|Known for||Being Astro Mobile CEO and Founder|
Munyaradzi Gwatidzo is a Zimbabwean award-winning businessman who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Astro Technology. He also founded G-Tide which was the first African mobile brand.
His mother died when he was 10 years old. Gwatidzo said after school he and his three siblings would put out a small table selling tomatoes to make money in Mbare.
He completed his high school education at Chibuwe High School in Chipinge. After completing his high school education, Gwatidzo started working at a bank aged 17 as a filing clerk and said he was motivated by people who were coming into the bank with huge amounts of money to be an entrepreneur.
G-Tide & G-Mobile
Gwatidzo established Africa-G Tide at the age of 22. He started buying broken phones, repairing them and selling them.
It was during this venture that he discovered a huge market for secondhand phones in Zambia which went on to fund his first trip to China to find a partner. The trip to China was unsuccessful for Gwatidzo as the company he approached wanted a bigger investment which he did not have.
A year after his trip to China, Munyaradzi Gwatidzo said he received a call from the manufacturers in China who then decided to partner with him on his project bringing G-Tide to life, becoming the first African mobile brand.
According to figures from Gwatidzo, G-Tide sold up to five million units in Southern Africa in the early 2000s. Gwatidzo went on to lose G-tide to some of his local partners that he had roped in to grow the brand. He said the people registered the company, patented the brand without him knowing and they even went ahead to offer Gwatidzo an employment contract in the company that he had founded.
Munyaradzi Gwatidzo decided to let go of G-Tide and went on to build another brand G-Mobile but made the blunder of borrowing capital from loan sharks.
G-Mobile kicked off with credit financing for formally employed people which however started causing problems for the organisation when inflation skyrocketed in 2008 as the business model was no longer viable.
This resulted in the loan company being granted a writ of execution by the courts to retain all of G-mobile’s assets in order to recover the loan.
From G-Tide and G-Mobile, Gwatidzo's next breakthrough came at a conference in New York.
He attended the conference with assistance from his Pastor from Celebration Church where he met Nigel Chanakira who later invested in his Astro Mobile business.
Astro Mobile does not have a manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe however as they have failed to operationalise the one they bought five years ago forcing them to set base in Zambia.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 MONA-LISA DUBE, I lost 2 companies in 2 years — Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, Business Times, Published: September 30, 2021, Retrieved: April 19, 2022