Botswana’s main agency for commercial and industrial development – Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) – has for the financial year 2014/15 posted impressive results recording 29 percent growth in revenue.
The corporation headed by Bashi Gaetsaloe who took over from Mariah Nthebolan posted total revenue of P194.4 million from P150.4 million made in the previous financial year.
Presenting the results to the media this Tuesday, Acting Chief Finance Officer, Maranyane Makhondo, said in addition to the 29 percent posted at a company level, the group’s revenue also showed an increase of 19 percent from P286.7million in the previous year to P339.9million in 2015.
Makhondo went onto reveal that, in the year under review, the company profit before tax increased to P109.8million following a loss of P67million in the prior year. At the group level, profit before tax grew to P247.3 million from P35.7million in the prior year.
During the same period expenses reduced by 28 percent at company level and by 41 percent at group level showing a commitment to running a leaner and more efficient organisation.
The corporation’s results come on the back of its wide-reaching transformation programme, which included not only a review on the corporation’s processes, structures and policies, but also a restructuring of its balance sheet through divestment strategy. The divestment strategy targets non-strategic assets and a turnaround programme, which targets non-performing investments.
Managing Director Gaetsaloe commented that this growth was largely driven by unwavering commitment to executing the company’s five-year strategy. “Part of that is execution of our transformation to allow the business to tackle the prevailing market conditions, as well as risk management capability across BDC,” he said.
Gaetsaloe however indicted that the journey to profitability is still at an early stage as the corporation is yet to overcome the challenges. Some of these challenges include amongst others; non-performing assets and non-strategic assets and high cost of capital especially in developmental projects.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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