The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited (West Indian Tobacco) is a public company whose shares are listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and held by over 3000 shareholders
The company was established in 1904 by Mr. John Phillips, businessman and founder of the tobacco business in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1948, the manufacturing plant was transitioned from Port-of-Spain to Champ Fleurs.
Currently this plant supplies 25 brands in 137 stock keeping units (SKU’s) both to the local Trinidad and Tobago market, and regionally to 16 CARICOM Members and Associate countries. These include: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
The Company’s mission is to sustain its market leadership position and to be the number one manufacturing centre in the Caribbean. Locally we distribute through third party distribution to approximately 7000 outlets around Trinidad and Tobago. Our local product portfolio is made up of three main brands, Dunhill, DuMaurier and Broadway in 14 stock keeping units.
Our Statement of Business Principles and our Standards of Business Conduct underpin our commitment to high standards of corporate behaviour. Conducting our business with honesty, integrity and transparency is not only the right thing to do, but is also critical to the continuing development of a business that is responsible, successful and sustainable in the long term. The Standards require all staff to act with high standards of business integrity, to comply with all laws and regulations wherever our companies operate and to ensure that our business standards are never compromised for the sake of results.
Anthony E Phillip joined West Indian Tobacco in 1973 as a Manager in its Production Department and was appointed Production Manager/Director in 1984, after completing a period of secondment to British American Tobacco Kenya Limited. He was appointed Managing Director in 1998 and following his retirement in 2006, became Chairman in 2007. He was also Chairman and Managing Director of British American Tobacco (Malawi) Limited (1994-1998), and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, Carib Brewery and Caribbean Development Company Limited. Mr Phillip, who began his career as an Industrial Chemist at Caroni Limited, holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration from The University of the West Indies.
Before his appointment as managing Director Mr Meffre has served in several senior roles within the British American Tobacco Group, including Lagos, Nigeria as General Manager, West African markets where he had responsibility for 25 markets. Mr Meffre also held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of British American Tobacco Ghana, Benin and Cameroon. Over his 22 years in the British American Tobacco Group, he has amassed a wide range of experience in the key functional areas of Strategic Planning, Marketing, Operations and Human Resource Management. Mr Meffre brings this expertise to ensure continued sustainability of The West Indian Tobacco footprint, as it continues to serve 24 Caribbean markets through its British American Tobacco Associates.
Ingrid L-A Lashley was appointed a Director in August 2008 and the Chairman of the Audit Committee in March 2009. Ms Lashley is currently the Chairman of the Bourse Group and National Enterprises Limited, in which capacity she sits on the Boards of the Investee Companies. She also holds directorships in the Eco-Industrial Development Company of Tobago Limited and the Angostura Group. Ms Lashley serves as a member of the Licensing Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago. An experienced banker, Ms Lashley is the holder of a Masters in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and also carries the designations of Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Accountant.
Diana Hernandez Gonzalez was appointed a Director in January 2020. Ms Hernandez has over 14 years of experience in the BAT Group, having worked in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, United Kingdom and Venezuela in the finance function. Prior to 1 January 2020, Ms Hernandez was the head of the finance function for BAT’s Group interest in Mexico and Central America and currently heads the finance function for BAT Group’s interest in the Caribbean and Northern Latin America. She holds a Degree in Finance Management from Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.
Ranjit R Jeewan was appointed a Director in November 1986 and has been a member of the Board’s Audit Committee since 1990. Mr Jeewan has worked in the tobacco industry since 1968 and headed the Finance function of West Indian Tobacco for 16 years until his retirement in 2002. During this period, he was seconded on overseas assignments within the BAT Group to the United Kingdom and Singapore. Following his retirement, Mr Jeewan held directorships in the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the Trinidad and Tobago Central Depository. He also held the Chairmanship in each of these companies.
Juan Carlos Restrepo Piedrahita was appointed a Director in November 2019. Mr Restrepo Piedrahita brings with him over 14 years of experience within the BAT Group having worked in Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. Mr Restrepo Piedrahita currently heads the Legal and External Affairs function for the BAT subsidiary in Colombia and is also responsible for the anti-illicit engagement efforts in the Caribbean and Northern Latin America. Mr Restrepo Piedrahita acted as the Presidential Security Advisor in Colombia from 2016 to 2018 where he provided advice on all issues related to national security, public safety and cyber defence. He holds both a Law degree as well as a Master’s in International Contracting Regime from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and a further Master’s in National Defence and Security from Escuela Superior de Guerra de Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia.
Isha P Reuben-Theodore was appointed a Director in November 2014. Mrs Reuben-Theodore currently heads the Finance function at West Indian Tobacco and has over 16 years of experience in the tobacco industry both locally and within the BAT Group’s interest in the Caribbean. She is also the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Company’s Pension Plan. She is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants U.K. (FCCA), with over 20 years’ experience in various aspects of finance with emphasis on Financial Management and Financial Reporting, Accounting and Auditing. She holds memberships in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute.
Arturo Rodriguez Lordmendez was appointed a Director in February 2020. He brings with him 25 years of experience within the BAT Group, having managed the Operations function in more than 10 countries spanning the continent of Africa, the Americas as well as the United Kingdom, where he led the unit responsible for the global strategy and development initiatives for the Operations function. He currently heads the Operations function for BAT Group’s interest in the Caribbean, Canada and Northern Latin America. He holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Sciences from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Victoria in Mexico.
Danielle F Chow offers herself for election as a Director at the March 2020 Annual Shareholders meeting. She is an attorney-at-law, who has operated locally and in the wider Caribbean at a strategic level in the private sector over the last 30 years, largely in multinational environments. Mrs Chow had over 20 years’ experience in the tobacco industry at various management positions in the legal, government affairs, human resource, security and sustainability functions. She is a former Company Secretary and Director of West Indian Tobacco as well as the Chairman of its Pension Plan. Mrs Chow is currently a Commissioner of the Elections and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago and a Director and Audit Committee Member of Unilever Caribbean Limited. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from The University of West Indies and a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School, and is a member of the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute.