Among the many TCC employees who have benefitted from the talent export program is Derick Byarugaba, who in 2016 had a lifetime opportunity of working when he was posted to Khartoum, Sudan as JTI Marketing Manager.
“When I commenced my current international role, it felt like a fresh beginning for a worthwhile career development as well as an adventure in an entirely new operational and cultural environment,” said Byarugaba.
He pointed out that for him, the Sudan posting was used as an opportunity to contribute towards further development of the JTI Brand portfolio in the Sudanese market.
Byarugaba said he found Sudanese people very warm and welcoming something which resonated into his family bonding and cohesion, adding that his family quickly adapted to the Sudanese culture and community.
“The key values which I picked from the TCC family includes respect and support for every colleague while always striving to go an extra mile to achieve business and personal goals as well as having fun in the process of carrying out day to day responsibilities,” he added.
Byarugaba said he found out that his colleagues at JTI Sudan have also adopted similar values at peers at TCC because of regular professional interaction sessions, adding that he also picked up some very enlightening values at his workstation, including empathy for colleagues as well as the ability to adapt to unique business environments.
As JTI Marketing Manager in Khartoum, the TCC employee said through the program he was able to observe that the Sudan marketing and sales team’s collective achievements had resulted into strong growth of sales volume and increased market share.
But he also encountered some challenges which included the Arabic language. “The language barrier in the market was a critical challenge to me in the beginning, because the Arabic language is the dominant medium of communication in this market,” he narrated while noting that slowly and patiently he embarked on a learning curve to grasp the basics of the language.
“This is still work in progress though,” he noted as he still is based in Khartoum. On whether he would advise any of his colleagues in Tanzania to undertake an international assignment, Byarugaba said it is such an enlightening experience which gives one an opportunity to deploy their skills and previous work experience to further grow their career.
“I therefore would highly recommend them to give it a try,” he added. He added that his experience at TCC is testimony that the cigarettes manufacturer will always remain one of the top employers in Tanzania due to such unique programs that other employers do not have.
Another beneficiary of the TCC talent export program is Juvenal Mangia, whose face lights up every time he talks about his experience of taking on an international assignment.
Mangia who joined in January 2007 as Branch Manager for Pugu in Dar es Salaam before being transferred to Mwanza city in July 2008 and thereafter promoted to Regional Manager for Coast region to Tanga in April 2010, had the sheer luck of working in Ethiopia.
Mangia said he was posted to National Tobacco Enterprise - NTE, which is a JTI subsidiary in Ethiopia as a Sales and Distribution Manager in 2017.
“I was very excited and felt this would be a great opportunity for me to show my full potential and add value to JTI business. This was a chance for me to continue to acquire and expand my international business exposure as well,” he said.
The Sales and Distribution Manager further noted that through the program he got an opportunity to discover that Ethiopia has a strong and unique culture, quite different from other African countries in many aspects, in terms of food, music, clothing and the language.
He narrated that his family had challenges when it first moved into the country especially with the meals that were served in most restaurants because they could not Tanzanian dishes.
“But with time things improved and I also started sharing some values from TCC with colleagues in Ethiopia to add value to the business. Among the values shared is the spirit of togetherness, working as a team to achieve a common objective while at the same time ensuring the achievement of individual objectives,” he noted.
Such unity at work led to more success and expansion of JTI business in Ethiopia by extending to three regions where they have validated 16,000 tobacco selling retail outlets of which about 10,000 outlets were visited on regular basis.
“Through this, we have enhanced our fight against illicit trade which used to account for more than 44 percent of the total market and as much as 90 percent in the Eastern Region of the country,” he added.
He noted that despite the challenges being faced, he is lucky that TCC prepared him well enough to adapt to different work situations as part of a global conglomerate in JTI.