Ammika Roberts – “If you don’t do it for yourself, nobody else will.”
Ammika Roberts gets up at 4.40 am most mornings with marketing on her mind. At the start of the day, she drinks a tea made with fresh mint or French thyme leaves. On other days, a Lipton tea bag, a teaspoon of sugar, and no milk will suffice.
Ammika believes that her close-knit family and religious upbringing shaped her into the person she is today.
“I live in an extended family, so my whole household has some part in moulding me. From my mommy, to my uncle, even my grandmother. We make time for those one-on-one conversations. And I can say that I’m incredibly proud to come from a household that prays together stays together.
My grandmother, Gloria Sandy Dennis, was a Sunday school teacher. I remember being involved in church as young as six years old. I’m not saying I haven’t made any bad decisions in life,” says Ammika, “but somebody’s always been there to guide me through my challenges. They are my role models,” she says.
Ammika is currently pursuing her associate’s degree in hospitality studies at the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (THTI).
“THTI created the entrepreneur Ammika Roberts,” she says.Ammika Roberts
“It was by chance I enrolled in school. My cousin was committed to starting and she took me along to register. I remember messaging my uncle and asking him what to pursue, Hospitality or Tourism? He said Hospitality because it afforded me a variety of career options. That decision played an integral role in my success today. And I don’t regret it one bit,” she remarks.
“You can call me a THTI ambassador, I am proud to be an influencer with the ability to influence other Tobagonians. My mantra. Just take that step. It’s your education, your future, and you have to take control of it. If you don’t, nobody else will.”
After a few courses, she learnt enough skills to establish her company Marketing with Miks in July 2020.
“The first month was hectic because this is a new company on the market,” said Ammika.
Having many friends was a plus for Ammika, who wanted to support her new business.
In July 2021, when Ammika celebrated her first anniversary of Marketing with Miks, she invited other entrepreneurs to assist them with their strategies and other marketing plans that could help them in their business. She plans to reach out to other small businesses to create a platform where people come to the market with Marketing with Miks.
“Businesses can have professional photos taken or their logo created, or even get their promotional items and pop up shops done for their event,” says Ammika. “We are an all-in-one package with many services.”
“I am also willing to work with any and everybody no matter what stage or whatever level of their business they are in. I am very open to learning from my clients as they come to learn from me.
Being self-motivated is essential. I would talk to myself. Ammika, you know what, if you don’t do it, who will do it for you? I go for walks, take time where I shut down, switch off my phone, and think about that specific goal head on,” she says.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t have challenges. I can procrastinate a lot. So to put content out there as much as I manage pages, it’s hard for me to put out content to capture my audience. So it’s kind of hectic to juggle time; you have to master time management,” advises Ammika.
“My workspace is where the magic happens, and where the power of the internet is fully utilised. When I don’t understand something, a client may come to me with a business that I would not know or I need to research a solution. I would Google it. In my business, knowledge is essential. Every day, we walk around with devices that can provide us with that knowledge from anywhere in the world at our fingertips.
That being said. If there is something that I always have in my bag is my charger. I must have all of the time. I’m always on the phone. I always tell my friends when my phone battery is dead, and it’s home time for me.”
As a proud Tobagonian, Ammika prides herself in her uniqueness and ability to stay organised and focussed on helping businesses with their marketing needs.
“My friends would normally complain that you’re always on the phone,” says Ammika, “but not just being on the phone. It’s like putting out good content.”
“Popularity is not success. Starting your business is not a get rich quick project. You will have to take baby steps. You have to watch your life and try not to compare someone because you don’t know where they are, what they did without and what they have done to be there today. So take your time. Focus on yourself, don’t wait until everything is okay to start,” she remarks.
In 2020, she also established A Miracle’s Catering and Event with her mom, Roxanne Roberts-Baynes, a sous chef at a popular Tobago hotel.
“My mom is cooking for her whole life,” says Ammika. “She knows what she is about.”
What gave Ammika and her mom a jumpstart into this catering business was an unexpected opportunity to cater for 40 persons for seven days. At the end of those seven days, they recognised the value of their work and in recognition of the people they service who were overwhelmed with delight on how the level of service and Tobagonian Hospitality.
At that moment, they decided to take this business seriously.
“A Miracle’s Catering and Events was registered in 2020, and then the pandemic came. So it allowed us to work on certain things. Even though there was a pandemic, people still had to eat, so we provided meals for their special occasions. We work well together. My mom does the cooking while I ensure that the business is promoted online and all content is out there on time. We have a good relationship with our customers, and we understand that customer service is essential. Especially where I stand. I know the importance of customer service and social media’s role in connecting customers to your business,” says Ammika.
Ammika plans to take it a step at a time because she understands how business can be unpredictable. She doesn’t see herself moving away from Marketing, and hopes to create marketing techniques that can add value to business.
“As I get older, relaxation is a hobby. So I take time to get as close to nature as I can,” says Ammika.
“I take time for myself; I learnt that early in my business. It is essential to do this, and if you don’t focus on yourself, you won’t reach anywhere. So I go through several walks, and use these times to reflect on what I have to do to focus to achieve what I want for myself, my clients and Tobago.”