‘If we want to compete today, we have to raise the standard of our operations’− Dr Singh

As local business welcomes international standards certification

Leading hardware and home décor enterprise, Innovations America, on Thursday unveiled its official ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) No. 9001: 2015, No. 45001: 2018, and No. 14001:2015 certifications from international standardisation agency SGS.

SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance, or General Society of Surveillance) is a multinational Swiss organisation headquartered in Geneva, which provides inspection, verification, testing and certification services.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

The ISO certifications display the company’s competence and excellence in areas of quality management systems, occupational safety and health management, and environmental management.

These integrated management systems certifications are significant achievements for Innovations America, as they reflect the company’s commitment to providing high-quality products and services to their customers.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the 704 Sky Lounge, Senior Minister within the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, expressed his belief that the achievement of the company has profound symbolic importance for Guyana’s business landscape.

“We are living in an era of unprecedentedly rapid change. You see it every day. You see it in our landscape, you see it in our cityscape, new buildings… If you turn north or south, east or west, you see the physical evidence of not only the change, but the rapidity of the change that is unfolding before our very eyes,” he said.

The minister reminded of the vast number of buildings, roadways, bridges and other key infrastructural developments taking place across the country, emphasising that Guyana is going through a period of immense transformation and modernisation.

The ISO certifications received by Innovations America

As such, he stressed the significance of Innovations America receiving its ISO certifications, as it raises the bar for other companies operating within Guyana.

“Today, people doing business in Guyana and with Guyana expect a different standard of operation. And to do business, one has to comply with global standards. And by that, I mean not only achieving standard certification like ISO and so on, which increasingly, international counterparts will look for; but also in a very visible demonstrable way that can be experienced by our counterparts, doing business in a way that meets world class standards; delivering an experience to our counterparts, whether they be customers or suppliers… delivering a service comparable to the most enviable destinations, and the most enviable metropolises around the world. If we want to compete today, we have no choice but to raise the standard of our operation,” Dr Singh stated.

He pointed out that achieving ISO certification is no easy task, as it requires a company to undergo a rigorous process to demonstrate its commitment to excellence in specific areas.

“The Alphonsos clearly recognised that the benefits and advantages to be had from achieving this international certification outweigh the costs and efforts associated with obtaining it. And that is in fact a position I agree with, and I commend them for arriving at that conclusion, and for going beyond that— for taking the step of investing the money and effort to achieve this certification,” he pointed out.

The senior finance minister congratulated the Alphonso family on the achievements, and encouraged all present to follow in similar footsteps—not just in terms of raising their standard of operations− but to improve and upskill themselves as well.

Managing director of Innovations America, Lorenzo Alphonso, reiterated the company’s commitment to offering international service with impeccable customer care to all citizens of Guyana.

Managing Director of Innovations America, Lorenzo Alphonso

He outlined the company’s history of creating a safe shopping atmosphere and overall memorable experience to its customers.

“This is indeed a landmark in our continuous journey of improvement, as we are now the first company in Guyana within the import and retail industry of hardware, plumbing, electrical, home décor and home appliance services to be certified with an integrated management system by SGS—the leading global certification body,” he stated.

He said the achievements were not achieved overnight, but took the efforts of the dedicated team at Innovations America, as well as liaison organisations.

“This accomplishment shows our commitment to ensuring the highest quality of products offered are in compliance with regulatory and international standards, effectively managing customer feedback to ensure systems improvement, ensuring a safe and secure environment for both employees and customers, incorporating environmentally friendly practices within our organisations to ensure sustainability, and the elimination of wastage in the community,” he added.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, also extended congratulations to the company for raising the bar for business operations, and encouraged other businesses to follow suit as the country continues to modernise and grow.

Guyana is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, with significant investments being made in sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructure, healthcare, mining, and technology. As the country continues to attract more foreign investment, competition among businesses is likely to increase significantly.

ISO certification will allow Innovations America Guyana to differentiate itself from competitors, demonstrating to potential customers that it is committed to providing high-quality products and services.

President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Timothy Tucker was also in attendance.