By Business Reporter
STANDARD Bank Namibia has partnered with Ndalo Media to bring a first-of-its-kind Mentorship in Business Forum to close to 100 prominent local business people and budding entrepreneurs in Windhoek.
First Lady Monica Geingos; Ndalo Media founder and Chief Executive Officer, Khanyi Dhlomo; Standard Bank Deputy Chairman Jerry Muadinohamba and Paragon Investment Holdings co-founder Lazarus Jacobs were the panellists at last week’s event, who shared their invaluable knowledge on the topic of mentorship in business.
As keynote speaker, Geingos strongly urged corporates in both the public and private sectors to make mentorship part and parcel of their businesses.
“You need to institutionalise mentorship. It must be made a key performance indicator, and I like Standard Bank’s approach of institutionalising mentorship, where the chief executive officer is the mentor,” Geingos said.
“It’s easier to become successful, than to stay successful. You have to keep moving up. The challenging part of success is maintaining it, and one should consciously make a decision to manage it. Mentorship is a two-way engagement, and you need it the most when you are at your most powerful. Always have a thick skin, be resilient and look above your problems. As entrepreneurs we need to find innovative ways to solve structural problems, in order to build a skills-based economy.”
Sharing the same sentiments, Muadinohamba said that the bank believes in the power of positive impact, and developing and growing the power of mentorship in business.
“Believing in people can build confidence; all we need is that spark that will unleash the potential, and identify the opportunities,” he said.
In its endeavour to identify talent in the bank, each year Standard Bank identifies 25 executives to undergo a coaching programme, where they acquire tools that will enable them to mentor their staff. In addition, the bank also conducts a Graduate Development Programme, where promising young people undergo an 18-month programme.
Standard Bank Chief Executive, Vetumbuavi Mungunda, also steers a recognition programme (Beyond Excellence), which annually recognises employees who live the bank’s values and have excelled beyond the call of duty.
Dhlomo stressed that reading the right books and finding the right resources, as well as attending short courses on negotiation and management skills, are key to growing as an entrepreneur.
“Always build a depth of skills and expertise; look at how you can give back with your business, to make a difference in society for others. We all have a spark of greatness within us; all that remains is to unleash it.
“Building meaningful relationships and partnerships are key to a successful business. In order to grow your business, you need to invest in it, in order to get high returns. Mentorship doesn’t always come in the pre-packaged way that one expects,” she said.
Dhlomo said leadership and mentorship are internal processes, before adding that the focus should be on problem solving, thinking creatively and shifting mindsets from sales to service.
While commenting on his journey to success, Jacobs enthusiastically termed it ‘entreprenation’.
He said entrepreneurs should adopt an ambitious culture of starting a business with the limited resources that they have, instead of waiting for large start-up capital.
“I always advise entrepreneurs that they should not be afraid to fail; be a risk taker. Keep your hunger for success. If you get a lucky break, utilise it by converting it into something tangible. Start a business with a legacy, a business that can outlive you. Look at problems in your community and use enterprise to solve these problems. If you live in Oshakati, don’t try and solve problems in Windhoek, try and find the challenges you can address there,” explained Jacobs.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015