It the midst of a devastating Covid-19 pandemic some corporate leaders stood out in successfully navigating their operations through the storm. Staff Writer BAKANG TIRO makes his Top 12 pick for the year.
Naseem Lahri – MD Lucara Botswana
The stunning Lucara Botswana Managing Director has been outstanding this year without doubt. Lahri was recently named among the Top 100 most influential women in mining in the world and her company also sponsored the huge Canada- Africa Chamber of Business summit. Her tremendous success stood out to be an inspirational story to women in the local mining industry, which is perceived to be dominated by the males in the senior executive positions. When Covid-19 rocked other mining operations, Lucara secured a stable market for diamonds from Lucara, ensuring that the business did not suffer the severe effects of the pandemic unlike competitors.
Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane – MD Absa Botswana
Absa Botswana Managing Director, Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane is leading the charge and growth of the new kid on the block Absa which transitioned from Barclays in February 2020. The bank under the leadership of Moshagane overcame the COVID-19 storm by driving robust customer services through tapping into digital and innovative solutions. Absa posted resilient growth in balance sheet which went up by 5% for the half year ended June 30 2020, raking in P18.8 billion revenue.
Ramachandran Ottapathu – CEO Choppies
The CEO of Choppies Group Ramachandran Ottapathu steered the company to greater heights. Important memorable achievement was when the company returned trading on the local bourse – Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) following the 2018 suspension arising from delayed publishing of results that year. Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the business operations, Choppies grew its revenue bolstered by strong performance of the Botswana operations. The retailer has continued with giving back to the customers through the Choppies Birthday Bonanza which is bigger and better.
Professor David Norris – UB Vice Chancellor
University of Botswana (UB) under the leadership of Professor David Norris took charge in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the institution producing great innovative solutions. UB embarked on pursuing the COVID-19 herbal remedy in endeavour to fight COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Norris is also championing a new strategy for the institution which seeks to make UB an entrepreneurship hub.
Pius Molefe – Managing Director BBS
Botswana Building Society (BBS) has stood out to be one of the visibly active banks this year. The bank’s Managing Director Pius Molefe and the executives exceptionally delivered well. BBS continued to maintain a strong capital base as at 31st December 2019 the bank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 24%.
Lorato Morapedi – CEO NDB
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Development Bank (NDB) Lorato Morapedi has despite the heavy odds stood out to push for revolutionising of the agriculture sector through funding many projects. NDB launched the inaugural Small Stock Expo 2020 aimed at unlocking the growth and are currently running a campaign dubbed #FeedTheNation as part of NDB Agri-Business stimulus fund.
Richard Malikongwa – Regional Director IDM
In diversifying offerings to make his institution a go-to for personal development, Regional Director of IDM, Richard Malikongwa has turned the institution into a key player in the education sector. In particular this year, he introduced various attractive programmes such as the culinary ones and other short-term programmes that are relevant to most people. His work to ensure that the institution grow into a self-sustained operation has won him admiration.
Nixon Marumoloa – CEO BSB
The Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) is one of the profitable government’s financial parastatals. Experienced banking executive Nixon Marumoloa is in charge as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). BSB has been doing quite well in driving financial inclusion across the country. The bank has expanded its branch network by opening a standalone branch in Palapye and a co-branded branch in Hukuntsi, hence showing the bank’s commitment towards financial inclusion.
Steven Bogatsu – CEO FNBB
Steven Lefentse Bogatsu, the Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB), is an accomplished banker and the bank reaps from his experience having previously served in the same capacity in eSwatini. FNBB is one the leading banks in innovation and digital platforms that boosts customer service. The bank in fully year results ended June 30, 2020 posted Interest income growth of 2% and was largely driven by the core investment portfolio which saw income growth of 12% year-on year with significant 18% growth realised on deposits too.
Prof Otlogetswe Totolo – Vice Chancellor BIUST
The veteran academic Professor Otlogetswe Totolo has accelerated Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) pursuit in research and innovation – with many products launched to help fight Covid 19 such as masks, sanitisers and soaps. Recently, BIUST partnered with Botswana Oil (BOL) in R& D projects on fuel and oil supplies and have just launched an ambitious space orbit programme.
Kgotso Bannalotlhe – MD BancABC
Kgotso Bannalotlhe is the Managing Director (MD) of BancABC Botswana having joined in 2017. The bank listed in the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in 2018 and its financial results have been improving across all business segments. As a customer-centric bank, BancABC delivers integrated the financial services that ensure preservation of value remains a core strategic focus.
Patrick Benon – CEO Orange Botswana
Orange Botswana has under the stewardship of Patrick Benon continued to increase corporate social responsibility initiatives with particular recognition being the donation of tablets to primary schools to aid learning which came handy during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have built a strong partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure inclusion in the digital age.