In this week’s chapter of Meet the Boss, Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON chats to Acute Global Limited, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elliot Moshoke.
The impressive 41-year old boasts qualifications in law, finance, and real estate.
In this interview, Moshoke speaks candidly about his aspirations of seeing local grocer, Payless become a significant player in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry following a turbulent period that saw the business fall into liquidation.
Kindly provide a brief background of Acute Global Limited.
Acute Global Limited’s investment portfolio spans retail, financial services, real estate, and energy.
What drives us is the concept of ‘Botswana- First’, which believes that Botswana-owned entities in the private sector are enablers of economic and social wealth creation.
Acute Global Limited invests and drives long-term growth in Botswana’s strategic sectors.
We inspire and nurture hope in pursuit of excellence by leveraging on our roots, collective experience, industry insight, and agility to nurture investments and acquisitions of strategic businesses with great cash flow potential for the sake of our people.
The company recently assumed control of Payless Supermarkets in the country; does this mean the supermarket’s troubles are history now?
Payless Supermarkets was in liquidation and the business, assets, and the ‘Payless’ names were acquired through one of our entities, which is Ellis Retail Group.
We are in the process of engaging distributors and stakeholders in the retail sector to get the eight Payless stores to an even better condition through store refurbishments and a brand refresh.
We have plans to increase our footprint starting with a new store in Kanye soon.
Watch this space as there will be more to come!
As you will recall, the Payless brand is one that a lot of Batswana resonate with and holds a lot of memories in the milestones of our country Botswana.
So what can Payless customers expect in terms of products and footprint?
Payless customers can expect refreshed and refurbished Payless Retail stores, a refreshed brand, and a growth in the footprint of the Payless supermarkets.
Our focus currently is on ensuring the eight stores are fully operational and we trust that with the support of the financial institutions, distributors, and customers, our narrative of a 100 percent Botswana-owned FMCG chain will be supported.
Which segment of consumers will the ‘refreshed’ Payless be targeting now?
Through its ups and downs, Payless customers have remained loyal and have preferred the Payless store due to its excellent customer service, short queues, especially during this Covid-19 era, and value for money.
Traditionally, Payless targeted Living Standard Measure (LSM) 1-5 which focuses on the Lower-Income segment.
However, with the current transition in progress, our target market is not limited.
Payless is expanding the scope to LSM 1-8 and we aim to service customers from across the spectrum with our interventions.
Our key focus is aimed at ensuring that we offer value for money with a second-to-none service that will provide a unique shopping experience.
On a more personal note, kindly share with the readers your journey in the corporate world?
I’ve been called a serial entrepreneur and I can see how that title has stuck because of the over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship in diverse industries in Botswana. All we are doing as Acute Global Limited is centralizing in a corporate group structure the companies that I’ve spearheaded with my family over the years together with the mergers and acquisitions we have been fortunate to be a part of.
What would you describe as the stand-out moment of your career to date?
The acquisition of Payless is the highlight thus far and I look forward to more milestones of creating impact in some sectors that have traditionally had majority foreign-owned influence.
You boast a diverse, and indeed impressive, educational background ranging from law, finance, and real estate – where does your passion mostly lie?
My passion lies in transforming lives and I guess that has informed my educational background.
Away from your busy schedule, how do you pass time?
I am a typical Motswana wasekei – the farm is where I spend my time.