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Value Your CEO’s Public Reputation

Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director NaMedia and Young Business Woman of The Year 2013

Many CEOs in Namibia will face the hot seat in 2015 whilst confronting struggling business lines, activist investors, and corporate splits. Others will again be expected to best represent stakeholder interest transparently; the David Nuyoma of the GIPF, Vekuui Rukoro from MeatCo, CEOs from banks (commercial and developmental) to name a few.

Where is your company CEO reputation headed in 2015? And be honest, urges Beyleveld (MD, NaMedia). It is easy to feel intimidated by your CEO and his or her philosophy that might not marry with your company mission. However, as PRO you should empower yourself to say things that matter and bring issues to light that campaign for necessary changes when required.
Are you constantly below the awareness threshold albeit with many positive stories that could boost your public image more authentically than a couple of expensive marketing campaigns? Are you always in the spotlight, faced with media critique and public scepticism? Or are you comfortable without too many expectations and taking it ‘in the stride’? There is no room for any CEO to fall short of the much needed public expectations – mostly met via ongoing and transparent public communications. Think about lessons learned and mistakes made during 2014; you will not prosper by seeking revenge against media critiques, by being ambiguous about sensitive employee data, by cancelling interviews for clarity, or making easy promises that you struggle to keep. Yes, it is not an easy job and the pay check, title, and high ranking contacts cannot be your only interests.
NaMedia monitors thirty four national mainstream print and radio media on a daily basis. From hundreds of thousands of statements analysed during 2014, a couple of facts were substantiated. Firstly, the more visible your CEO, the more visible your company brand – with higher percentages of positive media sentiment tied to your brand. Three of the top five companies of 2014, both in terms of visibility and volume of positive coverage, had their media profiles strengthened by also having their CEOs amongst the top three most visible CEOs in the media, being FNB, Standard Bank, and the Development Bank of Namibia. Companies with most negative media coverage had a lower (or below the awareness threshold) CEO media presence, such as Transnamib. Companies like Old Mutual, Meatco and Namibia Breweries drove a stronger CEO/MD brand, as directly linked to the company brand. In practice it is when Richard Branson becomes inseparable from Virgin Airlines or Wessie van der Westhuizen becomes inseparable from Namibia Breweries. It is when you earnestly believe in the CEO brand, and the Vekuui Rukoro or Sven Thieme becomes the representative of your interests or even business.
Significantly so, for 2014 the issue of Customer Relations topped the agenda for two of the top three most visible CEOs.
I guess the customer is always right, and has become better and better empowered and represented via multi social media platforms for smaller community supplier-client engagements says Beyleveld. Beyleveld concludes that commentary on Leadership, Executives, and Management Strategy also featured strongly to position these CEOs firmly within their roles as corporate leaders.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.