“I am not afraid of failing; failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
Not many have the guts to quit their jobs at their prime and venture into uncharted waters.
That’s what Joanne Mwangi did. At the young of 26, she left the comforts of the corporate world by giving up her marketing job at Colgate and formed Professional Marketing Services (PMS). This was in 1996, a time when the idea of marketing company was still new to Kenyans.
That my friend is the entrepreneual spirit called “having balls”.
“I used my savings to buy basic necessities to start off the business. PMS’s first premises were in a single room. I would drive in every morning, mop the floor, clean the table and dust the furniture. I would work on proposals and drive to industrial area to deliver them myself,” Mwangi told People Daily.
In those days of humble beginnings, Joanne never gave up however much things seemed to fall apart. Having been raised by astute business-savvy parents, she was ready to give the shot her all.
However, the business failed and was forced to seek employment again at the Kenya Tourism Board. She went back to school (USIU) and started her Masters in Strategic Business Management.
Lessons learnt from re-employment
“There, I learnt so much, I got a lot of international exposure and I met the best brains in the world while I represented Kenya externally,” she says. This gave her confidence and faith in her marketing skills and she quit to start a company.
This later enabled PMS to get clients with the government and with manufacturing giants Bidco, Reckit Benkiser, Del Monte, Uchumi,BAT, EABL and Doom.