IF YOU DON’T PLAN,
ANY ROAD CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE!
30th May 2018
Area 3 Care Poly Clinic here we come.
Mr Moses Jere the clinic’s administrator warmly welcomed us to this unique health service institution. The environment is attractive and the staff is ever-smiling and helpful. We were taken to an office where we had our meeting.
The clinic is a sole trader business in the health industry. As a private organization it did a market research it calls a gap analysis to find what its market needs and found out that the customers wanted a high class health service which no one was offering. They then decided to offer a patient centered service to compliment the public sector.
Mr Jere says their objectives are to grow into a fully- fledged hospital competing with Mwaiwathu and ABC in the next 5 years, to make sure their customers are happy in order to retain and attract them with satisfaction through quality service, meeting and exceeding customer expectations as well as maintaining uniqueness without compromise. They are always reviewing and updating their Business Plan so that they remind themselves where they are, where they want to go and how to get there.
As Area 3 Care Poly Clinic, the institution is 3 years old and aims to fully fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility. Currently it helps areas like Chinsapo and Mtandire with various donations to the needy. It is also responsible enough not to dispose its waste anywhere. In that respect it uses an incinerator to burn all non-sharp objects.
Mr Jere explaining to students why it is good to be friendly to the environment, the society and the government. All stakeholder concerns should be addressed with caution because most interests do conflict.
The institution’s challenges are that most of their equipment and drugs are imported, therefore availability and fluctuations of forex affect the timing of their services. Fire, theft, sabotage and mismanagement are other challenges they face and they have mitigated all these by putting control measures proactive approaches to all business activities, like recruiting quality and skilled personnel who understands the vision and mission of the institution and are accountable to their actions.
THE 5 Ps……Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Our next entrepreneurial visit was to another sole trader in the stationery business, a Mr A Kaputeni. He owns and runs a family business that provides various items in the stationery category as well as airtime cards, refreshments, printing and photocopying, laminating and binding as well as internet services.
Mr Kaputeni has a vision to grow his business to beyond Game stores. His wife is an electronics engineer who stopped work, to work along- side him to further their business. He also conducted a situational analysis and found out that there was a gap between suppliers and users of electronic systems. Thus he became the technical supplier and installer of telecom systems as well as an accounting consultant.
Mr Kaputeni grew up with an entrepreneurial mind because he always would not let a situation to make money pass him. He sold drinks and buns at his dad’s tobacco office during school holidays. He received a camera as a gift and started taking pictures (not even digital) of his friends. This passion grew and at university he continued and never needed pocket money from his parents from there on. He was always thinking business. He has a small market share but he does not mind because he concentrates on quality not quantity and a services a niche group who understands that price is not everything.
He had other business ideas like cement blocks production which he dropped due to high price of production and low selling prices. Service station dealership was dropped but he has gone back to it again because it has low capital requirements. Wholesale business was dropped due to low margins because to get a lot of profit there is need for high patronage which is a challenge. Buying and selling produce also was an idea that was started but later dropped because of the speculation aspect. He is thinking of getting into animal farming and he says it is soon. That is production of eggs, vegetables and spices.
Challenges are in the form of lack of government support for SMEs, poor government decisions on electricity, tariffs and corruption. Cost of capital is another challenge and he has decided to grow organically. (using his profits to expand, 28% bank loans eat into the small profits that are made)
Advice to students:
- Don’t be too comfortable, go out and do your own things
- Get connected and become your own boss
- The higher the risk the higher the profits (or loss)
- Identify and develop your strong entrepreneurial skills
At Citycell, a soletrader who deals with anything that has to do with a phone. Different phones, pouches, earphones, charges, cables and many more. Name it and you get it. Citycell is being run by a very young entrepreneur who is proud to have his fingers in the upcoming business. In this digital world, anyone and everyone wants to communicate far and wide anywhere anytime and to do so, one needs a phone. Even as far as the rural areas, farmers, shop owners, students and rural folk, all aim to possess a phone one day. Therefore, Hussein, the Citycell business guy is encouraged to own the shop which confirms to him that demand is rising as population rises.
Hussein took over from his dad and sees himself at the top of all competition in Malawi. He prides himself in good customer care and availability of all what a customer needs.
Encouragement to his fellow youths:
- Don’t trust anyone in business
- Believe in yourself and have faith in God
- Attract customers with discounts
- Buy Malawian.
It is not the Mount Sinai uniform nor the IGCSE paper that distinguishes you from the rest. It is your brains and how you apply them to do what you need to do and have a life you want to have.
Mr Hennie is the operations manager for the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) which caters for busy people who have no time to chat over food. The Franchise business provides a quick get and go service through a drive in and fast service. It is one of the 18 500 KFC outlets/franchises around the world. There are only 2 KFC outlets in Malawi one in Blantyre and the other in Lilongwe. The business has a 23% market share behind Steers and has a strong bargaining power due to KFC popularity.
Mr Hennie has stars in his eyes because he wants to grow KFC from 2 to 6 within the next 3 years through his quality systems. He encourages hard work, intelligence and risk taking. He encouraged students to learn entrepreneurial skills and explore the unchartered round in Malawi by not giving up because there is equality in days. Make bad days shorter and good days longer and really lead to achieve.
AN ENTREPRENEUR THINKS BIG AND DREAMS BIG