When Max Larson Henry graduated in computer science in 1998, he knew he was emerging into a business market that was on the point of being transformed by information technology, in Haiti and around the world – and he wanted to take full advantage of it.
Henry did post-graduate studies in France and Florida and spent five years working with an IT company back at home in Port-au-Prince, before he felt ready to start up on his own. Then in 2005, he launched Transversal, providing high-end IT network services for corporate customers.
A lot has changed in the past decade, in the IT world and in customers’ expectations. Transversal has added design, installation and maintenance of high-speed internet connections for business. More than that, it now also provides broadband to rural towns in central, west, north and south-east Haiti.
Another important revenue stream comes from training and certification. Recognizing the need business across the country would have for IT professionals, Henry decided he would be the one to train them – and now has partnerships with leading IT vendors from Microsoft to Fortinet and Cisco.
Transversal now has a fulltime staff of seven and 15 consultants, and ultimately Henry sees it growing into an international business. To that end, it’s currently developing mobile apps for projects as far afield as Nigeria, Nepal and Timor. He sees it too as a business incubator: “We stay in touch with the youngsters we train – and see their great contribution to the economy every day.”