African entrepreneur leaving a global footprint

Mubanga Malama is an ambitious, God-fearing African entrepreneur whose key focus is to succeed. He is cut from a different cloth because he makes room for others to sit at his table and shares opportunities.

Malama is innovative, an agile gentleman with a natural flair for business. He reacts to market changes so that he can tap into profitable opportunities strategically.

As the founder of Prestige Bike and Car Rental, 36ixty Media, and Fixx-It Motor Spares & Service, his diverse portfolio of businesses is a symbiotic relationship that is growing in strides. For Mr Malama, entrepreneurship wasn’t intentional, even though he has always tried his hand at business, even from a young age.

He openly admits that the corporate world wasn’t for him, and by God’s grace, starting and continuing with his entrepreneurial journey, even though it was purely by luck, has been a fruitful journey. But, he adds, “Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone.”

The journey to entrepreneurship

When asked what he likes about entrepreneurship, he says it has its pros and cons. “The pro is making your own money and managing your time while learning as much as possible. Sadly the con is that one must consistently have money for day-to-day expenses, so it’s a different rat race- this one is to make money to survive constantly.”

So despite the ups and downs, some of the critical lessons he has learnt so far include time and financial management. “This is the key if one wants to be successful. However, learning, learning from others, and empowering others is also important because sharing knowledge is part of the entrepreneurial journey.”

He attributes his success to hard work, determination, networking, and believing in oneself.

Fortunately, having been in the game for so long has taught him to avoid some pitfalls that could destroy a small business. Mr Malama says two fundamentals could result in most entrepreneurs failing. “One is that when you start a business, you must use your own money to pay for your personal expenses. This fact isn’t something freely shared, and it affects the growth of the business. And two is risk-taking. Entrepreneurs need to take calculated risks for one to know the outcomes. In entrepreneurship, calculated risks = rewards.”

His marketing strategy is mainly digital marketing, including social media but infusing word-of-mouth and referrals. His competitive advantage is that he operates in different countries, namely South Africa and Zambia. In addition, his diverse portfolio of businesses, including car rentals, media solutions, and motor spares and service offerings, allows him to meet clients who will need one of his services.

Collaborating is a definite must because, as an entrepreneur, it indirectly gives you access to their network and/or clients. But, he adds, “In essence, it improves your client base.”

Mr Malama says entrepreneurs must learn to respect themselves, their clients, and the business.

One of the most thoughtful things Mr Malama continues to do is expose his kids to the entrepreneurial life. He explains, “my kids need to learn how to manage money because the estate will fall onto them. So they need to know how to hustle and be successful like me.”

Mr Malama concludes by saying that we can expect more business ventures in the future, growing new businesses which will lead to a ‘soft’ retirement.

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