Kwame Adu Mante: The young entrepreneur behind Radio Maxx, Spice, Beach FM

He knows radio marketing, branding, and has the natural inclination to see wealth creation opportunities in the radio broadcast industry in a way that few eyes do.

He says the radio business and its ownership principles are determined by either pride or prudence; “I always tease my colleague CEOs about it. This is because some people establish radio stations for all sorts of reasons.

But for me, It’s purely business. It’s about creating content(s) that our listeners find exciting, creative and relevant that they will tune into our stations for; creating shareholder value and be responsible citizens within the communities in which we operate.

I just want to be a good entrepreneur and be relevant to my generation.

Meet Kwame Adu – Mante, 34 year old CEO of Radio Maxx, Spice FM and Beach FM all in Takoradi. He is also CEO of Focus 1 an advertising and product distribution chain. His polytechnic training in Building Technology also inspired him to establish Brick and blocks a real estates and construction firm. Kwame Adu Mante is by far one of the youngest and most successful business entrepreneurs in Sekondi Takoradi, the hub of Ghana’s oil and gas industry.

3 radio stations so far and counting… what is the plan?

It’s exciting and challenging to have multiple radio stations, build dreams and impact positively on the lives of the various listener segments that tune in on a daily basis to listen to Spice, Radio Max or Beach FM; not forgetting the advertiser(s) who spend their money with us. We will always go the extra mile to strive to look for more impactful and engaging platforms to drive their equity agenda. In short we need to ensure our advertisers consistently and constantly get value for money when they spend their money with us.

Radio business is an exciting place business to be in. I have participated in many businesses in the past; from toiletries, confectionery etc. Radio admittedly has being the best I have participated in so far. It’s simply about understanding your current and future needs of your listeners and how you convert these insights into relevant, appropriate content that best meets their varying moods on a daily basis. It’s also about how well you position the brand to better exploit the opportunities that the insights will throw your way.

That’s what we have tried to do since we started and that’s what has brought us our successes so far; and that’s what has brought our advertisers the value they seek when they spend their money with us.

“I have a near perfect understanding of the market so I am able to encourage advertisers that the strategy would work. They believe in me and spend their money with us”

Radio Maxx has been a real success since we took over in 2007. We invested heavily in re-branding the radio station to better position the brand for the future. Aside the obviously visible orange colors, we invested in good relevant presenters, good programmers and good managers who have helped bring us this far. Today Radio Maxx is arguably one of the biggest brands and an effective channel for advertising campaigns in the western and central region. We have packaged it to be strictly English youthful and urban.

Spice FM has been a blast since I led the team to take up ownership. Sports and good music 24\7 has brought richer meaning to radio and its capacity to enhance maximum entertainment. Almost a year of broadcasting on Spice FM and the results to advertisers, investors and listeners has been overwhelming. Spice FM is programmed to be very interactive and positioned to target the low end of the market

Now we have taken over Beach FM, we will turn it around. When we are done establishing Beach FM as another serious brand in the Western region, then we will look out for more opportunities within the media space. We are ambitious, and we like winning so “resting” is not in our vocabulary; our aspiration has always being for each of the stations to be number one in the segment(s) that each participates in. When we achieve that, we would have achieved our goal.

We are confident we have the winning team for this aspiration.

Audacious ambitions

This is because I had two interesting experiences in my life as a teenager. My father used to lecture at Lagos state university, he was fairly rich, and during the 80s he would fly us on Ghana Airways to Nigeria and other parts of Africa, life was good in those days. Then he and my mum got divorced, things became difficult and I came face to face with poverty. I have known what it means to be rich or poor. I would love to be very wealthy … because for me, a man’s wealth is more than beyond what can be measured in any currency. Wealth is about a person’s overall contribution to humanity. Someday, people like Dangote will not be around and someone will have to replace them. I want to be the Dangote of my generation.

Aren’t you too young?

To me life begins at 1 not at forty, so at a very young age I made a decision to create wealth. I think am too old, I have always wanted to retire at 40 and be a philanthropist, and impact on my society. I have 6 years to retire and it’s a very short time. Age is not the issue. By forty I should move on to the next step of my entrepreneurial plan where I will look for more opportunities in other areas aside the media space. Real estate interests me and it’s an area I look at with keen interest. As a trained building technologist, building is one of my passions and real estate business is a big thing in Ghana; seeing our huge housing deficit. It’s my plan to “get in there” and help reduce the housing deficit. I am sure I can impact the housing market positively.

Some say this is dreaming too big, I tell them I am having nightmares. So am even too old – travel to Europe and the states and you see that there are many millionaires who are in their twenties. Compared to them I am too old.

So what erupts this spirit of entrepreneurship in you?

The turning point in my life begun when I worked as an intern with Skyy media group in Takoradi. No one gave me a dog’s chance because here I am, a Buildiing Technology student who was forcing my way into radio. But I had to learn quickly and very hard. They pushed me to the newsroom to work with people like Dotse Malor, Ato Kwamena Dadzie and others. I realized that news and programs were not exciting for me.

When I moved to the sales department, I discovered my true passion. I progressed quickly and became the marketing manager. It gave me exposure. I had the chance to sit at dinner with some of Ghana’s finest entrepreneurs. I took advantage of every minute they spent in my office trying to get their advertising budgets approved; men like Seth Agyei Baah ( Shaba) Kojo Acheampong of KOJAC pharma and Ernerst chemist and my CEO at the time, who is a chartered marketer, all these people thought me a lot. So even though I never had any classroom training in sales and marketing from any institution of higher learning I was taught on the job by some of the best brains in the industry. I think the evidence shows that I learnt well.

Coy and sitting in his cozy office overseeing the affairs of these multiple businesses, Kwame Adu Mante will not say which radio station he is planning to acquire to add to the emerging media empire which will shape the broadcast media landscape in the country.

He was very humble in letting us know that he has not done this alone. Throughout this journey, he has had the opportunity to work with good people who are winners and have shared in his ambition to get to the top. He was very thankful for their time, dedication, advise and loyalty.

He ended this interview by saying” I dream a lot, I believe in dreams and I also believe you need to work at your dreams; I have not brought my dream home yet, but I am getting closer each day in bringing that dream home.