Adrian started his career as an auditor and consultant at PWC before completing an MBA at Imperial Business School. He is now Head of Business Development and CFO at a start-up company MagicFloor in Germany. His areas of expertise include business relationships, business development and emerging markets. Adrian worked with Tusu Mzuwara, a clothing entrepreneur in Malawi.
“I volunteered because I wanted to empower leaders in the emerging markets with my acquired knowledge. My first phone call was friendly and informative and I started to get to know the business and establish what the problems were. For me the biggest problems were language, and accent."
“Tusu had a few key problems in her business: High transport costs, as she purchased raw material abroad; How to reduce those costs – ie by travelling less abroad but more strategically (purchase more on every occasion with chosen suppliers); How to distribute clothes in her local village – shop, market?; How to advertise; How to get attention in the village. Solution was around creating flyers, word of mouth and make sure she has a wonderful little shop where she would offer tea or biscuits.”
“I taught Tusu how to create a simple budget – costs vs revenue, see what total remains at end of month. I explained economies of scale – travel less but purchase more every time you do travel, that way every item purchased is less expensive.”
“After completing my first project I decided to take another. I fell in love with passing on my knowledge to the emerging market. I love to see the effects I have when I pass on my knowledge, much more satisfying than just transferring money, because my help/advice is sustainable. My knowledge can then be passed on further in the local community – it has a knock-on effect. It was great to make new connections, and a network in Africa and in London spanning Cass, LBS, and of course it was great to talk directly with Claire Jenkins the CEO. Grow really values their volunteers. It is truly a win-win situation for Grow, myself and the local entrepreneur.”
"Go for it! You give and you learn a lot."