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CHOPPIES CEO: Ramachandran Ottapathu

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Entrenched in the nation

Ram reflects on Choppies’ proud CSI history

Leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) player, Choppies Enterprise Limited takes great pride in its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) achievements in Botswana.

Emphasising this pride in an exclusive interview with The Voice on Wednesday, Choppies Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ramachandran Ottapathu noted the supermarket has undertaken both big and small initiatives that have left a lasting mark in the community.

“This company has both its soul and heart entrenched into the nation,” declared Ottapathu, who is more commonly known as Ram.

One of the legacies he is particularly proud of is the company’s willingness to employ disabled people.

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“We took it as an initiative where, if possible, stores could accommodate one or two physically disabled people,” explained Ram.

The retail boss is also proud of the role his company has played in training locals as manager and supervisors, an achievement he considers Choppies ‘most creative contribution’ to society.

“To date we must have trained over 1, 000 managers, and what is satisfying is that these managers and supervisors are still with us,” he added.

Ram was also quick to highlight Choppies’ impressive contribution to local sport over the years.

“The biggest contribution ever made by a private company was when we contributed P1 million when the African Youth Games came here,” he said, noting the immensely successful event, held in Gaborone in 2014, was money well spent.

Moving away from the sporting field, Ram marvelled at the huge impact Choppies has had on the National Housing Appeal.

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“We didn’t just contribute, actually we remain the biggest ever contributor to the National Housing Appeal!” revealed Ram, adding Choppies have pledged to build 138 houses for the needy, delivering close to 100 so far.

Furthermore, Ram revealed Choppies sets aside 1 percent of its profits to go towards charitable organisations.

“So, if you take for example last year, Choppies and its associate companies led the drive in contributing to the Covid-19 Find,” he stated.

Highlighting just how much the business has pumped back into the country, Ram calculated that in the last 10 years alone, Choppies has spent ‘hundreds of millions’ on CSI projects.

“This is because Choppies has been in the forefront contributing groceries to public servants working outside their stations over the festive holidays,” explained Ram.

The scheme has been running annually since 2007 and is due to return this year following a two-year hiatus forced by the outbreak of Covid-19.

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Going forward, Ram revealed Choppies has developed a keen interest to contribute to the agriculture sector, particularly the horticulture sub-sector.

“Choppies is proud of its contribution to this sector through the support it continues to offer. It stands highly among Choppies’ contributions to the society as it plays a key role in the economy.”

Concluding the interview, Ram reiterated Choppies commitment to making a meaningful difference in the country, the region and the continent as a whole.

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