Royston grew up very poor, living with his single mother and with no support from his absentee father. Sometimes there was little or no food in the home where he lived with his Mother and Grandmother on the Caribbean island of Grenada (the spice Isle). Even clothing and shelter were sometimes a problem for the family. Under these challenging conditions, Royston learnt to work hard from a young age (it was the way of life and necessary for survival) and became very determined to improve life for himself and family in the future.
Royston acquired a good grounding in business from the age of 10, sourcing materials, producing and selling fudges and sugar cakes in primary school. Also did farming and landscaping jobs throughout his secondary school and college years (ages 11 to 18) to help pay for books, school uniforms, meals and travel cost. Being a boy scout from the age of 8, he learnt and developed character skills like toughness, creativity, and determination; employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and problem solving; and other practical life and survival skills like cooking, swimming, climbing and first aid. Royston was a cadet and militia (during the Grenada Revolution) at the age of 13/14.
Despite a tough upbringing and having to juggle school and farming, and failing to excel in secondary school during his years as a militia, through dedication, focus and strong self-belief he emerged valedictorian of his graduating class at secondary school and achieved A’ Level passes in Maths, Physics, Accounting and Business Management. After finishing college, Royston started working in the hotel industry as an Accounts Clerk, with the remit to master various finance roles, to enable him to cover for colleagues on leave of absence. (This was an excellent opportunity for him to obtain insight into the end to end financial operations of a business).
Being very ambitious, he saved up monies from his first job and followed his friend to Canada (where Royston’s dad lived), with the hope of furthering his education. However, after meeting his dad who said sorry my son, I cannot help you, he became depressed and eventually had to return to Grenada feeling very deflated.
So, by age 24, he had experienced what it is like to succeed and what it is like to fail. He then turned his hands to farming some very bushy land (owned by his Grandmother) and got a part-time job teaching evening classes in accounting and principles of business to adults. He used the money earnt to buy building materials to help improve the family home.
Within a year, he got a job at another hotel as Cost Controller where he got inspired to become a qualified Accountant. Royston approached a local firm of accountants (Pannell Kerr Foster) who provided registration forms for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which he filled and shortly after began studying on his own in Preparation for exams. The Managing Partner of the accounting firm recommended Royston for an accounting job at his brother’s bakery business (one of the biggest on the island at the time).
As the bakery Accountant, Royston automated finance systems, implemented robust financial controls, reduced operational costs, enhanced processes for sales forecasting and production scheduling, and improved profit by 200%, and eventually became Chief Finance Officer.
With the support of his Mother and Grandmother, Royston took a student loan and travelled to the UK in 1997 to complete his professional studies in Accountancy (ACCA). He qualified within three years (while working in menial part-time jobs) and landed his first job as a qualified accountant for an Insurance Company located on Fenchurch Street (City of London) in January 2001.