Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
For just over a year, Rudyard Hudson has been the general manager, Neal and Massey Holdings Consumer Business Unit at H.D. Hopwood Company Limited, one of the largest distributors and importers of pharmaceuticals and consumer products in Jamaica. H.D. Hop-wood is also a licensed manufacturer that represents some 40 multinational companies, with a team that now stands at 285 and distributes many leading brands such as Quaker, Cadbury, Kimberly Clark, Dole & Seven Seas.
Hudson's experience with the company has been eventful; he has quickly adapted to its culture and the professionalism of the staff. "I have been here a year, but it feels like 10. The cooperation of the team is excellent and as a member of the management team, the closeness and professionalism has allowed the communication lines to remain open," Hudson said.
His duties include management of the Consumer Business Unit, but his expertise is utilised in other departments.
"Productivity is very important. I hate waste, whether it is time or effort. Waste is a significant negative impact to any company's bottom line," Hudson said.
In September 2001, the Neal and Massy Group of Companies, one of the Caribbean's largest conglomerates, acquired 100 per cent ownership of H.D. Hopwood. The company is ISO 9001:2008 certified and among a few distribution companies of its kind in the island. The company's success is driven by the mantra of doing things correctly the first time and always working as a team.
H.D. Hopwood is now even more diversified than at its inception in 1928. Back then, Herbert Donovan Hopwood, a young salesman, decided to swap his growing career for a chance at a dream he'd been quietly nurturing.
Following his first big sale H.D. Hopwood, knew he could be among the finest manufacturer's representative in the country. He leased a modest 1,000 square-foot warehouse and office along the Kingston waterfront, and with a staff of five, began selling as many products.
Today, the company is more diversified with its pharmaceutical and consumer products distributed to several customers in Jamaica plus targeted markets in the Caribbean, thereby earning a trusted name in the industry. Hudson maintains that the employees are the company's greatest asset, so training and empowering them to execute quality standards are very important.
He sees The Gleaner's Food Month as an exceptional tool for the company to showcase its products. "It gives us an avenue to expose our products to a wide variety of consumers who we may not have had before," Hudson said.