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Business solutions from ALJGSB students
Technology drives a new initiative to improve the services provided by the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD).
The project, which has already received public sector investment programme funding, places emphasis on automation, digitisation and service delivery. A pilot project has been implemented at the TCPD’s south regional office and there are plans to introduce it at other offices shortly.
The TCPD project was developed by three public servants—Marie Hinds from the Ministry of Planning, Sharon Bailey from WASA and Giselle Lall from TSTT—all graduates with distinctions from the Masters of Institutional Innovation and Effectiveness programme at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (ALJGSB).
The trio also won the award for Excellence in Practicum (solution/intervention) and they had the opportunity to present their project to business leaders during a recent Flow if Impact event at the ALJGSB’s north campus in Mount Hope.
The practicum is part of some masters programmes offered by ALJGSB. It runs for six months and is intended for students to integrate what they have learnt in the classroom and apply that knowledge to solve live problems at public and private institutions.
The other projects presented to the business leaders at the event included a housing project involving a public-private partnership between the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and a private developer.
It featured a unique risk allocation arrangement that satisfied the needs of all stakeholders, and was designed to be achieved in milestones so cash flows can be initiated and risks reduced.
Other featured project included the creation of a radio station in Tobago, Pulse 89.5 FM, an export engine and a plastic recycling venture.
Business leaders weigh in
Gabriel Faria, CEO of the T&T Chamber, told the students they should ensure the projects they create add value to the particular company. He said while it is good to look at what it costs to produce a product and what it will earn, it is also important look at the value added.
“Part of my concern when I looked at your presentation is that it looks good but I am not clear where the value is, and what it is,” he said.
Faria said when manufacturers build production capacity often it is for a home market and therefore not as competitive in the international market.
What is clear, he said, is if the T&T economy is to be less dependent on oil and gas, manufacturers need to be more competitive internationally.
David Dulal-Whiteway, CEO of ALJGSB, said the projects presented real world situations and the students had been given guidance to bring them close to commercialisation.
Dulal-Whiteway, a former bank executive, said he always had the perception that after academic research is done, all that happens is that, “it gets thrown into a drawer.”
He said the practicum creates an avenue for the ALJGSB to make a difference in the country.
Other business leaders who assessed the students’ presentation included: Nicholas Jackman, head of business development, ANSA McAL Group; Winston Dookeran, UWI Professor of Practice; Derek Alan Noël Parker of the French Embassy in Port-of-Spain; and Debra Boyce, senior trade commissioner, High Commission of Canada to T&T.
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