In 2010, Tinashe Manzungu, was just out of college and had secured a job as a freelance marketer for a company selling residential stands, taking home a paltry $100 a month. Now in 2018, Manzungu stands as founder of TM Group, a diversified firm with interests in construction, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), Health and micro finance with presence in Rwanda, Zambia, Botswana and still growing.
At 33, Manzungu, a Doctor in Business Leadership, has conquered Zimbabwe, with his hands in almost every sector and is taking his business acumen to the world.
From rags to riches, he admits his rise was not on a silver platter.
“It was through hard work, investments, reinvestments and strategic planning that we are here as a group,” Manzungu said. He now, under the TM Group banner, runs Zimbabwe General Medical Aid Fund, Zimbuild Property Investments, NetComs, Prime Mutual Properties, Tinrue Finance and Africa Haven Funeral Services among other ventures.
His business expansion is driven by the catch phrase “Zimbabwe today, tomorrow the world.”
“ln a bid to further consolidate our investments in Africa we have explored opportunities in Rwanda Botswana and Zambia. As TM Group, apart from investments in these countries we have created employment across the continent,” Manzungu said.
“We have partnered with a technology company in Rwanda as you are aware Rwanda is now a technological hub in the region. As you know, technology is an enabler to the current economics and we want to work with the best in the area hence our choice of Rwanda in technology.”
Manzungu has expanded his micro finance business to Botswana, targeting Zimbabweans in that country as part of the group’s broader financial inclusion and diversification strategy.
In Zambia, he said he was impressed by the country’s drive in the construction industry hence his decision to invest in the country.
“We have admired the tenacity and commitment the Zambian government has done to the construction industry and hence we have extended our operations there.
“As a group we are satisfied with our investments because we have done vigorous research on business models to adopt in each country,” he said.
“Our drive as an organisation is to become a major player in world economics with ultimate goal of promoting brotherhood between nations through businesses,” Manzungu said. But how did the 2010 Midlands State University Bachelor in Geography and Environmental Science graduate get to where he is?
“This journey started during my school days as I could provide basic goods to my colleagues on and off campus,” he said.
In 2011, Manzungu started his own enterprise, specialising in provision of rented accommodation as a leasing agent in Gweru.
“That business was affected by demands by authorities to register which was expensive in my view. Efforts to register were swamped with bureaucracy, red tape and also authorities seeking bribes,” he said.
However, that did not deter him. In 2012, he came face to face with his breakthrough after moving from a one roomed apartment to a four roomed cottage in Montrose, in the Midlands capital.
He said the area was surrounded with plots and among those plots was one that had been on sale for some time without takers.
“I didn’t know this was to be the epic moment of my life,” Manzungu said.
“I came across a 10 acre plot that had been on the market for the past seven years and no interested buyer had come through as the land was meant for farming but appeared too small.”
Manzungu had a different perspective for the land use, and that was changing its use to housing development, something he managed with the Gweru City Council.
He agreed with the plot owner to a long term hire purchase facility that could stretch for ten months at a monthly instalment of $10 000 and this translated to $100 000 as the total purchase price.
Manzungu said he registered his company, Zimbuild, and began a massive marketing drive until another thought struck, leading to the birth of Prime Mutual Properties, a company in the business of construction of houses.
“This idea came after realisation that there was need to construct affordable houses for the people and we started on building 2-3 roomed core houses for low income earners,” he said.
“Corporates and individuals took the offer and thousands of low income earners are now proud owners of houses.”
The coming in of Prime Properties, Manzungu said, impacted positively the company balance sheet to a six digit value.
In 2016, Manzungu registered microfinance with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in order to provide housing finance solutions, marking the birth of Tinrue Financial Services.
The Kwekwe born, Manunure High School alumni said he has also ventured into medical aid, a first to be registered in the Midlands province, upon realising the importance of health to his clients and many others.
Through the Groups Synergies, Prime Mutual Properties has assisted the Medical Aid Fund with the construction of private clinics, surgeries and pharmacies as it intends to be a one-stop-shop for all medical needs.