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ECGC is built on quality – CEO Osmond Davy

ECGC is built on quality – CEO Osmond Davy

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Over 40 years ago, local entrepreneur, Phillip Veira (later Sir Phillip) had a vision of setting up a flour mill in St Vincent. 

This dream has grown into what we know today as the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC), and according to chief executive officer (CEO) Osmond Davy, “over the years, what has made us stand out is the quality and consistency of our products.”

The company celebrated its 40th anniversary this month and Davy said during a recent interview, “ECGC is built on quality. We are known for our flexibility and our ability to respond rapidly to not only changes within the environment, but also orders.”

Davy noted also that the staff, some of whom have been with the company since inception, are very professional and experienced.

“We have an extremely good staff, people in flour and rice milling for 40 years, some for 35 years and that is really what carries the business. We operate very efficiently, and we believe in working smart and not hard,” said Davy, who was high in praise for his staff.

In SVG, over 200 persons work for the company. Employees in the region, including Guyana, bring the total ECGC staff to over 300.

Davy, who has been working with the company for over 30 years, thinks it is a very good thing that the company is able to retain employees for long periods.

“An organization is built on people, people build organizations, not machinery. We have a very cordial relationship with our staff; there is no talking down; there is more of talking across and we have not established an autocratic style of managing. It is more participative,” revealed Davy, adding, “we compensate our staff well and benefits are provided, and we are the most outstanding company in SVG in terms of benefit to employees and all that counts, whether it is monetary or social.”

Davy who is a certified management accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Concordia University, is also recognized for taking the ECGC’s Guyana based rice mill from infancy to adulthood.

He came to ECGC in 1987 as chief accountant and director of Management Information Systems and after three years in SVG, the company expanded and purchased a rice mill in Guyana with 1,000 acres of rice land.

“I was asked to get that operation up and the period I intended to be there turned from one year to 15 years,” said Davy, smiling. He became CEO of ECGC in 2008, replacing Dr Jules Ferdinand.

“So, I took the rice mill in Guyana from birth to over 15 years and that too has been very successful and is the largest rice mill in Guyana, with a very successful story,” said Davy.

He noted that the purchasing of the rice mill was the idea of then managing director Ken Boyea, who saw it as an opportunity to commence regional integration by stepping out into a vast area such as Guyana.

“Since then, there has been no turning back; the mill in Guyana is shipping rice as far as Europe. It has a global flavour,” boasted Davy.

He added also that his tenure at the top has seen the ECGC acquire the East Caribbean Bottlers Inc (2014), makers of Ju-c and the fifth company to carry the ECGC brand.

Currently, the company ships Ju-c to the United States, Canada and England, while rice goes into Europe, South and Central America. The entire OECS has ECGC products and so does Jamaica, Trinidad, Tortola and Anguilla, among others.

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