The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association will make history when it hosts its first ever virtual AGM.

TTMA President, Franka Costelloe, will conduct the AGM in a digital conferencing setting, which will be attended—virtually—by no fewer than 500 members, who will log on for the historic event, next Wednesday April 8th.

In addition, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, is expected to deliver her remarks via video conferencing as well.

The following official statement from the TTMA has the details.

Image courtesy Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA)

T&T on Lockdown – but the AGM goes on…

THE TTMA LAUNCHES THEIR FIRST VIRTUAL AGM 

April 3rd, 2020 – Port of Spain — Next Wednesday, April 8th ,2020 will mark a unique milestone for the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association. The organisation will launch its first ever virtual AGM. Utilising a platform commonly used for collaboration among large groups, incumbent President Franka Costelloe will conduct her AGM in a digital conference setting. 

The platforms and tools to be used will allow for wide interface of up to 500 participants—each with the facility to ‘raise their hands’, ask questions, receive responses in real time, and even vote for the new directors from the comfort of their homes.  Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Paula Gopee-Scoon, will also be addressing the TTMA membership and answering questions—using the digital platform to adhere to ‘social distancing’.

Costelloe is enthusiastic about the digital transformation push that is happening across the sector since the onset of Covid-19. She has been a long-time advocate of technology, recognizing it as the lever for improving business efficiencies and reliability. As a mother of two, President of the TTMA and a Director of two family businesses and of First Citizens Bank, this millennial has been using technology to get it all done. The TTMA management and secretariat have been ahead of the digital shift in utilizing software and technology at TIC 2019, for membership data analytics and for communicating with stakeholders.  

Costelloe is confident that it is technology that will propel the industry through Covid-19 in this decade; and that technology is the key to unlocking the growth which the sector has committed to delivering in its 2020-2025 Manufacturing Strategy to increase exports. 

As the second biggest contributor to GDP, at around 19%, the Sector aims to grow those margins by doubling exports by 2025.

“To do so, will require us to actively recognize new demands coming out of Covid-19 and adapt our products and services to these opportunities. But it will not be enough to recognize the new demand, we must respond quickly and efficiently, with scrupulous attention to value-add. There will be no room for unnecessary costs and delays by any stakeholder that is integral to the process.  Technology, with retooled labour, is key”, says Costelloe. 

“We are already generating changes in the Manufacturing Sector through technological advancements in factories and workplaces,” she explains. “Whether it’s online stores, point of sale systems that connect to inventory and procurement, mass production of customized products, drones to inspect risky areas in warehouses, apps for connecting with suppliers or customers, or work-from-home portals, T&T Manufacturers are operating in an increasingly technological environment; and that will not only improve our rankings on the Global Competitive Index but will also provide new types of jobs and opportunities for our workforce.” 

CEO Ramesh Ramdeen explains.

“On April 8th, we expect 500-plus members to be logged on to hear our President deliver her report and update on plans. Members will also vote for five open positions on the board and Directors will collectively determine the two principal roles.”

The voting, he explains, will be done prior and managed separately by an external auditing firm—all done remotely by pre-registered voters.

Says Ramdeen, “Despite the impositions of Covid-19 and the impending challenges in the recovery period, the Manufacturing Sector is focussed and determined in its ongoing quest to be a formidable contributor to the economy.”