago. A master entrepreneur
may also be a serial entrepreneur, someone
who has started more than two successful
businesses and may or may not be directly
involved in their day to day operations."
Hadeed spoke to Business Guardian at his
No 2 Orange Grove Estate, Trincity, head-
quarters on Monday. Drawing on his own
experience and observations, he said entre-
preneurs are typically the ones who do not
have high grades at secondary school.
A graduate of Fatima College, Hadeed said
he wasn t the best student. He described
himself as "miserable." He said he gave teach-
ers a lot of trouble because he couldn t under-
stand what was being taught. Students who
get grades D, E, and F are ones who are either
going to end nowhere in life or become entre-
preneurs, he said.
"Entrepreneurs do not do well at school
because they are lazy or they don t care to
learn. They are either not interested in the
way the information is being taught or they
can t learn in the manner in which the infor-
mation is being taught. Most of our schools
are cookie cutters. They are designed for the
majority or the masses to teach in a particular
Hadeed suggested that, as a country, T&T
needs to look further into the school system
to encourage entrepreneurism at an early age.
He said the trials and tribulations are the bit-
ter-sweet ingredients that go with being an
"You don t see obstacles as things to get
you depressed. You just look at the obstacles
as just part of the game of how to prove your-
"I would tell anyone who wants to go into
a business: if you do not love it with all your
heart, if you can t be fanatical about it, don t
do it. If you bump into a fanatic on the other
side he will beat you coming and going. Some-
times it s not about who is the smartest, but
who has the greatest amount of stamina."
Getting his family to accept that people
would buy water was one of the challenges
that Hadeed faced. While he had other oppor-
tunities, he was questioned why he would
want to venture into water. After five years
of convincing them, he was able to start Blue
Waters. The next step was to convince the
bank to fund his business.
Finally, when the bank did lend money for
his business, the bank would "freak out" if
there were any hiccoughs along the way, like
if a new player entered the market for instance.
Dominic Hadeed of Blue Waters Products Ltd, left, accepts the EY Master Entrepreneur of the
Year Award from Colin Soo Ping Chow, chairman, EY Caribbean, at the Champions of Business
Induction Ceremony and Gala Reception held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad recently.
PHOTO: SEAN NERO
water to bees...
Continued on Page 5
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