It was an honour to sit with Abri Vosloo, a digital product specialist who left his cushy job at a learning products company to found Skills Indawo, a business built around his passion for advising small businesses. Skills Indawo is a platform that connects South African MBAs with businesses needing freelance management consulting services. Key take-aways included:
- Starting his journey as a Founder: Abri took his experience creating digital products, combined it with his passion for advising small businesses and what he saw as a market gap in South Africa to create Skills Indawo, a company aimed at helping small businesses get affordable management consultancy services from the nation’s best MBA graduates. The lesson here is that it is important to combine experience in your industry of choice, a real passion for the industry AND a market need.
- Key Challenge faced in starting Skills Indawo: Project managing the developers who built the platform was challenging. The lesson here for Abri was that it is important to know exactly what you want and provide a detailed scope of work when dealing with developers, or any contractors.
- A Failure: Using his idea of what customers would want as the basis for building the platform, only to be told by customers that his version of the product would not work and having to incur expensive redevelopment costs. The lesson here is the need to speak with your customers to understand what they need and using that information as the basis of what to build, i.e. build according to customers’ specifications, not yours
- Key quote: “Be open for input and be open to amending your product”.