Executive Directors

Ramachandran (“Ram”) Ottapathu (52)

Chief Executive Officer

Chartered Accountant (India)

Ram joined Choppies in 1992 and has been heading operations since 2000. He has been instrumental in the significant growth of Choppies in Botswana and its expansion into South Africa. Ram has over 25 years’ experience in the retail industry both in finance and operations, and further experience in other industries such as manufacturing, packaging, milling, real estate development and medical distribution. Ram is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and fellow member of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Sanooj Pullarote (40)

Chief Financial Officer

Chartered Accountant (India)

Sanooj joined Choppies in 2006 as finance manager and was appointed CFO in December 2015. He is a qualified chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with 18 years’ experience, including over nine years in the retail sector. Prior to joining Choppies he worked as credit manager for Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited in Kerala, India and as an auditor for various organizations. He is a fellow of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants.


Farouk Ismail (63)

Deputy Chairman

Farouk was the founder of the Ismail Group of companies, the group now known as Choppies Enterprises. Farouk opened the first store in Wayside, Lobatse in 1986 and has witnessed the exponential growth of the group since. Given his presence in the Choppies Group since its inception, he has a strong understanding of the target market of Choppies and how to address market requirements. Social responsibility has been an important element of the Choppies business to Farouk thus he has taken a keen interest in this area of the business and has been a key player in all community activities in which Choppies has been involved.


His Excellency FG Mogae (77)


MA (Development Economics), BA (Hons) (Econ)

His Excellency FG Mogae was elected as the President of the Republic of Botswana in 1998, in which office he served until his tenure ended in 2008. Rising through the ranks, His Excellency held several portfolios including Minister in Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, alternate Governor for Botswana at the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was also the Governor of the Bank of Botswana, Permanent Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Cabinet and supervisor of elections and the Vice President. Further, he has served on various Parastatal boards as a director and as chairman. His Excellency is currently the special envoy of the United Nations for HIV/AIDS and good governance in Africa, and was awarded the 2008 Mo Ibrahim prize for his achievement in African leadership for ensuring stability and prosperity.


Non Executive Directors

Dorcas Ana Kgosietsile (57)

Independent Non-Executive Director

MSc (Management), BA (Acc, Stats, Econ)

Dorcas is an independent and non-executive director of First National Bank of Botswana, a non-executive director of Botho University and a non-executive director of six wholly owned subsidiaries of FSG Limited. She served as first resident High Commissioner of Botswana to India until 2011 after a short stint as Consul General based in Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to joining the Diplomatic Corp in 2005, she was managing and lead consultant of Business Clinic (Pty) Ltd. She served on various and diverse entities as director including the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), the National Development Bank (NDB), regarding development operations and government initiatives such as BIDPA,UNCTAD (Geneva), ADF (USA) and foreign aid funded Projects like IDEAA Redesign Process and the Corporate Council on Africa (USA). Passionate about aid for the Underprivileged, she is a founder trustee of Dinaletsana that serves autistic and down’s-syndrome children in Botswana


Robert Neil Matthews (73)

Independent Non-Executive Director

Certified Public Accountant (USA)

Robert is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants. He serves as chairman on several audit committees of private and public companies, and acts as an independent non-executive board member. A retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Gaborone, in charge of audit and business advisory services, he has gained extensive professional and commercial experience in audit, taxation, and business services. He currently offers consulting and advisory services to various organisation


Sydney Alan Muller (67)

Independent Non-Executive Director

BCom (Hons), MBA (UCT), CA(SA), AMP (Harvard)

Sydney was formerly the executive chairman of Woolworths Holdings Limited and a director of other companies in the Wooltru Group. He is a director of MMI Holdings Limited, and sits on a number of board subcommittees of that group. He is chairman of Holdsport Limited, as well as of the sub-Saharan review board of Air Liquide S.A. He is chairman of a number of private operating companies.


Peter Baird (49)

Non-Executive Director


Peter is responsible for Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) across sub-Saharan Africa. He has 18 years’ experience in private equity, consulting, and investment banking. He spent 11 years at McKinsey in South Africa and in the USA, where he was a partner in the healthcare practice. From 2006 to 2008, Peter was president of DJO Inc., a Blackstone-led medical-devices LBO. Earlier in his career he was a principal at Brait Capital Partners, and in the M&A group at Lehman Brothers.