John carving his niche in IT world
October 28, 2005
John carving his niche in IT world

Managing Director of Computec Ltd., Michael John, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his company.

His decision to become a full time entrepreneur was not that easy. He first had to “bite the bullet” and leave his job as an Information Technology, Manager of the Central Water and Sewage Authority, leaving all benefits earned during the 21 years spent at that company. {{more}}

Having taken that risk a year ago, John said that he has no regrets and is now focused on making Computec go beyond the horizons.

A long way from his humble beginnings in the Marriaqua Credit Union building, his company is now located in busy Kingstown upstairs Fast Foto.

Today Computec is the Dell authorized service centre on the island and ensures that customers get that professional touch. They also offer services like ’round the clock’ internet access, an automated internet system, and computer skills training.

Searchlight gets up close and personal with this courageous entrepreneur:

•Q: Are you living your professional dream?

A: I will clearly say no, up front. I didn’t have the slightest idea that I would have been an IT professional. In my days at school, it was a rare thing. But travelling to Barbados to study really opened up my eyes; I would encourage young people to travel and see how businesses could be and how other people do things.

• Q: What do you do to relax?

A: My family comes first. I relax a lot with my kids, I play a lot of football. I am very involved in football. I am the Chairman of the Arnos Vale League Committee and I’ve been playing football since I was a little kid. I listen to a lot of music. There is nothing better than to listen to some good old Vintage Reggae music, you know Beres Hammond and Bob Marley.

• Q: So you went to the Bunny Wailer show?

A: Of course, and it was great! I love music so sometimes I do a little DJing as a hobby not for parties, mainly for sports. I call myself, DJ John-O, the Hobby DJ (laughs)

• Q: Where would you be on a Saturday night?

A: Saturday night is at home, nowhere else. That is my main family night. During the week I normally work late and that’s the time I relax with the kids; we play games like hide and seek. I have a five-year-old, a six-year-old and a 15-year-old. They all love the computer, especially my five-year-old.

• Q: What is your favourite meal?

A: (laughs) As a countryman, my favourite meal has to be a boilin…a good fish boilin. And I can’t leave out my breadfruit and salt fish.

• Q:What challenges you most?

A: To prepare the company to face Caribbean Single Market and Economy. It is a serious juncture in the business world and we have to be prepared. Computec is trying to have all the workers, especially technicians certified so that we meet all the international standards.

• Q: What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

A: Satisfying a customer. I feel delighted when someone calls me with a problem and I can go to that location and have the problem resolved, especially if the job is a difficult one and I can make the customer happy by solving their problems.

• Q: Where do you get inspiration to go on?

A: Well, of course my inspiration comes from the Most High God Almighty and my entire family. My wife, kids, brothers, sisters and father. We were brought up very close, we always tried to make our father proud because our mother died when I was five years old. So that’s one of my inspirations, making the old man proud.

• Q: Who has had the most positive influence on your life?

A: Of course my wife, I can’t choose anybody else. She kept my vision alive even when I was at CWSA. She was the one carrying on the business.

• Q: If you were given the power to change one thing in the country or the world, what would it be?

A: Poverty! When I look at the poor people in the world and see how they are living, that really touches me. To see all those children without clean drinking water and food. If I could change it, nobody will be poor and I mean that from deep within.

• Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

A: On a yacht somewhere sailing the seas (laughs)…early retirement! (laughs). No, but seriously, I really see myself as one of the top entrepreneurs in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, top not only in wealth, but in good customer service. I see my company being a very large company beyond St.Vincent and not only in IT.

• Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: At this time I really want to commend the staff for the services they have been providing to customers over the years, especially the technicians. They are the ones who go out in the field and deal with customers’ problems and I want to thank our front line staff and our many customers.