Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) will in the next three months change its name as part of a rebranding and diversification process which has been contributed partly due to the anti tobacco campaign which is gathering pace throughout the world. Speaking in an interview, AHL chief executive officer Evans Matabwa said the company has been associated with tobacco since 1936, but now is the time not to put eggs in one basket hence the diversification.
Matabwa said the name of the new company will be put under wraps and will only be made public in due course. He said the company will not abandon its role in the tobacco sector but will make sure that it is not taken unawares if anything happens to the Malawi’s number one forex earner. Said Matabwa: “The recent trends in the global tobacco business have signaled the need for institutions and more importantly economies like ours to take urgent and well calculated decisions about our destiny. “Being a man in charge of Auction Holdings Limited, I was motivated by the abundance of opportunities that are directly linked to the core business as well as the presence of a team of trainable employees who have embraced change with a lot of enthusiasm to diversify.” Matabwa said the country’s economic environment has been very challenging as far as business growth is concerned, but he realised that progress can only be made if the challenges can be taken hold on and convert them into bridges towards progress. “We have made strategic decisions not only to sort out the current challenges, but also to ensure sustainability of the group’s business in the long-term. The rebranding process has been made easier because we will maximise the utilisation of the current resources which includes human capital,” he said.
He said the emergence of companies like Malawi Leaf, AHL Steel, Agriculture Commodity Exchange (AHCX) and ATC has put the company in a very good stead to help the country generate more forex because some of the products the company is producing are being exported. “We are exporting Wivokil to Zambia and this product has helped the country deal with post harvest losses. If we can protect our grain then the country will always be food sufficient and the forex coming from Zambia means that our economy will be the greatest beneficiary,” said Matabwa.
Matabwa added companies like AHCX were created to take farmers out of poverty because they were most of the times duped by middle men. “Once the nation is familiar with the AHCX then it will be easy to attract large multinational companies to come here and buy our crops in bulk and even value add right here. This will create jobs and the country will get more taxes and entrepreneurship will be enhanced,” said Matabwa.