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Selling tea and coffee in the heat



Selling tea and coffee in the heat

It’s easy to believe that in Botswana locals do not care much for tea or coffee, especially in the blazing summer heat.

However, 29-year-old SeabeMotlogelwa is adamant there is a place for hot beverages in our society.

He notes that when elders arrive home tired and thirsty, they do not ask for a glass of water but a cup of tea.

The Thamaga native has done his research and is convinced it’s all about changing the mindsets of customers.

“Tea and coffee are not winter drinks as we’ve been led to believe, but socializing, energizing and relaxing beverages,” he insists, before shooting to his feet to pour coffee for another customer.

His outdoor kiosk, Perfect Roast Coffee, located at Diamond Square in Gaborone’s Main Mall, sells tea and coffee based beverages and confectioneries to go with. Whether you want cappuccino, café mocha, latte, hot chocolate, or even iced teas and coffees, Motlogelwa has the perfect roast for you.

“It’s a small scale hot and cold tea/coffee convenient kiosk,” is how he describes his bustling enterprise.

The venue is perfect for relaxation. There are books and a chessboard laid out on the artsy pallet furniture. The pallet themed relaxation park, designed by KagoMonageng as a pop up for creatives,was perfect for Motlogelwa when he stumbled upon it back in July last year.

Motlogelwa has always loved tea, especiallyFive Roses, but it never occurred to him that one day he would be serving hot drinks for a living.

In fact he admits that when he enrolled at the University of Botswana to study for a Diploma in Library and Information Studies, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.

“I went to university just for the sake of it. I’m not much into academics, I’m more of a practical person instead,” he explains simply.

It was a trip to a coffee shop at the university’s campus that was to change the course of Motlogelwa’s life forever. Instantly a light came on and he knew what he wanted to do.

“That was it for me. I started frequenting coffee shops and doing research on the subject. I immersed myself in it so much so that I could understand.”

Though he acknowledges his library studies for helping him with research and opening his mind, he eventually decided the world of libraries was not for him.

While at his home village Thamaga he volunteered at the local library and realised this was not how he wanted to spend his life. From there, he worked in different departments of restaurants and coffee shops for the next five years in a bid to understand the tea/coffee industry.

His education, which he thought would be short, took longer than anticipated due to a mixture of procrastination, lack of confidence and falling into the comfort zone of employment.

Eventually, after much soul-searching, he told himself it was now or never if he wasgoing to start his own business.

“I left my last job in March 2019 and made a conscious decision not to look for another job. The passion was burning and I had already acquired the machine for the business and started looking for an ideal place.”

With the perception that coffee is for white and rich people, Motlogelwa anticipated his business would endure a slow start. Instead, he had a pleasant surprise waiting for him.

Though he still had a lot of work to change minds, he says the venture grew quickly.

“When I started I expected to be hungry and struggling for at least three years but it became sustainable in a short time,” he reveals proudly.

Though his business is satisfactory, it is not without challenges.

Due to demand he would like to start a delivery service to offices but he is still alone and it’s not easy find the right assistant or finance needed for this expansion.

“It would be easy to find an assistant but I’m not just selling coffee here but an experience. I can’t afford negative feedback,” he stresses.

Motlogelwa is not dreaming about a chain of coffee shops in his expansion plan, but just wants to create a chain of similar coffee kiosks across the country.

If the ambitious youth has his way, in five years you might enjoy a cup of Perfect Roast in a town hundreds of kilometers from Gaborone.


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FNBB announces loan repayment holiday for customers



In response to damage caused by the Covid-19 virus, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) has announced a cashflow relief for its eligible customers with a good track record of honouring heir repayments.

The relief, the bank said, is available to both retail and commercial customers for a period of three months, from April to June.

In retail, the relief applies to home loans, personal loans and WesBank loans while for the SME customers the relief applies to commercial property finance, vehicle and asset finance and term loans.

SME businesses with an annual turnover up to P10 million and an initial loan amount not exceeding P5 million will benefit from this relief program.

In addition to loan repayment holidays, the bank has in some instances introduced zero rate on some payments on digital banking channels and some of the payments that will be done for free until end of April are payments made on Mobile banking app; payments made on mobile banking; and cash withdrawal made through Cash@Till.

For the months of may and June, the bank says FNBB App payments, mobile payments and cash@Till will be offered at a 25 percent discount on the current fee and the bank hopes these measures will help ease customers’ financial constraints until things stabilise.

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ABSA in the money



Bank registers 15 percent profit increase

Two months after its official name change, Absa Bank Botswana has announced a 15 percent jump in profits.

This week, the bank’s Managing Director, Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane revealed that despite the challenges faced by the industry, Absa registered profit after tax of P678 million for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2019.

Highlighting the bank’s success, Finance Director, Mumba Kalifungwa explained it continued on a forward momentum of driving interest income growth through prudent lending across all segments.

“On a gross basis, interest income was up by 10 percent year-on-year (YoY). However, market liquidity in the year was thin and this resulted in increased costs of funds,” he said, adding overall net interest income increased by six percent.

Furthermore, according to Kalifungwa, Absa’s net trading remained flat despite an increase in trading volumes.

“This was due to the tough trading conditions and the global geo political challenges experienced in the year. To this end, in 2019 our net fee and commission income as a portion of total income represented 35 percent of total revenue which resonates with our strategy to diversify our revenue mix,” he said.

When it comes to credit losses or impairments, the bank’s expected year-on-year credit losses decreased by 64 percent in comparison to the prior period.

Kalifungwa attributed this to the Absa’s enhanced collections capability, conservative credit extension to high risk sectors especially in the Retail segment as well as significant recovery from one of their clients.

HAPPY BANKER: Kalifungwa

The Finance Director added that as they continue to pursue growth the overall balance sheet grew by 11 percent, ending the year at a whopping P18 billion.

“For the year under review, our customer loans and advances grew by 13 percent compared to market growth of 7.7 percent. This was achieved by growth in all our segments in line with our growth strategy,” he explained, noting the main driver behind the balance sheet’s growth continues to be loans and advances and customer liabilities which remain key drivers of the bank’s total revenue.

During the period, Absa’s loans and advances to customers increased by 13 percent YoY to P13billion.

“The growth was fairly distributed across the segments in line with our strategy and continues to be focused around prudent lending in our chosen business segments,” Kalifungwa concluded.

Meanwhile, the bank has set aside a total of P231 million as dividends for the year, with shareholders set to receive 25 Thebe per share.

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