By Mc Donald Chapalapata, a Contributor
Youthful Mansoor Karim Chief Executive Officer for K Motors, one of the top panel beating companies in the country has challenged fellow youths that age and gender should not be a limiting factor in engaging in entrepreneurship.
Speaking at a Youth entrepreneurship and gender issues seminar in Blantyre at the weekend, Karim dared the youths to go into entrepreneurship giving an example of himself on how he started K Motors.
“K Motors was registered in February 2020 but started operations in March 2020. It all started with a dream, a vision and a passion I have for love of cars. When you love what you do, time is not a limiting factor. When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Age and Gender cannot and should not limit what a person can do and achieve. Only your mindset can,” said Karim.
He said every business and career path comes with challenges which he argued set the course and builds a foundation and frame of resilience of a business or career.
“Some of the challenges we faced included acquiring financial capital, putting together the best team, finding key and central premises, starting up a network of clientele and keeping them and other challenges.”
“When we first started operating, we started with a team of 5 people and 3 vehicles to spray paint and 10 months down the line, our employee head count has reached 51 and at any given point K Motors has at least 70 vehicles being worked on and this has lead us to open a second branch in Blantyre to cater for the increasing workload as space becomes a challenge,” explained Karim.
He also spelt out some of the qualities of a good entrepreneur saying they should be persistent, have patience, purpose, should plan properly, create mutually beneficial relationships with people and also know how to manage and use profits from their business.
Karim also noted that gender inequalities are deeply entrenched in our society and cautioned that they will not be any changes unless people start balancing out the pivot at local levels.
“K Motors sets the balance by having female employees in Administration, Marketing and in the workshop. Yes! believe it or not, we have a female mechanic and she is one of the best mechanics K Motors has. We cannot have a mindset that limits what women can and cannot do,” said Karim.
Quoting former United States of America (USA) President Franklin Roosevelt, Karim said; “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
Minister of Gender and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati who was Guest of Honor at the seminar conquered with Karim on building the youth for the future advising the youths not to be scared of their age and gender in ‘building your future’.
“But we need to advise our youths that nothing comes on a silver platter, they need to work hard and be self-independent, it is possible just like the way Karim has showed us,” said Kaliati.
Karim was awarded with a Youth for Change Innovation award in the motor industry.
Other speakers at the seminar included musician Patience Namadingo, Chairperson of Marcus Hall Corporation Michelle Pires Mbilizi, Chief Executive Officer for KIPS Yaseen Shafiq Giga and Youth advocate Pemphero Mphande.