Discover the story of Connelly Gardner, one of the driving forces behind Arringo. As the General Manager of Antigua and Barbuda, he has brought a vibrant energy and a vision for transforming customer service in the Caribbean landscape. In this interview, we explore his path to Arringo, the unique office culture on the island, and the aspirations propelling the team towards excellence.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did this job opportunity come to you?
My name is Connelly, and I am one of four siblings. I was born and raised here in Antigua, but I have a deep passion for exploring different cultures and embarking on thrilling adventures. This opportunity was introduced to me by a former colleague, who saw the ad for the position and sent it to me. He and I worked in a similar industry, and he said to me, “This sounds exactly like you!” I agreed totally and sent my CV. I then met the wonderful Arringo HR team and had an excellent interview. I later met with the CEO and the rest is history, as they say.
2. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Arringo?
For me, it’s energy! The moment I had my interview with the HR team, I was instantly captivated by their energy. That same vibrant energy radiated throughout my interactions with the Head of Training and other leaders from different departments. It was more than just energy—it was a warm and inclusive environment full of ambition and a clear sense of purpose. This atmosphere was so contagious that I couldn’t help but catch the same drive and motivation. It left me craving more of that invigorating experience.
3. As the General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda office, what are your main responsibilities and how do you contribute to the success of the company’s operations?
Firstly, my top priority is the development of my staff. It may sound cliché, but it’s an undeniable fact: the right team is the heart of any business. Alongside general training, I personally conduct sessions focused on self-improvement, goal setting, and embracing challenges. This investment in their growth not only enhances their work quality but also ensures we meet our company’s key performance indicators. Collaborating with our COO, I also ensure our team has the necessary tools to excel in their roles.
I’m also proud to be a part of our Business Development team. Unlike many others in our industry, we actively extend our services to the local business community in Antigua and Barbuda. Identifying opportunities for growth, we seek out businesses that can benefit from our wide array of services. It’s undoubtedly a challenge, but our passion for elevating these establishments and enhancing their customer service drives us forward.
4. What do you see as the biggest opportunities for the Antigua and Barbuda office?
As we look to the future of Arringo’s Antigua and Barbuda office, I see our biggest opportunity as our most challenging one. Having grown up on a small island with a unique mindset, I know firsthand how hard it can be to shift perspectives and break away from traditional approaches. Nevertheless, this presents a superb opportunity for Arringo to showcase what can be accomplished with our support. Our aim is to demonstrate that there is much more room for growth and advancement, beyond the borders of Antigua and Barbuda.
Furthermore, I am convinced that Antigua and Barbuda has a wealth of untapped talent. Our goal is to become one of the premier employers here, thus attracting the best and the brightest on the island to further strengthen Arringo’s dynamic and resilient team. With our committed team and a forward-thinking approach, we are poised to make a significant difference in Antigua and Barbuda, propelling both our business and the wider community towards a brighter future.
5. Can you describe the office culture in the office? How do you foster a positive and collaborative work environment for your team?
Our office culture can be summarized in one word: family. The level of cohesiveness and unity we’ve achieved has surpassed everyone’s expectations. Right from the beginning, we carefully selected a team where each member plays a specific role, and it has been remarkable to witness how effortlessly they excel in their positions. Fostering a positive and collaborative work environment is essential to us, and we have a few practices in place to ensure just that. Each morning, we kick off the day with a brief 10-minute session for updates and brainstorming. This helps set a positive tone for the shift and fosters a sense of unity and collaboration right from the start.
But it’s not all work and no play at Arringo! We have a social group that plans exciting weekly activities for the team, ranging from karaoke competitions to game and movie nights, and even early morning hikes. These events not only allow us to bond and have fun together, but they also strengthen our collaborative spirit in a more relaxed setting. In fact, our most recent company outing took us ziplining through the Antigua Rain Forest, and it was an absolute blast! In fostering a positive and collaborative work environment, we’re committed to building strong relationships, encouraging open communication, and finding moments of joy and laughter amidst the tasks at hand.
6. How does the team in Antigua and Barbuda collaborate with the Maltese office, considering the differences in time zones and continents?
The company on a whole is a 24/7 operation, so this makes it easy to keep up communication between us. Also, we are in fact a Fintech company who utilizes a lot of technology. Therefore, we use this to our advantage to stay in unison with each other.
For real-time meetings and collaborations, we would always schedule them at a common time frame for both sites, to allow all required participants to be present.
7. In the rapidly evolving fintech industry, what is needed to stay updated with the latest trends and ensure your team is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge?
Training and development are essential. We are very passionate about developing our team and ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to stay abreast in our industry. We are heavily invested in providing different ways for the team to learn and excel, from internal online learning-hubs to frequent refresher sessions as policies and trends change.
I also always advise my team to pay attention to what our customers are saying. They are the ones out there using the different platforms and services. If there is a change in trend and offers, they will be the first to know. We always try to get their feedback.
8. Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future of the Antigua and Barbuda office?
We want everyone to see that Arringo Antigua is synonymous with excellent customer service. Despite tourism being the primary industry in Antigua and Barbuda, we acknowledge that customer service standards may sometimes fall short. Arringo aims to be the catalyst for positive change.
Our ultimate objective is to become the most sought-after company for businesses striving to elevate their operations. We aspire to be recognized as the go-to authority in customer service and fintech. By achieving this, we aim to position ourselves as the premier employer on the island, attracting passionate individuals who share our values and drive.
In summary, our goal is to transform the customer service landscape in Antigua and Barbuda, garnering a reputation that solidifies Arringo’s position as an industry leader.
Curious to learn more about life at Arringo? Discover more inspiring stories from our team members and how they contribute to Arringo’s success