Local undertaker, Funeral Service Group (FSG) promoters have been commended for their efforts in building the group into a regional powerhouse and boasting of an asset base of over P300 million.
The group, once listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), this week celebrated its 25th anniversary since formation at a colourful ceremony with President Mokgweetsi Masisi as guest of honour.
The group, which has since its establishment in 1993 grown into leaps and bounds, has set up in other Southern African countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa in addition to the local operations.
Currently the group employs over 500 people throughout these countries across its diversified portfolios, including casket and coffin and manufacturing.
President Masisi hailed FSG for its achievements.
“It is indeed gratifying to witness the participation of citizens in the growth and the diversification of the economy of this beautiful country,” said the President at the celebrations that took place in Gaborone on Wednesday night.
Masisi told guests that Government is implementing the Economic Diversification Drive, which will go a long way in fostering the inclusive growth of the economy. He commended the company for economic diversification efforts over the last two and half decades.
“By investing in infrastructure, development of property and providing employment and training to Batswana, FSG has contributed directly to the diversification of the economy of this country,” he said.
FSG was established in 1993 from a small warehouse but has now transformed into a factory to produce coffins and caskets, after having accessed funds from the then Financial Assistance Policy (FAP), an initiative that preceded the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).
The company is said to be one the few surviving today that have benefitted from the FAP initiative. The group has since establishment diversified its offering, including funeral insurance policies in partnership with Botswana Life Insurance Limited which Masisi said has made funeral services more accessible to Batswana.
In view of supporting private businesses growth, Masisi told guests that during the implementation of the NDP 11, Government will intensify the implementation of the Reforms Roadmap and Action Plan with measures such as the review and enactment of laws in the areas of Investment Facilitation and Customs Control, among others.
Co-founder of the business and now Group Managing Director Mike Nikolic said their business is one of the most misunderstood one in many parts of the continent among conservative societies.
“So I come across many challenges, from PR, HR, to general communication with Public,” he said, adding that even prospective employees shun working for companies in his industry. Nikolic said having operated in Botswana for the last two and a half decades is a big milestone worth celebration.