Twenty-seven year old Carlyle Grant always knew that he wanted to be behind the creative thought process of brands from he was a youngster, but at the time, he didn’t know that the discipline was referred to as marketing.
“When I was a child watching Saturday morning cartoons, whenever the commercials with cereals and toys would come on, I used to picture myself in the meeting rooms and board rooms conceptualising what the next toy or cereal would be,” he revealed.
Some two decades later, the former 2015/2016 JN Wise Aspiring Youth (WAY) ambassador, is the owner and managing director of Digital Danes, a growing digital creative agency.
Mr Grant’s company offers services such as digital marketing, social media management, live social media event coverage and digital video production, just to name a few, to various brands across Jamaica and the Caribbean.
“The business, which is my brainchild, started in 2018 with a few business partners, but now I am the sole owner,” Mr Grant pointed out.
The University of the West Indies graduate, holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies with a major in Marketing. He said his business helps brands to move into age of digital transformation and employs a team of five persons, as well as freelancers.
So far, Digital Danes has worked with more than 20 corporate brands such as Jamaica Public Service, Pulse Investments, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Council of Voluntary Social Services and ZIP FM.
Currently, the agency also works with a few member companies in The Jamaica National Group, such as JN Money, JN General Insurance and JN Bank.
The St. George’s College old boy says he has always had an entrepreneurial itch, but was afraid to venture into entrepreneurship because of the risks associated with business ownership.
“Even in high school, I used to burn CDs and sell them and also buy lunch for people and charge them a service fee,” Mr Grant recalled.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, the digital marketer worked with agencies to manage the social media accounts for major companies such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Magnum Tonic Wine.
However, he began to find the volume of work stressful and he resigned and dived into entrepreneurship.
“I had a car loan and a student loan to worry about, but I decided to risk it nevertheless. I have not missed a payment since and I paid off my student loan in full last year,” he expressed.
Mr Grant credits the JN WAY Ambassador programme with helping to shape him into the professional and entrepreneur he is today. The programme is a JN Bank youth marketing initiative, geared at promoting financial literacy and empowerment to tertiary students and young adults.
“I am eternally grateful for all the help that I have gotten from JN and the JN WAY programme overall and also the people that I’ve met. I definitely think that JN had put me on a platform for more persons to know about my capabilities. It certainly gave me a firm foundation for the corporate world, as well as allowed me to understand financial literacy and I’m grateful for the many opportunities and assistance I’ve received,” he said.
“Once you’re a part of the JN WAY or the JN family, you’re a part of the family for life, as long as you maintain the relationship with the people there,” he opined.
A blossoming youth leader, Mr Grant held several leadership positions while in university, including vice-president and director of public relations for The UWI Marketing Association.
In 2018, he was also selected to participate in a residency in Bali, Indonesia called the Sama-Sama programme -Indonesia Cultural Immersion for Emerging Jamaican Artists & Creatives, for which he received support from JN Bank to attend.
A public speaker, he has also engaged in several speaking opportunities for different organisations, locally and internationally.
Mr Grant is currently a Youth Leaders of America Initiative (YLAI) fellow- an entrepreneurial leadership and development programme- after being selected from a field of more than 1,800 applicants from 37 countries, to form the group of 280 fellows.
“I see myself and the business well respected and seasoned in the creative industry impacting youth, offering opportunities and helping brands thrive in an age of digital transformation; fuelled by the talents of the region’s top creatives who maximise digital technology for brand and business development. I hope to be able to also establish a creative space with all the tools for young creatives who lack the resources to express themselves,” he said.