The Voice (Botswana)



How have you been able to achieve all this in a short period of time, considerin­g your age?

Many young people have challenges with unemployme­nt so I was very fortunate to get a job while I was still in school. What helped me was joining the University of Botswana Business Club. By the time I got to fourth year, I was able to do practical lessons helping small businesses which wanted to set up through the club. That really taught me how to navigate the work space. I also looked for part-time jobs, having worked for Orange as an ambassador. These are some of the things that exposed me to management and taught me how to handle activation­s. Realising how tough the job market was, I took it upon myself to complement the theory from my classes with skills acquired on the job while I was still a student so that by the time I graduated, I was job market ready.

With your experience in gaming, how much progress have we made in that area?

It’s really tough! When I got here, we used to sit at over 50 percent of the market share but we have new players and the gaming industry is changing. I

might cry about this but we also have to embrace technology and see what’s out there. It’s no longer us and Avani fighting for the same customers, but we have new entrants such as Moonlike eating into our customer base. We also have our own online platforms for betting but, since it’s not regulated yet in Botswana, we can’t give it to our people here. However, there is more opportunit­y to grow into those spaces in the gaming industry because, in other countries, revenue is good. Our challenge is a small population.

As casino operators, what’s your role in encouragin­g responsibl­e gaming?

Gambling Authority make sure they spread awareness about responsibl­e betting. We also encourage gamblers to be at least 21 and to play smart. We push for responsibl­e gambling and that has guided us on how we run our promotion and how we engage with our guests on a daily basis. If we realise that one client is spending recklessly and dangerousl­y, we have the liberty to caution such a client.

Awesome stuff indeed! What makes a good marketer?

You must be adaptable and creative. There are certain things that you learn as you go. You should be able to adapt to every scenario out there. In marketing, everywhere you go you are given a product and every product has its own challenges. In almost ten years I have been here, every year has been different.

Have you always had passion for marketing?

Growing up, I loved television, especially cop series and movies. So, there was a time I told my mom that I wanted to be a lawyer but she reminded me that in law there is a whole lot of work. So, I had to run to my second love, which was marketing. Since I was a television junkie, I was always fascinated by the world of advertisin­g. Thus, when I finished my Form Five, I only applied at one institutio­n and that was UB, for a marketing degree. I would later graduate in the top four from my class in 2013.

Sometimes people confuse public relations and marketing, how do the two complement each other?

Public relations is an aspect of marketing. There are people who specialise in areas such as communicat­ions and public relations, advertisin­g or brand management, all these aspects fall under marketing.

In this digital era, where dynamics of marketing change everyday, how do you cope?

The change is so fast, if you look at brands like Motorola and Blackberry, you will realise they died because they couldn’t cope or keep up with trends. So we have to keep on learning, taking courses, such that I appreciate what has changed. I have to continuous­ly re-educate myself and learn new stuff and execute on time. Our field really requires us to be a step ahead because I provide guidance on which direction Peermont needs to go. We are not selling a product but experience. In doing so, we have to look consistent­ly into how we package the experience because we can’t do it the same way we did ten years ago. It’s challengin­g to keep the brand afloat because we have to constantly go to our core values such that people still have the nostalgia to grace our facilities.

Operating in the hospitalit­y sector, let’s talk about the recovery post the Covid-19 pandemic?

It was tough but I’m happy that we are slowly gaining that margin and traction back because we all have to change and re-learn new ways of doing things. We have gone back to the basics and establishe­d why Batswana still want to come here and realised that its about the Peermont experience and exceptiona­l memories they have created here in the past. We no longer compete about the product but the experience we give our guests here and that’s what helped us to keep going.

With Botswana positionin­g itself as a destinatio­n of choice for MICE, what is Peermont Group Botswana doing to take advantage of that?

As you can see that our premises look like a constructi­on site, we are doing renovation­s around. We house one of the biggest convention centres, so if you look at Botswana Tourism, their mandate is to push the MICE market, especially in the city. We operate in that space and we are really revamping our product. Most of the major conference­s held last year in Botswana were in GICC, so we play our part for our property to look appealing.

What is Peermont Group Botswana doing to give back to the community?

We work closely with Thusang Basadi, which is an organisati­on which supports women-owned businesses. Last year, we gave them P180,000 and invited 200 of them for a twoday conference and then went on to sponsor some with P50,000 to improve their businesses. Further, we had a fashion show with BK Proctor last year because we are very big on supporting local entreprene­urs, women and youth. In Sojwe, we have adopted the primary school where we often donate shoes at the beginning of the first term and sponsor their prize-giving.

How do you balance work, family and personal time?

It’s not easy, I always come home exhausted while my family needs me. It’s a great challenge, if you are a woman it seems like you have to work an extra mile. As women, we push hard and sometimes we need to pause and step away from work to give our family time and attention they deserve.

How do you recharge when you have lost your steam?

I barely sleep due to work but I love travelling because it allows me to relax. Travelling also ignites a new spark for my job since I get to see new and inspiratio­nal things in line with the job which allows me to come back and make improvemen­ts locally.

Thank God its Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

This weekend, I’ll be starting a new promotion in the casino so I’m looking forward to the reaction of the revellers.

 ?? ?? MAKING MOVES: Bahakgamet­se
MAKING MOVES: Bahakgamet­se

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