Interview with Mr. Ronald Aqui, President of the Industrial Estates Tenants’ Association (IETA) Tenants’ Associations are internationally known for having a shared vision amongst its membership to make their community a better place to work and live. One would see how it makes sense for e TecK’s 300+ tenants at the company’s 17 legacy parks to form a Tenants’ Association/s at either the local level such as the Plaisance Park Tenants’ Association or at the national level namely the Industrial Estates Tenants’ Association(IETA).
The above – mentioned associations continue to have positive outcomes, be it by fostering a better working relationship with e TecK, as landlord or by adding value to its membership by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration and sharing of knowledge to improve the management and operations of businesses.
In our last issue we highlighted the Plaisance Park Association with an interview with Mr. Partap Singh, President of the Association. In this month’s issue, we turn our focus to Mr. Ronald Aqui who has been at the helm of the national body, the Industrial Estates Tenants Association (IETA), since its formation in 2010. As President of the IETA, Mr. Aqui is no stranger to e TecK having been present at many of the company’s meetings and events. “The IETA started when a group of tenants who met to primarily discuss rent increases, we then thought of the idea to formalise the group to address the concerns of the tenants and so the IETA was born. Today, we are a ‘Not For Profit Company’ with 95 members. We continue to invite new members to the group with the vision of having representation of all 319 registered tenants at e TecK’s parks,” says Mr. Aqui.As President of the IETA, Mr. Aqui has seen the association succeeded over the years in meeting its objective – to establish a business relationship with e TecK among its membership. More than that, the association has created a culture of networking, collaboration and sharing. “As President, I try my best to interact with IETA’s membership by visiting individual companies. I must admit that more can be done, in fact the Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that our members are properly represented in all Parks. I am pleased to say that there has been a great measure of success in that issues which we’ve tabled with e TecK, have been satisfactorily addressed. Our vision is to be recognised by all registered tenants of e TecK’s Industrial Parks in Trinidad and Tobago,” explains Mr. Aqui.
Mr. Aqui continued, “Although the association is a step in the right direction there is still much more to do, we have to shift gears and change our strategy especially in these trying economic times in our country. Our businesses in the park play such a critical role in generating income and employment in the light manufacturing sector, with falling energy prices and the foreign exchange situation, our tenants are bound to be impacted.” In order to represent tenants effectively, the President stated that the IETA has to increase its membership, improve communication, establish a sustainable revenue base and host regular general meetings and general elections. In revealing some of his strategic plans, Mr. Aqui added, “we have to raise our visibility with all the tenants at the park by having increased park visits, social/networking events and regular meetings. More importantly, the IETA is in a strong position to lobby support and seek its membership interests with key stakeholders for economic development in the country. We want to look beyond the relationship with the landlord.” Mr. Aqui ended interview stating that the association has a bright future ahead. He believes that now is the time where the IETA can be strong support/watchdog/negotiator with the country’s key stakeholders such as community leaders, business organisations and government leaders to aid in creating a sustainable economic environment in Trinidad and Tobago. “The IETA can make a difference with a positive impact on the national sphere – that’s a great idea in the making.” he ended.
The Directors of the IETA are as follows:
- Ronald Aqui
- Deo Roopchand
- Deborah Costelloe
- Shivani Persad,
- Derek Agostini
- Franka Costelloe
- David Lewis
- Arthur Reid
- Martin Philbert
- Hilton Warner
For further information and membership please visit website http://www.ietatt.com/about-us
President – IETAMobile: 1-868-294-9475