27 year old Malawian entrepreneur Mike Chilewe Jnr is the founder, and owner of Lala Limited, a holding company involved in various activities from manufacturing toilet paper to agricultural exports.
Mike Chilewe Jnr has a successful entrepreneur father but had to figure out everything on his own. He is listed under the Forbes 30 under 30. The young man says he sold off his meal coupons in college and used the proceeds to start a small business selling blank CDs to fellow students to buy his first Pentium III computer. This was after asking his father for a computer and he was told to ‘figure it out’.
“I also bought my first block of 40,000 shares in a telecommunications company from the same proceeds. I still hold on to these shares because they mean so much to me when I reflect on the hard work that I put in to make my small business venture profitable,” he tells Forbes Africa.
His company makes US$2 million (about K1.5 billion at current exchange rate) a year and employs 20 people.
It was after working for his father for four years and being promoted to Finance Director that he ventured into his own business, with a tissue manufacturing plant. Chilewe Jnr is a chartered accountant by profession, and he is now into financial services, manufacturing and agriculture, commodity trading and commercial properties under Chilewe Brands Global.
In 2015 Chilewe managed to acquire a local radio station, Star Radio, which he later sold, and he is currently negotiating the acquisition of a large food processor in Malawi.
Chilewe has also said he believes in making things happen, and not relying on people but fighting his own battles to become successful in life.