HARRIS PAINTS, which has been one of the staple and most successful companies on the island, revealed plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary recently during a press conference which was entitled 'Reflection 50 years and Introduction to Quantum i12™ and Strokes of Genius'. The company continues to make its mark not only with its quality products but its commitment to being involved positively within the communities across the island.
That point was made by John Marshall, Vice President of Operations and Head of Business Unit, Barbados, Harris Paints, who stressed during his speech that the company had a lot to be thankful for and to be proud of.
"Our colourful journey began right here in Barbados in 1972, when our founders, Ralph Johnson and Andrew Phillips, driven by a streak of independence and entrepreneurship, decided to shake up the monopolistic paint marker and launch a small but spirited new company called Harris Paints. With a focus on colour, quality and value, we have since grown to become the largest independent paint company in the Eastern Caribbean, and we have managed to take significant market share from the larger multi-nationals we continue to compete against," he added.
Ian Kenyon, Chief Executive Officer, echoed similar statements, making it clear that the company had done well, but better was to come.
"Getting to 50 is indeed an achievement in any context, cricket for one but in Business it really is quite a rare event. Based on global statistics, only 45% of all companies make it to their 5th birthday, only 36% to their 10th and only 21 % to their 20th. The statistics then stop but you can be sure that very few companies get to celebrate 50!
The history and growth of Harris Paints in Barbados is indeed remarkable and inspiring and I hope a poster child of encouragement to every Barbadian who wants to start their own company, especially as it has also driven us to expand across the region and really make our mark across the Caribbean. Since our humble beginnings here in Barbados, Harris Paints has grown by leaps and bounds. After the success of the Barbados launch, we soon launched manufacturing centres into Dominica and St. Lucia and since then have grown organically and via acquisition when we acquired BH Paints in Jamaica. Most recently we opened a new state-of-the art plant in Antigua and I am very proud to say, now employ over 250 people across the region."
Kenyon maintained that the company was at the forefront of innovations.
"Over the past 50 years we have launched many first to market innovations in terms of products, colour delivery and customer service. From the first water-based floor and roofing coatings in the region, to the first computer colour matching and automatic colour dispensing systems, to the first introduction of high-performance coatings and the launch of the first zero VOC, environmentally friendly paint in the region - we have long been pioneers in offering new and meaningful ways to help our customers get the best paint technologies available anywhere in the world," he added.