Update interview Ishwar Offerman
Interview April 2021
Could you tell us what has happened since we interviewed you in June 2019 with regards to your journey and own life path?
I remember our last interview was in the middle of my presidency of my local JCI Chapter. I now can look and truly say I gave it my all and achieved a lot of during that year. From projects such as “2030 Youth Curaçao”, “No Shave November 2019” to personal achievements such as Most Outstanding Local Presidents in the Dutch Caribbean. I spent my year in my local board as a much needed advisor, navigating the pandemic which was even more challenging as a volunteer organization. As my board responsibilities started to decrease I started to focus back on what is going to be my next entrepreneurial endeavor. I can say I have spent the last part of 2020 and the first quarter 2021 developing new consultancy products in the area of sustainability development and project management. Also, I’m more involved in committees for social impact (outside of JCI). For example, at the start of the year I was part of “Vota Sabi stemwijzer”.
We are now in a second lockdown and our economy has been severely affected by the corona pandemic. How has this affected your resolve to become an entrepreneur?
These lockdowns haven’t really changed my resolve at all, it actually emphasized the need for the ability to decide your own financial fate and also having multiple income streams. If we go back to the old normal or a new normal nothing really changes. An entrepreneur creates economic value by solving problems. Some solutions are simple, some are complex, but there is a perpetual need for solutions. I’m confident in my skills to find those entrepreneurial opportunities.
What are some of the obstacles that you are encountering and how are you finding ways to overcome these obstacles?
All the main obstacles I’m encountering are related mentality. There is a general economic anxiety under business owners and management, I have been sensing this even before the pandemic. Regardless of the real direction of the economy, overly cautious owners and management might take to many defensive business moves. This means less investment and hiring that can create capabilities to innovate. I feel this during pitch meetings where you are received with a high level of skepticism and cynicisms, even for low risk proposals. I have been combating this by trying to have an alignment session to a common ground on economics and innovation topics and move forward from there.
What are some of the next steps that you are planning to do in the short and long term on your life’s path and how can we as Share2Uplift help in your endeavors via “Connecting, aligning and enabling impactful collaborations”?
I’m looking forward to rolling out the products and services I have been developing during the last 9 months on the brand AVNG Group as we emerge from this lockdown. With AVND Group I’m looking forward to working on and leading multidisciplinary projects with a need for innovation and sustainability aspects. I’m also working on “Impacts Efficiency Program” with the aim to create platforms and tools to improve the performance of the NGO’s on the island. Long term, I want to use local success of these products and services to expand regionally. Share2Uplift is a great place to learn about and meet other key changemakers people in the community. I feel that currently there are a lot of people working on great projects on the island but the information is very scattered. This is why I support any effort to platform these people and make it easier to work together.