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Established entrepreneurs challenged to mentor and support business start-ups.

Bimal Shah, the Managing Director Broadway Group of Companies addressing the audience at the TDBA-Dress To Impress function over the weekend.
Consumer goods business magnate Bimal Shah has challenged established local business entrepreneurs and industrialists to go out of their way and mentor and support young upcoming business start-ups order to overcome systemic social and financial challenges.

Speaking over the weekend during a business empowerment and networking workshop at a Thika hotel organised by Thika District Business Association (TDBA) and Dress To Impress Ltd, Bimal advised those who have made in business not to get scared of upcoming businesses as the “ocean was big enough” to accommodate everyone.

“There is a big ocean for all of us. I personally encourage all elder generation industrialists to nurture the young Kenyans who venture into business. It is only fair if you teach someone and help them start their own businesses,” said Bimal Shah who is the Managing Director Broadway Group of Companies.

While retracing the steps that their 60-year old business empire has grown from a very humble beginning back in 1958, Bimal acknowledged the need to support local entrepreneurship towards success.

“It was for the same reason that Broadway Group of Companies started the Seven To Seven business programme so as to empower our youth by helping them start their own businesses,” he said.

“With a little deposit of Ksh. 150,000, we give them a fully stocked kiosk worth more than Ksh. 250,000 with the balance payable in very pocket-friendly instalments. To ensure continuity and sustainability of these businesses, we first send the recipients of these kiosks for a one-week managerial training at Strathmore University,” he continued.

However, Bimal challenged the youth to refrain from instant gratification as it was the main challenge that killed business start-ups adding that one thing that killed young businesses was lack of innovation.

He said that most people just plunged themselves into an already saturated business market instead of thinking beyond what other established businesses were doing thus overcrowding the market with a particular product and leaving other opportunities unexploited.

“It has taken Broadway over 60 years to be the household name that it is today. Business branding is long-term and it will take a long period for any business to really brand itself. You got to be patient, passionate with what you do and always think outside the box,” he advised the youth.  

Some of the participants in the TDBA-Dress To Impress forum doing some networking.
Generational Business Branding.

Bimal encouraged parents to groom their children into their businesses early enough so as to teach them the values of working together as a family so as to prepare them for take-over once the pioneers of such businesses called it a day.

Dr. Susan Gitau, a renowned Counselling Psychologist and a Certified Professional Mediator noted that most young people failed in business for the lack of passion and due to impatience in what they were doing.

She encouraged them to seek for mentors both in real life and from online profiles who would trigger their way of thinking and doing things.

“The biggest challenge we have with our youth is the drive for instant results and gratification which does not work in business. Think about what makes you tick and couple it with your hobbies and interests and pursue to achieve your dreams,” she said.

She discouraged young people from selling out their business ideas to established entrepreneurs but instead seek ways of partnering with them to enable them grow and establish their own brands.

Sarah Karingi, CEO Global Networks Investment Ltd encouraged the business community to take advantage of all available opportunities to network and grow their business empires.

Host TDBA Chair Alfred Wanyoike encouraged Thika business community to always attend such forums as they were meant to improve on their businesses.

He welcomed them to join the association as it was their only avenue to speak in one voice and help tackle common challenges together.

The function was also addressed by the MD Dress To Impress LTD Mr. Samuel Murage and attended by various businessmen and entrepreneurs from Thika, Nairobi and their environs.

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