Richard Kadwala, 47
After many years of working for someone else, married father of six Richard Kadwala realised that the income he was generating would not be sufficient to sustain his growing family. Educated to secondary school level and an entrepreneur at heart, he decided to start his own business and in the year 2000 opened Eseredevemel Properties. Beginning as a school stationary business, Eseredevemel Properties has since developed into an expanding second-hand clothing business servicing the local community.
Arvind Sekhar, 30
Keen to share his skills and experience in technology and specialist business operations improvement (Sigma 6 qualified), US-based 30-year-old Arvind Sekhar embarked on a search to find an opportunity for skills-based volunteering. It was then that he discovered Grow Movement.
Business challenges and objectives of the project
Concerned that he was not turning over enough profit to sustain his family’s needs, Richard worked with Arvind to evaluate the business and develop an effective strategy to increase margins. After identifying two main issues within the business – insufficient stock range and a lack of record-keeping, the two worked to both diversify and build on Richard’s stock as well as implement recording procedures.
The improved record-keeping helped to identify better performing items and offered clear visibility of further opportunities to decrease outgoings and increase margins. Upon realising that there was competition between suppliers, Arvind encouraged Richard to negotiate purchasing prices allowing the business an immediate 11% jump in profit whilst simultaneously developing Richard’s negotiation skills.
Prior to working with Arvind and Grow Movement, Richard was not able to comfortably look after his family. After graduating from the programme, Richard currently turns over approximately 10,000 MWK per week. He can afford to look after his family and has hired another employee – a salesman. Through the programme Richard has developed his business management skills and is now able to share them with his employee and his family.
The Impact on Richard
“Working with Arvind has taught me how to run my business better, extend the business, and keep records. My sales and profits have increased, I have more customers, and I have employed another worker. Through Grow Movement I have grown up with my business. I am able to pay fees for my kids and feed my family. My mind is free.”
The Impact on Arvind
“I have a lot of gratitude towards Grow Movement for the opportunity to be involved in this programme. A lot of us take our skills and education for granted- sharing those skills is a big way to contribute. Grow Movement offers a fantastic opportunity to enable more people with more skills whilst affording volunteer consultants invaluable personal and professional development. It’s a win-win. Working with Richard has improved my consulting, problem-solving and communication skills. I am now looking to embark on my next Grow Movement project.”