Founder & Chairman, Cari-Med
Glen Christian is the CEO and Chairman of the Cari-Med Group of Companies. After two decades of working in the pharmaceutical distribution industry as a salesman, he decided to venture on his own and in 1986 he started a pharmaceutical distribution company Cari-Med Limited, with one generic brand and three employees. The mission was to provide quality healthcare products to the Jamaican consumer at an affordable price while abiding by the highest level of professional and ethical standards.
The past three decades have seen tremendous growth through new ventures and business acquisitions summarized as follows:
- 1996 – Cari-Med expansion into distribution of fast-moving consumer goods with brands such as Lysol, Harpic, Gillette, Duracell, Wrigley, Scotch Brite, Ensure and Purina to name a few.
- 2006 – Birth of a new company, Kirk Distributors Ltd., through the acquisition of Colgate Palmolive Jamaica’s assets and distribution rights for its products in Jamaica. This further led to the distribution rights for multinational brands, including Johnson & Johnson, Reynolds and Clorox.
- 2013 – Acquisition of the Kendel brand a locally owned company, now a formidable brand of food products widely distributed in Jamaica and some diaspora markets.
- 2015 – Acquisition of Federated Pharmaceutical, a manufacturing company formerly owned by the J Wray & Nephew group with brands such as Cetamol, DPH and Vigorton.
- 2016 – Acquisition of Colgate Palmolive’s regional soap brands such as Bomber, Refresh, Carbolic, Mildex and Castile.
This gave birth to the formation of Bomber Manufacturing, which currently produces soaps for distribution throughout the Caribbean.
Glen has never measured his success by his business conquests but by the numerous lives he has been able to impact. A firm believer that he has a responsibility to the less fortunate, not forgetting his humble beginnings as a poor boy from rural Jamaica, he established the Cari-Med Foundation with its mandate to positively impact early childhood education, health care and community building. In the area of healthcare, the Foundation has supported several initiatives at hospitals across Jamaica. These include refurbishing of a wing, and construction of a pharmacy and treatment room at the Hope Cancer Institute in Kingston. The Foundation’s major educational initiatives include construction of a state-of-the-art Infant School, The Evelyn Mitchell Infant School Centre of Excellence in Clarendon and collaborated with other members of private and public sector organizations to establish the Union Gardens Infant School to serve children in Kingston.
Glen’s record of service and achievement has earned him numerous honours and awards from the Jamaican government and private sector. His list of national honours includes: The Governor General’s Award for Community Service, the Order of Distinction and, most recently, the Order of Jamaica, which is the third highest honour that can be conferred upon a Jamaican citizen. His recognition from the business sector includes being named Business Leader of the Year by the Jamaica Observer newspaper in 2007 and, in 2014 he was inducted into the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica’s Hall of Fame.
In 2011, he was recognized by his alma mater The Mico University College of Jamaica, with an honorary Doctor of Education degree and, in 2016, he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Technology, Jamaica.
He attributes his success to God being at the helm, to his staff, his suppliers, customers and the support of his family. Glen is married to Marva and is the proud father of two sons, two daughters and grandfather of 11.