Supermarkets tycoon Ram Ottapathu invests in mining services
Afriroc Mining is the latest investment by influential tycoon Ramachandran "Ram" Ottapathu, CEO and owner of Choppies Group, one of Southern Africa's leading retailers.
The De Beers-Botswana state JV, which represents a third of the country's GDP, is looking for a new boss and with the company in the process of renegotiating its diamond sales contract, the choice of CEO is tangled with political considerations.
One of Botswana's wealthiest tycoons, Farouk Ismail, frequently donates to the country's most high-profile charities. Founder of country's supermarket leader Choppies, which has stores across southern Africa, this charitable strategy is a way of making friends with Botswana's heads of state.
Having suddenly found herself at the helm of Debswana in 2019 following the premature death of her predecessor, Lynette Armstrong has been running Botswana's leading diamond producer in an acting capacity. With the appointment of a permanent managing director pending, she has been activating her networks as well as renegotiating the contract to sell the company's diamonds with its two shareholders, the Botswanan state and De Beers.