Zimplow targets blue chip status

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LISTED agricultural implements manufacturer Zimplow Holdings (Zimplow) is planning to become a blue-chip counter with an increased market share in the country.

Zimplow chief executive Vimbai Nyakudya in an interview yesterday said the company has been on a growth path since 2017 and has since upgraded its workshops and fleet to contribute effectively towards the resuscitation of Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector.

“We want to achieve blue chip status within the next five years,” he said. “Basically, this means Zimplow has to be a large company and our scope has to cover more than what we currently serve with respect to markets, products and business units.

Nyakudya said the group, which recently increased its turnover by 85 percent in the full year to December 2019, needs to achieve stable growth during good times and resilient results during economic shocks.

“Above all our reputation in the industry has to be that of industry leaders, at any level that is, whether you are talking about our business units or our management,” he added.

Nyakudya, who has vast experience gained over a span of 15 years working in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, said while Zimplow’s operations have been affected by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the group is also exploring new opportunities for growth.

“Indeed, Covid-19 will affect our export sales performance as most of our markets have been on a lockdown. There has been little international trade happening with borders closed. However, the pandemic may also present opportunities with supply chain disruptions working in our favour. We can provide a quick turnaround to export sales in the region whilst our Chinese and Indian competition may take longer than the standard three months as the battle with Covid-19 continues,” he said.

The business executive, who assumed the hot seat at Zimplow almost two years ago, said despite the current economic challenges his company was ready to play its part in reviving the country’s economy.

“Like any other market, Zimbabwe has a fair share of challenges affecting business. Currency instability remains the elephant in the room. Continued uncertainty around currency will stall key government driven- infrastructure projects. Projects such as the construction of the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway means reduced activity for contractors that require earth moving equipment and after sales service from Zimplow,” he said.

“The continued softening of producer prices in light of inflation may deter the farmers to recapitalise and expand their operations. Exports may continue to suffer, as a result of exchange rate distortions discouraging production by the mining sector.”

To deal with these challenges, Nyakudya said Zimplow was employing a number of strategies to keep afloat.

“As an organisation, we have constantly worked on refining our capabilities, having a strong balance sheet, one that is able to withstand economic shocks, and having the right human capital, with the right skill and experience in the markets we operate. We are further sharpening our product development. In so doing, we are not only focused on building a resilient organisation, we are also building one that is able to grow,” he said.

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