Celebrating the new home of Platinum Motors

I was delighted to officially open the new and improved headquarters of Honda Barbados and Platinum Motors in Fontabelle. Our grand opening marked the start of all of operations from this location, and I’m extremely proud to have been able to see the vision of a significantly expanded home for Platinum Motors become a reality.

Thank you to all who came out and joined us at the event, especially Ms. Vicki Poponi, Vice President Export Sales Department at American Honda, the Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency Teruhiko Shinada, the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business, the Honourable Mr. Donville Inniss, as well as Honda representatives Mr. Tim Hendershot, Sales Manager Export Sales Division, and Ms. Sanae Nuimura, Japan Coordinator and Assistant to the President of Honda Motor Company.

Peter Harris In Coversation With Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Teruhiko Shinada.

A big thank you also goes to our Platinum Motors staff who were extremely patient during the relocation. Special mention also to FirstCaribbean International Bank for making our move possible with their financial support, as well as Town and Country Planning for a seamless approvals process.

This move has meant we now have a larger showroom and adjoining parts division, new collision and repair centre, a larger mechanical workshop, improved customer access, and a new set of executive offices. Not only that, I’m also pleased to announce Platinum Motors is now selling a range of Honda motorcycles and soon will adding Honda power products and outboard engines to our list.

I am confident these upgrades to our facilities and product selection, alongside recent improvements to our human resources capacity, will firmly maintain Honda’s reputation as the most affordable mid to luxury range vehicle in Barbados.

I am committed to growing the Honda brand in Barbados to new heights and I welcome your feedback on how we can best service our valued customers in the years to come.


Happy Independence Day Barbados

There is an exhilarating feeling around Barbados as a result of the approaching 50th anniversary of Independence. We can all be justly proud of how far the country has come in what is considered now a relatively short time.

Through CGI Insurance I was able to contribute to the CBC television’s guardians of our heritage flag raising project and felt a renewed sense of pride, similar to what I felt representing the country in hockey. It is indeed an honor and quite nostalgic to defend or support the country in this way.

Reaching 50 calls for a time of reflection. Dorie Clarke in Harvard Business Review gives some personal tips on how a person can reinvent themselves after 50, but how does a country do this? After reflecting on the past, what plans do we put in place to ensure our future?

My one piece of advice would be to work on the ease at which business is done on the island. We need to see business for what it truly is, the engine that runs the country. The government cannot employ the entire workforce. More importantly, it has to collect taxes to run its own affairs. If we do not create an environment for businesses to thrive, and be competitive, then we are essentially killing off our country for future generations. When jobs leave so do people.

There needs to be a mindset change. Instead of the resistance and stumbling blocks that are sometimes put in the way of business enterprise, the government of the day and the civil service has to see business as a friend and not a foe. Barbados must truly live up to the legacy that was promised during cricket world cup as being the best place to live, work and play. Currently, work is struggling and this we need to get right going into the next 50 years if we are to continue on our development path.

With that said, let me just wish all a Happy Independence Day.


Privatizing state-run organizations in Barbados

Privitizing state-owned enterprises in Barbados by Peter Harris

Privatization is inevitable. In Barbados, we simply cannot afford to continue to subsidize state-run organizations.

But how we go about privatizing our most critical public entities? In my opinion, the government should put measures in place to ensure ownership remains with the general population and not with one organization or family.

Essential services like water, transportation, sanitation, fuel, airport and seaport should not be owned by one organization or family for generations to come at the expense of the populace. What should happen is that there should be a tender for a management contract for a private enterprise to run these institutions. The contractor should be allowed to purchase up to a maximum of 10%-35% of the state own enterprise but the rest of the enterprise being offered to the public so that there is public participation in these entities.

There is a debate on now about the privatization of the Sanitation Service Authority. Why would we want to end up putting the collection of garbage into the hands of one family, irrespective of who is it? We have already done part of this on the water side, and in my opinion, this should not have happened. Barbadians have a lot of savings in banks, and we effectively have been paying taxes to build these state enterprises so why not offer the same taxpayers the opportunity to own a stake in what they have effectively contributed to over the years.

Let us not be blindsided by the present, especially in this our 50th year of Independence, but be cognizant of the Barbados we are creating for generations to come.


Barbados – The Importance Of Buying Local

Barbados - The importance of buying local by Peter Harris Chairman of PVH Group of companies. Business Barbados

For some years now we have had a 100% Bajan call to action to get Barbadians to support homemade products and services. Buying locally is vital for many reasons besides just pure patriotism.

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Managing Change For Your Business

Managing Change For Your Business by Peter Harris Chairman of PVH Group Barbados

Change is just about the only constant in life and we fear it, not only in our private life but also in business.

The transportation industry continues to evolve both at the micro and macro level.  From Virgin’s race to take civilians into space, to the taxi industry’s struggle to compete with the new taxi model put forward by businesses such as Uber and Lyft. Facing a reality such as this head on, rather than putting your head in the sand, is always the best thing to do.

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