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Jishan Ahmed, is the founder and CEO of Arete Steel Limited, a steel manufacturing company. He was named in Forbes Africa’s “30 under 30” list for 2017. Before starting his own company, Jishan worked as a sales representative at a hardware store, then as a corporate relations manager at Access Bank Zambia (he was only 21 years old at the time), and later on became a manager of a steel construction company. It is whilst working there that he discovered his passion for steel structural engineering.
Two years later in 2013, with almost nothing in savings (K5000 in the bank, a laptop and a diary with his name on it) Jishan left to start his own steel structural company. He used to sit at a local café that he would pretend was his office. After trying repeatedly and failing repeatedly, he received his first job, making 10 chicken nest boxes for Hybrid Poultry Farm. He later found a small yard filled with junk cars that had a small workshop with no tiles, windows or a ceiling for an office. Now Arete Steel has a 3,000-square-meter workshop space, state-of-the-art machines from Germany and Japan worth more than $150,000, three 20-ton trucks, one crane truck and three five-ton canters, employs over 80 people and turns over $700,000 a year.
Jishan attended the Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS) in Lusaka. Whilst at university, he sold phones, flash drives, laptops and even cars. He always knew he had a budding entrepreneurial fire inside him, what he did not know was that making chicken nest boxes would ignite it.
This event was held on 31st August 2017. Interview Shupekile Mwanza Startup Grind Lusaka
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