DHL Express International is experiencing an increasing demand in the retail sector, DHL Botswana Country Manager, Mokgethi Magapa told Gazette Business in an interview recently. He noted that the retail sector forms a significant part of their business and the increasing demand in the sector is driven mostly by the Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
“Our key focus is in international business. We are still experiencing a growing demand in the market especially in the retail sector, especially driven by SMMEs either wanting to export their goods and services, and others wanting to import raw materials and goods for their businesses. Some of them have tenders to supply goods and they buy goods from China and from the United States,” he said.
DHL has close to 120 retail partners in Botswana and Magapa said they are growing their retail sector well in their pursuit to improve convenience for SMMEs. The company strengthened its retail business with an initiative called Express Easy. The initiative was preceded by a six-month pilot project with a few Engen Botswana service stations last year, the project which Magapa said was successful and they are now planning to roll it out to the rest of the country.
Express Easy is an initiative where customers can send parcels at Engen service stations with DHL service points. Magapa said it is convenient to their customers because they can send their goods at any time since Engine service stations open 24-hours, which is part of the reason why they chose it instead of other service stations. He said that DHL and Engen complement each other very well.
“The strength of the Engen brand and the strength of the DHL brand is a natural fit. Engen are leaders in that space (retail). Obviously we were looking at the brand, we were looking at the convenience they provide, and generally they are very strong in the retail section. They were also receptive to our idea, that we can add value to their offering,” he said.
In total, there are 140 points where DHL services can be accessed in the country and the company will be looking into expanding its reach by identifying more retail partners. “We have identified a retail partner in Gantsi, meaning that we can now do deliveries and pick up from there,” Magapa told this publication.
Meanwhile, the company will this Thursday open its refurbished and extended headquarters in Block 3. DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Charles Brewer is in the country for the anticipated official opening of the facility which will be done by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse.
In his visit, Brewer is also expected to meet with key stakeholders, customers, DHL employees and the media to discuss trade and development in the country. He is expected to pay a courtesy call on the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and also tour the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) facility in Gaborone. According to Brewer, the mining industry offers significant growth opportunities for the company and the economy of Botswana.
Brewer was quoted by his company media team as having said Botswana is increasingly a key market for them in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of sector investment, increased consumer spending and economic activity. “The purpose of this visit is to look at the future growth opportunities for the company and the economy of Botswana,” he was quoted as saying.