South Africa’s leading academic book retailer, Van Schaik Bookstore, has appointed Ugan Poobalan as its new Managing Director, effective 30 June 2023, following the retirement of outgoing MD, Stephan Erasmus, in May this year.
Poobalan takes the helm at a company that is over 100 years old and comprises more than 70 stores in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini and Namibia, plus an ecommerce platform and library service.
Ready to take on the dynamic and challenging academic book market in Southern Africa, Poobalan is prioritising an agile and innovative approach to the business: “As MD, my primary focus will be to foster a culture of innovation, excellence, and hard work. Together, we will embrace emerging technologies, seize sales opportunities, and navigate any obstacles that may come our way.”
“It is an honour to be entrusted with this responsibility, and to have the opportunity to work alongside the committed and dedicated Van Schaik Team.”
Poobalan is focused on strengthening relationships with suppliers and on delivering outstanding customer service. “I am committed to maintaining open lines of communication and to fostering a spirit of collaboration between us and our stakeholders. I am confident that our journey ahead will be marked by shared success and sustained growth.”
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Stephan Erasmus for his outstanding leadership and contributions during his tenure of 15 years as MD of Van Schaik Bookstores. I am humbled to follow in his footsteps and build upon the foundation he has laid.”
Poobalan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position having been with Van Schaik Bookstore for more than 18 years in various positions, and previously having worked for Juta Bookstores. He became COO of Van Schaik Bookstore in 2019.