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Fireside chat with Melarka Williams, CEO of TheHive

Who is Melarka Williams?

Melarka Williams is the founder and CEO of TheHive and also serves as founder and CEO of Ingenuity Technologies Limited. Williams possesses over ten years of experience in engineering and information technology in the financial services and utility sector across three continents. In the last decade, he has worked with some of the largest technology companies in the world in both the public sector and private sector to drive digital innovation and transformation. Williams offers consultation on policy, strategy and implementation of technology.

What’s the story behind TheHive?

I founded Ingenuity Technologies Limited in 2014 and spent five to six years helping companies go through digital transformations, which we learned was largely dependent on having access to the right people — professionals offering tech talent. This eventually led to the ideation of TheHive, a freelance services marketspace.

In 2020, I founded TheHive to connect Caribbean professionals with global businesses seeking tech talent. Many companies want to improve their digital capacity, which means they need the appropriate talent to build those foundations. There are many different roles within the tech space that help companies digitize. With TheHive, companies upskill their workforce talent with top notch freelance professionals located in the Caribbean who fill both temporary and permanent roles.

Through TheHive, I help diversify not only the Caribbean economy but also the workforce of the companies looking to digitize. TheHive recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. It was launched at a time when many companies were struggling to fill tech roles amid the global pandemic. To this day, there is still a tech talent shortage that we are working to fulfill.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

It was a great challenge to recruit freelancers, remote workers and employers to the platform.

We had to show the freelancers and remote workers the benefits of working off of TheHive and prove that our platform is worthwhile for these extremely talented freelancers. On the other hand, we were also faced with recruiting employers to look for talent using TheHive. We had to show them that our platform is different than other freelance services marketspaces as we vet the talent before they are able to work off of our platform.

The other challenge is fund raising because tech isn’t seen as something as bankable in the Caribbean. The Caribbean economy is mostly funded by tourism however, we had to show how the COVID-19 pandemic proved that tourism is not a resilient industry and investing in tech and uplifting the tech talent in the region would ultimately create a more resilient economy.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

My goal is to improve the lives of the Caribbean people by providing a platform that creates opportunities for them to provide for themselves and their families. When COVID-19 caused a global pandemic, many people lost their jobs because they were affiliated with tourism. The tourism industry proved to be vulnerable during this time and employees found themselves in unsustainable positions. Through TheHive, I am proud to create opportunities for employment and career growth for professionals in the Caribbean workforce.

Freelancers on TheHive platform are providing higher-valued information technology services and helping shift the paradigm so the Caribbean is known for more than just tourism. Another goal I am working toward is for people to think of the Caribbean as a region for outsourcing tech talent. While many enjoy the Caribbean’s sun, land and sea, it has so much more to offer. I am thrilled to propel this transformation for the Caribbean economy.

In addition, I’m proud to provide a platform that connects top tier Caribbean tech talent with global businesses. By diversifying our workforce and collaborating with professionals from different cultures, we can bring the most innovative and cutting-edge solutions to the tech space.

What is your vision for the future of TheHive?

I am vastly passionate about the development of the Caribbean people. I envision a world where Caribbean professionals will be creators of advanced and innovative technological solutions in lieu of being merely consumers of technology. We have many brilliant minds in the Caribbean, and if given the proper ecosystem to succeed, can firmly position the Caribbean as the ultimate information technology outsourcing destination.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

COVID-19 showcased unsustainability and vulnerability in several industries. The global workforce and business owners worldwide are transitioning to hybrid work environments and models to accommodate major changes influenced by the pandemic. Leaders must think about all possible scenarios that may affect their companies and their teams. Staying up to date with current events and striving to be strategic and think ahead are key tactics for success. If leaders remain openminded and encourage collaborative environments, they will discover successful and innovative solutions and may identify areas for improvement before disasters hit. Businesses must be able to find sustainable solutions for work.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Most of our employees work remotely so Microsoft Teams helps us stay connected as if we are in the same room. We are also reliant on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and open source Software to keep our services live and consistently updated.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

  • I am an avid reader and try to keep more than a few books in my rotation. Right now I am reading the following books:
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
  • Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
  • Our Final Invention by James Barrat

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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