Sikhulekelani Moyo, business journalist
A 35-year-old man from Chivi in Masvingo Province, Mr. Hardpass Mutema, has shattered the belief that people should depend on their wages to live.
Using his salary to venture into the informal sector before quitting his police job in 2019, Gwanda-based Mr Mutema said he now owns a hardware business called Blissful World Investments and is expanding his operations in the Matabeleland region.
Blissful World Investment has three hardware store branches and one furniture store in Gwanda town and five other branches scattered around Matabeleland South Province, including one in Maphisa.
In addition, Mr. Mutema has won the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Rural Businessman of the Year 2021 award in Matabeleland South Province.
Mr Mutema, who is the managing director of Blissful World Investment Private Limited, a company specializing in hardware, building materials and furniture supplies, said his business success was a typical “rags to riches” story. “.
“The general manager of the company is just a boy from Chivi village, I grew up in a poor family of 10 and my father passed away when I was only eight years old.
“I attended my primary and secondary school in the village, and studied my advanced level at Mandava Secondary School in Zvishavane.”
Mr Mutema joined the police in 2007 and after two years of service he started selling until he succeeded in becoming the managing director of his dream company.
“In 2007 I joined the ZRP and was deployed to Matabeleland South at Gwanda Central Police Station. I started selling after work to supplement my salary in 2009.
“In 2011 I was given a space to sell phones in my friend’s store and after a while my friend had difficulty paying the rents and I had to take over the whole store.
“It was the beginning of formal commerce, starting with selling furniture,” he said.
Last year, Blissful World Investments acquired a brick molding machine and built equipment that is expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter of this year.
“We also managed to build a 480 square meter hardware store which we expect to be operational in the first quarter of 2022 and in order to improve our hardware business, we managed to acquire a brick molding machine in China.
“Under our business diversification theme, we have also successfully built a nightclub in the high density Spitzkop area which we also hope will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2022,” he said. .
Mr. Mutema said their vision is to become a leading retail outlet in Matabeleland South and beyond, providing customers with quality products at affordable prices.
Blissful World Investments currently employs 30 people across all of its branches.
Mr. Mutema said that like all other small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, Blissful World Investments, was
facing challenges such as lack of capital to boost operations and grow.
“We call on the government to grant more financial support to SMEs.
“We are also calling on the government and municipalities to make land available to SMEs to build businesses, because the rents are too expensive,” he said.
Not to mention the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Mutema said the closures had affected their business as people were unable to travel and shop as usual. – @SikhulekelanaiM1.