Mike Chilewe Jnr is the son of one of Malawi’s most prominent and successful businessmen, Mike Chilewe, who made his fortune in metal and steel manufacturing and is the founder of Mike’s Trading Group. However, the younger Mike is charting his own path and cutting his teeth as a media entrepreneur.
In 2015, Chilewe jnr started building his entrepreneurial career when he founded Star Radio Malawi, a floundering private radio station based in Lilongwe. With the help of media consultants and experts, he has been restructuring the station and is gradually building Star to become one of Malawi’s most successful radio stations.
He founded Lala Limited, a holding company involved in various activities from manufacturing toilet paper to agricultural exports. Chilewe’s toilet rolls are sold in bulk and unbranded to institutions such as hospitals and schools. By reducing packaging costs, his company can compete on price with the large, established players in the market. Lala’s commercial operations have since evolved to include other activities, like packaging agricultural produce to be exported or sold locally.
He is also in the process of negotiating the acquisition of a large food processing company in Malawi, and is now launching a third company called Chilewe Brands, which aims to add value to local resources across Africa.
Diversifying his line of work, he is now the owner of Chilewe Brands Global a pan-African diversified company involved in financial services, manufacturing, agriculture commodity trading and commercial properties.
His achievements in entrepreneurship led him to be named one of Forbes’ 30 most promising young African entrepreneurs in 2016. He currently employs 20 people and makes $2 million a year.