How Andrew Chikomba went from small ICT consultant to big tech entrepreneur

by Loveness Mpofu | Excomag

Gemwitts Enterprises has remained one of the leading suppliers of LED Lighting Solutions in Zimbabwe.

The company offers lighting solutions for mining environments to household lighting, as well as Scalable Off-the-grid power Solutions for industrial and domestic applications.

They also supply some of the latest Computer and Gaming Accessories as well as numerous other tech gems.

Founded by the City of Kings’ most prolific upcoming entrepreneur, Andrew Chikomba, Gemwitts Enterprises started as a small ICT consultancy Company, providing IT Support, designing websites, and supporting ERP Systems amongst other things.

How Andrew Chikomba went from small ICT consultant to big tech entrepreneur
Andrew Chikomba [right] pictured with Nhlanhla Dabengwa [left]

Along the way they clinched deals with Sunde-Electronics (Chinese Manufacturer) and Lumme LED (Hungarian based company). That’s when the company evolved from pure consultancy to include hardware distribution of Thin Clients and became the sole distributor of the Lumme brand in Zimbabwe.

The company has since advanced to the supply and installation of solar equipment being involved in delivering to hospitals, corporates, schools and private homes.

“We saw a gap in the market emanating from the “global” energy crisis, thus we ventured into LED Lighting Technology:  which are lighting solutions that create the most amount of light, using the least amount of energy and with a very long lifespan,” Andrew says.

Late last year (2019) he was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is a subsidiary of the Megafest Business Awards. Recently, he has also been selected to attend the Mandela Washington Fellowship that is part of the President Obama Young African Leader’s Initiative.

This speaks volumes of his success as a business manager, his drive and his business acumen, particularly in this hostile economic environment.

Describing the culture of the company, Andrew says: “We are trustworthy Next Generation Entrepreneurs who are ambitious and talented.

One could say we are “misfits” who are dedicated to providing innovative solutions to people’s problems using renewable and appropriate technology wherever possible.”

According to Andrew, Gemwitts stands out from its competitors because of the quality of their service. This is reinforced by their customers who say their presentation is beyond compare.

“Most of our products come with a warranty because they are authentic.

We give immediate assistance to our customers if they have any aftersales issues with the products.

Our LED lights which have a longer life span of 25 to 50 years are actually given up to five years warranty. Then the general household lights, are given a one year warranty.

Our Solar panels carry a 25 year warrantee, you can leave them in your will for the next

generation,” he says.

Like any established business, Gemwitts has its challenges in engaging with the market.

He says: “We normally sell products that are not on the market and thus market penetration takes longer than it should as we conscientize customers of the benefits of the products.

How Andrew Chikomba went from small ICT consultant to big tech entrepreneur
Andrew Chikomba was awarded the Young Entrepreneur (2019) of the
Year Award, at the Megafest Business Awards.Recently, he has also been awarded
the Mandela Washington Fellowship that is part of the President Obama’s
Young African Leader’s Initiative.

It is only when people start seeing the need of such products that we start having big sells. However, we sometimes also have the latest gadgets and the hype of these always keeps us on our toes.

Gemwitts Entreprises is currently composed of a team of eight employees.

The company believes in hiring few people and making sure they are treated properly by providing sustainable remuneration packages and developing their abilities in wherever they are working.

“We at Gemwitts have a gifting for identifying potential and talent, therefore if our budding candidate can read and write and use a computer, then we have hope in molding them and leading them to achieve their full potential whilst revealing their gifting at Gemwitts,” Andrew says.

Andrew Chikomba and his team in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

The company is definitely growing and taking over the technology front. Andrew’s advice to aspiring business people is to step out of your comfort zone and listen to that still small voice that’s urging you to follow your dream.

“I would also say that what you have right now is enough to start your business. Don’t go looking for millions to start a project, start small and be faithful to your business, plough back into it, nurture your business step by step and you will succeed,” he says.

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