My St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Maurice John Jr
Maurice John Jr is the founder of the Kingstown based real estate company, CaribiDreams. The company is guided by the mantra, “You dream, we deliver” promising its customers, whether they are buying or selling, that the experience will be easy, like a dream. Today, in My SVG Maurice shares his love of information technology and how this is incorporated into his business and offers advice to young Vincentians hoping to start their own businesses.
Describe St. Vincent and the Grenadines in three words.
Heaven on earth.
Which area are you from?
Mount Pleasant, Argyle.
What is your favourite traditional dish, and why?
Pelau, my mom cooks a mean pot, I can’t figure out the formula to this day.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
The first time I figured out I liked IT. It was a huge chapter in my life. And it was a rebellious chapter too, because my family wanted me to be an engineer. Looking back, I love that resilient fire.
Where did you attend high school?
St. Vincent Boys Grammar School.
What was your favourite subject in high school?
What inspired you to start CaribiDreams?
During my time at UWI I forged some great friendships with several students across the Caribbean. We had a great discussion about starting a business that we can all participate in across the island. My responsibility was the IT framework so when I came home to St. Vincent that goal was fixed in my mind. CaribiDreams stems from that goal.
What is your vision for life in SVG in the next 20 years?
St. Vincent is very much a well-kept secret. I believe that secret will be out in the next 20 years and more people will realize just how wonderful it is. I believe it will be a top player in tourism in the coming years.
Which local activist/personality do you admire the most, and why?
Philmore Issacs. He is one of St. Vincent’s great stewards of development. He is a man with a moral core and visionary mind.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Right now, it’s a nice place called Aqua Lounge and Restaurant located on the Arnos Vale stretch.
What advice would you give young Vincentians who are considering entrepreneurship?
Just do it. The world is becoming so small that any hindrance to your entrepreneurial movement can easily be solved by widely available resources and persons who are just a Skype call away.
What major developments would you like to see happen in Caribbean real estate development in the next decade?
I am currently working on marrying Artificial intelligence with virtual reality and it’s my hope that our Caribbean islands are not left behind in these emerging technologies.
Where would you recommend as a ‘must go’ to a first time visitor to SVG?
There are so many ‘must go’ places it’s hard to name one. SVG is just an amazing place. I would suggest a tour of our Grenadines; those islands make us unique.
As a technology enthusiast, describe how best SVG businesses can use new media to bolster productivity.
The TV is dead. The newspapers are also slowly dying. New media is taking over the world and business must connect on these platforms to satisfy the thirst of the next generation.
Considering a staycation, where in SVG is your favourite place to unwind and recharge?
I don’t unwind and recharge often, but when I do, catch me in Bequia.