• November 29, 2022 4:04 pm

Ken’s journey and activities in Southern Africa since 1991

Serial entrepreneur Ken Sharpe began his vast business empire from a young age as he developed ‘’an eye for opportunities.’’

When he returned from the UK in 1990, he quickly began opening businesses in various fields like the confectionery and food distribution, he was around 18 years old.

He would go on to start a business in 1991 in FMCG (sweets and chocolates) imports and distribution.

‘’Because I saw an opportunity with the Government policy of ESAP in which the markets were opening up,’’ he said.

Talk about determination and positivity, Ken sent an associate to Malawi to explore the market for his sweets and chocolates venture but the response was the opposite of what he expected, there was no market for his products.
This however did not discourage Ken who together with his wife went to Malawi and sold $50000 worth of sweets and chocolates within a month.

‘’I sent someone to Malawi to find out if we can do business there for our sweets and chocolates, he returned and said there’s no market, the next thing me and my wife got onto a truck and went to Malawi, in a few weeks we had $50000,’’ said Ken.

Over the span of 20 years, with core businesses being opened rapidly, it ripened into the Holdings Company “West Group.”

Some of the divisions opened under the West Group include West Food Distribution, West Beverages (bottling), West Agencies, Intercrop (Agri Inputs), West Sanitary Pads Manufacturing, West Tech, West Oils (edible Oils), Fellow Gold Mining, West Star Cash n Carry (formally Red Star), and West Properties and Augur Investments Ltd (Real Estate Development).

These trading divisions spanned the SADC region including operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. He also established operations in Ukraine and Europe.

From 2001 to 2003 Ken threw his hat into the beverage market in South Africa with the establishment of InterAfrica Franchise Bottlers (IFB) with his creation of Twizza as the main CSD brand and one of the most effective mechanisms to compete with the Coca Cola Company.

Mini bottling units in which IFB sold as complete turnkey projects under a franchise scheme, using IFB brands and other raw materials were also created. In 2003, he sold his interests.

From 2006 onwards, Ken made strides to cement his place on the properties market, a sector he still has a stronghold on today.
Taking inspiration from the promise he had made to his wife on acquiring properties in several countries, Ken roped his partner Oleksandr Sheremet in and began investing and buying property in Zimbabwe.

They acquired and started several companies including partnering with the City of Harare in Sunshine Developments PPP and formed in 2007 the West Property Group which today is the largest privately owned property development company.
‘’The land bank and pipeline will outlive my lifetime and last several generations,’’ said Ken.
Ken’s journey has not been smooth sailing, he thanks God for the highs and the lows he has endured.

‘’It is truly not myself who has made this all possible but all honour and glory be to God.
‘’My story and journey is an arduous and tumultuous one filled with adversity and challenges for which one day I hopes to write a novel about my his tenacity, determination, resilience, perseverance and gut to never give up and trusting always in God is what brought victory in the end,’’ said Ken.

Venturing in tech and data, Ken came together with JW Oliver and co-founded Global Solutions, an outsourcing company that helps you find the best virtual teams for your business.

With a commitment to provide jobs for Zimbabweans showcasing their ability, talent and capabilities to the rest of the world and using this platform is a unique win for the job seeker, a win for the job provider and a win for the good social work that gets done from 51% of the profits!

The majority ownership of their company goes to Gods work; with philanthropy and charity being the primary beneficiary of the funds that flows as well as the ministry and salvation work that gets done at the same time.



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