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.