In the sphere in which she serves, La Shaun Ramdin has stiff competition.
She’s a digital marketer in a digital age.
But competition doesn’t phase her for two reasons- she’s pushed and advocated the growth of digital media in T&T and she believes there is room at the table for all to eat.
Ramdin, 44, is quietly confident.
Intelligent without being boastful.
A veteran in a field that’s only now being explored and exploited in T&T during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Having had to learn the “language of computers” early on, it’s allowed her to see the world and people differently.
Equipped with these lens, Ramdin is a disciple of the power of digital communication.
“I’ve always loved data and I use that to guide decisions. The question is always, what is the data telling you,” she told Express Business.
These days, she’s running her own agency, helping others find markets for their products or helping others to bear the fruit of their labour of love.
It’s another phase of her evolution, she reasons.
Much like her childhood where she moved around a bit, Ramdin has changed jobs a bit, refining her skills, building platforms for others in the goal to bridge the digital divide.
She recalled that in college, studying computer science at the University of Missouri meant learning to basically build a computer.
That physical hardiness coupled with the software expertise, made her feel she was equipped for the world.
Then, the goal was “to make money” she recalled.
But then she left Missouri at 25 and returned to Trinidad where opportunities in the tech field were few.
“I was a young, black woman in a field dominated by men,” she said.
Then there was racism she experienced because people often became confused because of her Indian last name.
She recalled being called for a interview at a company in Point Lisas on the phone and when she showed up, there was confusion over her appearance.
“I knew I was the top candidate because I was the first interviewee. It didn’t matter,” she said.
She’s not bitter over the experience but cognisant of the shortcomings of others with regard to certain issues.
Ramdin said she even experienced it, picking up her mixed-race children at school.
Racism is a conversation she is comfortable talking about and while she can reflect and talk about it, she’s also aware of the reality it poses for women of colour in the working world.
But undaunted and to make ends meet, she went into sales working at Guardian Media Limited (GML) before moving across to the Digicel-owned, Trend Media, where Loop News was born.
To get the job at Trend, she recalled doing the interview by Skype years ago, observing that the video conference application dropped the ball during the Covid-19 pandemic with Zoom blowing communications platforms out the water.
Ramdin’s digital success was at Trend with the most visible product being Loop News.
In its infancy, Loop challenged the norm of reporting news in real time to mobile devices.
Ramdin explained that Trend gave her the opportunity to really test the market and look at opportunities on the digital platform.
And it was armed with that knowledge, and well, the inability to stay in one place for too long, that made her accept Voluntary Separation of Employment (VSEP) from Digicel when it was offered and embark on her own path.
So what exactly does she do?
She finds solutions.
“We use different integrated aspects to formulate results for a client, be it helping to create a market on the Internet. We use SEO- search engine optimisation. And then we do content creation. What a client wants is that in the first three minutes, a search engine should reveal what’s at the heart of their business and that’s what we do. We teach small businesses how to use the platform best for them,” she said.
In her estimation, T&T’s digital transformation began in 2016.
“In 2014-2015, it was a hard sell. By 2016, we saw a change in behaviour and there was an explosion in late 2019 into 2020,” she observed.
She said at that time, businesses began to take more risks and by creating content for social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
And it’s the start of an evolution in the way the country does business, she reckons.
“It’s going to be more online moving forward. Less office space. More Wi-Fi cafes maybe for meets?”
Her biggest peeve?
“People think that because its digital it has to be cheap. That never gets old, even 16 years after doing it. Logically, you pay a smaller amount but you pay people to get results,” she said.
Her life lesson?
“You don’t always need to fight. Hold our sister’s hand and walk to the table,” she said.
La Shaun Ramdin is a Digital Marketing & Sales Professional who works with top-tier companies to entrepreneurs to help them grow their brand in a digital landscape. After spending 14+ years in the sales and marketing industry, she knows what truly drives conversions and builds customer loyalty. It’s how well you connect with your audience in a truly meaningful way, where they are most present to respond.
She has worked at Loop News and was part of the initial team that grew the brand across the Caribbean with responsibility for Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, FWI and Trinidad & Tobago.
La Shaun is certified in Google Analytics, AdWords - Search, Video, Mobile & Display and a graduate of Google Squared Online with a distinction in Digital Marketing
She is also the co-lead for the local chapter for Google Women Techmakers as they launch several diversity and inclusion initiatives locally and in the region.
NOTE: This is the second of an eight-part series, “Pivot: A Diversity & Inclusion Initiative” in conjunction with the Women Techmakers Trinidad & Tobago, a Google
owned-brand and global programme for women in technology.
Women Techmakers provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology globally across all career levels to support them in joining, thriving, and leading the industry.