Conversation: We have to start dialoguing with each other. Oftentimes understanding the plight of someone starts simply by having a true, honest, and open conversation. There is nothing wrong with not knowing that something is wrong or broken, but the problem continues to exist when everyone pretends that everything is fine. Healing cannot happen that way. However, there is a silver lining. With the murder of George Floyd, we see where it has created pockets of opening for the conversation to be had, and that is a step forward.
I had the pleasure interviewing Rameish Budhoo. Born in Jamaica, Rameish Budhoo came to the US when he was just eight years old. Even at a young age, he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Now he is a self-taught tech entrepreneur who is pioneering social change. He is currently dedicated to growing his two companies, WinCor Technology Inc, a full service app agency, and Black Nation, a social business directory app.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I was born in a little country town in the hillsides of Portland Jamaica called Ginger House. My family and I moved to the United States when I was seven years old. Initially, it was a culture shock for me, but after I began elementary school and started meeting new friends I quickly adapted to life in a new country.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The book that impacts me the most is the Bible. What I love about the Bible is that it transcends time, gender, or age. I can read it by myself and glean a wealth of knowledge, then when my wife, children, and I will read it together and the premise of it will take on more of a family feel. The Bible can help me with every facet of my life. From dealing with relationships, parenting, stress, finances, spiritual health, how to cope with death, it offers encouragement, and just how to maintain balance in my life. There are not too many multifaceted books, and that is why it is so significant to me.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?
Yes, I do. “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated”. ~Maya Angelo~
This quote is what keeps a fire in me. I think one of the first lessons that any successful entrepreneur learns is that defeat is a part of the game. but it is also what makes a distinction between those who say they want something and those who want it badly enough that every defeat serves as a propeller to push you forward, to make you work harder, to give it everything. The only person who can defeat me is me, and it is that mindset that keeps me motivated.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
The leadership of course means to lead. But being an effective leader can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding feats for someone to accomplish. Leadership requires adaptability. It is imperative for a leader to understand who it is he or she is leading and to understand that each person on his/her team is unique, with different backgrounds, personality traits, and untapped potential, therefore a “one size fits all” model doesn’t necessarily work. Having the line drawn between the leader and subordinate is key, but within those confines, there have to be communication, trust, good work ethics, and transparency and an effective leader has to be the tip of the spear in all those areas.
In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?
I am an early riser. I find that having time to myself in the mornings to go for a bike ride normally energizes me and gets me in the right place mentally to take on my workload. Also during the day if everything is on overdrive, I normally take a smoothie break and get a delicious avocado with sea moss and protein smoothie and this gives me the boost I need to plow through.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a very important self-reckoning about race, diversity, equality, and inclusion. This is, of course, a huge topic. But briefly, can you share your view on how this crisis inexorably evolved to the boiling point that it’s at now?
The history of the foundation of this country is something that is not often talked about because it seems to be an uncomfortable topic for a very large majority, so it’s true history has just been swept under the rug or has become revisionist history, meaning the full truth of what happened is not taught, so now there are several generations (on all sides) that have partial knowledge, some more than others. Now after doing this for centuries the bandaid in an instant is yanked off and it reveals a very ugly, festering sore, one that should have been cleaned and sutured decades ago. Yet a segment of America is still not ready to deal with the past because it involves accountability and righting several wrongs, and that is where we are at today.
Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience working with initiatives to promote Diversity and Inclusion? Can you share a story with us?
Our App, Black Nation was built to provide a platform for Black Businesses to have a place where they can advertise their business, it also provides the opportunity for EVERYONE regardless of color to be able to find and support these businesses. Oftentimes, let’s be honest, patrons don’t go out of their way to support a black-owned business.
The App is also a social media platform, it is used like any other social media platform and it is open to everyone. We know that for any business to thrive it takes support from all communities and this App provides the vehicle to be able to do so.
This may be obvious to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you articulate to our readers a few reasons why it is so important for a business or organization to have a diverse executive team?
America is a diverse nation and the people that make up this nation should be reflected in all areas of the executive team. No two cultures are carbon copies of each other and that is why it is so important to have someone with a voice at the table to represent their group because we are all groups within the collective.
Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society”. Kindly share a story or example for each.
*Acknowledgement: America has to acknowledge that there are severe wage disparities between the black and white community, and this was done through slavery, Jim Crow, Redlining, prison industrial complex to name a few. We cannot have inclusivity and equitable society without first acknowledging that it is not equal, to begin with. We have tried to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps several times. One of those times would be when we created Black Wallstreet, but that’s like all the others didn’t have the best ending.
*Change: Once this acknowledgment is made then we can move to the next step and that is changing. Amendments to the laws that cause or perpetuate the disenfranchisement of the African American community can happen.
*Support: At the end of the day we are all in this together. We are one nation, indivisible, (we are still working on the liberty and justice for all part) but that is fully attainable, all we need is the support of everyone. This giant leap would reflect positively on our nation because we know a kingdom divided cannot stand.
*Conversation: We have to start dialoguing with each other. Oftentimes understanding the plight of someone starts simply by having a true, honest, and open conversation. There is nothing wrong with not knowing that something is wrong or broken, but the problem continues to exist when everyone pretends that everything is fine. Healing cannot happen that way. However, there is a silver lining. With the murder of George Floyd, we see where it has created pockets of opening for the conversation to be had, and that is a step forward.
*Break the cycle: The future is unwritten, and it is up to us not to change the narrative and leave a positive legacy for our children and grandchildren. It’s ok to celebrate each other’s success, it’s ok to embrace each other’s differences and it is ok to want to do our part to make this world a better place.
We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain it?
I am going to say yes. Even though it seemed like for four hundred+ years African Americans have been disenfranchised in this country and this has been allowed to go on for so long because there was no one to be held accountable, so the proverbial can of equality and justice just keeps getting kicked further and further down the road. I feel like this new generation will accept nothing less than change this time around. And yes we see marching in the streets, and viral songs like Keedron Bryant’s “I just want to live” but I feel like for the first time since 1964 we might be able to turn a new page in this country.
Is there a person in the world, or the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
The Rapper TI. He is 100% about self-empowerment within the Black Community, and his vision mirrors mine. So I know if we got together to brainstorm, the possibilities of what we could accomplish together would be endless.
How can our readers follow you online?
They can follow us on Instagram at:
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!