Mo­to­vac opens Byo branch

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Busi­ness Editor

LEAD­ING re­gional au­to­mo­tive spare parts re­tailer, Mo­to­vac Group, has fi­nally set up base in Bu­l­awayo and will open its doors for busi­ness to­mor­row.

The first sub­sidiary to be opened in Zim­babwe, sit­u­ated at No 128B Cor­ner 13th Av­enue and Fife Street, had been fully stocked by yesterday with man­age­ment say­ing 20 work­ers had been em­ployed and were un­der­go­ing train­ing ahead of open­ing.

The new busi­ness ven­ture is jointly owned by Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko’s fam­ily and the Pa­tel fam­ily of Botswana.

The Mphoko fam­ily is also a key share­holder in the re­gional re­tail chain stores, Chop­pies, which has a foot­print across the coun­try.

In an in­ter­view at the shop yesterday, Group sales di­rec­tor in charge of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Mozam­bique and Zim­babwe branches, Mr Samir Pa­tel, said his com­pany viewed Zim­babwe as a favourable in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

“Ev­ery­thing is now in place and we are ready to open busi­ness on Thurs­day. It was a long wait but our dream has fi­nally come true and we are very ex­cited,” he said.

“We are very grate­ful to the peo­ple of Zim­babwe for al­low­ing us to set up busi­ness here. Our prom­ise is that Mo­to­vac will give a to­tally dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion in the mo­tor in­dus­try parts busi­ness.

“We as­sure our clients trans­parency and qual­ity ser­vice and prod­ucts that will sat­isfy their needs.”

Mr Pa­tel said the Botswana head­quar­tered firm of­fers 60 000 prod­uct lines from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers, which would soon be avail­able in Zim­babwe.

Its range of prod­ucts in­cludes body pan­els, engine parts, fil­ters, paints, bear­ings, sus­pen­sion parts, lamps and ac­ces­sories, bore­hole diesel en­gines among other spares.

“Mo­to­vac deals di­rectly with man­u­fac­tur­ers of most parts and that makes us more com­pet­i­tive. We are able to get more vol­umes and per­son­nel strength in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try. As such our clients are as­sured of prod­uct qual­ity in terms of war­ranty,” said Mr Pa­tel.

He said the new Bu­l­awayo branch marks the be­gin­ning of se­ri­ous busi­ness in Zim­babwe ad­ding that plans were un­der­way to ex­pand busi­ness across the coun­try.

Busi­ness­man Mr Siqoko­qela Mphoko, who is also Chop­pies Zim­babwe’s di­rec­tor and son to VP Mphoko, said the coming in of Mo­to­vac was a strong en­dorse­ment of Bu­l­awayo as an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

“The mo­tor in­dus­try is a spe­cialised field and we are do­ing our part to in­vest and em­power our peo­ple. We have cre­ated 20 jobs here and 90 per­cent of re­cruited per­son­nel are women as we seek to pro­mote gen­der equal­ity.

“We are ea­ger to get the wheels go­ing and hope to be well re­ceived by the lo­cal mar­ket. Our drive is to cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties in sup­port of our Gov­ern­ment,” said Mr Mphoko.

“This is a demon­stra­tion of in­vestor con­fi­dence in Bu­l­awayo. We are bring­ing this cor­ner back to life and this is a jour­ney we can­not walk alone but with the peo­ple of Zim­babwe.”

The new look out­let had been un­der ren­o­va­tion for the past few months.

Mo­to­vac is one of the largest im­porters and distrib­u­tors of au­to­mo­tive spare parts in Botswana with 18 branches in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

Mr Mphoko in­di­cated that the com­pany would es­tab­lish a large distri­bu­tion cen­tre in the city as part of its ex­pan­sion drive.

“We prom­ise the mar­ket that we will be com­pet­i­tive in pric­ing and of­fer a wide range of ser­vices. What the Zim­bab­wean mar­ket needs is com­pet­i­tive­ness and qual­ity ser­vice.

“Set­ting up busi­ness here will also ease the bur­den of mo­torists trav­el­ling to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries for spare parts. This will not only re­duce travel and time con­straints but help re­tain liq­uid­ity in our econ­omy,” he said.

Mo­to­vac has 12 branches in Namibia and two in Mozam­bique. It has an es­ti­mated monthly turnover of 1.2 bil­lion pula. The com­pany of­fers a wide range of ve­hi­cle spare parts and qual­ity cus­tomer ser­vice to the whole­sale, re­tail and gov­ern­ment mar­kets.

Mo­to­vac, which started busi­ness in 1983 in Lo­batse, Botswana, with a hand­ful of em­ploy­ees, now boasts of more than 400 work­ers with op­er­a­tions spread all over Botswana and part­ner com­pa­nies in South Africa, Namibia and the United King­dom.

The Mphoko fam­ily has be­come one of the most ac­tive eco­nomic play­ers in Zim­babwe in the past few years. It has spear­headed the es­tab­lish­ment of Bu­l­awayo-head­quar­tered Chop­pies Zim­babwe, which en­tered the coun­try’s mar­ket three years ago and boasts of 30 branches coun­try­wide. To date the busi­ness em­ploys more than 2 000 peo­ple. Plans are also un­der­way to es­tab­lish a wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion plant and a pow­dered soap fac­tory in Bel­mont, which would also cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Mo­to­vac out­let at cor­ner Fife St and 13th Ave Mr Siqoko­qela Mphoko

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