Caines confident of success at Digicel

By Matthew Taylor- Royal Gazette today.

Digicel Bermuda CEO Wayne Caines

His appointment as chief executive officer of Digicel Bermuda may have raised a few eyebrows but business novice Wayne Caines believes his spell in Government has given him the tools to succeed.

The 38-year-old took over as head of the island’s largest cell phone company earlier this month but said he’s not daunted by the challenge.

“I was junior minister of tourism and transport, they had huge budgets, tourism I think was $40 million.

“I had to account for every dollar and also be able to debate it publically, sometimes facing heavy criticism on the numbers.”

His spell as chief of staff to the Premier gave him the chance to meet the President of Tanzania and Washington big-hitters Charlie Rangel and Condoleezza Rice.

Asked whether his high profile helped get him his new job he said: “I believe the opportunity would have come, but it would have taken much longer.”

He believes his success should be noted by others.

“This is an excellent opportunity for young Bermudians to see if you work hard and are committed to your community and fastidious in study you will be rewarded.”

Senior Digicel staff might have been forgiven for being resentful to the newcomer with little business background but he said they had all been very supportive. And he said the company’s philosophy of training its staff fitted with his own ideas on management.

“Digicel is really keen in mentorship and training with being in so many countries in the world,” Mr. Caines said.

He said he is keen on developing each one of the firm’s 54 staff — right down to the receptionist. He is now meeting the staff one by one.

“I also believe in accountability and leading from the front. I won’t ask anyone to do anything that I would not be willing to do or have not done in the past,” he said.

A prosecutor before he entered politics, Mr Caines admitted he will miss law. “It will always be a part of me. With this job there are ways to incorporate it but as a litigator there will always be the pull of the court room.”

Before his legal career he worked for a year with defunct Global Crossing where he helped set up undersea cabling and liaising with customers — but he is not a “techy”.

“I am functional. I can text, use the computer. I am not ready to be a member of the geek squad but I am not a dinosaur.”

For years his family ran the Caribbean Variety store on Parson’s Road where he worked evenings and weekends.

“That’s where I got the start of the business spirit,” he said. “Clearly it’s the start of the learning curve when it comes to communications.”

But it is a big step up from mom and pop store to CEO which is why he will be going to Jamaica and Trinidad for training.

“This company is young, it’s dynamic, the staff are very knowledgeable. It is in 35 countries and has huge opportunities for growth.”

Still finding his feet, Mr Caines isn’t about to reveal details of new services likely to rolled out in the summer.

“The company in Bermuda can only go from strength to strength,” he said. “David Hunter, my predecessor, left Digicel Bermuda in awesome shape and a clear blueprint for leadership was left in place for me with the management team that’s highly competent and skilled and they are ready to assist me to take this company from great to greater. That’s my motto for this company.”

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