Meeting with Best Young Entrepreneur of 2019 | 27 January 2020
‘Determination is always the key to success but the trick is to always believe in yourself’
On the evening of Friday January 17 James Dupres clinched the award for Best Young Entrepreneur during the 8th Seychelles Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) Business Award ceremony that was held at the Avani Resort at Barbarons, a glamorous and prestigious event for the business sector.
Still basking in the glow of the pleasant surprise and still receiving calls and messages of congratulations, a happy and proud Mr Dupres was excited to tell Seychelles NATION more about his business – the James Dupres Consultancy – in operation for the past three years which has landed him the award.
James Dupres Consultancy offers multimedia consultancy and specialises in a wide range of services, including tailored social media services and solutions for small and medium businesses. Depending on the size of projects, Mr Dupres works with a team of local professionals and he is committed to providing each and every one of his clients with high quality service and support.
“We expertly combine our services in order to provide customised help and support, so you only get what you need and what you want. Our innovative approach starts with a thorough investigation of what your company/business needs to succeed so that we can ensure a perfect fit for you,” Mr Dupres explained.
His services include concept development, brand refinement, photography, videography, market research, social media marketing, graphics design, content marketing and events organisation.
“As a student I always had business oriented ideas and love to create stuff with my hands,” said the young man who studied for a Bachelor's Degree in hotel management at Shannon College in Ireland.
When he completed his studies and came back in 2015 at the age of 24, Mr Dupres said he went through a lot of disappointments which led him to send job applications to different companies outside of his field of study. He was offered a job in marketing and publicity by a longtime friend, Cliff Cupidon, where he chose to go into marketing, events and branding. He worked with and alongside his friend for a year and a half and after decided to go and start doing things on his own.
Mr Dupres explained that in 2017 he registered his small business and continued to push to be known, to build his personal image, credibility and strive for quality in the services he was offering which were creative director for photography projects, and managing of facebook pages and he had started getting business – like a contract to produce calendars for UCPS, adverts for Carlsberg, Pilgrim Security and Prime Paints… Around the same time Mr Dupres said he felt the needed to perfect himself in digital marketing as this was on the rise at the time. So he went back to Ireland to enroll on a diploma course in digital marketing.
“I invested my own savings into the course,” Mr Dupres noted.
He said on his return after a few months he secured contracts to create content for TODAY in Seychelles newspaper, SF Hybrid Motors and had managed to do some photography work with Marsha Dine for a number of hospitality establishments namely Eden Bleu Hotel, Six Senses ZIL Pasyon, Le Delplace Restaurant, Le Rendezvou Cafeteria, Hotel l'Archipel Praslin, to name a few.
Mr Dupres noted that on top of that he also organises corporate events namely last year's Miss Regatta among others.
He has also ventured into helping businesses when they are in the process of setting up by providing them with their corporate admin packages such as letterheads, business cards, calendars etc..
Mr Dupres said when he started he had nothing only his ideas, a few social media platforms and word of mouth which have all pushed him and boosted the popularity of the services he offers.
He noted that his business is based on exclusivity and links of portfolio are sent to what form of medium the client is looking for.
Importance of business collaboration
“Entrepreneurship is about taking on challenges, facing disappointments and even failure but with determination alongside commitment you'll succeed,” Mr Dupres remarked when asked if he faces difficulties in the business.
“It is very difficult for a business to survive without collaboration because there is the need to bounce ideas of one another and benchmark yourself in order for you to know how well you are performing and to be able to compare your work with other creative minds out there,” he said.
He is grateful for the fact that he works in a strong team of three which include a videographer, photographer and project developer.
Based at Brilliant since starting his operation, Mr Dupres said he is expected to have a new office soon. The nature of his work keeps him on the move with his whole team all the time but he said the office will be where they will touch base and where clients can drop by to get an appointment or more information on the services they offer.
Expansion and diversification
Mr Dupres said he can now confidently affirm that his business is viable and can sustain itself and it has good potential to continue to grow and expand as he continues to diversify by moving into and exploring other potential sectors.
“My dream is to have my own media studio whereby I can produce more creative work, hire more people, provide career development opportunities to more young people no matter if they have a degree or not but as long as they have the drive to think creatively. I feel that my business is not yet where I want it to be but it is on the right track as we have a lineup of some very nice and exciting projects for this year,” he revealed.
He further added that they also have some projects which has some focus on the youth, arts, music as well as television shows and productions for the local TV channel.
Meanwhile Mr Dupres said he is well into producing different videos as part of commemoration for the 250 years, a history of our people series which is being aired every evening since late last year on SBC TV.
Very enthusiastic and full of optimism, Mr Dupres said he has never let himself be intimidated by challenges and has never been afraid of failure and disappointment but instead these have made him stronger as he quickly turns them around into opportunities. But he admits that the greatest challenge is to be able to afford and find the right people to work with to deliver the quality of work you want for your clients.
Mr Dupres expressed gratitude to his team who is dedicated to what they each do but he admits that he needs more dedicated people on the team but this is not an easy task.
“The biggest challenge is to find the right people with the right motivation as the job requires the desire to make things happen and produce quality results to satisfy clients,” said Mr Dupres.
He is calling on young people with talents, ideas, motivation to consider coming forward for advice and tips on how to excel at what they are good at.
“As a young potential entrepreneur it is important for you to remain true to what you believe in. Once you have your idea you should dedicate yourself to it no matter what and focus on developing it further. Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, failing a few times but you have to pick yourself up again and find what was wrong with the initial approach before retrying,” Mr Dupres stated, noting that a lot of very prosperous world renown businessmen failed several times before becoming great success stories.
He went on to note that a lot of young people out there have ideas but they need to go out and seek help to develop them and push them further or even on their own.
“The creative space in the Seychelles has many opportunities but it also come with its struggles along the way and each of them has strengthened me to be able to perfect my craft. I would like to thank my family for their continued support and for believing in my business when no one else did, the SCCI for the privilege and recognition, my dedicated team – Marsha Dine, Neerah Ciseau, Angela Franchette –, my collaborators, Fed Lang, Cliff Cupidon, Alexander Mancham, Phoebe Servina, Andrew Palmyre, Sarah Lang, Anisa Rose and Vesna Rajic. Work partners Relations Sound, Weprint, Parties and More, Atelier Coco Fleur, MadDecor, Petit Amour Villa, Boardwalk bar and grill, Delplace Restaurant, Omega Lights, SBC, Today Publishers, Tweethings, Rock it, UCPS, Renault Seychelles, SF Hybrid Motors, Round Table Seychelles and everyone who keep supporting our platform as that's what keeps us going. I urge the youth to come forward, join the creative space and not to be afraid to showcase their talent as that's what makes us different and stand out regionally and internationally. Determination is always the key to success but the trick is to always believe in yourself, stay committed to your goals and most importantly keep your ‘why’ in mind,” Mr Dupres concluded confidently.
The accompanying photographs show some of Mr Dupres’ works.
Photo sources: James Dupres