Ryan Harry – a contractor with a difference

Imposing columns; soaring ceilings; smoothly plastered walls; glossy hardwood floors; elegant entries. Ryan Harry of Creative Designs Construction is no ordinary contractor, a fact he himself points out.

Contractor Ryan Harry
Contractor Ryan Harry

house 6 house 5 house 3
“I do not consider myself a contractor: I’m more of a builder/developer…..A contractor is just someone who’s contracted to follow plans and build according to specifications……I do my own designs, plans, consultations, research, land development and construction!!”
The quality of his work is evident in the homes he has built. Harry spent most of his working years constructing homes in Barbados and that experience is evident in his exquisite concrete structures that make you say ‘wow, that’s nice’.

One of the many houses designed and constructed by Ryan Harry
One of the many houses designed and constructed by Ryan Harry

The 35-year-old, who was raised in Albouystown, left Guyana after graduating from the North Georgetown Secondary School to pursue studies at the University of West Indies Cave Hill Campus in the sister Caricom country. He has always been fascinated by the process of turning architectural drawings into reality and, as such, got into the construction business.
“I love and enjoy being creative with buildings, designs and construction…it drives and motivates me to be imaginative and creative…I can’t see myself doing any other job in this lifetime.”
The seasoned builder was prompted to start his own business when he returned home and realised the local construction industry was for the most part stuck in the past, with the familiar old designs and technologies and materials.
“The construction market in Guyana is very primitive…..the drive to introduce new building designs and creativity can be successful,” he forthrightly noted.
His lofty goal is “to introduce Guyana to a standard code of building and modern designs; our landscape is of old and one-dimensional houses and designs”.
“Guyana is very much a developing country with an ever-changing landscape and infrastructure, builders with creative imagination and new ideas will be very much in demand during this period!!” the married father of one emphatically stated when questioned about his business’s future given the state of Guyana’s economy.
To those thinking of following in his footsteps, he advised: “Construction is a very competitive industry, where clients are very impatient …you have to be on time, on schedule and on budget. Clients want value for their money.”
He said would-be entrepreneurs generally should believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their goals – “baby steps!!”— highlighting that dedication and patience were absolutely vital qualities of business owners.
Asked about some of the hurdles he has overcome on his journey to owning and managing his own company of 16 employees, he rattled off: “Xenophobia working in foreign countries, having to learn to adapt to building methods in Guyana and the attitudes of local construction workers not being punctual and their carefree lifestyles, trying to instil better building codes and safety in Guyana.”
“Most small entrepreneurs’ biggest challenge is starting capital or access to starting capital and the opportunities for young and inexperienced companies are limited,” the Campbellville resident added, “Clients mostly trust and give jobs to the more recognised and established companies.” Measures that address those issues, and help small businesses get started and be able to compete with larger companies are necessary to develop the sector.
But Harry, who counts among his influences, Roberto Hardie, former Project Manager/Civil Engineer at the Barbados-based GH Construction and Sir Charles Williams, a land developer and construction magnate in Barbados, is determined to grow his business in spite of the hurdles. “I’m inspired by success….Success is defined by your accomplishments, both tangible and intangible.”
Contact: 36 Garnett St Campbellville, Georgetown; email: [email protected]; cell: 680-6517