EXPERT ADVICE

Jamaica 2018 | EXECUTIVE GUIDE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Natalie St. Louis, Founder, CEO & Managing Director of Strategic Konnections & Management Services Limited, on working with businesses to further their goals, the importance of engaging with consultants, and goals for the coming year.

Natalie St. Louis
BIOGRAPHY
Natalie St. Louis is the Founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Strategic Konnections & Management Service. She has over 20 years of resounding successes and a proven track record in the areas of business, marketing, advertising and sales, media management, business development, operation and customer service, project management and corporate services in the media, travel and tourism, entertainment, financial, and transaction industries. She attended the University of the West Indies, where she pursued a BSc in management and economics, and Nova Southeastern University, Florida where she gained an MBA. She also furthered her business education at the Harvard Business School, Boston, and the Mona School of Business (UWI), Jamaica.

How do you help companies reach their objectives?

I leverage my years of solid experience in Jamaica's corporate world and through international linkages, where I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with CEOs and top executives from diverse businesses. My modus operandi is that I discuss with potential and existing clients their plans and objectives for their respective businesses for the short and medium term. I help them formulate the appropriate policies and direction in areas such strategic and corporate planning, integrated marketing communication, business development, operations, customer service, and training, creating the linkages with strategic external partners and monitoring these solutions until they are successfully implemented.

What have been your major projects and achievements?

They are various. One is the current engagement with a leading corporate entity in the financial sector that has a successful track record in that industry and has sought to propel the company to the next level with the vision of further enhancing its corporate image, providing its customers with a unique loyalty program and expanding regionally. I was able to successfully provide a blueprint and strategic links to ensure that there was a successful achievement of its main corporate objectives, which led to the ultimate achievement of the goals of customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. This contributed to a significant increase in the company's market share and profit margin, as well as positively increased the brand equity of the company, which continued to give it the winning edge in the industry.

Do you see growing interest in hiring external consultants in Jamaica?

There is definitely an increased interest in hiring consultants, both local and internationally based. Most Jamaican companies are progressive and forward thinking, and are always seeking opportunities to reinvent themselves. As a part of a competitive global economy, it is imperative to ensure that investments in new and existing businesses are informed by sound research and recommendations by consultants who are experienced and qualified and have a solid track record in providing outstanding results in their specialized fields.
What are the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Jamaica?
There are boundless opportunities for doing business in Jamaica in areas such as tourism, aquaculture, mineral extraction, agriculture and agro-processing, workforce training, and offshore financial centers. Some of the challenges of engaging in business in Jamaica—although getting better—include the conservative nature of the banking sector, which continues to rely on collateral secure loans rather than the potential of business plans and the qualities and business acumen of the proprietors. Bank interest rates could be more competitive from a global point of view, and reduced corporate tax rates would make the country more competitive and help attract more investments.

What are your goals for the coming year?

My goal for 2018 is to continue to grow my business by providing services to a wider and more diverse group of business owners while ensuring that my existing pool of clients continue to enjoy the highest level of service delivery and valued expertise that has characterized my service throughout my career and exceeding expectations.