34 35 B arbados SteelWorks Limited (BSWL) was originallyestablished as amanufacturing companyof awide range of construction products,especiallycoated steel corrugat- ed roofing sheets,for Barbados and thewider Ca- ribbeanmarkets.Today,the companyalso supplies lumber,electrical,plumbing,and general building materials,in addition to its roofing products. “The veryfirst companywas set up bymygrand- father in themid 1950s in Guyana,”says Omar Gafoor,BSWL’sManagingDirector.“Barbados Steel Works came about through an expansion in the Caribbean that tookplace in the late‘70s,whenmy dad decided to branch out into Barbados,because, at that time,the economic environment in Guyana was verychallenging.Barbados was the first step; it was themost stable and themost promising landing point that would serve as a launching point for the rest of the Caribbean.From there,we went into Grenada,Dominica,St.Lucia,and then, later on,we ended up in Jamaica,as well.So that is howwe started.” BARBADOS STEEL WORKS LIMITED FROMMANUFACTURINGTOTRADING BARBADOS STEELWORKS LIMITED “The operations that we set up in the Caribbean, especially in Barbados,were primarilymanufacturing operations of constructionmaterials that were destined for export,”Gafoor continues.“Themain focus was on themanufacturing of,primarily,steel-based construction materials with the Guyana operations alsomanufac- turing aluminumand plastics products.The goal was to service the young andmaturing economics of the southern Caribbean states,wheremajor investments were taking place in housing,education,and infrastruc- ture.” Gafoor reports that the company’s businessmodel began to change in the 1980s and‘90s,as its traditional AT A GLANCE BARBADOS STEEL WORKS LIMITED. WHAT: A manufacturing and trading com- pany WHERE: Oistins, Barbados WEBSITE: www.barbadossteelworks.com