Building your business on tenders because you have good relationships with politicians is a dangerous cocktail.
Politicians comes and goes, you may be able to build your empire for 5 years when your favorite politician is in power, but you risk losing everything when that politician loses power to his rival.
When political climate changes, you fall out favor overnight, and if your business is reliant on tenders, you don’t have a sustainable business.
In other countries, it becomes a thin dangerous line between business and politics.
Entrepreneurs will often build their businesses through acquisition of strategic state assets [usually due to privatisation] using their political affiliations and connections.
This is what happened in Russia when the oil mines once under the control of the government was privatised and resulted in a lot of oligarch (millionaire’s from owning oil companies).
The nature of politics is that political leaders tend to change once every four or five years due to elections.
Reliance by entrepreneurs on politicians is based purely on power relations, influence and favours and those have a limited time span of 4 years until the next elections.
Should the political leader[s] be changed during elections, that business relationship between entrepreneur and that political leader changes as well.
More often the incumbent political leader will come with his favourite business people to “empower”.
The sustainability of the business transaction is dependent on the positive relations between the entrepreneur and the politician and more often such relationships are not sustainable.
Worse case scenario there are cases of bribery and corruption that always lurks such relationships which will result in criminal cases and jail-time.
As an entrepreneur, your success should not create an impression that you can mix business and politics and get away with it when trouble brews.
As an entrepreneur there is a fine line between self-belief and delusion, and keeping on the right side of that line is what all great entrepreneurs managed to do.
It is good to network and build strong business connections, but your business should not rely only one source of income.
If your business cannot operate without tenders, then your business is risky.
Tenders in Africa are risky because there is a culture of corruption.
The successful entrepreneurs convince themselves [and others] that they are better, smarter, more cunning, more visionary or most astute to have, but it also puts them on a collision cause with self-destruction.
Without a brake on that self-belief, or a rational mind to balance the bravado, entrepreneurs are doomed.