Business during a pandemic…Nyaradzo officially opens branch in UK amid Covid-19
Features, Health and Society Editor
When some companies are feeling the economic strain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Nyaradzo Group has flexed its muscles and spread its wings to the United Kingdom.
The expansion into the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic is another milestone for the funeral service provider group founded back in March 2001 by Chief Executive Officer, Mr Philip Mataranyika as Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance Company (NFACO).
With Covid-19 outbreaks creating unprecedented halt-and-start economies across the globe, as countries go through various waves, Nyaradzo Group officially opened its Letchworth branch, Nyaradzo House UK on Monday.
The event was attended by Zimbabwe Tourism Office, Tourism Officer Felicia Munjadi, representatives of the Zimbabwean Embassy, Councillor for Letchworth and Wilbury in Northherts District Council (Labour) Amy Allen among other dignitaries.
Musician Jah Prayzer, philanthropist and socialite Olinda Chapel also graced the event.
In a telephone interview with The Herald, Mr Mataranyika said the journey was not easy especially at a time Covid-19 stalled economies.
He said they opened the UK branch to cater for the sizeable number of Zimbabweans living and working there.
He revealed that initially, the UK branch targeted Zimbabweans only because they could identify with it, but they now offer services for all nationalities.
“We have a fully- fledged service centre complete with a parlour and we do repatriation to any part of the world. We have five full time staff and eight contract workers,” he said.
He said the journey to establishing a branch in the UK involved several stakeholders who all played a critical role.
“We would like to thank the British Embassy in Harare, especially the Head of Trade at the Embassy, Tom Hill who helped us each time the going got tough, from opening bank accounts. It was Tom Hill and his team at the Embassy who made it easier, in fact, they made it possible, linking us up with the people who would help us setting up. Without their support, I don’t think we would have been able to pull it off,” he said.
“I would also like to thank Stuart Brown of the Chartered Building Surveyors company of Robinson & Hall LLP UK, who worked round the clock to deliver the project in time even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Mr Mataranyika also thanked the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Doctor John Mangudya and his team for the technical support they generously gave.
“We also would like to thank our Regulator IPEC led by Doctor Grace Muradzikwa, whose doors are always open each time we go knocking. Thank you very much,” he said.
Mr Mataranyika noted that Covid-19 was bad last year when they opened for business in the UK, but has not been that bad in 2021.
“This project would not have been successful without the hard work and effort of our Nyaradzo UK Director, Lordwick Mushawa.
“It was him who identified the site and coordinated the reconfiguration of the building to suit our operations. It was him also who put together the team of staff that is now working to give decency to our dear departed in the UK bringing them home for burial,” he said.
Nyaradzo Group also has branches in South Africa.