Young entrepreneur of the year Gilroy Gordon has an innate passion to innovate

Young entrepreneur of the year Gilroy Gordon has an innate passion to innovate

Business reporter

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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In times of uncertainty when no one really has the right answers Young Entrepreneur of the Year Gilroy Gordon likes to find solutions for his clients. Through his company IGonics Limited, he dedicates himself to technological innovation in a bid to add value whenever and wherever he can.

Driven by the major role that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) play in most economies, Gordon told the Business Observer that he has always wanted to assist businesses.

“If the world is filled with problems, then I'm not only excited to solve them but to innovate. I enjoy providing value through a 9-5 while also devoting myself to community service and solving business problems as an entrepreneur. Formally my studies so far have culminated into a Master of Science in Computing and Data Analytics, better allowing me to utilise analytics, artificial intelligence and automation to analyse and propel business key performance indicators,” he said.

“Across the world, SMEs, which find it difficult to compete and innovate, represent about 90 per cent of businesses, employing more than 50 per cent of the population and generating approximately 40 per cent of the gross domestic product. Furthermore, in Jamaica, 97 per cent of registered businesses at the Tax Administration of Jamaica are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,” Gordon continued.

IGonics Limited, an analytics company, enables businesses to realise their true potential through technology. It provides 24/7 intelligent business management, customer service and marketing solutions through custom websites and apps, business automation, digital marketing and integrations. While the company is located on 5 Park Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica, it is also registered in Canada.

Having established the business in September 2017, Gordon said he was honoured to have been considered for the Young Entrepreneurs Association, Entrepreneur of the Year award, which considers volunteerism, leadership and innovation in entrepreneurs.

He, however, pointed out that while there are many factors that could be attributed to one's success as an entrepreneur, he believes that the path is not linear.

“I would consider success as achieving a measurable outcome, but more importantly as an iterative process. This process includes consistent evaluation, challenges and growth… I believe in utilising a data-driven approach to inform and consistently re-evaluate this process. Each business should identify metrics aligned with its strategy that it continuously tries to improve,” he explained.

“At IGonics, we are always forward-thinking, proactively working to solve new challenges with new opportunities,” he added.

Like many other small businesses in Jamaica, COVID-19 has impacted IGonics, but Gordon indicated that it has influenced an increased interest in the services and products his company offers.

“For example, we've assisted businesses to transition online with hundreds of products and incorporated artificial intelligence to provide consistent 24/7 marketing and customer care across web and social media channels. Moreover, our existing processes in house were a bit more resilient as our team was already comfortable providing value remotely,” he told the Business Observer.

“While we do have an online presence, we've garnered more business for consultations through referrals. As such, we keep the proof in the pudding and let our consistent quality and approach market itself,” he asserted. “However, I would like to thank my team and partners who complement this with their skills and domain expertise to ensure that we are always delivering the highest quality in our products and services.”

Gordon recalls that in the beginning, he chose to self-finance the business, which he then re-invested the profits in developing the processes and his team. But the journey did not come without the various challenges that many entrepreneurs in Jamaica face.

“Being an entrepreneur is a big investment, but not only financially, as it requires consistent research, innovation and management to deliver competitive value to customers. Another has been the challenge towards my personal growth as an entrepreneur in consistently developing the additional skills, mindset and behaviour to grow,” he explained.

Age aside, he further noted that it can be difficult for young entrepreneurs or anyone thinking of taking that leap into entrepreneurship.

“It can be difficult as a young (not referring to age) entrepreneur. I would encourage them to rapidly test and evaluate their business using tools, for example, the lean business model canvas. Moreover, formalise the business through registration and keeping good accounts as this would better position the business for grants, loans or other financing options,” Gordon advised.

“They could even join associations like the Young Entrepreneurs Association, which will enhance their network, provide training and greater access to resources. When I was younger I always found it difficult to answer the question, 'Who is your role model?'. The reason being is that I always observed that there was so much to be learnt from different people, why focus on one,” he continued.

That being said, he expressed his sincere gratitude for family members, colleagues and individuals who he may call upon randomly to ask advice.

It isn't a one-way street of good turns however, he believes in helping others as well. Gordon, an altruistic at heart, added that outside of work he is devoted to giving back to the community.

“I often achieve this by contributing to open-source projects and assisting non-profits where possible. Recently, I assisted the Young Entrepreneurs Association to move their membership and other processes online through their website. In 2016, I was recognised in the Nova Scotia (Canada) Legislature for my contributions to improving access to legal aid,” he said.

In looking ahead, he projects that within the next five to ten years that IGonics Limited will continue with its mission in providing data-driven experiences through technology to drive socio-economic well-being for all.

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