Sep 18, 2021 News
– Publication on iconic business leader, Dr. Yesu Persaud, now available
Kaieteur News – The University of Guyana Press (UGP) and the Office of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE), on Friday September 10, 2021, officially launched the first in a series of books focusing on and highlighting the life and works of four outstanding Guyanese who were awarded the first set of honourary doctorates by the University of Guyana (UG) – Dr. Yesu Persaud, Dr. Jay Sobhraj, Dr. Laura George and Dr. Eddy Grant. The first in the Guyanese Exemplar Series publication launched is titled, “Yesu Persaud – Iconic Leader in Business Innovation” and contains the citation given to Dr. Persaud when he was granted the Honourary Doctorate, his acceptance speech, as well as his advice to young people for achieving success.
A small, simple but significant ceremony was held at UG’s George Walcott Lecture Theater, Turkeyen Campus, and was streamed live via Zoom and Facebook due to COVID-19 protocols.
UG Chancellor, Professor Edward Greene, in his remarks, acknowledged the enormous contributions made by Dr. Persaud to UG and he noted that the institution is very fortunate to have developed a special relationship with Dr. Persaud.
Professor Greene pointed out that the publishing of the book is a testimony to the love, affection, and respect that UG, led by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, and her Senior Management Team, share for this quintessential icon.
He added that the book will form part of a special collection of the UG Exemplar Series and will no doubt immortalise the outstanding contributions of Dr. Persaud to the University, Guyana, the Caribbean, and the world.
“It is a tribute to both Dr. Yesu Persaud and to those who have helped to conceptualise the content and design as a companion to his already magnificent must-read autobiography, Tiger in the Stars. It is futuristic in its presentation, portraying the imagery of achievements of this magnificent human being that could be grasped by the very young. What an inspiration, what a landmark for the University of Guyana and its outreach enterprise, and what better subject than the legendary Dr. Yesu Persaud,” Professor Greene said.
The Chancellor also took the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Persaud on behalf of the UG Council and the University of Guyana Foundation. He said, “It is my pleasure to let you know that our members highly appreciate your agreeing to be an honourary member. In so doing, you have truly elevated the image of our foundation. Your philanthropic zeal, entrepreneurial acumen, and visionary advice will no doubt inspire us to help the University to transform itself into a world-class institution. We deeply appreciate and acknowledge the vast contributions you have made to our national university, your unwavering support, your generosity of spirit, your sense and sensibility of the value of this national university to the sustainable development of Guyana.”
Vice-Chancellor Mohamed-Martin, in her remarks provided a brief background of the Guyanese Exemplar Series Project. She noted that it is a four-part series and the other publications highlighting the life and works of the other three distinguished Guyanese, who were all awarded Honourary Doctorates by UG in 2018, will follow soon.
She noted, “We want the young people to understand and to be introduced to these Guyanese living icons in every way possible.” In reference to the first publication on Dr. Persaud, the VC said, “We thought that creating a tiny book with his speech that he gave when he received his honourary doctorate would inspire everyone.”
She further posited, “The book summarises his journey, achievements, and 10 success points that he wishes to share with his grandchildren or any young person wanting to know what success in business is about. We hope that in reading this little book it will lead persons to want to engage with the larger autobiography published about 10 years ago. This book will be on sale and proceeds will go to the UG Endowment Fund which is being launched to mark UG’s upcoming 60th anniversary.”
Deputy High Commissioner of India to Guyana, His Excellency Vijayakumar K., in his remarks said, “Dr. Persaud’s lifestyle has taught many how to become leading businessmen in Guyana. He is well known for his contributions in business in the Region and the world and because of his work, he was able to put Guyana on the world map.”
The diplomat noted that Dr. Persaud has left an indelible mark in business and can easily be described as an innovative leader, adding that his philanthropy work in Guyana and around the world continues to be impactful.
UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Engagement, Professor Emanuel Cummings, gave an overview of Dr. Persaud’s contribution to medicine.
He recalled that in previous years, the University was struggling with its physical infrastructure in the MBBS programme and it was with the intervention and networking of Dr. Persaud that resulted in the birthing of the Yesu Persaud Medical Centre which caters to the development and training of UG graduates and postgraduates.
“We are able to train more students. We now have an excess of 25 practicing pediatricians and so far we have trained over 120 specialists in medicine. The Medical Centre has been a tremendous development in the infrastructure of the medical programme at UG and to Guyana at large,” Professor Cummings explained.
Professor Leyland Lucas, Dean of UG’s School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI), outlined the importance of Dr. Persaud’s work and accomplishments to business students. He noted that coming from humble beginnings does not exempt persons from becoming exceptional in the world especially with an example of Dr. Persaud who came from a very humble background.
Professor Lucas highlighted, “Too often we hear about the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates but our students need to be aware of the successes of the business leaders we have here in Guyana. Our students need to know that being successful in a business is not just about making money but it is also about giving back. It is also about being transformational in everything that you do and striving as much as possible to show others the path available for their futures.”
Head of UG Press, Ms. Melissa Bess, gave an overview of the book. She noted, “The book documents from his birth on the Diamond Sugar Plantation, his time in the United Kingdom as well as his brief stint in the Public Service then his subsequent journey into the private sector. It is in the private sector that the mammoth of a legacy was born.”
“This book is a necessity in documenting the story and history of Dr. Yesu Persaud and his impact in the private sector and the growth of many local household names such as Demerara Distillers Limited as well as Demerara Bank Limited. These institutions are strongholds; not only locally but internationally.”
She pointed out that Dr. Persaud has won a variety of awards throughout his illustrious decades-long career. Some of these most notable ones include the highest honour of Guyana – the Golden Arrow of Achievement (A.A) and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award presented to him by then Indian President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on January 09, 2006, at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.”
Dr. Persaud in his response to the many accolades heaped on him during the ceremony said he was very touched and is extremely thankful that he was given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of persons. He explained that he will continue writing to share his knowledge and experiences so that young people would be motivated and encouraged to achieve their full potential.
Copies of the book were handed over to repositories of the UG library, the Guyana National Library as well as the National Archives of Guyana. Two young children accompanying their mother who works at the National Library also received copies of the book.
In receiving the books on behalf of UG’s Library, Chief Librarian, Mrs. Gwyneth George, said, “We are happy to legally hand over the book to the repository because long after we are gone Dr. Yesu Persaud’s book will continue to live on for generations to come.”
UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Institutional Advancement, Dr. Mellissa Ifill, gave the vote of thanks. The programme was eloquently chaired by Mr. Jainarine Deonauth, Director, Department of Events, Conference, and Communications, University of Guyana.
The limited first edition of “Dr. Yesu Persaud Iconic Leader in Business Innovation” is available at a cost of G$2,000 from PACE ([email protected]) and the UG Campus Store that can be reached by clicking the link here: https://store.uog.edu.gy/product-category/books.
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