Monday, July 4, 2022

New KBL MD bullish in spite of challenges

The newly appointed Managing Director of Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL), Johan De Kok, is optimistic that he will turnaround the fortunes of the organisation despite challenges that they face, among them the ever increasing alcohol levy.

In a interview with Sunday Standard , De Kok described himself as an optimist and someone who has endless energy, is accountable and has impeccable integrity to support KBL teams regardless of the challenges.

“In such regard, I aim high in all aspects of life, am approachable, interactive and demand a 100 percent from my team. And by team, of course, I mean ‘working and winning in teams’. It is only through these ways that I can adequately deliver the required capacity to contribute to the strategic objectives of the business that are often accompanied by tight budget and cost targets,” he said.

De Kok expressed hope that his appointment will translate to a renewed vigour to this philosophy in such ways that proactively mobilize their key stakeholders. These include, among others, consumers, suppliers, retailers, distributors; as well as the wider community to sustain KBL’s contribution to the country’s development.

“I am a firm believer that when KBL wins, our stakeholders and society at large win,” said De Kok.
On whether he is under pressure to have landed KBL’s top post at the time when the company is facing challenges such as alcohol levy, De Kok revealed that one of the company ‘s core principles when it comes to people is to “work & win in teams”, both internal and external to the organization.

“In such regard, we believe in actively engaging with our stakeholders and maintaining a constant engagement with them to ensure that we remain proactive and abreast of issues, challenges and the complexities that are pertinent to our business environment,” he said.

De Kok explained that the immutable truth is that, regardless of industry, institution or type of business, leadership achievement can truly only be realized through people; that is, employees, individual teams, and stakeholders [both internal and external].

“Having worked in another role at KBL in the past, I am aware of just how fortunate I am as my teams comprise of a high caliber of dedicated professionals and employees whom I am confident will be most instrumental in helping me to achieve the high expectations of my role and deal with the pressure that comes with it,” De Kok said.

Asked to share his views on the alcohol levy, De Kok said as KBL they are of the opinion that people are more amenable to the more persuasive, informative and educational approaches that enable them to make more informed choices when it comes to alcohol consumption.

“It is for this reason that we have launched and embarked on targeted interventions such as Ikgalemele; a campaign that inherently espouses these principles. It recognizes that alcohol abuse is a complex problem that requires a multi-stakeholder approach that is well supported by interventions that are targeted to specific segments and / or undesired behavior and drinking patterns, as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” he said.

De Kok added that they are committed to being a big part of the solution and will continue to actively engage and work collectively with all stakeholders to address irresponsible alcohol consumption.

“Discouraging irresponsible consumption is the first out of our ten sustainable development priorities and, as to be expected, the business feels very strongly about it,” he said.

He has spoken about his priority as KBL MD to develop, manage and control the short term, medium and long term tactical and strategic direction of the business. He added that he intends to manage through clearly defined roles and accountabilities; providing leadership and management skills to all functional areas within the organization so that the stakeholders expectations are met in a sustainable and socially acceptable manner.

“Our responsible consumption initiative is designed as targeted interventions and therefore directed towards both our internal and external stakeholders. Internally, all of the Group’s employees are mandated by the Group Employee Alcohol Policy that regulates the conditions pertaining to the use and abuse of KBL’s products or any other alcoholic products consumed by KBL employees whether at social functions, at Company Pubs, while on duty, or reporting for duty. This policy covers all KBL employees, permanent or temporary, as well as visitors and contractors on KBL sites,” he explained.

De Kok took over on April 1st from Lesotho-born Hloni Matsela who held the post of Managing Director at KBL and BBL for the past six years.

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