Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Insights on leadership learned from Zambia’s top businessman-Valentine Chitalu

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Valentine Chitalu, Founder & Chairman of US$300million Private Equity Fund-Phatisa
Valentine Chitalu

The following article are insights derived from an interview recently given by one of Zambia’s top businessmen, Mr. Valentine Chitalu

Editors note: The original verbatim article has been edited.

Background

Mr Chitalu is a founding Partner and Chairman of Phatisa Group, a US$300 million private equity fund. Valentine Chitalu worked for CDC Capital Partners in London and Lusaka, and continues this connection as a non-executive board member of CDC Group.
According to Bloomberg Mr. Valentine Chitalu, serves as a Non-Executive Partner at IZWE Loans. Mr. Chitalu served as the Chief Executive Officer of Zambia Development Agency. Mr. Chitalu joined CDC Group Plc in July 1999, specializing in deals origination throughout Southern Africa and portfolio management in Zambia and Malawi. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Zambia Privatisation Agency, where he was responsible for the divestiture, disposal and privatisation of over 240 enterprises. Mr. Chitalu also serves as the Chairman of Kifco packaging, Zambian Breweries Plc, SABMiller (Zambia); MTN Zambia Limited; and OVAL Biofuels Limited, Phatisa Fund Managers L.L.C. (alternative name Phatisa Group) and National Breweries Plc. He serves as a Director of Platmin Congo, African Life Financial Services Zambia Limited and InfraCo (UK) Limited.

Insights

Inclusive management – It is important to learn from people around you even as a CEO. Mr.Chitalu stated that at the onset of the career one may have overconfidence but during the journey the large gaps in ones knowledge become obvious. He said it is important to know your own knowledge and skill sets and therefore surround yourself with a team that complements you.

Teamwork– The success of an organization should not be attributed to one person but to the teamwork of the organization.Mr Chitalu stressed the importance of recognizing,building and celebrating people in the team who are responsible for an organisations accomplishments

CEO in a developing country. Running an organization in a developing country presents a difficult set of circumstances not found in the Western world.
One of the challenges in developing countries is the cultural belief surrounding women in the workplace. Women are not expected to work late or to go on training or business trips without a husbands consent.

Emotional intelligence –Managing people is something a CEO has to learn to do and this requires a higher level of emotional intelligence and empathy. Whilst this may come naturally for women, men can learn it or surround themselves with emotionally intelligent people.

Speaking last – According to leadership expert Simon Sinek, great leaders are also good listeners. Mr. Chitalu agreed with this idea when he stated the importance of first hearing what others have to say during meetings because this gives him the chance to see another’s perspective as well as to better calibrate his approach.

Being available – As a leader Mr.Chitalu said he makes himself available to his employees if they are struggling to achieve an objective. In doing this a leader is more likely to help the employee to achieve success and meet the required objective.

Self improvement -Mr.Chitalu said self improvement was one of the hallmarks of success – something he learnt from his father.

When a team member fails at a task– A good leader will firstly analyse whether there was enough clarity or information in the instructions given and whether the person had received adequate training necessary for the given task. Mr Chitalu stressed the importance of giving people a chance but if they still fail it is possible that that particular environment was simply not a fit for the person and success can be achieved elsewhere.

Success– success is being able to make an impact in the community. Mr Chitalu said learning is continuous and if you are learning you are succeeding. He noted that he has learnt a lot from people who come from different backgrounds and different age groups.

59 COMMENTS

  1. This man tried to promote Kukula in a very selfish manner and the planned initial public offering failed. I am happy that Zambia’s fund managers refused to be conned. What can he offer?

    • This is the man whoes wealth you must be questioning not HH!
      He now sits on the boards of the many companies whoes privatisation he over saw. What does that tell you?
      When you want answers about the sell of the Zambian assets ask him Penza and Chiluba.The deadly combination of corrupt and selfish individuals!

    • In reality Valentine Chitalu has done more harm to Zambia than Hichilema we keep condemning. This is the guy who led the stripping of Zambian national assets for a song on behalf of of foreign interest Groups then took equity positions in those entities. In nations of consequences such as Saudi Arabia, he could have been executed long time ago. A normal society would not even tolerate his effort to re-brand himself. Look at the number of Zambians who died of depression after been lay-off without severance packages.

    • @1.2,
      I cannot agree more with you. No pitch or interview can sanitize Chitalu from his criminal enterprises. He is Zambia’s worst criminal and enemy of our economy. No time can heal the wounds or indeed qualify Chitalu as a model entrepreneur. The Chap with Penza were the heartbeats of worst amoral legion of economic hitmen that have ever signed up to drive criminal economic sabotage programs against Zambia. What is there to be proud of in the economic stripping program called privatization only to take equity in the beneficiary organizations?

    • Chitalu like HH are over rated with a lot of unanswered questions. Among real business heroes in Zambia is Khalid’s family and his associates of Trade Kings. Thirty years from conceptualisation in 1989, a project in Kafue Steel finally breathes with a cumulative investment of more than USD$900 million.

      Not a single ngwee, cent or penny was borrowed from any bank! Just ‘Boom’ sales! What is that other than painstaking determination, courage and discipline?

    • There is nothing to be proud of as a Zambian from that profile…these are the guys in a position of authority that helped in asset stripping state assets…not worthy of my time reading his BS.

    • LT Trade Kings recently received an award go and interview them …don’t insult our intelligence talking to this scumbag COON and his coonery!!

    • Valentine is a VERY close business partner of HH. They are almost equal shareholders in all companies in which both are shareholders

  2. @Carlos,
    I hear you. I think we have too many millennials as political and social commentators. They don’t know the history of privatisation, who was in charge and who was the CEO of ZPA.

    • @Chosen one Very true
      One of the biggest problems among many others with Zambians is that we tend to forget!
      We can forgive but forgetting is unforgivable!

  3. Valentine. I advise that stay away from public life. People will skin you alive. People are angry about the way privatisation was handled.

    • The man is Chairman of MTN (Zambia) where he is happy to charge Zambians the highest subscriptions in Africa and he is proud of selling Zambia Brewiers to SABMiller/AB-InBev…look at our friends in Kenya they still have shareholding in their breweries but us we let these scumbags like Valentine sell everything for a few coins in his pocket.

  4. Valentine Chitalu is simply known as a corporate raider, synonymous with the Wall Street mentality that places profit over people. But I cannot criticize too much, given the same chances as he had I’d probably have done the same thing. Money never sleeps. Capitalism will be the end of us all.

    • Would Warren Buffet do the same thing though? Not everyone is a Mr Geko …look at Russians they opted to keep their assets within and in turn made themselves and their country very rich but us we sold everything to crooks like Indians like Anil who simply take out and even use Indians as staff.

  5. You Valentine Chitalu, Francis Kaunda, Hakainde Hichilema, Attain Shasonga, Ronald Penza and Chiluba you are the worst people to continue living under this earth, If it was in some other countries you must be stoned to death. Don’t even boast of the a good entrepreneur, just keep quiet. in Bemba they say ” Akanwa ka milandu kalaibala”

  6. Bapompwe we shall never forget you together with election looser, 5 times and six in 2021

    • SO THAT’S WHY YOU STILL VOTES WITH IMPUNITY, BURYING UPND VOTES IN GRAVE AS THE CASE ON KALULUSHI STINKS. CORRUPTION HAS BECOME YOUR “COMMON CURRENCY”, SHAME. WHY DO YOU THINK OUR FOUR FATHERS FOUGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE, “TO FILL THEIR POCKETS LIKE MUGABE”.

  7. Indeed, he has even set up a fund for himself while the masses are now wallowing in abject poverty. Its a shame that we have people without empathy but sheer grandeur. Your success can not be attributed to a hardworking person who can be emulated for what they have done. Yours is laced with corruption of the worst kind. Better be out of public domain instead of instigating people to pounce on you and sort you out.

    • These guys are simply coons who assisted their “White Walker” masters plunder their own villages and they are happy with small change of $300million when they assets they sold make that as profit!!

  8. CEO ,Zambia Privatisation Agency ~Valentine worked for CDC Capital Partners in London and Lusaka, and continues this connection as a non-executive board member of CDC Group. He was formerly CEO at the Zambia Privatisation Agency where he was responsible for the privatisation of over 240 enterprises. Hopefully people can read between the lines was chiluba’s right hand man and partners in crime of Zambia of the waste kind.

    • HE WAS AN AGENT OF THE WEST, AN AGENT OF DESTRUCTION AND DESTABILISATION OF OUR ECONOMY SO THAT AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF ZAMBIA’S ECONOMY THROUGH PRIVATISATION, THE MASTERS WOULD COME IN TO GET OUR NATURAL RESOURCES FOR A SONG. NATURALLY AFTER DOING THE WORK FOR THEM, THEY HAD TO GET HIM OUT OF THE COUNTRY TO LET PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT HIS DESTRUCTIVE WORK. THEY DID IT WITH SATA WHO WAS THEIR AGENT DURING THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE. FORGIVE BUT DON’T FORGET. CHITALU BETRAYED THIS COUNTRY. THE WEST WANT TO POSITION HIM FOR ANOTHER MISSION.

  9. Valentine was not the architect of what transpired in the privatisation era. He was merely an implementation tool. Those of us who know him know that he is a humble and meticulous hard worker. He doesn’t deserve all these false accusations.

    • Ukudya naye?
      This is what is wrong with our society nobody said he was responsible for privatisation that dishonour is reserved for Kafupi and frog face Penza!
      What we are disgusted about is he went on to get controlling power he as a public worker was tasked to sell! That’s wrong its like a man comes to you with marital problems and you go on to pregnant his wife and even marry her!

    • @amono . You are saying valentine was merely an implementation tool but what about HH what was he ? We were told HH privatized the companyCan someone explain the role HH played in the privatization of Zambia’s assets since the chairman has resurfaced.

  10. These are some of the guys who enriched themselves over the sale of Zambian parastatals.More than 240 of them!

  11. Valentine did his best under the circumstances and having been given that opportunity. He changed Zambia’s economy from 100% dependent on Government.,departments and parastatals to create a new economy largely dependent on the private sector. He simply followed Government policy at the time and it’s unfair to heap blame on him.

    Valentine should come back home and become President of Zambia one day after HH has led us in 2021.

    HH and Valentine are just sharp Zambian businessmen and jealous will kill this nation!

    • DON’T COMPARE CHITALU TO HH. CHITALU DID A LOT OF HARM TO THIS COUNTRY. HE IS AN AGENT OF THE WESTERN COUNTRIES, IN PARTICULAR BRITAIN. BRITAIN IS LEAVING THE EUROPEAN UNION. THE BRITISH ARE LOOKING FOR NEW MARKETS AND SOURCES OF RAW MATERIALS. THEY ARE TRYING TO POSITION PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE FRIENDLY TO THEM TO BE IN POWER OF TARGET COUNTRIES.

    • THAT IS WHY AND HOW THE AMERICAN INVITED CHITUMUKULU TO THE USA. THEY ARE PREPARING THE GROUNG. THEY ARE TARGETING PEOPLE THEY THINK COULD BE USEFUL TO THEIR CAUSE BUT WHO COULD BE EASY TO MANUPULATE. CHITIMUKULU IS EASY TO MANUPULATE BY GIVING MONEY AND MAKING HIM LOOK IMPORTANT. WATCH THE SPACE.

  12. Its sad that we live in a society where thieves such as Valentine Chitalu are honored! What this man has been doing ever since he began his business ventures is crooking and stealing from Zambians, he along with private equity firms such as Actis group which were appointed by the British Development Fund are on record for being involved in some of the most crooked deals in Africa. Why Lsk Times can steep so low as to call this dirty thieving animal of a crook a top business man is very dissapointing! The man is a shameless thief!ws

  13. The problem with zambians is that we are good at complaining and finding negative reasons for anything. Chitalu is not talking about how good a person he is and why you should vote for him. he is giving you and i how to manage a business and be a good leader. he’s advice is only for those who can sieve out important notes.

    • So if Putin came and started giving advice about democracy and fair elections would you take him seriously …really laughable.

  14. In china ni firing squad . People suffered and died because of him and hh and chiluba and penza

    Dont forgive these people

  15. We have lack of understand of the way govern works. the issue of privatisatipon management of mismanagement is a government responsibility and Cabinet has the records which approved all decision to sale.
    stop targeting innocent people!!! VC and HH are clean.

    • If clean looks like Valentine Chitalu I shudder to think what filthy looks like to you!
      Stop trying to clean anything you see some things can’t be cleaned.

    • Just read this profile from Bloomberg;
      “Mr. Valentine Chitalu, MPhil, BAcc, FCCA, serves as a Non-Executive Partner at IZWE Loans. Mr. Chitalu served as the CEO of Zambia Development Agency. Mr. Chitalu joined CDC Group Plc in July 1999, specializing in deals origination throughout Southern Africa and portfolio management in Zambia and Malawi. He served as the CEO of Zambia Privatisation Agency, where he was responsible for the divestiture, disposal and privatisation…”

  16. Valentine should have continued to gouge on all the stolen monies in silence that raise his head over the parapet. He is from that generation of unscrupulous cabal that “sold family silverware for a song”, leaving Zambia with nothing to show for half a century of independence. All the sterling efforts of KK and the other liberators came to naught at the hand of this man and those in the Chiluba government. Most of those parastatals needed re – capitalisation under new management than off – loading. What these people did is tantamount to treason and accounts economic retrogression post the Chiluba era! Chinese would put them before the firing squad!!

  17. There is not a chance in hell that Valentine can sanitize himself and come back to look squeak clean after the indiscriminate sale of the parastatals. He oversaw the sale of “family silverware” for a bottle of wine, leaving the country with nothing to show for half a century of independence and the country regressed! What most of those parastatals needed was re – capitalisation and re – modelling under new management and not outright sale. There is not a bone of economic patriotism in that man’s body!

  18. This is a man who has done more harm to his own Country than any one else.This man has no heart for his country, he is not a patriot.In other countries people like him live in exile.He is responsible for a failed exercise called privatization.He has no shame at all, he is an economic embarrassment,
    he doesn’t deserve any form of recognition at all.He belongs in jail for the untold suffering he has caused.

  19. He rose to fame after a total privatisation mess! He used to brag that ‘ he will work himself out of the job! Meaning he will put down to ashes all companies and make others suffer while he rises! What chick that he is now famed! He caused a lot of anguish to a lot of families at. Zambia Airways etc. He would better be described as Chimbwi no plan for now!

  20. Is this a friend to HH? He is back now? Unfortunately MPs from Namwala are lazy and illiterate preferring to walking out than coming up with laws on how to get money back from HH and his friend above.

  21. HaJJ only faults Kalu whom he calls “Galu” and has accepted that privatization thieves included Chitalu (BUT) not HH (Because HaTribes cannot fault HaTribes!) SUpport your local team MUDALA! Now you get it why you cannot trust Hatribes? Both HH and Chitalu swindled Zambia and must be made to repay some money to Zambia! That can only be done by intelligent MPs not “those who go to South Africa!”

  22. Lol! So pyrrhic.

    So now they believe that HH’s Junior got small change. HH was the Lording Consultant. The perennial losers can’t see that condemning a speck of their opponent exposes their own log.

  23. PF is better getting this guy to stand on their ticket in 2021. He would offer HH good competition as they are both accountants and businessmen. There is no current president in the opposition and the ruling party I can think of who would offer credible competition to HH. Without VC STANDING ON PF, HH is assured of victory and the whole country will support HH in 2021.

    Zambians are ignorant on the privatization issue as both VC and HH are completely innocent of the so called perceived crimes allegedly committed. These two gentlemen were well paid from privatization proceeds at tax free rates and they both used their brains to be where they are today.

    Zambians should not show further ignorance on this matter which is a closed chapter. Both HH and VC only implemented what was…

  24. First of all we should all understand that we DONT just learn from success.We equally learn from FAILURE.
    The issue here is not about the success or failure of privatisation but about what lessons people like VC have distilled in terms of leadership over the years.
    The privatisation process will never be reversed. That’s reality.The question is,what did we learn?
    For me,all those who were involved even in the smallest way, MUST NEVER BE ENTRUSTED WITH NATIONAL RESOURCES.
    Most of them chose to be “professional” even when they knew the whole process was RAPE.
    They can go on as private citizens but to ask for PUBLIC OFFICE offends most well meaning Zambians.

  25. “Chitalu is a thief!” HaJJ. “HH is not a thief,” HaJJ. Co-starring! One is a thief the other is not! UPND Tribal Horganization is amazing!

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