By bringing the DStv service to Zimbabwe, MultiChoice has over the past quarter of a century helped create a significant number of associated businesses and jobs for Zimbabweans.
Among these are the scores of DStv authorised installers and accredited agents across the country, all of whom are permitted by MultiChoice to undertake work related to DStv services. This permission is given only to businesses and people who have the relevant know-how and technical skills, and their accreditation sets them apart from illegal operators, more commonly known as ‘pirates’ in the trade.
Marshall Mutandwa is one such authorised service provider, the founder and managing director of Autosat in Harare. Despite his relative youth, he has notched up an impressive and inspiring track record of work successes, including a large number of domestic and commercial DStv installations.
He describes himself as ‘a young, passionate and techno savvy individual who believes in excellence, commitment, teamwork and innovation.’ He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and he recently completed a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
After obtaining his degree, Mutandwa worked for the family business before starting up Autosat as part of what he and many installers call the DStv family.
“I am an optimistic individual continuously looking for opportunities, and the world of DStv presented me with the opportunity to identify a niche market for the DStv services I could provide, and this prompted me to go for it, boldly,” he said.
Autosat was established in 2011, and is a DStv accredited agent and installer, providing DStv installations and technical support. It now has a team of trained staff offering cabling infrastructure solutions and DStv inventory and accessory sales from three Harare branches: Arundel Village, Chisipite and Kamfinsa Shopping Centre.
“I started as an installer and a few years later I was permitted to become an agent, based on having workable business premises from which to operate, as well as the various skills and requirements to represent the DStv brand,” he said.
“It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park, as I went through a rigorous screening process and underwent training and assessments, after passing which I then became an accredited agent.”
The upgrading of skills and the training never stops for a business like this, and when a new employee is hired, that person is sent for training. When new products are introduced, the whole team is brought up to speed. The team is exposed to refresher courses and team members also take part in developmental and information meetings organised by MultiChoice Zimbabwe, among them the Zoom meetings that came about with lockdown in April last year.
“Our team recognises that we must first and foremost attribute our success to God, who has given us the abilities and opportunities we have had,” said Mutandwa.
“In addition, hard work, determination, perseverance, never giving in to adversity and keeping an eye on the ball have been important factors in steering our ship in the right direction.”
Mutandwa enjoys being able to provide solutions that satisfy his clients.
“I love seeing the smiles on their faces, or hearing positive comments about my team, when they have received good service. I have an amazing team that makes our work flow smoothly, which reflects well on all of us.”
Mutandwa pays tribute to MultiChoice, too, saying the organization and its products ‘help me put food on the table, not just for my own family, but also for those of my employees.
“By giving me the opportunity to operate as an accredited agent, MultiChoice made a major impact on my life. The ever-evolving technology and innovation they bring about also make a huge impact on my business and, ultimately, on me and my family,” he said.
He also enjoys watching DStv, naturally enough. Favourite channels include The Travel Channel, allowing him to tour the world from the comfort of his own home, as well as National Geographic and National Geographic Wild, which stimulate interest and love for planet earth, its people, its habitats and its wildlife.
“Amazingly enough, one can learn so much about leadership from watching information channels like these,” he said.
A highlight of recent years was presenting a DStv Explora decoder and installation for well-known Zimbabwean performer Jah Prayzah for his MTV African music award achievement.
“It was such an honour for me to be asked to do this, and to be able to represent the MultiChoice brand. It also opened my eyes to the reality that MultiChoice does appreciate good work and I was glad to be part of it all. When this great artiste thanked me it was a moment I will never forget,” he said.
Mutandwa commended MultiChoice for its most recent addition to the service variety for Zimbabwean viewers: the arrival of Showmax, the latest – and not the last – of many innovative services that enhance the DStv experience.
Married with two children, Mutandwa is also a provider for his extended family, a service he feels honoured to give and which derives from the DStv product itself.
“I am excited about the future and I look forward to growth, development and innovation aplenty in days, weeks, months and years to come,” he said.