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Enrich assistant manager shares insight into leadership

By Thandiwe Kubere

MASERU – A leadership position is a level some aspire to get but would seem quite far to reach and the knowledge of getting there is somehow narrow. On a quest to alleviate the rate of unemployment, find ways of realizing our dreams and the correct career path to follow, the Assistant Manager of Enrich stores, Mr. Morapeli Letuka highlighted some of the key factors to attaining the assistant manager position and performing well at it.

Mr. Letuka explains that as an assistant manager, his job is to oversee the overall performance of the store, from the supply chain, handling orders, overseeing the sales of the stock and making sure there is proper procurement.

“I make sure the stock is well priced and captured appropriately as well as see to it employees rightfully carry out their duties”, he said.

Explaining how he got the position, he reveals he studied BSC (Hons) in E-Commerce at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and graduated 2015. “In 2018, I was in Hlotse streets selling different things including vegetables that I grow from my garden. I did this with the Chief Founder of Enrich Holdings, Mr. Maine John Maine.  He dished out a business concept that we discussed and saw very viable”.

He declared that him and the founder had known each other for a very long time- since 2008, had established great friendship and a good working relationship. “The possibility of the idea was stimulated by a Chinese businessman Mr. Huoa Long and SMS Supermarket which was owned by Mr. Mashapha, a great Mosotho businessman!”

Mr. Letuka said what makes it easier to carry out his position is that he saw the business virtually before it came to being and he was present when it started from scratch. Knowing the goal and being accustomed to all the operations of the business comes in handy for the assistant manager position. This can be done by carrying out a number of researches and equipping oneself with knowledge.

The position relies heavily on teamwork and familiarizing oneself with the different departments of the business. He deliberates that what has guaranteed his success in executing the roles attached to his position is how he works closely with the eight different departments in the business. For a person to be a good assistant store manager, they need speed- to be able to think fast on his feet and make decisions.

“Attaining this position needs someone who is a good business leader, they need to be very observant- it requires someone who is well aware of the evolving trends happening around them as well as the society’s needs. Working well with people and knowing how to communicate is also very essential for my job. It also requires intensive training”, he explained this is so that the best is drawn out of people and they are assigned with suitable duties. A good leader is one who is able to make sure that colleagues are at the same pace and have a common goal.

What has been helpful in properly executing his role since 2021 is working with people he is able to trust with responsibilities. They set targets together and when they meet them, there are some incentives given out for further motivation.

He explained exposure to a variety of information also plays a vital role in improving his areas of expertise. “I read a lot- different contents to have a vast of information. This helps in understanding different perspectives and views so as to make informed decisions”.

“For someone to fill this position, they should have experience. Personally, experience does not mean that they should have previously been hired somewhere. It simply means someone who has been well exposed and attained certain skills in life- someone who is creative and has the entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities to sell products to people”. He said he was raised in a way which encouraged entrepreneurship by selling and interacting with people from a very young age and I am already passing that knowledge unto the young ones around me.

“Therefore, even for job intakes, we go for people who have been out there and have a different experience in life. This is why we also take interns to train and rotate them in the different departments in order for them to gain field experience”, he said.

He added that even someone who is not academically smart but good at implementation would qualify and be suitable for this position.

“We also need people with the willingness to serve because people can only put in the effort they see you put in as the leader. You need to be able to work as twice as hard such that employees do not have an excuse to be lazy”.

“As a Basotho owned entity, our main objective and intention is to capacitate Basotho production and help them run business in a way that they would meet the international standard. And our doors are always open for them to approach us with samples after their produce so that we tell them guidelines to meet the market and have their products up on our store”, he said.

 In words of Mr. Morapeli, what paves the way for successfully executing roles in his position is surrounding himself with people who are already doing well in the industry and have advanced.

“In life, in order to grow, you need to surround yourself with people who are bigger than you. Even when applying, in order for yours to stand out, you need to find someone who will give a good recommendation on your behalf. Again, attach a portfolio of the work you have been doing so that you have a better chance.”

Even when you give out job posts, which we do after every financial year end, we seek out for those particular people who stand out, who we see a potential of creativity, innovation and has the ability to multitask and cope, he added. In any case, he emphasized he learns a lot being part of the establishment and about his position as well. He urges those eager to fill this position to be lovers of learning and have a keen eye for detail of everything happening around them as well as to be prepared to work twice as hard because a good leader leads by example.

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