It takes a strong head to run the powerful ICD Group, and Peter Melhado is up to the challenge. He came to ICD as chief operating officer, having previously worked in the banking industry. "I had been in banking for the majority of my professional life up to then, and I was just interested in being a part of something where we were actually building things, in this case affordable houses for people through our subsidiary, WIHCON. I really got a kick out of it; that and buying and selling companies where I enjoy taking part in 'the art of the deal'."
The Jamaica College graduate, did mechanical engineering at university and spent three years overseas in construction, followed by three years at Red Stripe. Jobs included London's Gatwick Airport. "It was an interesting experience. In Jamaica, we're small so people know you. I went to England as a youngster and nobody knew me. I got a good dose of reality," he chuckled. Working with construction giant Kier in St Lucia was challenging, including 15-hour days.
"But I was always interested in finance. I found construction a bit narrow. I wanted to do other things," he said. Heading ICD, tough decisions are customary.
"The biggest thing is really to have an instinct about what you're good at and what you can really grow, and some of the things that you're perhaps not as good at but you may be a bit sentimental about, realising it's better that somebody else who has that skill take it on." Melhado said he wants to see Jamaica do well.
"From a national perspective, I see one of the areas I can contribute to is helping to grow the economy and employ people and give people real job satisfaction". He said they were "bullish" about affordable home development.
"We still feel Jamaica is a place you can do business. There is opportunity. So you will probably see a slightly bigger group." Sitting on many boards, he said he wanted to continue giving back, and as chairman of the American International School in Kingston (AISK), he also wants to continue serving education.
"For me, the thing is creating a school and a possibility of what education can look like. It doesn't have to be all broken down."