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iCreate mines gold in coding, moves to digitise more programmes

(File photo)

Tyrone Wilson, founder and CEO of iCreate Limited, says its training partners will be pursuing the building out of coding and cyber security programmes in the third quarter of 2021.

“Coding is a huge market, without putting any number to it, in the region and Latin America,” Wilson told Caribbean Business Report, adding: “Every individual needs an understanding of data cyber security coding. It impacts all industries. Every company is talking about digital transformation. The earning potential is in the millions of US dollars.”

iCreate Limited founder and CEO Tyrone Wilson (Photo: Twitter @CallTyrone_W)

In September 2020, the iCreate signed a deal with the US-based computer training school Code Fellows, with the aim of expanding its course offerings to include software development, ops and cybersecurity.

Wilson, however, disclosed that since then, the company has focused on building out its in-house courses due to an increase in demand under pandemic conditions.

In the meantime, he said, coding will come in for focused attention as 2021 progresses. Notwthstanding, iCreate has already hosted one successful introductory programme and graduated its participants.

The CEO said he believes the Code Fellows association (involving the training of trainers and provision of other resources) will set iCreate apart in the region as the market for new and secure apps, coding and cybersecurity grows.

(Photo: Facebook @iCreateEDU)

So far, the company has posted revaluation gains from the licence acquisition.

In relation to competing entities which offer similar programmes, Wilson said, “We have a globally accredited partnership in the form of our association with Code Fellows. This is not to say overseas programmes are better, but coding is a massive industry in the US valued in trillions. It is best that we seek to learn from there; Code Fellows differentiate us.”

Lower-than-expected revenues

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 ,iCreate recorded revenue of JM$8.4 million, a decrease of 65.6 per cent when compared to the pre-pandemic comparable period last year. At that time the company was operational in Kingston and Montego Bay in Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Wilson informed Caribbean Business Report that the institution lost income from reduced face-to-face classes for graphic design, photography, content writing, and project management for tourism. However, he said the company is reviewing options for moving these courses to an online format.

As a result, the iCreate team has focused more on keeping revenues in the digital marketing courses from declining, “in which we were successful”.

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Digital marketing, in the last year, has moved online and is now available to businesses and consumers in Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, and the Cayman Islands.

“We have twenty courses under that division, the flagship of which is the certified digital marketing, which is for US$1500 [and] runs for two months and is fully online and globally accredited,” Wilson outlined.

He added, “We’ve since partnered with another entity that will be focusing on rolling out the Coding & Data Security courses in Q3. We expect to earn significant revenues from that division then.”

In terms of feedback, the CEO said that “persons are doing it to ‘COVID-proof their careers. There is a lot of demand for the skill set across the world.  We are continuing to build it out.”

Still profitable 

For the quarter under review, iCreate delivered a gross profit of JM$6.8 million, which reflects a  53.6 per cent increase.

Wilson said despite the global pandemic, the company has remained resilient with net profit increasing to JM$1.9 million, an increase of 53.6 per cent when compared to the corresponding period in 2020. 

“We’ve since partnered with another entity that will be focusing on rolling out the Coding & Data Security courses in Q3”

— Tyrone Wilson, founder and CEO, iCreate

The company attributed the increase to cost-reduction efforts, which included closing down the Montego Bay office and reducing operating expenses in Kingston.

In relation to its planned real estate development in New Kingston, Wilson noted that due diligence and discussions with investors were progressing.