It was an honour to chat with Betty Enyonam Kumahor, a former Ernst & Young consultant with a background in Medical Informatics, Chemistry and Medical Informatics (among many qualifications), World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Co-Founder of the Cobalt Partners technology and design-thinking focused management consultants and listen to her journey to founding the Cobalt Partners. Key take-aways included:
- Starting your journey as a Founder: Betty was being asked for help by so many different people after she left her last role as the director of a global technology consultancy firm that she realised she had a potential business opportunity in her hands. Allied with her wealth of experience in the field, which had not only given her relevant expertise but also a network of talented potential partners with complementary skillsets, she co-founded the Cobalt Partners with several partners. Lesson: Gain experience in your field of interest and you will build knowledge and get to know people that will help you once you are ready to launch.
- Key Challenge faced in starting the Cobalt Partners: Difficulty in getting access to working capital, however this challenge was a blessing in disguise as they were able to make ingenious use of their limited resources and fully test their business model, rather than potentially wasting money if they had been cash rich. The lesson here is that boot-strapping can be beneficial as it forces one to be careful around the use of one’s resources and ensure one has a sustainable business model before scaling.
- Main regret: Feeling that she should have taken more risk. Again the lesson here is that despite one’s numerous successes there will always be areas where you feel you could have done more.
- Key quote: “Always think of your business as a separate entity” “Have more fun, it isn’t heart surgery”