July 15, 2024

OK Zimbabwe CEO Remarks on the occasion of the 33rd running of the OK Grand Challenge Promotion

by Maxen P. Karombo

I would like to honour Albert Katsande, a true legend in the business. I mention Albert with great fondness and a little bit of sadness because this is the first ever edition of the Grand Challenge without his involvement and I would like to propose a toast to him in absentia.

I promised him that we would continue to build his legacy as Albert started the OK Grand Challenge promotion 34 years ago. We have only had one year that we missed the OK Grand Challenge promotion. The promotion itself is 34 years old, although we are running the 33rd edition this year. So, it is always difficult to polish such a family jewel year in and year out, make sure it is looking shiny, make sure it is pretty and make sure it remains valuable to the family. The OK Grand Challenge promotion does not belong to OK alone – it belongs to Zimbabwe. Many times we speak to our consumers, our suppliers, our employees and the man on the street and they are quick to reference the OK Grand Challenge promotion. We know it resides in people’s hearts and Zimbabweans own it. Juliet and I and the rest of the leadership at OK see ourselves as mere stewards of this very important asset to the nation.

We want to embrace modernity; we want to be purposeful; we want to be modern; we want to be agile but in so doing, we need to keep rooted in our strengths and our root strength remains the basic elements of the OK Grand Challenge promotion. 

So what are the propositions of the OK Grand Challenge promotion? This is not only a proposition for just us in the business to give us a good feel, but it is a proposition to all the stakeholders who embrace our business. At the centre of our business is our customer. So what is the proposition to the customer this year? For us, it is always the savings that bring great smiles. As Juliet said in announcing our purpose, we want to plant smiles. We want to make happiness tangible and there is nothing better for a shopper to be in our stores and realise that they are experiencing this.

We also want to excite our customers by giving away weekly prizes. Come to the store and you will experience that. We are always very happy that our supplier partners always stand by us. We have over 40 suppliers and partners who have each contributed towards prizes for our shoppers, and that is fantastic in this tough economic environment! We also want to make sure that as we build this relationship, we stay up to date. We are going to use the mobile phone as our major gateway into the promotion. It is digitally enabled and you will be able to enter this promotion whether it’s through Whatsapp chat board, through an app, through the OK Grand Challenge website and most importantly, in-store. You will find customer service. If there is anything that will help us leapfrog into modernity, it’s the embracement of technology. 

Last, but certainly not least, for the shopper is our OK Grand Challenge grand prize: the double cab Ford Ranger. One lucky shopper will win this vehicle on the first weekend of June 2022 at the Borrowdale Race Course. 

To our suppliers, this is business at the end of the day. One thing noted by our supply chain director, who is our key contact point with suppliers, has always been that suppliers are looking for growth. It is our strong proposition that we will offer a platform to grow volumes and revenues to our suppliers. We also offer a platform for those who are agile in their marketing activities to be sending through their various activation teams to further promote their brands. Finally, if there are any innovations that the suppliers want to bring to the market, the OK store is your theatre of happiness. Bring it on and we will help you and we will partner each other!

To our employees, this means a lot. We want to spread happiness to our employees; in fact, it starts with our employees because a happy employee serves the customer better. We are offering an environment that creates excitement for them. We are also offering meaningful contributions to grow the business and we are offering them opportunity to interact with some of the best that Zimbabwe has to offer in terms of suppliers, brands and ultimately, the shoppers, These are our propositions that we are offering, but rooted right at the centre, is that we want to make happiness tangible; we want to plant those smiles. We want to ensure that our customers, suppliers, community, shareholders and employees who drive this business are very happy. I would like to invite you to “Race to Happiness.” To our media colleagues here, thank you very much for exposing what Zimbabwe is itching and waiting for: The OK Grand Challenge Jackpot Promotion 2022! 

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