Knowledge plus Experience gets you halfway there in Business, but it’s not enough.

October 7, 2020

“I started MODE in 2010. The experience was literally like jumping out of a plane with no parachute.” Julian Kyula is the founder and former CEO of MODE. He led the company from a start-up to a leading global company. MODE is today a well-known company specialising in mobile financial technology such as providing airtime credit and micro-loans to millions of mobile phones users across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. 

The journey wasn’t always rosy for Julian. His first business venture was called Quest. For a period of time, Julian had been in the United States where he worked for a family that had built massive wealth from a data and analytics business. This was inception point of his business activities.

“I came back from the U.S around 2005. I was very clear on what I wanted to do. I needed to get into the data analytics space here. There was a future for this in Africa because these were the early days” Julian Kyula say nostalgically.

However, before he could start on Quest, a businessman who had heard about what he was trying to accomplish in the African continent found him and offered him a job. As he recounts his past, Julian jokingly confesses that he took the job because he didn’t want to look like the guy who came from the US and was tarmacking.

“The job really helped me understand the market here. It was very hard. It was like pulling teeth from a chicken.” Julian Kyula said when was guest at Unthinkable Roast.

Even though it wasn’t planned, Julian acknowledges that from the job opportunity, he was able to know the target market and build MODE using the knowledge he acquired. While ambition is a great thing in the business world, it’s also important to back it up with knowledge and experience when starting out.

Julian Kyula was a guest at Unthinkable Roast in April 2019. Click here to join other leaders for inspiring monthly conversations on leadership and innovation

Subscribe For Our Event Updates and Weekly 10X Newsletter