As the Government continues to provide the necessary programmes and support for local manufacturers to increase export capacity and expand into new markets, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon along with President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association, Tricia Coosal toured one of the four facilities of Kamri Glass, Marabella on 22 September, 2021. The tour which was facilitated by the husband and wife duo, Directors Kameel Khan and Rizwana Khan provided the team with an insight into their operations, state of the art equipment and innovative products.
Kamri Investments Limited, trading under the name Kamri Glass, is a family owned and managed company in operation for over 20 years and is involved in the mass production of tempered glass, aluminum doors and windows for private/residential and commercial markets. Kamri Glass produces a range of products including glass partitions, railings, cupboard doors, bi-fold doors, patio doors, bath enclosures and other glass architectural products. During the visit, the Trade Minister commended the company on being the only manufacturer of tempered and laminated glass in the Caribbean. The company has experienced exponential growth over the last five (5) years as evident by its increased exports and receiving the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association award for Small Manufacturer of the Year in 2017.
The Directors noted that much of their opportunities, and capacity for expansion and mass production were a direct result of investment in modern machinery and equipment and continuous participation in both trade missions and the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC). Mr Khan highlighted that the company always strives to be a trail blazer and will continue to make the necessary investments to develop and introduce new and innovative products to the market. The investment in technology at Kamri Glass has afforded the SME to reduce production time and increase quality and quantity to meet local and regional standards and demands. Quality is of uttermost importance as Kamri ensures that all equipment is certified annually in keeping with international standards.
The company’s monthly exports account for 10% of local sales and their products are exported to the Region inclusive of Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Grenada and outfitting several major hotels in the Region. Kamri Glass is seeking to expand their footprint in the Caribbean and will soon be entering the Guyana market with a branded showroom and is working along with the EXIM Bank to capitalize on this opportunity. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Kamri reported increased sales and activity throughout and was able to fulfil major export orders by hoteliers in the region as they seek to prepare for post-pandemic tourism.
In terms of future plans, Kamri Glass will be expanding its operations into green and renewable energy through the manufacturing of solar panels. Minister Gopee-Scoon was very pleased by this initiative as it aligns with the Government’s policies in both Vision 2030 and the Roadmap to Recovery report. As they move towards finalizing the introduction of solar panels, she encouraged the company to access the available grants through the Research and Development Facility which provide funding to assist firms in conducting research to develop innovative products, processes, systems and services. She also spoke of the Export Booster Initiative which provides grant funding to firms involved in green technology and environmentally friendly practices in their production process.
The Minister emphasized the importance of SMEs in providing employment, increasing production, earning foreign exchange and supporting the diversification efforts of the Government. She reiterated the Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with SMEs to support and facilitate their growth and development.