Kurt Brown making strides in courier services
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
From one employee to 20, no office space to three branches, one delivery truck to more than 16 vehicles and 12 customers to a database of more than 500, Doorway Express, spearheaded by 38 year-old Kurt Brown, has grown exponentially and continues to make its mark in the courier industry.
Having taken over the reins from his grandfather 18 years ago, Brown has transformed a one-man show into an employment opportunity for several.
"It was really a small-scale family business operated by my grandfather, Joseph Brown. After he retired, he started this, delivering items from Mandeville to Kingston ... of course, I spent some time with him and learned the ropes, and in 1996, I took over."
years of hard work
The now intra-island courier service located at 22 Ward Avenue, operated formerly as Mandeville Couriers, took years of hard work to be developed.
"There were several human-resource challenges; as we tried to provide the best possible service to our customers, we had to continuously deal with all our internal issues and not have it affect how we deliver."
He continued, "We had serious financial constraints and we were turned down several times by the banks, we needed to upgrade vehicles and we had to deal with issues of drivers' negligence and the works."
But as a man who is driven by a challenge, Brown soon found the requisite resources through the assistance of his support system to aid in the company's growth.
By 2004, a second branch was opened at 24 Dunrobin Avenue in Kingston. Within the next two years, plans were in place for yet another branch, and in 2006, the Montego Bay branch, located at 2 Coconut Drive, Freeport, was officially opened.
For several persons, thinking that the name Mandeville Couriers meant deliveries were only made to and from the town, the name was changed to Doorway Express - slogan, Your Door Our Next Delivery - in 2008.
"We are always creating waves and ensuring that we remain relevant and provide exceptional service. As we speak, there is a custom-written programme being developed. It will allow better accountability in the office and customers will be able to download a mobile app that will help them schedule a pick-up or delivery without their presence in the office ... this should be out by the end of the year," stated a proud Brown.
Having attended the Institute of Management and Production, now acquired by the University College of the Caribbean, after leaving high school and completing studies in business management at West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University), Brown says he has always had an entrepreneurial mind.
"From high school, I have had a business mind, my friends and I used to host parties and other events to make money and it has just followed me through ... for this business, I want it to be the premier logistics provider in Jamaica and then later the Caribbean and North America."
With the implementation of critical elements necessary for success, Brown says, too, that true mentors and supporters are reasons for his success.
"I have a great friend, Garth Abiola, he is truly motivating, gives genuine feedback and criticism and he's someone you can call on anytime ... of course, integrity has to be maintained, one has to be forward thinking and unwilling to settle. You have to embrace the future, accommodate change and never be comfortable with your present situation without being ungrateful for where you are"
With inevitable bad experiences and mishaps in the line of work, Brown has no regrets and is firm in the belief that honesty prevails all else.
"A satisfied customer gives me joy, it drives me, and no matter what happens, when you deal with people fairly and you are honest, whatever you are a part of will just continue to grow and build - just like Doorway Express."