Fear should not hold you back, Seychelles Young Entrepreneur of the Year says
Luther Denis (Middle) head of EZ Fix won the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 organised by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) (Louis Toussaint, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Luther Denis received the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016" award in the Business Awards Ceremony organised annually by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
Denis, a young technology enthusiast, started fixing broken devices at age 9. The first gadget he remembers fixing was his Tetris game followed by other appliances that were not working at home.
SNA caught up with the 28-year-old at his workshop on the third floor of Trinity House, in the 115-island archipelago’s capital, Victoria.
SNA: Take us into your world. Who is Luther Denis?
LD: My world revolves around technology. I was one of those children who would take apart a toy I had received just to see how it worked. Growing up, I was a very curious kid. Then I got to the age where I could use a computer and the internet. I started going online, researching my field of interest.
SNA: Tell us more about your creation ‘EZ Fix.'
LD: EZ Fix is a company that specialises in the repair of modern devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and smart watches. The business started out slowly and had been opened for over three years.
SNA: What pushed you to venture into this line of business?
LD: An acquaintance of mine once told me that I do a good job fixing electronic gadgets for people. My friends would bring their broken phones, and I would fix them. Sometimes they were phones that other people said they could not fix.
SNA: Did you have any fears for moving into the sometimes uncertain world of business?
LD: The first step I took was to quit my job. I was afraid, but fear is only human nature, but it makes you work harder because you do not want to fail. You should think positively.
SNA: What makes EZ Fix different from other businesses in the same field?
LD: I guess that at EZ Fix, we tend to cover the whole spectrum, be it software, a broken screen, a client who has forgotten their passwords or Apple ID. As much as possible, we don't turn down clients, even if it takes a long time to get something done.
SNA: Is it easy to run a business in Seychelles?
LD: To run a business you need to have various skills. One is being able to be a people person when dealing with clients. You will make a lot of mistakes, but that is normal -- you learn from it. There have been some challenges, mostly to do with software and hardware troubleshooting. I love challenges -- the fact of not knowing is what drives me.
SNA: What are the obstacles you have faced as an entrepreneur?
LD: The biggest obstacle is starting alone with no one to help you. It is tough in the sense that you don't have enough time to deal with all the workload, no matter how dedicated you are. This might make you tired and frustrated. Finance is another aspect. When you have just started and working alone, even if you are making money, there are many expenses to be made.
SNA: How does it feel to have won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year?
LD: I feel very proud. As a young entrepreneur and a new startup, you might feel isolated from the market itself in comparison to the other established businesses. Winning this award has shown me that young entrepreneurs are being noticed. We count and matter.
SNA: What led to your success?
LD: That is an easy question - I love what I do. Coming to work and facing the challenges is not a problem for me. It’s satisfying to be able to get something that was broken to work again. I love learning new things and seeing pleased clients.
SNA: What would you advise other young entrepreneurs?
LD: If you want to make it, don't let other people's doubts weigh you down. You have to rely on yourself. Do what your heart is telling you and most of all, do something you love. I want to tell young entrepreneurs like me to push forward. You need to make your business work because no one is going to do it for you.
SNA: What are your plans for the future?
LD: In five years I would like to see EZ Fix covering the whole scope and aspect of technology – not only smartphones and tablets. I'm talking about smart houses and incorporating technologies into your car. We want the whole package. It won't be an easy road as technology is changing day by day. With dedication, it is possible.