Employee Spotlight: Sander Marais, Production Manager at RussellStone Protein Pty Ltd.

How long have you been employed with SOTG?

February, 2014.

What is your history/career path prior to Seaboard?

Prior to working for RussellStone Protein I lived in the Netherlands and studied Civil Engineering. As a student I did many different peace jobs, including working as an assistant health care worker for the mentally disordered, superintendent on harbor upgrade and offshore windmill park projects in England and finalized my study as an intern at an engineering consultancy.

My dream was always to move back to South Africa and build my career here. I have been privileged to start my career at RSP and to grow as fast as I did. Unfortunately, I never got to use my Engineering study in full, yet the study did help to develop a problem-solving mindset which is useful.

What are your current responsibilities?

My current responsibilities are to keep on producing the best Soya Meal in South Africa. My responsibilities include, but not limited to, managing the Hot Dehulling and Solvent Extraction plant, Fullfat production plant, Chemical Refinery, Acid Oil production plant and the Effluent treatment (DAF Units) plant. On all the production facilities the main responsibility is to have consistency to insure high-end quality and decrease the variable costs, which is driven through efficiencies. The main focus to reach our targets is to empower the personnel to do their duties and train them to be next level thinkers.

What do you enjoy most about working for Seaboard or Location?

I do not know where to start, there is just too many.

The first thing that comes to me is that I enjoy the fact that this is not some office job. I have the freedom to move around on-site and only sit behind my desk when I want to. For instance, like now, to fill in an interview and enjoy some coffee.

The second thing I actually enjoy the most. I enjoy working with all the different teams, especially to see what the full potential of each individual is when they are given the freedom and the right support to perform their duties with their own inputs.

What’s your favorite story/memory about working for Seaboard?

My favorite story about working for RSP are the success stories many of the employees have. Some of our best employees started either as a temporary or a cleaner and managed to work themselves into good positions, just by showing up and consistently delivering results through hard work.

What important values do you think Seaboard delivers on?

Important values that are being delivered are definitely growth and respect.

What surprised you most about the job or its location?

What surprised me the most about RSP is how much can be accomplished, without experts, just by having a passion to reach a certain goal as a team.

How do you spend your free time? What do you like to do in the city where you live?

Whenever I have free time, I will make sure that I’m having a good old-fashioned South African braai with either family, friends or just me and my wife. Obviously, there is always some (upgrades) chores to do in and around the house and I like to challenge myself to do most of them myself.

Here in Pretoria there are a lot of food markets and the best thing is to go to a few of them on Saturday morning and enjoy the food.

What is your hidden talent? Or something most people don’t know about you?

I think my hidden talent is that I’m lazy, I just hide it really well by working hard.