Savenda, a success story
Clever Mpoha’s rise to corporate life is a remarkable story for someone whose childhood was spent herding cattle. It should be an inspiration to many Zambians.
Mpoha said that he was raised in a village, where he did all the work of a boy to support his family. He hunted, watched over the cows, and helped my family run their small business.
Mpoha explained that the village structure gave him the survival skills necessary to manage the business he owns today. Mpoha, today managing director of savenda’s group of companies, started the business as a small family venture with Esther in 1997.
Mpoha, whose companies have taken a pan-African approach to their business, thus the name Savenda, which stands for Save Nations, Develop Africa, said, “Early on my dream was to travel Africa, move into the city, and build a better tomorrow for myself and my family.
Savenda is a brand that has grown from humble beginnings.
He says that the initial investment was only U$$1,000. This money was used to purchase and sell South Korean phones on the local market. We primarily focused on anti-magnetic waves products. We increased our volume from the initial investment and started diversifying.” This small company was founded on February 6, 1997. It has grown to be a vibrant conglomerate, which has expanded its reach to insurance construction, manufacturing, logistics solutions and medical supplies.
Mpoha, despite all his success, prefers to live a private lifestyle and avoids public events.
Mpoha’s phenomenal success story has led to government officials stating that many Zambians should play a leadership role in building Zambia’s economy.
Nathaniel Mubukwanu, North-West Province Minister, praised Savenda Management Services’ role in the company’s corporate social responsibility program. Savenda contributed to the North-Western Province Investment and Trade Expo.
Mubukwanu stated that the government had donated K100,000. Irene Muyenga, Savenda General Insurance chief executive, said that he wanted to see many companies thrive in the country’s liberalized economy.
Savenda General Insurance is one the Savenda Management Services subsidiaries in the country.
Mubukwanmu also explained how important it is for indigenous Zambians to drive Zambia’s economy.
Mubukwanui stated, “Is it true we want as much out of foreign investors as possible? But again the sustainable development in any country should be anchored to the local enterprise.”
Since his childhood, Mpoh has given back to different communities.
Mpoha explains how his philanthropy began.
“It was as a child that I discovered my passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Mpoha is involved in numerous corporate social responsibility activities across the country. This includes a donation of K200,000 last year to the central province Investment and Trade Expo, hosting the farmers golf tournament at Mkushi and sponsoring the Savenda Awards of Excellence in St Mary’s secondary school in Lusaka. The Savenda Awards of Excellence are designed to recognize academic excellence in grades eight through twelve. They also aim to increase competition among Catholic-run schools. The Savenda Awards of Excellence have had a positive effect on the school’s performance, according to Davies Mubangu, the careers master at St Marys Secondary School. The Savenda Awards were established seven years ago. Since then, the school’s pupils have had excellent results in their final exams at grade nine and twelve. We are proud to say that our school has the highest pass rate in the country and encourage other corporate entities to join Savenda to be like Savenda.” Indeed, Mpoha’s generosity to the community is something other corporate entities can learn from Zambia if they want to have a positive influence on the country’s development.
Mpoha’s business acumen is impressive and his resilience are something that all start-up entrepreneurs should admire. Mpoha is the kind of person who can make sand profitable in a desert. It is all about how to package products. The Savenda Group recently announced plans to expand into new territories with ZAMBIA Fresh Lusaka Market Africa, the first formal fresh produce market and commission-agent.
This market will provide a unique experience for African small-scale horticulture and offer sustainable solutions. Mhoha provides an inspiring view on this project. He says that he grew up in the village and quickly learned how difficult it was for farmers to get their products to the market. As a business, we have created a market where we focus on small-scale farmers products to bring them into the market.
Mpoha explained to the economist that farmers can sell their products by aggregating them and using quality control measures. This will allow them to be competitive in a market with transparency and price discovery, while the consumers receive fresh food grown locally. Mpoha’s rise to the top of the business world is described by the magazine as a true representation of the talent Zambia has to offer. How did Mpoha get started in a business that would lead to a rewarding career? Before joining a caterpillar factory, I worked in a packaging business for about ten year. He says that this is where I learned how to manage a business and also the operation of various industrials like milling and manufacturing.
This period was crucial in understanding the business models that would ultimately inspire us to create a multi-industrial conglomerate savenda. The Savenda group continues to grow and has become a global supply chain management firm with partnerships throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. The Savenda group’s initial transaction in 1997 of U$$1,000 has seen it grow to an estimated U$$200million.