Our leadership

Velaphi Ratshefola

Managing Director

Velaphi is a well-rounded and experienced Operations and Sales Executive. His 26 years’ working experience spans across legal (two years), HR (eight years) and Sales and Operations (16 years). Velaphi started his career in the legal field and proceeded to spend eight years in HR in South African Breweries and Nampak. His 16 years’ experience in Sales Operations saw him get involved in business optimisation projects in SAB. He has led business optimisation and revenue growth initiatives in ABI which saw the business rationalise operations from 23 depots to 5 over a three year period, servicing a customer base which grew to 120 000 in 2015 from 40 000 in 2010. ABI’s customer loyalty scores improved from 68% in 2009 to 80.7% in 2015, second only to SAB in the South African FMCG industry. Under his leadership ABI’s Route to Market is globally renowned and has led to the creation of almost 1 500 local jobs and double digit sales growth in the traditional market class of trade. ABI’s market execution standards are amongst the best globally with RED coverage of 40 000 outlets monthly and 76% of the volume. ABI’s sales and operations teams have won multiple global and supplier awards under his leadership. Since his appointment as Managing Director at ABI in 2014, the business’ performance has consistantly improved, year on year. He is an inspirational and engaging leader who inspires loyalty and commitment from those he leads. In July 2016, Velaphi was appointed as the Managing Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Andrew Ferrett

Supply Chain Director

Andrew was appointed as Supply Chain Director at ABI in 2009. With more than 20 years’ experience, Andrew has gained extensive experience in supply chain management. His knowledge extends to the beverage industry as a whole, having occupied several roles in SAB’s beer division in addition to his current position at ABI. During his tenure at ABI, Andrew has optimised the supply chain to continuously improve efficiencies in meeting customer order fills. He has also reduced of on out-of-stocks from an average of 6% in 2010 to 1% which has improved customer service and enabled the sales team’s ability to grow the market. Additionally, Andrew has introduced a number of initiatives in support of ABI’s sustainability commitment to conduct our business with minimum impact on the environment. These initiatives, which include PET lightweighting, consistently reducing our water and energy usage and minimising ABI’s internal waste, have resulted in ABI winning several sustainability awards within the Coca-Cola system and in South Africa. In July 2016, Andrew was appointed as the Supply Chain Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Walter Leonhardt

Financial Director

Having occupied key roles in both the beer and soft drinks divisions of SAB, Walter has gained extensive experience in the beverage sector as a whole. With a strong background in finance and business support, as well an in-depth understanding of the industry, Walter has brought exceptional skills and insight to his role as Finance Director at ABI. This has proven especially valuable in the context of challenging trading conditions in the past few years where he has led several large finance projects to optimise ABI’s productivity and vastly improve its systems. These include the centralisation and optimisation of ABI’s finance structure as well as its credit model which have delivered greater efficiencies and improved service to the business. Walter is a professional who pays meticulous attention to detail as well as being a seasoned and knowledgeable analyst in his field of expertise. Walter is also passionate about environmental issues, both in ABI and in his personal capacity. In July 2016, Walter was appointed as the Financial Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Mkuseli Dlikilili

Human Resources Director

Newly appointed Human Resources Director Mkuseli Dlikilili joined ABI in March 2016. His most recent corporate role was that of Group Human Resources Director at Pioneer Foods. He has worked for leading South African organisations during his 25 year career, including Eskom, SAB, Dulux, Portnet and Pioneer Foods. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the University of Cape Town, is a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA), and a member of the Institute of People Management (IPM). Mkuseli has extensive experience in the FMCG environment. In his various positions, he has been instrumental in enabling organisational competitiveness through effective people management solutions, initiatives and practices, aligning business and HR functional strategies to enable delivery on the business growth agenda, and fostering constructive relationships with organised labour. In July 2016, Mkuseli was appointed as the Human Resources Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Tshidi Ramogase

Public Affairs & Communications Director

Currently heading up ABI’s Corporate Affairs team since February 2010, Tshidi has worked for leading multinationals across both the Mining and FMCG industries including BHP Billiton, Unilever and SAB (Pty) Ltd. Her 19 year working career spans both Human Resources (12 years) and Corporate Affairs (7 years). Having completed a social science degree at the University of Cape Town and having spent her full career in the area of humanities, she boasts very strong interpersonal relationships skills. Her time working in senior executive roles in HR has been the foundation of her strong ability to secure commitment and inspire others to deliver to their individual best potential. This has also contributed to her ability to lead and manage change while maintaining high levels of engagement. In her current role and prior roles as both an Executive and Non-Executive Director on various boards and industry bodies, she has strengthened her ability to direct and lead business strategy and to conceptualise initiatives that enhance business reputation and support improved profits. She is a passionate, energetic and optimistic professional who is determined to succeed while developing others. In July 2016, Tshidi was appointed as the Public Affairs & Communications Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Rakesh Rajbally

Corporate Director

Prior to his appointment as Commercial Director, Rakesh headed up ABI Sales and Marketing Operations. He joined ABI in 1996 and progressed over the years to lead ABI’s Commercial Sales and Marketing strategy – a role he has been in since 2010.  Rakesh has well-rounded experience having previously worked in senior roles in Sales, Warehousing, Distribution and General Management. He holds a B.Comm Degree in Marketing and Logistics and has travelled extensively around the world, leading various strategic benchmarking trips. He has also hosted various global companies at ABI for benchmarking exercises. He is a leading strategist in Route to Market, Sales and Marketing operations and Revenue Growth Management within the South African soft drinks market and is well respected among Coca-Cola bottlers globally. He has been a driving thought leader behind go to market strategies in both modern and emerging markets, including the introduction of Market Logistics Partners and world class sales execution at ABI. Under his leadership, ABI has won both local and global awards as well as gaining recognition for being the only Coca-Cola bottler in Africa to sell over 300 million unit cases.  Furthermore, ABI’s sales execution standards were recognised during the Coca-Cola Company’s Global Awards when ABI was awarded the Right Execution Daily (RED) 2020 Today Award and the RED Best in Class Full Process Award, competing against 57 entries from 38 bottlers in 26 countries.

Since 2010, the team he leads has been recognised by various customers like Pick n Pay, Total, Shell, Shoprite and KFC during their annual supplier awards for the customer service improvements made. In July 2016, Rakesh was appointed as the Strategy and Marketing Director at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).

Werner Leithgöb

Business Systems Executive

With performance and delivery to business strategy in every core division of ABI being highly reliant upon IT excellence, Werner’s forward-thinking leadership is critical. His ability to simultaneously keep his eye on the bigger strategic picture and the details, as well as the pulse of industry developments, makes his an ever-challenging and multi-dimensional role. He’s been an outstanding leader of ABI’s IT team since 2009. His sizeable responsibility includes advising members of the SAB and ABI Boards regarding IT decisions—ensuring business and IT strategies remain aligned, and the optimal leverage of IT. Werner is also accountable for facilitating and integrating the business and the IT strategy. He continuously monitors the business to ensure the consistent delivery of IT benefits, providing regular feedback to senior management. Previously, he worked for SAB as a Systems Manager (Distribution Execution), Senior Business Analyst (SAP SD), and consulted at a diverse range of companies across industries while with Accenture (2006-2007).

He’s won the Managing Director Award for Best Integration Team for the DSD Project in 2013 and holds a B.Com Informatics (Hons). Of Austrian decent, he speaks three languages (English, Afrikaans, and German). In July 2016, Werner was appointed as the Business Systems Executive at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).