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Switching lanes

Switching lanes

It is now over two months since the versatile Mothusi Molokomme was appointed as the Managing Director for G4S Botswana.

Having spent most of his career in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – the liquor industry specifically, Molokomme recently switched lanes to the security industry where he hopes to use his experience as a seasoned business leader to take G4S to new heights.

He recently sat down with Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON where he talked about among other things, how the security industry can be improved.

Q. Firstly, congratulations on your recent appointment as G4S Botswana Managing Director?

Thank you – it has now been 11 weeks since I joined the company.

Q. You joined the organization from a completely different field, how have you found the going so far?

A. It has been, as expected, challenging, and not necessarily that it’s a different industry per se, but just a different environment with its own unique ways.

I have previously changed industries so that for me is normal.

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From the immediate industry I was at (FMCG), this is polar extreme in terms of industry, however similar in terms of how to lead and run a business.

In most cases the customers I dealt with are clients from my former employer which makes it a continuation of relationships I have had.

Q. You have also worked in various fields such as mining and the financial sector. Of all the industries that you worked under, what would you say was your career’s highlight?

A. The FMCG – specifically the liquor industry – was the highlight specifically because I worked for two different companies within this industry (KBL & Distell Botswana) and occupied three different roles during the period with varying degrees of responsibility.

So it was a fulfilling experience and I have always loved exciting assignments and that industry allows you to experience that.

The learning aspect is fulfilling not to mention the fact that all these companies are multinationals so the opportunity to also learn from your peers in other markets is gratifying.

Q. You come in at a time when the company has just been acquired by an American company, what are some of the changes that you anticipate to happen?

A. So the acquisition of G4S PLC, our parent company, was completed in April.

However, as per our Board’s notification to shareholders, there are no anticipated changes in the short to medium term within our market and none envisaged in Africa either.

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What we will gain is leveraging technological offerings from Allied Universal which will make us an even better-integrated security solutions company, for the benefit of our consumers and ultimately our shareholders.

Q. What have you set as your priorities for the Company?

A. It is easy to point out growth metrics for any incoming MD but that is exactly what I am here for – we and not I, have set out our priorities of further trying to grow the company in an industry beset by legislative impediments, intense competitive landscape and a generally struggling economy impacted further by COVID-19.

The priorities are sustained growth, focusing on top-line growth, training, and development of our employees (and retaining them), and ultimately maximizing good returns for our shareholders.

The first two priorities will ultimately result in the last one.

Q. You spent a better time in the alcohol industry where your advocacy for the betterment of the industry was felt, do you feel you left the industry where you wished?

A. I believe that the leadership of BAIA and I really did.

The challenges that we faced over the years made us partner with the Government to try and resolve industry issues and in the main, these were addressed in principle.

All that followed was that from time to time we met up with the leadership of the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry to share learnings and discuss shortcomings – this was also due to the leadership of the former Minister (Hon Serame) who beyond just Government’s mandate understood the need for business to co-exist despite the challenges we had.

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I left BAIA in capable hands and I believe they will continue where (from a leadership perspective as Chairman) I left off.

Q. G4S recently reported a reduction in revenue due to the impact of Covid-19; do you believe the company can still make a turnaround in the midst of the pandemic?

A. Yes, in our last reporting we were lower than the previous year in terms of revenue – however, this was across the board with many companies in a similar situation due to, in the main, to the pandemic.

There are signs of green shoots emerging however the landscape remains very tough.

We are optimistic that the strategy we have in place will help us navigate this difficult terrain.

Q. Regarding the industry you currently serve, what is your view on it; do you feel it is growing or stagnant?

A. The industry has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade.

The government has also been deliberate to try and open up the industry to commendable citizen participation.

However, challenges remain on the methodology of implementing this.

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In my opinion, opening up must not, in the process close out participation by other players (for as long as their efforts are geared towards the objectives of employment creation) and general contribution to the economy.

Q. Where do you think it can be improved?

A. There are many other ways and I look forward to engaging with the relevant stakeholders through the Security Association – we can have that conversation further once this has been discussed.

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