Mckoy’s Business News: Manoj Ramchandani Building his Legacy – To some people, the motto: “seize the day,” may mean making the most of the present moment—which by extension, many individuals have adopted this philosophy, but, in this article, we will be featuring a man that has taken this philosophy to this next level.
The man Mckoy’s News is featuring in this article has lived, and is living, by his own philosophy which is to: “begin at the end”—seeing yourself at the end, and knowing who you want to be, what people will see you as—and building your way back from that point. This principle has allowed this business magnate to become a successful businessman, philanthropist, a passionate and successful race car driver and, now, a real estate investor— this man is Manoj Ramchandani.
Where did it all start?
Ramchandani has shown his prowess in both intellect and business from a tender age. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University with his Master’s Degree by the age of 21. Discerning his previous achievements at the Northern Caribbean University where he left with his Bachelors’s and Florida State University where he graduated with his Associate’s degree—all in honours. He attributed his early success to his initial graduation from Cornwall College at the tender age of 15.
But throughout these series of successes, Ramchandani had to overcome obstacles. One of which was an accident that resulted in him breaking his right femur. He had to learn to walk again, which was the initial reason why he did not continue his Bachelors’s in the United States.
Planting the seeds
Ramchandani showed intuition and a sharp sense of business when he started his first business while doing his Master’s Degree and working odd jobs. He worked at Shop Smart as a sales clerk and United General Insurance (now Advantage General Insurance Ltd.) as a claims agent. With proceeds from his jobs, he started his first business selling imported phones. In a statement he said:
“I knew all my life that business is what I wanted to do because it offered limitless possibilities. At the time Digicel was expanding in Jamaica and I asked for a license [which they granted.] I also met someone at Blue Diamond who rented a section of the building and I offered to rent a small section of their store. At the time about three persons were able to fit in my store. I used all my savings to import 21 cell phones—I remembered clearly. We were one of the first persons to carry imported phones otherwise from what
Digicel was carrying…”
Ramchandani continued his business until he was able to expand into a larger store on the same building, upgraded the business into a franchise and rebranded the business with a new name: Tech City.
It is no secret that Ramchandani has an intense passion for vehicles—specifically luxury and sports vehicles. This passion, which stemmed from his childhood, brought him into importing his own vehicles, into importing vehicles for his friends until a company has given birth from this passion.
“So Dream Auto became the automobile business and it’s currently one of the largest car businesses within the western region. We are now in our sixth year of doing business, and we are known for dealing with our clients honestly and fairly as well as providing quality vehicles. Our motto is “Dream Auto, Quality, Integrity, Service,” which transposes to quality customer service, after-sale services and being transparent.”
The bloom for Ramchandani’s newest development was a result of an acquired taste for spaces, intellectual modern designs for homes and seeing a niche that can be expanded on in the real estate industry.
“We realized that there was nothing here that was designed with intellect to make the product better—whether they were condos, apartments or houses—and spending a lot of time perfecting the product. Within all that, we needed to ensure it’s something that can be sold for fair pricing and be honest with customers. This thought process is how we came up with Dream Developers.
“We kept the Dream brand because Dream Autos became known for quality, honesty and providing fair pricing.
“Linking that to Dream Developers, we came up with Dream 36 —Jamaica’s most modern building. The project is valued at 1.5 billion JMD.” Ramchandani stated.
The project broke ground in November 2019 and upon completion, clientèle should benefit from high-end amenities such as First world conference room, 24-hour security, infinity lap pool, bar lounge, Jacuzzis overlooking a sea view, doubt-height lobby with concierge desk, RFID ID to the building and all access points, 24/7 gym, movie theatre, roof-top community area and a lot more.”
The price point is between $200,000 – $500,000 USD for 1-3 bedroom condos along with access to all the amenities above. The inside of each unit would be state-of-the-art, boasting: 8 feet (2.44 m) doors, category 5 hurricane impact windows, porcelain tiles, quartz countertops, tray ceiling, recessed lighting, solid surface kitchen cabinets, etc.
The idea was developed by Ramchandani and executed along with a powerful team he hand-selected. The team, as he said, leveraged intelligence along with high caliber experience, and meticulous selection of superior elements to provide a premium product.
Building the DREAM brand
Mckoy’s News delved a bit deeper into the mind of the brand. We wanted to understand the ‘why,’ behind Ramchandani’s choice of the word dream, and he explained his philosophy behind the brand.
“Dream is a powerful word in a consumer’s mind; a lot of emotions come to mind when the word is heard and it is an aspirational word. It gives us a chance to fulfill those consumers’ desires because everyone wants something— a house, car, food, etc. The deeper desires come from somewhere even further, in the sense that, you wanted to own a vehicle growing up– we are appealing to that deeper sense of what they want. We wanted to create a company that was behind all of that—simple, clear and appealing to their deepest desires.”
The future of the Dream Brand
The company plans to continue its success and continue to build a better relationship with its growing clientele. Ramchandani stated that he’s eyeing the real estate industry.
“I would expand further in real estate, because, we see a niche there that we are creating and has been able to create in Jamaica.”
A 3-Dimensional mind
Throughout the interview with Ramchandani, Mckoy’s News identified that he was quite the three-dimensional man. Not limiting himself to only business, Ramchandani, has various interests as well. He is a member of the Rotary Club, Freemason, a Justice of the Peace and a member of Jamaica Race Cars Club.
When asked about what sparked his interest in freemasonry he stated that joined because the organization brought him closer to the people he wanted to be like and it hosted many of his mentors in life. He stated that he joined at the age of 21. He continued by saying:
“What freemasonry does, is, it makes good men better and that is what I wanted to be a part of. There are a lot of misconceptions because we are an organization that has secrets, because, we protect the experience of new members coming in.”
In Rotary Ramchandani served as an assistant governor. When asked about a few projects that he was a part of the expressed that his team pioneered the outfitting the Optometry Lab at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) with upgraded equipment, he partnered with persons in Canada to import a container of computers which were donated to several schools and community centres island-wide and, one of his recent project, was a donation of neonatal incubators to the CRH. He expressed that he was most moved by the last project because it carried a personal experience, whereby, members of his family had needed incubators in the past.
Moving from philanthropy, he is also big in race car driving which is also close to his heart. He secured six podium finishes—five gold places win and one silver place win, in his last six events. Ramchandani is currently an active Dover racer.
His views for his life plan
He expressed that one of his guiding principles is simply: “Life is really short.” He observed that many people were unaware of this simple fact. They are either reminded about this when they attend a funeral or are aware of someone else’s mortality.
“We forget quickly that life is short, and when you realize that [it is], you have little to lose. Therefore, living every day with purpose becomes important.”
When he is not working or chasing another passion for mentorship, Ramchandani, expressed that he enjoys travelling and, or, documenting his ideas on his personal blog: www.keyboardandcoffee.com.
By Chenson Bennett