At secondary school, a friend of mine studied principles in accounting, which I was not taking. I was curious and, having grilled him about it, developed an interest. I joined the accounting class the very next day.
Later, with the guidance of my dad, who was an accountant himself, I decided to pursue the profession. As I completed my ACCA studies, I became aware that I had a gift for teaching. Having qualified and become a member in 2008, I decided to pursue this ability. I lectured on ACCA papers at the local accountancy college before deciding to start my own consulting business in 2011, offering tutoring and mentoring alongside more traditional accounting services. I was also interested in general trade, so decided to include logistics as part of the firm’s offering. Having witnessed students struggling to study without access to textbooks, we also sell study materials for a range of accounting qualifications, including ACCA.
Experiencing hardships is an inevitable part of achieving success
Offering multiple services is a tall order and you can easily lose direction. It is a means of diversification, though – you don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket. As the different components of the business get busier, I will have to consider organising them into separate business units.
A good managing director needs to have a vision, so a forward-looking attitude is essential. You need to be able to picture what you’re trying to achieve and then develop strategies which will make that vision materialise. For this to happen you need to be able to work with others and enthuse them with your plans.
Perseverance is also essential to the role. To my mind, experiencing hardships is an inevitable part of achieving success. Without determination it’s easy to give up on your dreams, especially if easier alternatives present themselves.
I have stepped out of my comfort zone more than once in my career. Quitting full-time employment on two occasions to pursue prospects in employment and business meant forgoing a monthly salary, which felt very scary considering I had personal financial obligations. However, the prospect of securing business success is exciting and keeps me hopeful.
Poor access to suitable finance is a key challenge for anyone wanting to set up in business in Malawi
Businesses in Malawi do face problems. Poor access to suitable finance, such as low-cost and innovative loans, especially with the widespread lack of collateral or equity, is a key challenge for anyone wanting to set up in business.
Management performance is also an issue. Even if someone manages to secure financing, their company can still fail if they are not disciplined in managing their business, particularly in corporate governance, expenses and financial systems. It is these areas that we are attempting to address in our consulting business.
More broadly, there are investment and growth opportunities in Malawi. Financial services, property, and commercial farming and agricultural processing are all attractive growth prospects, as are mining and tourism.
If I had the power, I would introduce laws around accountability for those people who make decisions in government. Office holders must be held to account if they do not do their jobs properly, and bureaucracies which currently delay business development for many businesses should be streamlined.
What I most enjoy about my job is seeing ideas become reality. Seeing the students I lecture and mentor become professional accountants and graduates is also very satisfying. This shows me that I can achieve anything I pursue if I put in the effort.
In my spare time I love sport. Spending time with my family, gardening and travelling are equally important.