Your mindset is your currency: Power Giants MD Kachirekwa

June 23, 2022

SOWELL CHIKWARI

 

The adage “Your mindset is your currency” aptly illustrates the captivating journey of one of electrical engineering gurus in Zimbabwe, Engineer Edzai Kachirekwa, the Managing Director of Power Giants Southern and East Africa.

The technopreneur, widely credited for his business acumen and experience in setting up successful enterprises, is the brains behind energy firm, Power Giants Southern and East Africa among many other local initiatives.

His tale is that of triumph over adversity — from living on the streets at one point in life before eventually rising from grinding poverty to being a specialist in power transmission lines engineering — a vindication to his enduring entrepreneurial instinct.

It was a deep rooted desire to provide lasting solutions to a relentless decades-long energy crises which saw Zimbabwe experiencing acute power shortages characterised by long hours of load shedding and consequently reduced agricultural and industrial output, which motivated him to set up an electrical company from scratch.

Formed in Harare’s high density suburb of Kuwadzana Extension 22 years ago, the company was initially known as Giant Electrical before rebranding to Power Giants, which has now become one of the leading providers of energy solutions in Zimbabwe, with a foothold in Southern and East Africa.

The firm has two subsidiaries: Power Giants Private Limited and Power Giants Transmission Global.

The former deals in sustainable renewable energy infrastructure (hydro, wind and solar energy), sub-transmission, industrial and mining installations, while the latter is responsible for power generation from 132kv to 765kv, 66 000 volts to 765 000 volts transmission lines construction including step up and step downs and sub-stations.

Kachirekwa asserts that Zimbabwe should not be experiencing a deficit in power generation and electricity provision but should instead have a surplus to export to other countries in the region.

In a candid conversation on crucial energy issues with the Business Times, he called for the adoption of a robust approach which includes embracing renewable energy options to deal with the persistent energy crises as well as revitalising the country’s re-engagement efforts in order to stimulate national economic growth.

“That Zimbabwe is now a pariah state is not debatable. It appears that much still needs to be done to enhance the New Dispensation’s reengagement efforts. In a world that has become a global village, the sanctions and subsequent international isolation is not good for our economy.

“The sanctions must be removed because in essence it means that the Treasury cannot get financial support from multilateral institutions such as the Bretton Woods Institutions and local companies cannot also secure the same from international organisations aligned to the West,” he said.

“The isolation makes it very difficult to secure credible foreign investors and partners hence local companies find it very difficult to reach their full potential with most of them either crumbling or forced to adapt and improvise to thrive. It’s neither about looking east nor west as most of the so-called investors are bend on exploiting locals to expropriate vast resources without empowering the same communities they operate in, in most cases those communities are left marginalised. This has exacerbated the already dire economic situation in Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe is banking the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) currently underway in Rwanda for its readmission into the Commonwealth.

The technopreneur also cited the dearth of professionalism and the scourge of corruption as the twin evils paralysing the local energy and power sector through creating operational inefficiencies resulting in power deficits.

He holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and a 420 000 volts transmission certification from ZESA National Training Centre in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe.

He is currently studying towards a degree in Nuclear Energy generation and aspires to deliver the first nuclear-powered electricity generation facility in Zimbabwe by 2035.

As a duly accredited lines engineer experienced in high voltage transmission from 66 000 volts to 420 000 volts, including the construction of transformers and sub-stations, he believes that the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation will enhance Zimbabwe’s economic prospects.

Kachirekwa is an International Board member for Hospitals And Prisons Care Ministries International (Zimbabwe and Malawi), a board member for Brown & Cobin Heavy Structures Projects; an infrastructure development firm, a Distributor of Soliview Technologies; a Chinese company which manufactures high voltage sub-stations, voltage regulators and electrical conductors.

The executive is also the president of the newly-founded Technopreneurial Innovation Global whose main mandate is to promote innovation in the technical sector and he sits on boards of several NGOs.

The businessman recently clinched on behalf of his organisation the Triumph Over Adversity Award and the Best Philanthropic Organisation of 2021 at the Zimbabwe Community Awards.

His company is currently undertaking feasibility studies in reliable wind power generation to proffer optional energy solutions and policy recommendations for the energy sector.

As a renowned technopreneur well experienced in setting successful business enterprises, he was recently invited by The Harare Institute of Technology (HIT)’s School of Business and Management Sciences Postgraduate Unit to participate as an adjudicator in the HIT Venture Lab (V-Lab).

The V-Lab is a business pitch by Master of Technology in Strategy and Innovation students. It is a new concept that the department has adopted to expose the students’ business ideas to prospective investors while preparing them to make competitive pitches as part of their New Venture Creation and Simulation course examination. The event is slated for June 24 at the HIT Belvedere campus.

“I am humbled to be considered for such a crucial role by the HIT. My professional experience has taught me the importance of being innovative, respectful, business etiquette and putting God first in all facets of life. Innovation is my strength… I thrive on my ability to change a bad situation into a good opportunity.

“It begins with a right mindset capable of incubating bankable business ideas. The mindset should be conditioned to seek opportunities out of problems. Problems often present opportunities but it takes the right attitude to be able to take advantage of that and come up with feasible solutions. Your mindset is your currency, it can take you places,” he said.

“It is surprising that youths are more into politics and religion than business and that alone explains the consumerist attitude prevalent among most young people. Very few often seriously venture in entrepreneurship projects hence the need to set the right trajectory.

“In that regard, I have in my personal capacity empowered more than 35 outstanding entrepreneurs, mainly small electrical companies in Zimbabwe. Most upcoming initiatives face capital constraints as well as challenges to do with formalising their operations and meeting other legal requirements for them to operate professionally.

“I am also set to host a business symposium where we teach young people on how to engage in profitable enterprises. The inaugural session will be held on July 2 in Dzivaresekwa and Kuwadzana Extension and where Power Giants was incubated.

He believes in gender parity as women continue to play impactful roles in society be it in business, in the home space, voluntary private organisations and even at international forums like United Nations missions.

“Power Giants Southern and East Africa is constituted at least 60 to 40 percent in favour of men because men are mostly technicians, they do most of the field work while the administrative aspect of our parent organisation is constituted by suitably qualified women. We are inspired by our FD  Mrs Kachirekwa and we continue striving to empower more women into strategic positions of influence,” the executive said.

Kachirekwa was born 42 years ago in the rural district of Shamva and his family origins can be traced to Malawi.

He attended Green Groove Primary School in Greendale before proceeding to Oriel Boys High School for his secondary education.

After completing his formal education, he briefly worked for Buffalo Electrical in South Africa before eventually forming Giant Electrical, which preceded Power Giants.

Kachirekwa credits UFIC founder and leader Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa, his wife Ruth and power couple Elias and Mercy Hwenga for playing a pivotal role in the development of his career through impacting wisdom and guiding principles which enabled Power Giants and his many other enterprises to become success stories.

The Power Giants Southern and East Africa MD is inspired by Nigel Chanakira, telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa and South African business tycoon Patrice Motsepe among the continent’s highly rated innovators who have continued to demonstrate exceptional capabilities in the business and technology sector.

Locally, he is also motivated by Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and Rumbidzai Katsande who continue to play a pivotal advisory role.

“The duo of Amai Mutsvangwa  and Amai Katsande have given me extraordinary support. I would not have been where I am today if it were not for their mentorship. They are my role models,” he said.

He is married to Evelyn and the couple is blessed with four children; two boys and two girls. They are UFIC faithfuls who believe in the principles of giving hence their various philanthropic activities.

 

 

 

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