Thomas Warth | Founder of Books for Africa
Success leaves clues.
Finance Strategists sat down with Thomas Warth, founder of Books for Africa. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight he gained from running the business.
Who is Thomas Warth?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
I am an 86 year old Englishman resident in the US since 1960. I grew a mail-order/publishing business selling the automobile area which has always been my hobby. Became the largest in-country and sold out to SF Chronicle in 1988.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
Winston Churchill, various friends who encouraged me, and staff that was motivated by my leadership.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
I am happy with my life and cannot think of anything I would have changed.
Q: What is Books for Africa?
An NGO and the largest shipper of books to the African Continent in the World.
Q: What makes Books for Africa different from its competitors?
We help millions of people a little. Most charities help a few people a lot.
Q: What led you to start Books for Africa?
A visit to Uganda and a visit to a run down ill-equipped library shortly after I sold my business led me to this new challenge and I had the resources to get it going.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
Get good people and keep them motivated. Treat them as equals and do liberal profit-sharing(in the business world, not the NGO area).
Q: Where do you see things headed for you and the company in the next 5 years?
We have only sent 50 plus million books to 400 million children….we have much to do and we will, in the future be printing books to fill the need.
For more information, visit booksforafrica.org