Fast rising South Africa based industrialist and billionaire, Dr. Mandla Lamba says African governments should do more to support local entrepreneurs ahead of a planned launch of Agilitee East Africa in Kenya. Below are excerpts of the interview;
QN: Do you think that indeed when it comes to e-mobility conservation, Africa is late to the conservation?
ANS: I believe it is late, it [Africa] could have done a better job but there is still room for change and all this lies in the hands of governments.
QN: Could you talk to us about your idea behind founding Agilitee?
ANS: I’m a village boy who grew up on the farm, so, there was no chance that one day we would come up with something like this. It was, you’re looking at an economic system that is broken and you try to see what role can you play to fix it, and then we ended up here because we were looking at the cost of living in South Africa and Africa at large and we saw that people were losing jobs. And then we realized how do we fix this and then we sought that innovation around mobility would help our people in Africa to travel at low cost which also saves the environment.
QN: Talk to me about the aspect of 100% manufacturing a vehicle in Africa.
ANS: It is a problem in our continent because we don’t have the support of the government for local entrepreneurs in Africa. It has not been easy for us. It has been very costly but by the grace of God, we have managed to get us where we are today using our own capital without any external capital to get us where we are. We have no government support from our country.
QN: Could talk to me about some of the advances since 2018 today?
ANS: The strides we have made would have been better but they have been frustrated by the government since local players aren’t prioritized. I don’t believe it’s only us here. We would be many players in the market if governments are able to adjust their policy frameworks and open up for many players. We have managed to put many products on the market starting with our scooters. We also launched electric cars, we launched Agilitee at last, and then we launched a car Agilitee Bera. We have also launched Agilitee go which is a solar-powered car.
On the green technology part of our business, we have launched over 200 products that are fully powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
QN: What is this gap that you want to get into in terms of e-mobility?
ANS: What we need to look at is a day is going to come when the part is pressed that there are no more patrol cars on the road. At that time, Africa has to be at the forefront of that. When that comes, jobs will be lost in a big number and it is important for us to say that if then, that is going to be the case, let us start now. It is important for us to introduce new jobs and opportunities for our people. That’s the areas I want to fit in where we create more jobs localized them and they are sustainable jobs.
QN: Let us talk about the financial year 2023, how many cars to come out of your company
ANS: I would like to state that in 2021, we have seen our revenue grow up 1600% and we are hoping for a double this year. Number two, we also got to be approved to become a public company in September 2022 as we are preparing for IPO listing on the joint public exchange. Our company is going public at a valuation of 20 billion dollars. One of the greatest things we are looking at is to raise this capital because this is what will take us forward. This is the first capital raising we have done. We haven’t borrowed money from anyone. We have been funding the business all the way until now. That’s one of the most exciting parts of 2023. We are also looking to roll out new vehicles and we are starting with Kenya. Our team is already in Kenya preparing for the launch next month. We will be rolling out and this year, our target is 10,000 which are four-wheelers on the road, and at least 25000 scooters on the road in 2023.
02/02/2023 at 13:15
Dr Mandla Lamba has changed people’s lives in mysterious ways, this is history in the making, he is a trailblazer. Agilitee is the way for African continent.