By Amanda Ellen Nicola Jojo
THE embracing of Edison’s illustrious quote, ‘’Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration,” signifies the essential characteristic an entrepreneur should have. The famed quote resonates with Solomon Manyika who is steering the wheel of Security 360. He is a testament that even though ideas are plentiful, great execution is pivotal in establishing a viable business venture.
Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Highlighting the kind of person you are, please tell us a brief background about yourself including your life before entrepreneurship.
Am hard-working, humble and respectful person. My name is Solomon Manyika aged 34 born in Kwekwe and grew up in Gokwe Nembudziya. I attended my primary and secondary education in Gokwe. After finishing my Ordinary level in 2005 I decided to go back and repeat my o levels as I had not managed to pass and that’s when I came across military recruitment at school. I joined the military in 2006 and started my formal military training on 1 January 2007. I worked in Kwekwe at 5 Brigade for 4 years and then transferred to Army Headquarters where I worked as a clerk for another 4 years. During my military years I did several Earth moving Machines lessons and I finally left the Army in December 2016 after serving 10 years. I went to SA several times adding more courses in the Earth moving machines industry however, I didn’t manage to find employment in Zimbabwe until I went to South Africa (SA) and worked as a driver for 2 weeks but I got robbed and the violent background in SA forced me to come back around the early 2017 and I was a money changing dealer.
What pushed and pulled you into entrepreneurship?
The uncertainty of hustling pushed me into entrepreneurship. Early 2020 my agent line was suddenly closed and I lost thousands of dollars which made me to think of a more sustainable, legal and ethical business and I decided to form a security company as I served in the army hence I could use my experience to build a reputable security company.
How did you push through your biggest business doubts?
First of all am a strong believer in the Christian faith and I am a member of Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. My Lord will always open new doors and ideas for me pull through. Also to look where I have come from to where I am now is a miracle itself which always inspire me and the goal of being one of the leading professional security services provider hasn’t been achieved.
How big a risk were you taking [starting your own firm]? Whilst at it tell us about the challenges that you face in the day to day running of your business?
Life itself is a risk, everyday we risk our lives by moving with commuters and the likes so I believe there are much fruitful benefits in risking. However, it is not all about risking but doing calculated risks which are thoroughly analysed. At the end of the risking if things go south you should also be honest and courageous enough to take responsibility of your miscalculated risks.
What services do you provide?
We offer a wide range of services basically all security services inclusive of security guards, residential and commercial security services corporate security, event security, site patrol and security, bodyguards, VIP protection, technical security, CCTV installation and monitoring, alarms, private investigations and security consultancy.
How are you expanding your business?
We are embarking on a vigilant marketing campaign which recently started embracing technology especially social media and also not forgetting the conventional marketing systems which have proven to be ever effective. We also rely on our exceptional customer service which directly becomes our indirect marketing because a good product sells itself. We also value networking and linking with fellow players in various industry as that gives us a chance to market our business to them, we attend various events and business related activities with our team so that we expand our networks for business expansion purposes.
Do you have any other business interests besides your security services company?
I have another fast growing delivery company which called 360 Bike Delivery Company and also have the desire to pursue professional car wash services in the future.
You started your company in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, how did that impact your business operations?
COVID-19 period was a very difficult time for everyone and the idleness in our lives sparked the idea of embracing entrepreneurship. As a young person I have to feed myself and my family hence COVID-19 was a stumbling block to me finding ways of survival. Security services proved to be the most important service as properties always want to be protected. My background in the Security system made me realize the gap and I pursued on the Security 360 journey. It hasn’t been easy because in COVID-19 era mobility was a challenge.
How do you approach leadership when tackling major projects, especially across different departments?
You have to be strong and be able to pen your vision such that when delegating you know what is required. Knowledge and hands-on understanding of your business is very critical because managing your business over the phone is not sustainable.
What do you still hope to accomplish in your life?
I wish to be a great entrepreneur who will set a good example to the young people and be able to elevate my fellow employees so that they also achieve their own personal aspirations.
What’s your ideal retirement?
I want to invest heavily in real estate and buildings, agriculture so that when I grow old I will always have residual income which doesn’t require me to always be hands-on in managing the business especially real estate.
KEY TAKEAWAYS ON INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY: Men’s month is basically a month which is dedicated to celebrate men across the globe their efforts and existence on this planet. Men are often overlooked and underappreciated hence this is a time where we should honor and celebrate men hood in its entirety. As an entrepreneur it means that we as males should take responsibility in tacking humanity challenges and be the protectors of the families, nations and the environment. As male entrepreneurs we should also take great care of our female workers who are often victims of abuse in workplaces.
PARTING ADVICE TO ASPIRING AND STARTING UP ENTREPREPRENEURS: The Entrepreneurial journey is not easy as it is paraded on social media and mainstream media. It’s a gruesome and challenging journey that will taste you to the bone. However it’s also of paramount importance to always refine and constantly improve on your idea so that you become unique such that your service becomes a niche in the market. Young aspiring entrepreneurs seek mentorship and always love learning because you are not an epitome of wisdom and knowledge the world is ever evolving so always learn and be attentive with trends.