Sugar personnel would be justified in insisting Raj Singh openly declare his capabilities and his expectations of them

Dear Editor,

Whether deliberately, or the result of reflex action, various contributors have been publicising on TV, at rallies, and in print their respective perceptions of GuySuCo’s proposed Executive Chairman’s particular technical and related qualifications, leading importantly to an appreciation of the individual’s capacity for genuine leadership, at a time all are agreed that the sugar industry is begging to be retrieved from the slope of rapid decline.

The discussion so far would appear to have overlooked the fact that those who desperately need to know who is their about-to-be enthroned leader are in the very sugar industry – ie, personnel in field, factory and related operations, supervisors and managers. It is they whose morale sorely needs to be uplifted, who are anxious to have their self-confidence restored, who wish to regain respect for their contributions, and to be energised to rise to the challenges inherent in the thrust for greater productivity.

They therefore would be justified in insisting that their new leader openly declare his capabilities, his expectations of them individually and as groups, so that they can better understand how to cooperate in serving the organisation as a cohesive team.

In the current circumstances, however, any enthusiasm is tempered by the surrounding reticence and obfuscation ‒ perhaps even lack of visibility – of the identified man for this uncertain moment.

They, like other interested stakeholders, need to be assured of the extent to which he comprehends past failures and interprets future threats, and whether the relevant resources are available for successfully addressing the inherent complexities.

In this connection, it might just be useful for the prospective Executive Chairman to ponder on the following retrospective excerpted from my letter to Stabroek News dated April 16, 2012:
“SN of April 13, 2012, under the caption: ‘Brazilian Company to develop ethanol plant at Albion Estate,’ reported as follows:

‘Critical to such a venture is a successful sugar industry and the Agriculture Minister is optimistic about the future of GuySuCo, since according to him, the company is successfully confronting the challenges it is currently facing.’

“This Board must assume responsibility for what appeared in the Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2012-2015, which referred to ‘undertakings’ to contribute to the expansion of productivity in the sugar industry through ‘resolving the ‘kinks’ in equipment, and the management of the Skeldon Factory.

“Only two weeks ago therefore, GuySuCo’s Board released the following ‘major rehabilitation including the redesigning and re-engineering of several aspects of the factory,’ such as re-engineering the bagasse feeding system; re-designing cane conveyors; replacement of a 5MW alternator; modification of punt-dumpers; and a new well.

“Additionally, the release stated that international engineering experts and technical professionals in the area of diffusion technology had been identified.”

One reason why GuySuCo needs leadership that will resolve some of the confusion embedded in the above quote.

Yours faithfully,
EB John

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