It has been eighteen years since Mutepa Sokoni moved to Sweden from Zambia. And he has been working for MultiMind since 2007.
“I saw an ad from MultiMind seeking a person with knowledge in the field of market research, and the position suited me perfectly,” says Mutepa.
At home in Lusaka, Zambia, he had previously worked in marketing and sales. And in Stockholm he attained more knowledge in marketing and economics at IHM Business School. He then worked with marketing and competitive analysis at BankGirot, Sweden’s clearing house for mass payments, and DeLaval.
For MulitMind’s clients he conducts market research in different regions and countries via online research and by telephone.
“The job is intense with rigid deadlines. The fun part is the variety of working with everything from market research to due diligence in so many different industries and countries,” says Mutepa.
The respondents are the decision makers in the various organizations and the interviews are conducted in Swedish or English. But Mutepa speaks five other languages – three of them are Bantu languages, which are spoken in Zambia. And he has also mastered two Slavic languages.
The reason for that is that he received a scholarship to study radio-chemistry in Slovakia. There he studied radioactive isotopes and chemical processes, and also the learned Czech and Slovakian languages. One of his cousins worked at the embassy in Stockholm, and after a few visits, Mutepa decided to move to Sweden.
“The biggest difference between Zambia and Sweden, of course, is the weather”, says Mutepa who misses the sun and the warmth. But something he really likes is the Swedish flat, non-hierarchical type of business organization, which provides more freedom while demanding greater responsibility.
When asked how he interprets the concept of “diversity”, he says that it creates a broader horizon. When one thinks differently and takes advantage of people’s different views, new solutions for old problems can be found. His favorite word is, not surprisingly, “ubuntu”, which is Zulu for “humanity towards others”.
Two basketball playing daughters keep him busy at home. When he gets a spare moment he likes to play football or work in the garden where the family grows onions, beans, peas, cucumbers and tomatoes.