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Creating a Culture of Business In Mozambique

Creating a Culture of Business Start Ups and Entrepreneurship is a daring new thing for many of the people in Mozambique. In the United States it’s part of who the country is, Small businesses, big dreams and cultural attitude to support it. For the young African nation of Mozambique it’s a growing trend but one that is still like many start ups in it’s early stages. Our guest Julio Maria is looking to change that.

You can listen to the episode here, watch Video, or of course read the show notes below. Remember to subscribe to the Podcast on your favorite service, YouTube Channel and my “Weekly Sales Leader News Letter.”

Tim Kubiak 0:01
Hi, thanks for listening to bow ties and distance. This is Tim Kubiak. As always, you can find us on our socials at bow ties and business on Facebook and Instagram, bow ties and bi z on Twitter and me at Tim Kubiak on Facebook, Instagram and Tim If you haven’t already done so please subscribe to the show. today. We are joined by Julio Maria to discuss entrepreneurship, incubators, the power of starting a small business and creating a legacy. Sounds like our usual fare. Well, not exactly Julia will be helping us understand all these things from an African perspective. So stay tuned and get ready to learn about starting a business in Mozambique.

Julio is award winning professional who’s trained more than 600 marketing in business and entrepreneurship also led the launch and management Station Program in his native Moses. He believes that we are powerful beyond measure, we just need to remember that step into our power and enable others to do the same is an authentic thought leader. He’s made the remarkable contributions to Mozambique Nordic good growth day in 2018 conference, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2019 seedstars summit in 2019, and has touched the lives of more than 2000 people. The impact of his work didn’t go unnoticed. at an international level in 2019. Alone, Julia was recognized as 100 most influential young Africans, he became a holder of the prestigious Diana award, he won the most outstanding delegate award at the global goals Model UN to be able to do what he does and better service community. juggalos invested in himself bachelor’s degree in agriculture, engineering with a major from ispm and Mozambique. He’s a certified business advisor from growth will International, he holds a digital marketing specialization from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Along with other certifications, Julie holds a mentoring program design and an entrepreneurship training methodology built by the Youth Business International. Joe, welcome to the show. And thank you for taking the time.

Julio Maria 2:21
Thank you very much, Tim, I’m super happy to be here. And thanks for that great introduction.

Unknown Speaker 2:25
Ah, you know,

Tim Kubiak 2:26
you made it easy. You’ve done a lot of amazing things, you know, when I go back and look at your LinkedIn and talk to you about your bio, really impressive with what you’ve accomplished and impressive that you’re already starting have to think about what your legacy is, is very young man. So talk about what led you here?

Julio Maria 2:44
Well, that’s such a great question. First of all, when it comes to legacy, I always believe that we are always meant to live our planet way better than we found it right? I am a millennial. So I’m only capable to think about impact and legacy because the generations before me, did such a great job in making sure that I have access to so many opportunities. So it’s just my duty to pass along the same sort of opportunities and possibilities to the next generations.

Tim Kubiak 3:15
When we spoke before, you talked a little bit about, you know, the encouragement to be an entrepreneur, and it’s a little different as Americans, we’re often raised with the start a business, start a business, start a business mentality, right and whatnot. That’s not necessarily the case, Africa. So can you mind sharing a little bit about sort of the cultural background?

Julio Maria 3:35
Yes, sure. So first things first, a lot of people they’re not African. They think that Africa is just a huge country, because just a huge chunk of land, when in fact, Africa has more than 50 countries, and each one of them is completely different than the other one. speaking specifically, of Mozambique, we are so young, as a nation, we are only 45 years old as a nation. And before that Mozambique is one of those countries, there’s, as almost ever been colonized, or really had such strong influences, first of all, from the Arabs, and then by the Portuguese. And that’s why we speak Portuguese in Mozambique. And then when we become independent, we really went to a phase where we are socialists with some heavy communist influence. And then we have a civil war. And then after the war, that’s when we became capitalists and having like an open market to the business. So when you look to Mozambique, we don’t have generations upon generations of intrapreneur. Right, like you’re just starting up. No, just like my my fit my parents generation as like the generation of intrapreneurs that we have, and for the longest time been intrapreneur here was all about just making ends meet and not necessarily creating and driving change in our country. This is changing, of course, we have a lot of young people as myself that really committed to make it to really change our history and making sure that the next generations have more opportunity and we had.

Tim Kubiak 5:02
So when you look, you have a university degree and in a lot of places, right, that’s the path on to I’ll say, the corporate wheel, right or a big company will or government position, you’ve chosen to go a different route. And, you know, knowing a little bit more about your backstory, you’ve chosen to invest your time and your intellect into helping people start businesses in a big way.

Unknown Speaker 5:27
Why yes, so I had a very brief corporate experience, I did an internship in one of the largest agricultural companies here in Mozambique, it was a great time, I learned a lot. One thing that really struck me was this such a heavy structure that a lot of those large companies usually have, right, you don’t have a lot of space to create, and to be bold, and to just kind of follow your gut, you’re basically just following a system. And there was something that I wasn’t really resonating with. That was one reason. The other reason was that I was always been passionate around education, I came from a family of teachers. So I grew up surrounded by books, by teaching people and there’s this story that just like was like days old, my mother will take me to, to her lessons. And it will be like, in my crib, you know, in a corner of the classroom, just, you know, just being that and just been soaking in this educational environment. So it’s really embedded in who I am. And I was, I was around my last year in university when a friend of mine decided to create this technical vocational training program. So he had the old business background, not much higher education background, which is my nature, and it was a perfect match. That’s why I’m in how I created my first business ever, really just following my passion and following the opportunities that I have. It doesn’t it didn’t start at all, as changing, you know, the narrative of young entrepreneurs in Africa, or the young intrapreneurs in Mozambique has just started out as being something that I really loved.

Tim Kubiak 7:00
But it grew, and it grew quickly. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 7:02
yeah, of course, that if that if you put your energy and passion around something, and you are open to listen to the market, definitely, you’re putting yourself up to do something, they will last way longer than yourself.

Tim Kubiak 7:18
So how do you start to create a message to people that they should go start their own businesses? When I drill norm, right?

Unknown Speaker 7:28
Did Not at all, not at all. So I believe they’ve been intrapreneurs Rose is not just about starting your own business is a mindset and a daily practice, right. So it’s not necessarily just starting your own business, you can be an intrapreneur, inside an organization. I grew up with either divorced mother. So I was blessed enough to know the struggle throughout my childhood, and I will see a lot of my friends, they will have both parents, they will be like financially struggling way, way, way more than I was. And from my young age, I always wonder, you know, I only have one parent, right? I should be worse than my friends with both parents, because there’s two people contributing to their income. That’s when I realized that often times we consider that people have like a special skill or special sauce. But it is about their mindset. Right? My mother has always been an intrapreneur herself within an organization, and she had plenty of side gigs. So that mindset of creating things and making sure that she’s answering a need that no, it’s clear in the market or clear in our organization, really kind of put her in a position where she could not only make more money, but also change the life of hundreds of people, right. And that was the kind of mindset that I realized that if I went to support people to grow, they have to be ready not only to have access, but really to save the opportunities that they’re presenting themselves, right, and also being able to create those opportunities in the first place. And that’s how I really got into really supporting people to start their own businesses. And if you are an entrepreneur yourself, I remember when I was six months into my first startup, and I was making all these big decisions. And people were like, oh, who did such a great idea. And I remember thinking, I don’t know what I’m doing here. I have no clue what I’m doing yet. I’m doing the best that I can. But I’m sure there must be something better than this, that I’m just not aware of it right. And I had one of the toughest conversations I ever had with my co founder and I decided that I’m going to look for a job where I could develop my leadership. And that’s how I end up working for ideal Adams and we can accompany that all the old business core of the company support other people to start and grow their businesses. And that’s how I ended up leading one of the top tier incubation program cinemas in the UK.

Tim Kubiak 9:48
So some things I don’t know about Mozambique, and I’m sure most of our listeners don’t. What are the main industries there.

Unknown Speaker 9:56
Agriculture is a huge one, especially on small scale. We have a Larger investments coming in. Tourism is the second one. And recently we are seeing a huge boom around oil and gas and oil. Okay, so those are like the three main industries. But in general, I say that in Africa, is that anything related with natural resources, you’re in the right place to do it.

Tim Kubiak 10:19
So if young people are looking to start companies, are they picking things that help support those major industries? Or are they going outside of that thought process?

Unknown Speaker 10:33
It’s a bit of both, there’s always a huge connection around those areas, because there are a lot of government incentives to do so. But I found that especially youth in the cities, they’re most focused in on services that are kind of like us improving the quality of life in cities, right. So things as water management, delivery services, you know, organizing events and stuff like that. And ICT is really like booming in cities. But if you go to the countryside, it’s all natural based or natural resource based businesses.

Tim Kubiak 11:08
And you’re seeing people though, in both kind of geographies, right, rural as well as urban starting businesses. Yep, yep. So if you’re the average young person in Mozambique, and you go home, and you tell your mom or your dad, or both, hey, you know, I don’t want to go to work for XYZ company, I want to start my own thing, what kind of answer do they get?

Unknown Speaker 11:30
Are you crazy, I didn’t invest my entire life savings to make sure that you study for that now, you’re going to start your own business. Like you just been respectful. Like I’m paraphrasing, and being nice, right. But really, that’s what most young people listen here in Mozambique most of the times, and I know I quote several intrapreneurs. In that situation, it is very easy for for them to like resent their parents, right. That’s why all they say is no first things. First, let’s understand where a parent is coming from. Again, if you look in the Mozambican history, our parents are used to go to school, if you had a university degree, that’s 100% chance you’re going to get a job and get a government fairly paying job. And you don’t have to worry about anything for the rest of your life. Right. But this was like 30 years ago, 10 years ago. Nowadays, if you look at the statistics is terrifying. They are way way, way too many young people with either degrees and a lot of people without a degrees, they’re ready to enter the workforce. But there are not enough jobs. And I found that, surprisingly enough, that’s not the reality only Mozambique is in many countries throughout the world, not even in Africa, literally everywhere in the world, right. So there is a huge need for young people to set up and really just take the lead on creating the life that they want. And by doing so, it’s also important to understand where our support system, our families coming from write in their realities was completely different. So it’s really about having those tough conversations, and really showcasing to our parents or to our support system, that the reality is different right now. It’s not that I don’t want to get a job, or I don’t want to work for someone else is that there’s just not enough jobs. So it’s better for me to go and do my own thing in some days good and going to impact the life of other people, instead of receipt and home. Right.

Tim Kubiak 13:28
So what does it take? Like, from a regulatory perspective? Do you have to file papers with a federal government with a city government? I don’t understand your government structure, what’s it take to actually file and start a business?

Unknown Speaker 13:43
Oh, it’s such a nightmare. Unfortunately, here in Mozambique. The funny thing is that there are different entities around you registering your business. So you have to go, of course, to the whole, you know, commerce chamber, and then also to the banks, and sometimes even to the legal aspects of it, and to the licensee bodies. And a lot of the times they’re not aware of the process, right. And the person who also depends overrides depending on the person who is attending your question. You don’t have anything online that you can go into this file and register your business for like 10 minutes. So you really still have to go to the agencies yourself. And depending on the person moods. First, you might have to go to the bank. And then you go to the bank, and they’re going to ask you to like a pre register file. And then to get their pre register file, you need to have a bank account. So the similar funny game that goes on, but I found that wants to know the process and you’re able to be flexible enough to really work and explain to people behind the desks how they should be doing their work, it actually ends up working as well.

Tim Kubiak 14:49
So here I’m a I’m a technology background guy. You know, I’ve got literally have a friend doing a pitch to venture capitalists in the valley this week out in San Francisco. How do you raise capital in Mozambique, to fund your business to fund your expansion.

Unknown Speaker 15:05
I often see people that if you’re setting up an expansion, right, because they’re different stages, first starting up, the tree apps are the best source of money that you can have, right? Your, your friends, your family in the post, man really just starting out businesses that you can do without the least amount of capital possible. We are still growing in terms of understanding how business investing work, there not a lot of VC investors or impact investors, for the matter. But I found that there are a lot of international grants to support intrapreneurs, especially in developing countries, right. So that’s a huge thing here in Mozambique. And in Africa, in general, you have great competitions, I think, the jack ma from Alibaba, Alibaba just opened up one of the huge awards scheme for startups ever in Africa. So if you’re creative enough to tap into those opportunities, and a lot of development agencies as well, they provide funds that you don’t have to pay with zero interest rate. And sometimes we do not, you don’t have to pay it back. So it’s a great way for you to get it. And I often say that, regardless of the situation, and regardless of the economy, you should be focusing on having your clients to finance your business, right? That’s the way that you validate your product and your service, you validate that whatever you do in actually matter. And then you also get in the money that you need in order to start up. But then once you’re already in business, you’re looking to expand, we have banks with high interest rates, by still we have them and more and more there are a lot of intrapreneurs made it and they are willing to invest in businesses, of course, after the old kind of like business contest is being validated. Okay.

Tim Kubiak 16:48
So here in America, you can start a business on a whim, I can file online and where I live and do all the paperwork and probably under an hour without a lawyer. Right. And it cost me that yet, possibly $50. us how much investment just in forms and in filing fees and stuff does somebody run into?

Unknown Speaker 17:14
Yeah, so it depends on the type of business you are. Kind of like setting it up. The cheapest one will go around $900. Okay, I’m not even joking,

Tim Kubiak 17:25
Justin. Government fees, though, right?

Unknown Speaker 17:27
Yeah, just taking your business, like you’re not doing anything else just in reverse in your business and making sure they are 100%. Legal, right? This I often say to people like don’t, especially here, but really everywhere. Don’t go ahead and register now buy a business before you have validated that is worth your time and your money, for a matter of fact, right? Because a lot of people get stuck in the mindset that, oh, I can only do business once I’m registered. But really, in many countries, you can go ahead and sell lemonade in the streets without a license. Right? So you can feel very that your business without having to go through that. And there are also a lot of sort of open market platforms that you can register into. So you can start doing business as a freelancer, right before you go ahead and register a company like a full grown company.

Tim Kubiak 18:19
So what what’s an example of an open market platform somebody could use,

Unknown Speaker 18:23
like in the US is fiber for instance, right? You don’t have to be licensed to go into fiber necessarily, but you can still validate if you’re, if there is demand for your business. in Mozambique, I use coffee chat, for instance, specially because of my international business is a nightmare to have payments coming to Mozambique. And I found that by having like all payments done via a source by you know, a unique platform, they sorted everything for me and I just have money in my bank account without many houses and bustles.

Tim Kubiak 18:54
So do you have people that are starting businesses here? You had people in the early days of eBay that stood up shops, you have independent sellers that sell on Amazon? People that create things sell on Etsy? Are there Mozambique type equivalent to those platforms for people?

Unknown Speaker 19:12
They’re usually African based why not necessarily Muslim be convinced by their African ones? Okay. Um, we had jumia was a huge one. We had all LX for a little while, but it was closed off a few months. Yeah, a few months ago. But yeah, we have a lot of platforms that you can go ahead and just share your products and services. And something that usually is different from, you know, the rest of the world. In Africa, we use a lot of sort of like mobile based apps and payment systems. So there’s a lot of business being done by WhatsApp groups that are business data via Facebook groups on Instagram. So yeah, there’s a lot of that and I believe that’s quite unique from Africa, then you don’t have just as much in the rest of the world. Maybe Southeast Asia, but In Africa, it’s very, very strongly,

Tim Kubiak 20:01
very strong, interested in does that help deal with some of the currency things that coffee chat takes out of your business?

Unknown Speaker 20:08
Oh, yeah, he does. But on this particular case, I wouldn’t be able to process international payments so easily. And because we trade our international clients really from every single continent, it would be a nightmare for me to go one by one at a bank every time that money will come through my bank account.

Tim Kubiak 20:27
So when you’re shipping between countries, within Africa, do you have to deal with import and export requirements and local law compliance and things like that?

Unknown Speaker 20:39
You know, one of the most asked question is there Bernard, you just asked me, and I totally get it. Because it just Africa is a huge chunk of land, one will assume the logistics will be just easier, right? There’s not like a lot of rivers or sort of like big separations. But unfortunately, is not logistics is one of the areas where there is so much opportunity in Africa in general, especially around as you mentioned, getting products, sheep, beads, etc, you can take a really long time, especially if it is between countries in the same country can be hired by between countries is even harder. And again, not everyone is fully aware of the legislations. So you really have to educate yourself before engaging in such a business.

Tim Kubiak 21:24
Yeah. And I find it it’s a joke, it’s an American problem. Everyone looks at that doesn’t do international business. looks at it, like shipping between two states in the US, right. I’m going from Ohio to this I’ve got one tax thing to worry about. And I’m good. And I know even within the EU, there’s problems.

Unknown Speaker 21:42
So yeah,

Unknown Speaker 21:43

Tim Kubiak 21:45
Yeah, yeah. So you have to change, you have to pay the tax, you have to add the tax, whatever.

Unknown Speaker 21:51
Yeah, and here in Africa, you have a lot of informal business going on. It’s actually the informal economy moves way more money, believe it or not mistaken, around 60%, more, or 6% of the whole African economies is informal. So there is a huge, huge money being moved. That doesn’t even go to taxes or anything of that matter.

Tim Kubiak 22:12
That’s interesting. So you know, and it probably my guess would be is it came out of both political background as well as just a market based culture. Right? You don’t?

Unknown Speaker 22:21
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, based

Unknown Speaker 22:23
on both literally. And again, the fact that number of people, not a lot, a lot of people end up developing this belief that, you know, formalizing the business is a waste of time. And it’s just going to like slowing down your growth, which in fact, in part of it is true, but not hundred percent true. And there’s way more benefits and growth opportunities are formalized. Right. But I guess it’s just how you transition from being informal to formal in a way that makes sense for the intrapreneur.

Tim Kubiak 22:52
How do you teach an entrepreneur to market their business? They validated the concept they sold to their, their 15 friends and their hundred closest friends with those friends. Now they’re trying to scale How do you reach a bigger market there,

Unknown Speaker 23:06
though, one, the billion dollar question, right?

Tim Kubiak 23:09
Or at least a $10 million question.

Unknown Speaker 23:13
To be honest, it really comes down to each business. Few kind of like general things have been mined. And I often say this is like, make sure that your operations are scalable, right, because you don’t want to be microfinance kind of like selling, you know, to a general and open audience and then having the capacity to meet the demand, right. So make sure that your operations are scalable, not only in terms of, you know, the resources that people working with you but the process behind your business as number one. And then as you are growing new markets, make sure that you understand the market that you’re going in. Even within Africa, it’s so easy. Just to give everyone an example, Mozambique is neighboring with South Africa, right? We speak different languages. But in terms of local language, especially if you are in the south of Mozambique, and in South Africa, we understand each other’s local language. So it’s easy for you to think that you can just go to South African ever business are going to be successful there. Even though we’re in the same country we are, we couldn’t be more different. So make sure that you understand the market you are in and be open to learn and to make mistakes as well. Funny thing even with my name, right I My name is Julio and this the correct pronunciation of my name is a Portuguese version. But every time they do in business, especially with someone from North America, they will call me Julio, right. And I don’t get angry pissed off because it’s natural, right? Like the most proximity they have with a Latin language is Spanish and in Spanish is Julio. So just something as small as that can really make like a setback if you’re not ready or if you’re not open to learn and to and to change. Really. Yeah,

Tim Kubiak 24:52
yeah. And it’s interesting because I’ve been in Mexico City with Brazilians, native Mexicans and Colombians, and to listen to Are you ever pronunciations is hysterical?

Unknown Speaker 25:04
Yeah, it is right? And I’ll say that blessing is make sure to record elaborating with people. You know, it’s way harder for me to just go from Mozambique to the US and start a business out there. If I don’t have you for that, know the people if I don’t know, if I don’t have someone to collaborate and kind of like someone we street wise, do you know, to open networks for me to like, give me the tips and tricks of how to do Mrs. America. So always focus on collaboration, you go a long way, way faster

Tim Kubiak 25:33
than you are doing alone? Are you seeing more male or female entrepreneurs?

Unknown Speaker 25:39
Both well say more females in general. And I also found that not only there are more women, when business surprisingly enough, by really appreciated that women are more willing to ask for help, either is, by looking for a mentor, a coach, an advisor, a role model, Boomer are in general, more keen into, into asking for help and receiving that help in implementing it. That’s why it is on many of my clients, women end up giving way bigger results way faster than most men.

Tim Kubiak 26:13
In when should somebody come to you write it when they have an idea when they’ve proven it and are ready to go to the next step where in the journey,

Unknown Speaker 26:21
I’m specifically going from brainstorming like you, you just want to be an intrapreneur. And you just don’t know what to do don’t even have an idea I can step into and just, you know, shake you a little bit to ensure that you have a strong frame idea that’s completely up to you are still to a point where you’re ready to scale. So that’s where I’m in. So I’m not into the big companies, or at least I have a different offer for those companies. But if you are just you want to be an intrapreneur you just don’t know what to do on your right guy. To to the point where you’re already in business, you want to scale up and you just freak it out about all the other steps that you have to go through in order to expand your business.

Tim Kubiak 27:02
Do you see people coming in with foreign investment? Because you’re growing economy in a capitalist society? You see Oh, yeah, a lot.

Unknown Speaker 27:10
Yeah. A lot in terms of foreign investors that incomes, actually, in both ways, people that are outside of Mozambique, Africa, or Africa and looking to invest in Mozambique, or in Africa, and locals wanting to invest and they their old in foreign capital, right? The main thing with that is, based on my experience, a lot of the people behind that capital, they’re not fully aware of what really takes to make business in Africa and Mozambique, right? So they have all those expectations, and beliefs then don’t really match our reality. And oftentimes, I found that I end up having to work more in the relationship between the investor and the business, instead of actually working on scaling and growing the business or upgrading the business here.

Tim Kubiak 28:00
Funny enough. You have to teach them how to do business there. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 28:05
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But also how to have a, you know, I empowering relationship between them. Right, because oftentimes, the investor is only in Africa, they never been in Africa, or they’ve been into Cape Town, one of the like, most visited cities, in Africa, in South Africa, and they assume that the entire continent in the entire country is like that, right? Which is not true. So yeah, I really spend end up spending more time ensuring that they have a healthy relationship.

Tim Kubiak 28:34
So I know a little bit about business in South Africa, because I worked for 20 years for a company that was held by a holding company there. And one of the challenges South Africa’s had is you can’t move the RAND out of the country, right? So if you earn profits in the country, you have to continue to invest it. Does Mozambique have the same kind of restrictions?

Unknown Speaker 28:57
funnily enough, not really, but the Mozambican currency is in so to speak powerful enough to be vile, no violate in many countries. Just to give an example. I was traveling to Malaysia, and I had some Medicare money to exchange into the local currency or into dollars, and they will then accept it and it’s a reality. A lot of countries they won’t even accept a medic eyes, right. But the restriction that has been put in into is in the amount of what is the percentage of foreign currency that you can have in the country. So for the longest time, if let’s say in some acclaim from the US will pay me I will automatically have to convert half of that into Muay Thai guys in the rates there was determined by the bank. Now that’s changing, I can still negotiate the rate, but still half of it have to be converted automatically, automatically,

Tim Kubiak 29:50
automatically. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 29:53
I can still negotiate the rate at least. But it has to happen. As always,

Tim Kubiak 29:57
when Banks always win. They’re like, they’re like casinos in Las Vegas, they didn’t build those buildings.

Unknown Speaker 30:06
A lot. I love that analogy. I’ve started using it.

Tim Kubiak 30:11
You know, it’s funny, I, I was raised to say, you know, don’t trust politicians, and don’t trust bankers, because they’ll always make money on you.

Unknown Speaker 30:20
I also found that if you are open to have like a health relationship with them, they are actually very useful.

Tim Kubiak 30:27
They are and you talked about building your network earlier, you know, some of the best relationships I’ve seen develop for young and growing stage companies is their banks, their investors, their venture funds, because they connect them with so many other resources.

Unknown Speaker 30:43
Yeah, definitely. And they even negotiate are they willing to give you tips on how to use their products and service correctly? You know, I was just last week I was coaching client, and they kind of like the head of huge, they made a huge step before, no pandemic and all of that stuff. So with the crisis, they weren’t able to pay, you know, all the all the loan correctly, right. And I said, you know, what, just go and negotiate with them. Now you are in business for like, around almost five years, they already know you, they have a track record, really negotiate with them, in terms of the interest rate in terms of, you know, if you can pay it, let’s say three months from now really have the time to have that conversation with them. And most people just freeze in those situations, right? Even when it comes to pay in real rent. Most landlords, they will be willing to, you know, to accept that you go two months without pain, but if we’re honest with them, right, and we’ll explain what’s going on.

Tim Kubiak 31:37
Yeah. So he brought up the pandemic, how has it affected business in your country?

Unknown Speaker 31:45
I will say that it’s way better than I will imagine a world with effect, even in terms of just our general lifestyle. And the number of deaths and infections going on. is way better than I was expecting. A lot of business did out when affected because a lot of our business are no physical, they have to be imperfect to the business and unnecessarily online businesses. So for that, yeah, there is a huge setback going on. But I found that I believe it’s our nature as Mozambicans to be flexible and manage chain change. So yeah, we managed to survive most business, did they now they’re thriving.

Tim Kubiak 32:24
That’s amazing to hear, because we’re on the other end of that other than our stock market. Right. And I guess that’s completely fair, I have clients that have done three times a business they did last year. And then I have clients that have no business at all, and very little in the middle.

Unknown Speaker 32:41
So and surprisingly enough, I found that it’s way more a mindset type type of challenge than there is a really strategic one a lot of people are, they’re just wanting the mindset to embrace change, and very least to actually lead the change, right? They’re trying to keep things as they were instead of embracing it, and really creating something new out of it.

Unknown Speaker 33:02
Yeah, yeah. And

Tim Kubiak 33:04
I think you know, this will drive a business evolution, like we haven’t seen in a very long time, perhaps more so than the internet. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 33:12
And if I’m being honest, I believe that something that we all prayed for, we just didn’t expect it to be so sad and right. Like, I quote, also, professionals, because I have this very business oriented approach in managing our careers. I do believe that. No, it’s very similar than people think. So yeah, it’s really about you understanding that, and I a lot of people saying, look, I will love to work from home, I will love to spend more time with my family, I will love to have the freedom to work wherever I want. Well, now you kind of have that freedom, complaining, but what do you think is going to happen if you work from home? And if you have two kids? They’re a small right? Of course, maybe before they went to school, but then a lot of people were saying that, oh, the education system is not really working. Here’s your chance to be more active in your child look into children education, right. So yeah, it’s the sort of conversation that we end up having.

Tim Kubiak 34:06
That’s interesting, that you’re having the same conversations we’re having right continents and plane rides apart. And it’s the same conversation because we have our schools would be going back in the next few weeks here. And we literally are every day have different schools that are deciding not to open and are going online. Yeah, yeah. And that’s just it is it just is what it is. Yeah, I used to fly 200 times a year. I’ve taken four plane rides this year, I think at this point, right? That’s okay. You see, and also

Unknown Speaker 34:38
it is and also I believe this, for me was a huge eye opening because from the beginning, I decided that my business technology international was going to be an online business. It was fine to do a lot of traveling International. But then when the international pricing became so much so uncertain, I decided to go into travel in total in my country, and it was great. I was able to visit places that I’ve never, I’ve never been. Others have been when I was like five years old or something. So if you just change your mindset, if you’re looking for opportunity, you will find them. And guess what? If you look for problems and reason to complain, you’re also going to find that.

Tim Kubiak 35:16
So you’re you coach professionals, you coach entrepreneurs, right? What kind of problems? Do you solve for people? How Why should people reach out to you?

Unknown Speaker 35:27
I often say that I mean, the power and the transformation business. I really believe, as you mentioned, you know, a lot of things in our life, they end up coming out of imbalances in power, a lot of people believe that their power has been stripped away from them, that you know, the system is responsible for who they are and what you’re doing, which I will say that they is part of through that our systems, and people have a huge influence in who we are and what we do. But in the end of the day, no one can feel your power, you can only give your power away, most of the times we do it unconsciously. But once you remember that your powers is yours. And really no one can really feel it is up to you to claim back your own power and decide what you’re going to do with that. You understand that there are literally infinite possibilities. Like who will guess that a kid, an African kid born in will have like, the smallest towns in in the continent will be in doing podcasts and and be doing speaking engagements for like, thousands of people, no one will say that right? I was against all the odds, but here I am, Here I stand. Um, so yeah, it’s possible. And when it comes to transformation, a lot of people are looking to change their lives and their situations, either go their business, or change your career, or your nine to five, but they’re not willing to change themselves. And guess what transformation doesn’t happen without change. So really, you have to be comfortable enough to lead the change, so that you can live the life that you want. So if you’re looking for change, if we’re looking to gain your power back, I’m your guide. There you go.

Tim Kubiak 37:08
I often talk to people about books, what kind of business books are popular for you?

Unknown Speaker 37:14
Oh, I’m having in mind two books right now. One is outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. That’s his last name. And I love the book because he speaks about the systems they’re in, right like from the basic things from being an athlete and the recruiting dates of the players have been a huge influence, especially if you accumulate at the benefits that you get, you know, in a long period of time, by what I love about his book is that it’s not for you to understand the system and feel a prayer of victim of it. But once you understand the system, you can start positioning yourself better and position yourself to win, right, because not everyone wants to change the system, let’s face it, or sometimes you’re not in a position to do so. But you are always in a position to make a better move. Right? And really building from that. That’s one book. The other one is good to great by Jim Collins is a very tactical strategic business. But I found that it’s insights you can really apply in every single area of your life. If you want to go from good to great, that’s your book. Okay,

Tim Kubiak 38:21
and I’m gonna ask the question, so you know, who would be named household name entrepreneurs in your country?

Unknown Speaker 38:30
Oh, we have a few. We have independent the industry we have table Bakar. He’s a designer dead literally dress people on the red carpet all around the Africa and many countries in know in Europe. And that’s one household name. We have Salim Abdulla. He’s in Portugal, right now, he has a huge, huge investment, or these are you told him going on here in the country. So depending on the industry, you will always have a name. And again, they’re very young people. I mean, the oldest guy will probably be around 60 years old. And like he is the generation This is the first generation. Right, right. Well, again, you don’t have hundreds of thousands of years of intrapreneurship going on.

Tim Kubiak 39:13
How is technology in your country? You talked about people paying with mobile apps? Are those apps that are developed on your continent and your country? You know, is that a growing part of the economy?

Unknown Speaker 39:25
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely. Um, a lot of the telecom companies, they realize that there is huge opportunity around No, because people already trading money. And, you know, linking that with, with, you know, the telecom services, they can really profit from it. So a lot of the apps that we use there locally made either in the country or in our neighbor countries. So for instance, one of the biggest mobile payment system here is called m pesa. In Kenya, and this really grow from Kenya to Tanzania, to Malawi, Zimbabwe numbers and big four is very local. And I guess it works, because it also is really just answering your question on technology. Most people think that if you’re in a developing country, your main concerns will be the basic needs like food shelter, which they are for most people. But guess what people are way more motivated about what’s possible, instead of what is a source of concern for them. So you know, with a mobile phone, you get access to in the entire world. That’s why people are interested in when instead of, you know, if you’re looking for a way to make, you know, to increase your yield in agriculture, or to increase your production of eggs. not that interesting. It is. So yeah. I really tech driven even here. Yeah,

Tim Kubiak 40:45
in a bet the innovation looks completely different, because you’re serving different major industries, right? different markets? Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 40:52
Oh, yeah. And I’ll argue, again, that really comes down in that particular subject goes down to basic needs. So you see a lot of innovation around basic products like or essential oils, food, food processing, and stuff like that. There’s a lot of innovation going around. And if you are in the US, and you’re trying to make business in Africa, there’s a lot, a lot of opportunities. But again, make sure that you are creating the sort of right set of collaborations to set you up for to succeed.

Tim Kubiak 41:22
So is there is there a bias? So I’ll use Canada, my neighbor as an example, right? Often Canadians, almost resent when American companies move in to Canadian territories? Do you see that with whether it’s European companies moving in? Or American or even Latin American companies? And I don’t mean to, you know, make it political? It’s just a cultural?

Unknown Speaker 41:49
No, yeah, sure, I’m thinking because there’s two sides of the coin, right. One side is a lot of for rain companies. And just for foreigners, in general, when they come to Africa, most of the times they come in with a huge social capital, like a lot of doors are open just because they are for trainers, right. So if you tap into the opportunity to create something good, you’re going to be up for to succeed. But on the other side of the coin, I believe is just a continental thing, really, we are so tired of people coming in, and kind of like teaching us how to do and how to behave, and how to live our lives really. And most of the time, I really believe that people are well intended, but they didn’t took the time to understand what really mattered to us, and what we really value in it. So a lot of people here, just make no just listen to you. They say yes, they knock their heads, and nobody is going to be that made in the end of the day. Right? So there is this, like duality going on. I do believe that if you use your social capital, as a foreigner, if you’re genuinely open to understand what we need as a market and why we value you will succeed, definitely, just don’t come with a mindset of you know, you are discovering it educating and, you know, colonize it or something like that. People will, if they don’t express their resentment directly, it will be something very as subtile but you still feel it?

Tim Kubiak 43:18
What is customer service levels? Like? Or what are customer service levels, like in your country, right here, you know, you have to worry about what somebody says on Twitter now and what somebody posts on Facebook, and it’s beyond just the transaction with the consumer, are you experiencing the same thing in your economy.

Unknown Speaker 43:36
So finally, thing if you are in a capital city,

Unknown Speaker 43:39
most high end products and services, they are really focused on their customer services, like they really they go beyond to satisfy their customers. Just because word of mouth is a huge thing here is everywhere, right? Especially here, when you don’t always rely on social media and digital platforms, at least to get a sense of how a product or service really is. So yeah, they really make an effort to do that. But then if you go, especially in small towns, or more, let’s go humble establishments, customer service has already been a thing to be honest. And I found that it’s not necessarily because I mean, they they’re clueless about is just that you don’t have so many options. So in the end of the day, you’re just going to buy whatever they offering you, right? And it could be something as silly as I remember, I was in this beautiful beach in and out of Mozambique. And I was in a restaurant and I asked for a chicken and chips like the most Mozambican dish that you can find everywhere in Mozambique. And they were like, Okay, give us give us 30 minutes 30 minutes a long time for a simple dish like that. But okay, 30 minutes, there will be 30 minutes went on. And there was no food in my plate, no food on my table, and I was like, Whoa, what happened? I already 10 minutes ago and they go like, Oh, we don’t have any chicken. I was like somebody You guys just told me that you didn’t have chicken in the first place, right? So yeah, things like that can happen a lot, especially if you’re going to the mall. Again, if you are in a rural area or in a very small town, make sure that whatever you ask in not only easy in the menu, but you violated that did have it.

Tim Kubiak 45:21
And then it’s actually in stock.

Unknown Speaker 45:24
I used to have it in stock, otherwise, you’ll be waiting for one hour for something that they went off to buy it.

Tim Kubiak 45:30
You know what that happens here too. It’s not you need more more than once I’ve seen people carrying grocery bags back into restaurants.

Unknown Speaker 45:39
Oh, yeah. And they’ll be like, why did you just tell me that you didn’t had a plate right?

Tim Kubiak 45:46
Julia it’s been great having you. Anything I should ask that I didn’t that you want to share with people?

Unknown Speaker 45:53
Oh, I guess it’s a question that I get a lot of people who are trying to work with me or just follow like my, you know, the things that I share is that instead of focusing on what you should be doing, start asking you yourself could you have to become in order to do the things that you want to do and to experience the thing that you want to experience? I found that is way more a question of personality. The By the way, it’s not fixed is that you know, a matter of mindset and really understanding the characteristics you have to embody then there is to do the actual strategy. I mean, Tony Robbins from the US says all the time success is 80% like psychologies and 20% mechanics. So yeah, focus on what you have and who you have to become in order to make it up and

Tim Kubiak 46:39
that’s good advice. So guys, everybody the link to his coffee chat if you want to talk to him more or hire him is in the show notes it also be on the post on Tim Kubiak calm. Thank you so much for the time today.

Unknown Speaker 46:52
I really appreciate it. I thank you very much for having me here.

Tim Kubiak 47:03
It’s always nice to listen to both. If you haven’t already done so subscribe. Tell your friends and follow us on our social sharing.

Tim Kubiak is a Business Geek, Nomad, Aging Metal Head, Nerd, & Coffee Addict. Plus the only big guy at Hot Yoga. For over 25 years he's been building high-performance sales teams globally. With over 2 billion in lifetime sales in goods and services. Tim works as a coach mentor with Founders, Business Owners, Executives, and High Performing individuals to transform companies, bring new solutions to market and achieve their professional goals.

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