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Zimbabwean makes it on Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list





Zimbabwean youthful businessman, Paul Makaya has been named in the Forbes Africa's 30 Under 30 list.

Paul is the founder and chief executive of Bergast House, a digital solutions company focusing on digital design and e-marketing.

The Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list is one of the most anticipated list of Africa's brightest achievers under the age of 30 spanning categories including: business, technology, creatives and sport.

Yearly, Forbes Africa looks for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors who have the acumen to stay the course in their chosen field.

The Bergast House chief executive said getting on the list is symbolic of the work that he and his team has put in over the years to develop the business.

"To me personally being listed, reaffirms the vision I have, the places I want to take the business and energizes me to push harder. It also comes with the pressure to meet expectation, gives hope to other young entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, to say even in the challenging economic environment we are in, you can do something, you can make something, you can create employment, you can be a solution barrier and not just cry about the problems," said Mr Makaya.

"And looking at the broader continent it has always been a deep belief within our organization to be part of the African revolution, an economic revolution – our purpose as a company is to be strategic partners to progressive African brands placing them on the international stage – so being listed on the Forbes 30under 30list reaffirms that we are in the right direction, this also gives us continental recognition giving us a step into the regions and countries we are planning to move into."

The 27-year old Zimbabwean businessman's budding empire is a story of defying the odds

With just the $200 he had saved up, Paul and his partners invested in the budding business in 2016, starting off by renting a miniature one-room office space that had only two chairs.

This was only the beginning of Bergast House, a company that offers strategy, public relations, digital and design services.

Today, the two chairs he started the business with have quintupled, as they now have a team of 10 and can gladly say they have worked with numerous organizations including software giant Microsoft.

"The initial trigger was obviously frustration about the limitations of being an employee, but in that sense as well, I felt that as a young, dynamic person, there was so much more that I could offer to the industry," he told Forbes Africa.

"I also felt we had a part to play in the rise of the African continent. Our vision is to rebrand Africa and this is our purpose."

Bergast House has served over 103 clients including Zuva Petroleum, Astro Mobile, Maranatha Group of Schools, the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe, Tech24, the Chartered Institute of Customer Management, Steward Bank, and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, delivering an advertising value of up to $175 million.

He offers advice on how local entreprenuers can try and cope with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has disrupted business operations across the globe.

Operationally this pandemic has shown us that every business needs to be "digital", from distribution, team management, communication. Every process in a business needs to be digital. This enables staff to continue working remotely," said Mr Makaya.

"I believe business also need to take time to rethink their 2nd quarter strategies because this pandemic has taken every organization by surprise, no one had predicted that this would happen, to this lockdown gives business the opportunity and time to think about how they can catch up on lost time, create their business systems is that they are not affected by a feature epidemic such as this one, think about how they can take their business online and a variety of other things.

"A lot of business are closing all over the world but a couple of businesses are also thriving in the same environment, look at Amazon, Alibaba, Netflix, Zoom these businesses are soaring while others are closing so as a business leader it's wise to use this time to study these businesses and adapt your businesses to thrive in any eventuality."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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