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Zimbabwe businessman on Forbes Africa list

Zimbabwean youthful businessman, Paul Makaya, has been named in the Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list.

Mr Makaya is the founder and chief executive of Bergast House, a digital solutions company focusing on digital design and e-marketing.

The Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list is one of the most anticipated list of Africa’s brightest achievers under the age of 30 spanning categories including: business, technology, creatives and sports.

Yearly, Forbes Africa looks for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors who have the acumen to stir the course in their chosen field.

The Bergast House chief executive, said getting on the list is symbolic of the work that he and his team has put in over the years to develop the business.

“To me being listed, reaffirms the vision I have, the places I want to take the business to and energises me to push harder. It also comes with the pressure to meet expectation, gives hope to other young entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, to say even in the challenging economic environment we are in, you can do something, you can make something, you can create employment, you can be a solution barrier and not just cry about the problems,” said Mr Makaya.

“And looking at the broader continent. It has always been a deep belief within our organisation to be part of the African revolution, an economic revolution – our purpose as a company is to be strategic partners, to be progressive African brands placing them on the international stage – so being listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list reaffirms that we are in the right direction. This also gives us continental recognition, giving us a step into the regions and countries we are planning to move into.”

The 27-year-old Zimbabwean businessman’s budding empire is a story of defying the odds.

With just the $200 he had saved up, Paul and his partners invested in the budding business in 2016, starting off by renting a miniature one-room office space that had only two chairs. This was only the beginning of Bergast House, a company that offers strategy, public relations, digital and design services. Today, the two chairs he started the business with have quintupled, as they now have a team of 10 and can gladly say they have worked with numerous organisations including software giant Microsoft.

“The initial trigger was obviously frustration about the limitations of being an employee, but in that sense as well, I felt that as a young, dynamic person, there was so much more that I could offer to the industry,” he told Forbes Africa. I also felt we had a part to play in the rise of the African continent. Our vision is to re-brand Africa and this is our purpose.”

Bergast House has served over 103 clients including Zuva Petroleum, Astro Mobile, Maranatha Group of Schools, the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe, Tech24, the Chartered Institute of Customer Management, Steward Bank, and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, delivering an advertising value of up to $175 million.

He offers advice on how local entrepreneurs can try and cope with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has disrupted business operations across the globe.

“I believe businesses also need to take time to rethink their second quarter strategies because this pandemic has taken every organisation by surprise. No one had predicted that this would happen. This lockdown gives businesses the opportunity and time to think about how they can catch up on lost time, create their business systems, think about how they can take their businesses online and a variety of other things.”

Source : Chronicle

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