24-year old Mina Reeve can be described in more words than just beauty and brains .At her tender age she is the founder and CEO of Nami Africa ,an experiential marketing company .she went to Dundee University and graduated with a B Sc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences .She is currently four months short of graduating with masters credits from Nottingham university .This will enable her to teach Biology and chemistry in high school level in international schools all over the world .Not to mention she is one of the founders of Nairobi City Young Entrepreneurs U30 that provides valuable knowledge and networks to those young people who decided to follow the route of an entrepreneur. There’s simply no stopping for this young and inspiring entrepreneur .Here’s more.
- How did you start Nami Africa and what inspired you?
I started Nami Africa by getting all the documentation needed first, and then finding a few clients to start me off. This was while I was still in formal employment. I felt as if I was ready to take on the world of business, especially from a PR standpoint. It was a bit challenging at first, but given the perseverance, Nami Africa is still alive and kicking. I have always been inspired to do my own thing since I was in University. I actually started an events company in the UK which was a huge success. That involved a lot of PR. When I moved back to Kenya, I felt like I needed to explore the industry before jumping into it .Thus why I worked at in the PR and events division at the agency. It gave me great exposure and I am thankful to those who taught me ‘on the job’ as they shared valuable knowledge with me, and I was able to excel enough for me to be able to then get into my own business. I wanted to ensure quality was given for a fair price instead of half-hearted jobs that were highly billed for. I saw a gap in the market and I rode with it.
- How is experiential marketing different from the conventional ways of marketing?
Experiential marketing focuses on the consumer. It considers how a consumer thinks, acts, responds to various stimuli, and engages with the greater community. The conventional way of marketing focus is on the product first. I suppose I like to do things backwards. Conventional ways of marketing also play it safe. Experiential marketing takes the consumer through an experience, both emotionally and physically. It adds that personal touch and consumer’s tend to show a lot more gratitude and loyalty to a brand once they have this interaction. Compare that to just seeing an ad in the paper. I believe a mix of both is necessary, but if you had to choose just one style of marketing, definitely go for experiential – it works a lot better.
- What are the challenges you face in your business?
When I first started out was getting people to trust a young person who has no qualifications in PR with a lot of money. I overcame this by ensuring the quality of my work, and my teams work, exceeded expectations. This has been overcome with time. Additionally, I had to give a snippet to some companies to show what I can achieve before they trusted me with an entire campaign. Again, this is just one of the things that come with being a new company where there is considerable competition. Time has made this less of an issue now as I have now built up case studies and credible, powerful references to back up my work. Financial challenges are another issue – all I can say is I came up with a good financial policy. A third challenge would be the issue of copyright. It is quite frustrating working on a strategy after conducting a lot of research and using up a lot of time for a company to then take the strategy, tell you that they were thinking of taking another direction, and then using your strategy after all without giving you credit or paying for it. I talked to some lawyers, and I now own the copyright to all my strategies. If a company tries to implement a strategy I created, or they specifically asked me to create, I make it clear that I have copyright and if they use any part of the strategy without having paid for that part, then they will be trouble. I do not get any issues now and I am able to sell strategy without implementation should I chose to.
- What are the highlights if your career?
Winning jobs and seeing them play out beautifully. I suppose tone highlight was the fact I was able to get 22 reports to an event in the rain that was slightly out of town (in Migaa) on a Saturday for Home Afrika when there were other big events on-going, and having the stories published. Another highlight was the tremendous TV coverage and interviews that the team and I were able to get the Super Bike Championships event late last year. And a final highlight was getting contracted by McKinsey & Company for the McKinsey Social Initiative graduation events. I look forward to a lot more highlights in this coming year.
- What next for Nami Africa?
Nami Africa is looking on possibly expanding its operations to both Eastern Africa, and to newly established brands who want to ‘set-up-shop’ in Eastern Africa from abroad. Other agencies in other parts of the world already regard Nami Africa as a great PR firm so we regularly get requests for consultations and strategies. What we have noticed is a lot of companies looking to move to Kenya are not only looking for PR in Kenya, but in Eastern Africa, thus our thought process behind expanding to new horizons.
- What do you do to unwind?
I play sports such as hockey, football and a few others when I can .I chill out in the evenings with my friends now and again .I also take mini trips and holidays just to chill.