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Category: ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Press Release

Entrepreneur interview: an insight from Dr Jacha
Written by Tendai Tambudze
13 August 2012

Sweech sat down for a one-on-one with businessman, motivational speaker and published author, Dr Rodwell Jacha.  Dr Jacha is an accomplished businessman with an impressive portfolio spanning over 20 years in business. He is the founder of Image of Africa and Roddan Consultancy. He is currently the director of Shiptech Petroleum. He also finds time to sit on the board of several companies including Moving Ads and the African Christian Business Fellowship. His areas of expertise include marketing, business development, team leadership and media.

He has also worked as a mentor for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and has been using his gift to motivate and guide young people as they mobilize their dreams. He has even been recognised by the United Nations who nominated him for a United Nations Youth Leadership award. In 2006, Rodwell founded the "Joshua Generation Group", a mentorship programme that gives guidance and stewardship to young professionals in various fields of business. He mentors a group of 40-45 young men per semester.

Tell us about your business?

RJ: There are a few but I am going to focus on Moving Ads. I always had a dream to do something unique in the advertising space that was in people’s faces. Moving Ads does outdoor media. It’s an idea that originated from France through a friend. I wanted to do advertising that was not associated with anything else; i.e not through newspapers, magazines or any other media. At the time we coined a saying that went   ‘you have to have your head buried in the sand to avoid us’. Moving Ads has many different types of outdoor media, one of the more popular ones being branded trucks. And it is exactly as I always dreamt – pure advertising in your face.

What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?

RJ: Firstly I have been sensitive to the needs of the advertiser. We have been highly adaptable and not rigid. And one of the strongest points of the business is that we are able to go where people are.

What plans do you have for expansion?

RJ: It started off as a dream and we are still dreaming. We want to become more visible and also develop other platforms that are in people’s faces.  And it’s all about always staying with the pure form of advertising that is not mixed with news or movies and readily accessible.

What has been your most effective marketing tactic or technique?

RJ: The great thing about our product is that it speaks for itself. While we are out there, doing what we do best, we are constantly meeting buyers and consumers. We have also targeted certain brands and are always courting new clients. And once we sign someone up and they experience what Moving Ads can do for them, they never leave. Our website is also very active and that has also been useful.

If you were to start another business, what might it be? 

RJ: There are a couple of ideas I often think of but at the forefront would be a publishing company that would showcase Africa. This country has so much potential and I have always wanted to tell some of the great stories we have in this continent that is so vast and talented. It’s really important to develop these talents.

Secondly I would love to go into the TV space and have a forum to discuss African issues where we can also showcase and nurture what we can do as a continent.

What advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?

RJ: I would say remain focussed on your intended goals. And I think the key to success is realising that the greatest success will not come from what you perceive as something that will make you money; your wealth lies in your talent.  So find what you are good at, money always follows.  Finally I would say when its difficult don’t quit, remain focused and work hard.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

RJ: Partnerships with the wrong people! Doing business is like a marriage. You and your business partners need the same kind of thinking and you need to have differences that build the business not destroy it. So I have now learnt to be 100% sure about the people I partner with.

So do you have business partners? How did you pick them?

RJ: I have partners for most of my business interests. I am very much interested in leadership development. It’s one of the things that make me wake up. So when looking for partners for Moving Ads, I had to see if what I was doing worked. I picked a bunch of youngsters and got to oversee them grow and manage the business. My son is now involved in that business and it proved to me that if you can lead well, you can reap well.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

RJ: Running a business can ruin a family if you do not understand certain concepts. It can become a calling and easy to take it home with you. I had to learn to leave business and go home and create a family. So balancing the two is important to me because I need a family that is healthy and can also see the benefit in the business.

What motivates you?

RJ: I want to see change in other people’s lives. I want to see change in my employee’s families. I take my business as a service to God and a platform where I can be able to preach Christ.

How do you define success?

RJ: Success is being able to know the reason for your survival and getting to know Christ. For me success is having a business that glorifies God.

What’s the single most important reason for your success?

RJ: Hard work and never giving up!  Achieving long term success is about being focussed and smart. And while working hard is good, working smart is even better. A key aspect of success is also appreciating and knowing what people are looking for and providing it.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

RJ: I have had many mentors and people in my life who have inspired me. I was motivated and mentored by Dr Guti, a personal friend and leader of one of the biggest churches in Zimbabwe. A friend and mentor has also been Dr David Molapo. Bishop TD Jakes is a huge inspiration to me.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

RJ: They change! I keep getting them all the time. One of the more unforgettable ones was the launch of Moving Ads. We had a big event and marched through the streets with banners. And I just have to mention the experience of watching my son Junior being born. This was a few years ago and what an amazing moment! That’s not business related but wow. It was indescribable.

How did you land your first client?

RJ: My first client was actually my bank manager! He was also starting his own business and I met up with him to consult on several issues. He then helped me organise a deal and our business relationship has been strong ever since.

When is breaking the rules okay? Or is it ever ok?

RJ: As a businessman I am faced by that temptation every day, however it’s a simple issue for me. When you are a child of God, the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom. I know I can never hide from God so it puts me in the right place to always abide by the state and spiritual rules

What books if any have made a difference to your business?

RJ: The bible

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