THE Covid-19 pandemic has caused many corporate managements to explore areas they originally did not have and one such firm is Lucent Research Ltd, located in Tunapuna.
The company, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this month, manages the complexity of finding and navigating information to bring clients insights that connect creative and strategic thinking.
Detailing how the company has been able to weather the pandemic storm, senior consultant and chief executive Ramon Gregorio, 44, told Express Business on Saturday that the use of new software to collect data and use virtual reality platforms were of paramount importance. to serve customers in the Caribbean and Latin America.
“The one major change we’ve seen in our 15 years in business has been the use of technology and the ease with which it facilitates a service-based environment like ours. Neuro-marketing techniques and wearable smart technologies have become an integral part of business, as a way to make our work more efficient and to capture real-time, real-world insights as consumers see it,” he said. declared.
Gregorio explained that over the years the company has been able to provide market research services to consumers in Trinidad and the region in major industries such as banking in the Caribbean, beverage manufacturing , gaming, telecommunications and insurance services. Lucent Research also provides its research to a wide range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
Expanding its footprint to 16 countries is no easy task and Gregorio said his company has worked exclusively in this country for two years, building its brand. As their work became better known, clients began to contact them from other Caribbean countries.
“Growth in the markets occurred at a rapid pace through project work and also many early morning flights to territories of interest that had market research and knowledge needs. I remember at first I was boarding a LIAT flight to St. Lucia at 5 a.m., arriving there and introducing myself to a crowd of potential customers, then boarding the last flight back to TT at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. the same evening.
“This cycle of visits continued for a few years in all regional and international markets as we sought to grow our customer base and interact with like-minded affiliates who shared our vision of conducting professional and detailed market research. “, pointed out Gregorio.
Coping with Covid
During the pandemic, he said the majority of the company’s customers were affected and business slowed during this time in 2020.
“We were able to weather the storm and maintain wages, but we had to do it in a very focused way and manage our expenses and cash flow. As we emerge from the pandemic, business has not fully recovered, but many of our clients are assessing their needs and making decisions based on available funds, as they too have been impacted by budget cuts and expense reductions. “said Gregorio.
When asked if the Central Statistical Office (CSO) should work with a research company like his, to get data on important issues out to the public more quickly, he said “definitely”.
“There needs to be clear rules of engagement and practice working with CSOs because companies like Lucent and our use of technology can access some hard-to-reach audiences a little easier and leverage resources on the ground to cover a wider geographical space in a short period of time. time space. »
Gregorio identified that the end goal is to assist in the collection of real-time data that can be used by national decision makers to support more evidence-based decision-making.
Giving advice on how to improve market research in this country, he suggested developing better feedback loops where real-time data collection is a priority.
“These virtual or physical spaces can be created and citizen input can be solicited in various segments and at different times depending on the issues of the day.”
Goals for Tunapuna
Gregorio also now has increased responsibilities as he was elected president of the Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GTCIC) late last month.
He said the areas the House wants to continue to address are crime and traffic jams.
“We intend to contact and collaborate with institutions such as the Tunapuna Regional Corporation and the UWI to discuss a traffic survey/assessment for Tunapuna and surrounding areas that will help further clarify the issues in this area and to develop long-term solutions for businesses and citizens. look alike.”
Another main goal, Gregorio pointed out, is to attract Chamber members who may feel underrepresented due to the nature and size of their businesses.
“Many businesses are now emerging from the pandemic in a different way – fewer revenue streams, fewer staff and an economic minefield that is difficult to navigate. As a Chamber, we need to listen, get feedback and make representations to central and local government on potential improvements that can benefit businesses,” he said.
He also added that plans are underway to meet with the business community both physically and virtually over the next two weeks.
“We intend to kick things off by organizing visits to the jurisdictions that make up the Chamber so that our new Board of Directors can become familiar with the macro and micro-issues of the day experienced by our members and non-members.
“Our online meeting will also be another opportunity to get feedback and gather data from a wider range of companies that we may not be able to reach physically due to the wide geographical coverage covered by the GTCIC,” he remarked.