Beepats, now 70, wary of competition from foreign distributors
The distribution company Beepats is marking 70 years in business, but it is worried about being displaced by foreign companies entering the market to cash in on Guyana’s oil bonanza.
“Recently we have seen regional distributors entering our market…to compete with us and in some cases win over our international agency brands that we would have carried for 30 years showing a 6 to 7 percent continuous growth from year to year,” the company’s General Manager Hema Singh said at an anniversary event Sunday night at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.
According to Singh, the competition in the sector has caused price increases of 15 to 25 percent on some key household products.
“This severely displaces our market share. However, we have stood strong and will continue to source new, quality goods at affordable prices for our customers,” she said.
Singh also vouched for the company’s strict adherence to business regulations.
“Beepats has and always will strive to adhere to all labour laws and organizational safety and health regulations. We have ensured our goods are stored within the guidelines and sold with the guidelines,” she declared.
And despite the many challenges including the recent COVID-19 pandemic, she said the company has managed to upkeep its standards, without increasing its prices.
Meanwhile, in brief remarks, Beepats Chief Executive Officer Dennis Beepat said this is a period of transition for the business.
As he stepped down from management, the CEO announced that the business is now owned and is being operated by his two son’s Jonathan and Kristofer Beepat.
They are supported by Singh, who was appointed to the post of General Manager about a year ago.
“This is a period of transition at Beepats…The transition time has come now,” the CEO said.
And despite many opportunities to stay and live overseas, where he studied for years, Jonathan Beepat said that he has chosen to return and continue the family’s legacy here.
“As Guyana changes and we see influx of more diverse cultures, our business model must do the same,” Jonathan said.
He added, “Guyana on various levels is very challenging to live but we are focus and determine to continue growing our business and family legacy”.
Beepats was founded in 1953 by Madho Beepat, who once operated a fabric/cloth stall in the La Penitence Market.
His son, Dennis Beepat, established the store which is located on Regent Street, Georgetown. Today, the business is the local distributor for international products such as Airwick and Brunswick.
And to better run their operations, they established a 75,000 square feet distribution center in Sophia to adequately house its growing fleet and personnel to service supermarkets and businesses across the country.
In recognition of their service and dedication, Beepats on Sunday awarded staff who have worked with the company for over 10 years.
The company’s longest serving staff has 50 years of service.
They each received a plaque.