DHL’s focus on Africa pays off

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By ‘Mathabana Kotelo

MASERU — International express delivery giant, DHL, has been lauded for its exceptional
service across Africa maintaining its claim to be “The International Specialists”.

The global market leading firm has received recognition in all continents across a broad range of functional disciplines including human resource and customer service.

The latest recognition is the Frost & Sullivan award for Market Penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa which brings the total number of external honours won by DHL Express since January 2013 to over 20.

Awards have been won across several departmental functions, from superior customer
service, great operational quality to marketing efforts and social impact in local communities.

Speaking on the company’s long-standing success, Head of Marketing for DHL Express
Sub-Saharan Africa, Sumesh Rahavendra, said: “We have gone from 300 to over
2 000 retail points because our customers asked us to.

We are lucky that we have people who put the customer in the heart of everything
they do and when you combine the attitude of our people with the skills they learn from
our global Certified International Specialist programme (CIS), it creates a winner.”

DHL hit South African shores as far back as the early 1980s with a vast majority of
revenue being generated from servicing corporates.

Focus is mostly on international delivery because locally DHL faces competition from
numerous local courier companies.

Now with a staff complement of 23, DHL Lesotho started operating in 1982 servicing small corporates.

The market has since grown to include the government sectors, larger corporates, the textile industry and some individual customers.

DHL Lesotho sales executive, Tlotliso Tlali, said, “In our economy, the government remains the biggest buyer so, along with the textile industry, we service a number of government sectors, specifically the Foreign Affairs ministry as they have embassies in many countries across the world.”

DHL Lesotho has embarked on a rural development and conservation project aimed at reducing household wood consumption by 80 percent for 10 000 households through the use of the Save80 cooking sets which are would also help in determining individuals who are credit worthy since data would be available at the bureau.

Economists, on the other hand, believe that the government should concentrate on reducing regulatory burdens and the cost of doing business in order to stimulate the investment
climate.

According to Mokoena Arthur Majara, a local economist, the civil service is bloated and
must be cut by half in the next five years as a reform measure.

“World-wide recurrent budgets are limited to 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product
(GDP). South Africa is currently at 32 percent (2012 budget speech) despite its massive
social spending which is spiralling out of control and not sustainable,” Majara said.

He said the recurrent budget of Lesotho was expected to register 38 percent of GDP
by the end the current fiscal year (2013/2014) in March.

“The retrenched personnel from the civil service should join the private sector and invest
their terminal benefits there,” Majara said.

However, Majara said such development would require political will never seen before
in Lesotho to execute such a reform.

He said since the country attained independence from Britain in 1966, the civil service had been politicised and used as a reservoir for loyal votes by incumbent governments.

Majara however said that the 2010 Land Act was one initiative in Lesotho that could
bolster economic activity.

“While this Act was a political hot potato, its phenomenal success has proven that taking
unpopular decisions that are founded on good economic principles can save the nation
from the scourge of poverty,” Majara said.

The Act, among other things, enables citizens to access loans through their lease, which as Majara said, was a positive move.

DHL’s focus on Africa pays off HIS Majesty King Letsie III was the first to get an ID in July last year. Tšolo said it would now be easier for banks to release funds to help in the establishment of new businesses since it would be possible for individuals to be easily identified and traced if need be made of long lasting stainless steel and cook food faster with minimal smoke.

The Save80 stove cooking sets are tailored for consumers living in the foothill areas in
Lesotho who regularly use wood to cook and boil water.

The Save80 stove cooking set includes a stainless steel Save80 Paola, a stainless
steel five-litre pot, a stainless steel eight litre pot, an eight-litre cast iron pot and a
Wonder box heat cooker.

DHL Lesotho has provided a 50 percent subsidy to enable households to afford to purchase the Save80 cooking sets, paying only M200 deposit and fixed M20 installments thereafter.

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