3 African business moguls share reasons responsible for their success stories

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Three successful entrepreneurs across three different African regions share some insights on attitudinal habits that have contributed to their success in business.

Clive Smith, CEO, Tsebo Solution

Clive Smith, CEO, Tsebo Solutions

Clive Smith, CEO, Tsebo Solutions

Clive is the CEO of Tsebo Solutions Group, a facilities management business that provides clients with services like Staff Training or on-site security. The company currently operates in 21 African countries and 2 countries in the Middle East.

In an interview, he revealed that his business has been able to enjoy the success it currently rides on, due to his ability to prioritize, manage an efficient team, and satisfy customers’ needs.

“The first thing I’ve learned throughout the years was how to prioritize; how to focus on the things that are really important; that make the organization move forward and progress.

The second thing is: Staff correctly, train the people, get their attitude correct – and they must move towards delivering. That is how to be successful. You can’t do the work all yourself, especially when the business gets big. And satisfy your customer. Without our customers we’ve got nothing.”

Chris Folayan, Founder, MallforAfrica

Chris Folayan, Founder, MallforAfrica

For Chris Folayan, Founder MallforAfrica, an e-commerce platform that enables Africans and people in emerging markets to purchase billions of products from over 200 US and UK online retailers, his  success in running one of Africa’s most successful e-commerce platform can be distilled into the following points:

“I Knew that failure is non-existent yet inevitable. I Listened, made a plan and got them executed. Also, goals aren’t enough, I didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. I also learned from other successful entrepreneurs.”

Dan Githua, CEO, Tuskers Mattresses

Dan Githua, CEO, Tuskers Mattresses

Dan Githua, is the CEO of  Tusker Mattresses, one of Kenya’s Largest Supermarket chains. Popularly known as Tuskys, the business operates 59 supermarkets within and outside Kenya (7 in Uganda, 52 in Kenya).

For Dan, just like Chris Afolayan, listening is an integral part of his success story as an entrepreneurs. the 36-year old says:

“I think I listen. I spend a lot of time listening to others and reading. Because of that I get a lot of input from other people on how they think things should be done. I think it is important to listen and read.”

Takeaway: One obvious reality from the stories of these successful entrepreneurs is that listening plays a part in building successful businesses. As entrepreneurs, listening externally, (to demands of customers, or external advice), and internally ( to grievances of employees) is as important to a business as other factors are.


I'm interested in stories, news and opportunities for African entrepreneurs. Be it tech, fashion, SMEs; breaking entrepreneurship stories is the next best thing that can happen to me, after Jollof

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