Climbing the ladder

Helena Indongo-Kaale is the branch manager of Pupkewitz Megabuild Ondangwa and has been with the company for 15 years.

13 April 2018 | Business

Her journey with the group started in November 2003, when she was employed as a receptionist at Pupkewitz Megabuild Ondangwa. She was transferred to Pupkewitz Megabuild Walvis Bay as a cashier in August 2005.

In June 2006 she was promoted to salesperson and in March 2007 to contractor salesperson. In May 2012, still at the Walvis Bay branch, Helena became the first female yard operations manager in the group. She was also responsible for the fleet.

In August 2016 she was promoted to trainee relief branch manager at Pupkewitz Megabuild Ondangwa and in December 2016 to branch manager.

Helena was born in Ondangwa and attended primary and secondary school in Tsumeb. She is married to Tobias Indongo and they have four beautiful sons. She enjoys spending time with her family. Her favourite hobby is gardening and indeed she has a beautiful garden at her house in Ondangwa!

Helena attributes her successes to self-confidence and a strong belief in herself and her abilities.

As the branch manager, Helena runs all the daily operations within the Ondangwa branch. Her day starts at 06:40. Before the branch opens for business, she usually meets with her whole team. This daily morning meeting highlights the previous day’s sales and celebrates small and large victories within the branch. Through this, she motivates her team. During the day, she ensures that the team regularly does PPI (perpetual product inventory) stock counts. Helena believes in MBWA (manage by walk about) and is often seen on the shop floor and in the yard.

The Pupkewitz Group’s vision is to be a leader in transformation and to develop employees to their full potential. The group cares for employees at all levels with the primary objective of having a dynamic, skilled and engaged workforce and to offer equal career opportunities to all Namibians.

The Pupkewitz Group believes that training and developing employees is one of the most powerful mechanisms in the transformation process. To give effect to this, the Talent Management Department, which was established in 2016, in collaboration with the various group companies, started to develop future leaders in order to create a talent pipeline by empowering employees through leadership development programmes.

Helena successfully completed the Pupkewitz Management Programme (PMP) in 2017, and she is currently part of the Pupkewitz Leadership Programme (PLP).

“The talent management initiatives have been transformational so far and have really enhanced my skills and knowledge. The programmes have equipped me with essential leadership tools, not only to apply in my position, but also to pass down to my team.

“The programmes have also greatly assisted me with my time management in helping to better manage and plan my daily activities. This has also led to developing a planning culture at the branch. For example, the team gets all their work in order and their desks tidy and ready for the next day’s trade. I have also greatly benefited from the programmes on a personal level,” Helena said.

The journey of Helena Indongo-Kaale is a typical success story of the group’s number one unifying principle, which is ‘Commitment to People Development’. Apart from being a better-equipped leader, the programmes have also taught her to think beyond the obvious, which is another one of the group’s unifying principles.

Helena added that she feels privileged and extremely proud to be part of the Pupkewitz Group and all its successes.

According to Schalk Pienaar, group talent management executive, the diversity of the Namibian population is a great asset.

“The Pupkewitz Group believes in embracing and leveraging the collective intelligence, knowledge and wisdom from the different people and cultures in our business.”

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