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May 14, 2023 News
“After contemplating on this idea for a while, I realised that it was a great opportunity for me to fulfill a dream that I had since I migrated to Canada. Simply put, the idea was coming back to Guyana and doing something meaningful, something that would make a difference, and have an impact on the lives of many while making a meaningful contribution to the Guyanese economy”.
By Allyiah Allicock
Kaieteur News – The Amaya Milk Company (AMC) on Friday hit another milestone, as it signed an agreement with Sterling Products Limited to be the distributor of its milk and dairy products.
The local milk company for some of you who may not know, is owned by Canadian-based Guyanese, Mr. Omkaar Sharma, and is located in Region Five.
At the signing of this significant agreement which was held at Parc Rayne, Rahaman’s Park, Houston, Sharma told a gathering that he brought about this venture to reintroduce a functioning dairy sector in Guyana, which would be able to offer fresh nutritious milk to Guyanese after so many years of sub-standard alternatives.
Sharma on Friday had mentioned that this project has been a dream he wanted to accomplish since migrating to Canada some years ago.
According to Sharma, this business was conceptualised after he had brought his new born daughter at the time, Amaya, to Guyana and could not source any fresh milk for her.
“As many of you are aware, the idea of this project came when we brought our new born daughter now eight years old, Amaya to Guyana and we wanted fresh milk for her but we found that fresh milk was something that was taken for granted, it is impossible to find in any supermarket in Guyana,” he recalled.
At the time he shared he was working in the dairy sector in North America and to him “it felt crazy” that it was something that he did not believe Guyana of all places did not have, that is a functioning dairy sector.
“We have all the conditions for a successful dairy sector in Guyana, we have land, we have Guyana, we have the skilled people, we have the knowledge, why don’t we have a dairy sector,” Sharma stressed.
The father of two said the idea had stuck with him for a while, and after examining all the pieces all it needed was somebody to bring it to fruition.
“After contemplating on this idea for a while, I realised that it was a great opportunity for me to fulfill a dream that I had since I migrated to Canada; that was coming back to Guyana and doing something meaningful, something that would make a difference and have an impact on the lives of many while making a meaningful contribution to the Guyanese economy,” he said.
After deciding to go through with the idea, Sharma mentioned that it was around the time the elections period was on in Guyana. He said even though the political conditions were not quite right at the time, he knew it was something that would not persist. So in the meantime, he used the opportunity to started planning how he would go about bringing such a business back to his home country.
“So I started to plan this project in the background as we all waited,” he noted.
According to Sharma, the opportunity then struck when President Irfaan Ali was elected to office and he had made an appeal back then to the Diaspora to come to Guyana and invest in the country.
“I knew that that time had come, 25 percent by 2025 was and continues to be music to my ears it is my inspiration, when I saw all the hard work put in by our Agriculture Minister [Zulfikar Mustapha] and by Dr. Peter Ramsaroop of GoInvest to make investing in Guyana easier, I knew that the government meant business, they were standing behind their words, and I knew that this business will succeed,” he told the gathering on Friday.
In knowing his business would be a successful one, Mr. Sharma recalled that when he initially announced this project, he said the support and enthusiasm he received at the time not just from the public sector but private individuals, was overwhelming and heartwarming.
“In fact our partnership with Sterling today (Friday) that is part of our announcement was as a direct result of one of the very first calls I received after I announced this project.”
He mentioned that Mr. Anand Beharry, Chairman of the Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce had initially called and suggested that Sterling Products Limited was interested in working with his company.
“From that first introduction I talked with Mr. [Ramsay] Ali (CEO of Sterling) I knew that Amaya Milk Company had a bright future in Guyana, the reception that I got from him was so encouraging and I have gotten to know Ramsay over the year, I realized that there is much I can learn from him not just in CEO but as a person,” Sharma explained.
According to him, the cultures and attitudes of a company does not happen by accident but by deliberately delivering words and actions of its leadership team. He noted that Sterling Products Limited stands out to him as a company that cares for its people, the environment and the country. He related that these are all things that are important to him and things that he is working to instill at AMC.
As his products would soon hit the shelves of many stores through his partnership with Sterling, in his final remarks Sharma expressed, “So I’m truly excited to be able to stand here today and look to a future in which AMC will be producing 100 percent local, high quality nutritious dairy products and Sterling Products Limited will be distributing those products to the Guyanese population.”
Briefly speaking about their partnership, CEO of Sterling Products Limited and President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Mr. Ramsay Ali on Friday expressed that his company is elated to be on board with Amaya Milk Company to be able to sell its products.
He mentioned that their collaboration is a significant one, for the private sector to look in that direction.
“It is a good sign and a next step for private sector to follow, significant that companies can work together,” he said.
In her remarks, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond said that when her government took office, one of the things that the President wanted was private sector confidence, and the need for investment in Guyana. She noted that in order to achieve that they had to set up the environment and build up investor confidence.
“Mr. Sharma spoke about when he was coming here and he was unsure how to start because of the political situation, well those are the kinds of initiatives and issues that the President initiated very early that we as a government, we want to ensure investors’ confidence is so strong and right that you are able to step out, and providing as much as we can, stability in the macroeconomic environment, sustainability as well, and to provide as the regularity framework so there is predictability,” the Minister explained.
For more information about Amaya Milk products persons can contact the company of telephone number (592) 640-6455.
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