Manoj Ramchandani is not your typical 33-year-old.
The Cornwall College past student has set his sights on developing a strong and reputable brand on the business landscape of western Jamaica.
That brand, Dream Corp Investments, is the parent company of Dream Auto, Dream Mart, Dream by the Beach, Dream Property Management and Dream Developers.
After obtaining his MBA with honors from Nova Southeastern University, Manoj returned home and started an electronics store. His passion for motor vehicles and motor racing quickly led him to launch Dream Auto.
The Jamaica Observer West (JOW) recently sat down with Manoj over coffee inside his Dream Auto office at Bogue in Montego Bay to find out more about the man and his dream.
JOW: Who or what had the greatest influence on you as a child?
MR: Mentors, more than anything else. I believe that surrounding yourself with people who dream bigger than you is the single most important influence on your success. The people you spend the most time with ultimately affect who you become.
JOW: What five words best describe you?
MR: Eccentric. Realist. Motivated. Organised and dreamer.
JOW: Dream Auto recently celebrated one year of operations, tell us about that first year?
MR: (He takes a sip of his coffee, and appears to be in a reflective mood) “The first year is a tough year for any business because capital investments have not yet been recovered. But we still maintain that a niche exists to supply quality vehicles at competitive market prices.
JOW: What are some of the challenges that you face in your line of business?
MR: The car buying procedure in Jamaica needs to be simplified. The loan process and licensing process are archaic at best, and once we focus on those areas we can begin to look for greater improvements in the system. Also, we feel that the duties on motor vehicles are very high in Jamaica, and that prohibits Jamaicans from enjoying higher quality vehicles.
JOW: What sets you apart from your competitors?
MR: We have taken the lead to become advisors to our clients, assisting them throughout the whole process, because we understand the frustrations. Being customer centric and forging lasting relationships are fundamental to the ‘Dream’ brand. We also ensure that we provide quality motor vehicles at fair market prices. We also believe in reinvesting in our brand, our product, that’s why we are currently injecting $100million in the business.
JOW: What is your greatest wish for Montego Bay?
MR: My greatest wish for Montego Bay is simply that it will one day realizes its full potential. Montego Bay is one of the world’s most beautiful English-speaking cities, just moments from North America, with its greatest assets – its people. I think if we are able to think bigger and recognize Montego Bay for its untapped potential, we can take it to much bigger heights. I also wish that Montego Bay will one day become a city where Montegonians can live and work without being in constant fear of criminal activities.
JOW: What motivates you to keep going?
MR: Honestly, I remind myself that we are going to die one day and that we have one shot at this. When you think about things that way, you realise that you have little to lose.
JOW: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
MR: I find it funny that I have been asked that so many times, yet, I always reply the same way. I don’t believe in five-year plans. I believe in a ‘Life Plan.’ When you think about what you want to accomplish by the end of your life, it forces you to think about what is most important to you. Once you figure that out, you use that as a guiding force in your daily decisions and goals. Also, I think we become different people as time goes by, based on our experiences. I currently have many different goals which range in expected duration, some of which in the near future involve my continued involvement in the Electronics Industry, the Automotive Industry, and the Real Estate Industry. But where do I see myself in five years? Above all else, hopefully doing what makes me happy at the time.
The Jamaica Observer