A young rural entrepreneur has bemoaned a lack of business growth and expansion opportunities because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Murombedzi based entrepreneur Huggins Chawira has not been spared by the pandemic and says the effect is apparent by shelving his growth plans.
“As any businessman would do, you plan ahead before the year begins. Some goals are short-term while others are long-term. My goal was to finish the construction of a modern supermarket here before year end after realising that locals had to travel all the way to Chegutu or Chinhoyi to buy groceries in bulk at fair prices,” said Chawira.
“With the resources I had I only managed to go up to the roof level but I am very sure that had it not been this pandemic the project could have been finished by now. However, we cannot blame anybody for this, everyone across the globe has felt the adverse effects of this pandemic and to some extent we have to learn to live with it maybe until everyone gets the vaccine.
“I would like to appreciate the government’s efforts to lift the lockdown measures as sales have remarkably improved, although we have lost a few months this year according to our targets I am pretty sure that if all goes according to the plan the supermarket will be finished by year end.
“This pandemic has taught us to think outside the box it’s no longer business as usual, we now operate as dictated by the World Health Organization as well as the ministry of Health and Child Care, the idea is to stop the spread of the pandemic so we now sanitize always and practice social distancing.
“We no longer allow crowding in our shops something that was not an issue before the pandemic hit our country hard. Sales are low but with time I am very hopeful that they will take the upward trajectory and our growth goals can then be achievable.
Chawira said it is not easy to be a young businessman based outside the capital as the road is rocky and there are numerous challenges along the way.
“Firstly, you have to be able to keep a level head, to respect those in the same industry with you and not creating enemies and unnecessary rivalries.
“Mistakes are inevitable and some may result into huge losses that you can never recuperate from but as I alluded to earlier discipline is key. The other issue is of handling fame and how one spends his returns, if you are not careful with your expenditure you end up chowing the capital as well.
“Being a businessman requires maturity even when you are young, respecting others even when they are not as rich as you are will definitely take you to greater heights. I am not yet there but I have a lot of business people around who I talk to for advice and all I can say is I am blessed to have them,” he said.