Quote Of The Day

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Benjamin Franklin
29

Knight Ganje

Founder, H&G Advertising Group

Country: Zimbabwe

Not many can say they spent merely one year at high school and went on to make millions of dollars a year before they turned 30, nor that they started out by sleeping in a tuck shop-cum-office.

To make matters even more difficult, Ganje dropped out of school to be an entrepreneur in Botswana, a foreign land.

At 18, with little but a dream of a media empire, he turned to odd jobs like painting house windows, to survive. The goal was clear, but the going hard. For a start, he was lucky to get help from a mentor in entrepreneurship.

“This was important. Without this I was just an ambitious 19-year-old with an idea and passion. In the business world it does not mean much and I think that’s why people with good ideas fail,” he says.

“I didn’t get any money to start this business. The idea for this business came when I living in a tuck shop in Botswana. I went to Shoprite and I told them I run this company H&G Advertising and we could do amazing work and save them money and they gave me the work.”

Shoprite paid Ganje with a cash cheque because H&G Advertising was not a registered company yet and didn’t even have a bank account.

Today, H&G Advertising, the Botswana-based ad agency, counts Unilever, Emirates, Coca-Cola and Samsung among its clients. It operates in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; has 80 permanent employees and 600 temporary staff and turns over $38 million a year.

“I learned that you don’t need money to start a company. You don’t need a registered company to approach people and sell your ideas. If you can register a company, do it and start selling yourself,” advises Ganje.

He didn’t stop there.

Ganje is now a serial entrepreneur that counts H&G OutDoor, H&G Activations, Zonke Ignition and H&G Express among his businesses.

It’s entrepreneurs like Ganje that prove if you can dream it, you can live it.