The Funeral Service Group (FSG) has intentions to strengthen its footprint in SADC countries where the group currently operates, before setting eyes on new markets.
Mike Nikolic, FSG Group Managing Director said the company plans to increase its market share locally, in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa ahead of making new initiatives to swell their pan- African presence.
“We are going to continue to expand in these countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa). They are keeping us very busy,” said Nikolic. Nikolic said FSG operations have been rising in Zambia and Zimbabwe, where the group intends to open up more outlets before the year ends.
“In Zambia, we are the leading brand and we entered Zimbabwe end of 2017, still at infancy but very positive about the market,” said Nikolic, highlighting that in South Africa the company’s strength is in accessories and tombstones.In Botswana the company controls 60 percent of the market share and is using its local experience to leverage its entry into other markets.
Nikolic further revealed that rolling out services into other countries has its own challenges for the group, though it was an inevitable move considering Botswana population size. “The road was not easy but very rewarding,” said Nikolic, adding that the group’s trail of success is notable through influence in product development which is rubbed off to its peers in the industry across the continent.
FSG also attributes its business growth to the group’s ability to evolve and embrace technology, courtesy of the company’s ICT department created in 2006. “All our software programmes are created in Botswana and utilised in other countries. This has given us extreme strength, our operating systems are very unique for all our fleet and business management system,” Nikolic said.
This month, FSG celebrates its 25th anniversary with the biggest celebration slated for the 6th of August and the company remains optimistic, amid the challenges the company has faced. “It was very hard, but we have achieved a lot, in a very admirable way,” said Nikolic.
FSG’s diversified portifolio comprises of manufacturing coffins and caskets, funeral services, assurance, property and catering over 25 years. The group’s subsidiaries include FSG Private Cemeteries, FSG Assurance, FSG Properties, FSG Enterprises trading as iFood and FSG Services.
With over 20 branches in Botswana, the company has two in Zambia – Lusaka and Ndola and is in the process of opening another in Kitwe, one in Zimbabwe’s second capital Bulawayo and ten branches in South Africa. The company’s annual revenue exceeds 165 million pula and 500 employees in the four countries with Botswana claiming the largest stake of 350 employees.