ICT industry grows in leaps, bounds

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THE suspension of customs duty on information communication technology (ICT) products has seen the sector growing in leaps and bounds.

Mobile phone retailers have sprouted, creating employment both in the formal and informal sector.

This week, NewsDay (ND) speaks to CellOne Electronics managing director George Chiraya (GC) on the company’s prospects.
CellOne is a growing electronics retailer with branches in Harare and other cities.

ND: When did you start operating?
GC: We set our first shop in Harare last year in April and we have managed to grow four more outlets since then.

ND: What do you say to claims that most celllphone retailers are selling counterfeit products?
GC: Counterfeit products are on the market, but we at
CellOne make every effort to order authentic products from our suppliers.
Our products have warranties and we also have back-up service.

ND: How many people do you employ?
GC:  We have a staff compliment of 25 workers.

ND: Critics argue that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) like yours fail short on structures and they do not pay taxes. What do you say to that?
GC: Most SMEs face viability challenges mainly related to capital constraints. This in some case results in some not going by the rules.
But we have formal structures and we commend government through the Ministry of ICT for suspending duty on ICT products.
This has resulted in us cutting our costs.
What is currently being levied is Value Added Tax.
We are also involved in corporate social responsibility as a way of ploughing back to society.

ND: What market share do you account for?
GC: We cannot really quantify that, but we estimate that 60% of corporates are our customers.
We find it difficult to quantify walk-in customers.

ND: How is your relationship with mobile phone operators?
GC: We are currently engaged with one mobile phone operator to buy subscriber identity module cards in bulk to widen their subscriber base and at the same time push our volumes.  To do this, we will have several promotions.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is good news. The IT industry actually propels economic growth more than diamonds (which are pocketed by a few) because the benefits of IT reach as many people; directly or indirectly. The USA is an economic giant thru exporting IT products and services (Windows, HP, Oracle, SAP, IBM, Dell, CISCO; etc) all these bring in huge earnings to the US fiscus.

    Furthermore IT players must take advantage of the undersea cables to establish e-Commerce enterprises for the benefit of the common people. What do I mean? It means thru e-Commerce; a rural school can buy books direct from suppliers at a cheaper price as does anyone who requires to buy anything. I was in Zim last time and realised 3D LED TV;s being sold for US$10000. Using eCommerce; I bought mine for US$800 from Japan but Im based here in the SADC region. private clinics can even purchase mecidines; the list is endless

  2. zimbabwe has the greatest potential in africa t develop a competetive ict sector because ict is a knowledge intensive industry, so we just need to use our high literacy rate to our advantage in this regard

  3. Mr Editor, how does the operations of a single SME cellphone vendor reflect on performance of a whole ICT industry??? Where in your story is the growth of the ITC industry showing leaps and bounce? Eh! zvakaoma. Kuti ibrain drain yacho.

  4. Are we really sure what growth is or the paper was short of stories like ZBC.
    Its about it you did investigative journalism and not desktop copy and paste journalism..
    What information are you giving the reader, that there is an SME selling cellphones. Please Mr Editor there are better stories to fill your paper than this one.

  5. Semi formal cellphone vendors can hardly be described as serious ICT players. That article shouldn’t have made it to publication

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