Throughout the region, more and more companies are understanding the need to take up the mantle and lead the charge as it relates to digital innovation.
Behind these companies are individuals who are generating ideas, formulating policy and implementing plans that have begun to reshape the way Caribbean people interact with products, experience services and engage with brands. Here are 5 such executives who are championing digital innovation in the Caribbean.
Head of Digital Transformation, Grace Kennedy Money Services (Jamaica)
Rory Burchenson has been a driving force behind Grace Kennedy’s innovative advances since he took on the role of Head of Digital Transformation in 2018. Young, experienced and passionate about progress, he is committed to improving the delivery of GK’s messaging and services through the use of technology. Since his arrival at the company, he has spearheaded several initiatives, including the upgrade of GK’s website and the introduction of an internal online innovation center for staff. His goal is to see Grace Kennedy become “a company with digitally enabled and empowered employees who proactively use data to deliver real value to customers.” As for the Caribbean’s tech landscape at large, Burchenson is hopeful: “I feel good when I see what the various NGO’s, non-profits and initiatives like TechBeach are doing,” he says. “So a budding tech entrepreneur or company can see that they too can become a global powerhouse and disrupt the world.”
Senior Manager for Digital Transformation Projects for Sagicor Financial Corporation (Barbados)
A change agent within Sagicor for the past 11 years, Craig Gun-Munro has held the portfolio of Senior Project Manager for the past two years with his attention squarely focused on using technology to enhance the employee and customer experiences. Along with introducing initiatives to improve employee performance, Gun-Munro has been working with various teams throughout the region to empower Sagicor’s customers to take control of their financial lives by “delivering a seamless digital experience at all touchpoints along the journey, while keeping up with global trends, and predicting what they will need in the future.” As for the bigger picture of technology in the Caribbean, Gun-Munro believes the region has come a long way. “Recent innovations by some local companies show that we can operate on the cutting edge if we think big enough,” he says. “I believe that rather than only see each other as competition, more organizations need to work together on new innovations in their respective industries in order to create real opportunities for taking society forward.”
General Manager, Electronic Channels & Payments, Republic Bank (Trinidad & Tobago)
A 25 year veteran of the IT industry, Denyse Ramnarine has been at the helm of Republic Bank’s digital transformation since March 2018. With a specific focus on digital channels and payments, Ramnarine and her team are using technology to implement “solutions that bring the most value to our customers’ lives by making banking simple and accessible”. In just a year and a half, under her stewardship, Republic Bank has automated several processes using robots, digitised all paper documents, and launched a mobile-initiated payment mechanism that allows customers to send cash to any recipient using just a phone number. Ramnarine admits that obstacles are inevitable as a digital disruptor, however, she believes, there are many in support of the positive changes innovation brings. “I have seen so many local and regional businesses who are capable, and not only ready, but actively participating in digital business,” she observes. “Our talents are certainly on par with the rest of the world.”
CEO, Massy Technologies InfoCom (Trinidad & Tobago)
Ian John brings 20 years of experience in the ICT sector to his role as CEO of Massy Technologies InfoCom. As leader of the Caribbean’s top provider of ICT solutions and services, John has been responsible for the brand making great strides regionally. Among the notable initiatives undertaken during his tenure is Massy’s partnership with Schneider Electric. According to John, this strategic connection with the world’s leading specialist in digital transformation, “complements Massy Technologies InfoCom’s offering in IT infrastructure, solutions and services, to directly benefit our clients, who will now have access to a more complete suite of technologies.”
Nadeen Matthews Blair
Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, National Commercial Bank (Jamaica)
For the past 4 years, Nadeen Matthews Blair has been spearheading NCB’s digital transformation in a bid to improve the way financial services are delivered in Jamaica. A “creative innovator in pursuit of excellence”, she is the youngest female Division Head at Jamaica’s largest financial institution and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (YGL). Blair also serves as the CEO of the NCB Foundation where she is responsible for the bank’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.
We at Tech Beach Retreat recognize the efforts of these champions and we salute them for their contributions to digital innovation in the Caribbean. As we make progressive strides in our quest to build a dynamic tech ecosystem within the region, we are always excited to identify individuals and entities who share our vision. If you’d like to nominate someone in your organization for us to feature next, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn