Arnold Chimambo: Bridging Technological & Connectivity Dispersion Between Rural & Urban Communities In Zimbabwe | CEOInsights Vendor
Arnold Chimambo: Bridging Technological & Connectivity Dispersion Between Rural & Urban Communities In Zimbabwe

Arnold Chimambo: Bridging Technological & Connectivity Dispersion Between Rural & Urban Communities In Zimbabwe

 Arnold Chimambo,   Founder

Arnold Chimambo


In the present era of digitalization, the internet has a massive impact on our day-to-day life and is considered a basic commodity all over the world. However, due to the growing economic crisis and lack of proper electrical infrastructure, internet accessibility in the rural and remote parts of Zimbabwe is extremely limited. A young entrepreneur and seasoned professional in the telecommunication sector, Arnold Chimambo founded ZODSAT, a fast growing internet service provider in Zimbabwe. Thanks to his diligent efforts and able leadership, ZODSAT is currently one of the leading internet service providers in the country, focusing on providing essential VSAT, High Fiber internet and Fixed Wireless Broadband to connect homes, communities, and businesses across the country, especially in the rural and remote areas.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Arnold shares his professional background and experience, the underlying idea behind the formation of ZODSAT, and much more:

Shed some light on your professional background & experience. What inspired you to venture into entrepreneurship?
I have more than 10 years of experience in the telecommunications sector, having founded ZODSAT Global Limited in 2016. For the Zimbabwean territory, we are operating under the Internet Service Provider National License from POTRAZ the national Regulatory body. I am responsible for the executive and operational leadership of the company, with a focus on building and growing a customer-centric organization that believes everyone can be connected despite their geographical location - urban, rural, and remote. If you've ever traveled outside the city in Africa, you'll appreciate the connectivity challenges related in getting to and from work, online learning, or even basic communication using social media. Little to no connectivity is a reality in some parts of rural and remote Zimbabwe due to a lack of cellular or broadband connectivity.

That is not to say farmers in these areas should remain without connectivity right in their backyard, but rather for them to embrace or open up to VSAT technology. That is
what inspired me to offer a reliable and affordable product to cater to the farmers, miners, schools, and safari lodges operating in under served communities, and am quite happy to be there. My intention was and still is, to provide to the under served community a connection that allows them to communicate with the rest of the world.

My intention was & still is to provide the under served community a connection that allows them to communicate with the rest of the world

Define ZODSAT Global as an organization. How is it currently positioned in the industry? How has been your journey so far with ZODSAT Global and what drives you today?
ZODSAT competes in a niche market in the digital telecommunications industry. Currently, the organization's key offering is satellite communications. Our reliable and affordable offering has disrupted the telecommunications market, particularly in rural and remote Zimbabwe. The approach of giving customers more control over their data needs, speed, and usage gave us a competitive edge and better brand recognition.

As the founder, I have been chasing the vision of bridging possibilities in building an organization that would see connectivity anywhere and everywhere being realized. From the day our doors were opened, it has been a winding journey of taking risks, number crunching, learning and unlearning, acting fast, and getting the right people on board. Our diverse clients being mainly farmers, miners, businesses and schools are the communities that motivate and drives me to serve daily. I aim to have them connected right where they are without having to chase down connectivity.

Reflect on some of the major challenges you have experienced in your journey so far. How did you overcome them & what did you learn from them?
The telecommunications industry has made far too many countless advancements that have changed the way we connect to the world. To consistently deal with this change and the evolving needs of our customers we have improved our capabilities by investing in professional employees and expanding services. The pandemic undoubtedly accelerated innovation forcing ZODSAT to be adaptable and future ready. Good customer service increased in importance within our organization. Our customers needed to be online more than ever, resulting in the recruitment and training of customer services
personnel to achieve constant communication with customers. Overall, we have weathered the challenges by applying fundamental business customer service principles such as quality service, customer value, innovation, and strategic investments. What has also helped the business survive is balancing our tech savviness with market practicality.

Going forward, what are the changes in market behavior that you anticipate & what are the opportunities that you foresee? What will be your advice for budding professionals in this domain?
Firstly the need for omnipresent communication with customers is here to stay, creating a consistent brand experience is expected. The opportunity lies in our ability to conveniently meet the customer where they are. In person and online, our team, is available to serve customers, something we have observed that most local telecommunications companies are failing to do. Secondly, customers seek value in a brand in how it aligns with them on a personal level. Quality products and good customer experiences play a significant role, but the ability to make the product relatable to the consumer has proven effective. Social media continues to give us the brands, the podium to speak directly to customers, particularly for us our farmers, miners, and business owners. We, therefore, constantly craft content that speaks directly to their needs and the situations they can relate to, and present solutions to them in that way.

My advice to anyone who is trying to venture into telecommunications is to embrace change. The industry will continue to reveal new challenges which require you to do things differently. Stay on top of it.

Arnold Chimambo, Founder, ZODSAT Global
Arnold is a young entrepreneur and the founder of ZODSAT Global, a leading internet service provider in Zimbabwe. Given the need to educate trained professionals to support the companies' advanced technical needs, he encourages today's youth to consider careers in SATCOMs and goes a step further to recruit and train young network engineers. He has tertiary qualifications in Business Management and Information Technology and is currently pursuing his MBA in International Business.

Hobbies: Golfing and Travelling
Favorite Cuisine: Mediterranean
Favorite Book:Tuned in Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Break throughs. Books by Craig Stull, David Meerman Scott & Phil Myers
Favorite Travel Destination: Manchester, United Kingdom

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