Barclays Africa Director of Consumer Banking, Rajal Vaidya

Seven Barclays employees flew to Cape Town last week to receive awards following their exceptional performance in 2013. The annual Barclays Africa Premier League Sales and Service awards recognised over 120 employees this year.

Chief Executive of Africa Retail and Business Banking, Craig Bond told the winners that with the superior talent they had demonstrated to get them to the winning position they had achieved, Barclays Africa was well on its way to becoming the ‘undisputed heavyweight’ banking champion in Africa.

He congratulated all the winners for taking top honours in the annual competition which runs across Barclays Africa Retail Banking.

“We are at the start of an exciting journey to change the game through innovation in our refreshed distribution platforms and excellent product segments,” said Bond.

Barclays Africa Director of Consumer Banking, Rajal Vaidya, said he was convinced the award winners were part of the team that would change the shape of banking in Africa.

“While the event is mainly about recognising people who have been working extra hard in the past 12 months, it’s also about determining how we can, as a team, build a strong pan African bank on the continent.”

Barclays Bank of Botswana Head of Sales - Cards, Tebogo Direng said winners from Botswana came from Broadhurst, Jwaneng, Industrial, Carbo and Lead Generation centre.

“These awards were inaugurated last year to drive performance not only in the sales front, but also in the customer service space for our employees. For us in Botswana it has created excitement among employees as they all want to get the opportunity to be recognised at Africa level, and we believe it will create good motivation for them to deliver good performance this year and beyond,” she said.

At the event, employees had the opportunity to listen to former Chelsea captain and France international player, Marcel Desailly, who was a special guest at the awards gala dinner. Marcel talked to employees about his football career and how his experience in football was relevant to any career, including banking.

Fielding a wide range of questions from renowned soccer analyst Thomas Mlambo, Desailly spoke about his journey from Ghana as a four-year-old into France where he discovered his soccer skills and the challenge of choosing which national colours to wear at international level.

Desailly spoke about his major highlights such as being part of France’s football teams that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

He also shared some lowlights in his career and how perseverance led to what he considered a successful football career.

He had this to say to Barclays employees: “While football can be individual in the sense that it brings differently skilled individuals, ultimately it is about bringing the individuals together to play as a team. You perform well as a collective and not as an individual.”

Desailly is a retired Ghanaian born French footballer and was star of the France national football team which won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. He also won the UEFA Champions League with French club Olympique de Marseille in 1993 and again in 1994 while playing for Italian side AC Milan. Following his move to Chelsea in 1998, Desailly captained the English side and played sweeper and centre-back until the end of the 2003-04 season.

The awards were set up in 2012 to recognise colleagues from across Africa for their outstanding achievements and strong performance during the year, across seven specific categories in each country. Through a unique football themed recognition programme, the awards leveraged sponsorship of the Barclays Premier League.