NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – “Don’t be silly, don’t be foolish. Take a calculated risk, have a big vision and then take a step. Also, think things through, but do not let the thinking take too long,” John Body, Founder and President of ThinkPlace says.
The Australian native whose business ThinkPlace, is now in three continents says, when asked to give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Case in point, Body is downright credible for dishing out advice. After all, he is among bold individuals from around the world who take the risk of resigning from well paying jobs that come with great benefits to venture into the unknown world of entrepreneurship.
“The last two weeks in employment were definitely scary. I had my ‘buts’. But then I knew I had to leave and pursue my goal. Now when I look back, it would be a lot scarier had I not left; I’d still be a civil servant in Australia and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity of doing projects in the different places I’ve had the opportunity to.”
That was more than 10 years ago.
Armed with AUD$50,000 – Sh3.8 million – all from his savings, Body’s idea was simple; establish a company whose core business is design thinking and name it ThinkPlace – a name Body admits to having not thought through on but worked out all the same.
– Operations –
Broken down, ThinkPlace is a strategic design and innovation consultancy focused on helping organizations develop strategies to achieve social impact. It designs programs, products and services that deliver on those strategies.
“As a strategic design consultancy, we humanize complexity, creating public value through design thinking. This means that we understand that those who are closest to the problem have the strongest understanding, motivation and capability to fix it.”
Hence the company, which was recently ranked 19th most innovative company in Australia 2016 by the Australian Financial Review, engages corporations, NGOs and government institutions among others in solving human related problems.
For instance, the company just concluded a project with Ghana Health Service that sought to improve the services that nurses and midwives provide and transfer it to rural areas to assist in childbirth.
“We worked with nurses, midwives, mothers and leaders in the community in uncovering the underlying problems. The result was the creation of an app that is now used and is solving immediate problems for the community there.”
In Australia, the company worked with the government in addressing taxation issues and in the health department in digitizing health records.
Having set base in Kenya through its ThinkPlace Kenya subsidiary, the company is hoping to explore issues surrounding tax reforms, education, health, agriculture and other opportunities as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.