Adam Molai – Chairman
Adam personifies the new breed of African entrepreneur, challenging established international players across all industries, while driving a new socio-economic agenda for Zimbabwe and the continent.
Adam served his articles with Ernst and Young in Zimbabwe, before proceeding to the University of Buckingham in the UK where he graduated with a business degree. He then went to Lakehead University in Canada, where he obtained a first-class degree in Commerce.
Upon returning to Zimbabwe, Adam ventured into the retail and petroleum sectors, before turning his attention to the tobacco sector. Noting the lack of significant indigenous players in the tobacco value-chain, he was instrumental in the establishment of the tobacco contract-growing scheme that enabled over 75 000 small-scale farmers to enter Zimbabwe’s lucrative tobacco sector. In 2002, he started Savanna Tobacco, which has grown over the past years to become one of only two significant African-owned cigarette manufacturers in the world. Savanna Tobacco now has a considerable share of the Zimbabwean market and a growing presence in regional markets.
Adam’s entrepreneurial ventures incorporate tobacco, retail, farming, transport and logistics, petroleum/lubricants, property development, and mining and commodities. He sits on various boards, including the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Board, which is responsible for the formulation and implementation of Zimbabwe’s empowerment policies.
Nick Hales – Global CEO
Nick Hales leads the team as Global CEO, with specific responsibility for leading the strategic and operational aspects of our expansion. He brings with him over 27 years of experience in global cigarette operations and market development, with tenures at the world’s biggest tobacco manufacturing companies. He has also spent the majority of his career in African markets, operating at the highest levels.
He started in the Tobacco Industry as a trainee Salesperson. During the last 27 years he has worked in the Tobacco Industry in Senior Executive roles in South Asia, Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. He has specialised in operating in Africa where he has managed multi-million dollar factory builds, market entries, brand launches, large scale contract farming and major re-structuring of companies.
Gary de Jong- Business Development Director
Gary has over 36 years experience in the industry, with thorough knowledge of the entire value-chain including threshing, blending, primary and secondary cigarette lines. He has brought his expertise to such companies as Dimond and Tobesco in Belgium, where he was responsible for buying tobaccos from all major tobacco producing countries and selling to most of the large international cigarette companies.
With unparalleled knowledge in the blending, making, packing and sales of cigarettes, Gary is responsible for our ventures in Southern Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. In addition to these front-line duties, he also oversees the material procurement, supply logistics and quality inspections of incoming materials.
Masimba Shumba- Head Finance and Administration
Masimba has over 16 years’ experience in Accounting in various roles from graduate trainee to Financial Management. His experience also encompasses regional markets.
He started his career at Delta Corporation, and has worked for renowned companies in Zimbabwe and the region, including Innscor Africa, and PG Industries,
He worked at Chemplex Corporation as Group Financial Controller before joining Savanna Tobacco as Head Finance and Administration.
Masimba has a BBS (Hons), an MBA ,and is a member of ACCA.
Francis is a 43 year old professional with more than 20 years of experience in the tobacco industry and has worked in the tobacco industry since 1992, from primary processing to cigarette manufacturing.
He started off his career in 1992 as an apprentice with Delta Engineering Training Centre in conjunction with Rothmans of Pall Mall. Francis then joined the British American Tobacco Company as a Production Team Leader in the year 2000 before becoming a Process Analyst in 2004, a position he held for a year until he became Primary Manufacturing Manager from 2005 up until 2007. He joined Savanna Tobacco as a Production Manager responsible for both Primary and Secondary departments until he became Head of Operations in January 2015, a position he still holds to date.
Francis is qualified in Machine Shop Engineering, Prince 2 Project Management, Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making, General Management Program with GIBS (University of Pretoria).
Ms. Stella Makunike- Head H.R
Stella is an experienced HR Executive with a proven track record of success in industrial manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, FMCG and agricultural sectors. With all-round HR skills, she specializes in delivering effective solutions to meet strategic business objectives.
Stella has a BSC Psychology and General Management qualification from GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Science).
With 12yrs of diverse working experience, she also holds the following positions:
- -International Advisory Board Member for University of Stellenbosch Executive Development Ltd
- -Graduate Employment Committee member for University of Zimbabwe
- -Tobacco manufacturing sector negotiating team member.
Ms. Blessing Mlambo- Head Audit
Blessing has extensive background in the audit function, having served her articles with Grant Thornton Camelsa. Apart from 5 years experience in formal audit practice in the accounting firm, she has also worked at Flexible Packaging as Finance Manager and has over 14 years work experience.
Blessing is a Certified Public Accountant with a BCompt and BCompt. (Hons) in Accounting Science from UNISA. She also holds a Zimbabwe Certificate Theory in Accounting (ZCTA) with ICAZ. She is also a member of the Public Accountants and Auditor’s Board, the Institute of Risk Management of South Africa, and is the holder the GIBS General Management Programme qualification.
Trust nourishes all our relationships, internally and externally.
Your word is your bond. The correct intentions, translated into the correct words and actions, consistently.
Responsibility helps us be accountable to each other.
Take ownership. Do your job, help others do theirs, and we will all perform better.
Excellence is the highest standard we can achieve. Let us be a company of top performers.
Anything less than your best is not good enough. Your excellence fuels the team’s excellence and makes us a world-class company.
- Challenger Ethos
To be a Challenger is to be better, faster and stronger than everyone else.
Do you work better. Be more innovative. Constantly improve yourself so the competition never catches up.
- Customer Is King
If we do right by the customer, he will do right by us.
Make the customer’s satisfaction your primary concern. Satisfied customers are the foundation of our business and financial success.