Description of his business
Petcha – Centre for Complementary Medicine was registered as a business with PACRA, in 2014 as a business name, and with Health Professionals Council of Zambia as a Health Training Institution.
It is registered with National Science and Technology Council and National Health Research Authority as a Research and development Institution and ccredited to City University College of Science and Technology (CUST), as well as Ministry of Health at Kasama, Mansa, Mongu and Choma General Hospitals as Student Practicum sites.
The school offers a 5-year degree in Naturopathy, a 3-year Diploma in Clinical Medicine and a 1-year Certificate in Community Health, and conducts research in indigenous knowledge, Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, procedures and equipment.
Objectives of Petcha include; completion of registration process with Regulatory authority, recruitment of faculty and students, Purchase of furniture and equipment, rent of premises. The school has a Principal, (a) Coordinator(s),
(a) Dean(s), an Accounts Clerk, a Senior Lecturer, Lecturers, a driver and support.
How long have you been running your business:
Over 36 months.
What led him to be an entrepreneur
Unlike Nigeria that had had universities in the early 1960s and 1970s, Zambia had only one university and tuition was extremely expensive. Due to the challenges in the educational sector in Zambia at that time, Chama had to think critically about what he really wanted to do with his life but still remained actively engaged in farming activities.
Within 10 years after he left secondary school, Zambia started to experience reforms in its educational sector which saw more universities been established. He became encouraged to pursue a university education where he majored in Biology and Chemistry following that reform.
Upon graduation, he began a self – supporting Ministry/volunteering service at a community school but was still engaged in farming which by now not only use as not only a means of survival but also to sustain the community school which received little or no support from the government.
He had left the community school to teach at a Christian private school before doing cross border trade (between Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa) of human hair pieces as he had noticed that women could not get enough of this.
His passion to identify a problem and solve it had compelled him to take a loan from ENA Micro-credit Company to scale the human hair business to expand his reach across Africa.
He was invited to take up a job as the Operations and Marketing Manager at the same company that he had taken the loan for his business on account of his prudent spending and repayment of the loan which caught the attention of the Company.
His passion for teaching (first love) drove him to resign from the micro-credit company after about a year to pick up an appointment as Lecturer and Registrar at ZINARE (NGO). A major restructuring in Zambia in 2011 had seen the end of many NGOs as the Zambian government became stern on the registration process/formalization of NGOs who they thought were being funded to dis-stabilize the economy.
Undeterred that he had now garnered enough experience to leverage upon, Chama resigned and decided to start a business believing that you don’t need to have millions to jumpstart your business and this also coincided with
the period where the payment of all his benefits from the school where he had taught was paid. This was a major boost for him as he had combined this with his savings to start Petcha Centre for Complementary Medicine Studies as the Proprietor and Director.
Before the intervention: He had only six staff. After the intervention: He now has a total of fifteen staff.
Before the intervention: He was making about K50000 per annum. After the intervention: He now makes about K500000 per annum.
Milestone achieved after the intervention:
Opening of three campuses every year for the next three years, (3 new campuses have been initiated from the seed capital received from the Tony Elumelu Foundation earlier this year, 2019), Marketing Plan now involves Radio adverts and talk shows, Church bulletins and announcements, Posters and fliers, Public announcements using PA system, Insertions in print media, School promotions and career talks and participation in fairs and fora’s both locally and regionally to showcase the brand.
Since November 2018, when the seed capital was disbursed, they did some staff training in Lusaka before deployment to three new towns which included, Choma in the Southern Province of Zambia, Mansa in Luapula Province, and Mongu in Western Province of Zambia.
The great thing is that some of these students had finished their training and have now joined him as staff. This was to fulfil our vision of a School in every Province. The rationale was not to invest all resources in one place which would result in failure should the one campus fail, but to spread so that the underperforming campus can be sustained by the others until full performance is achieved.
Radio adverts as well as posters, fliers, church bulletins as well as word of mouth advertising was also engaged to enroll the certificate course for January 2019 in preparation for the diploma course in June 2019.
District Offices of the Ministry of Health were engaged as well as Provincial/General Hospitals for signing of Memoranda for student practicum sites in all four new Provincial Headquarters. Todate, a class of Health Assistants (Certificate course) is running in Mansa (7 students) and Choma (1 student) and enrolments are ongoing for the diploma course. Enrolments are still progressing in Mongu.