Kodak films! Nokia 3210! Do you remember these? It wasn’t so long ago that these products and devices formed a crucial part of our lives and at the time we could never imagine life without them. Then what happened? Disrupted!
Bekithemba Lloyd Nkomo is an astute and renowned businessman in Bulawayo who has served on several boards of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed companies. His BIGtalk on how to refocus Bulawayo not only riveted his hearers but it struck a chord and I, for one, could not sleep that night as I pondered on what could be and how we might unlock the things he spoke about.
Themba gave examples from the international scene of companies that have completely disrupted their space. Shopify, Uber, Amazon, Trivago, Airbnb. “What do you do when your business or industry or city has been disrupted?”
His proposed 5-point plan addresses this and can be adopted by businesses and even cities to realign their space.
- Develop a clear-eyed, objective understanding of the current situation (PEST and SWOT analyses)
- Redefine the strategic focus
- Restructure to reduce costs and complexities
- Build the right culture and have the correct narrative
- Invest in digital
Themba proceeded to table what he considers to be seven areas where the city of Bulawayo may have a strategic advantage and that would be worth developing and investing into. These include:
- People and the service industry
- Tertiary institutions
- Beef industry
- Agro-processing and contract farming
- Mining supporting industries and services
- Tourist channel
- New industries
The question is, how might we refocus these so as to take the city of Bulawayo to the next phase of enterprise development and industrialisation?
Bekithemba Lloyd Nkomo is married to Gina and together they have 2 adult daughters and an adult son. He is the Chairman of Gaskets and Cuttings International (Pvt) Ltd, the Managing Director of Lloyd Corporate Capital (Pvt) Ltd, a Franchise holder for Business Doctors & Vistage and is also the Country Representative for Senior Expert Services, Germany. Themba currently also serves as a director on the boards of Old Mutual Property, where he is chairman, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed Old Mutual Zimbabwe where he serves on the Group Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed Star Africa Corporation, Cold Storage Company (CSC), where he is Chairman of the Board and serves on the Finance Committee and on the Marketing and Production Committee, Ethical Leaf Tobacco where he serves as a non-executive director.In recent and previous times, he has also served on Zimbabwe International Trade Fair as Chairman, Central African Building Society, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listed African Sun Limited as Chariman, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed AICO Africa Limited as Chairman, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed Seedco Limited as Chairman and Dube Holdings (Pvt) Limited. He participates in several community engagements including serving as an elder at the Bulawayo Baptist Church.