Business

Entrepreneur, 26, buys struggling local radio station in Malawi and turns it into most successful brand

MOGUL MINDSET: Mike Chilewe Jr

MOGUL MINDSET: Mike Chilewe Jr

MIKE CHILEWE JR is the son of one of Malawi’s most prominent and successful businessmen, Mike Chilewe.

But the younger Mike is charting his own path and cutting his teeth as a media entrepreneur.

In 2015, Mike Jr, acquired Star Radio Malawi, a floundering private radio station based in Lilongwe.

With the help of media consultants and experts, he has been restructuring the station and is gradually building Star to become one of Malawi’s most successful radio stations.

The 26-year-old grew up in an entrepreneurship environment where he was surrounded by successful entrepreneurs that included his father and uncle.

His very first business was when he was in school where he used to sell blank CDs.

He remembers that he acquired his very first capital by selling some of his meal coupons at school for a subsided price.

He bought 40,000 shares in TNM Networks, one of the leading mobile networks operators using the profits he made from the CD sales.

Starting in 2008, he worked for his father’s company during the school holidays. Within four years, Chilewe climbed the corporate ladder and become the finance director in his father’s company. In 2012, he left and formed LALA limited, a company that manufactures tissue paper.

Mike Jr, who is also a chartered accountant, said his advice to young entrepreneurs is that they should “invest in their mental capacity”.

“This is the same advice that my father gave me when I told him I was going to start my own things,” he said. “They should attend entrepreneurship seminars, read entrepreneurship and motivational books.”

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