InvesTT's New President Stands Ready to Lead

InvesTT's New President Stands Ready to Lead

An Interview with Sekou Alleyne.

As the national investment promotion agency, InvesTT is responsible for growing Trinidad and Tobago’s non-energy FDI portfolio as well as the country’s local direct investments and reinvestments. In the face of the current pandemic and dismal global FDI forecasts the agency, like many others in its field, is tasked with finding innovative ways to keep FDI streams active. However, recently appointed president of InvesTT, Sekou Alleyne, stands ready to lead the agency through challenging times and is no newcomer to investment promotion, indeed carrying nine years of experience at InvesTT.

We met with Sekou to shed some light on the man behind the challenge and what his plans are for the agency moving forward.


Q. You’ve been in the position for a month. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Sekou Alleyne, the man? 

SA. I am a business development professional with a focus on real estate development. I think of myself as possessing an international outlook with a passion for national representation & development. I love my T&T culture and really enjoy the Carnival season. All round, I am an intense but fun loving individual.

Q. What has been your key strategy to manage change in terms of the demands and responsibilities of your new position?

SA. The change has been significant. I now have a larger team and the overall output of the organization is now my responsibility. My visibility in terms of interacting with stakeholders has increased and therefore stakeholder management is a key component of my portfolio. My calendar is full on a daily basis and my attention has shifted to corporate governance and management.

Q. Are there any major investment projects on your radar at the moment?

SA. At the top of our list of projects is the tenanting of the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate located in south Trinidad. We are engaged in a very aggressive marketing plan for this project which includes advertising via various online platforms with very targeted international audiences. We will also be featuring the opportunities at the Phoenix Park at the upcoming AmCham Virtual Energy Conference and the TTMA’s Virtual Trade and Investment Convention.  This is an ideal location for exporters as it is only 10 minutes away from the Port of Point Lisas. We are seeking both domestic and international investors interested in establishing operations on the island in areas of Assembly, Logistics & Distribution, and ICT industries as well as Manufacturing.

Q. What are the first three items on your immediate action plan? 

SA. One of the most urgent items on my agenda is matters relating to ‘people’. I want to be up to speed on internal training and develop greater alignment between staff and organizational goals. Another area I am attending to urgently is our continued focus on prioritized investment opportunities for FDI, with increased outreach activity as well as leveraging our existing pipeline for FDI. Stakeholder alignment of course is high on the list as collaboration with other state agencies is of strategic importance to what we do.

Q. What are the prioritized investment opportunities?

SA. Moving forward we will be focused on opportunities in logistics, voice contact centre, energy-intensive manufacturing and offshore transhipment.  We are also increasing our focus on additional business park promotions and local direct investment.

Q. Global FDI has been projected to experience a decline in the next year. What would you say are your advantages in navigating the agency through this time of economic crisis? 

SA. Continuity, persistence and passion. Maintaining a mindset that is based on these attributes is going to be essential in meeting the challenges ahead of us. Consistency of vision and operations and the tracking of our performance are important strategies moving forward. Understanding and implementing digital marketing strategies will also be key in building the level of awareness that we are aiming to achieve.

Q. What is your vision for InvesTT as an IPA that competes with other IPAs for global FDI?

SA. My vision is for InvesTT to develop the ability to consistently compete for FDI inflows. We are aiming to get to the point where we can compete for business based on our unique selling propositions for specific sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.

I would like InvesTT to gain recognition not just for our professional services but for attracting new investment consistently.

Q. What would you say is your most qualifying attribute that has contributed to your career growth?

SA. My vision and outlook for the economic development of Trinidad and Tobago have been key factors in motivating my career in the investment promotion arena. It is something that I am passionate about. But I would say it is my ability to maintain a positive outlook and the emphasis I place on relationship building that has contributed significantly to my career growth. Relationships are important in this field and is effective for lead generation.  

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