Guards­man to en­ter two more Car­ib­bean is­lands by year end

Jamaica Gleaner - - LIVING -

JA­MAICA’S LARGEST se­cu­rity con­glom­er­ate, the Guards­man Group of Com­pa­nies, is in ex­pan­sion mode as it seeks to re­gain and grow mar­ket share amid the eco­nomic fall­out trig­gered by the global COVID-19 pan­demic.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Guards­man Group, Vi­nay Walia, says the se­cu­rity firm is now fi­nal­is­ing plans for its ex­pan­sion into two ad­di­tional Car­ib­bean is­lands. He says Guards­man will be an­nounc­ing the two ad­di­tional Car­ib­bean is­lands be­fore the end of this year.

The Guards­man Group boss says the foot­print of the 40-year-old se­cu­rity firm is al­ready in five Car­ib­bean is­lands out­side of Ja­maica, and it is con­tin­u­ously look­ing to en­ter more is­lands.

Cur­rently, Guards­man’s Car­ib­bean op­er­a­tions are sited in St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, St Lu­cia, Bar­ba­dos, The Ba­hamas and Ber­muda.

Walia says the scope of Guards­man’s se­cu­rity ser­vices in the Car­ib­bean cur­rently ranges from “guard­ing to cash man­age­ment to elec­tron­ics to in­ves­ti­ga­tions and what­ever else the client asks us to do”.

He says the Guards­man Group, mainly through its se­cu­rity arm, is seek­ing to in­crease its foot­print in the re­gion by cap­i­tal­is­ing on new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in those Car­ib­bean is­lands where it has found de­mand for its ex­per­tise.

“We moved our op­er­a­tions out­side of Ja­maica

[and] we are still look­ing for ex­pan­sion so this year, we are hop­ing to add two other is­lands, and now be­cause of COVID, we may even move it for­ward by a quar­ter in terms of im­ple­men­ta­tion,” Walia said.

GUARD­ING SOLUTIONS

“In some coun­tries, we started with [of­fer­ing] cash man­age­ment solutions, and in other coun­tries we started with guard­ing but was asked to in­tro­duce the cash man­age­ment so­lu­tion, but typ­i­cally now all is­lands with the ex­cep­tion of The Ba­hamas, which doesn’t al­low us to of­fer guard­ing solutions be­cause it’s re­stricted to lo­cals, we are com­pre­hen­sive – from guard­ing to cash man­age­ment to elec­tron­ics and in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he added.

Walia says Guards­man’s ex­pan­sion into the Car­ib­bean mar­ket is driven by its out­stand­ing track record and ad­vanced ex­per­tise in the se­cu­rity busi­ness in Ja­maica. “How the pan-Car­ib­bean dream came about is that the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions [in other Car­ib­bean is­lands] asked us if we could repli­cate what we have in Ja­maica for them. In some of the is­lands we were forced to go be­cause they just wanted us there,” he ex­plained.

With an ever-ex­pand­ing se­cu­rity op­er­a­tion, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor says the Guards­man Group de­pends a lot on the use of tech­nol­ogy to man­age and ful­fil the needs of its se­cu­rity out­fits across the Car­ib­bean. “Think­ing about our pan-Car­ib­bean foot­print, we were forced to look at tech­nol­ogy as a part­ner to come up with solutions that are flex­i­ble to meet not only the needs in Ja­maica but ev­ery Car­ib­bean is­land [whose needs] are pe­cu­liar,” Walia ex­plained. And for those is­lands where there is need for ad­di­tional ex­per­tise, the Guards­man Group boss said: “We fly peo­ple out of Ja­maica to go and ful­fil their needs.”

WALIA

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