Thursday, June 24, 2010
I visited an old friend yesterday who runs a steel wholesaling and retailing business. He was full of his usual good-cheer and optimism and what was staggering was how he has turned the business around in recent months. My friend – I’ll call him Brian – went off to Australia some years ago but retained his Zimbabwe steel business. Last year he returned to Zimbabwe and found his business in a state of near collapse. He fired his long-standing manager (and friend) and set about re-structuring the business. He took the obvious step of cutting back the staff complement and finding better ways of sourcing his stock (from South Africa). Today he makes CASH over the counter sales of over half a million US dollars a month. He employs 16 people in Harare and Bulawayo. His business is thriving. He has to be one of the few but it was an encouraging visit that things can still be done and done well in Zimbabwe.