Couva chamber boss tells leaders: Lead, own challenges and fix them

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

From left. Vallence Rambharat of Hunters Search and Rescue, Emile Ramkissoon of New Wave Marketing Ltd, Larry Seales who collected the excellence in sports award on behalf of his son Jayden Seales, Mukesh Ramsingh, President of the Couva Point Lisas Chamber, Fareed Hosein of Asequith Engineering and Contracting Ltd, Larry Holder of Novo Farms and Mayaya Huggins at the Couva Point Lisas chamber dinner and awards. -Photo by Yvonne Webb

PRESIDENT of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber Mukesh Ramsingh has made a stirring plea for leaders to stop playing the blame game, pointing fingers at their predecessors for situations they have inherited, and fix the problem.

“When I say leaders, I don’t mean politicians alone,” he clarified at the chamber’s dinner and awards ceremony at its Couva headquarters on Wednesday night, where President Christine Kangaloo was the guest speaker.

“I mean leaders on the whole, where people are put in certain positions where they can make a difference in people’s lives. Where they can assist with the day-to-day operations of the country to allow commerce, to allow growth, to move at a steady pace without too much bureaucracy and red tape.”

In these critical times, Ramsingh said, people are looking to their leaders for inspiration, and he would like to see leaders inspire growth and confidence in the economy and inspire the youth to become entrepreneurs, better than their predecessors.

“They say good leaders are inspiring, but great leaders inspire leadership, and that is something I look forward to seeing in our leaders.

“There is no longer time now for the blame game, the pointing fingers, the complaining.

“I’ve heard, many times, people put in positions or end up in positions complain about what they have inherited, blame someone else for not being able to do their job,” he told the audience, which included Opposition MPs Rudradnath Indarsingh, Barry Padarath and Ravi Rattiram.

“If you have inherited something, it means you are there to find a solution. Don’t complain – fix it, and fix it to the best of your ability.”

Describing himself as solution-oriented person, Ramsingh said he looks forward in the new year, to see leaders – politicians, union leaders, anyone who holds an office in a company or on a state board – to take responsibility and say, “I am no longer going to be part of the problem, I am going to be part of the solution and work together in accordance with the national (motto), ‘Together we Aspire, Together we Achieve.’”

Two years after the pandemic and restrictions lifted, Ramsingh said bussisses are still feeling the after-effects and not quite back to pre-pandemic times with normal operations and costs.

He does not anticipate the costs of any goods and services going down, but only up from here on.

“Going into 2024, TT will face some tough times – an increase in electricity rates, the implementation of property tax, which can only add to inflation and cost of living. I hope the small and micro-sized enterprises will be able to survive.”

While the situation warrants business people making tough decisions on the way they do business and adjust to doing trade via e-commerce, Ramsingh does not envisage total doom and gloom in 2024.

“No matter what happens in TT, the business community and the people at large are resilient. We try our best to pivot and cope, to find ways and means of constantly providing for our loved ones and keeping our businesses alive for as long as possible.

“We are hoping to see a bump in economic activity due to the Dragon Gas find, being allowed to explore these fields. We have a lot of potential for growth right here in central, in the Couva Point Lisas area, with the expansion of the E-Teck Park, the Phoenix Park Industrial Centre, and the port of Plipdeco, which is always upgrading to find new ways to facilitate their customers in a timely and efficient manner.”

Awards for excellence were presented to: National scholarship winner Makaya Huggins in education Jayden Seales in sports Asequith Engineering and Contracting Ltd in businessHunters Search and Rescue team for their humanitarian service Novo Farms for its concern for the environment and New Wave Marketing, which was presented with the Trailblazer Award.