Building Legacy Family Businesses

Building Legacy Family Businesses

exporTT Limited in collaboration with INVENI Business and Technology Limited hosted a Family Business Forum at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre on Wednesday 5th April 2023. 

Titled “ Building a Legacy Business,”

this forum was an extension of exporTT’s Export Accelerator project funded under the Export Booster Initiative (EBI) which sought to make a direct deposit into associated Family Businesses.   The event saw thirty-five (35) persons representing eighteen (18) Family Business Companies spanning the following sectors Household Chemicals, Food & Beverage and Personal Care Products.  Chem Clean Limited was highlighted as having three generations of participants present in the forum while the majority of companies were represented by first and second generation participants.  

Worthy of mentioning were the four (4) companies which hailed from our twin-island Tobago.  These included Pinkberri Kosmetique,  Tom Toms Confectionery, Tobago Wyck and D Master Cobbler.


The event’s impressive line-up included Family Business Advisor and Keynote Speaker Dr. Annette Rahael who focused on Family Business Governance.   Dr. Raheal’s personal experience in Family Business as well as her formal education and certification in the area has uniquely positioned her as a thought leader / practitioner in this field.    She also formed part of an esteemed panel which included SME & Family Business Advisor Sajjad Hamid,  Dhanraj Harrypersad – General Manager Client Services exporTT as well as Isabel Markwitz of INVENI Business and Technology who jointly fielded questions posed by both family business present and/or Coach Michelle Low Chew Tung of INVENI Business and Technology Limited.   


The forum took pleasure in welcoming Coach Isabel who travelled twenty-seven (27) hours to Trinidad and Tobago from Germany to be with team in-person.  Isabel is the founder of Bonora Consulting and is passionate about helping young businesses to flourish in their market of choice.  She serves as a Business Coach with INVENI on the Export Accelerator programme.   

After a successful corporate career in technology and Agri-tech multinationals in Europe and Asia, Isabel started to take an active role in the startup and family business environment worldwide. She has been involved in setting up an acceleration program to support start-ups in scaling in Southeast Asia and continues to mentor founding teams and executives with a focus on general business planning and scaling operations. She loves to engage in an open conversation to challenge others in their growth and change aspirations.


Participants were also invited to attend one of two working groups of choice with Coach Michelle and Isabel which focused on Managing Family and Employees Expectations and Succession Planning respectively.   Each group interrogated salient aspects of topics examined and identified key takeaways to be implemented in their family business post forum.

Special features on the day also included an interview by Coach Isabel with Dolporn Pitaksit of Isuzu Shanguan Thai Group who shared on an Asian family owned and run business perspective and demonstrating the similarities and differences and even issues family businesses face globally. 

CEO & Co-Founder Sharmilla Bill-Boodlal, shared on DSB Marketing’s experiences as a local Family Business.  DSB Marketing is an export company supported on the EBI’s Export Accelerator programme.

The curtains came down on the event with attendees maximizing networking opportunities. exporTT’s staff present were delighted to witness this meeting of minds and through the words of General Manager Operations – Maria Padilla-Benjamin expressed a continued commitment to spotlight T&T best as well as fully embrace its Growth partner calling.


We are exporTT, creating a world of opportunities of Exporters!

China (Zhejiang) - Trinidad & Tobago International Trade Fair | Economic & Trade Exchange Conference

China (Zhejiang) - Trinidad & Tobago International Trade Fair | Economic & Trade Exchange Conference

Lots 20-22 Trincity Business District, Zone 6, Trincity was a blaze on Saturday as hundreds of persons visited the First Caribbean Marketing Company (FCMC) compound to catch a glimpse of the 19 Chinese businesses and 7 local exporters showcased while taking advantage of the one-day unrestricted shopping at the main store. This event was kicked off in style the evening before with the conference which allowed the audience to learn of the export and investment opportunities available in both Zhejiang and Trinidad and Tobago. Visitors were later treated to local cuisine and some of Angostura’s premium rums. 

Through a partnership with the First Caribbean Marketing Company Limited, the Department of Commerce of the Zhejiang Province, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, exporTT and invesTT, this international fair saw businesses from Zhejiang Province, China and local non-energy manufacturing companies creating a stir that yielded increased brand awareness as well as sales for many companies showcased. 


Zhejiang exhibitors and visitors to the fair had the chance to savour the flavours of the sweet and tangy sauces and spicy aromatic seasonings produced by local exporters: RHS Marketing LimitedHabanero Trinidad Peppersauce and Chief Brand Products.   Sampling and purchasing sweet treats of chocolate made from fine flavour Trinitario cocoa by Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company, Montano’s and SugarCane Rum Cakes was also a highlight of the day.  

Angostura’s Chill line of Lemon Lime & Bitters, tangy Blood Orange & Bitters and Sorrel & Bitters was a welcomed feature on the exporTT / InvesTT information desk as it aided in drawing the crowds.  Staff from both entities were present to field inquiries and recommend opportunities for trade and investment between China and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the world.

A diverse product portfolio was exhibited by Zhejiang exporters this included but is not limited to disposable tableware, home goods, outdoor equipment, textiles for garments, uniforms, and other apparel, industrial & electrical equipment and tech accessories.


Many were seen leaving with among other things clothes, plants, crockery, office furniture and décor pieces as they made their way out of the compound. 

This Trade Fair and conference occurred right on the heels of another visit from principals of the Shanghai-based Global Orient International Company. This company is one of the organisers of the China International Import Expo and has been instrumental in exporTT’s participation in 2021 and 2022. During a short welcome reception at Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wednesday 29th March. At this event, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade and Industry confirmed our participation in CIIE 2023.   


This group had a packed agenda including Visits to the Chinese Embassy / Shanghai Construction / FCMC / TT Fine Cocoa Company’s factory before leaving on Friday 31st.  The activities culminated in the Trade Fair and Exchange on Saturday 1st April 2023.


exporTT looks forward to its continued partnership with Mr. Charles Cheng CEO of First Caribbean Marketing Company Limited (FCMC) and the Chinese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago as together we forge deeper trade ties with China and Trinidad & Tobago.