Leaving a well-paying job as a sales executive with Botswana Life Insurance Company to pursue business interests at some point seemed like a bad move for Calvin Nthekeng.
It was a year into his marriage with his second child on the way. Both newlyweds had no business legacy to build on.
It was the start of a turbulent journey, with furious forces against her, but she stuck his ground.
Nthekeng’s first shot at running a business was in retail, selling farm produce to the Botswana Horticultural Market.
His luck was short-lived as the contract ended three years into the agreement.
He had to reinvent himself, so he ventured into the trucking business with associates in the neighboring South Africa.
That business too went under due to deterioration of the relationships with said partners.
The long distance also played a part.
Still determined to prove that leaving his cushy job was no mistake, the sales executive-cum-entrepreneur invested about P500, 000 in a farming project in Zimbabwe and lost the money.
Despite all these crash and burns, determination for success kept the fire burning in Nthekeng who finally struck gold in the shoe retail space.
Six years down the line, Nthekeng is the proud franchise owner of the newly opened Crocs and Madison shoe stores in Botswana. They have improved their services throughout the years and they even use these EPOS Systems for their stores.
The Voice Business Reporter Lame Modise sat down with the Man behind the machinations that brought the first Madison store to our land at the Stores official launch held last week Friday.
Having been in the shoe retail business through the acquisition of the Crocs Shoe retail franchise in March 2014, Nthekeng discovered the need to give a face-lift to his portfolio by getting Madison to Botswana.
Originally from the Big Apple AKA New York, Madison is a men and women’s shoe retail outlet that brings the trendiest footwear to Botswana.
From mirror finishes, glittery uppers on minimalist sandal heels, to Cuban-inspired fringe trim on boots and wrap-around straps on closed toe heels, Madison shoes are all one needs to feel their best be it at work or at that special event.
Speaking about his latest venture; Madison Store, Nthekeng said that his main inspiration was that his wife could not get a trendy, yet comfortable pair of shoes to wear to the office or fancy functions at any of the available stores, especially their Crocs’ store since the shop sells casual style shoes made more for comfort than aesthetics.
So as the loving and caring husband that he is, he set off on a mission to find a shoe shop offering stylish, versatile and comfortable shoes for his damsel in distress as well as countless women who find themselves in the same predicament.
“It was not an easy undertaking to finally get the store open here, it took a lot of months of negotiating and I’m glad we are finally open,” he said.
Nthekeng couldn’t contain his excitement at the opening of the first Madison Store in Botswana as he explained that they are looking at offering online shopping services in the second half of 2017.
The store currently retails women’s shoes and a new product offering for men’s shoes and accessories such as belts, handbags, and insoles will be introduced soon.
Nthekeng is looking towards prospects of expanding the Madison footprint in the country.
“That will depend on how much the store in Game City Mall, Gaborone preforms,” he says, adding that with good fortune, Madison stores expand to the second city, Francistown and major towns across the country.