Who would be on your “dream team”?

__Always look for the “game changer” (Part 3).

One of the ways you strengthen your business is to look for opportunities to partner with the best in your game. You’re never too big or too small to look for partners that will fit your needs. When you partner with the best, you learn to improve your business dramatically. In the best partnerships, they win, and you win, too.

Finding a “game changer” for your business through partnerships is extremely important. This is an ongoing process for me. I’ve always looked for opportunities to partner with those who can help give me access to technology, business systems, intellectual property (IP), and general know-how for my people.

Let me give you some examples: When I started Econet Wireless, I was approached by one of the largest telecoms companies in the world which wanted to buy a stake in my company. Sitting over dinner one evening, the Vice President of the company asked me what was my vision for the business.

I told him passionately that I wanted to run the business myself, and build it as an African-owned company. A deeply compassionate man, who has become a lifelong friend, Jim Myers (an American from Texas) said, “We can help you achieve that, and it really makes no difference to us if we don’t own a stake your business. We’ll find lots of other opportunities.”

“Really? You would do that for me?!”

“Why not? I’m happy to help you in any way I can.”

He agreed to let me go to the US and spend a few days looking around their business. Later he agreed to send some people to visit us. Whenever I needed some help, I would call Jim.

He made introductions for me, and gave me access to people and places I could not have imagined. He did it all for nothing! Years later when he retired, he agreed to serve on one of my boards, just to impart his experience and knowledge… all for nothing.

You might not have noticed it, but as much as there are some bad people out there, there are also some really nice people out there, too!

# Finding a “game changer” for your business through partnerships is extremely important.

It’s not just about trying to get investors. It’s also about finding unique products and services that can enhance your business and make it more competitive. You don’t have to invent everything yourself.

Here are two more examples, this time with Kwesé TV:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently announced that they’re sending two teams to play basketball in Africa in August. If you’re a basketball fan, you’ll know that it doesn’t get bigger than that!

The NBA is a $9bn revenue organization! That”s an absolute behemoth. And yet they are keen to develop this great sport in Africa!

We already show all the NBA games live on Kwesé Sport. We also have a 24-hour basketball channel.

# Finding a “game changer” for your business through partnerships is extremely important.

Have you heard our newest exciting news yet?

__ESPN, the largest sports broadcaster in the world, is now our new partner on Kwesé Sport!

If you have a Kwesé decoder, you’ll already know that we just launched a new sports channel called “ESPN on Kwesé.”

They’re also helping us with our sports website, KweseSports.Com, the fastest growing sports website in Africa, thanks to their help. Can you spot how they’re helping us become the best sports broadcaster in Africa?

If you ever find yourself facing an 800-pound gorilla, it makes sense to find a bigger gorilla to stand with you!

What about you? Have you started putting together your own “dream team”?

To be continued…

by 21 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

21 thoughts on “Who would be on your “dream team”?

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    We have so many partners in our businesses from literally every corner of the world, including Africa, Europe, India, China, America, Brazil. So many companies globally are just looking to partner with you to enter the African market! Take up these opportunities, not just to introduce new world-class services and products… It will also make you a better entrepreneur!

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    Don’t be a Commission Agent… that’s someone who gets paid for opening doors to politicians and other important people. That is not entrepreneurship; it is just influence peddling, and you’re never far from corrupting and/or being corrupted.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    “Be the mentor you wish you had…” If you’re already helping to mentor someone, well done! Sharing your time and experience can sometimes make the difference for someone between “game changer” and “game over.” Let’s all do what we can, wherever we are.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Victor writes,

    Thank you sir im creating employment and business opportunities for my brothers and sisters in zimbabwe

    My reply,
    You brought tears to my eyes with this simple message. Only God knows what it meant to me.
    You are so blessed.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    In our business there is one thing that I never delegate to others:
    My relationships with our business partners. I always want to make time for our partners.
    I’m always reminding our senior management why certain people or organizations are our partners, and what they did for us.

    The best partnerships in business are like a good marriage.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Victor writes,

    Oh i see thank you Dr. but how about commissions in real estate.Im also into real estate.

    My reply,
    This type of “commission agent” is not a Real Estate or similar agent. Here we are talking about people who are paid for giving access to public servants (including ministers) for international companies to get business contracts, and tenders. We call this “influence peddling”.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tazvi writes,

    Now that we have Kwese Tv and its blooming.Is it feasible to also have “Kwese Education” to revolutionalise the education system. I believe learning can also be done through visualising and enhancing photographic memory and make learning quite enjoyable to children across africa. Imagine how we used to marvel at the idea of “Bhaisikop” when we were kids. Now what if we can chanel that whole concept of enthusiasm with an educational twist across Africa especially the rural areas. How to do so??? We can have mobile trucks and projectors with generators to give student revision classes and or containers that we set up in those remote areas and use such technique of visual education. This reduces the burden of structures and of course the teacher shortage problem in the rural areas. We can have the private schools donate “intellectual property” through Kwese Education recording lessons taught to the priviledged and these then through Kwese Education be played in the Kwese Education containers/structures in the rural areas thereby also enabling those children who cant afford to go to school to get the basics of atleast reading and writting. Thank you.

    My reply,
    When you get the decoder or download the Kwese App, you will find an amazing Channel called “Kwese Know”. Try it!

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Debo writes,

    Does it mean that earning commissions is not really entrepreneurship?

    My reply,
    There are many business models built on earning a commission. The type of commission agent I’m talking about are those who use their relationships with government officials to secure business on behalf of companies they don’t own. If a person has a brother who is a minister or top civil servant, and they use their access to arrange meetings and contracts for a fee then that person is a type of “commission agent” that is not acceptable.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Chima writes,

    Partnership and partnering with the right people was my biggest challenge…many times it turned out a wreck.. but my believe in people and partnership hasn’t waned because from beginning God intends that Man cannot do it alone. Gradually and steadily today things are falling into right places again. Thanks Masy, for sharing!

    My reply,
    In my business career I have had some really bad partners. Often after being let down or cheated, I would promise myself not to do another partnership again. Then I realized that I would never progress without partners! So how was I to deal with this dilemma?
    # Choosing the right partner is an acquired skill!
    There are methods and processes which you can follow, even as a small business, to ensure that you work with the right people.

    # The first thing you must do is define your own value system. For instance if you want to make “money at all costs”, then you will likely end up with the wrong people.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Choosing someone to come and Intern for two weeks:
    We are still working on the competition to choose one person who will come and spend two weeks with us, including one week working in my office. We are targeting end of this month to launch the competition.
    The competition will be run through Kwese.Com, and Kwese App. Make sure you are checking in regularly on those two sites.

    Also be certain to download the latest version of the App if you want to participate (its free). Also make sure you have a passport, because there will be a lot of travel.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    A K Kipkip writes,

    Have you thought of developing another product for Africans in diaspora, we are locked out by Kwese App due to country phone codes being tailored to Africa. I would suggest Kwese Worldwide App excluding exclusive content for certain content rights, to cover diasporians with important information on the ground, business news e.t.c.

    My reply,
    We are developing a solution you will love!
    Give us a bit of time to bed down the home front.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Alex writes,

    For instance if you want to make “money at all costs”. Please help me understand what this sentence means

    My reply,
    Read my post from last year called “porn, drugs or guns”.
    You must not associate yourself with greedy people because they will get you into trouble. You have to walk away if the partnership is people who are dubious.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Here is a secret!

    The most successful Africans in future are those who master the ability to partner with Africans from other African countries…Shhhh!
    [keep this secret to yourself, because there are many enemies out there who will try and stop you from believing this.]

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tafdee Dube writes,

    One of these days I will write about Africa’s future cities.
    A few days ago I reminded an audience of leading bankers in Africa, that in the next 75 years Africa’s population will be over 4bn people (over 40% of the world’s population). Nigeria alone will have more than 1bn people. Most of these people will live in cities!
    This means we need to start now to plan our cities of the future in a methodical way.
    You my friend will be at the forefront of such planning.
    You need to start reaching out to find partners (young Africans who are trained in your field), and get a dialogue going!

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese Quiz 2:
    This time I will give a Kwese decoder for the first LADY from any African country (plus 6 months free service). If we have no service planned for your country you get a smartphone.
    Here is your question:
    Name any show on Kwese Stories, giving the time it appears. You can only get this information from the Kwese App.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese weekly quiz:
    I just downloaded my new Version 2.0 Kwese App on my iPhone (until now it was only available on Android). This is really cool.
    So here goes for my quiz of the week:
    Name one of the ESPN presenters on “ESPN on Kwese” promotional advert on the Kwese App.
    This time I will give a Kwese decoder to the first person from any African country (plus 6 months free service). If we have no service planned for your country you get a smartphone.
    Competition closes in a week.
    [Only people who download the App can win.]

  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    How to win a quiz:
    Always read the question very, very carefully. For instance in my question on “ESPN on Kwese”. I did not ask for the “host”, I asked for presenterS. There are quite a few, and you will have to look at the ad carefully and do some research to get other names. If you just focus on the one guy whom everyone mentions, you will not get the prize because it will go only to the person who answered first from your country.

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    How to find partners:
    The key to finding partners is to be constantly looking for ways to deepen relationships with people who make your business a success. Here are some examples:
    #Partner customers: Every business has certain customers on which it depends more than others. Always try and reach out to the customers who are key to your business, and try to develop partnerships with them that are mutually beneficial.
    #Partner Suppliers: Once you have been buying things from the same supplier, try and get to know the owner of that business. Make them understand how much you buy, and how loyal you are to them. Build trust which will help you out on a rainy day.
    #Partner Advisors: develop an ongoing relationship with key advisors such as lawyers, and accountants, and people like ad agencies.
    #Partner with lenders: your relationship with a bank must be based on a partnership. This means you must work hard to know and be known by key people at the bank where you bank.

    Partnership is not just about people with whom you own or run a business. It is about people with whom your relationship is not merely “transactional”. It is a relationship in which you are actively working to promote each other’s interests.

    Sit down this weekend, and draw up a list from each of the categories I have given you. Now go and see those people, and begin to build your partnership relationship!

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    TVMEA News – Sky Vision has inked its first programming deal with Africa’s newest pay-TV broadcaster, Kwesé TV. The agreement includes the sale of more than 20 factual programs, including Start Up You, which gives ambitious young adults the chance to win investment to start their own businesses, and Make Me a Millionaire Inventor, with both the U.K. and U.S. versions of the show, which searches for the best inventions that were never made, licensed. The Sky Vision series will broadcast on Kwesé’s entrepreneurial and business channel Kwesé Inc.

  20. Garikayi

    Thank you for being an inspiration to millions across the world and especially Mother Africa. I have one request, may you please post on your blog your daily habits. How do go about your day, how do you stay in the game through out the day and how do you fit family time. I hope its not too much to ask. Thank you in advance


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