Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2014 Contents a work in progress. The Massy CEO said the
cost will be disclosed in its quarterly accounts
On the financial benefits of the rebranding,
he said it would be "tremendous," as many of
the group's entities would experience an uplift
in their revenues as customers "would under-
stand the message and would want to be part
of that ecosystem."
Customers, said Warner, would want to sign
up for the loyalty card because they would be
able to see the instant benefits of the card,
which would give them points for buying a
$300,000 vehicle at Massy Motors that they
can use at Massy Stores. While the redemption
aspect of the loyalty card now requires a vouch-
er, Massy is moving to have this available elec-
tronically so that the points can be redeemed
at the point-of-sale terminal.
"That's a huge benefit that people will want
to have as they will want to get the benefits
In terms of uplift, Warner said that he expects
Massy United Insurance to experience increased
sales and visibility.
"People don't know that United Insurance
is part of the Massy group. It does not have
brand recognition in Trinidad, although it does
in Barbados. We expect that the rebranding
will take that offering a long way as more
people will want to give their business to Massy
Among the other benefits of the loyalty card
would be greater loyalty to the group and
improved service levels by employees. On the
business-to-business side, Warner envisages
that more consumer product distributors would
want to work with Massy Distribution and
Massy Trading are in Miami, Barbados, Jamaica,
Guyana and in T&T.
"Quantifying the financial benefits has been
difficult, in terms of what we expect, but we
are pretty certain that we will recoup the tens
of millions in rebranding investment from
incremental revenues and profits in a very short
space of time," said the Massy executive.
He said the rebranding of the group will also
allow investors in the publicly listed company
"to really begin to understand the Massy story."
Asked whether the rebranding exercise was
related to his experience working as a partner
at the international management consulting
firm, McKinsey & Company Inc, Warner said
that McKinsey were the consultants that Massy
used for the strategic planning exercise in 2011.
They set the platform for the strategy, he
Referring to the rebranding consultants---the
same firm that advised Barbados Mutual in its
name change to Sagicor---Warner said the
rebranding exercise is more than just changing
the name of the group.
Warner, who holds an MBA from the Harvard
Graduate School of Business Administration,
said: "This is not a cosmetic change. We have
been doing deep, deep work within the organ-
isation to get people to own the new value that
is to be provided, to understand the whole issue
around collaboration and working with one
He said back in 2010, the group introduced
a Customer Service Management System, which
was first introduced at Hi-Lo and then at Neal
& Massy Automotive and has now spread across
"We have been doing work on customer
service, training programmes with employees
around behaviour and leadership in preparation
for the changes. We have been adopting new
management principles around what I refer to
as conscious capitalism.
"Our vision is to be a force for good. It's not
just that we want to be rich and make a profit.
We want to do good by being able to be a prof-
itable organisation that gives back. Our employ-
ees are part of that; our customers are part of
that; our society and communities are part of
that; making sure that our investors get a
healthy return is part of that as well."
Asked whether the argument could be made
that the Massy Group was too dependent on
the fortunes of the T&T economy and on
imports into it, Warner said: "Of course, that
argument could be made. About 75 per cent
of our profits come from T&T, so that we are
still quite dependent on this economy.
"Interestingly enough, when we had the eco-
nomic downturn from 2008, T&T survived
better than most of our Caricom neighbours.
We as a group were badly battered in Barbados
and we had to close some hotels and some
other businesses and rationalise a business that
we bought in 2008.
"We view downturns as opportunities...
"And that's part of the reason we are making
the investments in Latin America. We need to
extend our economic footprint. Massy is now
over $10 billion in revenue and close to $900
million in profit before tax and the growth
potential for the group is not really within the
"When you get to this size, if you want to
put on ten per cent growth on that, it is hard
to find it in Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia or
Guyana. But we can find that in economies
like Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama, which
are bigger economies and are growing.
"A big part of our strategy is geographic
diversification. We think that is important for
T&T as well. If you have entities like Massy
doing this, that will create opportunities for
locals and it allows us to earn foreign profits
that we can bring back here in the form of div-
JULY 2014 • WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
Continued from Page 4
The roots of the Neal & Massy group were planted in Trinidadian
soil 82 years ago with the merger of two companies---Neal
Engineering, led by Harry Neal, and Massy Ltd, led by Charles Massy
in 1932---which was initially called the Neal & Massy Engineering
Two wholly-owned subsidiaries were then established: Neal &
Massy Ltd and Tractors and Machinery (Trinidad) Ltd (Tracmac). In
the late 1920s, Charles Massy had secured the dealership for the
Caterpillar brand and the Chevrolet brand in T&T and these became
the first in a long list of exclusive brands for which Neal & Massy
became agents, in T&T and later in other Caribbean islands. Tracmac
still holds the Caterpillar dealership today.
Through the strategies of cautious, debt-free expansion and
reinvestment of profits locally, Neal & Massy maintained a presence
in T&T. The innovation of the two businessmen and the
transformation of their merged company saw them through the
economic trials of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Essentially, Neal & Massy started with two business units:
transportation and industrial and engineering equipment. During the
time of WW II (1939-1945) the company adapted to ensure its
continued existence by shifting primarily from sales into parts and
By the early 1950s, Neal & Massy was involved mainly in importing
machinery and engineering services. By this time, the well-
established tractor department offered industrial equipment like
cranes and compressors, while the electrical and engineering
departments supplied service and smaller items.
In 1958, the company went public. In the years from 1923-1945, the
number of cumulative total shares grew to only 66,250, with a
massive increase of almost 200 per cent in the war years 1942-1945.
After the war, share allotments continued to grow significantly. The
bold move of its public offer significantly increased the operating
capital of Neal & Massy, with cumulative total shares moving from
200,000 in 1957 to 363,150 in 1959 to 450,000 in 1965.
Among its initiatives, the mergers/acquisitions with Cannings and
Company in April 1975 is noted as one of the boldest moves in the
history of the Group. This was a major success story for the Group
with the Hi-Lo Food Stores chain, which started in June 1950 as part
of the Cannings Group, gaining dominance as the major food supplier
in the nation.
From 1982-1988, the oil price collapsed and as a result, the
economy in T&T caved in. Coming on the heels of a major growth
spurt, companies were caught with high inventory levels and lofty
operating costs and as the effects were felt nationwide, many of the
receivables became difficult to collect and Neal & Massy reacted by
quickly moving to rationalise and consolidate within the Group. Neal &
Massy's head count fell from 9,000 in 1981 to less than 4700 by the
Between 1986 and 1996, the national economy was slowly on the
mend. In 1992, the Group acquired T Geddes Grant (another major
conglomerate at the time) and one of the foundation subsidiaries
upon which Marketing & Distribution was created. By the sheer size
of the acquisition, Geddes Grant reinforced Neal & Massy as a trading
company. This rapid expansion put a strain on the company's capital
structure and the company divested parts of the Geddes Grant
When Bernard Dulal-Whiteway became Group CEO, the furniture
and appliance businesses in Barbados were sold to the Barbados
Shipping & Trading Company (BS&T) which had acquired the 20 per
cent share block of Neal & Massy from Angostura in the mid-1990s.
In 2008, Neal & Massy acquired the Barbados Shipping & Trading
Company Ltd (BS&T), which has positioned the Group as one of the
largest Caribbean corporations in the region.
Summary of Neal & Massy's history
Benefits of the rebranding 'tremendous'
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