As an impatient and adventurous young man, I seized the opportunity to be a 50% Shareholder and Managing Director in a small family-owned transport company known as Aisha Osman Transport Ltd, which, after 10 years under my stewardship, got amalgamated with the state run Press Transport Ltd.
The amalgamation resulted in my appointment as Managing Director/40% Shareholder in the reconstituted Press Transport (1975) Ltd, one of 22 other companies which were being run under the umbrella of Press Holdings Ltd. (now known as Press Corporation Ltd.) under the Chairmanship of Malawi’s First Republican President, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The transport industry, which was indigenized in 1983, saw my exit from the transport business to become owner of a small lentil processing outfit with 15 employees, which was offered to me as compensation in return for my stake in the company being acquired. This little outfit, Press Produce Dhal Ltd, later became Rab Processors Ltd that people have come to know today fondly as “Rab”.
This interesting turn of events found me, a die-hard transporter, in charge of an agro-processing business and, thankfully to my rescue, came my spouse Amina, who assisted me to run the business, with technical advice, expertise and involvement in the production of Dhalls / Lentils from Pigeon Peas and Chick Peas in the early days of the company’s operations.
The company’s first board of directors was mainly from my own family (Jakhura Family). Whilst holding the position of Chairman / Executive Director of the company; I took on board my youngest brother, Hussein Aboo Jakhura, as Managing Director, whilst retaining my other brothers, i.e. Rashid, Siddiq and Faruk Jakhura, as Directors. My young brother Hussein, Managing Director since inception in 1983 up until 2007 played a key role in the exponential growth of the company during the period when Malawi progressed from a One-Party State to a young Multiparty Democracy.
The growth of the company and process of evolution over the years saw the need to strengthen the company’s management structure and gradually, qualified and experienced professionals were brought in to take the place of exiting family members. The successes of these past 30 years would not have been possible without our strongest asset – the Rab team – made up of a Dynamic Management Team supported by staff at all levels, both expatriate and indigenous numbering 2,500 personnel. These individuals, with their selfless and dedicated approach, have made the company evolve into what it is today, one of the leading players in the Private Sector in Malawi and a household name, trusted and loved by all. No doubt, we would be forgiven for being presumptuous if we looked ahead with faith to a Golden Jubilee, God Almighty willing, in the Year 2033 when the new generation of the Rab Team will take the company to greater heights with many more new product offerings to our loyal customers as the years progress.
And the journey continues
It is my vision to see that we continue the good work and support Rab’s position as a leading and competitive provider of quality food and non-food items, advanced nutritional products , and other basic goods to our customers with the aim that when they hear the name Rab, it should immediately resound of excellence in quality and service!