By Staff Writer
IT all started in the year 2015-2016 for Carlton Mkhumbuzi when he was attached as a student at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and got exposed to the Medical World. He saw how the equipment at the hospital was of great importance and got motivated to be a distributor of medical supplies one day. The year 2020 saw him realizing that dream by founding Carlton Medical Distributors company.
Below is the interview:
QN: What pushed or pulled you into entrepreneurship
After graduation l worked for 3 organizations and from that l always felt that there was more l could offer and that l was being limited. In 2015-2016 l had done my attachment at Parirenyatwa and had the opportunity to see first-hand how the Medical setup is and how supplying the equipment and consumables used there can be lucrative. That insight gave me a direction on what l wanted to do in the next phase of my life, so that dream or vision became more vivid as l got more and more dissatisfied with the work l was doing as an employee.
QN: How did you start
I started researching about the field and since it’s a bit vast l had to be strategic on the products which l was going to stock. From the research l narrowed it down into three categories and started buying stock bit by bit using my savings and the salary from my then job.
QN: Challenges which I faced and how l managed to manoeuvre
Since l had venture in a business which is highly centered on trust l had difficulties in closing deals and this was because of the already trusted brands in the industry. I had to invest more into marketing especially on social media and a group of guys from the Netherlands who were running a project gave me the opportunity to supply them with a wheelchair which they wanted to donate. l supplied the wheelchair chair and they posted the pictures which we had taken when supplying the wheelchair. Through that post l got the trust of big companies and Individual and since then we have been consistent with our work.
QN: What kind of products do you offer
1) Rehabilitation equipment like wheelchairs, walking frames and Crutches
2) General Medical Equipment like Anaesthetic machines and X-ray machines
3) General Medical consumables- latex gloves, syringes, sutures, infusion sets and IV-Cannulas.
4) Covid-19 essential products such as masks, oximeters and spirometers.
QN: What impact has the company had in the community at large
The greatest impact we have to the community is being able to work with Youths, when the youths are occupied they will not venture into drugs or even becoming thieves. So far, we are working with 3 youths on a part-time basis (2 as graphic designers and a musician) and they help in creating our marketing content. We are hoping to fully employ more youths as we grow.
QN: Where do you get the Medical supplies you distribute
Most of the consumables we buy locally from wholesalers but for the equipment we import from India.
QN: What milestones have you achieved as an entrepreneur
As a brand we have managed to supply to big organizations in the country. Being able to attend youth forums as an entrepreneur like the one which l attended in April and got a chance to meet people of High class is something I will always cherish the most.
QN: The advice I would like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs
The trick is to be fearless, knowing that for something worthwhile to happen there is need to start, be goal oriented and to stay true to yourself. Trust your intuition.
QN: What is the secret behind getting started and pursuing one’s dream
The secret behind getting started and pursuing one’s dream is that whenever you face challenges along the way, that very same dream will always fuel you up and gives you a sense of purpose. With that it’s difficult to quit as you will be down rooted to your dream in a way that you will be willing to put extra effort just to see it becoming a success.
QN: Is continuous innovation a thing every entrepreneur should go for
In my opinion, if an entrepreneur is to stay in business it is important and a great need to continuously come up or search for ways to better their service delivery. For example as Carlton Medical Distributors we launched a smart site where one can view our catalogue and order without having to go through a cumbersome process. For easy accessibility we’ve patched the link to the site on our Google my business account and when one googles Carlton Medical Distributors they can be easily directed to the store through the shop now button.