Taking Charge of Our Business Together

Sunday, 20 July 2014
Illovo Sugar Ltd

"THE Business Understanding Programme, affectionately referred to across the Illovo Group as BUP, has been with the business for years, a programme aimed at educating, informing and communicating its objectives and achievements across the group."

Taking Charge of Our Business Together

IMAGE (Above): THE theme of BUP 2014 is “Taking Charge of our Business, Together”. A four-day centralised Train-the-Trainer of BUP facilitators from all Illovo countries outside of South Africa took place in Durban during April. ABOVE is a group photo of the facilitators drawn from Malawi, Tanzania, Swaziland and Mozambique together with MD Gavin Dalgleish (centre back), finance director Mohammed Abdool-Samad (third from right) and project coordinator Rob Goldman (in front of Gavin), who commented: “With serious engagement with the Programme content from our MD, other executive members and senior role players, I have no doubt that this will prove to be the best BUP ever.”

BUP 2014 Gets a Makeover

THE Business Understanding Programme, affectionately referred to across the Illovo Group as BUP, has been with the business for years, a programme aimed at educating, informing and communicating its objectives and achievements across the group. In line with our Continuous Improvement approach, underpinned by our Strategic Intent, the 2014 BUP took a different approach. Its scope has been extended to include Sharing, Recognising and Taking Ownership, integrating the theme “Taking charge of our business, together” which is self-explanatory and intriguing at the same time.

This theme was further unpacked into four sub-themes: Our company, Our markets, Our strategy and Our people. These are the pillars of Illovo’s successes over the years and will continue to be, going forward.

Our Company: Illovo is a known brand with more than 100 years’ presence in Africa. This section provides the opportunity for employees to look at Illovo with both an internal and an external perspective. This will allow them to ascertain our relevance in the business spectrum and as corporate citizen, to be conscious of other brands and acquainted with the changing needs and expectations of our stakeholders and consumers, to acknowledge change and evolve with the times.

Our Markets: The focus was to bring home the fact that Illovo Sugar does not operate in isolation; it is part of a much bigger, global system. It is imperative for employees to understand the relevance of their individual role and responsibility and how it impacts on overall company business performance. This understanding and realisation would help to mitigate and respond to external factors that may help or hinder company performance.

Our strategy: The art and science of planning and organising resources for their most efficient and effective use. Through the strategy implementation we will be proactive in identifying the opportunities, accept responsibilities, develop plans and take control to deliver on the Illovo promise to its shareholders, stakeholders, customers, clients and partners.

Our People: Companies and organisations are becoming more and more cognisant of the critical relevance of people in building reputable and sustainable brands. Illovo has taken an approach to recognise people, our MD Gavin Dalgleish has taken a position and is putting efforts into placing people high on the agenda of making Illovo a sustainable and reputable organisation following the concept of “Right” people with the “Right” attitude, moving in the “Right” direction. In BUP 2014, several success stories with humble beginnings are shared; these stories are testimony that with the right attitude anyone can achieve their goals. Below are three examples:

SIMON NGCAMPHALALA’S journey is one of humble beginnings: joined Illovo Sugar 33 years ago as a cane cutter with a matric on his back, which did not deter him. He went on to complete his A levels in Maths and Physics at an ABET centre. This opened doors for him to complete his engineering qualifications at Mangosuthu Tecknikon. He later went through the EIT programme and is currently shift manager at Ubombo. Simon recognises the importance of the teamwork and support he received from his managers and colleagues over the years.

MARK GOUNDER literally grew up within Illovo - his father worked for Illovo for 36 years and when Mark joined Illovo as a B1 cost clerk he was known as Krish’s son. Mark quickly established his own identity, he studied through Unisa and completed his BCom degree while working his way up through the ranks, and became management accountant all in the space of five years. Mark is now a qualified CA holding financial director position at Illovo SA. He attributes his success to approaching life backed by his family values, being willing to listen and learn, grabbing opportunities and making the best of it.

WISEMAN NENE is an electrical engineer at Illovo based in Eston. After completing his matric and with no funds to pursue further studies, his only option was to look for a job. Set on his objectives, he was appointed at Illovo as artisan hand where he saved for his enrolment for his tertiary studies. He later received a bursary at Illovo and continued to do vocational work during school holidays. He came back to Illovo with a National diploma in Electrical Engineering, subsequently completed B-Tech and went through the EIT programme. Wiseman was among the first group to take part in the IEP exchange programme, going to Northern China where the extreme winter weather and language barriers would have discouraged many but not this young determined man who says “hard work does pay-off”.

Illovo supports approximately 35 students at various tertiary institutions on full bursaries and about 70 in various disciplines on its graduate-in-training (MIT) programme at any one time across the group.

Going through the BUP 2014, I could not help but be inspired; Illovo Sugar is truly a company with its roots deep in the African soils and its wings spread across the globe. “Taking charge of our business, together”: right people with the right attitude moving in the right direction.

Munyadziwa Rabambi


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