It follows Zutari’s successful launch last year after emerging from the global Aurecon group and a recent decision to re-enter the Middle East market.
This strategic development is critical to address the shifting market conditions faced by consulting engineers and to ensure the transformation of the business, in responding to these challenges, according to Zutari Chair Dr. Lulu Gwagwa.
“Trust, mutual respect and keeping each other accountable remain the key success factors for this approach. The two have worked together very well over the last 14 years in different capacities within the legacy firms of Zutari,” notes Dr. Gwagwa.
Daka will focus on digital transformation, technology, strategic partnerships and future growth. Dr. Gwagwa also indicates that the company is keen to explore more entrepreneurial ventures which Daka will provide valuable leadership for. Dr. Rohde, a seasoned engineer and executive, will continue to provide operational and technical leadership. Prior to the demerger, Dr. Rohde led Aurecon’s global operations as Chief Operations Officer.
The company’s re-entry into the Middle East (ME) market offers a more diverse geographic footprint and opportunity for growth. “The addition of the Middle East business to Zutari requires greater responsibility from management, which this appointment will support,” confirms Dr. Gwagwa.
Dr. Rohde highlights that Zutari is well familiar with the ME market, having started the business there 25 years ago. “Zutari’s re-establishment in the Middle East emanates from our recent demerger and is creating a platform for growth for Zutari. We are well positioned to leverage the geopolitical synergies between the ME and Africa markets and are able to offer world-class skills and experience to ME clients at very competitive rates,” Dr. Rohde adds.
Daka, who recently stepped down as Group CEO of listed digital technology solutions firm Etion, is known for leading successful business turnaround initiatives. He is no stranger to the Zutari business, having been involved as strategic partner since 2007.
Serving as Global Chairman of the legacy company Aurecon’s board from 2013 to 2019, he was a key driver of the decision to demerge and establish Zutari. “During the time we have worked together in different capacities within the legacy firms of Zutari, Gustav and I have developed a very good personal and professional relationship,” notes Daka.
With a career trajectory that spans chairing and serving on several major boards, public sector task teams and committees, Daka is an advocate of ethical, fair and equitable business practice. As a highly respected entrepreneur, business consultant and trusted advisor to both Blue Chip companies and public sector entities, he looks forward to building a platform for growth and to secure Zutari’s future.
He also remains optimistic about the potential of Africa. “I am still passionate about the potential of our markets – even though we face severe challenges. Local economies are not performing as they should. I believe there is much that we can do when we start working together – as individuals, businesses and as governments.”
Daka emphasises: “As the world faces the impact of a devastating Covid-19 pandemic, we see alliances across traditional boundaries being formed to address this crisis. I believe we can unlock the potential in many of our markets when we join forces this way. Partnerships will be key in enabling economic recovery post Covid-19.”
As the largest infrastructure consultancy firm in Africa, Zutari’s tenacity in co-creating engineered solutions based on shared value for business, communities and environments, resonates well with Daka.
“The company’s resolve to focus on impact played a key role in my decision to accept this appointment. I understand the importance of infrastructure development as a catalyst for growth and positive change. The opportunity to shape this impact through my new role, was also a much more exciting option than retirement,” he points out.
“In the last few years, Zutari has made good progress on the journey of digitising our information and digitalising our operations. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution evolves further, we stay on course with our journey towards full digital transformation – a journey Teddy will be able to significantly contribute to, having done that very successfully with Etion,” concludes Dr. Rohde.