Against the odds: Focus and Vision make Winning Entrepreneurs

We asked the winners of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce business awards winners to share some insights into how they built their businesses to the level where they win national awards.
Picture 017They came and spoke at the BusinessLink Networking Breakfast meeting on Friday 31st May, 2013.
Richard Mutungambiri, of Rawson Properties (formerly RM Properties) described how he worked hard to win the prestigious and world class franchise. Having business systems in place, with proper financial record keeping were key issues. However, what really made him succeed was his determination. He was focused on being innovative and different from the other property firms. When the hefty franchise fees were due, Richard had no money, but he ran around and around until he managed to secure the funds. Pure determination.
His advice to emerging entrepreneurs: work hard and build a sustainable business. Train your people, have systems, invest in marketing.
Richard won the Most Innovative SME of 2012 award.Picture 009

Dr Mike Joka, of Ultra Corporate 24 Medical Holdings won the Business Man of the Year award ahead of more established and much older nominees (He is 33 and has been in business since 2008-, just 4 years ago).
He has managed to build world class clinics, Emergency Rooms, a medical aid scheme and continues to add more products. The journey was not easy. Starting in the hyperinflation era, he started offering accounts to corporate as medical aid had been made redundant by the worthless Zimbabwean dollar.
Facing hostile competition from established firms, including the country’s largest private medical aid society which was refusing to pay his claims, he soldiered on. After exhausting all his funding sources, Dr Joka held on; just when he thought he was done under, one large pending customer agreed to come on board, giving him the liquidity he desperately needed.
Dr Joka urged entrepreneurs to keep on moving up and being innovative. One should not remain an SME for too long, but should graduate to become a real corporate, with clear separation between the owner and the business. Keep on creating new innovations to stay ahead. It is not big companies that destroy small companies. But it is fast companies that eat slow companies.Picture 025
Get more tips from the true entrepreneurs in the BusinessLink Magazine. Get a copy at 5th Floor Hungwe House, Jason Moyo Street and 2nd Street, Harare. If you are out of Harare, call our marketing on 0772 854 301 or email marketing@smebusinesslink.com to arrange delivery by overnight courier.

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