Celebrating 50 Years

Pressing the Reset Button Another difficulty in those days was operating in a b usiness environment with 80% state-owned entities, b ut that would slowly change with the implementation of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) that was launched b y Guyana’s then President, Desmond Hoyte, on Novem b er 11, 1988. President Hoyte, upon recognising that the state-controlled economy had failed, gradually em b raced the private sector and the change Knox had spoken of had arrived. He added, “As the economy started to open up with the ERP, I relocated to AINLIM b ecause I saw that was where the growth areas would have b een. There was tremendous opportunity to align AINLIM with some of the esta b lished agencies, which were previously under state enterprises and so my responsi b ilities shifted to acquisition of some of those well-known b rands. It was not easy, Suppliers’ confidence in doing b usiness in Guyana was low and so we had to re b uild those relationships over time. Shipments to Guyana could only come through Letters of Credit which was difficult to esta b lish and increased the cost of doing b usiness.” Massy Guyana Ltd. – The Need to Restructure In 1991 Massy had one of its b iggest acquisitions in taking over the Geddes Grant Group. This acquisition was done across the Cari bb ean, with many challenges in various territories, b ut in the context of Guyana, Persaud descri b ed it “a success story.” Mr. Asraph Ali, then Chairman of Massy Guyana Ltd. was instrumental in meshing the cultures of the two companies for the success it is today. Mr. Christian Mingot who succeeded Mr. Asraph Ali as Chairman b uilt a modern distri b ution b usiness, creating value throughout the supply chain. “We had to rationalise the b usinesses so they didn’t carry parallel costs, whilst making use of the b est skills we had. That was a b ig a b sorption into Massy and then as we progressed b eyond Geddes Grant and coming towards the year 2000 we did a complete reorganisation of our b usinesses in Guyana. At that time we formed a parent company and took a decision to sell some shares locally to institutional investors. In our revised capital structure Massy owned 93% and local shareholders owned 7% of Massy Guyana.”

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