From grocery packer to Regional manager

Regional Manager for Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group -, Angelo Morkel is not only on his way to celebrating his 20th anniversary in 2018 as part of the PnP team, but boasts with a significant level of growth over the past 19 years.

“I started my journey as a casual grocery bag packer straight after school in 1995 at the then Model Woolworths, and was appointed permanently on 14 April in 1998 – one year after the retailer was renamed ‘Model Pick n Pay’. I can clearly remember how particular my supervisor, Monica Philander was about packing grocery bags, and how I was always so focused on doing it the way she taught me. As simple as the job may seem, it was a challenge, because I was so used to packing everything together in my personal capacity - things like not packing meat together with toiletries in one bag is a very strict rule, on which no mistakes were allowed by Philander, nor accepted by the customer. Focus and precision was thus crucial when doing my job.”

During his journey as packer, Morkel was also exposed to shelf packing and floor supervising, and on permanent appointment, was promoted to floor supervisor at PnP Walvis Bay, and enrolled to the internal three-year Trainee Manager Programme, which led to his promotion to Assistant Store Manager at the Swakopmund branch in 2001. Morkel: “I was extremely excited about the trainee program and regarded this as my opportunity to prove myself. Going forward my progress always came as a surprise to me, because I did not expect it to happen at such speed. Although I was always focused on doing well and standing out in whatever I do, the pace of my growth and development had me in awe every time. During my journey I also became involved in store layouts and was proudly involved in the layouts of the Katima Mulilo, Ondangwa, Oshikango, Tsumeb, Auas Valley, Eros and Khomasdal stores.”

In 2003 Morkel was promoted to Store Controller of the Khomasdal PnP Store, which he held for six months before he saw his next promotion to non-foods specialist at the same branch. He returned to the Swakopmund branch in 2005 when he was promoted to Store Manager and served in this position for four years. The journey of growth continued for Morkel when he was transferred to the Wernhil Park store as Inventory/Warehouse Manager in 2008 - a position he served in for one year before his next move to Assistant Store Manager at the Auas Valley store in 2009 – and eventually, in 2010 promoted to Store Manager of the same store. Today Morkel occupies the position of Regional Manager at the Wernhil store –effective from the 1st of July 2017. While his current duties entail supporting and managing all the managers of the Wernhil store, he is also a support system and mentor to store managers of other PnP branches in Windhoek.

PnP Manager: Human Capital, Adri Erwee: “Angelo’s dedication towards his work and his incredible belief in the company’s purpose has brought him the success he has achieved until now. He is determined to be a success and shows great passion in his work.”

Managing Director (MD) of PnP Namibia, Norbert Wurm attributes Angelo’s journey as a true reflection of the O&L Group’s commitment to its common purpose. Wurm: “Pick n Pay is very passionate and committed to the O&L purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’. It is not only the O&L culture of leadership development that supports our commitment to the growth of all employees, but Angelo’s positive attitude, eagerness and personal drive to grow himself and lead others contributed immensely to this exemplary journey of his.”

PnP National Manager, Roelf van Tonder who has partly shared Morkel’s journey with him, says Morkel has always jumped at any opportunity provided, to grow and develop. Van Tonder: “Angelo is an inspiration and a true reflection of what it means to want to learn and grow, and because of this characteristic had his way paved open for him. I am sure it hasn’t always been easy for him, but this man has a sense of determination and a vision that sets him apart from many others.

O&L Group Director: Human Capital, Berthold Mukuahima says Angelo’s story directly speaks to the O&L value ‘We Grow People’ and how committed the group and its operating companies are to this value. Mukuahima: “Growth and development is a strong pillar and focus area of the O&L Group purpose ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ journey. It is stories like that of Angelo’s that inspires us, and gives us hope that we are on the right track of contributing to a great future for Namibia.”

Morkel attributes his growth to the opportunities made available to him. Morkel: “As much as I want to learn and grow, it would not be possible without a platform for growth and development. I am super grateful and blessed to be a part of the PnP team, and the O&L Group at large, for the simple fact that skill development and growth forms a significant part of the O&L culture, and without this environment, my growth would not have been possible. The secret is to have a positive mindset and outlook, and challenge yourself every day to be better than the day before; stay humble and be willing to learn as much as you can”