The Golden Gate To Riches……
Reader, let me ask you a very serious question: WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS IN THE WORLD? I need an answer.
A certain lady once asked me this question, and without hesitation I almost said “LAW”, then I checked myself, and I decided to say “THE HOTEL BUSINESS” but no. I did not. I wanted to say the NEWSPAPER BUSINESS- no, then I nearly said “SHOW BUSINESS”.
Finally I kept quiet and looked at her face.
She then told me something I had NEVER forgotten: something I have said a thousand times to any friend of mine who will care to listen.
She said a certain Business School in the USA did a research across five years to find an answer to this question, and the FINAL answer they came up with, hold your breath, reader,……….ANY BUSINESS!
The best business in this world, believe it or not, is ANY BUSINESS……depending on the one golden word, the open sesame, the sine qua non…..MANAGEMENT!
Two young graduates from Legon walked to my law offices in the year 2007 saying they believe in the transport business. They wanted me to act as their lawyer, as they start a brand new transport company. All they had, for me as their lawyer, was 100 dollars – “but, Captain, we will make you fine – don't worry”.
I helped them, and they took off. Small small, three four years later, one of them asked me” “Captain, do you know how many cars we have in our fleet?”
I raised my eyebrows………………20 cars?
He laughed out and said 860 cars!!!!
IT IS ALL A QUESTION OF MANAGEMENT.
One day as Deputy Minister for Local Government, a certain cute lady walked into the office and complained very bitterly that the NDC Administration spoiled her business, in Amasaman and that NPP should help her.
“Honourable, the business is very good – but NDC spoiled it “what business, madam?
“Reptile business!!” “Reptile?”
“Oh yes, Honourable. Export of SNAKES!
You name it CHARCOAL business. Housing Estate business. Sachet water business. Radio business……ANY BUSINESS – depending on one word: MANAGEMENT.
I am talking like this because I saw the beginnings of Kofi Amoabeng's UNIQUE TRUST Company, located behind SSNIT Hospital in Osu RE: a small storey building with him in a small office as the Chief Executive.
In those days, I actually met him, one on one, seated in his office – I had gone to see him on some personal issue – he was the role model of an administrator – strict adherence to all the principles of management. He was wearing a simple shirt over trousers.
Then UNIQUE TRUST grew by the bounds. He acquired new offices on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, then the all time luxury Headquarters at Airport City – I went there to see him, I met him, wearing deep black suit, Chief Executive of UT Bank!
Then, BANG! UT Bank has collapsed.
Unique Trust Bank of Kofi Amoabeng, the Administrator par excellence has collapsed? Unbelievable.
Exactly one year later, Bank of Ghana again cracked the whip, and five local banks fell……..the Royal Bank of NDK Fame, BEIGE Capital of Michael Henaku fame and others.
How come? What happened?
I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies, the “normal” banks in Ghana were Ghana Commercial Bank, Barclays Bank, Standard Bank…………..then the Government of Colonel I.K Acheampong in their bid to capture the commanding heights of the economy created National Investment Bank, Bank for Housing and Construction and then Cooperative Bank.
All banks survive on the basic principle that people want a safe place to put their money where they can access it without any problem or difficulty. In view of our morbid fear of tomorrow, most people keep their monies WITHOUT TOUCHING them – and the Banks INVEST the monies and chop the profits arising therefrom.
A famous lawyer died and I was in the courtroom when the lawyer for the widow and the lawyer for the family agreed that they should cash ONE BILLION cedis from the accounts to cover the funeral expenses and legal fees for the lawyers.
“So this lawyer had this huge amount in his bank account and has died?
NO BANK, PROPERLY MANAGED, CAN COLLAPSE.
Never. It is not possible. Look at J S Addo, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana. He and his “Consultants” opened a one branch Prudential Bank in the 80s, and still moving on.
Look at HFC Bank, now Republic Bank; look at Paa Kwasi Nduom's GN Bank………it is all a question of MANAGEMENT.
When most businesses begin, the promoters sacrifice everything just to make sure that the business stands. Strict adherence to basic principles of Management – obeying all the laws. Then when the business grows, they back pedal, they sink into luxury, offering themselves fat allowances, going on holidays, taking big time risks against professional advice: result – COLLAPSE.
A certain University graduate is making so much money selling well packaged “AWO KOMI”…..ordinary Kenkey!! Another one is A1 bread!!!
Reader, don't attempt foolish suicide by crossing the Sahara desert to Libya to sit in a boat to cross the Channel to Europe. Don't go writing any application letter to any politician for employment.
Sit down. Put on your thinking cap. What business can you do that will bring money onto the table?
When I was a Deputy Minister, a certain physically very attractive young lady came to my office, looking for “employment;” she was a catering graduate from Accra Poly, living in Nungua.
I told her madam, why don't you just cook rice and build a small two by four kiosk at the taxi rank, and get a cute lady in psychedelic T-shirt and hot pants to sell, everyday at 4pm? Is it not better than going to work for any godamned joker?
Six months later I saw her in traffic – she told me she was in serious business. She, today, manages a restaurant in the city.
About five years ago, a certain young boy in his late teens joined my drama group, Theatre Mirrors. He was working as an apprentice laptop repairer in La. After listening to me talking plenty plenty like this, he resigned and set up his own laptop repairing shop in Asylum Down. Later, he added mobile money transfer to his business……today he has bought a small KIA Picanto and is busily renovating his late father's house for a hotel……..
You want to know the best business in the world?
I want an answer.3
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.