Who’s Embracing Modern Work Methods at the DSE? A Case Study of the Top Five Companies: Part 1

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“Are there any other companies implementing flexible work policies similar to PwC?” One of my friends raised this query after perusing my article regarding PwC’s dedication to pioneering work methodologies. You can access the article here. Following the publication of my piece, which delved into PwC’s efforts in adopting new work methodologies and fostering career development for its employees, numerous individuals expressed a keen interest in understanding how other major companies in the country have embraced the flexible work approach and offered employee career growth programs.

My inquisitiveness prompted me to investigate the top five companies listed on the Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) with the highest market capitalization, examining their approaches to incorporating new work methods within their organizations.

As of April 2024, these top five companies were Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) with a market capitalization of TZS 3.2 trillion, NMB Bank Plc with TZS 2.3 trillion, Vodacom Tanzania Plc with TZS 1.7 trillion, Tanzania Cigarettes Company (TCC) with TZS 1.7 trillion, and CRDB Bank with TZS 1.4 trillion.

While my research is grounded in their annual reports for the financial year 2021-2022, I believe there have been no significant changes compared to the current conditions of the five companies in terms of their adaptation to new ways of working and how the companies are valuing their employees.

What Are New Ways of Working (NWOW) Policies?

New ways of working refer to the exciting and transformative approaches to employment and work practices that have emerged in response to our ever-changing world. These approaches are all about embracing flexibility, adaptability, and the power of technology in the workplace. NWOW is a shift from a traditional 9–5 workday and office setup. Let’s dive into what this concept entails:

Flexibility is key; Think about flexible work arrangements like remote work, flexible hours, and job sharing. They give employees the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work, making it easier to balance professional and personal lives.

The Rise of the Gig Economy: You’ve probably heard of the gig economy, where people take on short-term or freelance work through digital platforms. It’s all about being your own boss and juggling multiple gigs instead of committing to a single traditional job.

Tech Takes the Lead: Technology is at the heart of these new ways of working. We’re talking about automation, artificial intelligence, and data analytics, which are changing the way we work and boosting productivity.

Work from Anywhere: Remote work is on the rise, thanks to the internet and tech innovations. Now, employees can do their jobs from the comfort of their homes or any location outside the traditional office (provided their work can be done from home).

Balancing Act: Achieving work-life balance is a priority. We’re recognizing that a harmonious work-life blend promotes well-being and reduces stress.

Learning Never Stops: Continuous learning and skill development are crucial in this rapidly changing job market. Staying competitive means keeping your skills up-to-date.

Fair Work Standards: Upholding principles like fair wages, job security, social protection, and labor rights is vital, even in non-traditional employment setups.

Globalization, digitalization, and shifting demographics have influenced these new ways of working. They offer amazing flexibility and freedom, but they also come with questions about job security and worker rights. As a result, policymakers, employers, and workers are all adapting to these exciting changes in the world of work.

While the adoption rate of these policies is notably high in America and Europe, African companies have been relatively slow in embracing NWOW (New Ways of Working) policies. Although challenges like technological barriers persist in many African countries, I firmly believe that there is ample room for prominent African companies to align with global shifts in how employees work and are valued.

Similar to other African nations, Tanzania has seen a limited number of companies embracing these policies, with a majority being foreign organizations and only a handful being Tanzanian companies. Notably, the “Big Four” consulting firms, including PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young, have already implemented certain NWOW policies and demonstrated their effectiveness within their operations.

My research delved into how large corporations are shifting away from traditional work styles to embrace new and contemporary approaches to working. The analysis centred on the top five major players in the Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE): TBL, NMB Bank Plc, Vodacom Tanzania Plc, Tanzania Cigarettes Company (TCC), and CRDB Bank. Let’s now explore each of these companies and their efforts in adapting to new ways of working policies, as well as their practices aimed at accelerating employees’ career growth.

Vodacom Tanzania Plc

One of the prominent telecommunications companies in Tanzania, which has been listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange since August 15, 2017, is a significant player in the telecom industry. As of June, the company boasted a substantial user base of 19.10 million subscribers, according to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority’s June 2023 report.

Read Related: Addressing Barriers to Digital Adoption: Insights from Vodacom’s Managing Director

This marked a 2.5% increase from the 18.65 million users recorded in April 2023. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) report for June underscores that Vodacom commands an impressive market share, controlling 29.83% of the country’s customer base, followed by other companies like Airtel, Tigo, Halotel, TTCL, and Smile.

In the fiscal year 2021–2022, the company achieved a profit of TZS 44.6 billion after a period of instability in its financial records. This success can be attributed, in part, to the leadership of Ms. Hilda Bujiku, who served as acting CEO until Mr. Philip Besiimire assumed the CEO role in October 2022.

It proved to be a remarkable year for Vodacom and its shareholders, as 50% of the profit, totalling TZS 22.3 billion, was distributed to the shareholders, while the remaining 50% was retained as earnings for the company. Remarkably, since its listing on the DSE in 2017, the company has disbursed dividends totalling over TZS 571.5 billion to its shareholders.

Vodacom Tanzania Plc CEO, Mr Philip Besiimire

Despite the impressive narrative surrounding Vodacom, it is essential to assess the extent to which the company has embraced New Ways of Working (NWOW) and empowered its employees to advance in their careers.

First and foremost, Vodacom distinguishes itself as one of the select few companies in the country with a steadfast vision of becoming the premier workplace for its valued employees. Among the company’s three overarching visions, one stands out prominently—the aspiration to be the employer of choice. In essence, Vodacom aims to be the preeminent organization where professionals aspire to build their careers.

Vodacom, with a workforce of over 560 dedicated professionals, is actively implementing a range of initiatives aimed at advancing the careers of its employees. The company’s unwavering commitment to its workforce is exemplified by a substantial investment exceeding TZS 65.2 billion. This investment covers critical areas such as employee salaries, comprehensive training programs, and skill development initiatives.

Within this significant financial commitment, a noteworthy TZS 344.2 million has been specifically allocated to employee training and leadership development, with a sharp focus on enhancing digital proficiency to align with the demands of the digital transformation era. This strategic investment has yielded tangible and commendable results, culminating in the company’s outstanding performance and the accumulation of over 14 prestigious awards in its accolade cabinet by the end of the fiscal year.

Furthermore, Vodacom achieved a remarkable 93% engagement index score, signifying a notably high level of employee engagement when compared to many other companies. Additionally, the company reported a staff turnover rate of 6.0%, a notable decrease from the 10.5% turnover rate observed in 2021. This reduction in turnover is a testament to Vodacom’s unwavering commitment to its goal of becoming the foremost employer in the country.

Also Read, Digital Dream vs Reality: Tanzania’s Tech Ambitions Meet the Global Innovation Race.

Notably, the 6.0% staff turnover rate at Vodacom falls below the global staff turnover rate for the year 2022, which stood at 9.3%, as reported by Praisidio. This achievement highlights the company’s dedication to retaining its valued workforce. In line with its commitment to employees, Vodacom has identified six priority areas of interest: health and safety, ensuring a secure working environment, providing avenues for employee feedback, offering competitive remuneration, enhancing leadership coaching capabilities, and fostering opportunities for personal and career development.

What About NWOW?

In its annual report for the year 2021–2022, Vodacom Tanzania Plc did not provide any information regarding its adaptability to new ways of working. As a telecom industry leader and a technology champion, I firmly believe that Vodacom has a unique opportunity to embrace these modern approaches to work.

I have heard from a friend that the company may have flexible work policies in place, although I have not independently verified the accuracy of this statement. I hope that in the upcoming report, a clear statement will outline how the company is actively adapting to new ways of working.

One of the primary challenges many African companies face in this regard is technology. However, Vodacom holds a distinct advantage as a technology-focused company. It is entirely feasible for Vodacom to research how New Ways of Working (NWOW) policies operate and how they can be effectively integrated into the company’s operations.

Furthermore, it is essential to establish a robust system for monitoring the impact of these policies during implementation. This ongoing evaluation ensures that any practices that prove ineffective or have adverse effects on the company can be adjusted or revised. Consistent monitoring and assessment are critical for gauging the effectiveness of these policies, their influence on employee productivity, and their impact on the company’s financial budget.

Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL)

Tanzania Breweries Limited” (TBL). Tanzania Breweries Limited is a well-known beverage manufacturing and distribution company based in Tanzania. It is a subsidiary of AB InBev, one of the largest brewing companies in the world. TBL is primarily involved in the production of various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including beer, spirits, and soft drinks, and it plays a significant role in the beverage industry in Tanzania.

TBL was originally established in 1933 under the name Tanganyika Breweries. However, in 1964, it underwent a name change to become Tanzania Breweries Limited, reflecting the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. On September 9th, 1999, TBL made its debut on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange by listing 294,928,463 shares after a successful initial public offering (IPO) at TZS 550 per share.

The company functions through two primary divisions: the beer division and the wine and spirits division. Within the beer segment, TBL offers a range of products, including clear beer and opaque beer. Additionally, the company and its subsidiaries own a diverse portfolio of liquor brands, such as Safari Lager, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, Ndovu Special Malt, and Konyagi. TBL is also responsible for producing and distributing brands like Castle Lager, Castle Milk Stout, Castle Lite, Peroni, and Redds Premium Cold.

TBL stands as one of the nation’s leading contributors to tax revenue. For instance, in the fiscal year 2021–2022, the company paid TZS 528 billion to the government, a notable increase from the TZS 472 billion paid in the previous year, 2020–2021. The company’s substantial operations have resulted in the creation of more than one million jobs, either directly or indirectly.

Furthermore, TBL reported a significant increase in its dividend payout, totalling TZS 85 billion, which marked a notable 14% growth compared to the previous fiscal year, 2020–2021. This resulted in a dividend of TZS 290 per share for each shareholder, symbolizing a prosperous year for both the company and its shareholders.

In the annual report of TBL, Mr. Jose Moran, the company’s Ecuadorian managing director, emphasized that this success was attributable to robust volume performance and enhanced operational efficiency. While this assessment holds, the report also raises an important point. It appears that there is relatively little acknowledgement within the report for the contributions made by the employees who, in various ways, played a role in the company’s performance.

TBL Former  Managing Director, Mr.Jose.D.Moran

Our performance is a direct result of our fundamental strength and strategic choices as we continue to invest in our brand’s capabilities — Mr. Jose.D.Moran, Managing Director, Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL)

In his statement, the former managing director (who left the company in early February of this year) acknowledged the crucial role that employees have played in the success story of TBL.

However, I observed that employees were mentioned towards the end of the statement, which may inadvertently suggest that their contributions to the conglomerate’s growth are not given due recognition. In the words of the Managing Director, he emphasized, “Our performance this year would not have been possible without the passion and ownership culture demonstrated by our people.”

In addition to its various employee benefits, the company proudly upholds a commitment to equal-opportunity employment and actively facilitates a comprehensive training program. This program focuses on enhancing the skill sets of employees through a variety of online training initiatives organized by the Africa zone and globally.

The primary objective of these programs is to provide employees with technical skills and enhance their effectiveness in company operations. While technical skills are undeniably crucial, the company should also consider designing programs aimed at helping employees acquire soft skills and grooming future leaders capable of assuming leadership roles within the organization.

For the fiscal year 2021–2022, the company allocated TZS 208 million towards staff training programs, reflecting a decrease from the TZS 274 million spent in the previous year, ending in December 2021. This reduction in investment in staff training and development may suggest several possibilities.

It could imply that the company is prioritizing other areas over the development of its employees, who are undeniably the driving force behind the company’s success. Alternatively, it may also indicate that the company has encountered financial challenges, necessitating a reduction in expenditure on staff training to reallocate resources to other critical areas.

What about NWOW?

The annual report of TBL lacks specific details regarding the company’s adoption or implementation of New Ways of Working (NWOW). It is possible that the board has yet to fully recognize the potential effectiveness of this approach for both the company and its employees. If internal policies have not been formulated thus far, there remains an opportunity for TBL to embark on a thorough exploration of NWOW concepts.

Conducting comprehensive research into NWOW and considering how it can be tailored to align with the unique nature of TBL’s operations is a prudent step. Such research will enable the company to execute these policies effectively, mitigating operational risks and striving for the desired outcomes.

Tanzania Cigarette Company (TCC)

The Tanzania Cigarette Public Limited Company (TCC Plc), which is part of the JT group of companies, holds a distinguished history that mirrors the transformations witnessed in the country over the past five decades. Founded in Tanzania in 1961, the company has established a wide-reaching presence with over 16 branch offices across the nation and a workforce of over 440 employees.

The year 2021–2022 marked a significant milestone for the company, as it generated a profit of TZS 106.8 billion, representing a notable increase of 23.7% compared to the previous year, 2020–2021, during which the company recorded a profit of TZS 86.3 billion. This impressive performance translated into substantial benefits for shareholders, who received a commendable dividend of TZS 670 per share.

Among the five companies that I researched, TCC stands out as the sole entity that has actively implemented New Ways of Working (NWOW) policies and prioritized employee development and growth. In the year 2022, TCC allocated TZS 212 million toward training and development programs for its employees.

Mr Takashi Araki, CEO of TCC Plc

The notable decrease in the amount allocated for employee development raises questions regarding the factors that influenced the reduction from TZS 274 million in 2021 to TZS 212 million in 2022. Notably, in 2020, the company invested only TZS 175 million before increasing it to TZS 274 million in 2021 and then subsequently decreasing it in 2022.

These fluctuations in the budget allocated to employee development could be attributed to shifts in the company’s priorities or potential financial challenges that necessitated cost-cutting measures to safeguard the profitability of shareholders.

How About NWOW?

Among the five companies that I researched, TCC stands as the exclusive entity that has implemented New Ways of Working (NWOW) policies. In its annual report for 2022, TCC presented a comprehensive overview of how it has successfully integrated and upheld these NWOW policies, benefiting both employees and management alike.

TCC’s NWOW policies encompass several key facets, including the provision of flexibility for employees to work remotely from upcountry regions for up to 15 days and from overseas locations for up to 10 days. Additionally, the company extends its support to employees by ensuring they have well-equipped home-based offices that adhere to ergonomic standards, thereby enhancing the overall work experience.

While the company has not officially disclosed whether it conducted any surveys to gauge employee engagement or satisfaction, it is reasonable to speculate that employee satisfaction was notably high during that period.

This heightened level of employee engagement may have played a pivotal role in the company achieving recognition as Tanzania and Africa’s top employer for the fifth consecutive year, as awarded by the Top Employer Institute. Furthermore, the company received the prestigious “Employer of the Year” accolade under the category of governance and leadership, as conferred by the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE).

The company’s report, as outlined in its statement, provides a detailed exposition of its unwavering commitment to valuing its employees and underscores its dedication to preserving a harmonious work-life balance. As an inquisitive learner, I am poised to delve deeper into the implementation, challenges, and advantages of these policies for TCC, seeking a comprehensive understanding of their impact on the company.

As I conclude this first part, which has encompassed TBL, TCC, and Vodacom Tanzania Plc, what insights have you gained from these three companies? Are there any noteworthy observations that you believe provide valuable insights into how these companies prioritize the well-being of their employees and their stance on New Ways of Working (NWOW)?

*The second part of the article will follow, focusing on the prominent banks in the country, NMB Bank plc and CRDB Bank.


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William Jackson
William Jackson
24 days ago

Thank you for providing such an insightful article. Additionally, I would like to suggest the idea of ranking the best companies for professionals to work in Tanzania. Such a ranking could greatly benefit individuals seeking employment by offering valuable insights into the working conditions and environments of various companies. This information would enable job seekers to make informed decisions based on their priorities and preferences. What are your thoughts on this proposal?

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