“Hard work is always recognised and rewarded”
Rosemary Felix, 24, graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Institute of Accounts Arusha (IAA). In December 2016, she joined HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Tanzania Portland Cement (TPCC) as a sales officer in the commercial department, where she has progressed brilliantly. As a young graduate, Rose volunteered at non-governmental organisation SNV before getting her first job with Tanzania Portland Cement.
Thomas Mwammale, 55, studied Mechanical Engineering at the Arusha Technical College, and joined Tanzania Portland Cement in 1986 as a Mechanical Technician, working tirelessly and advancing to a Maintenance Manager role with a team of around 76 staff under his supervision. Thomas shares his vast and diverse knowledge having served TPCC for 31 years.
Rosemary, why is HeidelbergCement a good company to work for? Do you like your job?
The team’s interactive nature makes this a good company to work for. HeidelbergCement treats its employees well, offering them ample benefits and room to grow career-wise. Here at HeidelbergCement, we employees gain multi-faceted experience working with diverse teams whose members are full of vigour, like Mr. Mwammale.
To me, HC is an ideal company: a good employer is one that provides employees opportunities for continuous improvement, and which can be a friend to the people working there. A good employer makes people feel that they are part of a team or, even better, a family. Certainly, I like my job.
Rosemary, why did you choose HeidelbergCement?
As a young graduate, I wanted to work with a company that recognises talent, as I want to grow personally and contribute to the growth of the company with my technical and accounting skills. HeidelbergCement recognises talent in its various programmes, such as Talent Campus and the JET programme. Looking at the growth of Tanzania Portland Cement, I immediately realised it was the ideal place to pursue my dream.
Thomas, what experience has stood out most since you joined the company?
I joined TPCC 31 years ago. I was very young then, and this was my first job. I was selected by the government to serve this company. In those days, once a person completed studies, the government would offer placements based on your performance and skill sets. I was privileged to be placed here at one of the nation’s most reputable companies. What stands out most in my time with HeidelbergCement is the expansion project to install Kiln line 4. We had three kiln lines and three cement mills when I first started. Now, there is Kiln line 4 with new cement mills 4 & 5.
Thomas, you have spent more than half of your life at the company. How has the job and the company changed since you started working here?
I joined as a Mechanical Technician, now I am Maintenance Manager. I wouldn’t say it was an easy challenge, but with the support of the Management and my team, I enjoyed every minute of it whilst learning and growing to new horizons. I always was open-minded, focusing on the bigger picture. With TPCC I have gained multicultural experience and the opportunity to excel in a career. One might say that I have grown as the company has grown. I feel proud to be part of it. HeidelbergCement has made the right investment in this state-of-the-art plant.
Rosemary, what does your typical working day look like?
It’s just like what I imagined working at a plant would be like: busy all the time, because I deal directly with customers to provide balances and statements, customer reconciliations and much more. It’s an interactive job and I enjoy doing it because I have a role in ensuring customer satisfaction.
Thomas, there is quite an age difference between Rosemary and you. What is your experience working across different generations?
Yes, we do have a diverse age set. With the older generation we have experience in the field, while with the new generation we gain new ideas – which is encouraging. The younger generation is more adaptable and learns quickly, which is an advantage because they adapt more quickly and help push forward the progress that we see at TPCC.
Rosemary, where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years’ time, I see myself progressing in my field and in Tanzania Portland Cement, learning new skills to the benefit of HeidelbergCement. I find this sales officer job extremely interesting and motivating. I see myself advancing up the career ladder and having innovated a better way to serve my role.
Thomas, what advice do you have for young employees at TPCC?
HeidelbergCement is a very secure, progressive, and dynamic place to work. If I had to choose again, I’d always go for HeidelbergCement. My advice to the younger generation is to stay optimistic and focused on the bigger picture. Here at TPCC, hard work is always recognised and rewarded. We have great leaders of the nation like former Minister Hon. Karamagi who began their careers here and proceeded on to serve in the government. My call to young people at TPCC is be patient, take time to get to know the company. Ask many questions, go the extra mile for customers and always give your absolute best because TPCC recognises and rewards workers that do their best.
My advice to Rosemary is to stay focused on her duties and values, and respect all people. She should always value her job. Rosemary, do not hesitate to be inquisitive because this is the best way to gain experience. Learning is endless, and HeidelbergCement is the best place to advance in your career, since we encourage lifelong learning and development.
What is your wish for TPCC and HeidelbergCement?
My wish for TPCC and HeidelbergCement as a whole is that the company will continue to pursue sustainable growth, stability, success, and excellence. I understand that these are competitive times, not the same as 1980’s. But, I have faith in the abilities of our people to achieve continuous improvement and excel as a team.
(The interview was conducted in 2017.)