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Ensure business profitability before corporate citizenship- Colin O’Neal

According to local businessman Colin O’Neal, Government and the business community need to work in a more collaborative relationship for the success of all parties. Photo: VINO/File
Attorney, Businessman and Developer Colin O’Neal has said that securing the business, ensuring that it is profitable, should be the first order of business, before taking on corporate citizenship. Photo: Internet Source
Attorney, Businessman and Developer Colin O’Neal has said that securing the business, ensuring that it is profitable, should be the first order of business, before taking on corporate citizenship. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It is often said that the business community needs to play a more important role in various aspects – social, economic, political- to the communities in which they operate, and to the country by extension.

However, Attorney, Businessman, and Developer Colin O’Neal has said that securing the business, ensuring that it is profitable should be the first order of business, before taking on corporate citizenship.

Mr O’Neal was speaking on the weekly programme Umoja on Thursday April 27, 2017 with host Cromwell Smith aka Eju Enka on ZBVI 780 AM, on the topic: The social, economic and political role and responsibility of the local business community in the BVI, Part 2.

At the time he was responding to a question from Smith on whether the business community was playing their role in the stewardship of the whole country.

Mr O’Neal in his response said he was not assuming responsibility for the entire VI business community, whereby some perform exemplary public services and others perhaps not so much.

People go into business for a reason

“From where I sit, I think you first have to start from the premise that people go into business for a particular reason,” he said. “There are those who would say that their sole purpose of being in business or running a business is to compete and win, and there is no further responsibility than that. Some businesses I would say, particularly in businesses where several people are involved, shareholders in the company, those persons are investors in that company, and their primary objective is to realise on returns on labour and capital. On the other end, I suppose there those who are few and far between I would guess that they see business as a tool for social engineering, where I can use my business to promote the social good in the community.”

Most businesses think of profits/success

The businessman remarked; however, that he believes most of the businesses pull somewhere in between.

“…in where we definitely have as a primary objective, the goal that we provided for ourselves and the people who have invested in our companies. I think if you don’t do that if you don’t build a strong company, all of your other goals, social engineering goals will become a moon point. It's only strong companies that can have that significant impact in the community,” he argued.

Securing the ship first

Mr O’Neal concluded that it is important for all businesses not to lose sight of the first objective in order that they may carry out a second, “which is to fulfill a responsibility to the wider community, which is what you call corporate citizenship, contributing to particularly the social and to some extent the economic and political welfare of the community at large.”

He also mentioned the need for the Government and the business community to work in a more collaborative relationship for the success of all parties.

16 Responses to “Ensure business profitability before corporate citizenship- Colin O’Neal”

  • cay (29/04/2017, 11:36) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    Wow did he say that?
    • SMH (29/04/2017, 13:41) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
      Its common sense. How can you help others if you need help? Only a profitable company can give back. How can you give if you dont have?
  • Condoleeza (29/04/2017, 13:32) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I didn't like the show. His answers were too vague. I like a straight talker. Kind of hard to pick up any good out of that show. He should have left the Attorney home and bring out the business man to speak on the questions posed. He is an excellent attorney though.
    • open wide (29/04/2017, 21:50) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      My problem is that it is always the man at the bottom who gets the dirty end while the ones at the top get advance notice so they can escape or the ink in the pen dries out before their business fails
  • LAW (29/04/2017, 15:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It was a good topic,but his answers were too vague,I guess the lawyer he is,he had to be cautious of what he was saying. And it was up to the listeners to figure out his answers.
    • ccc (29/04/2017, 22:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Financial advisers are no longer required to act in the clients' best interests...
  • Soffrito (29/04/2017, 16:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's all folks! Obvious speak & not much substance. It is a know and widely held fact that you must tread water before you can swim - same in any business endeavor. I'd have thought that he would have championed that more should and could be done (not necessarily monetary donations) by corporate entities locally. Being a local and from the upper crust this is somewhat indiciative of their belief system - once you have made it to hell with the rest stuck in the rat race.
  • Street reporter (29/04/2017, 18:36) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Give us the Bob Marley concept. Simple, grass root and imaging you are speaking to a 5 yr old... These Vague answers just a turn off. He is always doing it. Every show he is on. Can never give simple straight forward answer. Stupes..Just a real turn off. Expect better.
  • qc (29/04/2017, 21:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Heard he is running but he cannot be demanding no full support of all. He has to first show that he his capable to lead and help the poor
  • fish (29/04/2017, 21:48) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    ruthlessly selfish corporate objectives !
    • Jack B. (30/04/2017, 07:40) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      If Every business with over 75 employees should be mandated to provide a troupe for festival 15 or more strong. The BVI has one of the strongest private industry in the Caribbean.. Start off with public works and water and sewage Govt. They need to put a troupe in as a trend setter. That's one way to grow our festival and have it represent the diversity that we are. Our problem is not the performance of our private businesses. Its the performance if our govt.
  • E. Leonard (29/04/2017, 22:29) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Undoubtedly, all business, save for non-profits, are in business to make a profit. Their primary responsibility is to owners/shareholders. Except for monopolies, businesses have competitors that drive how businesses are operated to turn a profit and sustain their future existence. Turning a profit may entail buisnessses differentiating themselves in some fashion, i.e., price, service quality, post service, cost, customer service/engagement, responsiveness, operating hours, product variety..........etc. Typically, a business can out perform rivals only if it can establish a difference and preserve it. They must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost, or do both. Further, despite the belief of too many businesses, business is first and foremost about meeting the needs and expectations of customers, not the need of owners. There is some truth to the notion that customers are always right.

    Moreover, though businesses responsibility is to owners/shareholders, they are part of the community and must demonstrate some corporate social responsibility (CSR). They cannot just be taking from the community; they must give back to the community. They cannot just be in the community; they must be part of the community.
  • Jimmy smith (29/04/2017, 23:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    colin needs to get his head out of the clouds and deal with the issues on hand,

    would not be able to represent us properly never had to do without,
  • Bohannon (30/04/2017, 07:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    People are begging and borrowing here in Tortola. How many start up businesses by so-called locals have shuttered their doors in the last ten years? Talk that.
  • @ E.Leonard. 100% S+ speech (30/04/2017, 07:30) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Beautiful. Nice. Well said. Hope you learnt your lesson and make the necessary changes. Talk is Easy but change is courageous, unselfish and worth trying.. Don't be a Leopard leader.. U know what's right. Do it.
  • great show (01/05/2017, 08:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The show was very good. I am a business man a d i would have answered exactly that way. You have to e careful how you say and do things in the BVI especially when you deal with the public. Now i think that we have lots of big businesses here that could do much more for the general community and nit just their own kind. The Gorvernment of the day and some of there executive mamagememt are the ones who continuously male it worst to do business in the BVI if your money isnt big enough and they are also making the tourism industry worst by implememting and incresing taxes in the wrong places naming natural resourses and labour.

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