TenderPoint - The Most Innovative Construction Procurement Platform In South Africa.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Asa Walesa Mazomba the Founder and CEO of TenderPoint, a Construction Procurement Platform (PaaS). I am a Construction Project Manager (CPM) and Quantity Surveyor and I use my Construction knowledge to assist emerging contractors, established contractors, suppliers and construction service providers connect and trade in a professional like-mind environment.
Is this your first company?
Well, I started out as a Construction Management Consultant then later as an Emerging Contractor Development Consultant and now I have merged those into a single entity. It was all leading to this.
How were you inspired to start your business?
I have managed large projects for Established Contractors and small projects for Emerging Contractors but there were vast difference in methodologies used. I felt that Emerging Contractors needed assistance in learning from Established Contractors and Established Contractors required Emerging Contractors in fast tracking their Procurement spend and I became the catalyst. Now TenderPoint is the perpetual legacy.
What are the biggest hurdles you have faced in starting a business?
Access to well structured information has been a hurdle and that is the same pain point we are solving for Contractors.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenge for entrepreneurship in the context of South Africa?
Most people perceive being in Business and Entrepreneurship as the same thing and that thinking is a dream killer. People rush to being in business and being bosses and commit their startups to huge Human Resource complications. Entrepreneurship is knowing your business from the ground up, having gotten your hands dirty and grow your business from that, that is a sustainable model. If South Africans learnt this we would stop calling BEE deal beneficiaries entrepreneurs as that is unsustainable thinking.
What are your views on the tech eco-system in South Africa?
On average, every week I come across a new South African tech startup, that is a sign that tech is rising in South Africa.
Most tech startups arise from the Western Cape because there have been great advancements in support there and an attitude that adopts new ways to do things as opposed to the Eastern Cape, for example, that is still semi-traditional and conservative.
We have some way to go but we are definitely getting there as a country.
What is your vision for your company in the next 6 months?
6 Months is half a year! Every 6 months every entrepreneur should have a half year tweak at their business to change what does not work and maximise what does work. I envision maximising our best offerings then!
What skills do you require to make your business successful?
Steve Jobs once said the secret is understanding we can and have the ability to change life as we know it. I believe that for any part of my life and business that passion and an attitude that is eager to poke at life and leave a legacy is the best skill beyond traditional academics I could possess to lead TenderPoint to success.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I have a mantra I call the Super Mario Effect. Ever seen how Mario jumps and punches those Question Mark bricks? He does not know what will come out but he does it and at times he gets an extra life or special item.
That to me says that is how we should treat our start up journey. Ask questions and learn from the process no matter how uncomfortable it might seem at times.
Quickies to add: (one liners - fun)
Rule Number 1: Super Mario Effect: Questions are Life!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An Architectural Engineering Economist... Then I found out that those were different fields, I strived to learn more about each on my own.
What app cant you live without?
Evernote, when ever I get a thought I jot it down, anywhere, anytime on my phone. Back then I used to draft sms's to jot ideas.
What book are you currently reading?
I am a skim reader, I go through thick books in a day because I want to get to the core of things fast but my current read has engulfed me from the very first chapter and that is ''Steve Jobs'' by Walter Isaacson.
What is your productivity hack?
Doodles and Mind Maps. If I can see it, I can sell it.
Favorite coffee shop to work from?
Mugg & Bean with bottomless coffee at Vincent Park East London.
How do people get hold of you?
Facebook: Asa Walesa Mazomba / Tenderpoint (SA)
LinkedIn: Asa Walesa Mazomba / TenderPoint (SA)
Phone: +2773 50 64464
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