Excellence Will Always Get You Noticed
It had been quite a while since I sold my car to fund our working capital. My partner and I spent all our time just focused on our business. We worked long hours and drove around in a battered old pickup truck. We were totally consummate about our business. When I was not working, I was reading every book or article I could find on business, and business management; it was my passion.
Although my partner and I were both engineers, I had retreated from the engineering side to finance. The only numbers that interested me, then and now are financial numbers. I had come to realise that the most important thing in running a business effectively is through financial reports. This is when I started using the motto:
“It’s all in the numbers. Show me the numbers”
One day, I went to see a leading bank. Two years had lapsed since my first attempt at raising a loan. I submitted to them my proposal. The following day they summoned me. The head of the bank was present with his most senior deputy. They were both looking at my document. “Did you prepare this?” He was totally shocked by my presentation. He openly said to me, that he had never seen anything like it, and wished every manager in his bank would see it. “You have literally taught yourself banking, just to get a loan!” He begged me not to show it to another bank.
All that preparatory work had finally paid off: I got my loan….but I was already thinking beyond local banks…why not the World Bank?!
To be continued…
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa