Peter Drucker, an Austrian consultant, once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This sounds apt for the entrepreneurs who follow their passion and pave the path of crafting dreams into reality. And in their journey, they inspire others on the same path.
Allegro Dinkwanyane, Founder and CEO of Orgella Group started young and launched her first company Orgella Entertainment under Orgella Group in 2011 when she was studying journalism. Orgella Entertainment is a South Africa-based entertainment and lifestyle website with the core objective of entertaining readers as well as informing them of the current celebrity/entertainment/world news in the most factual way possible. Allegro also started to use Orgella Entertainment as a platform to promote African celebrity talent.
Soon the success of Orgella Entertainment inspired Allegro to launch her next company, a PR and Marketing agency Orgella Communications and that’s how the CEO took Orgella Group to new heights which will be celebrating its 10th year in business this October.
The following interview exhibits Allegro’s journey of entrepreneurship, how the company survived the global pandemic with team efforts, and Allegro’s views on gender inequality in the business world.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adoption of novel technologies has transformed various industries and what more could be expected in the near future?
Most of my businesses rely on the digital age to grow. Orgella Group has always made use of social media platforms to reach new audiences as well as engage with our followers and clients. The digital age comes with great perks and resources for a group company such as Orgella Group that also seeks to grow beyond the South African borders.
I think many business owners realized the power of technology for example social media platforms especially during the global pandemic when we all had to work from home and do business differently. The lockdown forced many businesses and individuals to accept the reality that our world is controlled and connected by technology and it’s either you join the digital age and stay afloat or sink in the previous age.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your organization to sustain operations and ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
The global pandemic has come with a lot of setbacks for the company. Many of our growth plans were delayed by the pandemic but on the positive side, the time spent working from home has allowed me as the founder to analyze the company from a different perspective. I’ve had to slow down a bit in order to see what we were doing right and come up with solutions on how we can move forward and become stronger post the pandemic.
I have had to go back to the drawing board to reorganize the company, think about the company’s future, our objectives, and the team at large moving forward.
Speaking of my team, surprisingly enough, I found that many of them preferred working from home to the office. They are more productive and in turn, have more time to explore other work opportunities and/or hobbies and spend time with their loved ones. This has made me realize that one can have a successful business whilst still working from home and that most meetings can be done over a call or video call.
I am also grateful for the time I now have to spend with my family and juggle the business and motherhood, especially now that I have a toddler in the house. I think that there’s a lot of good we can take out of the global pandemic. I choose to believe that it is teaching us something great and shaping our future in a way we had not imagined but still for our good. It is of course unfortunate that so many lives are being lost and so many people finding themselves displaced and alone and as a business owner I’m doing my best to help where I can through my charity organization, Orgella Helping Hands, and hopefully, I can also keep as many people as possible employed during these tough times.
What is your opinion on adopting gender egalitarianism from a leadership perspective?
I think gender inequality is a huge problem and hindrance for many women trying to find their feet and grow in the business world and even as corporate professionals. Although I agree that men and women are made differently and should in some social settings not be treated the same way, I do believe that if we want to achieve non-bias leadership positions, especially in business, women should be treated as equally as their male counterparts.
Women deserve to be seated in the same rooms with men where executive decisions are being made. They need to be listened to when they speak up in the room and their opinions and suggestions need to be respected and taken into consideration. Women should also receive equal pay and this should not be determined based on gender but by the position, which they hold, their qualifications, performance, and results.
I believe that when we get to this equal position one day, more women will succeed in business than they do now. More women will be supported and respected in leadership positions and turn, more opportunities will be available for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact on other aspiring female entrepreneurs through your journey?
I think having started my business so young, working hard, and being consistent, leading up to the success of the business has inspired a lot of women, especially young women who didn’t think that it was possible to be a successful entrepreneur in South Africa. Many hear about opportunities from afar but very few get to the point of experiencing that journey, so I think me actually ‘making it’, made other women believe that their dreams are valid too.
Seeing how so many are inspired by my journey, I launched a women empowerment platform call Boss Chiq South Africa which serves to inspire and empower women to become better leaders in all aspects of their lives. I host annual events, where we all get to meet and be inspired by different speakers. Moreover, the platform also offers mentorship opportunities to help women step into their power.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the security and investigations niche market and the related industry?
I am not an expert in that industry, but I would advise them to do their research. In any industry you want to enter, you need to go into it knowing how that industry is performing, what has been done so far, and what you can contribute. You also have to have a different and/or better service offering to attract customers. Hard work, a great team, and consistency will take you far. I always say that “hard work and prayer have never failed me” and to this day, I stand by that word.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for your group of companies?
I am taking each day as it comes and I’m always open to restructuring and growth. I grow in every phase of my business and the day I stop growing is the day I’ll stop doing that business. I hope that we continue to service our clients to their satisfaction. I also hope that the work we do in all the companies will continue to have an impact not only on the team I work with but on society as well.
I’d like to create more within the company, partner and collaborate with other companies in order to grow beyond South Africa. I’d like to continue building a company that will continue to inspire young people to reach for the stars and work hard for what they truly want to achieve.