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World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022

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Jamaica will host the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022 (AICE 2022) at the Montego
Bay Conference Centre from June 13 – 17. AICE 2022 is being held under the theme “Your Partner for Resilience, Prosperity and Sustainability.”
More than 1,000 delegates from many of the 140 World FZO member countries are expected to be present for the 8 th staging of the annual event, which the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA) successfully bid to host.

The Ministerial Committee comprises Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism and the Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture.
JSEZA is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Business Insights

Broadcast Radio Is Not Dead For Jamaican And Caribbean Radio Stations If……

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The headline in last weeks business gleaner read “The Bridge Radio Station Up For Sale”.

The opening paragraph of the article told the story, “After débuting on air with much fanfare nearly three years ago, radio station The Bridge 99 FM is facing an uncertain future and is now up for sale. Two investors in The Bridge, one of the newest FM radio stations in a crowded and dwindling market, have confirmed that they are seeking buyers for the station.”

Target Market

The Bridge, the brainchild of New York-based Jamaican Robert ‘Bobby’ Clarke who heads the Irie Jam Media Group, which operated Irie Jam Radio in the Tri-State area for more than two decades, came on air in August 2021 aiming, as its name suggested, to connect Jamaicans abroad, mainly in the United States, and those at home, through a unified platform.

On-air Talent

The upstart station was able to attract a slate of well-known names to its airwaves, including disk jocks Richard ‘Ritchie B’ Burgess, Kurt Riley and Nikki Z, veteran recording artiste Tony Rebel, retired politicians Ronald Thwaites and Pearnel Charles Sr, and controversial talk show host Dr Kingsley ‘Ragashanti’ Stewart.

But The Bridge failed to attract a significant audience, with more persons turning away from traditional media sources like radio to social media for information and entertainment.

The Question that we have to ask is very clear. Is Broadcast Radio Dead!

In the article Zachary Harding, founding partner of Delta Capital Partners Jamaica, and an investor in The Bridge was asked about the future of FM radio: “There can be money in FM radio, as it is still a popular means of entertainment and getting information. Radio is not dead. However, advertisers now have more options in terms of marketing spend and there has definitely been a tremendous shift towards social media and away from traditional media. This trend will always impact smaller players in the market negatively. However, with the right strategy, you can integrate social media into your strategy to command more loyal listener base and differentiate the station, while providing greater points of distribution. This is exactly what we are doing at CaribStar Media”.

Broadcast radio is not dead, but it does face significant challenges in the current media landscape.

Here’s a comprehensive look at trends and potential directions for making broadcast radio viable in Jamaica and the Caribbean:

Convergence with Digital Platforms: One major trend is the integration of broadcasting with digital and social media platforms. Radio stations are increasingly using live streaming services like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch to reach audiences seeking real-time and interactive content​​.

Local Focus and Community Engagement: Despite the shift towards digital, local advertising remains a strong point for radio. Industries such as retail, real estate, automotive, financial services, and healthcare continue to invest in local radio ads due to its strong community presence and trust factor​. Radio can leverage this by focusing on hyper-local content and community engagement, which digital platforms may not provide as effectively.

Political Advertising: Political campaigns are a significant revenue source, especially in local markets. With political spending on the rise, particularly in swing states, radio stations can capitalize on this by offering targeted advertising solutions​.

Shorter, More Engaging Ads: Long ad breaks can drive listeners away, especially when compared to the ad-skipping options available on streaming services. To combat this, radio can focus on shorter, more engaging ads, including authentic endorsements from popular hosts, which tend to resonate more with listeners​​.

Technological Advancements: The deployment of 5G networks will revolutionize content delivery, allowing for seamless streaming and improved connectivity. This can enable more interactive and immersive experiences for radio listeners, potentially attracting a larger audience​.

Diverse Revenue Streams: Beyond traditional ads, radio stations can explore additional revenue streams such as sponsored content, events, and partnerships with local businesses. This diversification can help mitigate the risks associated with declining ad revenues​.

Content Personalization and On-Demand Options: Emulating successful aspects of streaming services, radio stations can offer personalized content and on-demand listening options through podcasts and digital archives. This approach caters to the growing demand for content that fits individual schedules and preferences​​.

For Jamaican and Caribbean radio stations, adopting these strategies could help create a more sustainable business model in a rapidly evolving media environment. Emphasizing local content, leveraging digital convergence, and exploring new revenue streams are key steps towards maintaining relevance and profitability.

Source: https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20240710/bridge-radio-station-sale

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Business Insights

RedPlate Group Limited: Corporate Profile

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About RedPlate Group

RedPlate Group Limited is a distinguished Caribbean-based investment holding company, specializing in equity investments across various sectors. Our diversified portfolio includes stakes in both established businesses and promising start-ups, with a focus on:

  • Business-to-Business (B2B)
  • Technology
  • Data-Driven Solutions
  • Integrated Fulfillment Logistics
  • Transportation Solutions
  • E-commerce
  • Mobile Payments

Our Companies

RedPlate Group encompasses a range of dynamic companies, each contributing to our overarching mission:

  • InterMetro Transit Jamaica
  • RedPlate Logistics and Fulfilment Group
  • RedPlate MarketPlace
  • RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited
  • RedPlate Financial Group

Innovative Business Model

RedPlate Group’s pioneering business model is poised to revolutionize the transportation and logistics sectors in Jamaica and the broader Caribbean. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, we address current inefficiencies, enhancing productivity and profitability across the value chain. Our holistic, horizontal integration of business units fosters seamless collaboration, creating a robust, technology-driven ecosystem.

Market Opportunity

Jamaica’s transportation and logistics landscape is currently fragmented and inefficient, posing significant challenges for businesses and commuters alike. RedPlate Group aims to resolve these issues by developing a cohesive and interconnected platform. This platform optimizes operations, maximizes resource utilization, and delivers an unparalleled experience for both corporate clients and end consumers.

Strategic Vision

RedPlate Group’s strategic vision is centered around building synergistic relationships and fostering a collaborative environment. Our approach not only fortifies the value chain but also enhances productivity and increases income for all stakeholders. By addressing the fundamental challenges within Jamaica’s transportation and logistics sector, we are paving the way for a more efficient and profitable future.

Conclusion

RedPlate Group Limited invites high net worth investors to join us in transforming the Caribbean’s transportation and logistics industry. Our innovative, technology-driven approach and commitment to excellence position us as a leader in the sector, offering substantial growth and investment opportunities. Together, we can achieve remarkable advancements and drive significant value for our stakeholders.

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Artificial Intelligence

InterMetroONE Superapp – Revolutionizing Jamaica’s Transportation Landscape

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InterMetro Transit Jamaica, a distinguished member of the RedPlate Group, is proud to announce the upcoming launch of the InterMetroONE SuperApp—a ground breaking initiative set to redefine the transportation and service delivery experience in Jamaica.

At the core of our mission is a steadfast commitment to providing every Jamaican with access to a modern, tech-driven public transportation service that is safe, comfortable, cost-effective, efficient, and reliable. The InterMetro SuperApp embodies this commitment by bringing together all our current apps and features into one comprehensive gateway—InterMetro.

 

Unveiling the InterMetro SuperApp: A Gateway to Convenience

The InterMetro SuperApp serves as a one-stop destination for a myriad of transportation and service-related needs, consolidating various offerings under a single platform. From InterMetro Bus Services to RedPlate Taxi rides, airport transfers, consumer food and grocery delivery, and business and personal courier services—the SuperApp seamlessly integrates these services for enhanced accessibility and convenience.

Moreover, InterMetro SuperApp introduces RedPlate +, an exclusive membership program offering members the privileged InterMetro and RedPlate experience across all our rides and delivery services. Members can enjoy a host of benefits, including exclusive offers, discounts, and personalized service enhancements.

Expanding Horizons: Future Enhancements

As we continue to evolve, the InterMetro SuperApp will expand its offerings to encompass a broader spectrum of services aimed at further enriching the lives of Jamaicans. Future additions to the SuperApp will include bill payments, remittances, money transfer services, phone credit topping, and same-day loan services—empowering users with unparalleled convenience and accessibility.

Empowering Jamaicans with Technology

The launch of the InterMetro SuperApp underscores our unwavering commitment to leveraging technology to empower Jamaicans and enhance their everyday lives. By consolidating diverse services into a single, user-friendly platform, we aim to revolutionize the transportation and service delivery landscape, making essential services more accessible, efficient, and convenient for all.

Join us as we embark on this transformative journey, driven by our conviction that every Jamaican deserves access to a modern, tech-driven public transportation service that prioritizes safety, comfort, affordability, efficiency, and reliability. With the InterMetro SuperApp, the future of transportation and service delivery in Jamaica is within reach.

www.inter-metro.com

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Businessuite News24

Jamaica Is Pursuing The Strategy Of Mix Development Modalities

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“Tourism is a wealth creation and economic enrichment activity driven by the consumption and production patterns of people!”

“The strategy for destination exploitation of tourism is a composite of many modalities including business models and investment opportunities and not to be viewed through a myopic lenses.

Small highly service dependent economies such as ours must rely heavily on consumption to sustain economic growth, and expansion and Tourism has become the most effective way of achieving this as the propensity to CONSUME of the Tourist is 3-5 times that of the local! It means therefore that the expansion of the local market by increasing tourist arrivals creating a ‘critical mass’ is essential.

The proliferation of boutique hotels is not the answer when physical resources are limited. The strategy of Mix development modalities as Jamaica is pursuing, with mega hotels, boutique and sharing accommodation i.e. Airbnb etc is the most effective way forward.

The essential element of the strategy though is the production/Supply side of the wealth development equation! Jamaica’s focus must be on providing the goods and services that the Tourists demand to satisfy their consumption patterns! THATS WHERE THE REAL WEALTH OF TOURISM RESIDES! Agriculture, manufacturing, Creative Industries, Energy, Construction etc Then SERVICES; medical, financial, legal, entertainment, Restaurants, Shopping, transportation etc.

Please team let’s take a deeper dive in the confluence of economic moving parts that constitutes Tourism and recognize its elongated and expensive value chain so we can truly embrace the wealth it brings!”

Edmund Bartlett – Minister of Tourism Jamaica

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Business Insights

Smart Mobile Solutions (SMS) Lauded For Its Pioneering Resilience, Remarkable Milestones, Impressive Products & Services And Phenomenal Growth In The ICT Industry!

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Smart Mobile Solutions (SMS) launched its impressive and extensive suite of products and services on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at the Jamaica Pegasus’ Talk of the Town in Kingston Jamaica, to prominent business leaders, executives and dignitaries, who witnessed the unfolding of the outstanding journey and evolution of the company, guided with a novel unfolding by the gracious and talented Master of Ceremonies, Paula Ann Porter Jones along with her Co-Host and interviewee being the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the company, Dane Spencer; who took the audience through the phenomenal history of the company.

One of the dynamic duo, Dane Spencer, who started the company with his co-founder Marlon Hudson in 2008, divulged the genesis of their success story “…Smart Mobile Solutions (SMS) came about as a reaction to a circumstance that myself and Marlon were in and we were faced with a challenge we had to fix as IT professionals and of course, we generated an idea from research and the discovery of accessories that were not readily available on the market…”

They capitalized on the opportunity presented, that was supplying Blackberry accessories, and based on the high demand, moved from selling out of their duffel bags and car trunk into a physical space. This brought structure to the company which then evolved into the software space with the development of a pioneer premier blackberry app tracking platform product.. Broad Axxe. This app converted the Blackberry device into a Blackberry panic button that became a transponder which would provide GPS locations. This was introduced to the market and utilized by a prominent Jamaican Security company, and thereafter came the introduction to the wider Caribbean market, propelling the vast growth of the company, with the building of other blackberry apps, expanding into cross platforms and digital labs.

Dane further marveled his distinguished guests with the continued compelling SMS story, highlighting that, in addition to the phenomenal growth of being one of the largest local distributors of mobile devices & accessories, they also added the provision of Repairs and other IT services. They have now further expanded offerings of SMS to include Mobile Device Management, Customized Software Solutions, provider of ICT equipment and are making strides to increase their reach regionally and globally, with their Miami operations. With over 200 clients and a customer base in excess of 14,000, they are the first and only full-service Technology solutions support unit in Jamaica, offering such a wide range of hardware and software solutions, and is the sole vendor of mobile handset protection plans in the Caribbean (Smart Protect), which has been driven by innovation and productivity.

Dane emphasized another new game changing product of the company, Devices As A Service (DaaS).

He explained ‘…This is actually how we bring everything together, Technical Services, Software Studio creating Solutions for customers, and we are also talking about our Commodities and how we support them, manage them and implement them. When we put all these combined solutions together, the key element is to package them almost like an all-inclusive package. We are doing this to shape and revolutionize the use of technology. What we are trying to accomplish is to allow for the consumer, whether it be a business, government entity or an individual, to be able to consume these devices in a way that you acquire them by paying a monthly fee, and you are able to trade in these devices, obtain a rebate on your new devices and reduce your costs of ownership over time. This will keep you connected with the latest technology, so even if you acquired these devices and you realize they are not suitable, you will be able to trade them in, acquire new devices and enter a new payment cycle…Now this is Devices as a Service…What more can I say..’

‘…At this point what we really want to highlight and drive home with this marque product, is that we structured these solutions for our customers in different ways. We already have Smart Payment Plans and Smart Protect but those are just the basics, we have added, enhanced and created this all-inclusive package of Solutions with Devices as a Service, which will serve our customer-base even better…’

At the magnificent and memorable launch, Smart Mobile Solutions (SMS) was lauded for their pioneering resilience, remarkable milestones, impressive products & services, phenomenal growth and the continued commitment to national development, by the stellar line up of special guests to include:

Senator Damian Crawford, Shadow Minister of Education & Youth who verbalized,‘…I am here today because technology by its rightful definition is doing things better, and while we have been stuck with communication technology, mainly in other spheres of life, there are ways to do things better and the thing you have taught me as a friend, is there is even a way to do business better and while you are in a technology business you are educating and motivating many of us to continue pushing and fighting; and so my message today is that, I thank you for myself as a person fighting to grow, that you again have another example of a young individual that believes in himself, in his country and in his capacity and so I thank you for giving me another push and greater energy to keep pushing. We look forward to technological solutions in the education sector. We have been discussing how AI can be used to increase teacher capacity and enhance student learning and I look forward to some of those, but what I look forward to most is the continued examples to persons like myself that no matter what, high or low, business can work.”

Mr. Julian J. Robinson MP, Shadow Minister of Finance & The Public Service, expressed, ‘…You have to be very important if you can bring 6 Parliamentarians to your launch and if you can bring a wide variety of business leaders, then it means that you are important and respected.

I am particularly happy to be here, because I am seeing two young black Jamaican Entrepreneurs who had an idea, built their businesses and have succeeded despite the odds. I am happy to be here because frankly, I just thought you sold tablets and phones, but it is important that you are doing the development of software. In Jamaica, we have been consumers of the technology, we need to become producers of the technology and you have shifted to that, you have demonstrated that you can find solutions to problems here in Jamaica. Same problems exist in the Caribbean and other parts of the world, so you can earn foreign exchange, so you can grow your business, that is what the country needs. You have taken those ideas and built your business around that and I want to congratulate both of you and the Team around you for the success that you have demonstrated, that you can achieve it.

There is no journey that doesn’t have its hurdles as you have indicated, but you have persevered and built and so I look forward to your continued growth and expansion…I remember the blackberry days, but we have evolved and we have grown, and the AI which is going to be the next industrial revolution, has lots of opportunities and threats as well, but it is important for us as a country to take advantage of it. It can improve productivity; it can enhance business and that’s what we have to do. Commendation to SMS, continue to grow, continue to demonstrate that success can lay with young Jamaican Entrepreneurs that have ideas and can convert it and we certainly welcome it…’

Special Guests Parliamentarians smile for the camera with SMS’s Co-Founders Dane Spencer & Marlon Hudson (far right) Standing (Left to Right) Julian J. Robinson MP and Shadow Minister of Finance & The Public Service, The Hon. Zavia Mayne MP, State Minister – Ministry of Finance & The Public Service, Member of Parliament Mikhael Phillips, The Hon. Marsha Smith MP, State Minister-Ministry of Education & Youth, Senator The Hon. Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce at SMS’ Smart Tech 360 recent launch at the Jamaica Pegasus’ Talk of the Town.

 

 

Hon. Marsha Smith MP, State Minister in the Ministry of Education & Youth, stated that ‘… It is my pleasure to represent the Hon Favyal William, Minister of Education and Youth at the launch of SMS’ Smart Tech 360 and to acknowledged the two vibrant young men. These two young men leveraged their knowledge of STEM to create a business. What we are seeing is a visible example of the intersection of STEM and Entrepreneurship which I am sure will continue to be an example to our students right now. Congratulations for what you have achieved in the past and all the best for your future endeavors…’

Hon. Zavia Mayne MP, State Minister in the Ministry of Finance & The Public Service commented ‘… It is a pleasure for me to be here today on behalf of the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, The Hon Nigel Clarke. It is good to be here to endorse a very extraordinary, ambitious and successful endeavor on the part of SMS. To hear the outstanding achievements and accomplishments roll out is a testimony of belief, commitment, hard work and ultimately the end result is success. So, I want to commend you and congratulate you. We believe that your endeavors and mission is in keeping with what Brand Jamaica is all about. The success stories of SMS are the kind of success stories we want to hear coming out of Jamaica, and I certainly want to say to you, well done and we wish you all the best going forward.

Senator, Hon. Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce the main speaker of the event gave a very informative and impactful presentation. He highlighted that. ‘’… As I look at how this company has come about, I was so impressed with the two young men and Team that has put this together. The use of smart technology is necessary for increasing our productivity. We are going to make sure that technology will help us to meet international demand and driving Jamaica’s global competitiveness. Until we get those right, we are not going to be the kind of country that we must be. The use of smart technology helps to streamline processes, automate task and optimize resources and allocation across industries. This administration recognizes the vital role of Technology and is committed to Jamaica’s digital transformation. The EU and Government of Jamaica has launched a Euro$9.5M digital transformation programme for Jamaica called Digital Jamaica. Grant funding means that tax payers in another country sees it worthwhile to spend their money in another country and help us to build what we have to build and I am in agreement with and I am committed to working with our agencies in collaboration with the ministries and the private sector in driving our nation’s digital agenda.

It is indeed my pleasure in joining SMS with the launching of its Smart Tech 360 includes coding and the creation of software and technology. We have to see big companies working with smaller ones to make them stronger. These guys started with a knapsack and car trunk and 70 square feet of space to start a company. Advantage General needed the service and got these two young guys to work with them. I want big companies in Jamaica to recognize that we have excellent ICT companies and other companies that can provide the services for them here in Jamaica.

Continue to invest in Jamaica and build your company in Jamaica. We have such a fantastic relationship with Guyana, we have paid them respect over the years, we have three million people, they have 780,000 people. Jamaica has a stock market that works, we have a system that works and so Jamaicans must form a consistent and symbiotic relationship with Guyana to make sure as that their economy grow on the bank of 11 billion barrels of oil declared and as Surinam grows its economy with 1 billion barrels of oil declared, Jamaica grows with these companies…and between now and then there is a lot of business to be done…go and find partners…get together and form a consortium. One of the best inventions of Western Capitalism is The Limited Liability Company. Focus on making sure that we build great business relationships with Guyana.

I am so pleased to see what SMS has done and they had 40 government contracts…and for SMS to get 40 different government contacts it something to applaud them for as it is not easy to get that done. So, I am happy to see what these guys are doing. We have productive relief for business…Productivity is what SMS is about and in Jamaica we are low on productivity and we can do it. SMS is doing it and are doing well at it…”

Mr. Jose Guerra – Product Manager at Samsung Electronics, shared ‘…When we were looking for a local partner to develop the Jamaican market, after interviewing about 30 companies, we fell in love with SMS’ vision and mission and we started a great partnership. We are looking to continue the partnership in the future to give solutions to the Jamaican market…SMS will have exclusivity on Samsung’s Enterprise Services especially with extended warranty of 2 years than 1 year and a 2 year life cycle and with the Knox Security solution system that is embedded on the phone and can be adapted into your company.

Smart Mobile Solutions lives true to their slogan ‘On the Go” and boasts the milestones of being the first company to focus on Mobile Solutions in the Caribbean (software for Smart Phones, Tablets and other mobile devices), the first Blackberry Non-Carrier Alliance member in the English speaking Caribbean, the first and still the only full-service mobile support unit in Jamaica (from Devices & Accessories to Mobile Device Management , Software development and After Sales support), the provider of the first Mobile Tracking Solution in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean (which was introduced through Hawkeye as a Mobile Panic Button and tracking platform), development team responsible for a number of custom Mobile and Enterprise web applications, the Launch of Mobile Protection plans in November 2014 underwritten by local Insurance company, GK General Insurance Company, master supply agreements with Digicel Group and CWC Caribbean, authorized Samsung distributor, authorized Lenovo distributor, authorized distributor – TCL, LOGIC, COOLPAD, Samsung Authorized Service Center, strong Carrier relationships across the Caribbean (Awarded over 40 Government contracts across the region including but not limited to supply E-learning Tablets in school program, St. Vincent Government MOE ,Ministry of Security in Cayman and Ministry of Health Guyana).

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