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Monday, February 5, 2001

Web whiz kid to travel on Chretien's team
12-year-old London youngster with a mission
By JANE SIMS-- London Free Press

LONDON, ON -- London Web site whiz kid Keith Peiris's agenda for the next two weeks reads like that of any multi-media celebrity.

Everyone wants to know the 12 year old's business since he was named the youngest participant ever in a Team Canada trade mission to the Far East.

There have been calls from TV stations and major publications such as Time and the New York Times. He has been booked for an interview by CNN Asia and expects another request from Chinese TV.

There's a meeting today with London's mayor and city council and with the premier of Ontario on Wednesday.

Then Thursday, the young president and chief executive of Cyberteks Design flies out of Vancouver with business people, Canada's 10 premiers and trip leader Prime Minister Jean Chretien to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

He also can't forget the assignment he has been given by his Grade 7 teacher at St. Bernadette Catholic elementary school -- bring back photos of things in China that aren't available in Canada.

"I also have to do a book report," Peiris said.

Keith and his father, Deepal, are ready for an international adventure that has put Keith in the centre of a media swirl caught in the allure of a boy doing grown-up things.

Keith won his spot on the trip through hard work and creativity. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his Web designs and his work with Flash, the latest Web technology. He taught himself to use the software that creates moving images that can be transmitted using narrow bandwidth.

His company receives more than 100 e-mails a day and has about 25 customers, mostly in the U.S. Other clients include Rogers Cable and Kewl Threads, a company owned by Toronto Maple Leafs Shayne Corson and Darcy Tucker.

Keith's father said they have five part-time employees and seven sales offices in the United States and promises 15 more worldwide during the next two months.

One client, Interep, a New York sales and marketing company with $1.4 billion US in sales is picking up most of the tab -- about $30,000 -- to send Keith and his dad to China.

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