26 Apr Tuesday Transformation: Mutinta Nkombo Kayumba.
Welcome to yet another week of Transformation Tuesday and today we are talking to Mutinta Nkombo Kayumba. Born of late Bernard and Beatrice Nkombo both school teachers and raised in Livingstone. “As a child, my dream was always to become an air hostess. I did not only become an air hostess, I became Miss Zambia Airways 1990 after beating 11 other contestants at a cabin service contest for service and proficiency on aircrafts Hawker Sidelely 748, ATR 42, Boeing 737 and Mc Donnell Douglas DC10.”
“I also became the face of the airline in all its marketing campaigns and promotions. Just like any other stewardess, when we were not flying, we took to trading as a side hustle. We sold video tapes, DVDs, TDK cassettes, clothes, shoes and literally any merchandise that could earn us some profit.”
“I realized early in my life that shopping was my passion as I did it with ease. I see the fashion even with my eyes closed, so I became more comfortable selling clothes and accessories.” After the heavily contested cabin service contest, where Mutinta emerged winner, she walked away with a trip for 2 to the Bahamas Islands, a cash price of $2000 and K15 million then. She decided to fore go the trip to the Bahamas’s and use the prize money as startup capital for her business. Subsequently, the airline was forced into liquidation in 1994 leaving a lot jobless. Trading then became the main hustle for many.
Genuine Collections was born in 1998, a breakaway from a family business Candice Exclusive which had 5 partners. There was ease of entry to this industry, so it was saturated. “I traded comfortably from the CBD. Shopping malls started springing up in Lusaka and almost all the major players moved into the malls except for me. I wanted to do something different and more sustainable.”
“In 2012, I pioneered the concept of residential boutique business by setting up an outlet Genuine Style on Great East Road within the premises of another family business Comfort Lodge. The concept was received very dearly by customers who previously complained of heavy traffic in the Central Business District. In 2017, another opportunity arose to open yet again another outlet in the Woodlands suburb, and I seized the opportunity.”
Genuine Outfitters was born at a colorful Launch officiated by the then American Ambassador to the Zambian Republic, Mr Eric Shultz. This became the signature outlet serving the company’s highest customer segment. Together the companies are referred to as the Genuine Group.
It was Mutinta’s wish to take her business to another level. Inspired by her mother Beatrice who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education at the age of 72. She enrolled with the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK and graduated in 2013 at Church House in England. In 2014, Mutinta proceeded to do her Master of Business Administration degree at University of Greenwich UK, and graduated in 2016 with a distinction.
She attributes her success in business to many factors namely:
- She wears what she sells
- Differentiation: She trades from her own spaces
- Her inimitable fashion sense
- Financial discipline
- Access to credit
- Greater marketing skills and customer care practice
- Happy internal customers
- Great family support
- Courage to explore the roads less traveled (She was the first Zambian lady to explore the Turkish fabric markets) and
- Ability to create win-win mutually beneficial relationships.
“I still enjoy doing what I do, inevitability I have had to worked out a succession plan as I wish to retire one day. My daughter Mwaji Kayumba Mbalazi, a natural in art and also Lusaka’s best makeup artist has been groomed to carry the business forward alongside her beauty parlor.”
You can find Genuine Outfitters on Facebook on https://web.facebook.com/The-Genuine-Group-1404971596238300 Or contact them on:
(CBD Shop) 0955224847
(Woodlands Shop) 0953 221 934