By Amanda-Ellen Jojo
BEHIND every thriving company is a story, a road less traveled that few individuals embarked on this is because anyone can come up with a new idea, but building a successful business around it is an entrepreneurial challenge. Dr Rinos Mautsa’s story is apparent that one has to possess an entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a unique aggregate of characteristics to fuse one big idea into a fully- purposeful thriving business.
There is a narrative that entrepreneurs are born, not made, research shows that entrepreneurs with the highest potential to change the world are born with immense talent.
By virtue of being a founder of various enterprises, it is fair to say that for Dr Mautsa being an entrepreneur is a talent that comes naturally.
“I have always been an entrepreneur from a young age, I got some inspiration from my mother who used to sell farm produce, so when I was at college doing my first degree I bought a home theatre and made a deal with the university that I will be running a movie business and they get 40 percent from the profits.
“From the profits I made I started a condiments business. My core supplier was Lyons and the business grew to a point where I was exporting to Zambia,” Dr Mautsa revealed to The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
When he was 24 years old, Dr Mautsa founded his pathbreaking company, Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ), which was a first of its kind in Zimbabwe.
“After my first degree, I relocated to South Africa where I learnt about call centres, I came back to Zimbabwe where I established the first call centre and software development company in Zimbabwe with presence in Zambia and customers across South Africa then.
“In the same year, I went on to set up the CCAZ, which is now one of the largest associations in the country. In 2014, I established Chartered Institute of Customer Management, which is headquartered in South Africa with presence in over 10 countries,” Dr Mautsa explained.
Dr Mautsa’s passion for customer service is beyond measure as such he is an educationist par excellence, and he is a holder of a first degree, post graduate, MBA and my PHD in Customer Relationship Management.
Because of his rich educational background in Customer Relationship Management, he fortifies the view that customer service is no longer the future but the order of the day especially in this era of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 pandemic has shown that customer experience is key to the business, this has seen employees working from home, solving problems during lockdowns.
“Also, we are no longer demarcated by boarders, a service in Zimbabwe is also expected be the same with the service in Europe. My passion also led me to research on Customer Experience for both my first degree, MBA and PHD,” Dr Mautsa remarked.
Thus, CCAZ is an association that advocates for great customer experience. His other ventures include, Tech 24 that offers Information and Technology solutions and Chartered Institute of Customer Management a board that does certification of customer service programs up to diploma levels.
He is also in partnership with Shacky Timburwa at EnergyPlus which does LP Gas distribution and Picco Construction which is now one of the leading construction companies in Zimbabwe.
“We are now getting into hospitality with LeisurePlus that is building a resort to be launched later in the year,” Dr Mautsa said.
The business acumen has bagged a considerable number of accolades under young leaders and amongst them is being a fellow of the prestigious Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship Award.
“The Desmond Tutu fellowship teaches about humanity, I can say this has been a lesson to me because I have helped a lot of young people in establishing their businesses and now, they are very successful. We have a foundation that is called Campus community foundation, it also assists in paying school fees for the underprivileged.
“I believe the future of the economy is entrepreneurship, government should create an ecosystem to anchor them and make them grow regionally,” he added.
Dr Mautsa’s culture is deeply entrenched on Christianity values, as well as consistency, and hardwork.
He said. “My culture is the bible as a bedrock, I wake up very early in the morning and read the Bible a lot especially from the book of Proverbs, it helps me to even shape the way I value other people including my employees. It also teaches about hard working and a lot of other life principles that I believe help sharpen one’s business acumenship.”
Speaking on his viewpoint of success, he said: “Success is going to bed everyday knowing that you are at peace with your surroundings despite being rich or not.”
Given the fact that businesses do not operate in a void, Dr Mautsa echoed that networking is critical in entrepreneurship.
“With entrepreneurship you enjoy networking with people that you always looked up to growing up, money comes as a bonus as well and other privileges that comes with success however there are challenges that you face in the journey,” he said.
Various studies suggest that in this fast paced, hyper competitive business climate, entrepreneurship is not for the weak.
“…Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted and the road to success is marred with formidable challenges. Sometimes when you are at a place of comfort thinking you have seen it all, a complex challenge that threatens everything you stand for will be thrown your way.
“There are days that became obscure with towering dark clouds of despair. At time you face very long nights with little hope of dawn. Then once you are going downhill with everything all in place, a big detour suddenly appears threatening to reverse all the gains you would have made over the years,” he underscored.
Mentor-protégé relationships are as deep and rich as history itself, as such, Dr Mautsa firmly maintains that mentorship is pivotal in undertaking a journey in entrepreneurship.
He said: “When I started my journey, I made a mistake of chasing too many businesses at once and I ended up losing everything that I worked for this is so because I lacked mentorship. It took me time to regain and invest again. So, I strongly believe in mentorship if I had known what I know now through mentorship I would have been somewhere very far.”
The self-motivated entrepreneur recently authored a book that has been receiving first-rate reviews from people who have read it. The book is called, “The Will of Time.”
Commenting on the contents of the book he said: “The Will of Time is targeting the dreamers, those who are going through challenges but with a vision. I have noticed that successful people have same stories that you can relate to, they have gone through rough patches to be where they are now. This simply mean there is time for everything you just have to keep pushing.”
The variable dynamic forces in Zimbabwe macroeconomic landscape has seen the upsurge of entrepreneurs. In that regard, Dr Mautsa imparted a few pointers on ensuring sustainable entrepreneurship operations for start-ups.
“I believe the first thing that an entrepreneur / start up should have is the right mindset, be set up a solid plan, build the right team, put systems and process.
“Once this is done we have to be patient with our hustle. Rome was not built in a day. However, there must be an ecosystem that is favorable to the startups in the country.
“Mentorship programs should be very common starting from high school to college. Financial literacy should be taught also even in high schools,” he emphasized.