Tokmakjian A Loyal Friends
By: Mercy Ramos Photos by José (Tito) Meriño and Courtesy of Tokmakjian
Tokmakjian Group/ the exclusive Hyundai distributor in Cuba/ is the second largest Canadian company represented on the island. Due to Tokmakjian's importance for Cuba's trade/ Cubaplus interviewed its CEO.
"I came to Cuba 21 years ago when the times of economic trouble began and/ despite my bankers' advice/ I considered I could trust Cubans; so that's how I came here/ why I'm here now and why I will continue to be here/, said Vahe (Cy) Tokmakjian/CEO of Tokmakjiam Group Inc. The Toronto-based Tokmakjiam Group Inc. is a family of companies servicing the bus/ truck and industrial equipment industries for both Canadian and foreign markets.
We interviewed Cy at his offices at the MiramarTrade Centre in Havana to which he travels each month to supervise ongoing work on-site and also because he loves Cuba.
Before founding his company Cy used to work as a mechanic and "since I know the job well, I can work better with my staff; I know how they think and feel and I share many moments with them getting to know the problems they might have."
Tokmakjian founded his empire in 1971.From its base in Concord, Ont., a suburb of Toronto, it eventually established offices in Havana, Seoul, Minsk, Orlando and Bogota.
In 1989 the first 40 tourism buses purchased by Cubanacan arrived. It became known that there were other companies on the island in need of buses