Wednesday, April 24, 2024

MONDAY MAN: A true Karibbean visionary


Share post:

IT HAS BEEN a long-running belief that when it comes to business, Barbadians do not swim in uncharted waters.

So it was no wonder the task to get Karibs Network Inc. to fruition proved difficult for Corrie Brewster.

Brewster’s journey began seven years ago with an idea that aimed to connect the region. It was a concept new to Barbados, but the St George resident was confident that a search engine that strictly catered to the wants and needs of the Caribbean would work.

How many times have you searched for information concerning the Caribbean using a regular search engine like Google, Firefox or Opera, only for it to result in hundreds of pages of useless, irrelevant information? Brewster’s aim was to cut out that process. 

“In doing research, you cannot find anything that is Caribbean-related. You get tourism because, from that aspect, persons do invest heavily with companies abroad for marketing, so they know about AdWords and KeyWords, which is a multibillion-dollar industry. Hence, when you do a search you get a lot of tourism-related research but because the average Joe doesn’t know about Adwords, they just know ‘I have a website that is up and running, Google will find it’. But then when you really look at it, you have to ask yourself which page ranking are you?

“You [are] somewhere deep in the 300th page, so nobody knows nothing about you because how many people go beyond the first or second page?

“What we have done is to split the search engine into regions . . . so that is one of the areas that makes our search engine unique since you can do a geographical search,” he said.

In an interview from his Green Hill, St Michael office, Brewster explained that his platform was made up of the flagship search engine, Karib Search, which was underscored by the two directories: Karib Biz (a medium for entrepreneurs throughout the region to have a web presence) and Karib Guide (tourism-oriented). Both are currently live.

How it works is when a user searches any web browser on the Internet for something “Caribbean”, its “spiders” would search Karib’s database for what related information was being sought. Therefore, any business with Caribbean ties could register its domain and through Karib it would have a greater web presence; that is, be more easily found.

The St George Secondary alumnus lamented that the most difficult challenge was sensitising and educating the public. That’s why, a couple years ago after some exposure, his business hit a stagnant period.

“That is one of the things that almost every entrepreneur experiences, especially if you don’t have a godfather,” Brewster said.

“It is weird that you would start out on your own merit but then when you realise the business needs capital to move forward, it is then where you come to a standstill, because there are no entities in Barbados to assist entrepreneurs. You . . . have to know somebody in order to get help,” he charged.

Luckily for Brewster, an “angel investor” appeared and made a significant investment into the business that has within the past eight months catapulted the 20-member team to another level.

“If you tell me that is not an act of God, I don’t know what it is. It is mind-blowing because you would hear about angel investors, not really believing there is such a thing, but I swear to you he is like an angel,” he said. “The money went towards the infrastructure and getting it really off the ground to the point that it is at right now. We are getting ready to come to market.”

Brewster added that other media, Karib Music and Karib Radio, are expected to be up and running by mid-February.

He said that since the investment, the process of educating the public about really what was the “Google” of the Caribbean had improved a lot.

“The response is good thus far, in the sense that one must first understand that Google really was not created to be a Caribbean thing.

“Here is where we will actually stand out because with certain key words that you would attribute to your business, then you have the geographical search which helps to narrow it down. This is where Caribbean businesses will have a chance.

“Also, you have one centralised location, so you are not bogged down with a lot of the international.

“When we are fully up and running, what is going to happen – because we will have such a large database of Caribbean information – those search engines would seek within our database and fetch the same results that the person is seeking. It would automatically direct to Karibs. And more than likely, when the person wants to search for something similar again, they would come straight to Karibs.

“At the end of the day, Karibs will be deemed as the largest deposit for Caribbean information found on the web,” Brewster stressed. (SDB Media)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Port of Spain General Hospital NICU baby death toll jumps to 18

Port of Spain - Two weeks after the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) announced that seven babies...

Sir David’s defence

Sir David Simmons, chairman of the Law Reform Commission, took on critics of the contentious Cybercrime Bill on...

Prescod: Don’t pay Drax a cent

Government would be wrong to pay the controversial Drax family $8 million to acquire the St George estate’s...

Fashion designer Nancy Gonzalez jailed for smuggling crocodile handbags into US

A celebrity handbag designer whose products have been used by Britney Spears and on Sex And The City...