Laurel V Williams
Owing to the covid19 pandemic, many businesses in TT and the world have been forced temporarily or permanently to shut their doors or to downsize.
But PBS Technologies (Trinidad Ltd) opened its flagship office on Friday at South Park Plaza, at the Tarouba Link Road in San Fernando, creating a stronger regional footprint and a more diverse portfolio of products and services.
The opening marked the tech company’s fifth office in TT. The other locations are in Port of Spain, Curepe, El Socorro and Scarborough.
Regional CEO Ian John said the company chose to invest and not scale back, recognising the importance of digital technology.
“We are here to invest in the future, and the future is digital. That means we have to ensure our young people are educated, trained and skilled in the new wealth creation mode of digital technologies,” John said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“For us, this is a huge investment. At this time, we need to invest more in the future of this country. Future in terms of our young people and the talents we need to create and develop. We have shifted in a new era where wealth and GDP are generated by digital.”
PBS Technologies, formerly Massy Technologies Info Com, is a member of the Musson Group of companies.
In November 2020, the group acquired Massy Technologies Info Com and renamed it.
The company offers a range of solutions for the financial, retail and commerce sectors. A release said it also works alongside the leading information, technology and communications (ICT) manufacturers worldwide on major ICT projects in the region.
PBS Technologies operates in 22 countries in the Caribbean and Central America, with over 2,100 IT professionals. It has more than 50 years’ experience innovating in multiple markets and over US$250 million in annual revenue.
PBS Technologies has been working with many regional partners to help them digitally adapt to the new normal caused by the pandemic.
John said it does not matter where a person is on Planet Earth. The ability to compete, produce and have services consumed by the world are very important factors.
He said two years before the pandemic, the company decided that people can be productive remotely.
He estimated that in TT, there are an estimated 250 employees. Most of the programmers and developers live in the south and central areas. John said it did not make sense that they have to go to Port of Spain, sometimes facing two hours in traffic.
“We wanted a hub in the south. This is a state-of-the-art facility. A lot of new futuristic technologies will come out of this space,” John said. “We hope with the easing of the pandemic, maybe next year or so, that we do not go back to the old mode of having people having to go through traffic, three and four hours of unproductive time.”
The staff was expected to go on a retreat after the ribbon-cutting. The team was expected to look at all new emerging technologies, such as augmented reality, extended reality and artificial intelligence (AI).
“AI is playing a major feature in the future, with a lot of jobs being displaced by hyper-automation. That simply means that anything that can be automated will be automated,” John explained.
Algorithms and software will automate many jobs. It means many people will have to be reskilled and retooled to be able to continue to provide for their families.
“That is the basic premise of what we are trying to do. It is an investment, a call to the government and private sector to say we need to invest in our young people. We need to invest in the new way of creating wealth. That new way is digital. “
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