Frederick Mmelesi, former Letshego Financial Services Botswana (LFSB) Chief Executive, this week resumed his new role as Letshego Group Head of Consumer Solutions, whilst Boikhutso Tekane takes on LFSB as the new CEO, according to the Group announcement.
Fred’s Group leadership role is in line with the Letshego strategy to enhance its future capability model by appointing top talent to leadership positions.
In this role, Fred provides oversight assistance to the CEOs of Letshego Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland operations, together with driving retention and growth of formal sector business across the Group. Letshego’s consumer solutions include its core business of lending to formally employed customers both in the public and private sector, as well as savings, micro-insurance and related solutions. Prior to joining Letshego, Fred earned a wealth of finance experience from various organisations which he served in different capacities.
His 20-year career spanned from Grant Thornton Acumen, a finance role at the BSE-listed Cash Bazaar Holdings, followed by another finance role at Boart Longyear, an Anglo-American subsidiary. Having joined Letshego in 1999 as a Financial Administration Manager, Fred grew through the ranks to lead Letshego Botswana as its longest-serving CEO, through to his current position of Group Head of Consumer Solutions.
Through Fred’s leadership, and working closely with a team of close to 400 Batswana, the expansion programmes of Letshego Botswana have seen the company disburse P6 billion to 120, 000 civil servants, while continuously enhancing the solutions being delivered. Meanwhile, Boikhutso Tekane, affectionately known as “Tee Kay”, is a qualified business professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Economics plus an MBA - both acquired from the University of Botswana.
He has built an impressive career in corporate and retail banking spanning over 23 years. He has worked at various commercial banks including Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic Bank. Also, he has extensive experience in entrepreneurial development – most significantly, he has led the establishment of businesses in the mining sector.
Prior to joining Letshego, Tee Kay was the CEO of Botswana Savings Bank (“BSB”), where he influenced and delivered the bank’s turnaround strategy that saw the Visa debit card and a nationwide network of ATMs successfully launched. Also, he enhanced this broader access network through branch additions. During his tenure at BSB, the bank achieved business growth and sustained results. At Letshego Botswana, Tee Kay is tasked to deliver on the subsidiary’s strategic objectives. These encompass its financial performance, stakeholder engagement and people commitment in line with group strategy.
Letshego Holdings, a micro-lending behemoth has reiterated its plans of becoming a truly inclusive financial services group within the continent, the head of its local subsidiary has disclosed. Speaking on Tuesday night at a function for Botswana-Kenya businessmen and women, Letshego Botswana CEO, Frederick Mmelesi said their focus is clearly aligned at assisting low to middle income earners, who have been excluded by the financial system for years especially in Africa’s rural areas.
This is the plan that Chris Low and his executive committee will put much emphasis on going forward. “Through a broad-based financial services offering underpinned by innovation and an inclusive finance agenda, we work to deliver simple, appropriate and affordable solutions to empower fellow Africans who are typically underserved or unbanked,” Mmelesi told the event which was attended by business CEOs and diplomats from Botswana and Kenya respectively. The Letshego Botswana top executive, who has been with Letshego from day one, stated that one such example of financial inclusion is their low income housing finance offering.
The product is already a hit in Kenya, the biggest economy in Eastern Africa, where it has a portfolio of $20 million (P200million). The company has already started rolling the solution (low income finance product) to Botswana market and early signs show that demand will increase in the foreseeable future. Letshego Group Head of Corporate Affairs, Mythri Sambasivan-George said in an earlier engagement with BG Business. BSE listed Letshego, which has operations all over Africa, currently boasts a customer base of 300,000 borrowers and 100,000 savers. On another note, Mmelesi told the audience that, Letshego Kenya, which was opened some eight years ago, is the fastest growing subsidiary in Kenya providing credit services to small and micro-entrepreneurs, salaried employees, and civil servants. It was formally called Micro-Finance Africa.
Letshego, which will later this month (July) celebrate 18 years of existence, said its robust growth in Botswana and Kenya has been up-scaled by the healthy relations between the institution and governments of the two former British colonies. The Tuesday networking session also had speakers from Kenyan government. The function was done as part of a three-day visit to Botswana by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week. During his stay in Botswana, Kenyatta, the son of founding President Jomo Kenyatta and his counterpart President Ian Khama discussed pertinent issues surrounding their socio-economic relations that span decades. The Kenyan President left on Wednesday morning.