Entrepreneurial Lessons from Kingdom Financial Holdings


Extracts from Entreprenuership On Trial by Dr T. A. Makoni 2011

1. The fallacy of explosive growth unmatched by managerial competence in a fast shrinking economy. The commercial bank project could have been slowed down or postponed. Errors in strategy, competence and attention to detail occur when growing fast. It is critical to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to maintain and manage the growth.

2. Monitoring regulator risk and scanning the environment to reduce exposure. Who is your regulator? Keep your eyes set on what he is doing and planning to do and what impact will it have on my business model.

3. Failure to synchronise the values of key players will ultimately sabotage the entrepreneur’s dream. The case of a visionary being very clear where he wants to take the business and who he wants to help him take it is vital. Nigel’s partnerships with business executives and non-executives was successful up to a point when KFHL soared from a start up company in 1994 to becoming the Top Company on the ZSE in 2001. Nigel may be faulted with taking his focus and control off the affairs of KFHL in the very trying period of business upheavals in Zimbabwe in general and the banking sector. In his own confession, the spiritual foundations of KFHL were shaken in his own life and perhaps the unequal yoking with fundamentally different partners. He yoked with people of significantly different values like a Hindu, a traditionalist and others.

4. An entrepreneur needs friendly equity holders on his team to safeguard his investments and reduce risk of a coup. This should be coupled to a certain degree of executive leadership control. Professional managers do not always seek shareholder value, they can also be self- serving.

5. The strategy of regional penetration with minimal capital requirements almost caused the loss of the Botswana venture and yet a significant strategic thrust depended on this venture. It is therefore important to maintain strategic consistency.

6. The Kingdom entrepreneurial model was based on a core skill set of competences. The initial partners were chosen based on desired competence set. This is critical to assess competencies of partners rather than to just focus on friendships without considering the value they add.

7. A strong HR policy is required to undergird significant growth.

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2 thoughts on “Entrepreneurial Lessons from Kingdom Financial Holdings”

  1. strong lessons indeed. Thank you once again doc for such priceless knowledge. one thing i can tell you is you are equipping people like me and not in vain. Out of interest sake. I am interested in learning more about the Old Mutual Mall model, westgate, eastgate highglen etc. It is a massive model and my question is what are the basic lessons we learn from its fall and what do they need to be on the rise again.

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