Business bible coming for investment community
Avia Collinder, Business Writer
Din Duggan, a young attorney at law, has thrown in his lot with Trinidadian businessman Richard Lewis and Paul Lewis to create Cousins Publishing Limited, a start-up that will produce a publication billed as the business bible for persons seeking information on Jamaica.
Richard is also chairman of Jamaica's cigarette distributor Carerras Limited and general manager of Trinidad-based Label House Group Limited, and Paul is a vice-president of the Jamaica Exporters Association.
Only the best in each segment of the economy will be featured in "Who's Who in Jamaica Business", but they will pay for the pleasure, the publishers say.
Duggan said the investment in the planned publication of 10,000 copies by the end of this year is not likely to exceed US$1 million. The guide will be distributed for free-to clients and the investment community.
The first issue, Who's Who in Jamaica Business 2013, is expected to profile local business leaders, providing a reference for clients and investors both local and international. An investment is also being made in a web portal, which will include the profiles of the businesses and business leaders featured in the print publication.
Cousins Publication began operating in January 2012 from Braemar Avenue in St Andrew.
The design, graphics, writing, editing, accounting, legal and all other production and management functions are based in Jamaica.
Web development is currently a collaborative effort between Jamaica and Trinidadian web developers.
"The majority of our production and management is based in Jamaica, but our printing - an energy-intensive activity - is based in Trinidad," Duggan noted.
"We encountered costs associated with developing our brand, travelling to Trinidad to interface with the team there, deploying our back-office capabilities, ongoing costs to develop a state-of-the-art business-to-business web portal, as well as the costs of developing and training our team of account executives," he said.
Duggan said the company was capitalised by equity.
"We have assumed no debt in launching the business," he said.
Currently, Cousins is finalising its distribution network. Copies of the guide to roll off the press later this year should reach the offices of featured businesses, their clients, customers and partners, foreign embassies in Jamaica, Jamaican embassies around the world, local and international expos and trade shows, airport first-class lounges, government ministries and agencies such as JAMPRO by December, he said.
Income will come from the companies buying quarter page to three-page features.
"From what we have seen in Trinidad, the larger two- and-three-page features are utilised by larger companies with more sizeable management teams and lengthier narratives to tell, that is, banks, insurance companies, etc. Half-page and quarter-page features are typically reserved for smaller companies with smaller teams. We anticipate the same for Jamaica," Duggan said.
The business directory is an offshoot of the company which created Who's Who in Trinidad and Tobago Business, a 13-year project run by Richard Lewis and published by his company Prestige Business Publications.
Prestige and its publisher Richard Lewis are players in the brand identity and packaging solutions market.
Paul Lewis is a former corporate strategist with Caterpillar Inc. He is currently a partner in BnRs Holdings, producers and owners of Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk Sauce. BnRs exports a variety of jerk seasonings and sauces to the United States, Canada and United Kingdom markets.
Din Duggan is a columnist with The Gleaner and legal recruiting consultant with a global legal recruiting firm. He was formerly a tax law consultant with Ernst & Young LLP.