Louis-Antoine Muhire, is a Rwandan who made a new life in Canada as a Police Intelligence Officer. However, in spite of his success there, he decided to return to Rwanda to build a better remittance system, inspired by his own frustration sending money back home.
After three years of work, his company, Mergims, has now raised 4 rounds of funding and is valued at 5 million US dollars. He sees his experience as being something like a Rambo movie from the 90s:
I have this philosophy, actually it’s because I watched too many movies of Rambo, you know those movies from the 90s, and I realized something. This guy always has a plan, okay, you gotta go, do this, attack, the Vietnamese, and there’s like 10 or 20 American GIs, well equipped, but once they landed they always shoot the first one and then it’s always the guy with the plans and nothing works anymore the way they thought of.
And in the end, maybe two come back totally destroyed. That’s how the business thing is, you have to have a business plan, financial projections, but the moment you start executing your idea, things go where they want to go. Now the only one who survives, the one who’s really able to adapt yourself to the condition.
So, at the center of the whole mess is being honest with people. I really love those movies where the other GIs are so beaten and there’s always one guy who’s confident and they ask him “so, what do you think, how are we gonna survive?” He’s like “man, I don’t know, but let’s just finish them.” And in the end, they make it.
But, I was constantly honest with everyone I worked with. I tell them when we run out of money, or tell them what’s not pleasant to say but I have to say it, but when you’re honest with people they help you and it keeps your business moving around. That was my Rambo story.