Dr Chikwanda was the CEO of Powertech IST, and later Powertech Systems Integrators, both being divisions of Power Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of the JSE listed Altron Group, for the 6 financial years 2008/2009 to 2013/2014. He purposefully stepped down without seeking an alternative corporate role. This was in order to focus on harnessing his innovativeness, entrepreneurship and commercial connectedness to create an unconventional Group comprising component companies or businesses that are well-established, still founder-led, individually successful and highly niched in respect of technology solutions and sectors of the water, energy and transportation infrastructure markets.
Over the 3-year period since March 2014, Dr Chikwanda successfully pulled together a Private Equity investment consortium that has ever since acquired a majority equity stake in Specialist System Engineering (Proprietary) Limited (SSE). He is the Chairman of the newly constituted Board of Directors of SSE.
Dr Chikwanda built up his professional career in the Power Technology Industry and in the Electrical Power Sector over a period in excess of 25 years encompassing R & D work at doctoral level, Industrial Design and Development work experience in New Zealand, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom and South Africa. This practical experience has entailed the requisite integration of Energy Management, Energy Efficiency, Information Management and Telecommunications know-how into Electrical Power Infrastructure work that Dr Chikwanda has been privileged to lead in the Electrical Traction, Utility, Large Power User, and Large Industrial Drive market sectors.
His Project Implementation and Execution experience as MD of IST Energy for 7½ years, as CEO of Powertech IST/System Integrators for 6 years, in the Large Projects Delivery environment at Murray & Roberts for 4 years, and in the Electrical Traction business environment in the UK for 4 years, has engendered a strong execution capability. Dr Chikwanda has also developed and sharpened his business acumen and commercial nous over the years.
So as to formalise his Business Management and Leadership skill set, Dr Chikwanda successfully completed the UNISA School of Business Leadership’s fifteen-month experiential Advanced Executive Program in 1997. Prior to and in addition to this, he sought to continually develop his professional leadership skills by attending, for instance, a Time Management course by TMI (UK), Director Development programs run by the Institute of Directors (RSA), and Advanced Positional Selling and Negotiation courses (RSA).
Dr Chikwanda was a double Commonwealth Scholar at Canterbury University in New Zealand where he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He went on to obtain his PhD in Electrical Engineering as a Beit Fellow at the Imperial College of the University of London. Dr Chikwanda is a Chartered Electrical Engineer through membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK). In addition, he is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (USA), and a member of both the Power Electronics Society of IEEE (USA) and the Industry Applications Society of IEEE (USA).
He is passionate about local, regional and continental economic renewal through agency of Infrastructure and Industrial Capacity Expansion projects at which his experience and expertise may be directed. It has been his competence to tap the human network by developing and nurturing deep, mature relationships with customers, staff, alliance partners, suppliers, competitors and other stakeholders.