Metro aiming to raise its service bar even higher

(www.stabroeknews.com)

Twenty years after it first opened its doors, Metro asserts that its intervention in the local market could hardly have come at a more strategically important time. Arguably, the launch of the company coincided with a period during which both the public and private sectors were beginning to aspire to higher service standards as far as conventional office services were concerned.

A new generation of forward-looking professionals, businessmen and women, state bureaucrats and academics were beginning to use the vehicle of high-quality visual presentations to make statements about the quality of services that they offered.

Metro believes that it stepped into a critical breach, bridging the gap between the sub-standard paper and antiquated copier culture that degraded presentation by leaving telltale traces of its inferiority behind.

At this time too, a few foreign investors were beginning to show signs of serious interest in Guyana, a development which pointed to the need for the local service sector to raise its game.

The market for the services which Metro sought to offer promised to be even more lucrative in the face of the demands that were being made of secondary, tertiary and university students to strive for higher standards of presentation so that voluminous copying, binding and laminating became a serious growth industry in the service sector and Metro, beginning as it did with a near captive market fared well in the niche that it had opted to explore.

Accomplishment, the company says, has not meant an absence of challenges, the most serious of which has been the considerable effort which it requires to retain a coveted reputation as a leader in the market. That reputation, Metro says, has been earned on account of its operational culture of not cutting corners and of offering reputable service using brands.

The market demands that it secure seventy per cent of its goods from the United States. That is the surest way, the company says, of sustaining customer support won over years of confidence in what it says are tried and tested brands of stationery and equipment like Crayola. Universal, Bostich and Hammermill which are very much a part of the company’s 1500-item product line and which have been critical to the gradual building of a customer base that currently numbers in the region of 3,000.

The company’s four main locations are at Quamina Street and Croal Street in Georgetown; Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara and New Amsterdam, Berbice and like so many other local enterprises in the private sector it is keen on the development of a highway between Guyana and Brazil, a development which it says will cut its own import costs and reduce the costs of services to its customers.

The company’s Berbice-born proprietor, Dirgirindra Ramnarayan is associated with various philanthropic initiatives in the education sector in Berbice a pursuit which the local management says has extended to supporting education elsewhere in the country by providing various concessions to students.