As an entrepreneur, you should not view financing the improvement of your business’ operations and efficiency as a sacrifice, but as an investment that will earn rewards in the short, medium and long-term. This is the position of the Executive Chairman of ActionINVEST Caribbean Incorporated, Dr. Vishnu Doerga, who was also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ActionCOACH Guyana, and is a Business Coach.
ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc–formerly ActionCOACH Guyana, established in 2014–was incorporated as a result of the continuous growth of ActionCOACH. The company mainly offers business and executive coaching services. “We serve a lot of business owners and executives through our coaching services–our business coaching and executive coaching services–and what that really means is that we work with growth-oriented individuals who really know that there’s so much more than they can achieve both for themselves individually, their organisations, for their teams and they know that like every really good athlete, they would need a coach,” Dr. Doerga explained.
This coach would be an outside party who would analyze the business, and determine areas of improvement, and how these improvements could be achieved faster. ActionINVEST provides this training services to both the public and private sectors.
“In that regard; because when we coach the owners and the executives, they very quickly realize how much training their team will need for their team to also be able to step up, and really provide the support that is needed. So, we’re able to offer them the training to their entire teams,” Dr. Doerga continued. ActionINVEST also facilitates business-to-business networking, through the ‘Who’s Who in Guyana’ Business Directory. Additionally, business development services are offered to local and international companies.
ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc. recently received ISO 9001 certification.
The Executive Chairman- who is also a former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)– noted that it was cognizant of the importance of standards that he moved towards getting ISO compliant and certified. “One of the roles that really made me understood the impact that standardization could have in the country was when I was serving as the Chairman of the National Standards Council and we really, at that point in time, came to the conclusion that unless our local companies really started understanding which standard their company…their industry is governed by and start to build their companies to suit the standard, it would be very tough to compete internationally.”
Then, in late 2017, through the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), ActionINVEST began the process of training to become ISO compliant. He noted, “they came in and trained our team on the requirements and provided a lot of initial support. That was done over the course of nearly a year. Then, in order to become compliant and get certified, a further six months was spent in the Center for Local Business Development’s (CLBD) ISO certification Mentorship Programme, and later got ISO audited and certified. The company is seeing rewards by way of increased client satisfaction. “We actually went from a net promoter score of 74 to 78 over that one-year period,” the Chairman divulged, adding that clients began to refer other businesses to ActionINVEST.
Dr. Doerga is imploring other businesses to get certified, saying, “I would say definitely to not see ISO certification as a sacrifice, I would say sometimes when we talk about a sacrifice, we know that we have to give up something and we’re not too sure if we’re getting something back; but I would like them to see this particular journey as an investment and an investment that can pay in the short, medium and long-term.”
He proudly revealed, “At the moment, the benefits we have received in the short-term, even before we became certified, have already more than recovered the investment, the initial investment that we made.” He went on to say that there are many international companies that are coming into Guyana who are unfamiliar with ActionINVEST and other Guyanese companies.
“What ISO Certification does in the medium and long-term is it tells these companies that an external party came in the company and checked to see that we’re up to standard and they’re willing to put their seal of approval on this company to say that ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc and every other ISO certified company does have systems in place that are effective and are geared at continuously improving.” This, he said, is one of the biggest benefits, especially with how Guyana’s economy is going to be shifting with the development of its Petroleum Industry.
“We already saw nearly 1000 newly incorporated companies in the past two years. I think that number is going to continue growing. And, as these companies actually start getting operational, they will pick who provides them products, who provides them services. And any peace of mind that we can give another entity that we have to interact with goes a long way in making sure that our companies grow,” Dr. Doerga posited.
Notably, Mr. Alistair Routledge, the President of ExxonMobil Guyana, in congratulating ActionINVEST on obtaining ISO certification, said, “I am pleased to congratulate ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc. on its efforts to enhance capacity and improve its competitiveness. It takes months of work and hundreds of hours of effort to obtain an ISO 9001 certification, which is a well-known, worldwide-accepted standard for a quality management system. Local suppliers are important to the success of our operations, we recognize that it takes the investment of time, people and resources to grow the supply base in Guyana. This achievement by ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc. only reinforces ExxonMobil’s opinion that Guyanese suppliers are up to the challenge of supporting future growth in the country’s various economic sectors.”
ISO Certification. Doerga continued to stress, takes the business’ opportunities beyond the Guyana borders, as many of the Caribbean competitors are not ISO certified. So far, he noted that the company has been seeing business interests from international companies from Trinidad, Barbados, Suriname, Canada and the US.