Africcs Pvt Ltd, founded by Rinos Mautsa, is the first call center outsourcing and software development company in Zimbabwe. We had the opportunity to interview the entrepreneur , Rinos, who is championing the Call Center Industry in Zimbabwe.
- Tell us about yourself and your business
Rinos is a young generation of rising African entrepreneur with businesses in Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and other countries. He has a track record of running profitable businesses from inception and growing them to be key players in their respective sectors. Raised by a single mother, Rinos realized that one ought to be creative to sustain the day to day demands of life. Having learnt a lot from his mother who would sell farm produces to raise money for her kids, Rinos quickly mastered the art of selling and marketing. Whilst he was in second year at college Rinos raised money to buy a projector and home theater which he used for showing some movies at college. With this project he managed to raise money for his fees, and had some to spare, such that he even bought a car.
After his first degree, Rinos relocated to South Africa where he learned about call centers. At 24 years, he came back to Zimbabwe were he established the first call center and software development company, Africcs Pvt Ltd, with presence in Zambia and customers across Southern Africa.
In the same year, he went on to set up the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe which is the sole association of customer services and call centers in Zimbabwe. Currently he is also Board chairman at Proctor and Associates, a risk, fraud and forensic auditing firm in Zimbabwe, chairman of Zimbabwe Youth Housing Association which is working with various government departments to build low cost housing units in Zimbabwe.
In 2014, he established Chartered Institute of Customer Management which is head quartered in South Africa with offices in over 10 countries now. In the same year he went on to established Facelift Construction which is working on various projects worth millions of US dollars. He is the current Executive Chairman of Facelift Construction. Rinos is also involved in various youth developmental initiatives through World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, Campus Community Foundation which he co-founded. He was also appointed as board member of the Zimbabwe Youth Council which government owned institution looking after the welfare of the young people of Zimbabwe.
Rinos holds a Marketing Management Degree (MSU), Graduate Diploma in Customer Management (SA), Leadership Certificate (Oxford), Diploma in Digital Media and Branding (CIM), Masters in Business Administration (MSU). He is currently a PHD candidate with UJ. He is firm believer of the holy bible which he reads each day. Inspired by the Econet founder, Dr Strive Masiyiwa, he strongly believes that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
- How much did you need to start your business and how were you able to raise that capital ?
Starting a business in Africa is not easy especially with limited capital. I started my first entertainment business at college with $100 which I got from my mother and the other savings from a part time teaching job during the semester break.
- What are some of the challenges you face in your business and how do you overcome those challenges ?
The key challenges I faced was to attract and retain the right talent especially with constrained cash flows. I ended up getting partners with the right skills to help me scale up in exchange of a stake in the business. This has helped me to set up other operations using the same model.
- Where do you see your business in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking to reach that objective ?
I anticipate that five years from now my construction company will be one of the largest in southern Africa with presence in five countries. I also anticipate to see Chartered Institute of Customer Management to spread wings in Asia, Middle East and Europe.
- What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to start a business or invest in Africa ?
The few years I have been in business, I have made a lot of mistakes some which were avoidable. The key lessons I have learned are:
- Venture into something you have passion and knowledge on
- Learn from those who have made it and find a mentor
- Network by joining leading institution like JCI, Global shapers, Industry boards etc.
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and keep trying.
- Don’t wait for capital, start something and capital will come.
- Africa is immense with a lot of opportunity and I believe we will see many emerging global businesses. In the midst of purported chaos there are opportunities at every corner. The time to invest in Africa is now. The future of Africa actually belong to those who are investing now, to those young people who are setting something.
- How is your business participating to the development of Africa ?
All my businesses are playing a strategic role to develop my country and Africa at large through employment creation, mentorship and providing affordable housing.
We established the Campus Community Foundation(CCF) which is being funded by my companies. CCF is working on a number of projects to develop entrepreneurship spirit among college students in Africa through exchange programs, business mentorship, business start-up challenges and other initiatives. My role through my companies has earned me various accolades in Zimbabwe and beyond including: Leadership Award from Megafest, Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow Award from AFLI/Oxford UK, 2014 Young Visionaries Fellow Winner from Indian Government, Young Manager of The Year (Zimbabwe Institute of Management), Young Leader of Tomorrow from Crans Montana Forum, Top Outstanding Young Persons of the year – Junior Chamber International, among others.
LinkedIn: Rinos Mautsa