South Africa-based expert on pitching for business Justin Cohen has challenged local entrepreneurs to be methodical in creating robust businesses by taking advantage of the digital age.
In an interview after a thought–provoking session at the third biennial Wealth Creation Forum in Blantyre on Friday, he said pitching is important, arguing that one’s lifetime earnings are about 50 percent greater if they know how to persuade and move people to taking action.
Cohen, who is a motivational speaker and a business strategist, noted that many entrepreneurs have great ideas, but lack the ability to communicate and move people.
He said: “We have tremendous new ways to pitch ideas, but now a lot happens on the social media. It is, therefore, important that entrepreneurs go digital. The great thing is such programmes offer services that are free.
“This would up-skill one that whatever your programme or service, you can get it out there and market it digitally.”
Cohen, who spoke to a cross-section of budding and established business operators, said as much as most businesses talk about pitching and digital marketing being critical, what is most important is to have value to offer.
“Entrepreneurs need not try to be a person of success, but be a person of value and success will follow. Find a problem with a new community or country that you can solve better than someone else. The great thing about Africa is that we have many problems and where there are many problems, opportunities are also numerous,” he said.
Taking his turn, United General Insurance Company (UGI) chief executive officer Bywell Chiwoni underscored the importance of prioritising the youth in businesses by being innovative and moving in line with the digital era.
“Majority of potential customers
now are millennial. Businesses should be thinking of how to reach out to these people, which is certainly not the traditional way.
“While people are changing, organisations need to change too because no matter how big companies are in terms of market size, should they not embrace technologies, they will find themselves out of the market,” he said.
During the forum themed Harnessing Malawi’s Digital Economy,
FDH Bank acting managing director William Mpinganjira and Nitel chief executive officer Andy Kamkwalala also took to the stage to emphasise that businesses need to be innovative and ready to meet the expectations of empowered and tech-savvy customers.