Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone Southern Africa welcomes new Head of Talent

May 07, 2021

Technology only one piece of the puzzle to bring world-class manufacturing operation into the digital age

JOHANNESBURG, 7 May 2021 – Few leaders will be as crucial to taking Bridgestone Southern Africa (BSAF) into its next stage of evolution and growth as Botaki Hlalele, the company’s new Head of Talent Development and Training Academy.

Upon joining the tyre manufacturer in April 2021, Hlalele took up the challenge of formalising the company’s training, learning and development to meet its drive to become a more efficient, digitised and world class manufacturer.

“During economic crises, the default response by management is often to cut areas such as skills development, which is short sighted,” Hlalele says. “It is refreshing to be working with a leadership team that realises that in order to be truly great, you can never compromise on advancing and building up your people.

“One of my passions will be to demonstrate just how essential training is as we digitise every area of the business. A philosophy we need to instill is that development isn’t only for poor performers, but for everyone. As we evolve as a company, even high performers will need to stretch their capacity to continuously learn, unlearn and relearn,” he says.

With a company realignment over the past two years, every aspect of the company is becoming increasingly automated, including manufacturing and support functions. Hlalele is charged with continuing to build capability in the team to help deliver the vision of building a world class academy. The academy will serve the company’s employees, franchisees and customers through a blended learning approach and a curriculum of in-depth accredited courses. These will cover a range of functional areas, including technical manufacturing skills, sales capabilities, leadership development and soft skills.

Although BSAF has recently made substantial technology investments to bring its operations into the digital age, the biggest improvements will be yielded through its people. The development efforts will all be targeted at increasing revenue, boosting market share, elevating product quality and improving efficiencies.

Hlalele brings an integrated approach to people development backed by solid experience gained over 22 years in multiple industries including manufacturing, FMCG and the petrochemical sector.  His commitment to continuous learning is reflected in his qualifications, which include a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) qualification from Unisa School of Business Leadership and a Master in Industrial Psychology from North-West University. He is also a certified life and business coach.

“The growth of our people is fundamental to creating a culture of performance and driving engagement in our teams and I believe Botaki is highly qualified and experienced to lead this important function for us,” says BSAF’s Chief People Officer, Julia Modise, who will be working closely with Hlalele. “Botaki believes in the power of individual, team, and organisational effectiveness and that a strong bond between the people function and business leaders has the potential to create an enhanced employee experience and extraordinary results for business.”

Hlalele has previously worked for Shell as the Head of Talent and Organisational Effectiveness, Cummins Africa as Regional HR Leader, Nestlé as Head of Training and Development, Mintek as the HR Manager and Sasol, earlier in his career where he occupied various Specialist and HR Business Partner roles.

He is a father of two teenagers, a daughter at University and a son who is completing grade 12 in 2021. He is an avid blogger on topics of personal mastery, leadership and employee engagement and the author of the book ‘Face the person in the Mirror’.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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