Fit wi haffi fit, ready, agile, says Richard Byles

Monday, November 20, 2017

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Chairman of the Sagicor Group Richard Byles says that improvement in Jamaica's human capital, within both the public and private sectors, should be an essential part of national development and transformation plans.

“While in Jamaica we are lacking financial capital, we certainly aren't lacking in human capital. For one thing, one of our major objectives in any development plan must be to educate Jamaicans, on any level, to be the best, no matter what career or job choice,” Byles stated.

Still basking in the aura of being inducted recently into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) Hall of Fame, Byles pressed the argument that there was need to recognise that competition in human capital at the regional and international levels would raise the need to prioritise training and capacity-building nationally.

Byles, who recently retired as Sagicor's CEO and president to take on the chairmanship of the group, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Mona School of Business Management's (MSBM's) Third Annual Business and Management Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, St James.

He explored several current and pressing issues of national interest, including strategies for growing the Jamaican economy, the need for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as the importance for policies that result in the improvement of human capital in order to drive growth.

“It is imperative that the Government of Jamaica works in conjunction with the private sector. As a country without a large domestic market that can generate internal growth, we have to look towards the global marketplace.

“This means we have to be fit, ready, agile, and concentrate all our resources to therefore have an impact. We must also ask ourselves, what can Jamaica supply that the world needs and no one else is supplying,” Byles stated.

He implored the audience to recognise the developmental challenges that faced the country and the region, and encouraged the use of creative solutions to combat these problems.

“By creating a vision and a map for ourselves, our businesses, and our country, we can measure our journey and performance as we go along,” he concluded.

The conference was held under the theme “Driving Transformation, Finance, Enterprise Development and Wealth Creation”, and sought to analyse broadly the role and impact of finance in enterprise development, especially in the context of small developing economies.

The event featured several locally and internationally recognised figures in business and academia and included a number of topical plenary sessions as well as a special business roundtable.

Commenting on the opening ceremony, MSBM Acting Executive Director Michael Williams said that the conference was aimed at encouraging integral discourse on wealth creation and development in the Jamaican business sector.

“I am pleased that continuation of this conference will serve to influence business education and vital research on Jamaica and the Caribbean region. MSBM has placed emphasis on the importance of practical solutions, and through this conference, we seek to highlight the need to address these issues, by creating forward thinking solutions,” Williams said.

Conference sponsors included local financial institutions, NCB Group, JN Bank, Victoria Mutual Building Society and the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Other sponsors included Pearson, the Gleaner, Ernst & Young, and Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Ltd.




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