The six-month-old cement company Rock Hard Cement is accusing its established competitor TCL Group of employing unfair tactics to stop Rock Hard from competing in other Caribbean markets.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Maloney told Barbados TODAY the TCL Group, the leading producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products in the Caribbean, according to its website, had attempted to register the Rock Hard name in overseas markets in an attempt to prevent the Barbadian company from entering those markets.
“It is unfortunate that TCL would have taken this step to try to block us from competing in the other territories because we will be there. We will be there very shortly,” an adamant Maloney said.
“When we did our searches throughout all the territories in the Eastern Caribbean Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname [and] Jamaica we found out through our attorneys that they have actually started to do the same in those territories.
“So we quickly moved to make sure that was addressed, and at the same time we are going through the legal process to ensure that they cease and desist from continuing and from using our name to try to block us from entering into those markets. It is unfortunate that his has happened,” he said.
TCL Group is the parent company of Arawak Cement Company Limited, which had a monopoly on the cement market here until Rock Hard burst onto the scene in mid-November last year, promising “quality cement on a consistent basis . . . at an acceptable price”.
TCL denied a request from Barbados TODAY for an interview, with group public relations manager Michelle Langton stating, “We are not in a position to comment on this matter”.
However, Maloney told Barbados TODAY had TCL succeeded in its efforts, it would have been difficult for his company to break into those markets.
“We blocked it before it could get far enough that it would have been difficult for us then to deal with.
“Hopefully it would not have to get to the court. We have now sought to ensure that they are aware that we are onto them and that in fact any registering of the Rock Hard cement name in any territory, it can only be done by us because we have proof that the brand exists and it operates under our worship and in any territory that we go into that the same will prevail,” Maloney said.
Just last month the new company claimed it had driven down the price of cement, while forcing up the quality of the product.
Maloney claim in an interview with Barbados TODAY at the time that the price of cement had fallen by 30 per cent since Rock Hard came on the scene.