Pheko Kgengoe’s passion for South African music propelled him to help artists have a bigger audience to share and celebrate their music with. He tells us more about his new entertainment company.
Tell us about your company, what does it entail?
I initially started the company as a communications firm that specialises in Celebrity and entertainment Public Relations, but I have since grown into the food and transportation space, so I changed the company name from 4 The love of Communications to 4 The Love Group.
Why did you decide to leave a ‘9-5’ to start your own business?
I have always wanted to start my own business. Growing up I was never really sure what it would be, but one thing I knew was that it would be somehting I really loved.
I started this business to change my earning potential, I put in a lot of hours, I don’t shy away from hard work, but it needed to make sense to me financially. I needed to break the “minimum” wage cycle.
Tell us briefly about your career background, why did you choose to be a music publicist?
Well I used to make beats back in my high school days, so music has always been my thing, but as soon as I started work as a call centre agent back in 2004 at one of the countries largest banks, I put that hobby aside to focus and help my family out where I could. Because of my passion for music I made sure that when I got the opportunity to work for Universal music, I gave it my all by offering to help out at the marketing department after hours and on weekends. I did that for almost two years, while I built my knowledge and experience in the music space. I actually offered to work for free at Universal because I wanted this so bad.
What sparked your interest in music and how do you plan on improving the music industry through your business?
I plan to bring innovation and new ways of doing things in this industry. Myself and a few friends are in the process of creating a platform that changes how the system functions, our industry is changing rapidly and we as young forward thinkers need to unite and ensure we keep up with the times. This industry is not just about making hits, but also building legacies.
What are the perks and challenges of your business?
The challenges of being self-employed are having to wear all the hats to make sure that I maintain effeciency with all I do. I need to be my own manager, the PR specialist and also strategise the direction of where I want to take the marketing side. One always needs to remember that there is no one to manage you; it’s tricky because it’s a new role, but I love challenges.
The perks are that you control how you work; you determine how much you earn based on how much work you put in.
Describe your typical day at the office
I literally plan my day the night before; I spend 90% of my time on email and on the phone making calls. If I am not on the phone I am interacting with various artists or media personnel to find new and innovative ways to expand the entertainment brands.
I work remotely from various places for now, but I am working on getting an office with a fellow industry colleague and friend Lerato who does the same thing I do.
What sets your services apart and what kind of artists do you like working with?
I come with extensive experience of having worked with two of the biggest record labels in the world. I have over seven years experience working and learning from various divisions of both labels.
I love working with both the well-established and up and coming artists, but the one thing that moves me is work ethic, I love artists who are hungry and want to do better every day.
From your experience is SA is a favourable environment to start successful businesses, especially for young people?
Yes, it is. The problem is that we as young people are taught that we need to find work and once we find work and we get caught in the cycle. We start earning a salary and find comfort in it, hence we find it difficult to think outside of that comfort zone, no matter how much we hate it. But yes it is a favourable environment; we are just too scared to take the leap. I plan to raise my kids differently; I want them to know that there are opportunities out there than just waiting for a salary at the end of the month.
What is the best business advice you had received that you are applying in your business daily?
Put in the hours and remember to draw the line between business and pleasure.
What is your advice to other young people who want to start successful businesses?
Plan, nothing beats having a solid plan. Know when to shoot from the hip, but try to make as many calculated decisions as possible.
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