BY STYLE REPORTER
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned out to be a reality check for businesses that have been reluctant to diversify.
For Joem Enterprises, a printing and branding company in Harare, the pandemic has enlarged its role as a household name in the Covid-19 personal protection equipment (PPE) supply line.
Registered in 2013, Joem Enterprises specialises in digital printing, corporate branding, large format printing as well as signage and banners in addition to servicing some of the best local and international brands.
However, the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the lockdowns meant to tame the spreading of coronavirus resulted in a number of businesses closing shop or scaling down operations. But for Joem Enterprises, the pandemic pushed them to quickly adjust and diversify.
“We are still doing business as was before, but we have decided to move with the times,” Joseph Munyebvu, Joem Enterprises MD (pictured above), said.
“We have not taken radical steps such as moving into something completely different, but we moved into new areas related to our core business, while continuing to run the original business.”
Munyebvu said the company is now into face mask sewing and branding, customised branding of sanitisers and banners.
“We have been working with a number of non-governmental organisations and these are the same people who are running around in the fight against Covid-19. They bring their PPE, we brand it according to their preferred logos or themes,” he said.
The youthful businessman, who strongly believes in social entrepreneurship, said he has invested much in the face mask making business.
“I wouldn’t say we have diversified as such, but we are moving with the times. This is a new normal where we are expected to wear face masks when we are in public, so we have taken the opportunity to make branded face masks. We are doing the masks mainly for corporates, local authorities, NGOs and other interested groups,” he said.
“We have the capacity to make a lot of masks in a single day. We injected money in that area and we have a good and qualified team to do that.”
Munyebvu said they were working with a number of companies specialising in the manufacturing of sanitisers and disinfectants.
“We need each other in business. We are experts in branding and they know how to make chemicals, so we have grown our network where we complement one another,” he said.
Like someone who spent the better part of his adulthood without parents, being looked after by guardians, Munyebvu is a firm believer of the popular Bible verse: “Blessed is the hand that giveth.”
“I am one person who believes in giving back to the community and it is my hope that we get to attract big contracts and tenders that can propel us forward because we have the capacity to deliver,” he said.
“I know the Covid-19 pandemic has had ripple effects on some vulnerable groups and as Joem Enterprises, we have an obligation to assist some of those families through our corporate social responsibility.”
Munyebvu has learnt to take risks in life. At one time he was a music promoter, a passion he still has, and used to operate a taxi business in the city.
“I have always wanted to take risks, but I believe the printing business has become my first choice. I have some business ideas in mind and I am hoping to implement them when the environment allows me to do so,” he said.
The 34-year-old businessman urged people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.