Trailblazer Monique Powell has even bigger plans for QuickCart

Sade Gardner

April 11, 2022

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THE DISTINGUISHED — BUSINESS

For Monique Powell, a distinguished woman displays “tenacity and grit in overcoming great odds, in order to achieve whatever it was that she had set out to – whether in academia, entrepreneurship, or the more traditional career paths”.

For these reasons and more, Powell is not only a distinguished woman, but an innovator who has etched her name in the Jamaican entrepreneurial history books. Powell is behind QuickPlate (now QuickCart), one of Jamaica’s first online food delivery services to offer online payment and live-order tracking. Yet, she’s just getting started.

QuickCart, through her company Powell Interactive Limited, recently got Roots Financial Group as an investor with a 42 per cent stake in the company. Though reserved about the plans in store with the additional capital, Powell shared that the brand will be expanding beyond Jamaica.

“It is very likely that QuickCart will be in at least one additional Caribbean country before the end of this year,” she told Flair.
She added, “The logistical expertise and processes that we have developed in our six years in food, and recently grocery delivery, can be leveraged to move just about anything or anyone from one place to the next, quickly. We will be leveraging this to introduce an exciting new product offering within the next few months.”

On the matter of expansion, the company spread its wings to Montego Bay, St James, several months ago, a decision which has had its challenges “as services of this nature are still relatively new to the space there, but we’ve been steadily making progress”.

The former regional marketing manager at Scotiabank has always been entrepreneurial. As a teenager, she would bring computer parts from the United States and sell them for profit. Later on, she would sell her graphic design services to businesses before entering the corporate world. The story behind QuickPlate started when she wanted good meals delivered after a long day of work, and crystallised with extensive research, her strength in web-based tech solutions, and her ability to assess and take risks.

For women who want to venture into uncharted territory with unconventional ideas but are hesitant to pursue them, Powell said, “Being first or among the first to market with something new will always be a bit of a risky bet. You can never be sure how the market will respond. However, you can reduce the risk by doing as much market research as possible before launching and by controlling business expenses as much as possible until it’s been proven that there is a demand in the market for whatever it is that you’re offering.”

Reflecting on her strides in business, her proudest accomplishment is surviving the often rough and challenging Jamaican business environment for small and new ventures. “Beyond that, looking back at where we started, with just one employee, three delivery contractors and five partner restaurants to where we are now with a team of over 40 employees and delivery contractors combined, and close to 130 partner restaurants, and merchants does make me smile.”

sade.gardner@gleanerjm.com

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Sade Gardner

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