Newton Kambala tips SMEs on growth
Friday, 24 June 2011 15:13
Small and medium enterprises need to work hard and offer top quality products and services if they are to realise robust growth, Mkaka Civil Contractors managing director Newton Kambala said.

Delivering a keynote address during the second SMEs Summit in Blantyre, Kambala urged SMEs to be sincere with clients besides exercising financial discipline.

Narrating how he has grown his business from a zero asset base in 1993 to a base of above K700 million now, Kambala said every business, no matter how small it is, has the potential to grow provided the owners are visionary and committed to achieve the set targets.

He noted that engaging the services of highly-skilled workforce and retaining them at all cost is critical in growing businesses.

"Always ensure that you recruit the best people for the job and make sure that you do everything possible to retain them. There are many ways this could be done, including offering them shares," said Kambala, adding that this will ensure continuity even after the death of the owner.

He also underscored the need for SMEs to have competent boards of directors which could help in shaping the direction of the company.

Kambala further urged entrepreneurs to carefully plough back the profits realised into the business to facilitate smooth growth rather than rushing to build a house which may take years to finish due to financial challenges.

Business Consult Africa (BCA) managing director Henry Kachaje, whose firm has organised the summit, said the economic prosperity of Malawi and Africa depends on the success of its entrepreneurs.

Kachaje said for SMEs to meaningfully contribute towards the economic development of the country, government must recognise the sector's importance and create a conducive environment for SMEs to grow.

"Government must work in partnership with the SMEs to find lasting solutions to some of the challenges hindering the growth of the sector and business in general," he said.

The summit, which is scheduled to end today, will also draft a position paper of SMEs viewpoint in as far as the successor plan of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy is concerned. Capital Hill is currently seeking views on the new plan which will run from 2011 to 2016.

Today, the SMEs are expected to showcase their products and services to potential buyers.