Can you give us a brief introduction to your company?
My company was started in 1997 and our trade name is Semvua enterprises. We deal in selling motor vehicle accessories, tires, tubes that is the main business for us. We also provide services such as tire changes, wheel alignment, selling batteries, etc. Basically, we deal in everything to do with motor vehicles importation, distribution and maintenance.
What are the biggest challenges facing Semvua and facing the industry?
The biggest challenge we face here in Tanzania is currency fluctuation. The prices are not stable at all. Also, the main suppliers in the tire industry are from Japan and sometimes the demand is too high and it is difficult to get enough of what we need. Our orders from Japan are sometimes too small. Sometimes it becomes tough to maintain the demands of our customers.
Do you think that is because of infrastructure or because there is too much demand on Japan and they cannot provide for everyone?
I think it is because of the high demand. Here in Tanzania, we are not producing anything. Everything is imported.
I was reading that stakeholders in the automotive industry are expected to meet in Dar in October. In your opinion, what needs to be done for this sector to move forward and reach its full potential?
My suggestion is that if we can get a foreign investor to invest in Tanzania it would be a big help. We used to have one factory in Arusha, but now that factory is dead. We have to rely on getting everything from abroad.
What are the future plans for Semvua Enterprises and where would you like to see the company in another 12 years?
The wish of any businessman for their future is to become a significant player in their industry.
What would you tell a group of foreign businessmen to attract them to invest in Tanzania?
First of all, Tanzania is a good country for investing. It is a safe country. Our infrastructure isnt bad. As a foreign investor, I would be attracted to Tanzania because it is a peaceful country.
There are many international companies in Tanzania and it is difficult to find 100% Tanzanian companies, led by Tanzanians. What are some of the Tanzanian values that make investing in this country more attractive?
I think we are friendly. We are honest. We are good at everything.
What would be the legacy that youd like to leave behind when you retire?
On a personal level, I want to be remembered as a leader in this industry. I want to be the most knowledgeable person in the tire industry. Ive been in the tire industry my whole life, so I want to be known as a leader.
Three words that best describe:
How do you reach international clients such as Bridgestone, etc.?
I have been in the tire industry my whole life and through my other jobs, I made contacts. These contacts have allowed Semvua to separate itself from other companies in Tanzania.