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Selling tea and coffee in the heat

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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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IDM’s Richard Malikongwa and Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe receive top awards

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Richard Malikongwa, a seasoned Human Resource and Corporate guru who serves as IDM Regional Director and Chief Executive, was bestowed with the highest award of the Congress of “Chief Executive Officer with Human Resource Orientation”, while Botswana Country Director, Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokgwe received the Women Super Achiever Award.

Dr Seitio-Kgokgwe is also a recipient of the 2018/2019 Global CEO Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards.

The two Executives are commended for steering transformation at IDM and taking the Institution to higher levels as evidenced by amongst others; the Institute’s exponential growth and deliberate focus on people, since assuming their roles in 2016.

Chairperson of the Institute of Development Management, Governing Body and Director of Public Service Management Naledi Mosalakatane has commended the duo for the achievement.

Mosalakatane says IDM Board and Staff are proud of their sterling job of steering IDM to greater heights, further delivering excellent results.

According to the Founder of World Sustainability Congress, Dr R. Bhatia, the CEO with HR Orientation is the highest accolade which recognizes a Chief Executive in the global scene who employs the right combination of interventions to drive business performance, who is authentic and people oriented, and aligns his diverse teams to achieve solid business results on sustainable basis.

On the other hand, Women Super Achievers award is a reflection of professional achievement by women of the world who set a big example for transformation and change. The award celebrates the most respected and much sought-after Women Leaders in the industry who contribute immensely to the field of Women Platform, as well as nurturing talent, having trained several young people to grow in their profession.

The World HRD Congress is a global event which attracts thousands of international professionals from over 100 countries around the world.

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Diamond delight

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Diamond delight

OLDM engages with stakeholders

Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani held an engagement session with stakeholders last Wednesday.

The session, which took place at Orapa’s Itekeng Hall, was meant to update stakeholders on the progress of the three Debswana-owned mines as well as their community initiatives and the impact of their activities.

Motlhabani told the packed hall that OLDM employs mostly Batswana, with locals making up 99 percent of the staff contingent.

However, he admitted that the ratio of females-to-males was low.

“We have few women and we are looking to hire more. As Debswana we are inspired by our purpose, guided by our vision and we act in line with our values,” stressed the GM, revealing that OLDM currently employ 2, 973, with just over 20 percent of the workforce made up of women.

In terms of productivity, Motlhabani revealed that OLDM on average produce 12 million carats every year.

He further stressed that at Debswana they take safety extremely seriously.

“We are working towards zero harm through a number of safety initiatives. We now have alcohol testing which has helped us a lot as we have seen a noticeable reduction in alcohol consumption.”

Turning his attention to on-going projects at OLDM, Motlhabani announced they are in the final stages of building a Slimes Dam.

“This will provide capacity for the life of the mine at Orapa and is progressing well. We expect it to be completed by April,” he said.

As for the future, the GM announced plans for a ‘Cut-3’ project, which is hoped will increase the lifespan of Orapa mine way beyond its current projection of 2030.

“The project is to commence in 2023. When a big project is coming we intend to make big plans. It will create more employment and impart skills to the community. There will also be increased business opportunities,” he promised.

Stakeholders who attended the session included Dikgosi, Boteti Sub District Council, Heads of government departments and parastatals and the business community.

The stakeholders were also taken on a tour of the Adrian Gale Diamond Museum, which tells of the history of Botswana’s diamonds and showcases some of the artifacts discovered on the journey.

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A wealth of potential

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A wealth of potential

LLR CEO expresses confidence in local property market

Real estate giant’s Letlole La Rona (LLR) has expressed confidence in the local property market amid fears it is becoming saturated.

Speaking to Voice Money this week, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa insisted there was still potential for growth in the market, in particular in the retail sub-sector.

Early last year, LLR sold the four hotels it owned to Cresta Marakanelo, which had previously been leasing the properties.

While this impacted on LLR’s portfolio diversity, Mutiswa maintains the business is now ‘back on track’.

Appointed to the role of CEO in May 2018, Mutiswa’s first assignment was to oversee the sale of the hotels.

Having successfully achieved this, his focus is now on growing the company above the usual practice of simply ‘delivering dividends’.

“We have managed to sell the hotels and what has now happened is that we decided to do two things. The first is to double down on the industrial property space, which is a our biggest competitive advantage. We are the largest institutional industrial investor here in Botswana,” stressed the CEO.

Secondly, Mutiswa says LLR will target the retail space, a strategy they have already started with the recent acquisition of Watershed Mall in Mahalapye.

“We are involved in developments including one retail mall here in Gaborone and we will be announcing it shortly. Previously our only retail exposure was the Blue Jacket Street in Francistown where we had a one-third partnership.”

Mutiswa further explained that as the economy develops, the key component of Botswana’s GDP comes from consumers.

“As such, there is still huge potential in the retail space!” he reiterated, downplaying the notion the country has more shopping malls than it needs.

“If you are a property investor and you stay by the sidelines and say Botswana right now is saturated in terms of the retail space, you will miss the boat because 10 years back this was also the belief.”

Additionally, Mutiswa revealed LLR plan to quit the residential space imminently.

“We have one residential unit. It consists of 42 apartments and we find that it is management intensive. That asset is valued at P43 million out of the balance sheet right now of P1 billion, which is around four percent of the total portfolio.”

Although insignificant, in terms of administration Mutiswa says the property takes up around 50 percent of the company’s time.

“It is likely we will be looking to dispose of that particular asset and we do not expect to venture back into the residential market,” stated Mutiswa, adding LLR will remain focused on industrial, retail and office space.

In relation to office space, he says they will concentrate on the new Gaborone Central Business District (CBD) ‘as that is where most businesses are moving to’.

As LLR’s portfolio continues to grow locally, Mutiswa says the organisation is now considering investment opportunities outside the country.

“If you look at the other five listed property companies, it is only LLR which doesn’t have regional exposure.”

He points out the company has made significant inroads and the expectation is to close a regional expansion transaction during the course of this year.

“It has taken a bit longer than we would have liked. In a way that is positive because in any investment, what determines the profit or return on investment is not the quality of the asset or income you get from that asset, it is the price at which you got it!” he noted.

According to Mutiswa, the company is looking at markets such as South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

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