VIDEO: Kay Osborne launches management consultancy

By Julian Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator

Wednesday, August 22, 2012    

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Former Television Jamaica (TVJ) general manager Kay Osborne is back at crafting strategies to boost business. But this time she's her own boss, developing solutions for private and public sector entities seeking to improve their performance.

Six months after stepping down from one of the most high profile jobs in local media, Osborne is running her own show at the helm of the recently founded limited liability company, Kay Osborne Associates. She is joined by a team of experts — typically comprising a programme manager, IT executive, financial analyst, SSPS researcher and a certified project management professional — on each assignment.

"We help organisations clarify, develop and implement management, organisational and communication strategies in order for them to achieve their mission," said Osborne, from the balcony of her two-storey commercial establishment in Kingston, about five miles from her former workplace on the (TVJ parent company) RJR Communications Group compound.

Although Osborne is no longer in the spotlight of the media, her office is actually more plush than the one she worked from at TVJ. Elegant office furniture and an oriental rug help form the decor of her current workspace. The wall in the background is covered with framed literary works, awards, paintings and newspaper articles highlighting professional achievements throughout her more than 30 years in top-level management.

What remains however is her penchant for making big deals.

Kay Osborne Associates already touts several blue chip companies among its clients, including the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PCDF), said the founder. The consulting company is developing a communications strategy for PCDF, created to manage the proceeds from the long-term concessionary loan agreement between the Governments of Jamaica and Venezuela. The Fund is behind projects such as the expansion of the Norman Manley International Airport, investments in renewable energy and renovation of market areas island-wide.

"PCDF believes it's important that citizens become aware of the projects and benefits that accrue to the country and its citizens as a result. They are also focusing on tightening their governance structure," said Osborne, refusing to name other clients who she said had not given her authorisation to identify them publicly.

Given her track record, it's no surprise that companies would bet on Osborne to implement winning strategies for them. Throughout her senior management career, most of which has been spent in North America, Osborne has led successful business initiatives in more than 40 countries.

As vice-president of global marketing and sales at M&M Products — the company behind the breakthrough afro hair care product, Sta Sof Fro — in Atlanta, Osborne was instrumental in guiding the second largest US ethnic company to becoming a world leader in personal care and beauty products. She spent almost 10 years as senior strategic planner at Abbott Laboratories, a global health care company with annual revenues topping US$38 billion. At TVJ, where she spent eight years, Osborne has been credited with implementing transformational strategies as general manager that made the local television network the undisputed leading content provider in Jamaica.

Osborne's plan upon returning to the island's shores in 2003 was to actually start a business using her decades of leadership experiences. She said TVJ was an important step to achieving her entrepreneurial dream.

"When I returned to Jamaica nine years ago, my plan was always to start my company," she said. "When the TVJ opportunity arose, I felt that that was a good place to start in order to establish my reputation and to learn how to function in this culture because I had worked overseas for so long."

Her advice to every skilled Jamaican is to always manage what they do with a view to starting their own business.

"That's what Jamaica needs," said Osborne. "That's what you need."



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