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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Moving Carnival forward EXPRESS EDITORIAL

T marks an advance of some historic importance when the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce recognises in the field of Carnival an achievement worthy of its Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
At the Chamber’s inaugural “Champions of Business” presentation last month Dean Ackin, the emerging entrepreneur, has earned acclaim as bandleader of Tribe, but more so as innovator over such a range of management capacity and improved arrangements as to transform the “Carnival experience”.
More than just a mas maker and provider of costumes, sections, and music, Mr Ackin made it easier for masqueraders to register online, and more comfortable and enjoyable to play.
Introducing the all-inclusive facilities, he made possible the real-time supply of mas players’ wants and needs, right there, on the road, including cool-down air to beat the heat. 
The original Tribe itself has now begotten a second Carnival band, Bliss, and created support business in Ultimate Events.
Mr Ackin’s pathway, including gaining a BSc management degree, has not been exactly typical of bandleaders. But at least T&T’s primary business group has acknowledged his contribution, and that of other nominees, as the entrepreneurial way forward for Carnival, and other areas of culture, not traditionally considered as jump-off points for business development.
As the Chamber’s citation put it: “By expanding its horizons of experience and earnings, and deepening its linkages with the rest of the economy, Dean Ackin’s Ultimate Group is the industry’s first conglomerate.”
Congratulations are in order for the Ackin approach, even as other aspects of Carnival await similar vision, and relevant management and entrepreneurial inputs.
For the thousands of masqueraders who play with Tribe and Bliss continue to endorse the product produced by Mr Ackin and his support team, being repeat customers because they are getting good service and value for their money.
Ultimate Events also puts on pre-Carnival fetes that are well-organised, backed up by tight security that leaves partygoers in a good frame of mind.
So with the Tribe and Bliss supporters being mostly young, upwardly mobile citizens—joined in those bands by the many visitors from abroad who are also so inclined—there is hope the innovative attractions introduced by Mr Ackin and company will continue to make a mark on the national festival.
And this generation of masqueraders, and those to come, will insist on higher standards, so ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago Carnival can continue to boast of being the “Greatest Show On Earth”, at least in this part of the world.
We can only trust that the government of the day, through the National Carnival Commission, will nominate like-minded forward thinkers who—in conjunction with T&T’s youthful entrepreneurs—will attempt to make it better and better in the years ahead.

Story Created: Nov 8, 2014 at 3:01 AM EC

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