It takes balls!

I couldn’t have chosen a better time to be alive in South Africa. We are alive with possibilities. You literally can start anything in South Africa today! The are so many industries just waiting to be disrupted. Three main industries are still oligopolies and are very obvious, Telcoms, Retail and Financial services sectors. These industries in particular are super profitable and are the least transformed. These industries are the backbone of society and therefore are not going anywhere. In fact they are likely to grow as the population and middle income class grow. Each of these industries are dominated by four main players. There are 4 main banks, 4 main retailers and 4 main Telcos.

Gaining access into these industries is difficult due to the high barriers of entry; such as capital and legislative requirements.

This may be the case but luckily technology is the best way to democratize uneven landscapes. You see, whilst the big four compete aka collude, amongst themselves, they don’t see the disrupters coming.

In 1945, Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer, was working in a lab testing magnetrons, the high-powered vacuum tubes inside radars. One day while working near the magnetrons that produced microwaves, Spencer noticed a peanut butter candy bar in his pocket had begun to melt – shortly after, the microwave oven was born.

Whether disruption happens by accident or by intention, one thing is clear, it won’t show up in any of the S.W.O.T analysis.

We are in a recession and that means things can only go further down or Up. Recessions come and go but it’s the people who buy when there is blood on the floor that will have Versace on the floor in years to come😉. Tough times come and go but tough people stay. Yes, starting a bank or creating a retail chain may be hard to do but it’s not impossible. You just need the proverbial balls to do it.

Why should it be done?

Here are some scary number. Have you heard of PSG? PSG is a financial services company that was founded in 1998. After its founder Jannie Mouton was fired from a previous company he worked for. He then created PSG. PSG’s main investments are in Capitec and Curo. If you had invested R100k in PSG in its first day of operation your investment would be worth R390 million today! In 2004 Capitec had fewer that 400000 bank accounts, today Capitec is the second largest retail bank with 9million accounts. Standard Bank is first with 12million accounts. Standard Bank 150+ years old and Capitec was founded in 2001.

So if you don’t get the importance of entrepreneurship and starting new businesses today, and if the numbers above don’t prove to you that the risk is worth it, then you will never get it. No amount of blogs I write will convince you. And yes there are many failures that we will never read about, but my point is simple; you only need one success story.

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