Niwael: Loving what you do is key to career advancement

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Dar es Salaam. Niwael Mshana, the operations manager of Rangel Logistics Tanzania, has been working in the logistics and transport services industry for nine years.

She believes that achieving a significant position requires hard work and dedication, which is why she is passionate about her work.

Logistics Tanzania Limited is a logistic partner with the capacity to integrate a wide range of services, offering the market a one-stop-shop solution. With global coverage and supported by a network of global partners, the company moves cargo among over 220 countries and territories by land, sea, or air.

Before her current position, she started with customer service, an entry point that exposed her to the skills she is still applying today.

She was dealing with customers, and challenging customer service situations allowed me to develop skills such as empathy, understanding customers’ concerns and frustrations, helping to build stronger relationships, and improving interpersonal skills. Allowing her to have the ability to analyse, identify solutions, and solve problems, providing effective support. “I think this overview and the knowledge acquired were very important for my current role, as it gave me the ability to deal with several situations simultaneously, which is very useful today in my current role as operations manager,” said Niwael.

Her role as the operations manager includes a diverse set of responsibilities aimed at ensuring the seamless and efficient functioning of our operations.

Here is a concise overview of my key roles, such as effective management and allocation of resources for the timely execution of collections, deliveries, and internal centre operations.

She formulates strategic plans to improve the efficiency of their operations, collaborating with stakeholders to address potential challenges and optimise processes. Clear guidelines are given to all operational teams to define and achieve performance metrics in line with the company’s objectives.

“In summary, my role involves comprehensive oversight of operations, ensuring that we meet and exceed customer expectations while prioritising safety and continuous improvement in our processes,” said Niwael.

Responding to how she is empowering women through her position, she said that empowering women to ascend to top leadership positions requires the implementation of a comprehensive strategy addressing professional growth, workplace culture, and gender bias.

Niwael proactively champions mentoring initiatives that connect employees with seasoned professionals. These mentorship programmes offer invaluable information and support, assisting individuals in navigating their leadership trajectories within the organisation.

Adding to that, she said, her organisation places significant emphasis on diversity and inclusion initiatives, cultivating an environment that values diverse perspectives and establishes clear goals to monitor progress.

“Rangel is committed to fostering professional growth through initiatives that promote mentoring, training, and networking opportunities, providing crucial support for career progression. Rangel is a company with origins in Portugal, in Europe, whose values include gender equality, inclusion, and respect for religion and race. With a direct presence in nine countries, we work with various cultures around the world and value the exchange of enriching experiences between our various employees,” she said.

Niwael believes that a balance between professional and personal life, career progression, and equal opportunities are important. Organisations can create environments where individuals, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to a more equitable and diverse workforce. Commenting on the challenges she is going through and how she overcomes them, she said that operational managers in courier companies face a myriad of challenges inherent to the dynamic nature of the industry.

She said the logistical complexity of managing high volumes of packages with strict delivery timelines is a primary concern. This includes optimising routing, sorting, and tracking processes to meet customer expectations. Resource management poses another significant challenge, requiring operational managers to balance the number of delivery vehicles and personnel to efficiently handle fluctuating demand, avoiding both overstaffing and understaffing.

Technology integration is a constant challenge, as the courier industry heavily relies on systems for tracking, route optimisation, and customer communication. Regulatory compliance adds a layer of complexity, as operational managers need to stay abreast of evolving regulations related to transportation, data protection, and customs to ensure the company’s adherence to local and international laws.

With the above challenges, Niwael chooses her leadership style, which is characterised by a blend of empathy, resilience, and strategic thinking. One guiding principle that she can never compromise on is equality and diversity.

In a traditionally male-dominated industry like logistics, I am committed to promoting gender equality and diversity at all levels of the organization. I advocate for equal opportunities, fair treatment, and inclusion of women in leadership positions, recognising the unique perspectives and strengths they bring to the table, she said.

She calls for hard work, loving what you do, and believing in yourself for women aspiring to follow a similar path as hers. Passion for the chosen field not only fuels personal motivation but also contributes positively to team dynamics.

“Confidence in your abilities is paramount, fostering self-esteem and inspiring confidence in those around you. Embrace continuous learning to stay adaptable in an ever-evolving professional landscape, seeking out opportunities for growth and skill development,” she said. She said women’s representation in fields like logistics is crucial as it promotes gender equality and empowerment. By having women in leadership roles, it challenges traditional gender norms and stereotypes, demonstrating that women are equally capable and deserving of leadership positions.

Adding to that, she said, this not only creates more opportunities for women in the field but also inspires future generations of women to pursue careers in logistics and related industries. Her career journey is inspired by President Samia Hassan Suluhu, whose remarkable leadership, resilience, and dedication have paved the way for women like me in Tanzania and beyond.

President Suluhu’s ascent to the highest office in the country is a testament to her unwavering commitment to service and excellence. She embodies grace under pressure, navigating challenges with poise and wisdom, she said.

As the first female president of Tanzania, she has shattered glass ceilings and inspired countless women to pursue their ambitions fearlessly. Her vision for a prosperous and inclusive nation resonates deeply with her, fueling her determination to make a meaningful impact in her field.

“Her leadership exemplifies strength, compassion, and integrity, qualities that continue to guide and inspire me on my professional journey,” she said.

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