- Pule Funeral Group springs Back to Life with Bigger Ambitions
- Aims to manufacture coffins and supply other parlours
- Executive Chairman has only praise for the liquidator
After being under liquidation for the last three years, Pule Funeral Group has sprung back to life with bigger plans that include listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).
This past week the company invited stakeholders and the media for an engagement where its future plans were outlined a tour of its premises in Gaborone conducted. The listing forms part of the vision for 2026 at Pule Funeral Group, which is a 100 percent citizen-owned company.
“The company was established in 1976 and our goal is that when it turns 50 in 2026, that’s the time we believe we will be ready to list,” Executive Chairman, Thabo Majola, told The Business Weekly & Review in an interview. “We need to get it ready and make sure we get the footprint. Our target is that come 2026, we can give the company back to Batswana.”
Pule Funeral Group currently has five branches and plans to add three to five more branches in the southern part of the country in the short-term. “That is when we will have the capacity to look for other opportunities,” Majola said. “If you look at our major competitor, you need to be sitting at 15 branches to service the market effectively. That is where we want to go before considering expanding outside the country.”
He considers Pule Funeral Group a well-established brand that is breaking free of any challenges that it may have experienced and is now at a standout point of customer service, empathy and comprehensive understanding of the funeral services industry. “We have the best and most experienced team some of whom have been with the company since inception,” Majola noted. So, in terms of experience, know-how and empathy, those are our competitive advantage.
“But we believe that with the new ownership, we also have the competitive advantage of looking at the industry differently and wanting to disrupt it because we feel that there is an opportunity to produce better coffins, more competitive pricing and new services to ensure that our customers experience the best service at their time of need.”
Majola projects a better future for the business because he believes that Pule Funeral Group has turned the corner. “We believe we will succeed because in addition to focusing on the south, a key plan is to expand to the northern half of the country as well,” he said. With the northern side of Botswana added and consolidating the southern side, we should achieve the growth that we are aiming for.”
The Pule Funeral Group has three subsidiaries, namely Pule Funeral Services, Pule Insurance and Pule Coffin Manufacturing. It is especially through Coffin Manufactring that the business hopes to capture the market. Though it currently imports some of its caskets, the company has a manufacturing plant at Boatle near Ramotswa that Majola hopes supply other funeral parlours in the future.
“We see a huge opportunity around coffins because a lot of companies are importing them, which increases the costs that are ultimately passed on to customers,” he noted “We believe that we can manufacture them in Botswana, create jobs locally and achieve competitive pricing for Batswana.”
Majola has confidence that because the company’s executive committee is made up of people with relevant experience, it will propel the business to new heights. “We have a management team that has many years of funeral services business experience,” he emphasised.
“They include qualified accountants and experts in other fields which they pool together for the benefit of customers. Fortunately for us, these are people who have worked for other funeral service businesses and came to the company when it was going through serious challenges. What this means is that because they turned those challenges around, they have the right skills and what it takes to take us forward.”
Regarding liquidation, Majola is full of praise for Desert Secretarial Services Kopanang Thekiso as the liquidator “because the company is out of the red” and for allowing them to bid for it. “The process started about three years ago and it concluded with him through a competitive process, allowing us to successfully bid for the company,” he said.
Welcoming guests earlier, the General Manager Pule Funeral Group, Duncan Motswagae, said their ambition is to take the Pule brand where it belongs. “We want to create a story that will be told everywhere in Botswana today and for generations to come,” Motswagae. “It is my belief that all our troubles are behind us and we are looking forward to forging new relationships.”