Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce deputy president Tinashe Manzungu has challenged businesspeople to remodel their operations in the face of economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown to avoid going under.
By Stephen Chadenga
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Manzungu who is also chairperson of TM Group of Companies which has interests in construction, real estate, medical aid, agriculture and micro-financing services, said the economic downturn in the country called for advanced business models for companies to stay
“The economic challenges in the country call for a paradigm shift in the way businesses conduct their operations,” Manzungu said.
“There is need to focus on expanding business portfolios. Gone are the days when businesspeople concentrated on one business interest. You have to strive to be in agriculture, mining, financial services and property development among other business portfolios to remain sustainable.”
He said as TM Holdings, they had remained strong in the face of the economic turmoil because they had
re-invented their business along modern approaches of expansion.
He said economic challenges were a reality and continuing to be crybabies would not help under the current harsh conditions.
“We have had opportunities opened for us by President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa through the business engagements with our colleagues outside our borders,” he said.
“It is incumbent upon us to embrace the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra and expand our operations regionally, continentally and globally with competitive products that can earn the country foreign currency.”
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) projected that industry’s capacity utilisation would fall to
27% this year if the government did not change its policy direction.
According to the CZI’s 2019 manufacturing sector survey, industry’s capacity utilisation fell by 11,8 percentage points to 36,4% in 2019 from 48,2% recorded in 2018.
Inflation, antiquated machinery and breakdowns, shortages of raw materials, foreign currency, power and water significantly affected company operations.