Success Stories

 

Nestled in the green hills of St. Ann, Federal Transformer Manufacturing & ConsultingLimited (FTMCL) is rapidly taking its place as one of Jamaica’s most innovative companies. The brainchild of returning resident Granville Reid, the company was launched in July 2015 after almost two years of research and training of 23 electrical engineers.

The concept for FTMCL was born after identifying a need in the Jamaican space for transformer repairs and maintenance. While working in Canada, Reid recognized that there was no official avenue for Jamaica’s largest power company

– Jamaica Public Service (JPS) – to refurbish transformers. This meant that JPS had to send devices overseas to be serviced at extremely

high costs. Identifying this clear gap in the Jamaican market, he pursued the opportunity, estimating that JPS could save up to 30% in costs if the refurbishing was done locally. Reid saw that not only JPS, but other large industries such as tourism and manufacturing generated their own power and could benefit from this service.

FTMCL came to life with a mandate to manufacture and refurbish transformers of various sizes and voltage output levels in Jamaica. Reid left Canada and returned to Jamaica to execute his idea. He immediately contacted Jamaica’s investment promotion agency, JAMPRO, where he worked with officers to have his business plan developed, and to identify a location to accommodate the factory.

Dr. Karl Reid, finance and administration manager and company secretary for FTMCL, told JAMPRO that the company struggled in the early stages to find financing for this new business concept. However, with JAMPRO’s help, the company received assistance from the EXIM Bank and eventually received financial support from local banks to transition from the developmental to the operational stage.

With funding in hand and the project operational, the company saw immediate success.

FTMCL started by providing services to the hotel industry, and to companies such as

Jamaica Broilers and Wigton Wind Farm Limited.

 

 

 

Heather Laine has been designing and creating beautiful clothes for the past 22 years. Its CEO, Zoe Heather Summers, says that Heather Laine’s designs are inspired by the Jamaican woman: The Heather Laine style is very flowing and comfortable – “comfortable chic” as Zoe describes it. She says that comfort is important to the Caribbean woman:

  • In addition to selling in their Kingston boutique, Heather Laine creates a line of resort clothing which is sold in resort shops in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, and more recently in Florida, as they seek to expand their overseas markets.
  • Export Max help has been invaluable in expanding their export market. JAMPRO helped them to prepare for trade shows, develop a marketing plan and make contact with potential overseas clients. “They even came into the factory to help us improve our productivity”, as well as giving assistance in obtaining financing. “JAMPRO has my back, and has been extremely helpful”, Zoe declared.

Heather Laine's designs are inspired by the Jamaican woman, Zoe Heather Summers shows a customer one of her unique pieces.

For more information on Export Max I and Export Max II, click here.

Gregory Khan, Managing Director of Uniform Centre – a leading provider of uniform solutions to various sectors, has indicated that his company is currently pursuing four firm business prospects emanating from its recent participation in JAMPRO’s Opportunities Jamaica 2013 business linkages event.

Mr. Khan also disclosed that in addition to the promising prospects, 20 buyers registered strong interest in doing business with his company at the two-day event, which was held on September 30 and October 1 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. He had high commendations for the JAMPRO team led by President Diane Edwards, and described Opportunities Jamaica 2013 as a first class event that succeeded in bringing together local suppliers of goods and services with buyers from Jamaica and across the Caribbean.

Mr. Khan noted that the event provided the ideal platform to network with potential customers and showcase the quality of the products made by Uniform Centre. He added that the direct interaction facilitated by the event allowed him to impress the company’s core value of integrity on potential buyers, which significantly enhanced the process of forging deeper business partnerships.

Uniform Centre has established a strong reputation as a manufacturer of custom uniforms for local and regional companies in the hospitality, education, health and industrial sectors. In addition to manufacturing custom uniforms, the company also provides consultation on design and facilitates silkscreen printing and embroidery.

The company has successfully participated in previous JAMPRO’s Business Linkages Programme, and most notably secured a major contract in 2011 from Mystic Mountain Jamaica Tours valued at close to J$1 million. According to Mr. Khan, the company is looking forward to strengthening its partnership with JAMPRO in the future.

 

“JAMPRO has looked after us very well and it is always a pleasure to work with the agency,” he stated.

Fiwi Foods Limited is listed among the many Jamaican food processors who are making a name for their brands in international markets. Since its inception in 2006, Fiwi Foods has been manufacturing its signature jerk seasoning and honey glaze sauce to meet international standards.

The company's two flagship products were a hit at the 56th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York. Arising out of the JAMPRO-facilitated mission to the event, Fiwi Foods generated significant sales and visits to its website.

Fiwi Foods Managing Director Andrei Brissett praises JAMPRO's facilitation of exporters to international events: “The work of JAMPRO has been excellent, not only as it relates to export promotion, but also in its overall efforts through seminars and workshops that guide young businesses towards success,” he stated.

Fiwi Foods has utilised several avenues for distribution of its products. Quite notably, the company has been supplying its jerk seasoning as value-added input for other products and as a main ingredient/base product in food preparation. Brissett plans to continue establishing the Fiwi Foods brand locally while aggressively tackling the export market, in keeping with the brand's mantra, “Lively up your taste!”

Connect with an exciting Jamaican food entrepreneur, click here for the JAMPRO Contact Centre.

Digital cable and broadband service provider Columbus Communications launched its operations in Jamaica under the Flow brand in 2006 and, to date, has saturated roughly 50 per cent of the market with a customer base of over half a million subscribers. They have so far invested US$250 million in local development, which represents roughly 25 per cent of the company's total outlay inside the Caribbean region.

The company’s confidence in Jamaica is reflected in its decision to invest US$40 million annually over the next four years on its operations in Jamaica as part of its aggressive development geared at strengthening its foothold in major centres across the island. Flow Jamaica currently employs about 600 persons, while engaging another 200 as outside contractors.

Since entering the local market, the company has driven commercial internet prices down by as much as 98 per cent and residential prices by 76 per cent. This has contributed to Jamaica being recognised as a more competitive jurisdiction for investors in a range of services that require competitively priced broadband capacity.

The brainchild of twin brothers Marlon and Marvin Stuart, Local Spice debuted its Complete Seasoning in the local and overseas market in 2010 and immediately made a strong impact. In its first seven months of operation, the company's production level grew from 5,000 pouches per week to 80,000 in order to satisfy growing demand.

The popularity of Local Spice's Complete Seasoning was buoyed by rave reviews on network television from Phil Lempert, one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts. The product, which received an impressive rating of 95 out of 100, was featured on Lempert’s food review segment on “ABC News Now”. It was also highlighted during his popular weekly programme “New Product Hits and Misses” on SupermarketGuru.com, a leading food and health resource website that boasts over nine million visitors a year. Complete Seasoning received top marks for taste, value, health, ingredients, preparation, appearance and packaging.

Local Spice has benefited from invaluable assistance in export development from JAMPRO and has been represented at local and international trade events as part of the agency’s promotional activities. Local Spice’s Complete Seasoning has been featured at the Fancy Food event in New York, Expo Jamaica, and a major in-store promotion in the US with prominent supermarket chain Fiesta Mart.

“JAMPRO held our hand through the export process and guided us to the relevant agencies. Any contact that we had with government, JAMPRO was there and the staff went beyond the call of duty in providing useful insights and direction. They have a wealth of knowledge and we wouldn’t be where are today without the help of the agency,” Marlon Stuart stated.

Marlene Porter, JAMPRO’s Export Development Manager, noted that the Agency had recognised from the beginning that Local Spice's Complete Seasoning was a great product with tremendous potential.

“JAMPRO is pleased with the success that Local Spice has been able to reap through the support services, promotions and market penetration initiatives facilitated by the Agency,” she stated.

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