Bog Walk's Las Chin stands tall

Published: Sunday | July 22, 2012 Comments 0
Chin (left)
Chin (left)

Conglomateur Lascelles Chin is celebrated nationally as a leading businessman whose innovative style of promotion and marketing has placed his Lasco brand at the top of the preferred national brands.

Honourable Lascelles A. Chin, founder and executive chairman of the LASCO-affiliated companies, is one of Jamaica's most distinguished and respected entrepreneurs. He is a pioneering exporter, outstanding philanthropist and a much-honoured leader in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Born in Bog Walk, St Catherine, from an early age, Lascelles Chin demonstrated that he possessed the skills and attributes to make him a successful businessman - hard work, determination, perseverance, clarity of vision and the ability to see obstacles as challenges.

His early working life also demonstrated that he had a very clear understanding of the importance of accumulating capital and remaining focused on one's vision. Thus, as early as 1958, when he worked as a lab technician in the pharmacy at the University Hospital of the West Indies, he saved more than half of his weekly earnings of 7.10.

Three years later, at the age of 23, with savings of 175 and a family to support, Lascelles Chin entered the business sector and began importing black pepper from the Far East and peas from Portugal and the United States. Through sheer determination, he was able to overcome many obstacles. Although his loan application for 1,000 was turned down by one bank, he emerged as Jamaica's largest trader of black pepper. He then expanded his entrepreneurial activities to partner with the German Company, Henkel Ltd.

Lascelles Chin also demonstrated his ability to focus on opportunities and not be discouraged or beaten by challenges and obstacles. In 1965, he was not deterred either on learning of a plan to establish an adhesive plant in Jamaica, or by the Government's inevitable restriction on the quantity of such products he would be able to import. Instead, he saw this as a crucial business opportunity and successfully convinced Henkel to enter into a joint partnership with him. He became the chairman and managing director of the company's operation in Jamaica and was able to make the Jamaican market into the highest per capita user of Henkel adhesives in the entire world.

Today, the entrepreneurial bug that bit Lascelles Chin in his early days is alive and well. His Lasco-affiliated companies span a number of sectors, including furniture, manufacturing, data processing, car rentals, horticulture, insurance brokerage, hair products, soya-oil refining, and chicken processing which he has brought under one umbrella since 1988. The group now manufactures and distributes more than 300 products with the Lasco brand name.

10 things you didn't know about Lascelles Chin

1 Was student of karate and became so good at it. He earned a reputation of being no pushover while at school, which saw even bigger and bulkier bullies staying clear of him.

2 A workaholic, who is usually among the first to be at work and sometimes the last to leave.

3 Is a meticulous planner and organiser, who leaves nothing to chance and ensures every important detail is attended to.

4 Unwinds by playing dominoes and watching television.

5 The older he gets, the more energetic he becomes, so the harder he works and spends more time doing sharpening his brain with intellectually stimulating undertakings.

6 Was never trained in accounts but can instantly read and analyse any financial document and commits every important information to memory.

7 A true optimist whose approach to what others see as problem(s) as an opportunity for growth in business or personally.

8 Favourite food is cowfoot and beans and Chinese roast pork.

9 Enjoys fishing and a passion for bird-shooting, and a game of badminton.

10 A frequent flyer who enjoys travelling, especially to new destinations.

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