Botswana Post, which has been posting losses, has turned the corner thanks to a number of interventions implemented by the new leadership. The latest annual results are a clear indication the government-owned postal service provider is out of the woods.
The parastatal’s annual financial report for the 2017/18 year indicates a profit after tax of P3.1 million, a significant 139.4 percent turnaround from the previous year’s loss. The development is attributed to change in revenue appreciation of the parastatal’s virtual sales, mainly electricity and airtime propelling the company to consider investing more in technologies.
“An investment of USD13.9 million has been committed to system development to keep up with advances in information technology over the next ten years,” said Ofentse Mabote, Botswana Post Chief Finance Officer (CFO). During the financial year under review, the virtual sales were recognised on a net instead of a gross basis.
“This was due to the fact that these items are now determined to be advance payments rather than stock items as the company has little control of the tokens sold,” said Mabote. The Botswana Post’s financial chief said other income revenue recorded a 3.8 percent up from the previous year and the non-traditional revenue lines of business services and agency services grew 6 percent against 1.8 percent for traditional revenue lines.
As Botswana Post gets into full swing with its new blueprint - Executing Innovating Excellence, the company is determined to improve its systems to ensure effective management information for enhanced decision making. “The importance of technology and its assimilation in our operations as a key differentiator has been at the centre of our business strategic focus.
E-platforms have played a role in our positive developments as far as our multi-channel approach is concerned,” said Clifford Lekoko Chief Commercial Officer. Botswana Post believes opportunities exist in the market to address the growing demand for convenience, and the demand for ease of access to services, whether native or third party.“We set out to pursue a strategy of digitalization of services enacted through the post office network,” said Lekoko.
BotswanaPost has digitalized most bill payments and critical government services, answering and meeting the market demand for ease of transacting.Through the Botswana Post web portal, the following services are now available to the public in real time - online vehicle licence renewal, Postal box renewal, water bill presentment and payment, prepaid electricity purchases, money transfer, insurance premium payment and pay TV subscriptions.
Turning the fortunes of BotswanaPost was through strategies that hunt down additional sources of revenue growth and enhanced existing ones, leveraging new technology and strategic relationships.The parastatal also took bold steps to decrease controllable costs, applied a wide variety of performance improvement measures to instill a culture of high performance in every staff member and re-arranged human resources, restructuring the organisation to deliver maximum value and customer impact.
“Having stabilised our cost base and driven revenue growth across key channels, we have rapidly gone from the inflection point, beyond the break-even point, to a healthy profitable position,” said Cornelius Ramatlhakwane, Chief Executive Officer at Botswana Post.