Solarquest is a renewable energy company.Incorporated on 7th April 2016 under PACRA (Patents and Companies Registration Agency) and registered under the Zambia Development Agency, It has a provision license for the manufacture, wholesale, import and installation of solar energy systems.
Tell me a bit about your background. How did you end up working at Solarquest?
I first worked in Zambia Sugar Company under the marketing department for 1 year then I joined another company called Chete Island Safari Lodge where I worked as an assistant manager head guide. When the company was closed, I moved to Livingstone where I joined another company called Sizzler Restaurant and worked in the same capacity. I am a Zambian citizen. I first did business management with a diploma and am currently studying a Bachelors degree in education with ICT. While I was still in Livingstone town, Mayur (Patel, the Managing Director of Solarquest) called me from the UK to tell me he is coming back to Zambia to invest in a renewable energy company. I had met Mayur when I was at Chete Island Safari Lodge in 2005 and since then we have been in touch. Then he requested me to join him to run the company together called Solarquest in Lusaka. I accepted and moved to Lusaka!
What is your role at Solarquest?
I mainly deal in customer service relations to help an undecided customer come to a decision and give them quotations or invoices if they purchase the products. I also get instructions from the directors for a variety of operations within the company.
Did you have any worries about working with Challenges Worldwide volunteers?
I did not have worries because every day I learn new things and new ideas from the volunteers. Cultural differences are normal. I easily adapt to any situations because I worked with foreigners for 8 years so I understand them better and their traditions.
Why do you think it is important that UK volunteers work alongside national volunteers?
It is vital that UK volunteers work alongside with national volunteers for a few reasons. National volunteers know the places well and can easily understand and explain in the local language. It is also important to learn from UK volunteers about their cultural traditions and also from national volunteers’ knowledge sharing.
What do you hope to get out of working with volunteers over the rest of this programme?
I hope to get a complete change of doing things and educate others for their benefit in terms of knowledge and cultural traditions from the UK.
Can you offer some professional advice?
Innovation, value addition creativity and new ideas are the most valuable in the business. In business, courtesy counts. First impressions matter and putting your best face forward is a key for any successful business, because a customer is an ambassador.
Written by Natalie Cheung