The Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme has made a significant step toward improving its operational efficiency with its recent appointment of a deputy CEO for its Citizenship by Investment Unit.
Karline Purcell, who assumed the position on February 9th, just before the exit of the then Chief Executive Officer Percival Clouden, is expected to support the programme’s new CEO, when the position is filled. She’s also expected to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Unit, the processing of applications, the monitoring of approved CBI projects and agents, as well as manage the in-house accounting function.
Purcell, an entrepreneur by nature, comes to the Unit with an MBA from Southern Illinois University and almost twenty years’ experience in management positions in both the private and public sector. In addition to once serving as an economic affairs officer within Grenada’s Ministry of Finance, Purcell has also served as the regional head of customer loyalty and retention for telecommunications giant, Lime (FLOW) – a position she held for five years. Locally, she is popularly known for her entrepreneurial efforts in establishing and managing two popular restaurants – Venus Restaurant & Sports Lounge, and Cayenne restaurant.
The newly appointed deputy CEO joins the Unit at a time of transformation of the country’s programme. Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment programme has been increasing in popularity since introducing its $220K-priced real estate option and expanding its definition of dependants in 2019. This, together with adopting a greater digital approach to processing applications and doing business, has improved the programme’s performance and increased its YOY application figures.
To get a better appreciation for Purcell, and the value she brings to the Citizenship by Investment Unit, My Grenada Solutions’ managing director, Nisha Mc Intyre, recently sat down with the newly appointed deputy CEO for a candid discussion about her experience to date and her expectations for her new role.
What has it been like transitioning in your new role as deputy CEO?
The last two weeks have really been about information gathering. Trying to understand the strengths of the team; understanding our processes; the status of the different projects; applications that are with us at the moment; getting familiar with the legislation governing CBI operations; and just getting a general feel for how the unit operates. So obviously I will be looking for any areas of inefficiencies as well; to see what we can do, where we can add, how we can build… as we move forward.
Are there any significant scenarios that you’ve found yourself having to traverse/manage since assuming the position?
I can safely say no. I think the unit has been doing a good job of averting those in the past. So obviously it’s something I intend to maintain as we move forward. So, as we build our capacity and we improve our process, I don’t anticipate having these coming in the future as well.
What is your mandate and what do you personally intend to bring to the role?
Basically, my mandate as deputy CEO is to support the CEO in executing his duties; and his mandate really is around building efficiency within the operations; looking for new markets for the programme and executing the service at levels that are competitive and with the integrity required by the act.
What are your expectations of the program moving forward with this new change in management?
Further growth. There are new opportunities presenting themselves especially arising from the economic challenges that COVID-19 has posed. We have investors looking to expand portfolios outside of their current jurisdictions and herein lies the opportunity to market the benefits of our programme so that we can be seen as the preferred option. I think now is a time for us to execute and reach markets that we probably would not have reached before, and also in a way that we haven’t reached them before.
How do you think you experience to date will favourably impact your efforts at the Unit?
I think having had experience in both the public sector and the private sector, and even more so, corporate private sector, and as an entrepreneur, I understand the need for efficiency in terms of processes, good customer relations, good stakeholder engagement and straight on marketing. So, I think those elements and understanding the market, will help me in terms of creating a much-improved strategy for moving forward. When you’re coming in from the outside, you tend to look at things a bit differently. That sort of understanding – especially having to deal with both private sector and public sector stakeholders – as we move forward, I think that is going to give me an advantage there.
Are there any personal goals you have set for yourself and for the Unit?
Yes. To become one of the top five most sought after programmes in the World in five years. Ambitious but attainable. I believe that we have a great programme and an even greater country to become a citizen of.
Who is Karline Purcell and what should the trade know about you?
Karline is a passionate, forward-thinking, driven individual. One, who is very interested in managing relationships. I’m very good at trying to understand markets. I pay attention to movements in markets – market trending and strategy development. I’m big on that so we won’t be moving forward unless we have a clear strategy. I would say that those are some of the things that matter.
Whatever it is that I’m into, you’ll get 100% of me. I’m driven by facts; by numbers. I’m keen on understanding and getting into the belly of the beast. So, decisions that would be made here, won’t be made on gut feelings. Overall, I am passionate about the development of my country, and I think this position gives me an opportunity to work within an agency in Grenada that I know can be impactful in development.