Published: 27 September 2022
Northrise University alumni are making an impact in society and industry at large. An example of an alumnus daring to soar is alumnus Dr. Lyon Chipandwe, MBA“13. Dr. Chipandwe is a medical practitioner with an interest and specialization in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. He pursued a Master’s degree in Business Administration at Northrise University. Dr. Chipandwe is the founder and CEO of Zambulance Health Services Limited (ZHSL), an ambulance service currently operating in Solwezi, Ndola, and Lusaka. According to Dr. Chipandwe, the Northrise education changed his attitude, built his character, and prepared him for leadership and business. Here are his answers to the specific questions we asked.
Q1: How did Zambulance come to be?
In 2010, I decided to enroll with Northrise to pursue an MBA. At that point, I felt that many doctors were good at what they did, but they made very bad managers administratively. In the business world, doctors were not known to carry forth the banner of leadership. So I joined Northrise in 2010. There is a class I remember having, where we were talking about entrepreneurship, and during our class break, I received a message that my friend lost her father in a road accident and he died when they were trying to lift him from the accident vehicle onto the van that was meant to take him to Ndola Teaching Hospital. Unfortunately, he arrived at the central hospital dead. This was very painful for me. I told myself people didn’t need to die because of transport problems. And because we were discussing entrepreneurship, I thought, what could I do that could positively impact society today? And whilst in that class, I said, bingo! I need to start an ambulance service.
It is Northrise that inspired the idea. The class I had with the late Mr. Timothy Chilufya, inspired me to think outside the box. And from that night, I was determined to start an ambulance service that was going to change the face of Zambia. Within weeks of that, I started getting all the paperwork done and within a month I had the company registered. I started looking for partners. My colleagues didn’t want to partner with me; they thought I was crazy. But I got a partnership with a friend from Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) who bought into the idea, partnered with me, and within two months, I was on my way to the UK to purchase the first two ambulances and Zambulance was born. And today, we have about 20 employees working at Zambulance.
Q2: What are your future aspirations for Zambulance?
I don’t feel I’ve achieved a lot, to be honest. I actually feel I started late. I could have done better and therefore, no one man can say he has it all or he has reached self-actualization. It’s learning every day, consistently improving, and developing yourself. So definitely yes, there is room for expansion, expansion at a personal level, and expansion at the Zambulance level. So in terms of the Zambulance level, I actually hope to expand into the Southern province and also expand up north so that we can take care of the Kapiri-Nakonde route and put ambulances there that should be able to respond when we have situations where we have accidents on those roads. Currently, Zambulance is present in Solwezi, Ndola, and Lusaka. We aspire to incorporate an Air Ambulance. It’s a project we want to do in the future, most likely with a helicopter.
Q3: If you could rewind time, would you choose Northrise again?
I would choose Northrise University again and I recommend Northrise to others. So I have experienced education from different parts of the world but, I would like to say that what I learned from Northrise and my experience with Northrise set on a path to soar. When I joined Northrise and went into that business class, I was a medical doctor, no accounting experience and no business knowledge. I was basically a virgin in the business world and for Northrise to take me from somebody who knew nothing about business to somebody who has become successful in it, is an indicator to everybody that Northrise is actually walking the talk. I encourage anybody who wants to pursue a higher learning education to come to Northrise University. Northrise is one of the only universities that I’ve known to be able to support students, as far as education is concerned because some have been sponsored to finish their education, and others have been introduced to people who would be able to help them go through with their education.
Dr. Chipandwe in his closing remarks to our chat with him stated, “Wealth favors the prepared. To be prepared, you have to be educated. You must choose the right people and the right university in order for you to soar over the world. To reach your greatest height, you have to be at Northrise.”
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