To be the leading institute in the country in the areas of competitiveness and strategy.
Undertaking cutting edge research in the fields of competitiveness and clustering for the development and growth of Trinidad and Tobago and indeed the wider Caribbean region.
The Centre of Strategy and Competitiveness at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business was established in 2012. It is dedicated to the study of competitiveness and how an economy/organization can go about employing different strategies to enhance its economy.
It understands that strategy is not the vision/objectives/goals of a firm or country but rather it entails insightful thinking into how a firm or country can provide unique values to counterparts and leveraging upon this. The centre sees competitiveness as based on the productivity to make goods and services. It advocates that what a country or firm produces does not matter; what matters is how sophisticated these production processes are. Given that the centre realizes that productivity is the main driving force behind competitiveness and economic growth it thus seeks to undertake research that can add value to the economy /organization and drive innovation.
The centre is led by Dr. Rolph Balgobin and is geared toward providing services such as cluster mapping, competitiveness analysis, case study writing, training courses (which can be tailored to suit a particular organization) and cluster deepening, workshops to name a few.
- Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School
- "Microeconomics of Competitiveness" Network
- TCI Network
- World Economic Forum (WEF)
- Cluster Navigators
- Competitiveness Institute of Spain
- Foundations of MSME India
- Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)
Profile of Members
Dr. Rolph Balgobin - Director
Dr. Balgobin was appointed an Independent Senator in the 10th Republican Parliament. He is Executive Chairman of Quicksilver Convenience Ltd., a Director of Neal and Massy, EIL, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago, the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, the Bro. Jerome Foundation as well as several other companies and charities. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Strategy & Competitiveness at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. Dr. Balgobin holds a B.Sc. Management from the University of the West Indies, an ACCA postgraduate diploma in Corporate Governance as well as distinction postgraduate degrees from UWI, the Manchester Business School at Manchester University and the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.
Mr. Richard Ramsawak - Deputy Director
Mr. Richard Ramsawak is a Programme Director – In company Programmes at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. Mr. Ramsawak is also an Affiliate Member of the "Microeconomics of Competitiveness Network" of the Institute of Competitiveness, Harvard Business School and the International Association of Maritime Economist (IAME). Mr. Ramsawak has significant experience developing and managing various private sector development initiatives domestically and internationally, and was former Vice Chairman of the Cabinet Appointed Food and Beverage Industry Development Committee in Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Ramsawak has coordinated the development of National Strategic Plans for the Merchant Marine, Food and Beverage and Seafood Industries of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Ramsawak is a Graduate of the Executive Masters of Business Administration from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and holds a Master of Sciences in Economics (Distinction) from the University of the West Indies. Mr. Ramsawak has also participated in various specialized private development in areas such as export diversification, sustainable enterprise development, and cluster development offered by the World Bank, ITC/ILO Summer Academy on Enterprise Development, UNIDO and the Harvard Business School. He has also contributed at expert meetings at the United Nations and at various international business and trade promotion events.
Ms. Stephanie Lezama - Researcher
Ms. Stephanie Lezama holds from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine a Master's of Science degree in Development Statistics (specialized in the areas of Policy Development and Survey Research) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology (Major) and Economics (Minor) Social Policy (Minor).
Ms. Lezama served as a Marketing Coordinator and Researcher for the Postgraduate Association at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine. She has also worked as a Secretary for the University of the West Indies Student Activities Committee and as a financial consultant for the National youth dollar program which was a collaboration effort provided by the Consulting Interface Ltd and Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. She also facilitated educative theatre to students on Hall at the University of the West Indies. Ms. Lezama has conducted several research studies at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. These include a social impact assessment on the issue of resettlement in the community of Bangladesh St. Joseph, group quantitative research on Self Esteem and motivation for an understanding on how to conduct Survey research, qualitative research on squatting communities in Trinidad, research paper on the effectiveness and efficiency of the policies and programmes of people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica and Trinidad.
Ms. Lezama currently works as a Researcher in the Department for Strategy and Competitiveness, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, The University of The West Indies where she's presently supporting in the development and preparation of research projects entitled Cluster mapping of Central Trinidad Growth Pole for the Economic Development Board and the Informal Economy: Baseline study of the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSES) in Trinidad and Tobago for the Ministry of Labour.
Ms. Lezama directive responsibility in the Department for Strategy and Competitiveness includes assisting in the design, execution and evaluation of research projects, including literature reviews, surveys, focus groups, interviews, data integration using cluster level, value chain and location quotient analysis, prepare written summaries of the work as required, generate research output and contribute to the development of independent and original ideas. She was previously the point of access to users for the online Executive Opinion survey, and monitoring officer of the online survey site which generates the Global Competitiveness report.
Ms. Lezama research interest includes Cluster development initiatives, Evaluating Competitiveness, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, Organizational culture, Employees Behavior, Social Norms and Values, Education, Technology and Change and her Academic Interest comprises Research methodology, Evaluation research, Marketing, Marketing Research and Social and Economic policy, Public policy, Teaching and Outreach programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation, Project Management.
Ms. Lezama has received training and development in Structural Equation Modeling and cluster mapping.
MS. Stephanie Lezama
(868) 645-6700 ext. 352
Mr. Marvin Pacheco - Researcher
Mr. Marvin Pacheco holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine. He is presently a Researcher with the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.
He has previously held research and consultancy positions with the Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, and with the Inter-American Development Bank's FINPYME Project. Prior to his research and consultancy career he worked in the Finance sector.
Mr. Pacheco is presently embarking on the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration.
Mr. Marvin Pacheco
(868) 645-6700 ext. 145
Mrs. Jehana Copilah-Ali - Research Assistant
Mrs. Jehana Ali holds from The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies (Major) and Psychology (Minor) with First Class Honors.
Mrs. Ali's former research experience includes working on surveys such as; First Year Student's Retention and Attrition Survey and Graduate Tracer Survey at the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Planning and Development at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. She has also worked on The University of the West Indies (UWI) Performance Management System as a system administrator and has conducted numerous telephone surveys for the Ansa McAl Psychological Research Centre.
Mrs. Ali currently works as a Researcher in the Centre for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, University of The West Indies where she provides support in the development and preparation of research projects, case studies and training courses centered on clusters and competitiveness. Mrs. Ali has received training in the management and facilitation of clusters.
Mrs. Ali's research interests include; Issues pertaining to "Trust" in Cluster Development, The Impact of Culture on Competitiveness, Cross Cultural Communication and Psychology, Social Psychology Communication.
Ms. Seema Ali - Research Assistant
Ms. Seema Ali holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from The University of the West Indies St. Augustine and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Financial Economics.
She is presently a Researcher at the Centre for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business where she provides support for the preparation, development and execution of research projects, case studies and training courses based on clusters and competitiveness. Ms. Ali has received training in the management and facilitation of clusters.
Ms. Talia Dass - Research Assistant
Ms. Talia Dass holds from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) a Master of Science in Industrial Innovation Entrepreneurship and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with Upper Second Class Honors from Royal Holloway (University of London).
Ms. Dass has obtained research experience in Female Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago when she worked on her thesis entitled "A Comparative Analysis of Female Entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago: Exploring their Motives and Challenges." She has also worked on a number of collaborative projects while she attended UTT. These projects included a comparative analysis of KC's Super Mint against its competitors, The Development of a Business Model Innovation System for Alston Building Enterprise Limited (ABEL) Metpro Division and the establishment of a Butterfly Farm for Valencia Eco Resort.
Ms. Dass currently works as a Research Assistant to Dr. Rolph Balgobin where she is providing editing assistance for a number of books scheduled to be released in the near future.
Projects and Events
T&T Press Release for WEF’s 2012-2013GCR
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies including Trinidad and Tobago. It provides insight into the drivers of productivity and prosperity in these economies. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide. Each Year the ALJGSB is responsible for administering this survey in Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of the WEF. The press release is held at the school.
Competitiveness Analysis of the 4C Growth Pole: Opportunities for Cluster and Business Development
A study geared at examining the Competitive Dynamics of the 4C Growth Pole of Trinidad and Tobago. It examined the competitive environment of the 4C Growth Pole, and more importantly, identified existing and potential clusters operating in this growth role region. Based on this analysis an action plan was developed to support the deepening of specific clusters and improve the overall competitive environment of the 4C Growth pole region. The final report was presented in January 2013 and results are currently being reviewed for implementation by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
World Economic Forum Executive Online Survey 2013-2014
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies including Trinidad and Tobago. It provides insight into the drivers of productivity and prosperity in these economies. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide. Each Year the ALJGSB is responsible for administering this survey in Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of the WEF.
Conversations on Competitiveness
A panel discussion forum that constituted industry experts in which discussions were focused around the GCR results for Trinidad and Tobago and what can be done to improve the overall performance of Trinidad and Tobago in terms of global competitiveness.
It highlighted areas of weaknesses and strengths for T&T and deliberations were made as to what can be considered some strategies to increase overall competitiveness over the short to medium term.
Cluster Management Workshop
Cluster Development Master Class Workshop facilitated by Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, Chief Executive Officer; Cluster Navigators Ltd. This workshop sought to build key technical, leadership and management capabilities to initiate and grow a successful cluster network.
Participants were exposed to the five phases and twelve steps in the cluster development process. They also had the opportunity to examine in-depth cases in the successful application of cluster principles based on international best practices.
Competitiveness Analysis of the Southwestern Peninsula Growth Pole: Opportunities for Cluster and Business Development
The Centre has been commissioned by the Economic Development Board of Trinidad and Tobago commenced a study to examine the Competitive Dynamics of the South Western Peninsula Growth Pole of Trinidad and Tobago.
The purpose of this study is to examine competitive environment of the South Western Peninsula Growth Pole, and more importantly, identify existing and potential clusters operating in this growth role region.
Based on this analysis an action plan will be developed to support the deepening of specific clusters and improve the overall competitive environment of the South Western Peninsula Growth pole region
Fast Forward Together- Reigniting Growth
A one-day business summit in the Spice Island of Grenada led by Republic Bank Chairman Ronald Harford constituting a delegation of major business leaders in the Caribbean. Attendees included representatives of international development agencies and senior government officials of Grenada at the Spice Island Beach Resort, Grand Anse.
The regional banking giant spearheads the summit where ideas for large scale, sustainable, revenue generating projects for Grenada would be discussed. The Lok Jack GSB played the role of facilitator at this summit.
Caribbean Growth Forum
The Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) is an initiative aimed at identifying practical and implementable policies and activities to induce growth and create jobs in the Caribbean region through analytical work, knowledge exchange and inclusive dialogue. The initiative is led by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Inter-American Development and the World Bank (WB) in collaboration with the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The Centre for Strategy and Competitiveness held focus group discussion for the creation of an action plan for the enhancement of financial sector and tourism sector of Trinidad and Tobago.
Baseline Survey for the Small and Micro Enterprise Sector in Trinidad and Tobago
This consultancy is expected to provide critical information on the micro and small business sector, and also provide a platform for sound strategic planning.
It aims to provide baseline information and indicators that can be utilised as a point of reference for future monitoring and evaluation activities on the MSE sector as well as provide information on the number of active small and micro businesses disaggregated by informal and formal sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
The study also offers an appropriate standard for the development of methodologies, techniques and templates to be replicated for future Surveys on a pre-determined basis. It assesses the growth rates of MSEs, their growth characteristic and motivations, to facilitate future growth of the sector.
The study also identifies the structure and characteristics of the participants in the MSE sector, type of ownership, and the employment generated. Lastly it aims to harmonize existing data sets compiled by different data agencies.
Understanding the Importance of the Anchor Firm in Building Capacity throughout the Value Chain: A case study that is aimed at examining and analysing the benefits and opportunities to be derived by a manufacturing firm and by extension its suppliers from the implementation of an automated production system. Its purpose is to demonstrate that the existence and advantages of linkages among SMEs and anchor firms can result in firms becoming more competitive due to the instillation of greater flexibility and technical ability into the operations of anchor firms and SMEs.
Energy Case Study: Building an Energy Cluster, Pt. Lisas Trinidad: This case study was aimed at understanding the process and experience of creating a globally competitive cluster in small-island Caribbean economy. It examined the use of Public Private Sector partnerships in the development of cluster as well as the role of Government and multi-national corporations in particular in cluster development. The study also highlighted ways to replicate and extend the life cycle of an energy based cluster. Findings of this study was presented at the TCI Annual Conference 2012 in Spain.
Tel: 1 (868) 645-6700, 662-9894/5
Ext 160- Mr. Richard Ramsawak
Ext 352- Ms. Stephanie Lezama
Ext 145- Mr. Marvin Pacheco
Ext 184- Ms. Seema Ali
Ext 185- Mrs. Jehana Copilah-Ali
Website Address: http://lokjackgsb.edu.tt/