Steering BDC Through Economic Transformation

Baitshepi Sekgweng
RESILIENT: Cross Kgosidiile

Cross Kgosidiile stepped into the role of Managing Director at Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) in April 2020, amidst the challenges posed by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

While maintaining a lifelong passion for farming, Kgosidiile’s affinity for numbers led him to pursue a career in accounting, earning a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) degree from the University of Botswana, followed by a Master’s in Business Administration.

With over two decades of leadership experience across various sectors, Kgosidiile brings a wealth of expertise to his role at BDC.

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Q: Who is Cross Kgosidiile outside the corporate walls of BDC?

I hail from the renowned village of Bobonong and hold membership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA).

Q: What were your childhood aspirations?

My childhood dreams oscillated between a keen interest in farming and a fascination with numbers, ultimately guiding my career path towards accounting.

Despite my corporate journey, farming remains a cherished passion, offering a fulfilling balance between professional life and personal interests.

Q: Can you outline your career trajectory before joining BDC?

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My career journey commenced as a Graduate Accounts Trainee at Cash Bazaar Group in 1992, followed by pivotal roles at Air Botswana and the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund.

Notably, my tenure at Air Botswana saw me progress from Financial Accountant to Finance Manager, contributing to the airline’s sustained profitability.

As CEO of the MVA Fund, I spearheaded award-winning initiatives in corporate reporting and staff engagement, fostering substantial growth.

Q: Describe your tenure at BDC.

Joining BDC amidst the formulation of a new corporate strategy presented an exciting opportunity to contribute to Botswana’s economic transformation.

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Our focus areas included delivering a transformative strategic plan, diversifying the portfolio, and positioning BDC as an investment partner of choice.

Q: What does BDC’s vision entail?

BDC aspires to be Botswana’s preferred investment partner, driving sustainable growth through strategic investments.

Our vision emphasizes reliability, expertise, and ethical practices in investment decision-making, supporting economic diversification, innovation, job creation, and sustainable development.

Q: Reflecting on BDC’s achievements since its inception in 1970?

Over 54 years, BDC has evolved into the government’s premier investment arm, fostering success across various sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality.

Notable achievements include substantial group assets, job creation, and pioneering investments that propel Botswana’s economic growth.

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Q: Describe a typical day as MD.

Balancing strategic leadership with operational oversight, my days involve aligning priorities with the executive team, engaging with internal stakeholders, and reflecting on our progress to advance BDC’s mission.

Q: Whom do you report to as MD?

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As MD, I report directly to the BDC Board of Directors, ensuring alignment with the government’s strategic objectives and maximizing long-term value.

Q: How did Covid-19 impact BDC, and what measures were taken?

The pandemic posed challenges, impacting our investee companies.

However, BDC remained resilient, executing its mandate while supporting affected businesses through equity injections, loans, and loan restructuring initiatives.

Q: What initiatives are in place to drive diversification and exports?

BDC prioritizes investments in sectors with high export potential, fostering economic diversification through strategic initiatives and empowering local entrepreneurs.

Our focus areas include manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare.

Q: What challenges hinder BDC’s mandate?

Operating in today’s economy presents challenges such as constrained growth and liquidity issues, which may impede industrialization efforts and investment attraction.

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Q: Any milestones in job creation, particularly during the pandemic?

BDC preserved over 6,800 jobs within its portfolio and anticipates creating 2,585 additional jobs with upcoming projects, contributing to economic stability.

Q: Where do you envision BDC’s improvement?

BDC aims to strengthen innovation support, explore new funding solutions, and foster emerging industries to drive economic diversification and inclusive growth.

Q: How do you manage the pressures of your role?

Maintaining perspective and resilience is key.

I approach challenges with a positive mindset, finding balance through introspection and strategic planning.

Q: What do you do to unwind outside of work?

I find solace in farming and nature, allowing me to disconnect and recharge.

PERSONAL PROFILE

Full names: Cross Kgosidiile
Date of Birth: 27 July 1969
Marital Status: Married
Favorite meal: Pap, Beef and Gravy
Favorite drink: Five Roses tea
Hobby: Farming

What makes you happy?

I derive satisfaction in my work and also in my free time at the farm.

What makes you angry?

Complacency, as it can stagnate progress

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