The story of the current Regional Manager at Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia, Angelo Morkel, reminds us that through determination and grit anyone can overcome their circumstances and achieve extraordinary success.
Working for PnP for about 19 years, Morkel started his journey as a casual grocery-bag packer straight after school in 1995 at the then Model Woolworths, and was appointed permanently on 14 April in 1998 - one year after the retailer was renamed 'Model Pick n Pay'. Today Morkel occupies the position of Regional Manager at the Wernhil store, effective from 1 July.
His current duties entail supporting and managing all the managers of the Wernhil store while also serving as a support system and mentor to store managers of other PnP branches in Windhoek.
"I can clearly remember how particular my supervisor, Monica Philander was about packing grocery bags, and how I was always so focused on doing it the way she taught me. As simple as the job may seem, it was a challenge, because I was so used to packing everything together in my personal capacity, things like not packing meat together with toiletries in one bag is a very strict rule, on which no mistakes were allowed by Philander, nor accepted by the customer. Focus and precision was thus crucial when doing my job," Morkel recalled.
During his journey as packer, Morkel was also exposed to shelf packing and floor supervising, and on permanent appointment, was promoted to floor supervisor at PnP Walvis Bay, and enrolled to the internal three-year Trainee Manager Programme, which led to his promotion to Assistant Store Manager at the Swakopmund branch in 2001.
"I was extremely excited about the trainee program and regarded this as my opportunity to prove myself. Going forward my progress always came as a surprise to me, because I did not expect it to happen at such speed. Although I was always focused on doing well and standing out in whatever I do, the pace of my growth and development had me in awe every time. During my journey I also became involved in store layouts and was proudly involved in the layouts of the Katima Mulilo, Ondangwa, Oshikango, Tsumeb, Auas Valley, Eros and Khomasdal stores," Morkel said.
In 2003 Morkel was promoted to Store Controller of the Khomasdal PnP Store, which he held for six months before he saw his next promotion to non-foods specialist at the same branch. He returned to the Swakopmund branch in 2005 when he was promoted to Store Manager and served in this position for four years. The journey of growth continued for Morkel when he was transferred to the Wernhil Park store as Inventory/Warehouse Manager in 2008 - a position he served in for one year before his next move to Assistant Store Manager at the Auas Valley store in 2009 and eventually, in 2010 promoted to Store Manager of the same store.
Morkel attributed his growth to the opportunities made available to him."As much as I want to learn and grow, it would not be possible without a platform for growth and development. I am super grateful and blessed to be a part of the PnP team, and the O&L Group, under which PnP is a subsidiary, at large, for the simple fact that skill development and growth forms a significant part of the O&L culture, and without this environment, my growth would not have been possible. The secret is to have a positive mindset and outlook, and challenge yourself every day to be better than the day before; stay humble and be willing to learn as much as you can," he added.
Morkel's work ethic not only brought him great success but also impresses management. PnP Manager of Human Capital, Adri Erwee said, "Angelo's dedication towards his work and his incredible belief in the company's purpose has brought him the success he has achieved until now. He is determined to be a success and shows great passion in his work."
The Managing Director of PnP Namibia, Norbert Wurm attributed Angelo's journey as a true reflection of the O&L Group's commitment to its common purpose adding that Pick n Pay is very passionate and committed to the O&L purpose of 'Creating a future, enhancing life'.
"It is not only the O&L culture of leadership development that supports our commitment tothe growth of all employees, but Angelo's positive attitude, eagerness and personal drive to grow himself and lead others contributed immensely to this exemplary journey of his," Wurm said.
PnP National Manager, Roelf van Tonder who has partly shared Morkel's journey with him, said Morkel has always jumped at any opportunity provided, to grow and develop.
"Angelo is an inspiration and a true reflection of what it means to want to learn and grow, and because of this characteristic had his way paved open for him. I am sure it hasn't always been easy for him, but this man has a sense of determination and a vision that sets him apart from many others," he concluded.