Renowned philanthropist and the CEO of Antrak Group of Companies, Dr. Alhaji Asoma Banda has over the decades been praised for his unique leadership style and for establishing a global business enterprise that employs over 500,000 people. Dr. Banda in a recent interview with Kwesi Pratt Jnr. revealed some basic principles that he has learnt over several decades of doing business. Here are the four business principles.
PERSEVERE AND PURSUE: DEVELOP TOUGH SKIN
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must develop a tough skin to withstand the ups and downs of a business. Understand that not everyone will be happy about your business idea blossoming or understand your vision. Dr. Asoma Banda, when answering a question related to how he began his airline operation in Africa responded, “It wasn’t easy. I had to push for several years before my government eventually gave me the license.” Dr. Banda also revealed that without the assistance of close friends, he wouldn’t have been successful in his bid to secure an operational license. The implications of this revelation for every entrepreneur is that in building a business, forge strong and healthy relationships with several partners and never give up on your dreams. Persevere and pursue your ambitions always and do not be too proud to ask for assistance when you need it.
According to Dr. Banda, opposition must be expected especially when one wants to make a lasting impact in society. He revealed that before his airline took off, the State Minister responsible for issuing licenses explicitly denied him the needed clearance for operations. When he pressed for explanations, no reasonable reasons were provided. After several years of battling it out, he was eventually granted the clearance by the appropriate authorities. Dr. Banda’s experience reveals that doing business in certain parts of the world may come with unnecessary bureaucracy and unexplained opposition but you must brace for the challenge and resolve to overcome any resistance.
NEVER LET AN INEXPERIENCED PERSON RUN YOUR COMPANY
Dr. Banda disclosed in the interview, “My son, who had never worked a day in his life, run the company down.” Dr. Banda explained that this happened when he was admitted to the hospital for some time. To avoid making a similar mistake, adequately prepare your business successors, encourage growth and learning and support your mentees with the proper training and tools. Also, create a constructive and rewarding work environment. That way, you can be assured that your business will thrive even during your absence.
FAILURE IS NEVER FINAL
The final lesson Dr. Banda’s experience presents us with is that failure is part of life’s learning process. Even after he admitted that his son had run down his airline company, Dr. Banda stressed that he was working around the clock to bring it up again. He stated, “It will take some time but I sure will bring it back.” As an entrepreneur, do not beat yourself too much when you make mistakes. In building businesses, mistakes is a given, but the most important thing is to learn the lessons and be inspired by Dr. Banda’s attitude. Get up again, and try again.
These are four important lessons the business magnate, presents to us. You can read more about the perspectives of other great businessmen in Africa and also how to become a successful entrepreneur from other titles on this page.
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About the Author, G.K. Sarpong
G. K. Sarpong is an author and founder of Christian Thinkers Community (CTC), a multidimensional organisation headquartered in Accra, Ghana. Sarpong also writes for several media firms across the continent of Africa and a guest writer and editor for various international journals and newsletters including Light Magazine Africa, The Revolution Journal and Christian Thinkers Journal. Sarpong has authored over seven books and hundreds of articles, some of which include Entrepreneurship Africa, Develop the Master in You, Building Success and Answers to Life’s Foundational Questions.