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Nair apologizes to BTC staff members

One day after the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) released a press statement explaining that disparaging comments from Liberty Latin America Chief Executive Officer Balan Nair about Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and his criticism of BTC’s staff were taken out of context, Nair penned an email to BTC staff apologizing for his remarks.

The letter, which is making the rounds on social media, outlines Nair’s mea culpa to his staff and to the Bahamian people.

“First, I would like to address the comments I made at the Jamaica town hall, the video clips that were subsequently shared publicly, and the media reports that have followed,” Nair said in his email.

“Let me start by apologizing for the insensitive nature of my remarks and any unintended consequences that have arisen as a result of the comments. I meant no disrespect to the prime minister or the people of The Bahamas more broadly. I know that many feelings have been hurt and for that I am sorry.

“My intention was to convey a message in support of upward mobility, personal career development, and providing opportunities for our employees to thrive across our business. In the short clips that have been shared, this didn’t come across appropriately and I apologize. This was a mistake. It certainly was not my first, and I doubt it will be my last, but I will strive to be more mindful in the future. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed my meeting with the prime minister and felt that our proposals to invest more in BTC with his help was gaining traction. Therefore, I feel even more remorseful for my insensitive comments.”

Yesterday, following the release of Nair’s email, the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union’s (BCPOU) President Dino Rolle issued a press release declaring that Nair’s apology will not be accepted, and that he and his executives must either improve BTC’s performance or resign their positions.

“Mr. Nair and his team of executives demonstrate on a daily basis poor leadership,” Rolle said.

“Instead of developing a firm strategic plan supported by capital investment for The Bahamas, thereby motivating the staff to perform, they resort to ‘plantation tricks and tactics’ to pit various operations against each other.”

Nair said in his email that during his visit to The Bahamas he had “productive” meetings with the prime minister. He added that he believes BTC can “rise back even with the intense competition and challenges”.

“I believe that we collectively can make a positive difference for our customers and our shareholders. We, as employees, will then benefit from this positive change.”

Nair was captured on video at a recent Liberty Global town hall meeting in Jamaica expressing his hope that one day the staff at BTC could be like the team in Jamaica.

“We were just in The Bahamas on Monday and Tuesday and it’s like a night and day difference. My biggest wish is that one day they would say, ‘We can be like Jamaica. We can do what they have done in this country,’” he said.

“The people in The Bahamas are no different from the people in Jamaica; it’s all about attitude. If you feel like you can win, you will win.”

While Nair said he expects BTC to become a better performing operation in the future, he explained that it will be a “slightly longer project”.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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