THIS 2021 Conference Launch - Sponsor Remarks by Laurence Modeste (Digicel Business)

General Manager of Digicel Business

Good morning.

I must thank you for the invitation to participate today, in the launch of AMCHAM’s “THIS” (Tech Hub Island Summit) webinar series, revolving around the world’s new favourite buzz term: Digital Transformation. I was recently appointed General Manager of Digicel Business, just about 5 months ago; and I distinctly remember the national and global temperature of the business community as many companies successfully navigated toward technology, whilst many others struggled and some even failed. I remember thinking, what can I do to help businesses pivot, and survive as I was now at the helm of one of the region’s largest business telecommunications providers, at a time when the world needed technology the most. And well I figured it out… I needed to encourage collaboration and ensure that I was the best partner that anyone could ask for.

The term Digital transformation was already gaining traction before COVID-19 emerged and now, it is mentioned ad nauseam. Nevertheless, the real question is, have businesses actually leaned into real digital transformation? Think about it.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a significant impact on economies around the world, with many, including the economy of Trinidad and Tobago becoming constricted and constrained.

Digicel Business recently surveyed more than 700 companies here in the T&T market and our latest findings are quite telling:

  • 91 per cent are concerned about business performance
  • 50 per cent have had to alter staff requirements
  • 18 per cent are not satisfied that they have the right technology for remote working
  • 85 per cent will see significant impact to their revenue figure

Although working from home, using applications like Microsoft 365 or Teams, is part of Digital Transformation… that is not all. Leveraging technology to its fullest potential lies at the heart of digital transformation - and it is something that we all should be fully committed to as a business community. I can assure you that at Digicel, it’s a priority for us.

This is why, even though we never became complacent in our position as a traditional telecommunications provider in the region, we pivoted our business to align with the trajectory of the market and our customers. Hence, we are now a Digital Operator; and we are focused on helping other companies make the transition by embracing digital transformation, and equipping them with the right tools, service and expertise. We understand the importance of being a good partner to helping the business community transition, and today I urge you to also be good partners. While we’re on the topic of partnership, I also want to emphasize the significance of having great partners like AMCHAM. It’s a partnership that we at Digicel truly appreciate because as we collaborate, we can only be Better Together. Through these kinds of business events hosted by AMCHAM we can create spaces where partnership truly flourishes – and this type of cooperation is necessary to make the digital leap.

The fact is that digital transformation is no longer a nice phrase to be thrown around. It is an economic necessity. Currently the climate in Trinidad & Tobago is one where market segments and people with disposable income have been reduced. One of the major questions companies are now asking themselves is: “How do we innovate to ensure that we can maintain similar pre-pandemic levels of revenue?” The answer is digital transformation – and to be clear, it is not just about some companies doing some activities digitally. It is about looking at your entire business model and the associated processes, to see how you can leverage technology and migrate those processes to becoming digital.

We know it’s possible because we’ve helped SME’s (like small barbershops) to large conglomerates (including some of the largest regional financial and medical institutions) transform their business digitally.

While the State of Emergency curtails the amount of business that can be done physically, and halts the mechanics of others, it creates an opportunity for business activity online. Not to mention, we anticipate that when it is lifted, there will be pent up demand. The companies that will be in a position to leverage supply to these spaces through digital machinery will be successful. And today, I hope that participants get inspired and see the opportunities of how technology can expand your reach, consolidate your footprint, increase your efficiency, streamline your processes and position you for success.

Let’s discuss how we are digitally transforming our economy and how we can all work together toward that common goal.

Welcome to the future, we’re living it…. and it’s digital.

Thank you.

THIS 2021 Conference Launch - Opening Remarks by Nirad Tewarie (AMCHAM T&T CEO)