Herod Crump – small business entrepreneur wired to electronicsWednesday, May 05, 2021
HEROD Crump enjoys being able to repair electronics so much that it is the last thing he thinks about before going to bed at nights.
However, the entrepreneur only became interested in this skill after witnessing a comical event as a child.
“I was about 11 years old at the time but one day I was walking and [saw] a man burning 50-cent notes while some girls stood around him laughing,” he recalled. “This was in the 1970s and so I asked him what he did. He told me he repaired televisions, and from then on I decided I wanted to repair electronics because I wanted to be able to burn money like him.
“All through high school, when others were drawing Venn diagrams in maths class I was drawing diagrams of circuit boards. I was fascinated with electronics. My mother has a stereo with a record player which she has promised to bequeath to me when she dies because of my love for the field,” he added.
Some four decades later, Crump is firmly established in his dream career of electronic repairs. He has also added another dimension to his craft in that he is owner of Chantech Electronics, an electronic sales and repair store located on Olympic Way in St Andrew where he has been operating from for several years. He readily admits to not burning money because it is illegal, but finds his career choice rewarding.
“Right after leaving high school, I wanted to work with electronics so I enrolled at the National Technical School. From there I started working and doing what I loved,” he stated.
The father of five has become so proficient at his craft that his day can be as long as 18 hours, especially when customers are unwilling to leave their devices overnight. To cope with the demand, he has hired two additional persons who also assist in operating his small store from where he sells electronics such as cellphone chargers, televisions, car stereos and speakers.
“My name is synonymous with electronics, especially here on Olympic Way where I am the only store that offers this service,” he affirmed. “For many of the residents here it was a godsend because it meant they could get a phone charger without leaving their community. I also sell them the equipment and do free installation, which many of my customers find convenient.
“I opted to start selling electronics as well after I realised that I was repairing them but had to purchase an electronic item if I needed it to complete a job for a client. I also thought that if I became incapacitated, for example becoming blind or being unable to use my hands, I would still have income coming in,” he said.
The St Joseph High past student is also happy that his chosen path has kept him relevant even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It was not easy during the lockdown last year,” he explained, “however, I was able to pay the rent for my store location without owing. Also, during the time I also did repairs at my home. I also used the time to research new techniques and equipment.”
When he needs financial assistance to purchase new equipment or new stock for his store, Mr Crump has found JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) to be a reliable partner.
“JNSBL has been there for me for the past 13 years,” he affirmed. “I remember my sister, who is into garment manufacturing, had received a loan from them. I wanted her to take another loan on my behalf but I would pay it back. She refused and told me to go apply for it. I applied for the loan and found the process was easy. They were very helpful and I have enjoyed a good relationship with them since then.”
As a testament of that good relationship in 2016 Mr Crump was the winner of a $25,000 cash prize from the loan company, a reward for repaying his loans on time and in full.
“It was the first I had ever entered a competition and won. I was elated that I was successful,” he added.
Gillian Hyde, general manager JNSBL, affirmed that Crump has been one of the microfinance company's many success stories.
“Mr Crump has had a wonderful relationship with us over the years,” she stated. “He has also carved out a niche for himself by doing sales. We are pleased with his success because it shows how hard work and the right support can help many Jamaicans to achieve their dreams of improving their quality of life.”
Crump hopes to open other locations in the near future, however he points to the lack of trained persons in his field as one of the few disappointments he has had during his time in entrepreneurship.
“Many don't like the difficulty because you are working with electricity, something you can't see. Also, the motherboard and other parts are complex and this turns off a lot of people. However, I would not trade anything for this path. The only other profession I think I would try is being a medical doctor. However, I would have to be doing research as opposed to treating people every day because I would find that boring,” Crump said.
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