By Prosper Makene
National Institute of Transport (NIT) prides itself on supporting their students to become work-ready graduates by helping them to gain vital experience and acquire and develop the skills they need for their success as they go on to enjoy their chosen careers.
With this reason, NIT former student Razack Kasanga is one of the ‘work-ready graduates’ who joined the Car and General Trading Ltd company in June 18, 2018 as Assembly supervisor, he joined as a fresh graduate from NIT with zero experience, but the company trusted Razack and gave him the supervisory role where he handled a team of 22 technicians.
How would you summarize your career at Car and General Trading Ltd?
I am currently working as a Zonal Sales Leader at Car and General Trading Ltd where I have been working as Assembly Supervisor since June 2018. I also have experience in Workshop Management, Assembly Production and Field service activities.
I joined Car and General Trading Ltd as a fresh graduate from NIT with no experience, but the company trusted me and gave me the supervisory role where I handled a team of 22 technicians.
Eight months later, I was promoted to Workshop Supervisor and worked for a year before being promoted to Service Manager which included managing workshop operations and field service activities (field service team).
It didn’t take long to before I was promoted again to my current role in the company as a Zonal Sales Leader. The company trusted me, saw the potential in me which has contributed to its success.
It was not hard to shift from Engineering to Sales and Management roles. I took the changes positively and I was ready to shift my mind, now I enjoy working as the Sales Manager, helping the team to perform while developing the team professionally.
The technical knowledge, skills and engineering management I got from NIT, helped me to perform well in every task assigned to me.
In my zone, I managed to grow sales from 1% to 23% market share, making Car and General the leading company in the Zone. I have now become one of the best sales leaders in the company, a mentor to other zones, and I have been doing induction programs to new employees in both technical and sales knowledge. Also coaching the staffs on customer Loyalty programs.
What did you study at NIT?
A: At NIT, I studied a Bachelor’s degree in Automobile Engineering ‘Level 8’ from 2013 to 2017.
Why did you choose to study Automobile Engineering at NIT as your career path of study?
I did science subjects for my secondary education. At that time, my dream was to be a pilot or an engineer, thus I did Physics, Geography, Mathematics at A-level. I wanted to work in Transport Engineering and Aviation fields. That’s why I chose NIT to study Bachelor’s degree in Automobile Engineering. I believed it will easily take me to where I want to be in automotive industry. So, I went to NIT to start my career as an engineer because of their specialization in transport, logistics, and aviation. While at NIT, I got extra knowledge and skills due to interaction with other courses which has helped me in mechanical productivity and staff management.
How have you stayed connected to the NIT’s alumni network?
In 2013, when I first joined NIT, the learning infrastructure was still lacking. The changes you see today started happening after we had just joined the Institute. The changes happened so fast, the Institute image was changing, the transformation we saw was really amazing. it made us feel proud and feel as a part of the Institute’s transformation. We developed affection and passion for the institute which made us loyal to each other as students and the institute even after completing our studies. We have a WhatsApp Group where we closely communicate and see what our NIT is doing. We support each other in employment opportunities. We connect and follow each other to LinkedIn platforms and other social media platforms. For those already employed, we try to recommend NIT students for employment opportunities. We recommend to our managers confidently as we know how competent NIT students are. This is how other NIT’s alumni and I keep connected.
What advice do you have for the next generation who are wishing to be automotive engineers?
One of the fast-growing industries is automotive industry. The automobile production is increasing, the automotive design and technology is being developed day after day. My advice to would-be engineers is that, the industry is big with a lot of potential. There are so many opportunities in automotive industry, so they should not stop learning and trying new things, they should not limit their thinking as the industry technology continues to change every day.
What else are you passionate about? What drives you at work, at home, in your community?
One thing that I’m passionate about is mentoring, coaching and training others. I am someone who likes to share what I know, help and support others to grow and be successful.
At work, I enjoy working with leaders who recognize me, trust me, and give me exposure and who wants me to grow to the next level of leadership. That’s exactly what Car and General offers me here. Fortunately, I have support from the Management, HODs’ and the team that helps motivate me and encourage me to become better at what I do.
At home, I like to spend time with friends, sharing ideas, going out, travelling, making fun and eating. This is what I enjoy.
In Community, I enjoy helping people, giving them advice and supporting them to solve challenges.
What is your advice to NIT in increasing women enrollment in engineering courses?
At Car and General, we have 2W and 3W Conveyor Assembly line where more than 90% of the available technicians working on the assembly production are women. They produce the products with best quality. They themselves go for test rides, doing PDI and check product quality. They work with discipline and high integrity. This shows that, if women are given chances, they will give out the required productivity to any duties assigned.
My advice to NIT is that the Institute needs reach students at secondary school level, interest them engineering courses and explain to them the opportunities available. This will encourage them to apply for engineering programmes. Giving them a chance to know how many engineering courses they may apply and study will open their mind and give them more options in fulfilling their dreams. The Institute needs to identify companies with employment opportunities related to programmes and doing job placements for female graduates.