__Never stop listening and learning.
Last week I mentioned a favorite quote: “If you want to truly succeed, identify a human need, and reach out to solve it.” As an entrepreneur, let me add this: Don’t simply focus only on what you yourself see as the need; also do your homework to understand the problem from many different angles. You do this by never stopping the process of listening and learning from others, including customers and other credible experts who you respect.
As you all know, sometimes #people will share advice or ideas that you don’t agree with, or even that you don’t really want to hear at all. However, sometimes what you hear in that case can actually be the most helpful to your thinking, even if you still don’t agree with them!
__Listening and learning are a never-ending part of the entrepreneurial #process.
Now I’m leaving Singapore shortly and I have a lot to write you about (I have been reading your comments), but today let me first go ahead and finish the story I started in my last post. You will remember I was talking about Uber and Lyft, the two multibillion dollar App-based ride-hailing companies, one which was inspired by a (visionary) entrepreneurial tourist who got an idea whilst watching busy traffic in a certain African city…
Not long ago, I started talking to some of our innovative team about these two amazing businesses. As usual, they had some ideas:
“Mr Masiyiwa, this works exactly like our mobile money. In fact, the coding structure is very similar. The revenue model is exactly the same,” said one of our innovators.
“In our mobile money business, like EcoCash, our entrepreneur is the guy who owns the shop (and the money) — the EcoCash agent. We source customers using our platform, we create the exchange mechanism, and we are paid a commission,” he continued.
“70% of the money we get goes to the mobile money agent (entrepreneur) who provides the money.”
Uber does exactly the same thing: The vehicle is like a mobile money agent’s “shop”. The driver is like our own mobile money “agent”.
Uber sources customers for the entrepreneur and gets a commission. They use a highly sophisticated platform which the customer accesses using an App. Uber gives about 60% of the money to the driver.
“We could build this platform quite easily because we have the people at EcoCash.”
“Let’s set up a project to develop our own transport platform,” I finally ordered.
The project team was to look at all platforms that have sprung up around the world, and study their different models.
We chose a team leader.
Soon he came back with different ideas, and also suggestions for us to buy into some startups that had sprung up in Africa.
One of those startups is a company based in Nigeria called KariGo. They focus on delivery services of packages for large companies in Nigeria. We bought into them, and gave them capital. Now they are planning a pan African expansion.
Meanwhile development began in earnest.
Our own App was finally ready!
“I want to see innovations that are not on any other platform,” I began.
“We have added a lot of special features to take on competition which could include Uber, too.”
My team was beaming with excitement.
“What shall we call it?” I asked.
“We have come up with a name: ‘VAYA’ which means ‘Let’s go!’ in Ndebele.”
“I like that!”
“Harare, Zimbabwe. Econet Group has 5,000 employees in that city alone. We can test the platform through them before going to customers.”
“Good idea. But I want it across Africa within a year,” I said.
“We are on it. We hope to launch in a new country every month.”
“25th October 2018!”
__This is how we start!
Congratulations to our growing Vaya team which is already recruiting drivers in Zimbabwe by the hundreds (growing to the thousands in the next three months), and will be expanding into several other African countries as soon as early December.
__If you have a small van, car, motor bike or even bicycle and would like to get started as an entrepreneur, why not join this new industry? You can find out more at https://
So many of the things I taught you are here… I want you to draw up a list of 5x entrepreneurial lessons from this post.
To be continued. . .