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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Venture capitalist & director, JMMB Group, Trinidad & Tobago

What are your earliest memories of Kingston?

I moved to Kingston from Caymanas, St Catherine, when I was six years old. I remember roaming around Meadowbrook and Havendale with my neighbours, whom we — my brother Martin and I — would often visit. We would ride our bicycles or skateboards, race down the road, walk across the pipe over the nearby gully and play in the gully. Cricket in the open lot next door and football anywhere we could find space were additional playtime activities.


What's the most memorable meal that you have enjoyed in Kingston?

I love to eat fried fish and bammy at Hellshire or Fort Clarence.


What would you do if you were mayor of Kingston for a day?

I would work diligently with the municipal police to partner with the traffic police to end the chaos caused by reckless taxi drivers and buses stopping and loading passengers in inappropriate places, endangering these said passengers and other motorists.


What would be your recommendations to a first-time visitor to Kingston?

I would recommend visits to Devon House, the Bob Marley Museum and to the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Parks.


Before you even understood the value of money or capital, what would you say was your very first investment?

A savings account at National Commercial Bank on King Street which I opened at 11 years old.


Can everyday people be successful and not even recognise it due to their perceptions of self?

Yes, I have seen this phenomenon many times. People who have achieved success sometimes do not make the adjustment and continue to lift themselves based on their past experience.


Failure can be a fear for many. If you were to hit rock bottom, where would you begin your reascent?

As an entrepreneur, I realise that failure is a part of life and we must learn from it. If I had to restart, I would adjust my lifestyle to match my new income and ensure that a small surplus is left for investment in other projects.


The scammer culture here in Jamaica reveals what about the needs of our society?

We need opportunities to harness the creativity of young people. If there was a legal route to success, most people would prefer taking that route. Also, it highlights that we have developed a culture of taking from someone else instead of developing our own success. The begging of phone credit and the advertising for us to beg our family abroad to send us phone credit and money is also a manifestation of this problem.


To date, what has been the most memorable document that you've ever affixed your signature to?

The agreement to acquire the second 50% of the shares of Intercommercial Bank in Trinidad & Tobago for the JMMB Group, enabling us to create JMMB Bank T&T. Being a part of the JMMB Group has given me the opportunity to contribute to the development of our country and to the development of my own business acumen.


What was your relationship with the notion of Santa Claus as a child?

I saw Santa Claus as a fun Christmas character, but I never saw it as a real thing and never believed in Santa Claus. We never got gifts from Santa, we got gifts from our family and friends.