Edrine is a final year Finance and Accounting university student from Uganda who runs a media company called New Rich Media with five colleagues. Headquartered in the capital, Kampala, Edrine started this business as a high school student when he was 16, and it has been operating for five years. They have been publishing high school magazines, running university newspapers and trade bazaars, and now are working on their recent projects of the newly launched t-shirt line and building an educational directory across Uganda.
Tony is a senior executive in one of the UK’s largest international magazine publishing and distribution companies with more than 15 years of experience in this field. Growing up in Australia where good education is freely accessible, Tony feels it is his responsibility to give back to the community. He discovered Grow on the Escape the City website and has been mentoring African entrepreneurs for almost three years now.
One of the main challenges Edrine encountered was funding. The company was struggling to get cheap printing which could only be done by having a lot of volume and to have a lot of volume the company needed to secure funding. Edrine and Tony tried to solve the problem of how to attract advertising since for most magazines this is the major source of the revenue and retail sales is just a bonus. What they did was put together some real cases for Edrine and his team on how to attract a potential paying advertiser on board.
New Rich Media managed to secure more profitable partnership agreements, not just giving away some free spaces for ads. They also started to apply different standards for projects and use more refined techniques from the financial aspects. By applying the combination of these techniques and principles, they managed to shift last year’s loss to this year’s profit. Last year, they injected 5 million Ugandan Shilling for one project and received 4 million in revenues, resulting in a loss. On their last project from August to September 2015, for 1 million Shilling spent, they secured 4.3 million profit, creating a positive balance for the company.
“Ambition and idea alone would not work; they needed good strategies and swift executions. What I learnt from Tony was professionalism. A simple thing like punctuality could make a huge difference in the world of business. I have someone to look up to, a conviction that someday I could also be on his seat, helping African entrepreneurs to improve their businesses to get a better life. Looking at someone who makes an impact in every single minute of his life is very inspiring and has given us a goal.”
“I work with an international team, so it has always been fascinating to discover and to learn how different cultures do things; and implement these outlooks for generating new ideas or approaching problems at work. Working with Edrine also rekindled the entrepreneurial spirit in me to start my own venture someday. I wish I was as good as him when I was younger. Having a bravery to start a business when he was just a teenager, Edrine is truly an inspirational young man.”