The advent of social media opened Mautsu’s eyes to a sea of opportunities to explore innovative solutions for creating employment in the areas of photography and publications.
Social Light is a media management company that specialises in creating targeted social media marketing, increasing brand recognition; improving brand loyalty, conversion, richer customer experiences, humanisation of brands and analysed feedback.
“We work across different social media platforms including, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn,” says Mautsu.The 23-year -old Mautsu started exploring and testing his ideas while studying at the Botswana Accountancy College, where he was involved in voluntary work.
He was looking for something very challenging, a brand that could be accessed anywhere in the world. Mautsu started developing his portfolio project for Social Light in May 2014 through voluntary work. He has never received any external funding.
Mautsu who is also the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) Finance and Business representative for Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), has three employees and he takes time to educate them about the product. Social Light spearheads new marketing in Africa by providing globally competitive services at affordable prices.
It has so far developed social networks and provided services to key industry stakeholders among others Maitisong Festival, Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), Chain Reaction, Soul Food Comedy and Cappello.
Mautsu believes that it is wonderful to sell to customers who have had prior experience with a brand. They streamline content and create social media presence as well as increase digital exposure by focusing on quality over quantity, he said. “Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. We are able to fulfil this objective by continuous immersion in research as well as observing, documenting and analysing trends and this increases brand recognition,” says Mautsu.
Research shows that there were 403 803 internet users in Botswana as of December 31, 2014, representing 18.5 percent of the population. Against this background Social Light intends to deliver tailor made marketing to these users specifically designed for their brand, events, products and services. “Through our wealth of experience, we can help you get your business to the right audiences anywhere in the world,” he said.
Mautsu believes that the services they offer can take many organisations to the next level of business. “There is nothing better than having customers becoming the voice of your brand. Make your brand appeal to the human side of your customers. Engage in conversation so they feel valued and give them a rich customer experience.”
He says they have medium to large clientelle and they are able to keep a successful customer base by continuous development in quality service and building of relationships.
“We also take care of our clients by educating them because they are key to our organisation and they need to have knowledge,” Mautsu said they connect the brand directly to the consumer; ensuring more value per marketing spend and an increase in effective consumer engagement. For the next ten years, Social Light sees itself being a global competitor, creating more jobs, and working with international companies.
Botswana Railways hit by fuel theft
Botswana Railways lost fuel business due to continuous incidents of stolen fuel from the tanks and delays mainly at Mafikeng, in the north Western side of South Africa.
Botswana Railways Chief Executive Officer Leonard Makwinja said, during 2017/2018, their biggest failure was in this area. “Our biggest failure in this aspect was on imports, transporting of fuel from South Africa proved to be a challenge.
There have been incidents of fuel loss on tankers, sometimes a delay in Mafikeng when trains changed and when it arrives in Botswana the tank would be half empty, “said Makwinja. He said this was worsened by allegations that road transportation was cheaper. Currently, they have employed a fuel consultant to look into the whole fuel transportation. “We believe a solution will be found soon.”
The BR Chief explained they heavily rely on the relationship with Transnet to successfully execute its freight mandate. Most of the imports through rail come from South Africa and the main export through rail which is salt and soda ash is transported from Botash to Mafikeng. “Going onwards we have to depend on Transnet for connections to the respective destinations. Our strategic plan going forward is to improve our services to the oil companies so that we are more reliable, timely and profitable.”
During the period, Makwinja said they had to focus on cost containment. The main cost drivers are staff cost, fuel and maintenance of the locomotives. In his statement on Botswana Railways 2018 annual report, Makwinja said the organization’s performance was subdued due to lack of capacity to meet the demand. “In terms of tonnage, our target was 2 million tons but we only achieved 1, 5 million tons. This adverse variance can be attributed to a number of factors including lack of sufficient locomotives and practicing conservative business initiatives and marketing,” he said.
Calls to improve crop yields with technology
Greenhouse Technologies managing director, Amanda Masire has urged entrepreneurs to venture into agriculture as it is a lucrative business and more beneficial to the national economic development, despite climate change challenges.
Speaking to Business Trends, Masire said there is a need for more training and knowledge on modern agriculture technologies for the country to have sustainable food production. “I am passionate about agriculture and food production. I want to help my country to produce food for itself and reduce dependency on imports. I have learnt that despite all the challenges of climate change, we can still produce our own food through the use of modern technologies,” said Masire.
Masire is an agri-business developer, specializing in horticulture, beekeeping and fish farming. She currently operates Greenhouse Farmers Academy offering training and mentorship on horticulture farming. “Agriculture is the most lucrative business that young people should be looking into. Currently, we depend much on South Africa. We should rise up and develop the sector because as Batswana we have rich land that we are not utilising.” Her services include horticulture starter kit, which includes business plans, lessons, fertilisers and all equipments necessary for a particular horticulture project.
She is currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security to develop the ISPAAD Program. She said government would embrace modern farming technologies to improve food production. “Most Batswana have lands which they are currently not ploughing because of climate change conditions while the government gives out fertilizers and seeds every year to subsistence farmers yet there is no yield. I have come up with solutions, which include testing soil and supplying lime treatment to reduce acidity. This will help improve crop yield when adopted with other technologies,” she said.
Speaking during Stanbic Lionness Lean In Africa, Masire said with the challenges in the agriculture sector, Batswana should stop looking much into the problems and getting discouraged but should rather think of solutions. “Government is trying but we individuals also need to be innovative and assist government in improving food security. Young people should take opportunity of the agri-business market and reduce unemployment,” said Masire.
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