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Built From The Ground Up

In part one of a six part series on young BVI entrepreneurs, we talk to Kadeem O’Neal about how he is making waves in the construction industry. By Anika M. Christopher Photography by Javierto Mar & Don Hebert

It can be difficult to succeed in the world of construction. There are many risks and challenges, and an intense workload, but one BVI entrepreneur is doing just that. Let us introduce you to one of the BVI’s most inventive entrepreneurs, 28-year-old Kadeem O’Neal, owner of Plugworks and a director of Phoenix Construction.

A firm foundation

The strength of a building lies in its foundation. The foundation supports the weight of the entire building and a strong one keeps it secure, even when natural forces act against it. Similarly, the strength of an entrepreneur lies in their passion: passion that keeps a business standing even in the face of challenges.

“I love life on the construction site,” says Kadeem. He says that he’s had a long-term love for the industry; love that was realised and nurtured from an early age. Kadeem has been around construction his entire life, and many relatives on both sides of his family are contractors and businesspeople. His grandfather, Samuel Bascombe, has had a significant influence on his life.

“With him being in the construction field, he opened up the door for the opportunity for me to learn and to get first-hand knowledge on how to run a construction site. He taught me everything I know in construction,” Kadeem explains. His grandfather built many luxury houses in the Virgin Islands, including the Batu Villa on Virgin Gorda where Kadeem worked as an electrician apprentice, and had the opportunity to witness his grandfather build houses on boulders, empowering him with the knowledge and confidence to take on larger projects.

“After nine years of being on the field and working in Phoenix Construction, I got a clear understanding of how the construction process works by bringing a drawing into reality when I worked alongside a team of skilled people,” Kadeem says, as he explains the moment the spirit of entrepreneurship sparked in him.

“I wanted to start my own firm to have my own team and to deliver quality work.”

Like any entrepreneur, he sat down to brainstorm business names.

“I came up with the name Plugworks because ‘Plug’ is my nickname and then I added works to it,” Kadeem explains. Soon enough, he took the bold step to launch the company.

“I started off with plumbing,” Kadeem says. By subcontracting with Phoenix Construction, he was able to gather his own team of experienced tradespeople. Now in 2022, Kadeem is the owner of Plugworks and a director of Phoenix Construction and is proud to say that he is ready to bring his nine years of experience, along with the family company’s 20 years in the industry, to deliver quality work from renovation to new construction.

Core values

Plugworks is built on quality, integrity and safety. These values have made the company a success with all their clients, continuously exceeding expectations.

Quality

Plugworks strives to deliver craftsmanship by planning, anticipating, and ensuring attention to detail. They take pride in their finished product as an expression of their personal commitment to excellence and predictable outcomes.

Integrity

Their business is built on integrity, fairness and honesty – qualities at the foundation of every project. Simply put, they say what they are going to do, and they do it.

Safety

Safety is a core value. Constructing with integrity means prioritising safety above other considerations. The lives and wellbeing of their employees and associates are paramount.

Team

With an unwavering focus on quality, Plugworks has compiled a team of exceptionally trained tradespeople with knowledge from accredited trade schools across the Caribbean as well as 10-20 years of experience. With such a qualified team, Plugworks and Phoenix Construction deliver the highest output of work. From new construction roughing in, to installing a water heater, Plugworks does everything plumbing related.

Apart from the quality work, service is equally important to Kadeem. “It is what separates Plugworks from the rest,” he said. Plugworks understands that the secret to a successful project is constant communication between the client and the contractor. Therefore, Plugworks keeps the conversation open while paying special attention to what the client wants and ensuring full transparency and honesty at all times.

“I love to communicate and keep clients updated because I care about customer satisfaction,” Kadeem adds.

With such a dedicated and exemplary team of professionals, there is no doubt that they will make your dreams a reality as they deliver a safe and successful completion of your project.

At the end of our interview, Kadeem left a word of advice for all aspiring entrepreneurs in the field of construction.

“My advice to young and upcoming contractors is to put your all into it. Don’t be scared to invest in the business. Don’t be scared to make phone calls to get work. Use the internet. Gather as much information as you can. Don’t feel you are too small to go big.”

Anyone interested in building a new house or renovating in the Virgin Islands is welcome to reach out to Plugworks, along with Phoenix Construction, today at (284) 545 0352 or [email protected] Your dream is guaranteed to come true.

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