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Building brands and an entrepreneurial dream

With a #hashtag #WeBuildBrands, it comes as no surprise that Made2Fly Creative has a reputation for being a forward-thinking design and brand activations marketing agency, whose core passion is to build and grow brands globally.

Founded in November 2011 by creative director Charma Maluleka, the team includes talented, innovative, and dynamic young professionals who are passionate about what they do and continuously challenge themselves to improve and grow.

Asked about his entrepreneurial journey, Maluleka says that it wasn’t intentional but a move that resulted in him finding a productive environment that enabled him to achieve personal, professional, and financial goals. Maluleka says “I needed to do it on my own. However, I never thought I’d be an entrepreneur.” He adds “I always thought I’d be like an artist, music artist, or a soccer player. I never thought of entrepreneurship. It was only later on when I realised I was an entrepreneur.”

His success is built on hard work, determination, and sacrifices. He says “Entrepreneurship is lonely because you’re going into the unknown, so getting support when you don’t know where you trying to get to it, is tricky. However, entrepreneurship isn’t a walk in the park, there are obstacles like business challenges, as well as other sacrifices that need to be made in order to succeed.” He adds “When you’re running your own business, if you don’t work, then money doesn’t come in. So it’s not like somebody who’s employed where if you don’t deliver, you’ll still get a salary at the end of the month. As entrepreneurs, we need to make sure that we are always working, and things are done so we get the results that we want.”

Regardless of a bumpy start, the support is now massive because he has built a reputable business with tangible results. Sadly, in the beginning, no one was willing to back or support him financially. To add salt to the wound mentorship from fellow entrepreneurs didn’t catapult him or open the doors he needed.

Challenges on the road to success

another challenge Maluleka faced was the whole moral compass. He explains “you know, morals versus money. That’s been my biggest thing. So for me, that was one of the biggest challenges because, at the time when I was experiencing those kinds of deals, it was when I needed the money, but at the same time, I wanted to stand for something. When you lose those deals or when you don’t take the deal, the people around you, feel like you failed them. So that’s been one of the most difficulties I have faced because you know, it’s not a black-and-white thing.”

Despite the pitfalls, the secret to success is being inspired. Maluleka advises that if it’s something that you like you have to dig deep into who you are you know. Something that he struggled with. Another stumbling block is the financial aspect of starting a business, the time you have to give to grow it before you see rewards. “For you to be persistent, you need money, you need to eat, you need to pay your bills to be able to focus on the business, not having money can be quite a big challenge.”

Made2Fly is known to develop design solutions and strategic brand campaigns that build the brand to become a lifestyle. Building such an empire comes with the realisation that the industry isn’t as open and you will meet decision-makers that are not as well informed thus becoming gatekeepers but that is all part of the ‘game’, how you navigate this foreign terrain determines how far you get in ‘business.’

This realisation highlights the importance of collaborations among entrepreneurs because being in a silo is detrimental. Maluleka adds that entrepreneurs need to realise that collaboration is a way of paying it forward. He explains
“The industry has changed and is evolving, we can now have these conversations, celebrate each other as entrepreneurs and are learning to network and build solid partnerships that are not tainted by a competitive culture.”

He adds that entrepreneurs realise that individually they might not have the resources and network needed to succeed but together they can get ahead- so in essence collaboration can be a key to success for most entrepreneurs. “When you are starting out as an entrepreneur there is only so much you can do. You don’t have the finances, time, and connections. But if we come together we can progress.” He adds “The relationships I made in school have opened doors for me today and helped me progress. My accountant and lawyer are people I went to school with. Business dealings that changed my life are through someone I went to school with. So networking and relationships are very important. Sadly every race uses its network to grow except black people. Unfortunately, this is why they are ahead of us in business. Collaboration is food for survival, it’s time we stopped shutting each other out. #ntreprenuers and small business no longer have a choice, collaboration is now a must.”

Despite the success, Maluleka says entrepreneurs need to do their research and follow their passion. ” Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme and sadly not everyone can be their own boss. Before you venture into entrepreneurship understand what it’s all about because it’s a lifestyle.”

Maluleka emphasises that we need a generation of entrepreneurs that solve problems and that serve a purpose. At the end of the day, a competitive advantage that is often overlooked is understanding that in entrepreneurship relationships are way more important than money. This explains why his organisation is built on the core values of integrity, innovation, and passion for problem-solving, the Made2Fly team prides itself on letting the work speak for itself.

Having built a solid reputation over the years, the creative agency has stayed true to its name. What they create is “made” with such excellence that it is guaranteed to “fly”. Made2Fly is not only one of the top creative agencies around, it continues to raise the bar. One thing that sets them apart and has become a competitive advantage is that they understand the market. Their philosophy is simple yet effective. They never “sell” to the market, instead, they create marketing campaigns that entice the market to want to “buy”.

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