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Chasing Black Unicorns - Doing Business in Africa

Stories of Success Podcast

Release Date: 05/21/2020

Get out there and engage - Fractional CTO Damien D'Souza show art Get out there and engage - Fractional CTO Damien D'Souza

Stories of Success Podcast

I welcome Damien D‘Souza on this episode who is a business and technology transformation leader. His CV states COO, CIO and CCO experience, yet he markets himself as an interim and fractional ‚CTO‘. With his vast years of experience across multiple industries, he has worked in his portfolio career since 2019.   Things we discussed: Whilst he started his portfolio career in 2019, he started working for himself in 2012 He left the corporate world after 30 years after taking redundancy and money for a runway to try 'self-employment' Work is all about what you want to do, not why...

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Interim and Fractional CEO and Consultant - Peter Weichsel show art Interim and Fractional CEO and Consultant - Peter Weichsel

Stories of Success Podcast

Peter and I first met when he dealt with various digital marketing start-ups at Deutsche Post many years ago. Most recently, we discussed joint business development but also had a chat about my podcast, as Peter had quite some experience in interim and fractional C-level roles. I am in particular interested to share his experience with start-ups, large corporate and consulting roles. At time of recording Peter assumes an interim Management role within the Vodafone group which he has now left.   Things we discussed: Roles of senior executives His role in the top 5 consultancies ...

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Be Confident with Uncertainty - Lena Andican - Fractional CMO show art Be Confident with Uncertainty - Lena Andican - Fractional CMO

Stories of Success Podcast

Today I welcome Lena Andican who is one of the partners at Kurve - Kurve being the performance marketing agency my guest Oren Greenberg founded. Additionally, similar to Oren, she works as an interim and fractional CMO, advising companies on all things marketing.   Things we discussed:   Working with scale-ups B2B marketing and sales Positioning, marketing strategy and execution Transition from in-house to interim The need and want for flexibility and variety Confidence needed to be interim and leaping into a business venture Learning curve Advantages for companies to...

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Michel Quazza - Be Ready to Learn Something New! show art Michel Quazza - Be Ready to Learn Something New!

Stories of Success Podcast

Michel Quazza and I met a few months ago discussing investment and collaboration on projects. He is a seasoned international CEO and has worked as much in Silicon Valley as he has worked across Europe. Michel is scaling his interim work through advisory service, packaging up C-Levels under the ‘Corporate Development as a Service’.   Things we talked about: Difference in portfolio, consulting and ‘Corporate Development as a Service’ companies Scaling interim and fractional work Engineering, CPO and CEO Michel’s experience in Silicon Valley, the influence from the US on...

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Stephen Morris - Fractional and Interim CTO show art Stephen Morris - Fractional and Interim CTO

Stories of Success Podcast

This episode is with Stephen Morris. Steve is a fractional CTO with a passion for software development and cyber security.  He directs IT strategies, advises on product and technology and helps other CTOs to go to market too.   Things we discussed: Companies not needing or being able to afford a full time CTO Helping aspiring CTOs Interim and fractional being a career progression from a full time engagement How he got bored when doing only one job, and the challenges were the same year on year The need for companies to have a CTO Bailey & Associates - a company that helps...

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Paul Edwards - Interim CRO: 'Importance of Networking' show art Paul Edwards - Interim CRO: 'Importance of Networking'

Stories of Success Podcast

I welcome Paul Edwards today who is an interim Chief Revenue Officer. With many years experience in the IT and Telecoms sector, he empowers organisations and teams to win complex high value sales within competitive markets. He is also a mentor to businesses for exit.   Paul and I discussed the following: Moving from a corporate career to a portfolio/interim/fractional career Experience in the IT/Cloud/Telecoms sectors Co-founding a business How to build a healthy pipeline and sales business Building a start-up to a functional company Importance of networking How consultants...

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Experience as an asset - Oren Greenberg show art Experience as an asset - Oren Greenberg

Stories of Success Podcast

Oren is the founder of Kurve, a London based, growth marketing consultancy working with corporates and scale-ups for the past 20 years. As an interim and fractional leader, Oren’s digital strategy and commercial expertise are instrumental in the growth of SaaS & Fintech brands. Brands he worked with include Lenovo, Canon, Investec Bank, Wonga, Peakon & Nutmeg.   Things we discussed: Part time and interim scalability and positioning Pricing and how you best price your work (very interesting insights!) Kurve and how this fits in with fractional and interim work The Kurve...

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Taking the risk - Interim CDO Ben Rickard show art Taking the risk - Interim CDO Ben Rickard

Stories of Success Podcast

I welcome Ben Rickard to my podcast. Ben is an experienced interim and fractional CDO, a NED and advisor with an expert domain knowledge in marketing, digital, data and tech. Ben and I have been discussing the interim and fractional space for a while, and I am glad he found the time to record his ideas around this exciting and growing space.   Things we discussed: CDO: data or digital officer Ben being a NED to parliament (not the government) Teams with different super powers His urge to get involved and do things Launching on his own during the pandemic Value proposition ...

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Victoria Rusnac - 'CMO on demand' show art Victoria Rusnac - 'CMO on demand'

Stories of Success Podcast

My new season, season 5, is all about Stories of Success in interim and fractional CxO roles. I am excited to bring you top CxOs in the field discussing their style, pricing, approach and how they started off in their current role. A learning curve for me, but also a learning for anyone aspiring to become a freelance consultant, start a portfolio career or build a business as an interim or fractional leader.   Episode one and season starter is with Victoria Rusnac!   She is an interim Chief Marketing Officer. Her speciality is in startup growth marketing strategies, including...

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Reflecting on 3.5 years of podcasting - taking a break show art Reflecting on 3.5 years of podcasting - taking a break

Stories of Success Podcast

Hi all,

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More Episodes
On this episode I welcome Marek Zmysłowski. Marek is a Polish-born entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets. 
 
At time of recording we are both in lockdown due to Covid-19. He is in Barcelona and I am in the UK. We discuss the impact Covid-19 might have on Africa as well.
 
Marek is the author of a bestselling book called “Chasing Black Unicorns. How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol Most Wanted list.” A story we will be diving into.
 
He co-founded Jumia Travel – Africa’s Biggest Hotel Booking Portal listed on NYSE as part of Jumia Group and HotelOnline.co – a Travel Technology Company. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the ten most important people in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is a Lead Mentor at Google’s Launchpad and World Bank’s XL Africa Program.
 
His story is fascinating, and Marek explains how he made a lot of money and how he also lost a lot of money during the financial crisis. As a true millennial we are discussing some of the ‘prejudices’ society has with the younger generation. We drift towards a discussion on how we communicate, and what the best way is to do business moving forward. He even has clients he never met, yet spends money with them. 
 
We also talk about the perception some have about doing business in Africa. Whilst Marek confirmed some, we also talk about his positive experience in Africa, and how little the majority of people know about this amazing continent. Personally, I learned a lot about Africa just by listening to him.
 
During the podcast, Marek and I discuss technology and his latest involvement in an AI (Artificial Intelligence) company, and we discover our joint passion for renewable energy; it turns out he invested in a company bringing solar tiles to Europe, drifting into a discussion about technology.
 
Whilst success for him is not all about money, his drive for success is coming from his childhood. He was bullied in school, and wants to show the world what he is able to be successful; through the help of coaches, he funnels his energy into business, where he enjoys the challenges of big problems.
 
He explains how to launch an e-commerce business in a cash society, and how online market places work in Africa. Advertising on the other hand was predominately locally, and offline.  
 
His best advice is to not take too much advice :-) ‘Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions’, is one his favourite quotes. Similar to myself, he is interested in understanding and hacking is body and ultimate health. We only manage to touch on this briefly unfortunately, but his advice is sound; he now only eats once a day and swears on it. 
 
For more information on his experience and companies, please see the following links:
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Volker coaches transformations (career, life & business), and helps individuals and companies through change. He is also a mindfulness trainer and productivity expert. In his podcast Stories of Success he interviews successful people and wrote a book on the back of it.
 
His latest project is a personal development course and listeners from the podcast can sign up and receive a free book with code "Book2020": http://bebetter.ballueder.com