After much prodding from Naomi Garrick, the head of the firm which does public relations for Derrimon Trading, I relented on Monday to do the story about the beginning and growth of a company which started with nothing and is now worth $12.6 billion. It’s a story of failings, faith and determination. For Derrick Cotterell, the chairman and CEO, the success of the company, named after himself and his wife Monique, is down to divine will. Told by himself and Chief Financial Officer Ian Kelly, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did hearing it.
“We started the business in 1998, December 1998 to be exact,” Cotterell told the
Jamaica Observer about the genesis of Derrimon Trading. Cotterell started to supply sugar to a manufacturer of syrup after leaving GraceKennedy where he worked previously. “After I left GraceKennedy, a friend of mine suggested that I should start trading, so he gave me a US$50,000 line of credit to get started,” he added. Cotterell said even with the line of credit, he didn’t have the money to clear the first container of sugar he was importing for the manufacturer and had to borrow the $100,000 it would cost from “a friend and customer”.