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Nyimpini Mabunda, CEO of General Electric (GE) Southern Africa, has a fascinating background, having matriculated at just 15 and obtained his first degree at 18. Nyimpini is a continual learner and is passionate about skills development and job creation. In 2020, he became the President for Southern Africa Markets at GE, with expertise in strategy, marketing, sales, digital transformation, data analytics, business turnaround, private equity, stakeholder management, and market development.
In the latest Business Unusual podcast, Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media, engages in conversation with Nyimpini Mabunda to discuss growth and challenges, as Mabunda believes that people simply need the correct guidance and confidence to achieve their business goals. He goes in depth on topics relating to investment potential, the intersection between Transformation and Technology, power sources and the economy, and how to be a collaborative leader.
Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:
- Anyone can become a business ‘maverick’, they just need access to quality guidance and coaching that will help them boost their confidence and foster a successful, healthy business mindset.
- Even though South Africa is facing many challenges at present, we have a lot going for us right now. True entrepreneurs will, however, thrive in this chaos – it is an opportunity to find new solutions that could develop the market.
- As the relationship between the US and Africa improves under Biden’s administration, we must leverage this condition to form critical partnerships with international companies – there is major investment potential now.
- As entrepreneurs build new businesses, now, they must adopt a ‘global mindset’. Thinking internationally may seem intimidating, but entrepreneurs shouldnt limit themselves – it’s all about confidence and innovation! Get out of your comfort zone.
- We are not localising enough. We cannot keep up with the “cut and paste” mentality. We need to find better solutions to distribution challenges, finding optimal talent that will move businesses forward, and garnering enough funds.
- In terms of developing markets, it’s all about public-private partnerships and funding – we must not ignore government and cut corners.
- Entrepreneurs need to understand themselves, but also understand the context of where they’re going. Get to know the culture and concerns and engage with your market.
- There is much that can be learned from other African countries and their markets. Remain humble and open to learning. This trait will make you a great leader.
- Your business’s operation model is it’s DNA. Without customers, the business has no revenue. Without revenue, there is no business. The philosophy that must be adopted is that everybody sells or does something which helps the frontline make sales. It’s about creating an experience, a culture, that will sell the brand.
- Today, Digital Skills are vital. Thus, the tension between ‘legacy’ systems and new ‘digital’ systems and skills must be resolved. Business leaders need to really want it! You have to keep learning new skills and systems or you will stunt your growth.
Prior to joining GE, Nyimpini Mabunda fulfilled roles at the Country/Divisional CEO level for two major multinational businesses – Vodafone/ Vodacom and Diageo. Nyimpini is a recognised industry leader who sits on external boards as non-executive director and chairman. He is also a former senior advisor for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he assisted the partners to build the business in Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) and Consumer Good Practices across sub-Saharan Africa. Nyimpini who holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town is a regular speaker and panelist at industry events, some highlights include his role as a judge and panelist at the Stanford University’s Africa Business Forum start up initiative, MC at the official Nelson Mandela Memorial in Uganda, and moderator at the ILLA Africa lawmakers conference.
More recently Nyimpini was appointed Chair of U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-South Africa Business Council, the premier Washington-based business organisation dedicated to the economic relationship between the United States and South Africa. The Council represents America’s leading companies doing business with South Africa, and it is composed of senior executives of U.S. companies from every sector investing in South Africa. He is also currently publishing a book that will zoom in on the democratisation of mentorship.