ZISMO Engineering is the first electrical engineering contractor to manufacture distribution transformers in Botswana.
With a fully fledged transformer workshop in Gaborone, the company has capacity to repair transformers of up to 5000kVA; manufacture transformers of up to 1000kVA, do transformer testing, transformer oil purification and on-site transformer service and repair.
ZISMO products have satisfied International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. Founder and Director of ZISMO, Justice Moilwa, an Electrical Engineer by profession, runs the multimillion Pula company that recently hit the 100 milestone, having repaired, refurbished and manufactured 100 transformers and mini-substations of various sizes together with his partner Mogasegoro Kgosinkwe.
“There is a great deal of untapped opportunities in the mining industry, especially in electrical engineering,” Moilwa says. ZISMO Engineering also distributes WEG products, an international renowned brand that designs, manufactures and provides for the sales of WEG electric motors, soft starters, variable speed drives, generators and transformers.
The company has done work for large corporations including; Botswana Power Corporation, Water Utilities Corporation, Debswana, BCL and Morupule Power Station, Botswana Ash, Bokomo, Ghaghoo Mine, Mowana Mine. The electrical engineering company deals with industrial power, repairing electrical machines and conveyer machines in the mines.
Moilwa recalls that when they started, they laid down the vision clearly. “Our vision alone challenged us to continually strive to achieve what we had set for ourselves from the very onset.” He believes that the secret is to throw the ball as far as possible and put in the work towards getting it.
Moilwa acknowledges that business is constantly evolving and what worked successfully in the past may not be successful in the next year. They realised that it was important to remain flexible. “It is important to understand the needs of the industry and strive to remain as relevant as possible by providing relevant solutions,” he says. One of the most important things was for them to constantly be aware of the stages they were in as a business in order to create a clear image of where they wanted to be in the next five years.
When they started, ZISMO was a simple outlet with only three employees, they went on to employ 50, but today the company employs about 150 employees. Their employees include high skilled personnel; electrical and electronic engineers, project managers, site supervisors, foremen, technicians, electricians, linesmen, boilermakers, armature winders and administration staff to support site and workshop activities.
Moilwa treasures his clients and ensures that he develops deep relationships centred around trustworthiness and transparency. “We never walk away from any job, we familiarise ourselves with a problem so as to find the precise solution for it.” This he says deepens the bond they have with their clients. “We realise how valuable they are to us and in the long run they appreciate the value we provide for them.”
ZISMO was fully funded by the local Citizen Enterprenual Development Agency (CEDA). “My partner and I started with nothing, but brains and a vision. They secured references from among others; Water Utilities Corporation and Debswana to substanciate their business plans and proposals for funding.”
ZISMO has since expanded into some Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and is a solution provider to a wide spectrum of clients in the region. “We have had an establishment in Zambia since 2010 that is involved mainly in rural electrification projects.” Despite skills and other logistical challenges the company has completed huge projects on time and is moving forward to service more clients in the Zambian market.
“Whatever long term goals you have, it is never too early to start planning ahead.” Moilwa further advices that entrepreneurs should know that the future of their company is in their hands. He believes that poor work ethic is detrimental to any business venture, but hard work will bring success.
“ZISMO exists because of the hard work we have put in, from the leadership down to the lowest employee.” Moilwa values time and believes that time-keeping is an important ingredient for success. He is also proud to have self-driven employees who understand strict procedures especially in the engineering profession, where there are no shortcuts. What gives ZISMO confidence is the quality of their work and the experience of their staff. “Our work speaks for itself.”