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All the way UP

Sourcing epic content for UPICtv

This week’s Boss is Mahatma Ramoloko, a Content Sourcing Specialist at UPICtv, an online video service established in October 2020 by Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET).

For Ramoloko, a Computer Engineering and Management graduate from McMaster University in Canada who has worked at BOFINET for eight years now, this latest role is his most exciting yet.

Let’s find out exactly what he does…….

Take us through your role as UPICtv’s Content Sourcing Specialist.

My role extensively involves the sourcing, management and strategy formulation for the UPICtv content assets in the various content spend categories largely being: licenced and commissioned SVoD [Subscription video-on-demand], LVoD [Linear video-on-demand, linear streams such as Btv, Now TV etc], TVoD [Transactional video-on-demand].

Daily initiatives extend to marketing and sales strategy formulation to ensure the UPICtv service uptake.

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Before taking on this role, what was your position with UPICtv?

My previous role was the UPICtv Project Manager.

This role extensively involved project management activities right from project inception, business case development and approval to the implementation of both UPICtv platform and Content Sourcing initiatives.

Since UPICtv’s launch in 2020, how many content producers have you signed?

We have thus far been able to source a total of 101 local content titles and engaged over 90 local content producers.

The direct and indirect employment opportunities this has afforded Batswana youth has been to the tune of 3, 804.

The outlined numbers will continue to grow year-on-year as we increase local content sourcing and development initiatives as a priority.

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Exactly how difficult/easy has it been to source local content?

Challenges differ given that the local content industry is still in its infancy.

For new industry entrants, startup financial challenges are prominent whereas for seasoned producers, sustainability and business continuity challenges are notable.

Key ecosystem players, both private and public, are, however, responsive to the needs on the ground to continue incentive production and consumption of local content which is awesome.

It’s now over a year since UPICtv set up shop, how is the company doing in term of subscriptions?

Subscribership, both direct and indirect – through our partners in the telecommunications industry – has been awesome and we have leaped to higher heights month-on-month in terms of subscription growth.

Good to hear! So what challenges, if any, have you encountered?

There is still the need to extensively market the UPICtv service and to promote local content as a priority.

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Our talent is immense and needs to be showcased.

For new technical content services such as UPICtv, there is need for extensive target market education and capacitation in order to encourage uptake.

Tell us a bit more about your professional journey.

It truly has been an exciting journey.

I started my career back in 2008 as a fresh Computer Engineering and Management graduate from McMaster University in Canada at the department of Surveys and Mapping in Gaborone working as a Systems Analyst.

My next role was with Orange Botswana as Corporate Solutions Business Partner for a period of about four years.

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In 2014, I joined Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) as a Technical Accounts Manager.

I grew to different roles within BoFiNet, which involved Sales and Marketing, Product Development, Project Coordination and Project Management and eventually my current role.

What do you consider the highlight of your career?

This without a doubt has been the development of UPICtv as a service and brand.

It has been an unparalleled journey, an absolute pleasure and learning experience to lead the development and launch of a service of its complexity, especially it being the first of its kind locally.

To date, the service continues to break local content barriers and afford Batswana an opportunity to tell their stories to the world, showcase their talent while realising commercial value both directly and indirectly by way of content development.

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And the lowest moment?

I love environments that encourage self-growth and motivation, the freedom to stretch oneself beyond what is required and creatively contribute.

My lowest moments were in places that do not foster such.

On a personal note, what keeps you busy when you’re not at work?

I have personal business opportunities that I am actively pursuing which keep me busy outside work.

Additionally, I find pleasure in Art and Food related activities.

PERSONAL PROFILE

FULL NAMES: Mahatma Ramoloko
DATE OF BIRTH: 7th September
PLACE OF BIRTH: Francistown
MARITUL STATUS: Not married
MENTOR(s): My CEO, Mr. Mabua Lesego Mabua and my Commercial Executive, Mr. Keabetswe Segole
HOBBIES: Painting, piano and playing guitar
DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Laos, South-East Asia
FAVOURITE FOOD: Seafood and anything out of the norm
FAVOURITE DRINK: Anything colorful
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY: I am always a happy soul!

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