Integrity is everything in the fields of financial advisory services, auditing and accounting, and for the founder of Marianhill Capital (Pvt) Ltd & Marianhill Chartered Accountants, Manyara Chigunduru, she was driven by the desire to build a company with integrity at its foundation.
LoA learned more about the fascinating entrepreneurial journey of Manyara Chigunduru to building the successful company and brand that is making its mark today.
What does your company do?
Marianhill Capital offers financial advisory services, corporate finance, entrepreneurship development, and project finance to companies and individuals. Marianhill Chartered Accountants is an audit and accounting firm which offers audit (external audit, internal audit and forensic audit), tax advisory, due diligences and accounting advisory.
"The desire to have a firm or a company that could operate with integrity and the need to grow in the corporate world and make a difference to other women who were facing the same challenges as myself motivated me to start my own firm."
What inspired you to start your company?
I had worked in the corporate world for 13 years and the major problems that I had as a woman were issues to do with integrity with some of the people that I worked with. The other challenge was that it was difficult for me to grow to the next level in the corporate ladder given that it was the male counterparts who would get the promotions. So the desire to have a firm or a company that could operate with integrity and the need to grow in the corporate world and make a difference to other women who were facing the same challenges as myself motivated me to start my own firm.
I started Marianhill Capital and Marianhill Chartered Accountants from my dining room area in my house with 2 employees, and we got our first audit client working from home. Later on a friend then offered me some office space to work from, given that our services needed a more professional environment than home. Since then we have never looked back and our brand has become an acceptable brand in the market.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
At Marianhill, be it in auditing or in advisory we give each client the attention it deserves. Our services are personalized to suit each client and we believe that each client has got its own unique needs and we tailor make our solutions to resolve each client's needs. We provide innovative solutions to our clients as we create value in their business.
Our business model is anchored on tailoring business solutions for our clients in accordance with the highest standards, backed up by innovation, brilliance and acumen thus creating ‘’Impeccable Business Ingenuity.’’
"Our business model is anchored on tailoring business solutions for our clients in accordance with the highest standards, backed up by innovation, brilliance and acumen thus creating ‘’Impeccable Business Ingenuity."
Tell us a little about your team
I have a diversified team in terms of gender ( male and female), ethnic groups, age (ranges from early twenties to early sixties) and race ( African and Indian). With all this diversity we have managed to work and operate as one family. We are a team of 8 consultants which makes up the core team and we have some experts who come on an assignment by assignment basis depending on the need. I have one of the most interesting and self motivated teams in our industry as this team easily pushes itself to excel. As part of our culture we allow each other to think outside the box and wildly as we try to bring innovative solutions to our clients.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I don't come from an entrepreneurial background but rather a very humble one. My journey as an entrepreneur started in 2010 when my husband and I and two other relatives started a stationery company that was called Just Arise Africa. This company did not last long due to some shareholding issues so we dropped the project. During the same year we came together, my husband and I and other 3 friends decided to start a financial advisory company called Normandy Capital and this company did not really take off given that this was stifled by other members who seem to wait for us to call for the meetings. If we did not call for the meetings during start up, nothing would happen. When we called for capital contributions from the other shareholders, only one provided intellectual capital (who already had his ICT company that was operational) and the rest did not, thus we abandoned this project.
In 2012 I then started an Events Management company called Clare Events, which was a hobby turned into a business, which is still operational up to this day and growing. My husband and I are the shareholders and I am the visionary of this events company. Clare Events has done so well since inception providing services to corporates in terms of events equipment hire, décor services and event planning.
In 2014 I then left a financial institution that I was working for as a finance manager on voluntary retrenchment to start Marianhill Capital which was registered in July 2014. As a qualified chartered accountant I then applied to register an accounting firm where upon we got the licence in December 2014. That was the beginning of a great journey in the area of corporate advisory services, auditing, accounting advisory and tax advisory. Marianhill Chartered Accountants is one of the few, if not one of only two women-owned accounting and auditing firms in Zimbabwe, other wise mostly are male-owned. It has not been easy to break through into this market except through the support of other women, one of them being one of the Lionesses of Africa, Divine Ndhlukula, founder and Managing Director of Securico, Zimbabwe.
"As part of our culture we allow each other to think outside the box and wildly as we try to bring innovative solutions to our clients."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I would like this company to grow and be able to offer services to all businesses in the country, the region and globally. I want the Marianhill brand to be a global brand in every way.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
To be the visionary of that venture, determine the implementation of that vision, and see other women in business being helped to grow their businesses in a male dominated area.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
You don't need a lot of money to start. Just look at what is in your hands and start with that. What's in your hands can be a hobby that you are passionate about, or a qualification which you can use to make money. Look for problems in your country or your area and provide the solutions to those problems, that is the beginning of a fruitful business.
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Why LoA loves it….
Building a sound and viable business model is key to the success of any company, and in the case of Manyara Chigunduru, her business model is based on the provision of tailored business solutions for her clients, backed up by innovation, delivery and real business acumen. This powerful combination of offerings, with the highest level of integrity running through the heart of the business, is what creates real differentiation in the market place. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa