IMPETUS TO ACHIEVE: LOOK FOR PROBLEMS

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THERE’s an old conventional practicality around profiting that says for you to make money, all you have to do is find a need, satisfy that need at cost plus profit and voila! You are a well to do man.

There is a tendency by us as human beings to read too much into what some of these needs of society might be. We tend to feel that our ideas of responding to the needs of society are perhaps not good enough. Let it be known though that greatest ideas are often founded on simplicity.

Take beef for instance, the price just seems to rise in Zambia, and that is the problem. Cattle herders and ranchers alike are cashing in by providing a solution – supply.

The reason for the rising price is the demand, and therein lies the opportunity. There is huge demand for beef because there aren’t enough cattle heading into abattoirs across the country to feed the many mouths of the Zambian populace.

In fact, for a number of years now, most if not all butcheries have been paying small scale cattle herder’s either within a day or two at most for their supply. Such favourable payment terms in an economy like ours can only take place where there is huge demand.

High price of beef

As mentioned earlier, the problem from the perspective of the consumer would be the high price of beef. And if you are looking to cash in, you can solve the problem by plugging the supply gap in the beef value chain.

You can start keeping beef cattle and before you know it, you will be a wealthy individual. Although I use beef as an example, the reality is that consumption in the Zambian economy of agricultural produce has created huge demand way beyond beef/ cattle.

There is huge demand for pork, fish, English vegetables, rice and so many other foods. This is why you hear the Government constantly urging young people to venture into fish farming and other agricultural projects.

The earnings potential is immense, especially when the projects are well-run. Others are cashing in. What about you dear reader?

I feel good when I see various groups dedicated to agriculture and business on social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

They tend to have huge following. And when you see some of the things that people are up to, you will be impressed. The kind of projects that our people are getting interested in and even actualizing show that the mindset of our people is progressing fast in the right direction.

In the next decade or so to come, there will be a huge number of agri-businesses doing fine.  My hunch is that a number of them will be driven by people under the age of 50. This, in a country where farming was conventionally viewed as an activity for retirees. Let’s do this. It’s our country and whatever problem it has, we can fix at a profit.

When you take a look at some of the problems that the great industrialists of yesteryear and the current generation solved, you can’t help but feel that they deserve every penny that they earned for having done so.

Look at how Microsoft came and revolutionized the operating systems that organisations use for work. Look at how Google revolutionized the way we search for data on any given topic; they have made it so simple to do from wherever you are on the planet as long as there is internet connectivity. Look at how electricity took civilization to another level. Again I say, look for problems, find a way to solve them and you shall find your way to comfort.

Other unemployed city center dwellers

I know this may not be the perfect example, but I will use it anyway. Many of us have become accustomed to flooded streets in the city center and other parts of our provinces when it rains.

What I never saw coming however, is the call boys and other unemployed city center dwellers carrying individuals dressed in decent work clothes, on their backs on certain flooded parts of the city at a fee.

Talk of ingenuity in a bit of a funny Zambian way. By the way dear reader, did you know that our country’s GDP can be broken down to our productivity as individuals?

Productivity is calculated by dividing each country’s

I read an article on the said topic written by Victor Mamora in Forbes Africa magazine recently. An excerpt from the said article goes as follows: “Productivity is calculated by dividing each country’s GDP by the average number of hours worked annually by employed citizens.

In my opinion, country productivity simply means financial evidence for problems solved by business communities over a period of time.According to a 2018 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, businesses in the African continent are among the lowest ranked when it comes to productivity.

This means Corporate Africa needs to solve problems that matter. In each firm, the chief executive officer is the chief problem solver for customers and the firm.

The chief operating officer solves the problems of disorder and inefficiency. The ability of a leader to recognize that everybody in any enterprise has the capability to solve a problem makes the business system efficient and productive.

When a leader believes he is the only one who can solve all problems at every level of an organization, it only wastes the corporate potential. Everybody in an organization has the potential to solve challenges…Can you think of an outstanding billionaire who didn’t resolve an outstanding problem? I believe there is none”

There is a lot of truth to what Mamora writes. There are also many problems in Zambia today that afflict our society. What if you were the answer? People hate traffic, yet now we have a foreign firm coming to resolve it with the decongestion project in Lusaka. Where were our engineers when we were in desperate need of someone to give us answers or guidance over our traffic woes?

Brilliant ideas of dealing with waste disposal once and for all?

Cholera is an annual event. Where are the brilliant ideas of dealing with waste disposal once and for all? Anyone to persuade the unenlightened to stop dumping refuse in drainages? People hate the heat that you feel when you jump into your car when it’s been parked for a while in our unforgiving temperatures. Is there anyone with a solution to this?

Sometimes we are too simplistic in what we provide society with. Society does not necessarily need another Bar, Car wash or Barbershop. It is not my intention to belittle or disrespect anyone intending to join this line of business. These businesses are necessary but their markets tend to be saturated.

How about solving a problem that will leave Zambians appreciating as you pile up your rewards in liquidity? Local tourism is a notion that’s really taking hold in Zambia today.

Many Zambians really love beautiful places and site seeing such as the Lower Zambezi & Kafue national parks among other tourism hotspots. These are great places for spotting wildlife; yet have you seen the rates charged by the hotel and tour operators selling holidays to our local destinations? Absolutely impossible for the Zambian middle class!

Foreign operators

The luxury may be undisputed but these operators clearly do not price for locals. This is a problem. And it exists because we have allowed foreign operators to dominate the industry thereby hindering us from visiting and experiencing our own natural beauty.

Any Zambians out there looking to find a solution to this problem and make a ton for doing so? Start your own lodge; it doesn’t have to be large. A lot of people are investing their extra income in flats these days but that will give you rental income of K3,000 – K4,000 per month.

Yet if the same cement and other materials went to building a small yet luxurious lodge in the Lower Zambezi and the rates were placed at just half what the current operators charge, that monthly income would be raised daily. Let’s open our eyes dear Zambians and look for problems. Problems are the answer.

Share your views: muyangwamukuni@gmail.com

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