Interview with Asyia Sheik-Ojwang, Head of Public Affairs, Coca-Cola South Africa
A: I lead Coca-Cola South Africa’s public affairs portfolio. I focus on external stakeholder engagement, including managing the overall sustainability framework which includes a focus on women, water and wellbeing.
BFP: What is the best part about your job/project?
A: I love that Coca-Cola is committed to and invested in being part of the solution to South Africa’s socio-economic challenges – the fact that my job plays a role in making a positive impact in the communities where we operate is the best part of it!
BFP: What has been your greatest challenge?
A: Working with stakeholders across various sectors – we have common goals but very different points of view and approaches to addressing issues.
BFP: How have you overcome these challenges?
A: This challenge is actually what creates strength in partnering to address issues – although we have to work towards alignment, the process ensures that we reach a robust, multi-dimensional way of solving a problem. My advice: embrace conflict – it’s not necessarily a negative thing.
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do – where do they start?
A: You need to be someone who can engage and remain relevant – in a company boardroom all the way up to communities who are facing difficulties that cannot always be reduced to a PowerPoint presentation.
BFP: Finally, What do you hope to get out of being part of the BFP community?
A: Connecting with people who are committed to making the world a better place for everyone, including the generations coming after us.
Thank you to Asyia Sheik Ojwang for taking the time to do this interview.
Read previous Member of the Week interviews here.