E-commerce reigns as three contenders eye bmobile Business Technology Award

TSTT Corporate Communications

Press Release

Three businesses that have turned to e-commerce to serve their customers are now in the lineup to become the 2020 bmobile Business Technology winner at this year’s Champions of Business Awards, hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The finalists, Shuphub.com, Excellent Stores Ltd and Printree by the DocuCentre were announced on November 3 via a televised programme.

Introduced in 2018, the bmobile Business Technology Award highlights, recognises and celebrates companies that are leveraging technology to drive and further develop their business. Particular attention is paid to disruptive, technology-based companies that are making significant positive impacts for consumers and for the industry too. To complement the title, the winner will receive a customised bmobile Business Solutions Package valued at $10,000, which is specifically designed to support the continued advancement of the company.

Ian Galt, TSTT’s General Manager Enterprise Services, stated that the Company was proud to continue fostering the development of the ICT and entrepreneurial sectors through its third year of support, "As the communications provider that created the technology backbone in our country with a view to national development, we continue to seek alliances such as this particular award to recognise and uplift T&T-born and built companies to expand domestically and look to pivot towards other global markets using the technology architecture that now exists. From small entrepreneurs with social media shop fronts to large companies that depend on the consistent uptime that our network provides, we recognise that our country's resilience in these challenging times will continue to rely on a stable and efficient network, but also one that is consistently on par with similar global offerings,” noted Galt.

The Finalists
ShupHub.com is an e-commerce marketplace first envisioned in 2016 and launched in 2018 which allows vendors to take their products to a digital market easily via their online platform. Roanna Maraj, Managing Director, pointed out their current space and plans, "We are in the process of launching regionally and have integrated DHL shipping globally, which alongside our online payment systems, has made e-commerce easy and simple to set up for merchandisers and to access for consumers. We will also be launching our mobile app shortly."

Excellent Stores Ltd, one of Trinidad and Tobago's earliest department stores, capitalised on a proactive move to establish an e-commerce system in 2015 which allowed the retail giant to boast 100% online-generated revenue in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine period in 2020 through their new online store. The number of products on the site scaled from 8,000 to 15,000 this year alone. According to Alex Siu Chong, CEO, "As we moved through this pandemic, our online storefront allowed us to keep our people employed and to fulfil our customers' essential needs while giving us access to data which is absolutely critical to a retail business today."

Printree Powered by the DocuCentre is an online design-to-print service launched in 2018. Nekesha Bartholomew-Ramey, Business Development Manager, highlighted the innovative approach, "You can print almost anything with us, from anywhere in the world. We are seeking other printers to join our platform which will create a wider range of products for our consumers." Customers can book printing services online, pay and have it delivered internationally or collect at designated collection points in Trinidad and Tobago. The service recently won Best Online Print Service in LATAM as adjudicated by Corporate Vision's Small Business Awards.

Gabriel Faria, CEO of the TT Chamber noted, "This third year of the Business Technology Award, with bmobile as our sponsor partner, is even more relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. No one anticipated the impact this pandemic would have on our businesses and the key role technology would play in allowing businesses to pivot - not just to survive but to emerge stronger out of this." He further elaborated, "Technology allows companies to constructively disrupt the delivery of products or services to a customer because businesses are no longer anchored by where they currently exist. The concept of being landlocked is non-existent now, our companies are looking at the globe as their market and this means there is greater room for growth and scale. The world has become the de facto marketplace for our home-grown brands," he continued.

The previous two winners in this category, WiPay (fintech) in 2018 and Term Finance Holdings Limited (web-based credit/loans) in 2019, are continuing to defy norms in the industry in which they exist, with both expanding to other Caribbean markets and the former becoming a MasterCard payment partner earlier this year.

The winners of the 2020 Champions of Business Awards, a Signature Event being hosted by the TT Chamber, will be crowned on November 20 via a televised programme on CNC3.

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