With a heart to serve communities in need, Adri Grobler co-founded Lithon with her husband, Adriaan, in 2002. In the early days, they operated the company from their garage converted into an office with just one staff member to help out with admin. Now, almost two decades later, Lithon has grown into a group of companies with 25 staff members and offices in Namibia, South Africa and Ghana. Despite this impressive growth, for Adri the company’s true success lies in the positive impact it has had – and continues to have – on its staff and the communities in which it operates.
My team and I are responsible for the group’s support functions, namely finance, governance, administration, ICT and human resources, and I also make sure we have all the compliances we need for our various projects. Essentially, I do everything the engineers don’t want to do!
I love to come in early so that I can prepare the office and make sure coffee is ready for everyone. It’s important to me that people arrive to a welcoming environment. The Exco team meets at 7.45am for our daily huddle meeting, and then the company has coffee together at about 7.55am. After that, the various business units have quick stand-up meetings. This is a really important time, where everyone gets to connect. The rest of my day is finance and admin-related, attend any relevant meetings and do whatever is needed to make the company effective and efficient.
It’s wonderful to see people grow in both their careers and personal lives. And it’s incredibly rewarding to see them really engage with the company’s vision and values.
We focus on developing our people and create opportunities for them to grow, and I think what excites me most is seeing where this younger generation will take the company that Adriaan and I started.
I’m an empathetic person and I enjoy serving others, so I feel inspired by other people’s energy – seeing them grow and helping them reach their potential.
Raising two daughters who are strong, independent adults. Family time is precious to me, and during lockdown we got to enjoy plenty of quality time together, which was very special.
When I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, spending time on my hobbies and, for me, it is important to invest in my friendships. I also like to learn new things and recently completed a Certificate in Transformational Leadership through the African Leadership Institute.
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