Transformation an imperative at Pupkewitz
A peak at the LinkedIn profile of recently-appointed Pupkewitz Group Chief Executive Officer Dougie Truter reveals little about the man who steps into the shoes of the late Harold Pupkewitz.
This week the Windhoek community got the first inside glance of the man who is now at the helm of the second biggest private company. However, while on a roundabout trip between all the Pupkewitz enterprises, attempts to look inside the man yielded even less about the former Imperial executive’s plans and how he is adjusting to life in Namibia.
Speaking briefly about himself he said, I‘m an entrepreneur. It is perhaps because of my entrepreneurial streak that I am in the corporate world. Any attempt to find out about the man at the helm yielded the response, “its not about me, its about the company.”
Members of the media were invited to spend a morning with Truter who this week celebrated 100 days in office following his hush-hush appointment in July. Truter speaks with ease about the need for transformation, calling it a business imperative. “A competitive advantage is to be gained from transformation and gender equality. Pupkewitz won’t just be talking about it, it will be a business imperative,” he said setting the tone for his tenure.
This is in contrast to the lack of transformation at the media-shy Pupkewitz Group Holdings Namibians have come to know. Proof of that shows with only one black senior manager in sight at the breakfast briefing, and no black director on the board or among all the Managing Directors of all the subsidiaries. There is also not a single female in the top structure, white or black.
Shifting the focus back to Truter, he sets himself the ambitious but not insurmountable challenge of doubling business. He said “there is opportunity for new business.”
“There are also greenfield acquisitions and space for collaborative work with the government through Public-Private-Partnerships. I plan to bolster the supply chain, cut out the middlemen” he dared adding that there is great opportunity to source from Asia and Europe directly.
Truter takes over at a time when Pupkewitz Motor Holdings announces the reintroduction of Datsun to Namibia, making it the seventh vehicle brand housed under its motoring subsidiary, hoping to compete for market share in the low end of the market with Datsun vehicles priced to go for just over N$109,000. The Pupkewitz Motor Division claims to hold at least one third market share of the total vehicle market.
On the need to do collaborative work with the government in the PPP space, Truter put it bluntly, “I am in it to make profit,” stating that he is open to do business with the government.
With about 1574 employees, Pupkewitz Holdings is eclipsed only by the Ohlthaver and List Group in revenue terms. The Group is bigger than Bidvest Namibia and Bank Windhoek.
Moving on, Truter said that while the opportunity to expand beyond Namibia exists, he must ensure that he has the right human capital available saying, “we will need competent staff if we plan to expand beyond Namibia. ”