From humble beginnings, Mike Mlomba has courageously moved the stakes to become one of Africa’s leading billionaires. As a student, Mlombwa struggled to keep himself in school from his meager savings. He was later able to purchase two second-hand cars in order to launch a vehicle rental company- a dream he has always nurtured.
Today, the Malawian business tycoon has offices in major cities across Malawi and a fleet of more than 70 rental vehicles, as he tells BBC African Dream series.
In 1997, at age 28, Mlombwa began his service with three second-hand cars. Soon, his venture tripled, opening doors to other opportunities. To expand his fleet and service, Mlombwa partnered with various car owners to use their vehicles for a 20% commission. “And that was how [my business] took off. I make very good money.” He explains
He used the profits to buy new vehicles and, as his business blossomed, he was able to receive a bank loan. “When they saw I was doing fine, banks came to me and said: ‘Okay, we can assist you now’,” Mlombwa recounts.
Today his company owns a fleet of 80 vehicles and can be found at airports and hotels across the country.
While Mlombwa had always longed for an opportunity to pursue a degree in the university, he remains content and thankful for the huge opportunities that he has been given.
“I am happy to face challenges and I am happy I became an entrepreneur. And to be honest, I don’t see it as a regret that I did not finish my schooling, because now I can employ people with master’s degrees or whatever. They are assisting me here and there.”
Mlombwa currently seeks investment to double his fleet. He is also constructing a number of hotels, under the countrywide brand.