From a Bit to a Byte
ANDREW JEMMOTT is all business. Not only in his professional life but also his personal.
The 34-year-old past student of Queen’s College would be the first to tell you that he never saw himself where he is now. But fate had a different plan for him.
“I actually started the University of the West Indies (UWI), in 1999, studying biology and chemistry. I was very good in the science as school. I didn’t know where I would end up in that field but I wanted to pursue that career path.”
He left UWI, not finishing his degree, but where he is now seemed to be his destiny from the start.
Andrew holds the CEO post in nine businesses (and at print time looking to add a couple more to that portfolio).
He calls himself “an entrepreneur and intellectual property investor”. It might seem boastful to some, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of as he proudly states he has never worked for anyone in his working life.
He started his first business at age 12, making graphics and printing bookmarks for Christ the King church.
“My parents gave me what I wanted, but I didn’t want to burden them with every little thing. When I made my sales that money was used to buy whatever extra I wanted.”
He said doing graphics was just something he was good at. At age 16 he started Icon Studios, joining with Anton Shepherd and working from Shepherd’s home in Wildey, St Michael, travelling from his home in Rockland Park every day.
In 2002 the company went incorporated adding two more directors, Rean Griffith and Marlon Moore who are still on the board.
When it rains it pours and a floodgate of opportunities opened up for Andrew when they received funding from the Barbados Investment Development Cooperation.
“We were able to branch off into Caribbean Webcast Inc., Purple Tree Logistics, Custom Technology Solutions, Black Mambo Project and various other ventures.”
All these enterprises keep the CEO busy and he says his phone is never turned off.
“No matter what people say when you are a business owner it a 24 hours seven days a week living. I have clients from all over the world that need answers. And a happy customer translates into revenue.”
With a payroll of 15 employees, and combined services ranging from 3d animation to live streaming to digital marketing to management and investing, Andrew says the 15 employees he has are critical to keeping the businesses running efficiently.
“The business mission is to become a world leader in digital technology and on the cutting edge. What is unique about all our business enterprises is that we are internationally competitive.
As CEO my obligations are to carry out objectives of the board of directors. I have to make sure the companies’ longevity are secured.”
Andrew said in the day to day running decisions have to be made . . . and some hard ones as that.
“I am the risktaker. Griffith is the voice of reason and Shepherd is more conservative,” he said chuckling.
When asked he said he has never regretted any decisions made.
“I have had to fire clients and turned down clients. I have given them back their money and said we no longer want to do business with you. It is all about ethics and principles,” he said vehemently.
Andrew is a stylish dresser and for the interview came dressed in a jacket, shirt and pants and all his suits were neatly pressed and in their cases.
“My uniform daily is laid out as jacket, shirt, pants and shoes. Every day that is how I dress. My look is a reflection of how I do business and how I want business to be done. I call my style Caribbean confidence,” he said laughing. “You know how Bajan men are a little flamboyant in flavour and colour. I am like that but on the minimal side as I add a touch of European to it.”
Andrew’s clothes are well-fitted . . . . With not an ounce of material to spare.
“There is no need for excess material. It’s not about tight but the right fit. When your clothes fit from shoulders to torso, pants straight to ankle there is something masculine about it.”
Andrew said his style wasn’t always like this and he found his inspiration from watching Danile Craig as James Bond in Skyfall in 2012.
“When I saw how he dressed I said that is how a well dressed man should always look. I found out he got all his stuff tailored. Now 90 per cent of my stuff is tailored. My suits and formal wear are done by Rosca and my mum Marina Jemmott does the rest for me, including alterations.”
When he is not in his suits and brogues he finds time to relax with his son and spouse.
“You asked me why so many businesses and if it is about the money. My personal goal for doing all of this is to create an environment where my children and children’s children will be comfortable. I want to give them knowledge of financial freedom which I believe in greatly And also financial literacy which many people don’t put much stock into but it is important to understand how finance and money works,” Andrew noted.
“All of this really, is about feeding my family.”