Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Ian Lyn's time to shine

Published:Sunday | May 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Ian Lyn, head of The Firm Marketing Agency and new car dealership, Carmax Jamaica. - Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer

Barbara Ellington, Lifestye Editor

He's controversial, outspoken and ebulient - you either like him or merely tolerate him - but he's not going away. He has that aura that makes people pay attention, and for the last year, marketing 'Midas' Ian Lyn has led the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA) with the same level of enthusiasm with which he tackles most things.

He was most recently NewLine Motors' marketing head, but he is now embarking on his own show.

The Gleaner's lifestyle editor Barbara Ellington spoke with Lyn about his next moves.

It is a well known fact that you are an outspoken person, how did you get to become that way?

I think I was always outspoken, My mother taught me to say what's on my mind and Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan taught me to speak the truth regardless of the circumstances.

How long did you live in the United States of America and how did that experience shape the person you are today?

I lived in the United States for 16 years. My experiences with different races and people made me a strong negotiator, the fast pace in New York made me aggressive and ambitious. I also learnt about racism and hypocracy, which have helped me greatly in Jamaica because I am not easily fooled by a smile.

You evoke strong negative or positive emotion in people, but how would you describe yourself?

I evoke negative emotion in people in Jamaica because this country is full of hypocracy and lies and some don't like it when I speak the uncomfortable truth. Others love the truth, therefore evoking a positive response from persons who are happy that I have the courage to speak what they only think. I would describe myself as bold, humorous but humble at the same time.

I know that you believe in and follow the teachings of Islam, how did that come about and how has it been for you particularly at a time when many Muslim extremists are in such a negative spotlight?

I converted to Islam in 1995 after the Million Man March in Washington, DC, which was a modern-day miracle in my eyes. I was also impressed by the Nation of Islam's great work in the poor ghettos of America in cleaning up poor people from drugs and guns. Muslims are being portrayed in a negative light by Western media because of ignorance. When Timothy McVae bombed the Oklahoma building in the United States of America, no one said "Christian" Timothy McVae. When the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) lynches and terrorises blacks, no one labels them "Christian" KKK or terrorist; no one calls Jamaica "Christian" murder capital of the world, but whenever someone who claims Islam bombs somewhere he/she is called "Muslim terrorist". Rubbish! There are over a billion Muslims in the world and the media showcases the minority so-called Muslims who are terrorised by Israel and are not true believers because suicide is against Islam.

Have you ever met Louis Farrakhan? What sort of person have you found him to be?

I have met the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan several times and have held counsel with him. I have found him to be powerful, wise but very humble with a deep love and concern for poor, black people who he believes are greatly miseducated by the system set up by Europeans. He is also very concerned about Jamaica, the country where his father was born.

Do you have a role model, if so who is that person?

Yes, my role model is the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

What do you think needs tobe done to save the young generation of Jamaica?

The young generation of Jamaicans have to take control of themselves and this country. The older generation don't have a clue. They must be told the truth - the truth about political corruption, business corruption, tax evasion and religious hypocracy in order to find solutions to problems that are sinking Jamaica.

If you were to become prime minister of Jamaica, what three changes would you make immediately to change the direction of the country in a

positive way and regardless of the consequences for you personally?

The three changes that I would make would be:

1. Implementation of a two-term limit for prime ministers in Jamaica.

2. Place proven private-sector executives with experience as Cabinet ministers and not members of Parliament solely because they are elected.

3. Put the Jamaica Constabulary Force immediately under the Jamaica Defence Force and make sensitivity training available for poor suffering people in Jamaica mandatory in a bid to stop police brutality and corruption NOW.

Why have you decided to embark on your own business now and what do you hope to achieve in the long and short term?

I started my own company, The Firm Marketing Agency, and my dealership, Carmax Jamaica, this year because the time is right and I see a need for proper branding and marketing in Jamaica as well as running my own dealership. After years of making other people's companies successful, it's my time to do it for myself, it's my time to shine.

How do you find the challenge of being head of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA), and what impression would you like to leave on the association?

Negotiating with Government has been my greatest challenge as head of the JUCDA. What I hope to impress on this organisation is that, through honest and fair dealing with the customers, we will be successful.

Where do you see the future of the used car business in Jamaica in the near future?

I see the used-car industry regaining some of the ground lost in the recession and remaining as the choice of the buying public with its continued market share of around 70 per cent of the motor vehicle industry in Jamaica.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

In 20 years I see myself as the prime minister or the business leader of Jamaica, charting our successful path towards a First World country status in 2030.