By: Wisly Bernard Jean-Baptiste
Translated By: Téylor Douglas-Perkins
Editor’s Note: This profile was originally published in Montrouis Magazine
We find very few young people investing in Haiti. Given the level of risk that exists on all platforms combined with the lack of financial means, young entrepreneurs are reluctant in this area. However, for Jude Celiscar, native of Montrouis, it is quite another thing. With the help of goodoo courier, a shipping company he co-founded alongside his peer, Jean Carlson Dor, Celiscar wants to use entrepreneurship to help the community from which he came; to help Haiti out of poverty and hunger by creating jobs.
Celiscar, 31, is the second oldest of nine children. After completing his primary education in his hometown and part of his high school studies at the Lycée Nationale de Montrouis (Montrouis National High School), he quickly turned his focus to political science and international economic policy. Come May 2019, he will have his bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy. After much sacrifice and great determination, in May 2020, he will have received his master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Being the humanitarian, activist, and entrepreneur that he is, he reflects upon the process that led to the creation of his company, goodoo courier, in January 2017, “I travelled often from the United States and would stay in Haiti for a few days at a time. Each time, friends would ask me to bring things back for them and upon my arrival, they should give me the money for the purchases. Each time, there were many who paid me and many who did not. And it was from this circumstance that Jean Carlson Dor and I came up with the idea to start a business, ultimately giving birth to goodoo.”
As the chief executive officer, Jude recognizes that there is definitely an issue in Haiti when it comes to shopping online. Many young people and others in the country don’t have a credit or debit card to make their purchases and the biggest problem, he adds, “is that these companies do not ship to Haiti.” In this regard, he feels that his company is needed in Haiti and that there is a need for the creation of new business opportunities.
As student government senator at the University of Texas at Dallas, Jude is keen to point out that to be a goodoo courier agent, you have to be a business operator, have a good internet connection and have a secure place to store client packages. “The role of a goodoo agent is to take client orders and use their small business as a pickup location for all shipments.”
According to Celiscar, finding goodoo is easy: simply go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, search the company name goodoo, and you will find us. If you have a credit card, head to our website to fill out our shipping form to receive the address to have your online purchases sent to (from there goodoo send the goods to Haiti). Celiscar explains that in the event you do not have a credit card, “go to one of goodoo courier’s affiliate offices and let them know what you need. Afterwards, an agent will assist you in researching and purchasing your needs.” Goodoo can be found in Saint-Marc, Cap-Haitien, Montrouis, Delmas, and, soon, in Petion-Ville.
He noted, however, apart from the Montrouis location which has its own building, the other goodoo locations are currently outsourced through established businesses. Goodoo courier pays each established business location a percentage of the profit made by that respective branch of the company. Mr. Celiscar says, “goodoo operates in common agreement with other small businesses.”
The topic that he’s most reluctant to discuss however is sales. The young speaker said that his company sales remains “confidential” before later adding in a pleasant tone, “it is neither profitable nor a deficit. We work with what we have.”
For him, a good reason to choose goodoo courier over other companies in the delivery sector is because goodoo is fast (at delivering parcels), easy and affordable (cheaper than the majority of its competitors). For example, it costs $12 plus tax to ship less than 6 pounds and the delivery time varies between 7 to 14 days from the day goodoo receives the package from the client. Celiscar reassures his clients that, “If there is a problem with the delivery, we will contact you and that is what makes us strong.”
Before advising young people that want to invest in Haiti, the 31 year old did not fail to unveil the future projects and vision of goodoo courier, “We would like to build a 7,000 square meter warehouse and showroom where agents work to explain what goodoo courier is and how it works.”
In the short term, he plans to create small jobs for young people with phones, “Once a young person finds a customer who wants to buy something, they will use their phone to pull up the items and show the customer their options. Once decided, they will refer the customer to a goodoo courier where the affiliate location will make the order and the young sales person will have a percentage of profit in the operation.” He also added that he would like, in the long run (10 years down the line), for goodoo to be one of the companies in Haiti that employs at least 5,000 people.
The young entrepreneur believes full well that if generations before him had become more accustomed to creating opportunities and taking risks like him, the country would be much further today. Fewer people would be unemployed and hungry.
It is for this reason, despite the huge risk that exists, that he invites young people to invest. “Don’t be so quick to think about the financial profit but think about the social impact, the social transformation that your company will have on your community and on your environment. And if your investment is your first source of income, the financial profit or lack thereof can breed discouragement and potentially cause you to end your business,” he says. For this reason, he concludes with the following, “invest a little, and then grow.”