The seventh edition of the Founders Dinner Series was hailed a success by the woman of steel herself, Regina Sikalesele-Vaka.
Sikalesele-Vaka is a woman who has played an important role in spurring economic development and job creation in the country.
Sikalesele-Vaka, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Bona Life Insurance, which is the first citizen-owned insurance company in the country, shared her wisdom with both aspiring and well-established entrepreneurs, who thronged the event.
Addressing the participants, the renowned corporate leader urged entrepreneurs to always position their companies such they fall on fertile ground always.
“Entrepreneurship can be tempting hence why good governance and stability are very crucial. Ethics are the start and finish, as we operate in a field where a lot of people take everything for granted,” he said.
She further highlighted the importance of understanding the market, how it behaves and design the right product suitable for the market.
“Distribution is another important factor. As an entrepreneur you need to ensure that your clients receive the products, so think about the distribution methods,” she said.
Founder and managing director of Flotek, Vijay Naik noted that patience was a virtue for entrepreneurs because sometimes it could take months or years to reap the results.
“I had an aching desire to start a business. I told a friend who was my mentor of my desire and he promised to fund me provided I don’t think small but rather dream big,” he said.
Naik said, he then decided to venture into the manufacturing of PVC pipes and used his savings. After getting 18 months before he could be certified, Naik said it then took 1,000 days for it to mature.
“If you don’t have the patience to wait that long, you won’t make it in business. Today we are the biggest employer in Lobatse with 600 staff, and we employ 900 people in our group and export 70 of our products,” he said.
Founders Dinner Series, which is the brainchild of Matshego Lethola, brings together leading captains of industries under one roof for an intimate dinner, thus affording upcoming entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and learn from their more experienced counterparts.
Since inception the sessions have hosted business magnates like Base Sebonego, Tonderai Tsara, Samuel Mpuchane, Ebrahim Mohamed and Mompoloki Mogobe.
Lethola told BusinessMonitor it was after his first business magazine publication when he realised that most of the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) needed to be mentored and to be helped to expand through the right networking.
Lethola said the platform exposed aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to be resourceful with information, ideas, leads, business opportunities, financial capital, power and influence, emotional support, even goodwill, trust and cooperation.