I came across this article almost 2 weeks ago now. I wanted to share it with others and also add my thoughts. The only reason for this was simply because I appreciate and value this way of thinking – to see the end and work towards it (one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Here is a story to illustrate this point. If you are currently following the African economy closely, you will no doubt have come across positive stats that illustrate economic growth on the continent and how it continues to reach new heights year on year. This in part is fuelled by the increasing investment from the Far East for example and what I personally like to call the increasing internal entrepreneurial spirit (IIES). This article epitomises the latter. Reading it I couldn’t help but smile. I vividly recall the day the news broke out about the new media licenses in Zimbabwe. I wondered how long it would take for all the newspapers that had been awarded these new media licenses to actually hit the streets. Not surprising NewsDay emerged first – a week after the announcement! I was already following NewsDay on Twitter prior to this announcement. Trevor Ncube himself was talking very openly about the paper itself and their general plans. I ask, how could a newspaper commence publishing as soon as NewsDay did? The simple and easy answer is: planning. As this interview below indicates they started planning on the 15th of September last year. The management team saw that an opportunity almost a year ago and started planning way back then. Now NewsDay is available daily on the streets and online. Just recently, almost 2 weeks ago now – Alpha Media Holdings (the company that publishes NewsDay) announced that The Southern Edition of NewsDay is now available in Bulawayo. How was this all achieved? Once again I revert to that key word – planning. I have no idea what else lies in store for Trevor and his team but whatever it is, I’m sure that it’s being planned this very minute! There are many lessons to be learned from this case study.
‘Bizcommunity: The first South African media folk really knew about NewsDay was that the Zimbabwean Media Commission granted permission for new newspapers in the country and then a week later (on 7 June 2010), you launched NewsDay. I would imagine that you had been preparing for this for quite some time?
Trevor Ncube: Yes, which is why we have basically been able to hit the ground running. We have had over the past 12 months a core team to which we’ve been adding as we thought the prospects were improving for us to be registered [by the commission]. For me, the turning point was the inclusive government [with Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister]. When I saw it being put in place and in it there was a strong component about freeing up of the media, that was the window that I was looking for and I said: “This is our time; we’ve always wanted to do this.” So we started preparations then.
Biz: And this was about a year ago?
Ncube: Yes, on 15 September last year. That’s when we really started putting together a business plan in earnest and asking ourselves: “What do we need?” One of the first things I identified was that we needed was a printing press because we didn’t have one.’