Malawi’s business guru Thom Mpinganjira offers tips for successful business enterprises

FDH Bank’s Mpinganjira

By Duncan Mlanjira

First Malawian to establish his own bank, Dr. Thomson Mpinganjira has tipped people to diversify in their business undertakings in order to reduce investment risks in order to succeed in their business endeavours.

Mpinganjira, Group Chief Executive Officer of FDH  Financial Holdings Limited, said this at Malawi’s first wealth creation and personal finance conference that was held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre on Tuesday, which was organised by a Malawian owned micro finance institution, Sycamore Consult.

The conference attracted several business gurus that included Mpinganjira; Simon Itaye — former Managing director of Packaging Industries now known as Nampak; experienced insurance professional, Stain Singo (who established his own insurance company, Smile Life); Mike Mlombwa (owner of Countrywide Car Hire);  Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa of Mpatsa Investments and a host of other professionals.

Mpinganjira, a qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), said aspiring business persons should develop a circle of competence, a clearly defined industry, business model, asset class, investment style, or other area that they are an expert at, and invest only within that circle.

He said people must inculcate a culture of spending less and saving more by saving part of their monthly income as soon as they get it just like the tax authority takes their PAYE.

He said people should desist from borrowing to start a business but rather to borrow in order to expand the business that they fully understand.

He also tipped people to diversify in their business undertakings in order to reduce investment risks.

“No business success comes without personal success. You must build a strong personal credit worthiness.

“There is not one formula for savings and investment success but key to it is risk taking and taking baby steps.

“Start with small savings every month; forget big goals and take gradual steps for small and daily wins.

“Start investing as soon as you begin earning because one of the most important factors in how much wealth you can accumulate depends on when you start investing,” said Mpinganjira, in his presentation entitled ‘Investment Lessons From an Entrepreneur’.

FDH Financial Holdings has five subsidiaries — FDH Bank Limited, First Discount House Limited, FDH Money Bureau Limited, FDH Financial Advisory Services Limited and MSB Properties Limited.

Its vision is to be the leading provider of first class financial solutions in Malawi and the Southern Africa.