Confusion is one of the most common norms for a student at a polytechnic or university in Zimbabwe. This is not the same for Takunda Kanzama, a young entrepreneur. The man is doing what many would call impossible, balancing school work and managing a startup venture.
Who is Takunda Kanzama?
Takunda is a final year student at Harare Polytechnic; he chose to be different by starting his own company, Tauzen Ops Auction Private Limited which operates Tauzen Ops hotel amenities. He started the company at a time when the economy was not at its best in 2019. To make matters as the business was just up and running, Covid 19 induced lockdown knocked resulting in the closure of organisations that were clients to Takunda business. Despite all these dark spells, Takunda is still optimistic and perceiving a bright future.
“Tauzen Ops Hotel Amenities offer a wide range of amenities for hotels, guest houses, travel agencies and resorts, In short we offer guest friendly products such as soaps, food stuffs, napkins etc.,” said Takunda in an interview with our staff writer last week.
Takunda further said that, “Our organisation is unique in that it offers top range products, products which can be used by anyone and they are affordable to everyone. In terms of service delivery, we deliver in time, you order today we deliver tomorrow.’’
On inspiration Takunda said he was always an entrepreneur as a result he was always been searching for what to do. “It is that entrepreneurial drive that pushed me to start something in order to serve my country”, said Tauzen Ops Hotel Amenities director. After seeing a gap that a needed a fill, I then started Tauzen ops hotel amenities
He further said, “I have zeal to serve my country so all I can say is that that entrepreneurial spirit in me, the need to serve my country gave me the power to start Tauzen Ops Hotel Amenities.”
His educational journey started in Bulawayo for primary education and then move to Harare to pursue fabric engineering.
“I did my primary and secondary education in Bulawayo then moved to Harare to pursue my tertiary education at Harare polytechnic where I am doing fabric engineering; I am currently in my final year of study.” said Tauzen Ops Amenities Founder and Director.
Challenges in Business
Like any other startups, Tauzen Ops Hotel Amenities faced challenges which include transport; Covid 19 induced lockdowns and underfunding at start.
“The major challenge we face came as a result of Covid 19 induced lockdowns which saw our clients such as guest houses, lodges, travel agencies forced to close in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus.” , said Takunda.
Takunda is hopeful that there will be good times ahead in business as the economy is slowly reopening, “However as of now we are looking forward to good times ahead as we are expecting to get new clients. The restrictions are slowly going away, lodges, travel agencies, hotels and guest houses are said to be opening soon.’’
The other problem is that we started our business with little amount of capital in the words we were underfunded. However we had to use whatever we use to survive to get our business going and keep it running.
Now that we are supplying our products to clients outside Harare, transport is a problem affecting our operations but the good thing is that our products are being appreciated.
Trying to penetrate the market as a new player is not easy and working with low capital which is limited to stocks is sometimes stressful. However we keep going till we reach our destiny.
Takunda had this to say on accomplishments, “in terms of accomplishments as an organisation, we can safely say we have three testimonies to make.”
- “We have managed to have a good relationship with our clients. Our business has had good relations with clients and other business. In addition we have managed to have a good image of our business on the market thus making a good impression to our intended customers.’’
- “As we keep on learning and gaining experience, we are slowly growing, we started supplying amenities but we are now manufacturing beverages and we are now ;looking into manufacturing stationery and restroom supplies.”
- “We have managed to expand to other parts of the country such as Bulawayo, Mutare”.
According to Takunda there are two major things that keep him and his organisation encouraged, these are visions and acceptance by the markert.
- “Our vision keeps us going, maybe someone else would have given up because there are we go for two without receiving orders but we remain patient and focused.”
- “The market has been interested to know what we are all about and this is good thing. More so, the reviews we get, people love our products. Being accepted in the market is an encouragement which gives us courage to keep the fire burning”
Takunda says he does not want to build castles in air but he sees a bright future, a future in which Tauzen Ops Hotel Amenities becomes a leading manufacturer of hotel amenities Zimbabwe by the year 2030.
“As a company we see ourselves as the leading hotel amenities manufacturers in Zimbabwe by 2030. We also look forward to supply our products to some of our neighboring countries. We plan to achieve this by the maintaining the highest standards and working hard.’’
Message to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Mr. Kanzama had this to say to upcoming entrepreneurs, “Go for it, if you have a dream and make it a dream come true. Starting may be scary but once you start, don’t stop till you reach the end goal. You also need to believe in yourself first before someone believes in you.”
You may follow him on twitter @tauzeni_ops or tee_kanzy to keep up with the entrepreneur.
Compiled by Rodreck Matsveru