Farfan, in $800M joint venture, opens heavy-duty machinery showroom
With an investment of $800 million, the Farfan and Mendes Group of Guyana and FT Farfan of Trinidad and Tobago launched a new company called Ibis Construction Equipment Sales and Rentals (ICON) on Wednesday and opened the doors to its brand new showroom at LBI, East Coast Demerara.
“Timing is everything in business,” Andrew Mendes, Chairman of ICON said at a ceremony.
Mendes explained that the partnership was “nothing new” as the two companies have collaborated for over 50 years. With the advent of Guyana’s booming oil and gas sector and the expected exponential growth, the two companies decided to team up once again to tap into the success.
“We are excited to be operating in Guyana and bring with us industry-leading brands to be part of the continued development and growth of such a dynamic market.
“Our years of experience and partnerships with our suppliers and customers combine to make this venture a unique opportunity to serve our valued customers,” he stated. The ICON Chairman emphasised that focus would not only be placed on the petroleum sector but mostly on construction as ICON’s mandate is mainly to support contractors with building solutions to allow more efficiency and to help prepare for the development that lies ahead.
Alan Fitzwilliam, the Chief Executive Officer of FT Farfan, who will serve as Managing Director of ICON, said the company intends to take a “simple” approach to business, having lived through the oil and gas boom of the twin-island republic.
He added too that much attention should be placed on managing the future growth of the country since while achieving success is an easy feat, how that success is managed determines its trajectory.
“Managing growth is what I like to call a nice problem because growth is sought by many but well managed by few,” Fitzwilliam said.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill stated that the launch sends a clear signal that the government welcomes private sector development for the modernization and transformation of Guyana.
“We see ourselves as policymakers, people who create the incentive schemes…and allow the private sector to get their feet in, do what they know to do to help lift this country to greatness,” the Public Works Minister stated.
And while oil and gas is said to be the “hot topic,” Edghill pointed out that in order to facilitate Guyana’s modernisation and transformation infrastructural development is key. He urged the ICON executives to engage with Guyana’s small and medium-sized contractors “so that their profits would not be eaten up” trying to purchase equipment to execute contracts.
Instead, he added that it can open another market to facilitate rentals.
ICON represents internationally established industry brands such as JCB, Belle, Multiquip, Lincoln Electric, Linde, Thompson Pumps, DeWalt/Milwaukee, Generac and JLG among other leading brands. The company currently has in its employ a total of 10 locals and this number is expected to increase in the coming months.