By Ndanatsiwa Tagwireyi
AS the adage goes, ‘entrepreneurs always eye for opportunities,’ Luckson Daka (39) is not an exception.
Growing up in Chegutu and Chakari mining towns helped him to realise that there is demand for engineering solutions that could reduce machinery downtime in almost every sector of the economy, including mining, agriculture and aviation.
Despite being a trusted Head of Maintenance Department and a hands-on technician at Air Zimbabwe for twelve years, Daka felt the urge to start his own brain child Common Rail Automotive Centre, trading as Crac Technologies, to shrug off working place politics and enjoy following his passion in his area of expertise.
“Crac Technologies was provisioned in 2012 but it started full operations in Harare in 2018, specialising in heavy plant machinery, material handling equipment, technical support services as well as airport handling equipment,” Daka told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
Although it is usually difficult for a new company to penetrate the market and get accepted by clients, Daka believes focus and excellent customer service can build a company’s reputation, judging from the steadfast response that Crac Technologies has been getting from corporates.
“Prominent companies that we are currently providing service to include Cater Craft, Civil Aviation, Boltrech Engineering, Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and other transport companies,” Daka said. “We are also working with Phamanova Private Limited and agricultural sector clients especially those from tobacco companies.”
Daka is among the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are creating employment for the younger generation.
“Currently, Crac Technologies has ten employees and three interns, with plans to train as much people as possible in Diesel Plant Fitting and Boiler Making in order to cater for the ever-growing market base,” he said.
“By 2025, we should be a regionally recognised manufacturer and distributor of various pieces of equipment, by using our innovative ideas such as projection materials.
He also tipped aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid procrastinating and open their companies as the procedures of opening a company in the engineering systems sector are quite flexible when an individual has knowledge in the area of expertise that he or she wants to specialise in.
Crac Technologies is a 100 percent indigenous owned Private Limited Investment Company that seeks to provide lasting solutions for modern automotive, hydraulic and electrical equipment systems.
According to Daka, Crac Technologies is on its expansion path with plans to open another branch in the small mining town of Zvishavane at the top of their priority list.
“The reason we are anticipating to expand to Zvishavane is because we have some of our biggest clients like Boltrec Engineering there and we also look forward to work with Mimosa Mining Company and other mines close to Zvishavane,” Daka exclusively revealed to the Entrepreneurial Magazine.
“We want to provide services that include, hiring of equipment, technical support, sales and all the necessities that might help their operations to be on the smoother side.”
Daka added that his customer centric mind-set is pushing Crac Technologies towards being a hub of technological excellence, locally and within neighbouring countries where engineering related challenges in aviation, mining and construction sectors need solutions.
Like many businesses in developing countries, Daka agrees that his journey of providing reliable engineering solutions in mining, construction, agriculture and aviation is full of undulating slopes.
“The greatest challenge is that of funding and capital injection as we are just relying on skills and clients despite the fact that some systems need specialised equipment for their problems to be resolved on time,” Daka revealed, adding that sometimes it takes longer for them to complete tasks due to lack of some sophisticated machinery.
The family man also revealed that although his wife Shingirirai Chekure-Daka and his three bundles of joy support his business endeavours, it is hard for him to spend weeks out in the field delivering his engineering services for various companies without having family time.
“What keeps me going is will and passion as one should never allow circumstances, demographics and situation to hinder him or her from becoming what he or she wants,” Daka advised upcoming engineers.
“It is not easy but you have to be disciplined and stick to your strict time frames.”
The father of three said he realised that being formally employed was limiting his capabilities as he had to work under strict stipulated duties and responsibilities without stepping on someone’s area, hence his zeal to spread his wings and acquire new skills to implement in his business.
“As you are working, there might be a game of proving who is capable of doing what and this inspired me to further my education in Diesel Plant Fitting and later on pursue Electrical Engineering,” he said.
The multi skilled entrepreneur who is also a Masvingo Polytechnic Auto Electrics graduate, Harare Polytechnic Automotive Engineering product and currently pursuing a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering says he hit the ground running and is proud to have delivered his services to a number of companies.
“Working with Zimasco in Shurugwi, Lonrho Logistics Private Limited, Ice Cage Forklifts and Dan Meats in Ruwa among other companies, has given us optimism that our future prospects as Crac Technologies are safe,” Daka told the Entrepreneurial Magazine.
“Our motto, ‘Simplified Engineering Systems,’ pushes us in helping our client base to create a safe working environment by providing superior service in automotive, hydraulic and electrical equipment.”