Strategic Plan 2008 – 2012

Purpose of the plan including how the plan will be used and any overall results expected from implementing the plan

Executive Summary

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the oldest private sector representative in Guyana established for the promotion and protection of trade and investment. Initially the Chamber represented businesses in the mercantile sector. However, as the business environment evolved, the Chamber also evolved – it now caters to the needs of every sector of the economy. Over this past year, the Chamber underwent an internal review and restructured many of its processes. These enabled the Chamber to better serve its members. However, the mechanisms which were needed to meet the specific needs of members and ensure that their concerns were heard, understood and addressed were absent. In was in this regard, the Chamber engaged in the development of its five years Strategic Plan 2008 – 2012. The Chamber’s Strategic Plan is its tool for defining its strategies and making decisions on allocating resources to pursue those strategies including its human and capital assets. This Plan will also provide direction and focus for all employees and points to specific results that are to be achieved and establishes a course of action for achieving them.

The goals and objectives of the Plan are intended to re-position the Chamber to ensure that the Chamber remains relevant. It will enable the Chamber to be better able to serve and meet its members’ specific needs and ensure that their interests are represented. At the same time, specific activities will contribute toward financial self-sufficiency. The Plan includes strategies for creating a need for members’ service and expanding the membership base to include the non-traditional service sectors and those who are not yet represented. The Plan will be implemented in phases over the five years periods. During the implementing phase, it is envisaged that more and more members will utilise the services offered and that by the end of the implementation period, 100% of members would have consumed the services offered. Performance standards will be established to determine the quality, accuracy and efficiency with which the services were offered and would be used to verify whether the expected results were achieved.

When will implementation of the plan start?

The Strategic Plan is expected to be implemented at the beginning of August 2008 and completed at the end of December 2012. During the five year period, there will be several reviews to ensure that the goals and strategies are still relevant. The reviews are critical since they will provide the opportunities to address emerging problems quickly before they have major effect on the basic plan and enable performance expectation to be altered to reflect significant changes in uncontrollable external influences. The reviews will also indicate whether members’ priorities have changed and what areas can be considered for improvement/enhancement

The most recent mission of the organization

The GCCI serves as the voice for member businesses that promotes and protects the interests of members by fostering ethical business practices in business, trade and services and advocating on their behalf through adherence to quality standards, training and education.

Most Strategic goals and strategies that were identified during the planning

Strategic Goals for 2008 – 2012

On the basis of the issues discussed, the following are the broad strategic goals, which illuminate what GCCI will achieve by the year 2012, through seven key strategic areas: Capacity Building, Membership Recruitment and Engagement, Research, Communication and Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation, Governance and Promotion and Protection of Trade

  • Goal 1 to improve the quality of services offered to Members
  • Goal 2 to achieve operational and financial self sufficiency.
  • Goal 3 to introduce successfully one new service annually over the next five years
  • Goal 4 to strengthen the institutional capacity of the GCCI
  • Goal 5 to increase membership
  • Goal 6 Develop and implement the Chamber’s Code of Conduct
  • Goal 7 To Promote and protect Trade and Investment

Strategic and Operational Plan

Goal 1 – To improve the quality of services offered to members by December 2009

Objectives:

  • To provide services that meet members’ expectations by December 2009
  • To increase the visibility of the services offered by the Chamber by December 2009

Strategies

  • Solicit feedback from both members and non-members on the quality of services offered, employing a variety of methodologies on the quality of services such as:
    • Qualitative and quantitative questionnaires
    • Telephone and sit down interviews
    • Surveys
  • Conduct survey to identify the specific needs of members and to enhance the value propositions of Services offered
  • Disseminate relevant and up to date information in a timely manner

Goal 2 – To achieve financial and operational self-sufficiency within the next five years

Objectives

  • To generate income to offset the operational expenses of the Chamber by 2010

Strategies

  • Expand membership to include SMEs, the non-traditional service sector and other market segments which are under/not represented
  • Increase membership dues
  • On-going membership drive
  • Conduct professional training programmes and workshops
  • Offer consultancy services

Goal 3 – To introduce successfully one new service annually over the next five years

Objectives

  • To be better able to satisfy members’ needs
  • To provide more choices to members

Strategies

  • Offer customized and specialised services
  • Provide prepared packages for members interested in trading globally
  • Introduce a range of e-services
  • Create a need for members’ services
  • Conduct salary and other HR survey

Goal 4 – To strengthen the institutional capacity of GCCI by 2012

Objectives:

  • To recruit 8 additional staff by December 2012
  • To procure 5 additional computers by December 2012
  • To increase capacity of the Executive Management Committee members to present views on policy frame work and key issues by December 2009
  • To set up comprehensive HR Management System by December 2010
  • To develop TORs for Committees by September 2008 consistent with Strategic Plan
  • To develop operational processes for secretariat consistent with strategic plan by 2009

Strategies

  • Develop formal partnership with the University of Guyana with the objective of receiving 2 unpaid Interns annually from the Business Management and Computer

Science Programmes

  • Partner with Donor Agencies to provide technical and staff support, and financial support to fund infrastructure; review existing MOUs and renew partnership
  • Partner with relevant Government Ministries and agencies
  • Review HR policies and procedures manual
  • Conduct Committee assessment
  • Design and implement operational manual

Goal 5 – To increase membership by 50% over the next five years

Objectives:

  • To increase and sustain the membership of the GCCI by
    • Increasing membership by 10% annually over the next five years

Strategies

  • To expand geographic coverage
  • Integrate a small business development focus in secretariat, including public representation on small business issues and non-traditional service sector
  • Formalise referral network with High Court for forwarding of newly registered business contact.

Goal 6 – To develop and implement the Chamber’s Code of Conduct by Dec. 2010

Objectives:

  • To promote, sustain and reward good corporate governance members by 2010
  • Encourage ethical business practices
  • Bench marking
  • Compliance
  • Corporate social responsibility Strategies

Strategies

  • Develop and circulate draft Code of Conduct for comments
  • Promote CSR
  • Enhance security awareness among members

Goal 7 – To promote, advance and protect the interests of members in any local regional and International markets they may operate in.

Objectives:

  • To facilitate Regional and International market access by at least two members annually
  • To promote and encourage members to participate in local, regional and international trade by accessing new markets and maintaining strong presence in the existing markets.

Strategies:

  • Identify specific products and goods where Guyana may have a comparative advantage in specific regional and international markets and identify existing and potential markets where Guyanese products may be competitively accessed and get established by 2012
  • Identify specific needs and standards required to access specific markets for any identified products 2010
  • Identify development and trade partners to create joint ventures and other partnerships to access and use current advanced technology in production by 2012
  • Encourage the production of processed products with value added instead of putting unprocessed products on market 2011
  • Liaise with other Chambers of Commerce in the region and other Guyana trading partners with a view to being advised on existing opportunities in the respective markets 2010
    • Any key highlights or issues discovered during planning and recommendations to address the issues

During the planning processes, the following factors were considered critical in the macro-environment and were likely to have significant adverse effects on businesses. To mitigate those effects, a number of possible actions were identified.

ISSUE IMPACT ACTION
1. High Taxation

  • VAT
  • Corporation Tax
  • Income Tax etc
Reduced Disposable IncomeReduced Retained Earnings Advocate Tax reform
2. Increased risks associated with the use of the Internet for business growth Opportunity to compete regionally/globally Increase awareness of the risk of the use of internet through educationIdentification of mechanisms which will mitigate risks
3. Migration of skills Retention of employeesTraining and Development Develop HR strategies to help companies to attract/ retain employeesChanging national employment culture
4. Climate change Coastal strip threatened Influence policy decisionImplementation of business continuity plans
5. Crime and Security Reducing of new investment: tourism individual affectednreduced business hours increased migration Collaborate with other social partners to look at ‘societal issues such as drinking, crime and criminal behaviourJob creation/re-integration of deportees
6. Drugs and Money laundering Counterfeit goods “Bad” business drives out “good” business Chamber to make decisions on who should become members through a formal “screening process”Advocate for Financial Intelligence Unit (F.I.U.) to become functional
  • How implementation of the plan will be monitored

Following the approval of the Plan, an annual work plan will be developed using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time) Technique. This work plan will contain the objectives and activities to be undertaken over a 12 months period.

The annual work plan will be aligned to the Strategic Action Plan and will include the work of the various committees. Performance Standards will also be designed for which each of the activities will be measured against. Interim process reviews will be conducted. The President along with Council will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

Acknowledgement

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation to the many persons who supported the strategic planning processes. Given the significance of the activity and what it intends to do for the Chamber, a simple ‘thank you’ is inadequate. Therefore the Chamber wishes to recognize the following individuals:

Col (ret) Carl Morgan, (President 2007/08) whose leadership and vision established the Chamber’s strategic direction

Christopher Correia for ensuring that the strategic plan got on the Agenda

Howard Bird, Independent Consultant and HR Specialist, who facilitated the entire strategic planning process Kenroy Roach, Independent Consultant and Economist who participated in the planning processes

Moneeta Bird-Singh, Consultant and HR Specialist who assisted in the facilitation processes

Uchenna Gibson, Export Promotion Officer (GO-INVEST); Roxanne La Roc Foreign Trade Officer Sherwyn Naughton Foreign Trade Officer (Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation,) Shailendra Rai Chief Inspector – Legal Metrology & Standard compliance (Guyana National Bureau of Standards) and Mr. D.A. Nurse, Customs Broker (Customs Brokers’ Association) who provided technical assistance during the planning processes

Charles Sookram, Production Manager (AINLIM), Fred Collins, Company Secretary (COURTS Guyana LTD), Jennifer Cipriani, Marketer, (Grace Kennedy Remittance Services), Khemraj Goberdhan, Finance Controller, (GTM) and Jean Bacchus, Executive Director (Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry) who supported and participated in the entire process.

The Chamber also wishes to acknowledge the following Members and Institutions which provided financial support, making the strategic planning exercise possible

Ansa Mcal Trading Ltd; Camex Restaurant; Desinco Trading Ltd; Gafsons Industries Ltd; Toolsie Persaud, Ltd; TCL Guyana; Amazon Caribbean Guyana Ltd; INTRASERV Inc; Caribbean Chemicals (Guy) Ltd; GEB Security Services Inc; Kojac Marketing Agency; DEMTOCO; Grace Kennedy Remittance Services; COURTS (Guy) Ltd; Banks DIH Ltd; Guyana Power and Light; Sterling Products Ltd, Trans Pacific Motor Spares and Auto Sales; Beharry Automotive Ltd; Rambarran’s Enterprise; Anral Investment Ltd; M. Beepat & Sons Ltd, JED Enterprise; Hack’s Halaal Food

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce is truly grateful for your commitment and support.

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