Hartlief, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group, has confirmed Gunther Ling, as its new, managing director (MD), effective as of 1 March 2020. Ling had been serving as MD of fellow O&L subsidiary, Namibia Dairies, for the last seven years.
According to Ling, “It is a great honour and privilege to be starting in this new role at Hartlief. It is an old Namibian company, loaded with heritage, so I am very proud and excited to be a part of the Hartlief story. My family has been especially supportive and believe this is a good match for me having grown up on a sheep farm”.
Ling’s career, up to this point, can be divided between two employers: Deloitte, where he started his auditing career, and the O&L Group, which has been his home for the last 13 years. His O&L journey started in the Finance Department of the Group and later Broll Namibia. Thereafter, he joined Namibia Dairies as the Financial Director before moving into operations, which gave him good insight into factory life and manufacturing. Ling then took up the position of managing director of Namibia Dairies from 2014 to 2019.
Ling: “That was the highlight of my career before being appointed at Hartlief. In fact, Namibia Dairies provided the platform for me to grow into this position at Hartlief.”
During his years at Namibia Dairies, Ling became well acquainted with the company’s processes, people and setups. He was similarly tasked with overseeing Windhoek Schlachterei, also a subsidiary of O&L, which is fully integrated into Namibia Dairies. According to Ling, “Being familiar with the Windhoek Schlachterei business will assist me in my new role because Schlachterei is being integrated into Hartlief. Moving forward, there will also be more interaction between Hartlief and Namibia Dairies, with the latter assisting with the sales and distribution of meat. Having connections with both sides makes my role in coordination easier. I often see these companies as one because there are strong relationships and synergies between them. Whenever there are synergies like these; it feels like a 1+1=3 situation. There is huge potential with Hartlief and Schlachterei working together because Namibia is a meat country with the expertise to produce high-quality meat”.
Ling also looks forward to expanding Hartlief’s foothold in South Africa and having their processed meat products reach consumers in neighbouring countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and even as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“We have an organised industry and good logistics systems which enable us to reach those countries. Nothing happens overnight but it is a dream that comes with a lot of hope and excitement,” said Ling.