When you peruse the showroom at Fibre Tech Industrial Plastics tucked away on Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, a stone’s throw away from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) you are inclined to think that it is misplaced, that it ought to occupy space in downtown commercial Georgetown, where more eyes can see what the company has to offer. Somat Alli,, the seventy-one-year-old proprietor couldn’t disagree more, his line of reasoning being that it says something for what Fibre Tech has to offer that potential customers can find their way from all corners of coastal Guyana deep into what is not always an altogether accessible road to view and all too frequently acquire some of the pieces on offer. If the spacious showroom welcomes ‘all comers,’ the award-winning Guyanese manufacturer feels especially pleased when re-migrants find their way to Fibre Tech, his line of reasoning being that the company challenges a conventional wisdom then when you return to Guyana to ‘start a new life,’ so to speak, you bring everything ‘from foreign’ with you.
On Wednesday when we arrived at the Fibre Tech Complex there were a handful of overseas-based Guyanese who were doing more than casually browsing. They were ‘testing’ products in various ways, sitting in chairs, running their hands across surfaces and making gestures with their hands whilst scrutinizing bathroom sets as if mentally measuring the spaces in their new homes into which these pieces would have to fit.
Over the years Fibre Tech has been up and running, Somat Alli has come to understand that the kind of decision-making that goes into acquiring the pieces that the company offers can sometimes require protracted customer contemplation. Accordingly, he creates discreet distance between himself and the visitors to his showroom, allowing colour, design and sturdiness to speak for themselves, intervening only when issues requiring his personal attention arise…..