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Broll Property Group has appointed a sustainability-focused, tech-savvy problem-solver as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of its Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) cluster of businesses. Batabile Sibaca’s appointment forms part of the real estate services company’s drive to future-proof the business and comes as the market embraces sustainability more decisively.
Sibaca’s appointment follows the launch of Broll’s Energy, Water and Sustainability and Business Services divisions, led by Mitesh Bhawan and Brian Lewis respectively.
Group CEO, Malcolm Horne, says the business is ecstatic that it has found the right person to fill the IFM COO role. “We believe Batabile brings the right mix of passion, integrity, leadership and industry insight to the COO role and are excited to welcome him onto our Group’s leadership team.”
Sibaca’s overarching responsibilities include designing and overseeing the implementation of the business’s IFM cluster strategies across South Africa and Africa, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the cluster with the divisional heads and managing relationships with the operation’s external stakeholders, partners and clients.
Prior to joining Broll Property Group, Sibaca gained extensive experience in the industry, having fulfilled roles such as facilities project manager, regional manager, business development manager, national operations manager and general manager at various facilities management companies. In his most recent role as general manager for a large facilities management operation, he headed up a team of more than 1 500 employees and oversaw some of the country’s largest clients.
Sibaca says he is passionate about facilities management, people and growth. “My management style has always been hands-on. I don’t believe in sending out email missives while sitting behind a desk. When there’s an issue, I like to get involved in the solutions-finding process.”
He believes listening is a non-negotiable skill for himself. “When people feel heard, they go the extra mile. My approach may seem simple, but it takes experience to understand people, uncover their values and find out what motivates, inspires and drives them.”
With his eyes on industry trends, Sibaca says the top three trends he will be following closely are proactive maintenance in the facilities management space, Internet of Things (IoT) for facilities management and sustainability.
“Through data management and technology, we can adopt a more proactive approach to facilities management, thereby ensuring we anticipate issues before they become major problems and allowing our customers to focus on their core business rather than having to spend their time logging calls that lead to reactive maintenance.
“With IoT, the focus is on smart metres for water and sensors for lights and equipment, which allow us to identify inefficiencies and reduce utilities expenses. Right now, the industry is characterised by too much leakage and I believe IoT is an important part of the solution in addressing this.”
On the back of rolling blackouts and water shortages in some parts of the country, Sibaca says sustainability has become a key concern for customers. “In this respect, our recently introduced Energy, Water and Sustainability division is well positioned to offer well-considered advice and solutions to customers.”
An advocate of continuous learning, Sibaca has a bachelor of science degree in construction economics and management from Wits University and a leadership development qualification from the University of Cape Town. In December 2022, he completed his MBA through Regenesys Business School. He believes education is a springboard to greater things.
As a visionary leader, Sibaca – at his core – wants to make a big impact in Africa. “This talks to the heart and soul of who I am. I want to make an impact on this continent, and Broll has the perfect operational, legacy footprint in South Africa to do so. I believe we have so much potential and that we are undermined as a continent. I believe my new role as COO of Broll IFM positions me well to shine some light on the continent through the Broll brand.”