With clients all around the world, McKinney Rogers could have logically set up HQ anywhere in Europe, the USA or Asia. But if we’d settled in London, we would have been seen as British, and if we had chosen New York, we’d be American. We felt that by being headquartered in Barbados people could instantly see us as a global company, working across business cultures, without being closed-in by regional specialisms. And that could be a vital differentiator when dealing with giants like Wal-Mart, Pfizer and Diageo.
Within two years of establishing our Barbados office in 2009, we brought in our senior executives to live and work here full time, and hired more Barbadian staff. That significant step empowered us to run our entire global business from Barbados, including back-office operations such as Finance, IT and HR. One of the special advantages of being located here is that we can deal with our contacts almost anywhere on the planet within the same working day, which enables us to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of our other 12 offices around the world. Our proven success over the years eventually attracted the attention of several of the sector’s biggest players, and in February 2017 we were acquired as a new division of GP Strategies Corporation.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of Barbados is that you can get the job done while still enjoying a truly wonderful lifestyle. Like moving to any village in any country, it took a while for us to make new friends, but once we did it opened up a whole new world for us. Barbados is a healthy and exercise-oriented country, with ample leisure and entertainment facilities for adults and kids alike, so we benefit from a very good quality of life. I also enjoy the fact that I can get involved in local society and give something back to the country, ranging from developing beekeeping to playing a lead role in establishing the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Nowhere is perfect, and Barbados undoubtedly has its challenges, but overall I remain convinced that the country still has enormous potential and a bright future. So much so that I recently formed a group of mainly local investors to purchase the Cockspur Rum brand, with a mandate to put top quality Barbados rum firmly on the global map.
Barbados has worked well for my business and my family. With both of our children born here, my wife Krissi and I are happily ensconced in our home and fully committed to staying here indefinitely. We burnt our boats a long time ago.