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“The O&L Group has enjoyed tremendous successes these past 27 years and the journey has been nothing short of amazing! Many businesses were created, re-engineered and redesigned to create amazing experiences with enduring impact while O&L has become synonymous with quality, innovation and creativity” said Sven Thieme this week in anticipation of the Independence celebrations next week Tuesday.
Thieme is the Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List Group, and President of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The O&L Group is the largest private sector employer in the country.
He said some of their businesses had been very vulnerable due to their dependence on Namibia only. “Today we have transformed tremendously where we now have a healthy balance of import and export, making us much more resilient” he added.
Despite the challenges, Thieme said the O&L Group enjoyed many successes such as the group’s resilience and determination to become less dependent on micro-economic components. “We introduced world-class practices and world class expertise while creating a culture where people love to come to work, where people have a bigger sense of purpose, and where people not only adore the O&L values but live the purpose, within the organization and beyond. Everyone here at O&L understands the impact their contribution has on the future of not only O&L but in their communities and the country at large” he said.
“We are faced with a tough economic climate which poses a lot of challenges. However, we should remain focused and not lose the opportunity that is presented by a good crisis – the opportunity of finding breakthroughs we never would have found had it not been for the tough times” the business sage advised.
“We have made great strides in infrastructure development while the cooperation between the government and the private sector and the conducive business environment created by government are all celebratory successes that deserves pride and recognition” he continued.
Moving to where Namibian needs improvement, he said “the entitlement culture, corruption, poor discipline and generally efficiency and effectiveness are challenges that need to be addressed with a sense of urgency in all sectors, public, private, primary, secondary and tertiary.”
“A simple example is the basic understanding of respecting traffic signs and rules. Imagine the chaos we would find ourselves in if we just ignored the rules whether it be not indicating the turn you’re about to take or skipping a red traffic light. We will eventually not reach our destination as a result of the consequences of poor discipline” he admonished.
“We have the power and ability to secure a positive future for our children, their children and the generations to come. High levels of debt and inefficiencies will be at the cost of our children going forward. We need to demonstrate more patriotism for our country by supporting local produce, products and services. Many people want their children to have jobs, but they forget that for that to happen they need to support local industry” he said adding as a parting remark that every Namibian must never forget that he or she is helping to build a prosperous future for the entire nation.