Big plans for TN Bank
Econet Wireless founder Mr Strive Masiyiwa has said TN Bank will be rebranded and repositioned in the next 12 months, and implement a new concept of banking based on a vision that he has held for a long time.
Without elaborating, the entrepreneur said the bank would mobilise savings on a scale never seen in Africa and direct the money towards helping young people start businesses.
“Those are the twin pillars on which we must build the future of Africa: savings and entrepreneurship, by our young people,” Mr Masiyiwa said.
As a rule, Mr Masiyiwa does not like to talk about his plans, or even give interviews. He has never spoken about the bank before, but senior executives close to him say he will never allow the bank to emerge as just another bank.
There is a very methodical program being laid out, and it will emerge over the next few months, with EcoCash - the mobile money service – being the centrepiece of the strategy.
Mr Masiyiwa himself started in business when he was only 25, having returned to the country after independence with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After working briefly for the then PTC, he quit to set up his own electrical contracting business. Within five years he had built it into the largest player in its industry.
He believes strongly that young people should try to acquire practical skills before launching into business, and use those skills to offer products and services.
He has always seen himself as an engineer first and foremost. Mr Masiyiwa has also said repeatedly that Africans need to save money, if they are to build their countries into strong economies.
“If we all saved just a dollar a month, Africa would have billions to invest in its own economy. Savings are the key to China's success; Chinese parents always save a dollar here, and a dollar there; we need to do the same, even from the little we have,” said Mr Masiyiwa.