Inside Mutarisi’s sprawling business empire
Tafadzwa Zimoyo Acting Lifestyle Editor
uccess certainly comes with extras and for business mogul and Nash Paints group executive chairman Tinashe Mutarisi it means unending travel and sleepless nights as he works to keep his vast empire thriving, especially as he continues to explore new business ideas and growing his tentacles across Zimbabwe and beyond borders.
From humble beginnings as a mere rural boy with a dream to build a business that could fend for his orphaned siblings and himself, Mutarisi has risen to become a businessman with vast interests in paint manufacturing and distribution, furniture, media, construction, food and retail, logistics and construction, to name a few.
When he started in the paint business, many doubted he would last the distance given the big industry giants he had to contend with.
Thanks to a people centred approach coupled with market tested and tailor made products, his brand has become the people’s champion paint company with other sister businesses also enjoying the goodwill that Mutarisi consistently worked for over the years.
While his hunger for success is unparalleled given the continued reinvention in sync with industry trends and dynamics, family remains integral to him and he reckons his business borders on family ideals and unconditional regard for the market and the general populace who have made him the resounding success that he is.
“God has been faithful to me and I am humbled by our strides thus far,” said Mutarisi in an interview with The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle. “It is all thanks to our clientele and key industry stakeholders that we have achieved such milestones, but it is important that we remain grounded and value the things that matter in pursuit of excellence.
“I do not mind the good things in life, a good car here and there, a nice home with all the extras, but my greatest goal is that I remain of service to my country and people while available to play a father figure to my family.”
In spite of the pressure that comes with such monumental success and fame, Mutarisi has remained humble, his greatest motivation being that he leaves behind a legacy that can sustain generations to come.
But many would still want to know how much worth he is considering the hype that has accompanied his name in recent years.
Mutarisi, whose business empire is estimated to be worth more than US$100 million, was coy and chose to be modest about his financial status.
“I don’t have a money bags mentality, so I don’t really care much about my net worth,” he said. “All I can say is that I feel blessed to be the person that I have become, especially considering where I come from.
“My dream was that I work hard enough to earn a decent living, but I thank God for all that I have amassed. My greatest joy is being able to make a difference in my community and country through employment creation and contribution to the national GDP.”
Mutarisi said he derives inspiration from the beauty of family and that in one way or another, he can be a trusted gateway to success for his extended family members, friends and indeed the greater populace.
“I am so passionate about family and over the years I have created a close knit-family made up of my immediate family, siblings and relatives as well as personal and business friends that have continued to stand in my corner through the highs and lows of life,” he said.
“That has been the cog of Nash Paints Group and I believe those values will keep us going for years to come. These people helped me grow my business into the success that it is today. Even as I venture into other business territories, I continue to draw inspiration from that intrinsic desire to be a person who many can count on.
“Beyond being a reliable vision helper, I want to leave behind a legacy business that will for a long time take care of the people dear to me at the same time contributing to national development.”
True to his family first assertion, Mutarisi said his wife had joined Nash Paints Group and had risen to become the general manager.
“I am happy that I am not going it alone in my quest to build a legacy brand,” he said. “As an enlightened man, I believe in the potential and ability of women, hence I am happy to announce that my wife who joined Nash Paints Group in recent years is now our general manager.
“She is stopping at nothing and has continued to advance her professional life with ongoing studies at University of South Africa (UNISA). It’s something I am really proud of, especially as we celebrate women this month.”
Mutarisi started one of his new business ventures, Foodies, a soon to be unveiled restaurant enterprise, with his son.
He said he was happy that much of the work and ideas going into the brand were coming from loyal and cherished online community.
“Foodies is a brand for and by the people and I have deliberately allowed my followers online to contribute to its making through ideas and input on branding, the general make-up of the business and services on offer,” said Mutarisi.
“Nothing beats the joy of starting something with and for the people, hence the Foodies brand will employ people that follow me and whom I have grown to love and cherish over the years.
“The spur behind our growth is a like-minded community of progressive winners that beyond the food experience also inspire each other to become better and stay better.”
Mutarisi said their goal was to roll out of 1 000 Foodies branches by 2030, while dedicating a big chunk of proceeds to charity.
“The dream is to roll out over 1 000 branches by 2030 and as we do that dedicate a commendable chunk of our proceeds to charity so that in our small way we reach out to disadvantaged communities inspired by the beauty of sharing,” he said.
“It is about people because I came from the people. Foodies is home to all, yet delivering an unparalleled gourmet experience in Zimbabwe and beyond. We are modelled around the power of networking while inspiring excellence and productivity.”
The multi-award winning businessperson also shared about his love for excellence.
He said he was happy to have sent one of his daughters, Dionne, to study in faraway Netherlands though the experience taught him a lesson or two.
“When I sent my daughter Dionne to study Chemical Engineering in Netherlands, the hope was that she will come back and add value to our production line at Nash Paints,” he said.
“However, when she got there, she fell in love with something different and we gracefully allowed her to embrace what works for her. The lesson for me was that in parenting, we must learn to be flexible even when we have different views on our children’s choices.
Mutarisi shared some interesting storiesabout how he has turned around the lives of some homeless talented musicians working with Jamal, his resident producer at NashTV.
“I am happy that NashTV, an idea which was never part of our strategic plans, has also made some remarkable strides and even getting an award at the recent National Merit Awards (Nama). People say a lot about this venture, but I draw inspiration from purity of my intentions and the value that this venture has brought to the industry.
“We have achieved so much under a short period and I am happy that we continue to be a gateway to the success of many talented creatives.
“Working with Jamal, we identified four talented yet homeless musicians whom we have given an opportunity to record, but even more importantly, we have given themjobs at Nash Paints so that they are able to eke a living as they grow their music careers.”
His dalliance with artistes dates back to one of his most successful marketing campaigns with Alick Macheso back in 2014.
Mutarisi said he was happy that he had continued to enjoy cordial relations with music industry giants, including Freeman and Jah Prayzah.
“I have a cordial personal and business relationship with Jah Prayzah that has seen us partnering in various projects with great success,” he said. “Such is the value I put on the people I work with and I am grateful for such goodwill.
“Freeman is like family to me and I am happy with the direction he is taking his business. My prayer is that as we grow the work we continue collaborating and synergising for common good.” As he continues to grow his business empire across Zimbabwe and the region, the hope is that many continue to draw from Mutarisi’s rags to riches story, while valuing the importance of people in advancing one’s personal goals.
Success indeed favours the brave.