In his mid thirties Mpho Molokwe is already a Cannery Plant Manager of the most prestigious meat processing company in the world Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).
He openly talks about his job to Mmika Solomon in candid interview held at his office in Lobatse.
Q. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I was born Mpho Molokwe. I am from Molepolole village.
Q. What do you do for a living?
I am the plant manager Cannery here at Botswana Meat Commission.
Q. What does Cannery Plant Manager do?
I manage the cannery plant of BMC, like taking care end to end of business. That is from the point where I get raw materials to inputs. It is like the general management of valuing processing.
Q. How long have you been working for BMC?
I have signed a 3-year-old contract. I am on my last year. I hope the contract will be renewed.
Q. Why do you think so?
I have a big dream for value addition process of BMC.
Q. What do you do on a daily basis?
I work with production manager on what plans are there for his department.
I also liaise with stakeholders such as customers and suppliers to make sure what BMC needs in the Cannery department are what are bought.
Q. Is that all?
I am also responsible for maintaining a good relationship with suppliers, I also supervise the Cannery plant.
Q. Does you job have any challenges?
My biggest challenge is gearing people towards the right direction. Turning their minds to think positive about work.
Q. Where do you buy these cans?
We buy from Nampak in South Africa and Can manufacturers in Botswana. However, Can manufactures do not have rectangular cans hence we are still buying from Nampak otherwise we could be buying all our cans here.
Q. How is your work schedule?
We work Mondays to Fridays, weekends is normally reserved for maintenance. Our shifts are from 5 am to 10 pm.
Q. What attracted you to work for BMC?
It is a great opportunity to work for BMC, if you are in the food processing type of business, people will always need food. I believe you can never go wrong in this type of business.
Q. I understand BMC does not receive a lot of cattle. Is there a reason why is that so?
BMC is facing a serious challenge of not getting cattle from the farmers because of the draught the country is facing. Now that there is plenty of rain we are hoping farmers will bring cattle in large numbers.
Q. Is the canning done in all the abattoirs?
The canning is done only in Lobatse other abattoirs supply us.
Q. How many people are employed under the cannery department?
I am not sure about the figure but it is about 120 people.
Q. How is the recruitment process done is it a Lobatse affair?
Many people who work at Cannery plant are casual laborers, we employ them through a word of mouth and yes most of them are residents of Lobatse.
Q. What are the products that you package?
We package the following products, Con meat chili, Con meat, Con beef, ox tongue, stewed steak and pet food.
Q. Lets talk about how you market your products, we don’t see them being advertised what could be the problem?
We are trying to get mileage we are putting measures in place to market our products locally.
BMC has always been an export company so we advertise extensively outside the country, but very soon you should be seeing our products being advertised in the local press in the next 12 months.
Q. Can one buy direct from BMC as an individual?
Yes, we allow individual customers to buy direct from us. However, you should be able to buy a certain quantity.