Monday, September 20, 2010

An interview with a MaKwacha Champion Agent

Hello everyone,

Agents are the heart of our business, and Michael being one of our MaKwacha Champion Agents plays a very big part of this. He started working for Mobile Transactions a year ago, and his achievements speak volumes to date. In this piece I sit with Michael and get to know him a little better.

Me: Hi Michael, am going to ask you some questions that I will later write about on our blog, so I’ll need you to come out and be as honest as you can.

Michael: I can come out anywhere and to anyone you don’t have to worry about me being shy or fake.

Me: That’s good to know, tell me
about yourself.

Michael: I am 26 years old, first born in a family of two boys, I attended Mansa secondary school during which I had to be constantly absent from class because of my mother’s illness, nevertheless I excelled in my studies and was chosen Head boy for the school. After I graduated from Secondary school, I studied Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA). I completed Level one but could not go any further due to financial constraints.

Me: You have quite a story, how did you join Mobile Transactions?

Michael: I was working for Barclays Bank at the time as a Lead Sales Generator, then my team leader Nevyson approached me and told me about a job offer and I accepted.

Me: You must have been either very unhappy or suffering from temporally insanity, why would you leave a job in a bank for another job at a company you have never even heard of?

Michael: When Nevyson told me about Mobile Transactions, he also explained how it works and I was fascinated by the technological aspect of it, especially the SMS notifications after every transaction. To me it was also about joining an organization where I could be able to influence decisions.

Me: Well and good. You started off as a Sales Generator, then were promoted to Operations Support, then to Champion in Chipata, Katete and now Lusaka, and you did exceptionally well in all the mentioned positions and the success in Chipata and Katete has been attributed to you, why do you think you did so well and how do you feel about it?

Michael: To be frank I think I did so well because of my drive to do
things quickly, am not ashamed to do any type of work as long as it is giving value to my business and the organization as a whole. To answer your question about how I feel, I feel that what I did in Chipata and Katete is just a fraction of what I was supposed to do.

Me: Wow! Let’s talk about the People at Mobile Transactions, off the top of your head, who do you admire and why?

Michael: Brad, the regional director, for his business sense and language, he can sale anything to anyone, and then there is Teddy, the Deputy Agent Manager, he has integrity and does not lie. Then there is you, the Brand Manager, your speed and wonderful spirit is admirable.

Me: Huh! Thanks I bet you mentioned cause I am the one doing the interview. How do you manage your team and why do they fondly call you Mwine Mushi (a Bemba term that means owner of a village)?

Michael: No, I mentioned you because it’s the truth I admire you. I run my team by making myself approachable, I have developed a work culture of team work with defined roles and responsibility. As for the nickname I guess its because I take ownership, you can get the answer from my assistants as they are the ones who call me by that name.

Me: I certainly will. You mentioned goals; can you share what those are?

Michael: Our goal right now as Katondo Champion store is to build enough cash float so that we can also start paying microfinance loan disbursements.

Me: Good luck on that goal, if there is someone who can achieve it, it is most certainly you. Thank you for your time I know you are extremely busy.

Michael: Thank you.

After our interview, we took a walk to his store, and yes I asked Michael’s assistant Simon why they call him owner of the village, and he simply said because he is such a great leader, no one deserves that title quite like him.

Have a productive week.


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