LASCELLES CHIN ….The Journey of a Jamaican Entrepreneur
Lascelles Chin is founder, chairman and Chief executive officer of the Lasco Group of Companies in Jamaica. The Lasco group is made up of Lasco Distributors, Lasco Foods Successors Ltd, Lasco Foods Ltd, Lasco Barbados Ltd, Lasco Financial Services Limited and Lasco Remittance Services. The range of products and services delivered by the companies is diverse. Lasco Foods Successors Ltd is responsible for the manufacturing and exporting of soy based products while Lasco Foods Ltd is responsible for the packaging of milk powders. Lasco Distributors Ltd is responsible for the local distribution of the ever expanding range of consumer and pharmaceutical products that has made Lasco a household name in Jamaica. These companies currently run by Lascelles Chin marks the present milestone on an entrepreneurial journey by Lascelles Chin that has stretched for more than forty years, Mr. Chin intends to continue this quest for another forty years and beyond. His entrepreneurial journey started in 1961. According to Mr. Chin, he started business with £175 and was at a great disadvantage as many prominent families were dominating the commercial landscape in Jamaica at the time. He persevered, did his research and learnt as much as he could about manufacturing and distribution practices, importation and various related fields. His policy was to deal honestly with his customers, work very hard and most importantly, avoid spending more than he earned, (Observer 2009). Accordingly this helped him to achieve success. He also realized quite early in life that the only way to maintain success as a business entrepreneur was by honing his skills, hard work, determination, perseverance, clarity of vision and the ability to see obstacles as challenges, (Observer 2009).
After graduating from high school in the 1950s Lascelles Chin worked as a lab technician for a short period before taking up a job as a salesman. He did well, and focused on saving portions of his earnings which he later used to start National Trading Company. This principle of not spending more than you earn or saving as much as you can from your earnings would set the stage for his development as an entrepreneur. With this business he sold peas and powdered pepper on a commission basis. He later became a distributor of Henkel products upon recommendation from a visiting representative. The business did well by targeting furniture manufacturers with the Pattex brand of adhesive. Later, during the 1970s, when people were leaving Jamaica in droves, Mr. Chin decided to stay and expand his warehouse and factory. Here Mr. Chin demonstrates the strength and resolution to move against the tide and lay foundations for the future when others were packing up and calling it quits. With time the business moved from Orange Street, downtown Kingston to East Street and then to its current location on Red Hills Road, (Gleaner 2006). He later went on operate other lines of business, Kingston Heirlooms, manufacturing and exporting furniture, Datrex Limited, computer supplies and parts, Triple A Car Rental, Zenith Insurance Brokers, Soft Sheen and Exotic Farms Limited to name a few, (Gleaner 2006). It was however the LASCO branded businesses LASCO Foods Limited and LASCO Distributors Limited operated by Mr. Chin from the 1980’s which made him and his businesses household names within Jamaica.
The motivation behind his businesses……..the unfulfilled needs identified A journey which started with a man selling peas and powered seasoning on a commission basis had now developed into a number of businesses driven by the same man fuelled with a passion to deliver the best value for money to its customers. According to the company’s website, Lascelles Chin founded LASCO in 1988; its initial operation included the importation of bulk skimmed milk powder and repackaging of sachets for distribution within the Jamaican market. Chin’s intention...
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