Driven by his passion to find solutions to the growing crisis regarding high tuition fees, Mpodumo Doubada, founding CEO of Pimp my Book, has been named Innovator of the Year® at the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS awards ceremony, which was held on 6 September 2017 in Johannesburg.
Pimp my Book, an ever-growing chain of campus stores across the country, was founded on the simple premise of buying and selling used textbooks. After earning his first 10% commission on the sale of his friends’ textbooks, Doubada quickly saw the opportunity to create a one-stop platform where students could sell their used textbooks for cash, as well as purchase the books they need.
Originally set up in 2006 from his university dorm room at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Doubada’s fledgling informal business quickly flourished and he had students lining up to buy and sell used textbooks. Today, Doubada and his team of now 17 full-time staff members, operate a chain of four stores as well as an online store, where students country-wide are able to trade in used text books, thereby helping to ease the burden of the high cost of tertiary education in South Africa.
According to the competition’s judging panel, it was Doubada’screative drive and dedication toward the cause that made his business stand out above the rest. “This is a business that has identified a unique gap in the market – with an almost naturally captive audience. Doubada has done well to build his business which speaks to the unique needs of thousands of students across all disciplines, sectors, and regions – a need which is also well established and likely to exist well into the future,” the judges commented.
Doubada and his team not only found a workable solution to ease a burden that thousands of students face every year, but were also innovative enough to develop their own point-of-sale system for their unique business, allowing them to track all stages of transactions taking place – from the buying back of used text books, to the sale thereof – something which Doubada credits as one of the business’ greatest achievements thus far.
This young, enthusiastic and driven entrepreneur is committed to remaining innovative within his business, and the greater education sector, acknowledging that the private sector has an important role in this regard. “The solution for our current education crisis cannot only come from government. Private businesses need to play their part in making education more affordable,” says Doubada.
Furthermore, Doubada is a firm believer in teamwork and empowering his young team of diverse, creative individuals. Beyond what the business has already managed to achieve through innovative thinking, it is this go-getter attitude that has cemented Doubada’s title as a true Innovator of the Year®.
Visit www.pimpmybook.co.za for more information on Pimp my Book.