VM Group President & CEO, Courtney Campbell, is urging business leaders to invest more decisively in the adoption of digital technologies and digital upskilling, in order to be globally competitive in the post-COVID-19 era.
Addressing the Jamaica Manufacturers & Employers Association’s (JMEA) M&E Awards Banquet at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Saturday (October 8), Campbell noted that before COVID-19, Jamaica’s economy suffered from low rates of productivity and high income inequality, which he said is due in part to the low availability of critical skills required for global competitiveness.
“We have to transform the content of our training,” he urged. “COVID-19 has accelerated technology adoption in all sectors, so these talent-related challenges have become even more pronounced. If your company or country cannot claim a ready pool of these digital skills, you will be left behind.”
Campbell further noted that to address the issues, business leaders will have to support their team to transition to new labour market opportunities, as well as invest in digital reskilling and upskilling programmes.
He said VM Group, in 2018, devised an ambitious Digital Transformation programme to move from ‘doing digital’ to ‘being digital’ by infusing digital technologies into all of VM’s key business processes. With this push, Campbell said the entity had to ensure that team members develop critical digital skills that allow them to thrive, not only in a digital workspace, but also in the new digital world. As such, an entire pillar of the Group’s digital strategy is dedicated to digital capabilities-building, with focus on skills such as Design Thinking, Customer Journey Mapping, Data Analysis, Agile Methodologies, Scrum, LEAN, Black belt and DevOps.
“Our people have also adapted to remote collaboration. We have invested in a digital collaboration platform to enable the shift to this new paradigm, and even more importantly, we have a continuous training programme designed to help our team capitalize on the benefits of the platform for greater productivity while working remotely,” he said.
Campbell added: “These are extraordinary times with formidable challenges, rapid changes and exciting opportunities. We must be deliberate about our efforts to build on the opportunities created by our current momentum. All of us in this room have a role to play. The key is to pay close attention to the lessons learnt and to act decisively and purposefully”.
VM Group was title sponsor for the JMEA 2022 M&E Awards, aimed at recognizing leaders in the productive sector. The Awards Banquet was held under the theme: ‘Manufacturing & Exporting, Reigniting Jamaica for Greatness’; and saw Red Stripe walking away with the coveted VM-Group – JMEA Legacy Award.
The sponsorship follows last month’s launch of a partnership between VM Pensions Management Limited and the JMEA, which sees the JMEA member companies being able to access a bundled retirement package, which includes an approved retirement scheme (ARS) and a suite of other specially curated offerings from across the Group.
In addition to enrollment in an affordable pension scheme, the association’s members can now benefit from reduced rates and special access to corporate financing solutions, onboarding discount on investment management fees, reduced fees on business loans, commercial mortgages and auto loans, insurance and other products, access to equity or debt investments as well as financial coaching for companies seeking to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).
Employees enrolled in the scheme can also access preferential rates for residential mortgages and discounts on property valuations, special VM Drive auto loan packages, an unsecured loan facility and discounts on insurance products from British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC), a VM Group affiliated company.