Passion in the Face of Adversity

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Among the many traits that an entrepreneur is thought to have, passion is probably the most important. A passion for self-growth is pertinent for the growth of any business.

Delroy Bowla (Mr. Bowla to me) is an entrepreneur in the true sense. His passion & determination are the driving forces behind his business. Born to humble beginnings, he grew up in the communities along Spanish Town Road and was not educated past the primary level. Notwithstanding this circumstance, he went to work as a store clerk/sales person, gaining experience which would become so valuable to his future development.

Now the owner and operator of Bowla’s Dry Goods located on Hagley Park Road, Mr. Bowla states that his idea to venture into the business of entrepreneurship was introduced to him by a very close friend. It is an avenue he explored as he was looking for “greener pastures” and an alternative route which would allow him to better provide for his family.

During the initial stages of his business, he did not have a stationary store and operated mostly as a mobile unit. His trade was focused on the sale of children’s items such as clothing and under garments which were imported from Panama; however, with the presence of Chinese manufacturing and the competitive prices which this offered, he began to face challenges which affected his business adversely.

The most significant challenge he faced during the establishment of his business was that of getting financial support. He started with the little he had and invested his earning and from that he was able to see small profits. Over the years, Mr. Bowla developed the practice of using credit cards to purchase merchandise from his international suppliers.

Thirty years after establishment however, Mr. Bowla is still faced with a few struggles. The current devaluation in the Jamaican dollar has had major effects on his daily operations. He has, in the past had to significantly discount his prices and has in severe cases been forced to liquidate some assets. On some days, he is hesitant to consider the future of his business and even has thoughts of closing his doors. Nevertheless, the love he has for what he does keeps him going and offers him reassurance on those dark days.

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is as honest as it is true. He urges them to consider the type of business that they would be venturing into. A business in sales would struggle to stay afloat as the possession of disposable income has depreciated due to the continued decline of Jamaican dollar. He is however confident in the creativity of the youth to establish business ideas that will thrive. He urges them to establish businesses in fields that are unsaturated and unique. He also advises that experience is vital as it offers the wisdom and knowledge that will be needed for the success of your own business.

Despite the struggles he faced during establishment and to this day, he is driven by his dedication and overall love for his job. Matched with his passion, his hard work is equally admirable and contributes to his overall excellent entrepreneurial characteristics.

Sereta Thompson 

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