Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
It was a mere 12 years ago that the principals of the Irish-owned telecommunications firm Digicel set foot on local soil. It is now a forgone conclusion that Digicel came, saw and conquered.
Last night, Digicel had much to cheer about as it took home the top corporate award for 2012 during The Gleaner Honour Awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. The telecoms giant was the recipient of the Golden Award, in celebration of Jamaica's 50th.
"We are proud of our Jamaican roots and our progress to become a Jamaican multinational spanning 31 countries worldwide, and I would like to thank our extraordinary customers and wonderful staff for their loyalty to and support of Digicel," declared the company's group chief executive officer (CEO), Colm Delves.
For his part, Andy Thorburn, CEO of Digicel Jamaica, commented that every single day the Digicel team is actively looking to improve or find new ways to serve its customers and continue to earn their loyalty.
"Everything that we do is based on ensuring that we meet and exceed their expectations," Thorburn said.
"Since our launch in Jamaica nearly 12 years ago, we have always focused on ensuring we make mobile communications accessible and affordable to all … we bring the very latest handsets and technologies to our valued customers," he gushed.
Digicel's thrust, he noted, has facilitated the local launch of popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the Huawei MediaPad.
Delves described as "great" the reaction to Digicel's 4G Mobile network.
"This is helping to revolutionise the corporate market by enabling businesses of all sizes to compete effectively while making real cost savings through our suite of ICT services.
"Of course, Digicel is so much more than a mobile telecommunications company," boasted Delves. "Wherever we do business, we want to ensure that individuals and communities benefit from our presence."
Added Delves: "This has seen us supporting everything from education and sport to music and culture - to name but a few."
As it was last night when the announcement was made, the energy was palpable when Digicel first set foot on local soil in 2000 and communicated its plans to Jamaica.
There was the distinctive expectant buzz that culminated with a flourishing crescendo that was Digicel's launch in 2001.
There has been no cessation of activities since then - that was never a part of Digicel's motto.
"We believe that technology is critical to our nation's development and that is why Digicel will always be on the pulse of innovation and making it available and accessible to all our valued customers," stressed Thorburn.
"Giving back is a part of Digicel's DNA and so for us it is very important to support development in the community while we provide value for our customers. Our promotions, charitable activities, donations and partnerships are all informed by that belief."
He too was full of praise for the Digicel staff, comprising hundreds of Jamaicans.
"We wouldn't be where we are today as an organisation without the commitment of our talented staff members," he said. "When we started our operations in Jamaica 12 years ago, we had one of the most energetic, creative and knowledgeable teams working to build the Digicel business."
Added Thorburn: "We've certainly grown over the years and today, our 1,200 high-performing employees continue to be the driving force of our success. Indeed, any success or recognition that we achieve as a company is attributed to our extraordinary employees."
Digicel has, among other things, pumped J$640 million into the Mona ICT Policy Centre and another J$125 million into its Enrichment Centre, just two examples of the company's bold attempt to advance the art of science and technology in Jamaica.
Talk to any Jamaican, young or old, Digicel's unmistakable imprint has been indelibly etched on Jamaica's landscape of science and technology.