People and leadership – these are key to the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group’s Vision 2025 which was officially announced by the O&L Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme, and CEO Wessie van der Westhuizen, at a media conference on Monday, 21 October – on the group’s 100th birthday.
Reflecting on the conclusion of O&L’s Vision 2019. Thieme said: “We did very well with our targets – even in the midst of the current economic challenges – and we are very excited about the next 100 years, with our vision 2025 being our first goal for the next century.” With its bold stands for the Group’s Vision 2025, being: Leading Genius, being ranked amongst the Global Top 25 Great Place To Work (GPTW) companies, 10 000, 00 Employment Opportunities Secured and an EBIT of N$4 Billion, Thieme says O&L is ready for, and bullish about, 2025.
CEO Wessie van der Westhuizen emphasized that the group’s 2025 plan is a People’s Strategy which speaks directly to the Group’s vision of: Being a catalyst for positive change, delivering new realities and fulfilling dreams. Van der Westhuizen: “It is about the bigger picture, and not O&L alone. The bigger picture being our country Namibia and our people. If we look at the magnitude of imports into the country, the poverty levels, the high unemployment rate, and the other challenges we face, we have no choice but to dream big, take on these challenges, and to do everything possible to make a difference. But most of all, we want to inspire people to take responsibility for positive change in the country – starting from within the group, we want O&L employees to be able to live their personal purpose, and to get to know and understand what the best version of themselves looks like. We want the pursuit of 2025 to unlock the full potential in everyone.”
Thieme said the group had and would continue to invest heavily in leadership and people development. He added that while the exact business growth areas in achieving the ambitious 2025 targets had not yet been identified, the group was open to whatever opportunities presented themselves – whether in current sectors, or new innovations. Thieme: “It is important for us to re-invest in Namibia. Last year alone we invested N$750 Million. In order to remain globally competitive, we have to reinvest, and we have to continue to be open to other opportunities, creating new realities, beyond what we currently know.”
Van der Westhuizen echoed Thieme’s sentiments and emphasized that new-to-world concepts and innovation will be a big focus for the group going forward. Van der Westhuizen: “We have to be bullish. That is how we have been able to get to where we are today. People will think we are crazy in our stands, and that is ok. It is this crazy type of thinking that gets us to achieving our targets, and to ensure that nothing is impossible.”