In today’s world, a currency probably more valuable than money or gold is data. Data such as size of the market and macro trends can significantly help businesses market their products or services. But not everyone knows how to collect and analyze data in order to make a good decision.
Thamsanqa Ndlovu, known as Thami, studied a variety of careers such as Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and Arts, majoring in Philosophy and Law. At some point in his path, he found happiness switching to the corporate and business world and studying to get an MBA.
“I had been undecided for a long time on what career to pursue and have made some hesitant decisions along the way. At high school in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, I studied Science and was into Mathematics, Biology and Physics, but I made a radical shift to the Arts and majored in Philosophy and Law at a university. But now I’ve made the switch to Business after studying for an MBA and I couldn’t be happier. All the serendipitous mistakes in finding a career and having an eclectic background have made me a pretty strong lateral thinker who can look at problems through a multidimensional lens.” Thami shares.
Today, Thami runs a market research and business consulting service called Datadvise that provides all kinds of data to companies. Datadvise is made up of a team of market researchers who are located in different regions of the world and have vast experience across a wide spectrum of industries.
“Data ensures that clients are well-positioned to make the most informed decisions based on accurate market information. Whether they need information on current market size, macro trends, projection of future industries, or competitive intelligence, we can provide it. Other services include customer segmentation (in both B2B and B2C contexts), go-to-market strategies, due diligence exercises or survey design and results analysis.” Thami explains.
Thami had for some time felt it was necessary for him to develop a research consulting service, but had not found the time to devote to calmly plan to launch such a project. He was finally able to plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic made me put on pause a lot of things I was doing and helped me focus on this idea that I had pending for a long time. I knew I wanted to start a research consulting service, but I hadn’t had time to explore it. When the pandemic happened, it gave me more time to focus on what I really wanted to accomplish. I was finally able to sit down and leverage my broad skill set and haven’t looked back since.” Thami says, and adds, “Financial freedom is a large part of why I have chosen entrepreneurship. It is not only about gaining access to the things that make you feel fulfilled while taking care of the ones you love, but also the time you get back to do those things. I used to work very long hours at the start, but I am down to only a few hours each day, and I make sure to spend that time in rewarding ways.”
In the business world, starting a project is no easy feat. For Thami, it was no exception. One of the biggest challenges for him was attracting clients as at first no one believed his company could deliver what it offered.
“But over time I was able to get some clients, gain some solid reviews and ultimately build a good reputation. Eventually, the work began to speak for itself, and I’ve since managed to grow and maintain a loyal set of clients.” Thami adds.
Many successful entrepreneurs do not hesitate to recommend having a mentor or guide, someone who has already walked down the path you intend to walk. Without that support, the road ahead might be a little more difficult. Thami knows this from personal experience.
“The second thing for me was the lack of guidance. This is uncharted territory and the journey can be very uncertain. It’s like walking in the dark and you have to feel your way around. In my case, a big part of it was learning new skills that would help me serve my clients better.” Thami notes, and advises others starting their business, “You need to have a lot of discipline in setting tasks and working through them. Each day must move the needle forward. That level of consistency is what yields results. You would need to work at it daily, but if that is not possible at least once every two days. Anything less is not enough. Secondly, I would say use productivity tools. Make the tech work for you.”
At present, Thami has an exciting prospect with Wall Street and is looking forward to engaging with them. He has also been working with a team of people developing a product that will very soon come to market and is tailored to the global chess community.
“I also hope to become a little more informed about cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance and NFT. I think it’s an exciting space and it’s taken me longer than it should to educate myself on the subject.” Thami says. But overall, he will continue to offer his distinct services. “We offer a pretty niche white-glove service that utilizes a regionally distributed team of researchers operating in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Southern Africa. I often leverage local subject-matter expertise from my existing network, and work across different time zones to ensure that research projects are literally run around the clock. This ensures faster turnarounds for clients. That said, I exclusively handle all client-facing and quality assurance responsibilities, which keeps the relationships personal and the work output high quality.”
Learn more about Thami and Datadvise here.