Kicking off our October Game Changers section is an interview with and individual who’s passionate about making a positive difference through people and building brands people love, whilst treading lightly – Tania Morgan-Weyer. She is the current Managing Director of Promeal – a pet care business focused on cat and dog care products and services. The company’s current core business is wet pet food and treats. It offers highly nutritional, quality products from entry to super premium. Promeal’s entry level currently surpasses any competitor in South Africa. Here, Tania tells us more about her own career path, as well as Promeal’s milestones and strategy for the future.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your career history and your journey to MD of Promeal?
As an Eastern Cape girl from a close-knit middle-class family, I have always been a creative person who is fiercely independent. I would describe myself as a king salmon. A woman of the Earth. Nelipot. Adventurer. Traveller. Runner. Dreamer. Creator and curator of brands. Innovator.
After 5 years at university studying a Business Degree and doing my honours, I travelled for a while and returned to South Africa to begin working at the PE Technicon, teaching a bridging class to African students in 1994 after the first elections. It was a thoroughly rewarding experience and one I have cherished from my journey to where I am today.
I moved to Johannesburg and changed career to an Art Buyer in Advertising – which is some of the most fun I’ve had at work. I then took the opportunity to move into Account Management, and at a certain point, I was also blessed to drive strategy in my Account Director role, working with wonderful clients like Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Mars Incorporated and local business like National Brands, Sanlam and so on. I crossed the great divide from advertising into classical marketing when my Mars client offered me a job in-house as a Marketing lead on their snack-food business.
Since then I have worked for Cadbury across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) as a Regional Lead for Halls and Sugar Innovation. I have also worked in Fashion Retail relaunching Spitz and Green Cross for the AVI Group. I worked in Standard Bank Private Clients and Nando’s when I had my own consulting business. In 2012, I moved to the Mother City and joined Brand House to work on Heineken amongst other beer brands.
I found myself at Promeal in 2014 when I was contacted by a head hunter and presented with my first general management role as Managing Director.
Tell us a bit more about Promeal – what are the company’s biggest achievement to date.
We have turned our business around from a production led facility offering only economy products mainly dog, to a start-to-end wet pet food service provider and manufacturer that drives unique brand propositions for our own brands and for our partner brands. We drive innovation and have a fully-fledged BRC facility.
Our single biggest achievement is reaching Number 1 Wet Dog Food status in a highly competitive market and up against the global multinational giants like Mars and Nestle (considering that we are an intrepid local player).
What’s Promeal’s strategy for the future?
Our key aim is to lead the category with innovation supported by lean manufacturing and continuous
improvement. We have been working towards challenging the status quo by being boutique FMCG
– nimble, fast and smart. People have been and will continue to be at the core of what we do – we aim to work with creative and innovative individuals. We want to continue understanding our consumers (the furry kids) and serving them doggedly (excuse the pun), while ensuring we don’t take anything for granted. Staying humble and grounded is vital for us.
Where do you see the company in five years?
Our main goals is to become the best value and quality co-manufacturing partner to our retailers locally and globally and to drive innovation in the category. In five years’ time, I see Promeal as the leading pet care business in Southern Africa; making strong inroads to targeted markets globally.