Tanzanian entrepreneurr Patrick Ngowi is the founder and chairman of Helvetic Group of Companies, the fastest growing network of renewable energy companies in East Africa which made him a leading expert in the field, but this didn’t happen on a platter of gold, and there are lessons to be learnt from his success story.
Ngowi is a business celebrity who started as an entrepreneur at the tender age of 15
When he was 18, Ngowi engaged in trading cell phones as he discovered that cell phones in Asia were cheaper to buy than in Tanzania. The young entrepreneur bought cheap models from Chinese manufacturers and sold them to Tanzania’s gadget enthusiasts at much higher prices. This first start-up gave Ngowi a $150,000 profit.
Ngowi didn’t take any period for granted as he engaged in selling low-cost cell phones and traveling back and forth from China to Tanzania to learn about solar panels and renewable energy.
Patrick Ngowi founded Helvetic Solar when he was 22 to provide renewable energy solutions for clients in Tanzania, the United States, making $8 million in revenues.
In 2013, Helvetic Solar was awarded the Fastest Growing and Number One in Tanzania’s Top 100 Mid Sized Companies Survey. He also has similar companies in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Ngowi’s intention was to curb the unavailability of electricity, he saw it as a great opportunity to venture into it. he then founded Helvetic Solar Contractors, to help his country manage the energy crisis.
In an interview with the African Business Journal, Patrick states that his greatest achievement is “Being able to provide much needed employment for my fellow citizens, and at the same time, lighting up some rural parts of Tanzania with solar power. As well as contributing towards Tanzania’s advance in renewable technology.”
Ngowi founded Light For Life, a foundation that provides free solar power to women living in the villages of Tanzania providing better access to clean renewable energy.
He is also a chairman of the United Nations Global Compact in Tanzania. Patrick Ngowi is also a board member and advisor to several local companies in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
Patrick Ngowi was quick to business at a very tender age as he was able to come up with something which has turned out to be very successful.
His success story can’t be completed without mentioning his mother and one if his close friends, at the initial stage, he took a loan of $1,800 from his mother, and one of his close friends sponsored his travel to.
Patrick Ngowi has been featured by Forbes as one of “10 Young African Millionaires to Watch”.