Tapping-in to talent
Godfrey Hani joined Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) in May this year as divisional manager: Freightliner, Western Star and FUSO. CLAIRE RENCKEN spoke to him about this exciting new chapter.
Hani had been at MAN Truck & Bus for seven years when he was approached by a head hunter. “I considered the move to MBSA because Daimler AG is a global leader in the automotive industry, offering lots of opportunities for me to grow as an individual,” he says.
“The value system of MBSA suits my own value system hence it is a perfect match for my career advancement and also my contribution to the automotive industry. I wanted to experience a different work culture in order to further shape my own leadership style and also add value to the great organisation that is MBSA. Looking after the brands from USA and Japan – Freightliner, Western Star and FUSO – is very exciting for me in my quest to enrich my knowledge base.”
Hani has a great vision for the brands he is responsible for. “I have been truly empowered to drive the strategy for these brands and have received great support from our principals in Japan and USA. The sky is surely the limit,” he enthuses.
Hani brings with him extensive senior management experience in the commercial vehicle sector. “I served as the executive committee member responsible for the sub-Equatorial African business at MAN Truck & Bus from 2008 until I left. In this role I was responsible for 14 African countries.” He has immense experience both in the automotive and transport industries, including financial management.
For Hani, a typical day at the office begins and ends with sales. “I am exposed to the entire commercial vehicle business throughout the day, touching on all aspects that improve our internal and external customers’ experience with the brands I am responsible for.”
The trend of employing more people in the industry excites Hani, because it shows that the transport industry is contributing positively to the growth of the economy. Going forward, he believes the industry will continue to strive towards satisfying customers’ demands in terms of service delivery. “Of course, the focus on greener operations that will sustain our wellbeing will also continue.”
Hani is extremely happy with MBSA’s progress this year in positioning the Freightliner, Western Star and FUSO brands in the market. “The coming year is set to be better than 2012 as we will continue to offer increased value and improved customer satisfaction levels,” he adds. “The rest of Africa has always been ‘the untapped diamond’ in terms of trucking and busing, and shows a lot of potential. Sales have continued to grow particularly in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique.”
It looks like Hani has big plans for 2013. We’ll certainly be watching this space.