Zaheer Cassim: To the potential entrepreneur
Posted on June 23, 2014
Most of South Africa’s news industry still applies principles from the stone ages. It hasn’t fully embraced new media as a means to tell stories. I didn’t want to be part of this archaic system so I decided to work for myself. Daily, I would analyze newspapers to find opportunities. In the same place where many read stories of problems, pain and dispair, I (in the same text) found solutions. I found an article on page 6 of the local times about iPads being used to educate learners in townships. I turned the article into a video, and sold it to Mail & Guardian. That was the beginning of what is now one of the leading new media companies in South Africa.
One Way Up productions is a new media productions company. We love telling great stories and hope to inspire others into trying something different, especially when mainstream culture says otherwise. Like the name of the company implies, this company is here to stay and grow.
My committed love for Bafana Bafana (South African national football team) despite their poor run of form over the years, is proof of the innate characteristics of patience and endurance, in me. I am committed to the cause! To start the business I bought equipment with my savings, found a committed partner who too struggled to find employment in South Africa, despite their premium education. We worked from my father’s study. The company has been running strong for over two years, picked up amazing clients, as well as been ear marked by Forbes as notable entrepreneurs on the African continent.
As an entrepreneur, a constant challenge is in balancing work and life. I am a married man! So my commitment to both is highly prized. To run a business successfully, you must be willing to work long hours and weekends. This can be taxing on your family, but during the first couple of years of your business this sacrifice is necessary. I addressed this problem by spending a lot of quality time with my family whenever I could. Instead of going out during my free time, I put my family first.
Through my experience I have learnt to keep my overheads low and to never say no to work. It is ironic how had it not been for the lack of understanding of digital media by mainstream news agencies and the lack of job opportunities in the media market, One Way Up would have never been created! Similar to the rationale that created this company, I leave other young potential entrepreneurs with one piece of advice: DON’T WAIT! Start your business today if you believe you have a concrete idea.
Start now. Stay committed. Grow.
Founder: One Way Up Productions