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Mara Phones SA announces new MD

Sylvester Taku CA (SA), newly appointed MD of Mara Phones South Africa.
Sylvester Taku CA (SA), newly appointed MD of Mara Phones South Africa.

South African smartphone manufacturer Mara phones, a subsidiary of multi-sector business services company Mara Group, has appointed Sylvester Taku CA (SA) to the position of Managing Director with immediate effect.

In a statement the company said Taku has been doing business in Africa for over 20 years and has served as Head of Growth at the company since 2019.

Taku also oversaw the opening of the company’s first bricks-and-mortar Experience Store in Maponya Mall, Soweto - a year since the opening of the country’s first smartphone manufacturing facility.

In November 2019 the Mara Group opened its South African-based smartphone manufacturing facility at Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province.

ITWeb later reported that Nedbank had partnered with Mara Phones to make devices available to the bank’s clients.

It added that the opening of two Mara Phones facilities - one retail and one manufacturing - within a short space of time “represents bold steps for Africa’s most established home-grown smartphone brand in a challenging but promising environment.”

The company said 50 Mara Experience Stores, both company-owned and independently operated, are on the cards before the end of 2022.

Mara Phones CEO Ashish J. Thakkar said: “Sylvester is bold and dependable with an amazing ability to spot the next opportunity. He will continue to do exceptionally well at Mara Phones as we grow together and make a huge positive social impact, bring fantastic shareholder returns and create real value for customers.”

Taku added: “It is a privilege to lead the South African operations of the continent’s flagship smartphone brand; Mara Phones. Every South African can be proud that world-class smartphones roll out of our South African factory every day and my focus going forward will be on growth in new markets and forging new partnerships while solidifying the brand where we’re currently achieving.”

Taku is a Chartered Accountant who also holds an MBA from the UCT Graduate School of Business and according to Mara Phones, has a strong strategic and consulting background which saw him complete successful tenures at industry leaders Coopers & Lybrant, PWC, Deloitte and EY (Ernst & Young) where he, amongst other achievements, boosted the profitability of the EY MTN account eight-fold.

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