NAMIBIA – Namibia Dairies, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, has officially appointed Leonie Prinsloo as its Managing Director (MD) as of 1 July 2020. Prinsloo had formerly held the position of Head of Marketing at Namibia Dairies.
Prinsloo expressed her enthusiasm in taking on the position but acknowledged that big challenges lie ahead for Namibia Dairies and the dairy industry as a whole.
“I am very excited to be starting in this new role, but I know it will not be an easy journey. It was initially hard to avoid feeling overwhelmed as there are so many pressing issues to consider, such as COVID-19, food security and job creation,” she said.
“It is a major responsibility and I feel very humbled and honoured to have been chosen to lead in this role and to be welcomed as a woman in leadership.”
“I believe it is no longer a man’s world, but a leader’s world and I am glad to see it rising in all spheres of society, whether it be in business or government. Empowering others is essential to achieving the end result and with that empowerment, anyone can make a success of themselves.”
Coming from the world of telecommunications, Prinsloo joined O&L in 2011 as Brand Manager at Namibia Dairies. Thereafter, she became the company’s Head of Marketing and also served as Acting Head of Marketing for Hartlief for three months before her promotion to MD.
Prinsloo is firmly committed to ensuring the presence of a sustainable industry that is able to provide food security, notwithstanding the challenges and uncertainty farmers are currently facing.
“We need to find new opportunities to combat the present risks and that is why, in the case of Namibia Dairies, we will be diversifying our portfolio and business focus. In order to keep offering our products at affordable prices we need to focus on what we can do and find partners for the activities we can no longer optimally perform,” she said.
“The proportion of our dairy product offerings will be less in future, but that opens the door to other possibilities. We can extend our product lines to bring customers new products under the brands they have come to know and love, thereby maximising the potential of our existing brands.
“That is part of what I am looking forward to the most: turning all opportunities into realities. I firmly believe we have the ability to change anything from the way people think all the way to the bottom line.”
A lesson that Prinsloo will be carrying with her as MD is that perseverance is key to survival.
“In what will be ten years with Namibia Dairies next year, we often faced tough times due to factors impacting our industry. However, even during the challenging years, all it took was finding a way and making a plan, and we achieved great things. I do not accept the notion that something cannot be done,” said Prinsloo.
The specifications of her job include taking responsibility for and leading an industry, feeding the nation, contributing to job creation and bringing the O&L Purpose to life.
Recently the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group subsidiary group Hartlief, a supplier of meat products appointed Gunther Ling as its new Managing Director (MD).
Namibia Dairies (Pty) Ltd was established in 1997 following the merger between Rietfontein Dairies and Bonmilk. The Company has since grown into a leading force in the Namibian dairy industry and employs over 700 people at its main production plant in Windhoek, the !Aimab Superfarm in Mariental and various depot locations across Namibia.
Namibia Dairies is the major supplier of fresh and long-life milk, value-added dairy products and other beverages in Namibia and operates depots in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Otjiwarongo and Oshakati. The company is known for its product innovation and value-adding production processes.
With its own fodder production, dairy farms and strategic milk-producing partners, Namibia Dairies forms an integrated network of milk supply, processing, value- adding production and the largest national cold-chain distribution network in Namibia.