Tycoon Thomson Mpinganjira inspires marketers


By Taonga Sabola:

Business tycoon

YOU CAN MAKE IT—Mpinganjira (2nd left) interacts with some of the marketers on the sidelines of the indaba

, on Friday delivered a powerful 4- minute motivational talk during the 2018 Marketers Annual Conference which left marketers believing they, too, can do it.


Mpinganjira, the first and only indigenous Malawian to own a bank, shared how he has passed through various challenges over the years to emerge among the finest business people in the country.

Standing in front of over 250 marketers, who included students from the Malawi College of Accountancy, The Polytechnic and Catholic University, Mpinganjira gave a crystal clear message—“never give up”.

The first Malawian Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and first Malawian to own a discount house, Mpinganjira said life has not been a bed of roses over the years.


“My greatest desire for my country Malawi and Africa in general is to see as many people as possible rise up, unlock their potential, and achieve great things with their lives.

“We all can achieve greatness, be it in business and entrepreneurship, research and academia, engineering, innovation and technology, civic leadership, among others. We all can! This is why I always take the opportunity to give motivational talks whenever I am invited to do so,” he said.

The FDH Holdings Chief Executive Officer said many people have asked him about how he achieved what he has achieved over the years.

“It has not been easy to give a straight forward answer because it has been a blend of so many factors. But when it comes to me as a person, I can say it has been my ability to think big and to stick to my goals.

“It has been my capacity to persist and persevere even in the face of setbacks and adversity. It has been my ‘never give up’ philosophy. I keep trudging on no matter what happens,” he said.

Mpinganjira urged the marketers to come up with goals and craft strategies to achieve the goals, adding that if the strategies are not working they must not change the goals but rather the strategies.

He said entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted, adding that achieving greatness requires persistence, perseverance and a dogged determination.

“For our generation, when we started out to pursue our entrepreneurial dreams, there were very few support systems and initiatives. Actually, there was nothing to support us or motivate us. It was a very lonely journey. We just had to hustle on our own. It was every man for himself.

“There were no mentors, no trainings, no motivational talks, and no localised literature to refer to. It was tough. I am so happy today to see so many initiatives coming up. There is a good support system developing to support entrepreneurs and dreamers,” he said.

Ranking his biggest achievements in life, Mpinganjira said the acquisition of Malawi Savings Bank in 2016 ranks above the acquisition of FDH Bank licence in 2007. He added that the acquisition of First Discount House licence in 2001 is his third biggest achievement.

“When you are determined to do something and you are convinced that it is right, just do it. Don’t listen too much to what people say. There will always be people trying to distract you but stay focused,” he said.

During the indaba, Reserve Bank of Malawi’s Mar k Lungu urged the marketers to take advantage of the various opportunities in the economy to grow their businesses.

Lungu said, instead of sitting down and groan, like anybody else that things are not shaping out as desired, marketers have a responsibility to be innovative and craft products that grow businesses even in turbulent times.

He observed that great businesses provide solutions to challenges people face and make money.

Outgoing Chartered Institute of Marketers President, Michael Khomani, described the indaba as crucial for the growth of the marketing profession in Malawi.

The conference was held under the theme ‘Gaining a Competitive Edge: Marketing Strategies in a Turbulent Environment’.

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