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Outstanding Dominican businessman Phillip Nassief has died

Phillip Nassief one of Dominica’s outstanding leaders has died. According to reports, he died at his residence in Belfast Mahaut on Sunday, April 28, 2024.

Mr. Nassief made exceptional contributions to the island’s economic and social development and earned tremendous respect at home and abroad.

He was born in Roseau in 1933, one of nine children of Elias Nassief, an immigrant Lebanese businessman, and his wife Marie Raphael. Young Phillip was educated at the Convent Montessori School, the Dominica Grammar School, and Mount St. Benedict in Trinidad. He had an outgoing personality, a quick smile, and made friends easily.

As a boy, he worked in his father’s store and helped in the family’s small rum and soap operations. In 1952, he left Dominica to study chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal.

Graduating in 1956, Phillip worked in Canada for five years. He took over his father’s small rum and soap operations on returning home. Like his father, Phillip was a visionary. He saw the large potential for these products in the Caribbean. Phillip improved the rum production process and expanded product offerings to include the Soca Rums, Red Cap, and Bois Bande, some of the best on the island. Then good fortune came Phillip’s way. In 1964, Phillip was able to buy a little-used coconut oil plant from Nevis. Phillip purchased a modern soap plant from Italy to complement this oil plant. Phillip could now produce personal use soaps in addition to laundry soaps and coconut oil. The family then incorporated the coconut processing enterprise as Dominica Coconut Products Ltd (DCP).

While retaining majority family ownership, Phillip offered DCP shares to the public. Copra suppliers and workers acquired shares and thus had a vested interest in DCP’s success. DCP’s products included the regionally popular Bess, Bomber, and Refresh brands. Quality was world class and DCP won contracts to produce soaps and detergents for Colgate Palmolive and other international brands. Soon, Phillip got a reputation as one of the Caribbean’s most successful businessmen, and DCP, “pound for pound … as good as any other company in the world.”



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