One of Toyota Zambia’s core value is ‘Respect for People’ and ‘Continuous Improvement’. The second interview was awe-inspiring because the interviewee displayed a character of meekness and had extreme respect for people up until today.
This is one of the exceptional story we would like to share, another story from a long serving employee - Mr. Deogracious Chisanga a Sales Consultant at Toyota Zambia, who believes in possibilities. He has been working for Toyota Zambia for eighteen (18) years and has so much to share regarding Toyota as a work place his known to be, not just as an empowering organisation but also a working environment with ‘VAST’ opportunities.
It is amazing how Toyota Zambia as a brand has managed to keep 50% of its employees who still exhibit so much enthusiasm and have worked for more than a decade. Undoubtedly, readers of this article might have doubt regarding the authenticity of what has been shared, be assured that every story being shared has been approved for sharing and it is all about “realism ontology” which is simply the TRUTH!
This interview was exclusively done early March, 2020 by an independent person with vast experience in communication, research and development. When asked about how and when Mr. Chisanga joined Toyota Zambia, this is what he had to say. “I joined Toyota Zambia in August 2002 as a driver (with emphasis on his face). Yes, I applied for a job with an open mind, knowing for a fact that there were no vacancies at that time. A day after I submitted my application, I was called to start as a driver immediately. I was excited and trilled because before I could even settle as a driver, the Logistics Manager at that time, requested me to assist him in filing physical and Interpol forms. I must make mention that the change was drastic yet overwhelming as I was also given work from the administration office. I made sure that I worked beyond manager’s expectation which somewhat pleased the Managing Director. My dear I can assure you that was a turning point. I was then officially elevated to being the Registration Clerk within a month. I must make mention that I took every role very serious and was passionate about performing efficiently and effectively, that includes reporting for work at 06:30 am. I am the living proof of exhibiting “Diverse Skill Set”, which most people may call Jack of all trades (he laughs). This was not by default (as he smiles) for I certainly enjoyed every role I was given; it was a challenge which enhanced the set of skills I had. The following year, 2003, I was elevated to Registration Licensing Clerk, Sales Clerk there after Global Logistics Officer. It was after few years I had realised that my passing through various department made me understand Toyota not only as a Brand but as an organisation which gives no limit to one’s potential. At the end 2003, the Managing Director at that time, Mr. Brian Stevenson, asked me what I would love to be at Toyota Zambia. You will never understand or believe me when I say, my response was to be the Truck Sales Consultant. Change is inevitable, so there came the birth of HINO truck 300 series which was popularly known as Toyota Dyna even though the brand wasn’t that appreciated on the on Zambian market.
To understand Toyota Dyna, I was flown to south Africa for training over a period of six years. I must admit that the training motivated me, gave me the unquestionable morale which obviously yielded results of acquiring customers from fleet, corporate and individual segments. My art in selling overlapped to the need of showcasing the smaller vehicles at shopping malls like Manda Hill and the Golf course, you obviously know am referring to marketing displays. At a time when major changes where taking place, Toyota Motor Corporation acquired the shares from Hino. It was at that time I got discouraged because that was when I received my confirmation employed as a driver (sad face). I asked myself, after passing through all these roles and making strides. In short I then realised that our Human Resource department was giving me what was supposed to have been mine months ago. I kept a positive attitude and continued to excel both in skills and roles. I was later confirmed as a sales consultant on permanent basis but retired when I clocked the retirement age. Yes, I need to speed up this interview because it can take us the whole year if not a decade. Today, thankfully, I am still an employee of Toyota Zambia, currently working as sales consultant – which is contractual. The advice I would like to give young ones is simple. Be yourself and take up any challenge, your humility will propel your progress”.
Mr. Chisanga has continued to add value to the corporation and has proved that he has been a great asset to the corporation. It is with no doubt that he still continues working as one on the long serving internal customers (employee) for Toyota Zambia. You too, can start your impossible!