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Vesh Maharaj, Bobby Marajh and Vinayaka Marajh run a large chauffeured transportation operation in Trinidad. They attended the LCT Leadership Summit June 8-10 in Miami Beach, Fla.
Despite its reputation as a major tourist destination, the southernmost Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago (an independent nation) are seeing all classes of people getting access to limousine service, as has been happening for years in the U.S.
Brothers Vesh Maharaj and Bobby Marajh, and Bobby’s son, Vinayaka, run Transport Solutions Limited, which serves the islands with about 30 chauffeured vehicles of all types. The island of Trinidad, 1,853 square miles, and the island of Tobago, 116 square miles, have a population of about 1.3 million people mostly of African and Indian descent, with people of mixed race, European, Chinese and Middle Eastern ancestry adding ethnic diversity. The official language is English, but Spanish and to a lesser extent French patois, Hindi and Chinese are spoken by some residents. Trinidad sits seven miles off the northeastern coast of Venezuela, and is a three hour and 20 minute flight from Miami, 4 1/2 hours from New York and 58 minutes from Caracas. Vesh Maharaj, who attended the 2013 LCT Leadership Summit in Miami Beach in June with Bobby and Vinayaka Marajh, answered a few questions for LCT Magazine.
What are the main challenges providing service in your area/region?
Government regulations and restrictions on mini-coaches; lack of government regulations with regard to streamlined taxi/tour operations; high import taxes on cars and buses. And traffic!!
What qualities do you look for in a U.S. affiliate?
Reliability, reasonable pricing.
What specific rules or regulations do U.S. operators need to be aware of when affiliating with operators in your nation?
50% surcharge 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; not all taxis in Trinidad have liability insurance.
What types of clients do you typically serve?
Corporate, sporting groups, special events and government.
What are some of your customer service innovations?
New fleet of SUVs; personalized service; use of new technologies such as GPS.
How much has your company grown in revenue and fleet size in the last five years?
We have replaced the old fleet with more than 30 vehicles, including a new white stretch eight-passenger limousine and a Hummer limousine.