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December 2012 www.endeavourmagazine.com
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Heads of Departments Editor in Chief Daemon Sands firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Research Don Campbell email@example.com Sales Director James Martin firstname.lastname@example.org Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman email@example.com Lead Designer Alina Sandu firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Stephen Warman email@example.com Any enquiries or subscriptions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org ENDEAVOUR MAGAZINE is published by Littlegate Publishing LTD which is a Registered Company in the United Kingdom. Company Registration: 07657236 Registered office: 343 City Road London EC1 V1LR VAT registration number:116 776007 Littlegate Publishing Ltd Kings Lane Norwich, NR1 3PS United Kingdom
2012 has been a year of development. A year of growth and I’m going to sound a bit like a mother hen so please bear with me, I am simply very proud. This pride comes from a target well achieved. Endeavour Magazine was a standing launch. In June 2011 we started with only an idea and the backing of Littlegate Publishing who believed in what we had to offer. A magazine with a receptive audience through which our clients could be seen, our mission was to catalyse company growth by highlighting and endorsing companies across the globe. Knowing what to do from the start we established a firm readership by collaborating with companies to spread the word about our publication. Endeavour Magazine is informative, educating, entertaining and fundamentally a good read. They helped us tremendously and faster than any of us could have anticipated and we aim to have a million readers by the first quarter of 2013. What is more, we knew that the only way to build a product like ours was to employ the best people and we set about building a team of the best. Like recruiting for the A-Team we brought in those talented individuals who had something to offer, it was a long and slow process of finding the right people and the ultimate reward is to see those right ones are still with us. Providing the best environment for these people to grow is about recognizing the times to laugh and frolick and when it’s time to knuckle down, dig deep and work hard. These are our team mates, not just our employees; we work together and we bring in the results ie a magazine that always delivers the best message. Against sour competition and formidable odds we have excelled and it’s always been for the same reasons. We want to work here. Hopefully, this is the sort of message that all of our subscribed employers can share with their staff this year.
Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in articles by attributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this magazine, no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2012
I wish you all a good year end,
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 •
14 SWACAA: Soaring High 18 Bahrain Airport Services: Feet On The Ground Eyes In The Skies 24 TN Molefe: Asserting Itself 30 FATS: Enthusiasm, Commitment And Dedication 36 Maputo Corridor Logistics: Clearing The Way 40 Arab Engineering Bureau: The Sky Is The Limit 46 Sealake Industries: 40 Years Of Delivering Value 54 Wilmar International: The Giant Behind It All 58 Stock Enchange Of Mauritius: An Innovative Exchange 64 Cable Consortium of Liberia 70 Promor: Less Is More 76 Kenyan Airport Authority: Still High Above Their Competition
Christmas Craze In 1982 the Cabbage Patch Kids was the bestselling Christmas toy. By 1984 the Coleco toy company had sold over $1 billion worth of said dolls which is a figure unadjusted for inflation. It was the first time that a toy had caused a riot of parents and marked the start of the scientific research directly linking adult-slavery to the endless screaming demands of a toddler.
6 Santa Claus Recruiting Companies 8 Modern Day Superman I Am Not Qualified 10 To Grow A Moustache Why Are We Afraid 12 Of Being Afraid? Mistletoe Literally meaning “dung twig”, mistletoe is named after the fact that it tends to spring out of bird droppings on trees after the seeds have passed through the bird’s digestive tract. Not only this but it can also be very parasitic, often requiring a host tree in order to sustain itself. So, next time you kiss your significant other beneath the mistletoe, remember, you’re standing beneath a parasitic poop twig.
Christmas Break Five months into the first World War, troops along the Western front took a Christmas Eve break from fighting to sing carols to one another across the battlefield. The following morning, German soldiers emerged from the trenches and began to approach Allied troops while calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Luckily, it wasn’t a trick; dozens of British fighters came out to greet them and shake hands, some even exchanging cigarettes as gifts. Later dubbed the Christmas Truce of 1914, it was one of the last examples of wartime chivalry.
Headless Horseman And Santa The author best known for creating the Headless Horseman also created the iconic image of Santa flying in a sleigh. In his 1819 series of short stories The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, New York native Washington Irving described a dream in which St. Nicholas soared across the sky in a weightless wagon. The stories became so popular, they spawned a Christmas revival of sorts in the States, and even Charles Dickens is said to have credited Irving’s work for inspiring his classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol.
Many people are able to spot niche industries but there are very few who are able to capitalize on a niche market with such solid focus that their competitors simply fall by the wayside. I had the chance to speak with Saint Nicholas who opened up in a once in a millennium interview about what the key to his staggering success is.
SANTA CLAUS “Time management,” he says. “Time management is very important… and giving away free stuff.” Burly does not quite describe this man. He is less of the cute and cuddly; rosy-cheeked Uncle Figure that we’ve seen upon Coca Cola trucks and in shop windows. From centuries of lugging around a magical sack he has the shoulders and arms of a lumberjack, his beard is not white but grey and thick, hanging down in front of his barrel chest. His eyes are the sort of piercing blue that instantly judges you. This is a man whose existence is in shades of black and white, or rather, naughty and nice. “For over three hundred days a year I run the busiest manufacturing facility in the world,” he continues, revealing a strong Scandinavian accent, “producing over a billion toys a year for the nice children of the year and employing an unknown number of elves.” An unknown number of elves? You would think that a manufacturing facility that operates twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for twelve months of the year would have a better concept of their employee numbers but Santa reveals this isn’t true at all. “They all look and sound alike. It doesn’t
by Donnie Rust
help that they insist on wearing the same uniforms- it does get awfully confusing.” As it turns out the employment of elves is actually only a small part of running a successful manufacturing hub, Santa is quite clear on what it takes to keep Christmas running efficiently: “A magical sack helps,” he reveals, “But my recent success has definitely come off the back of corporate marketing and affiliating with big businesses. “Up until a hundred years ago I used to wear a suit of green and was called Odin,” he says off hand, “But when Coca Cola became interested in what I was doing, they asked me to change my dress code to red to fit with their ribbon logo. I initially said no, but in all fairness I get royalties over the festive period for Coca Cola sales and that funds my entire organisation for the remainder of the year. Also it makes for a fantastic industrial cleaner for our machinery.” Marketing certainly does play a very prominent role in the success of Christmas, with Santa’s namesake appearing everywhere for months at a time. To keep up appearances and to keep the fires of his niche industry alighted, Santa
makes use of a number of franchised Father Christmases who visit supermarkets, malls and schools. “You can always spot the real Santa though, usually because I’m the one off my tits on sherry!” he says stroking his beard, “I’m also the only one who really knows who’s naughty and nice.” He says, eyeing me out directly. “Of course the cleverest marketing plans are the best,” he explains, “At a Christmas shop selling sweets and toys in America we put up a billboard facing oncoming traffic from the freeway that simply read: ‘Scream until your dad stops the car’ and that was particularly successful. Aiming for the kids is important.” With a factory/workshop in the middle of a barren, Icelandic wasteland there are a number of hurdles that need to be overcome but Santa explains his choice of location quite simply, “I have a lot of toys to deliver and only twenty four hours of night to do so. It’s easier for the reindeer if we’re going downhill.” Supplier allegiance is crucial considering the volume of raw material that has to be delivered to their factory via dog sled but Santa has always inspired dogged loyalty from those working with him. No doubt because of his intense focus and unmatchable dedication to the cause but also because he is in charge of the naughty list. Serving such a diverse spectrum of customers, what is the best way to meet the expectations of the modern child? “The modern child is never satisfied,” Santa reflects. “They used to be happy with a wooden carving of a horse but now they want everything they see on television and they’re not afraid to ask for it. Luckily, thanks to the internet, kids around the world are able to see what’s available everywhere and the lists we get from them are usually very similar.” No presents for grownups then? “Grownups don’t send me too many letters,” he reveals, “They’re too busy. I get some and thanks to some of the
popular literature around at the moment the gifts we’ve been making are enough to make even me blush and I thought I’d seen it all.” Elves tend to train themselves at the factory; in fact they are fairly autonomous, but Santa’s and the reindeer’s training is something to be seen: “I have in total twenty hours in a day to deliver every present and because there is no faster way to travel than by reindeer-drawn-sleigh I also have to fly them. So throughout the year I enter a rigorous training regime including weight training, strength training, gymnastics, speed training and ballet. My diet throughout the year is very Spartan because every family leaves me cookies, mince pies and sherry. Have you ever tried to steer a reindeer drawn sleigh after that much alcohol? “The reindeer themselves are a particular pain to train, especially as they’re all female. Male reindeer lose the skin on their horns throughout winter and I got tired of being hit in the face with furry flesh at Mach seven.” And about the reindeer and how they’re able to run at such speeds while not bursting into flame or how he can control such super powered deer without having his skeleton liquidized? “It’s a combination of quantum physicals, magic dust and mustard but you would not believe me if I told you,” he explains, “The insurance on the sleigh is a killer”, he adds with a sigh. According to UNICEF, there are 2,106 million children under the age of 18 in the world and the math indicates there would be about 842 million stops that Santa would have to make on Christmas Eve, over a total distance of 221 million miles. In order to reach every stop that night he would need to go from house to house in less than 1/5,000 of a second, requiring an acceleration of 12.19 million miles per second every time. So you can imagine why the reindeer only come out once a year.
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 7
RECRUITING COMPANIES MODERN DAY SUPERMAN An Article Of Positivity by Daemon Sands
Like a swarm of ants invading a home, you can’t get through the morning without seeing stories about some national retail giant making thousands of people redundant in broad sweeping strokes. Despite common assumption, this is not because the heads of these companies are evil super villains but more so that they are at the mercy of their accountants and no matter your level of idealism, everyone, even our heroes have to adhere to the bottom line. In this case, technological advancements in the areas of self-check-out counters, security monitoring and parking monitoring not to mention the programming capable of accountancy and HR have made some people in every layer of business simply too costly to employ. The frustrating thing is that it’s nobody’s fault, despite what the politicians say. Politicians in the UK want to reduce unemployment benefits to get people to go back into work but major companies aren’t recruiting as much which means that people don’t have the jobs to go to, so to quote Dannie Boyle: “... it is like withdrawing medicine to encourage people to be immortal.” Tragically, as these are the only stories we hear it’s all too easy to be of the opinion that that’s that and there are no jobs available, that things are falling apart and this is how it all ends. But before we throw in the towel and wait for the machines to take over I want to make an obvious statement. We are recruiting. Yes we are recruiting and so are many other companies like ours. I love recruiting. When you recruit someone you save
their life. Whether it’s freeing them from a job they hate to offer them a career that they could love or pulling them from the cold wet grip of unemployment to offer them a job they can hate, you’re saving their lives. I was speaking with a business colleague I have from The Wharf (Sam Coe Music Vocalist article) who has also recently offered employment to a man who has a dream of teaching music and singing. Now he has the opportunity to install within others a gift of learning how to sing. He can mentor, teach and fulfil his dream by nurturing the dreams of others. How wonderful to start the day knowing that you’ve helped someone pay forward the seed of positivity. Haley Joel Osment and Danny Wallace would be so proud. Sam and I agreed that recruitment is not only good for the company but it’s good for the soul. You take a person’s future in your hands, you nurture them and provide for them an atmosphere in which they can grow. Recruiting someone can make an employer feel fifty feet tall and it extends further than that. Business is all about the bottom line. It has to be; the bottom line is the skeleton of economy and the backbone of finance. In simple terms someone is employed when they will make the company money by the time it gets to the bottom line, either through saving it or producing it. So, when you recruit someone you are giving them a torch, you
are saying that you believe they are worth something. You’re saying, “Our company needs you and wants you and most importantly you deserve to be here.” Employers have the ability to provide a sense of pride and purpose to their staff. Business moguls like Richard Branson have built empires that have survived through economic crisis and will continue to do so long after they’re gone and have proved that if the first priority of an employer is to look after and provide their employees with the right tools to succeed. That’s real success, giving someone the ability to be successful. And there is a lot of it happening! While some media rags are latching onto doom and gloom because nothing sells newspapers like the fear of not being able to afford newspapers, other companies are finding solutions. Let us turn our backs on the massive companies that shed off staff more regularly than birds shed feathers for a moment and assume that any company that loses staff at such a rate cannot be successful. Let’s turn our attention to a company that is finding ways to make staff useful. I often return to Richard Branson and there is a reason for it, this is a serial entrepreneur who did not inherit money but made it himself by thinking outside the box and has bent and broken rules of business by proven it can be done and more importantly that it should be done. How? “Giving the customer what they want and the employer what they need,” – Richard Branson, Virgin. The Virgin Empire faces the same problems as other businesses but addresses them in a different manner. In the name of finding a solution they aren’t afraid of changing
their business model and instead of making a perfectly good employee redundant they will retrain them and find them or create a role that will help them use their talents to help make the company money. Logically, this makes sense. If you’re a major employer who’s going to pay redundancy to thousands of staff, you could reemploy them in a new venture focusing on their strong points. There are bound to be companies out there that specialize in finding solutions to redundancy problems, specialists who can think outside the box to save the company’s staff, the company’s name and the bottom line. And if they can’t find one, why don’t they make one? Diversification is the key to survival. Richard Branson has said that now is the time for changing the business model that we work with and I believe he’s correct. Over the past decade we (global businesses) have become increasingly focussed on the bottom line with disregard to the employee. We need to be focussed on the bottom line with the most intensive regard to the employees. As business leaders we should be providing opportunities and solutions for our staff. This doesn’t mean that we won’t fire the “dolts” who genuinely don’t belong, but I wouldn’t bet that these major corporate redundancies are so carefully targeted. We recruiters are the future. By investing in employees and developing staff we are the ones laying the stronger foundations upon the ruins of those companies who would be giants before us. We are able to diversify, we who are able to provide the fertile ground for the seeds to grow, we are the ones who will rise above the weeds of doubt and insecurity to smile in the sunshine of a radiant future. Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 9
I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO GROW A MOUSTACHE Every man has at some point thought they wanted to be either Tom Selleck or Chuck Norris. Although never said out loud in case they turn around and find Chuck Norris’ moustache standing behind them riding a hurricane of fists. This is why Movember is the ultimate charity function. It’s the opportunity for men around the world to experiment with facial hair and upper lip caterpillars and whenever anyone teases them about it we can simply smile, look them in the eye and say, “Yup I look like a geeky Tom Selleck, now give me money for men’s health.” And while during the month of Movember there is more focus on prostates and testicles than any other point in the year - except of course for a large majority of people who sport big flamboyant moustaches year round - I have to be honest I’m glad that the month is almost over. I say this not because I don’t support men’s health, being a man I’m quite certain I do, I say it because I am entirely unqualified to grow a moustache and should not be given a reason to do so. Ever. I am ashamed of my facial hair because as it turns out I’ve caught ginger from my red headed, Celtic faery of a Scottish girlfriend which would explain why I’ve only got it on my face. I have spent twenty eight years painstakingly cultivating a certain image, a certain persona of a six foot five behemoth of muscle and South African Testosterone*, so carefully designed and put together to be the symmetric epitome of what women want… until I grow out my copperish red, Scottish dirt squirrel. I am not a red head, I am a brunette and *whatever is in Bronson’s veins multiplied by eight
A shameful admittance from Donnie Rust
all my clothes are carefully selected to suit a brunette. I wear dark clothes that bring out the intensity of my hazelgreen eyes and neutral colours because they draw the admirer’s eye inwards like a Thomas Cole painting. My dark eyebrows align with an architectural parallel with my hairline and are precisely perpendicular to my nose, which is regal to say the least. My lips have just the right amount of pout to be sensual without looking like a duck and when I speak the movement of my lips can hypnotize water buffalo. Throw some red in there and the whole thing becomes a mockery. It’s like taking coloured ink and correcting Shakespeare’s spelling mistakes or drawing a pair of Spock ears on the Mona Lisa’s head. It just doesn’t work - it gets creepy. Like when you remember Willy Wonka as being the grinning, enthusiastic Gene Wilder singing gaily only to see the remake with a Tim Burton styled Johnny Depp Willy Wonka character who wants to eat children and play skittles with their bones (That’s the impression I got.) But once a year Movember comes along and like every other man and… so unfortunately, some women… I wear my moustache proudly. Last year I went for a John Holmes style handlebar tash and a skinhead, which made me look like a Texan trucker with an attitude. This year I grew a d’Artagnan which did not make me look like a musketeer but more like an extra from the original “You Spin Me Right Round Baby” music video. That’s the other reason I shouldn’t be allowed to wear a moustache. It makes me look rather effeminate, which isn’t helped by my incessant use of the high pitched greeting of, “Heyyyaaaa!”
In fact there are two things people say to me during the month of Movember: “Hi Donnie, did you know that was on your face?” Granted, I am not the most observant person in the world but I would have noticed this on my face, it’s not like ginger moustaches sneak around like little legless ginger ninjas… do they? And the second thing they say is: “Oh Donnie, I didn’t realize you were so… you know?” This concerns me. Everyone is growing moustaches during the month of Movember, it is a worldwide phenomenon and this year alone almost $100 million has been raised around the world and yet people who know me seem to forget this upon sight of my flava-sava and jump to the conclusion that I’ve managed to find the door knob in my dark, dark closet. An explanation always follows the second question as I am always quick to point out that I am so straight slinkies don’t work around me. The explanation usually follows in this dialogue: “Hey Donnie, that is an incredibly red moustache, well done for supporting a charity to raise money and awareness for testicular and prostate cancer. However, I didn’t know you were so… you know.” “I’m not,” I respond. “But you have a moustache that looks so… you know?” I look around all the other moustaches on people who I know have wives, kids, dogs and picket fences and give them a heavy gaze, “I’m not… you know,” I repeat and add, “I have a girlfriend, a gorgeous red headed girlfriend who I often refer to in my many articles.”
“Does she know you’re … you know?” “I’m not!” I yell, stamping my feet and swinging my hands around flamboyantly. “Are you and your pubestache having relations of an intimate nature with your gorgeous, red headed girlfriend?” “Not at the moment,” I concede. “And why not?” they ask. “Because she thinks I’m…you know.” I really can’t stress enough how inaccurate this is, especially seeing as my girlfriend’s father is a reader of Endeavour Magazine and I would rather avoid that particular conversation about being… you know. Which, you know I’m not. Especially as he is decisively ginger and ferociously Scottish and his house is in the sticks and he owns a shotgun. So yes, the launch of our December, Christmas Issue will herald the end of another month of moustache-related mockery and awkward conversations with friends. I will once again be able to eat Yoghurt without embarrassment and kiss my girlfriend without her going all funny and punching me in the guts. Because, we kiss a lot when I don’t have a mouser-lip-merkin on my face you know.
Donnie Rust, (AKA The Naked Busker) is one of Britain’s foremost comedy writers in the field of business, travel and adventure with over 1 million readers worldwide. His stand-up comedy is apparently hilarious too. He can be found at: www.facebook.com/donnierust.
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 11
WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF BEING AFRAID? by Djamil Benmehidi
Fear/fi(∂)r: ‘An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.’ It is something that we do not particularly like to own up to, but to varying degrees fear is a phenomenon that we all experience because every one of us has that something that we are absolutely terrified of. It must be noted that some of these fears are very, very silly however. The world today, especially within macho environments like the business or sporting world, is a place where strength, courage and verve are not just expected but demanded, and where perceived weakness and, notably, fear is scorned. Our heroes and idols, the people which we aspire to be like and whose characteristics and qualities reflect the ones we wish to possess ourselves, on the whole are seemingly fearless and sometimes leave us feeling ashamed when we are at home watching action movies and realise that unlike them we could not and would not be willing to run Hollywoodstyle into a hail of machine gun fire to rescue a frightened kitten, leap across a wide gap roof-to-roof between two tall buildings when being chased, or even something a little more simple like tell your boss who you really and truly despise and that it is a crime against humanity that they were the sperm that won the race. This fear of fear itself as such is ridiculous as in Darwinian terms, fear as an evolutionary trait is rather important and what’s more, has probably been crucial in keeping our genes from exiting their pool in times of peril. For example it was this genetic programming that inspired our Neanderthal ancestors to experience fear and flee or reach for a spear when approached by great big hairy animals with sharp pointy teeth and an air of mischief about them thousands
of years ago. Their fear of big, hungry animals was the product of an instinctive sense of selfpreservation that told them messing with these animals was not a good idea. On the other hand if our ancestral brothers had been crazy fearless like one of our heroes such as Die Hard’s John McClain for example, and instead of fleeing, rolled up their animal skin sleeves and told the bigger, better armed animal that he was going to give it a slap, it is most unlikely that he would have sired offspring and passed on the family silver. I suppose the point I am getting at here is rational fear is normal, it is natural and though society can be a bit small minded and judgemental about the issue at times, this natural spider-sense which some would describe as cowardice can have its place. However acceptance of fear becomes more difficult when we consider that some of the fears that we possess are in fact less than rational, verging on a little pathetic or in fact downright weird. As much as I hate to admit it, I would confess that my fear falls into the pathetic category. You see I hate wasps; absolutely and utterly but worst of all I am completely terrified by them. Though I am a million miles from being the hard as nails type who wrestles bears for a laugh and could fight a lump of granite and win, I would also say that I am a 13 stone, 28 year old man who isn’t a pushover; and seriously, I am nauseatingly, frightened of wasps… not even bad ones but puny British ones. Just this summer, myself and my longsuffering partner had decided to visit the beautiful Northern
village of Knaresborough in Yorkshire for a lazy Summer’s day of eating ice-cream, looking wistfully into each other’s eyes and the intention of drinking our own weight in Rioja and Pinot Noir. Having hired out a boat, it was one of those moments in life where everything was truly perfect; me fulfilling my manly duties by rowing us gently downstream and making her laugh with uncommonly hilarious witticisms and a few terribly offensive jokes, the both of us intoxicated with one another, by the weather and the warmth of the sun on our shoulders, the architecture, the location, everything; it really was like something from a rom-com. And then it flew into the boat, weighing in at no more than 0.01g and probably just a bit curious, a wasp. And that was it, I actually leapt up onto my feet in the tiny, flimsy rowing boat which by this stage was rocking violently in the middle of the river and started to scream and shout the most terrible profanities at an insect. No doubt put out by me flailing my arms around and making a racket, the wasp started to fly around my face, perhaps trying to tell me to shut up and stop creating a scene in much the same way as my long suffering partner was, who by this stage had gone as red as the glass of wine she was holding and aware of the attention I had drawn to us by our fellow rowers and the crowds of tourists on shore who were standing and staring at us, had proceeded to almost shrink into the boat in embarrassed horror. You see I was telling the wasp, my significant other and in fact every other soul within a mile of that river that I would leap from the boat into the river if the wasp wouldn’t ‘bugger off’… which thankfully
it did, and just in the nick of time too because I really was going to leap which had it happened would have been the coup de grace for the afternoon. But hey, who wouldn’t publicly humiliate themselves over a wasp right? So fear of a dangerous animal is rational; fear of a creature no larger than a fingernail which aside from possessing a nasty sting, is completely harmless, irrational and a little pathetic. I suppose there are others who have it worse however, as some fears are simply so out there to the point where they would have had even Darwin scratching his head as he tried to consider their wider divine purpose. A point in case applies to those who suffer from for example Globophobia which is a fear of the types of balloons you would find at a three year olds birthday soiree, or from Coulrophobia which gives sufferers a quite frankly bizarre fear of clowns, or as a last example, those who suffer from Columbiphobia which is a fear of pigeons, creatures which must at least be in with a championship shot at winning the title for being the world’s crappiest animals. We as individuals are not alone in having fears and just because some people are better than others at hiding or mastering them, it is important to try and remember that they exist for a reason and that the development of mankind into what it is today would not have been possible without this evolutionary trait. So go forth and wear your badge of fear with no shame and don’t be afraid to be afrai… oh god wasp… Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 13
STILL HIGH ABOVE THEIR COMPETITION Kenyan Airport Authority www. kenyaairports.co.ke +254 20 661 1000 Written by Jack Slater
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 15
Kenyan Airport Authority
Established in 1991 through a parliamentary act and tasked with responsibly managing all the airports and airstrips in the country, The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) started life with a mission to become the number one airport system in Kenya. Seamless connectivity and the highest level of efficient facilities and services place their average well above stakeholder expectations and like this they have grown in leaps and bounds to become a major contender and a model for all their neighbours. I spoke with engineer Philemon Chandwana about it all.
In the interests of kaizen (change for the better) Kenya Airports Authority continuously invest heavily into its facilities, workforce processes and the local community. Ultimately, the Authority is looking to turn Kenya into a ‘hub’ for Africa and have in many ways succeeded in doing that with Kenya receiving more international attention from global companies and decision makers looking to the region as an important destination for business and tourism. Based at the largest airport in East and Central Africa, KAA’s offices are found at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi. The airport originally had a
passenger handling capacity of 2.5 million, however, it now easily handles 6.5 million passengers a year which is a substantial increase which has created a ripple effect through their organization and affiliated businesses. Two other airports that the KAA is also responsible for include Moi international airport in Mombassa and Eldoret International Airport. There are a number of smaller local and domestic airports that the KAA is in charge of such as Wilson, Malindi, Kisumu, Wajir and Lokichoggo and in addition to the airports, Kenya Airports Authority also looks after close to 200 airstrips in the country. Professionalism and teamwork are two of the Kenya Airport Authority’s core values and the organisation invests significantly in developing its 1,700-strong workforce. “Every employee, at least once a year, gets some serious training with numerous refresher courses,” says Philemon, “Our training programme is comprehensive locally and overseas with particular focus on safety, security and customer service,” Everybody is given safety awareness training and on the security force is regularly refreshed and retrained so that they can keep themselves at the top of their games, especially with those responsible for the security of passengers boarding and disembarking. The KAA is also going to train up ‘ERP Champions’ to coincide with the launch of its new management tool. Champions will be selected from each operational area; for example, finance, customer service, human resources, and are then trained in South Africa on using the new software. Training is not enough, treatment is also of concern and the employees at KAA receive both to a very high degree. Above average pay, medical schemes, a bus service to take staff members to and from work and a car and housing allowance for senior employees are some of the incentives given. “Those are some of the things that we are doing to ensure that we are top notch, in terms of having a motivated workforce, but also in terms of improving our facilities and our processes,” Philemon specifies. A great deal of capital is being invested into The KAA airports, being put into terminal refurbishment, expansion and construction of new runways. One of the biggest projects the Authority is presently involved with is the major refurbishment of the JKIA, and its overall cost has been estimated at half a billion US dollars.
At the moment, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport consists of three terminals and one runway. A fourth terminal is currently being put together and Philemon hopes this will be completed by the end of the year. He elaborates, “A second runway will be build because having only one runway is dangerous,” something that Endeavour Magazine has seen in the past working with Norwich International Airport, “The building of a second strip will also give us the chance to refurbish some of the neighbouring facilities.” Meanwhile, the KAA has just completed full refurbishments of both Kisumu Airport and Malindi Airport. With such huge investments taking place in the KAA’s processes, airport facilities and workforce, it seems fair to predict that it will be successful in achieving both its mission and vision. Specifically looking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kobuthi hopes the addition of a fourth terminal and second runway will help it to more than double its passenger capacity. “The aim is to be able to handle excess of 20 million passengers a year at JKIA, in the next five years,” he says. “We are also working towards attaining a category one status, which would mean that anybody, including people from the US, can fly to Nairobi directly. Which will be a significant boost to the economy.” He concludes by saying: “I see Jomo Kenyatta as being the top airport in the whole of Africa within five years.”
Manufacturing, assembling and service of all types of radiators ranging from air coolers, heat exchangers, water coolers and oil coolers www.mzradiators.co.ke P.O Box 16971 - 80100.Mombasa Tel: (+254) 41 2492156 / 2490310 Cell: (+254) 725344400 / 738461355
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 17
SWACAA www.swacaa.co.sz +268 2518 4390 Written by Jack Slater
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 19
Originally set up as a statutory body, since 2009 The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) has acted on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Their task is to administer the commercial body of the company in an economically viable manner, coordinate the air transport services and regulation of civil aviation activities in Swaziland and to align the organization with international standards.
Led by a nine member Board of Directors SWACAA has a good balance of skilled people in the industry with leaders from a broad sphere of the economy and society. On the Board sits the Director General, Solomon Dube, the only member of the Board with executive powers. He is the Managing Director of the Authority and presides over Executive Committee meetings. “As civil aviation is a very technical and heavily regulated global industry,” Solomon explains, “It becomes necessary to establish an autonomous body that can focus on the growth and professional management of the industry and have the Minister of Transport as its political head.” Previously run by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport through the now disbanded department of civil aviation, Matsapha International Airport and all other infrastructure and air transport facilities have been handed over to the Authority. Sikhuphe International Airport, at an advanced stage of construction, will soon join them under this umbrella. Both airports will be operated by the Authority which will also ensure that International Civil Aviation Organisation standards are upheld.
www.inyatsi.net Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 20
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 •
Through an eight point strategic plan, the Authority’s focus has been on addressing the eight critical elements raised by an ICAO audit conducted in 2007 which resulted in a ban of Swaziland registered aircraft by the European Union. “SWACAA’s immediate objective is to ensure that Swaziland complies with all laid down industry standards,” Solomon explains, “The Authority is also busy with attracting air transport business into Swaziland for tourism, trade and investment.” Explaining how, Solomon simply says, “Through our efficient , regulated , safe and reliable business offerings to the aviation industry.” As with any authority put in place to ensure that standards are not only met but exceeded and SWACAA has to ensure that it keeps in tow with regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority Act 10, 2009 and SADC. This is in addition with the development of their staff to ensure that each of them capable of meeting the regulator and operator skills requirements. “We ensure continuous safety and security supervision as well as the swift resolution of any safety and security concerns,” Solomon assures. Representing the industry in Swaziland and being responsible for over 500 employees and thousands of passengers and customers there are some important elements that make SWACAA what it is. Such things as commitment and integrity, honesty and transparency, responsibility and
accountability become crucial to the continued smooth running of the organization. The Airports: Matsapha International Airport (Mts) Matsapha International Airport (MTS) was opened to commercial traffic in 1961. Because the airport is located in the hub of Swaziland, with Manzini City Centre is only 10 minutes’ drive away it is the ideal gateway into Swaziland for both business travellers and tourists.. The Ezulwini Valley, which plays host to the top hotels, resorts and casinos in the country is located approximately twenty five kilometres northwest of the airport. Mbabane, the capital city, no further than ten kilometres from Ezulwini Valley. “Currently, Matsapha International Airport has one commercial air traffic operator,” Solomon elaborates, “The Swaziland Airlink which operates an Embraer 135 to run five daily flights to O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. This operation accounts for a majority of the 70,000 passengers that pass through Matsapha International Airport each year. In addition to the Swaziland Airlink, there are a number of general aviation activities at Matsapha International Airport that include the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force’s Air Wing.” There is also a budding market for aviation training schools that operate out of Matsapha International Airport which has a Code 4C runway. It is 2,600m long and 45 metres wide constructed of asphalt to handle Boeing 737s.
“The passenger terminal at Matsapha covers approximately 7,000 squared meters and is designed to handle and process about 300 passengers in any given hour,” he describes, “The parking area in front of the building is designed to cater for 200 cars. The ground floor handles passenger concourse and baggage handling, the mezzanine floor is for the offices and the second floor is dedicated to arrival and departure lounges.” The critical ICAO (International Civil Aviation Offices) buildings include the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATC), which is particular crucial at any airport, Fire Station, Air Traffic Systems & Navigational Aids and Fuel Farm vigilantly conduct their businesses twenty four seven. “The fire station incorporates a secondary control room as a backup to the ATC tower, with five fire trucks and an ambulance this makes up our emergency vehicles’ response teams.” The runway at Matsapha is 3.6 km long and 60m wide, it’s design is based on Code E aircraft to facilitate for Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus 340s. benefitting from a solid concrete apron that covers an area of 332m by 260m. ( 86, 320m2) The design is based on handling/parking 2 Code E aircrafts (Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus 340) and 3 Code C aircrafts (J41). Nhlangano Airstrip The Nhlangano airstrip is in Nhlangano town in the southern part of the country and is predominantly used by
the forestry farming. In 2010, Swaziland hosted Routes Africa 2010 on the 30th of May and the 1st of June. This event was attended by high profile Airport Executives and Aviation delegates from Africa, the Middle East and Europe and was aimed at showcasing Swaziland as an attractive business & tourist destination.. Since then there have been several meetings with airline operators who have shown interest in flying to Swaziland and combining it with other neighbouring destinations. The Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority, together with other key industry players are aggressively marketing Swaziland as a destination accessible by air in an environment that meets all the ICAO safety and security standards. About Solomon Dube The Director General is the Chief Executive Officer of the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority who is responsible for the leadership of the Authority both as regulator of the industry and operator of the country’s two airports. The Director General communicates the vision, the values and is responsible for developing the strategy and ensures its implementation. He establishes networks locally and internationally that are necessary for the business of the Authority. As chairman of the management executive committee his role is to create an enabling professional environment and monitor departmental performance. He manages the Authority’s succession plan.
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 23
Bahrain Airport Services www.bas.com.bh +973 1732 1777 Written by Jack Slater
FEET ON THE GROUND EYES IN THE SKIES Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 25
Bahrain Airport Services
Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) was founded nearly four decades ago to provide fully integrated airport services at Bahrain International Airport (BIA). Supported by more than 3000 experienced staff in total, BAS is an ISAGO accredited Airport Service Provider (ASP) which owns and operates five distinct business units: full aircraft and passenger ground handling, cargo terminal services, in-flight catering services, aircraft line maintenance and aircraft engineering training. We spoke about the details with Chief Executive Officer, George Saounatsos after one year at the helm of BAS. “Our Traffic Division handles more than 9 million passengers annually and 35 different airlines, providing a comprehensive range of ground handling services including passenger and ramp handling, dispatch and aircraft load control, baggage handling, flight planning, crew briefing and administration, a number of airport operational functions as well as premium and special services,” George says, “Our Dilmun Lounge for premium passengers, has won the prestigious award of “Lounge of the Year - Middle East/Africa Region” for 6 years in a row!” BAS’ Cargo Division handles 280,000 tonnes of freight annually including import, export and trans-shipment. When looking at the scale of work this division is responsible for just one cargo terminal encompasses an area of 19,000 square meters with multi-bay storage racking and a range of special facilities for perishables, valuables, dangerous goods and livestock. Modern/state of the art computing and communication systems are used for managing its multifaceted operations to ensure optimum efficiency. Aircraft Engineering Department provides Line maintenance and is an EASA certified Part-145 Maintenance Organization. It handles a total of 8,000 aircraft maintenance
movements and 54,000 flight movements annually. The experienced engineering staff is supported by an array of ground equipment to provide high servicing standards to airline customers. Ground Support Equipment includes push-back tugs, air conditioning units, ground power units, air starters, various high lift devices, etc. forming the most comprehensive fleet of airport GSE in the region. BAS has also invested in a state of the art BD1 million BAS Aircraft Engineering Training Centre (BAETC), an EASA certified Part-147 Training Organization. BAETC provides basic aircraft engineering training, specialized aircraft type-rating courses, as well as OJT and practical experience utilizing technologically advanced facilities and equipment “Our modern in-flight catering infrastructure covers an area of approximately 11,000 square meters and has a maximum production capacity of 35,000 meals daily,” George explains, “An average of 500,000 meals per month are produced to satisfy 125 different menus while a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is implemented with stringent international hygiene regulations & standards.” Passengers clearly benefit from the highest level of service at BAS but what have some of the hurdles been for the business? “There are some sizeable internal and external issues which raise important challenges to the management of BAS and our long-term strategic planning,” George explains, “One of the main extraneous factors is linked to the efforts of our national carrier to cope with their growing economic
challenges through the rationalization of their network and restructuring of their fleet. He continues, “Our success is inherently linked to the type and traffic volumes of Gulf Air as our biggest customer. Intelligent and efficient cost control is one of the ways to better prepare for the uncertainties of the future. There are many areas from where we can reduce costs and even reinvest part of these savings back to our people and their training in order to improve the level of service and achieve better value for money for all our airline customers.” “On top of that, we also have to take into consideration the competition in the region and be pragmatic. We are within a one-hour radius from three major hubs namely Dubai, Abu- Dhabi and Doha. These airports constitute the home base of three aggressively expanding global airlines with well established international networks and a high momentum. The economies of scale achieved by these “hub and spoke systems”, or in our case “airline- airport systems”, generate by default an extremely competitive environment for our national carrier and consequently for both the airport company and BAS as communicating vessels. Furthermore, BAS is a fully privately owned business entity with no direct or indirect state subsidies and has to earn its living based on its own potential.” And he continues: “Given this regional environment, I consider it imperative that all the major aviation stakeholders of Bahrain work closely together and support each other in order to build a competitive model which can withstand those externalities and protect the aviation business and eventually the economy of the Kingdom.” On the internal front, the main challenge that BAS appears to be facing is what George refers to as “corporate fatigue”. BAS has been serving the aviation community for more than 35 years and although it is a well established company in its domain, it is inevitable that an organization of this age and
size, with accumulated issues insufficiently addressed in the past would experience signs of corporate fatigue. “Our objective is to transform the DNA of the company, to revitalize BAS and convert it into a modern, competitive and flexible organization with a performance-based and customer-centric culture leading to value added services. To achieve this, a number of organizational changes are underway modifying the structure of our key business units to achieve a more efficient and lean management system,” he explains, “Among other initiatives, an intensive process re-engineering is in progress to re-think the way BAS operates, to streamline our operations and take advantage of synergies to optimize the use of our human capital and GSE resources,” and he adds “We are also bringing in fresh blood with international exposure and experience while at the same time maintaining a high level of Bahrainization for which we are proud to say that has reached 86%, the highest in our sector.” Furthermore, their selection process for all staff has become more robust and demanding to set the ground for cultivating the new corporate culture and depart from habits linked to “old” mentalities. “We have to break the routine associated with day-today operations and be proactive in the way we operate,” is the declaration, “Work hard to enhance our credibility and professionalism, give a touch of the real Bahraini hospitality and offer a true smile to our passengers through our front line staff.” George notes that “there is no “magic wand” to achieve all this and our efforts will require quite some time to pay off. This is about setting solid foundations for BAS for many years to come and it is worth doing it right through methodical planning and systematic work,” he continues and adds “The positive aspect is that our staff are excited and embracing the changes ahead.” Speaking about staff, one of the most telling signs of Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 27
Bahrain Airport Services
any company is the promotional and training focuses placed place on the people employed. “Our human capital is the most important asset; solid initial & recurrent training as well as the ongoing development of our people is the first priority in order to generate the breed of future managers and leaders for BAS,” As a service provider it all comes down to the way each individual staff and expert, be it a check-in agent, a dispatcher, a load controller or a loading supervisor, handles the passengers and customer airlines. At the beginning of 2012 a training master-plan was developed and a massive training/refresher training program implemented. “Being determined to invest back to our people part of the achieved margins through improved incentives and rewards, a newly established concrete Performance Appraisal System was developed. Managers are trained on how to conduct fair and impartial staff evaluations against clearly defined goals/objectives towards establishing an equitable culture and a motivating working environment built on our new corporate values of ethos, respect, teamwork, transparency and fairness,” George states. “We are also revisiting for a second time within a year the salary & grading scale structure for all staff to simplify it and ensure that the basic salary of lower-waged staff is increased while the allowances are rationalized achieving a fair and substantiated policy for all staff, and especially those on shift, while establishing a new era in the relation between management and employees.”
Furthermore, high performing “contract” staff is converted to “open-ended” status to enhance their motivation and also pass a positive message to all for the recognition of good work and professional reliability. And what about the customers? What focuses are in place with regards to relationship building and consolidation? “Convincing our airline customers that they get the best value for their money is of primary importance,” George emphasizes, “We all have to “go the extra mile”, to give the best of our mind and heart in order to achieve the highest standards of service and ensure sustainable quality under all circumstances.” In a small market like Bahrain, reliance is on the establishment of close ties with customers. BAS’ staff need to be there to support the airline teams at all times, listen to their concerns, discuss their daily operational issues and seek the best solutions for them. That is Bahrain Airport Services has made it a policy for all operational managers to spend a considerable time of their working hours outside the four walls of their office and make their presence noticeable in the heart of operations, where all activities take place. “An integral part of our new corporate culture is to perceive the passengers as our guests and we want to offer a congenial traveling experience to them,” George explains, “This will enhance the image of Bahrain and its airport and become an additional competitive advantage in the hands of our national carrier and the airport company (BAC) itself.” With so much already in place to ensure the standards and facilitation of BAS continue at their high level, what could be the new developments for 2013? “For the short term, our priority is to reshape our business model to meet changing market dynamics domestically,” George says, “We are reinventing ourselves, embracing the latest technological advances and operational best practices to meet client expectations and offer competitive services.” This includes the acquiring of the new Cargo Handling System, while the implementation of a new Resource Management System is scheduled for early 2013. This will optimize the planning and day-to-day allocation of recourses and shift patterns for staff as well as reducing fatigue or ‘human factor’ implications. Furthermore, they developed in house and implemented an integrated Performance Monitoring System (PMS) with more than 600 predefined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all company divisions for the collection, processing and systematic monitoring of departmental efficiency and quality as well as the monitoring and benchmarking of their operational performance and the service level agreements with our airlines. “We are considering to upgrade our CIP passenger buses next year with a luxurious interior, boosting the quality of service to premium passengers and airlines, as well as to enhance our exclusive premium services.” “For the medium to long term, we are exploring investment opportunities regarding the formation of joint ventures with credible counterparts for building or acquiring business entities,” George continues, “We are exploring possibilities for expanding into new revenue streams. Airport operations and management, premium passenger servicing and lounges, cargo logistics & warehousing, aircraft maintenance & training, aviation security and diversified activities such as
industrial and hospital catering are some of the domains we’re examining, not only regionally but also in emerging markets,” On the macro level, and after some difficult months, Bahrain’s economy is poised to grow in 2013, which will give much needed boost to the local travel & aviation sector. Public investment and renewed private sector activity are having positive effect on the country’s fiscal status. The government’s planned stimulus spending package particularly on infrastructure projects, including the airport terminal expansion, would contribute to the economic strengthening. This is in addition to the GCC pledged $10bn aid package over 10 years to support Bahrain economic and social developments, which will give much needed injection to the aviation sector as well. With a new vision and mission statement and a set of new strategic objectives, BAS is committed to continuous enhancement of service quality, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction while maintaining an uncompromising stance towards the implementation of the highest safety and security standards in the industry. In conclusion, despite such strength and development and the highest standard of results there is still a lot to see from Bahrain Airport Services. As George puts it “We established ourselves on the right track to do better but we have a long and challenging way ahead of us to ensure consistency in our services and sustainable quality under all circumstances.”
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www.chevron.com Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 29
TN Molefe www.molefe.co.za Written by Don Campbell
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 31
TN Molefe Holdings (Pty) Ltd is a 100% Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Company that forms part of TN Molefe Group of Companies as shown below with focus on special areas involving different areas of construction, property development, consulting engineering, fleet management and plant hire. The company and its sister companies are making an impact around South Africa.
Our status with regard to quality and originality is exceptional. The company has a set of instruments to be used to achieve the empowerment objectives (ownership, management control, human resources and skills development, employment equity and other industry specific initiatives) as well as basic principles of business. TN Molefe Holdings also offers internship programmes for the youth on the African continent. All employees in the company need to adhere to the highest standards of good corporate governance to improve the quality of service delivery. The company also promotes Good Governance as enshrined in the King III Report and complies with all legislation in addition to applying fair labour practices. For a number of years government has been encouraging more and more young black people (previously disadvantaged individuals) to study maths and science that in turn can potentially introduce more black people to the engineering field. We as TN Molefe Holdings also encourage previously disadvantaged individuals to take a keen interest in the engineering field by offering financial assistance and mentoring programmes to previously disadvantaged individuals. Our aim is to uplift communities that in turn can enable the very
communities to self-sustain. TN Molefe Holdings has committed itself to making sure that Historically Disadvantaged Individuals are acknowledged and asserted. This belief has been theoretical in and out of our comfort zone as it has extended to employment, learning, career development as well as information transfer and confident by being the company that does not encourage discrimination. TN Molefe Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd has over the years proved to be a very innovative and dynamic practice – hence we see the glass as half full instead of half empty. We are an innovative developmental, civil and structural engineering, project, programme and construction management consultants. The practice focuses mainly on township developments, rural infrastructure developments, municipal infrastructure, community facilitation projects as well as the private sector. Services rendered TN Molefe Consulting Engineers offers a full project cycle for project and construction management. It entails
the planning phase, design phase, construction phase, commission phase as well as operation and management phase. However, under civil and construction engineering the business specialises in all facets of civil engineering including but not limited to the following: • Roads and storm water design, • Water reticulation, • Sewer reticulation, • Building services, • Pavement design and rehabilitation, • Pavement management systems, • Traffic and transport engineering, • Structural engineering, • Sports and recreation facilities, • Site supervision, and • Operation and maintenance TN Molefe Construction (Pty) Ltd is a civil engineering construction practice that over the years has strived for nothing but excellence and constantly delivering better than expectations in our construction projects. The company is well seasoned insofar as
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 33
construction is concerned and specialises in civil engineering construction work, namely: earthworks, construction of roads, pavement rehabilitation and upgrading, storm water construction and maintenance, construction management and plant hire. Our specialties are not only limited to the above, but also extend to turnkey projects where we design and construct projects in-house. The practice strives to employ staff who are firmly committed to deliver professional services to all our clients by ensuring that high standards are met and integrity is upheld at all times. Services rendered We offer the following services: • Construction of roads and storm water, • Construction of bulk and internal sewer networks, • Construction of bulk and internal water networks, • Construction of buildings, and • Construction of building services and networks TN Molefe Properties (Pty) Ltd has been steered by a young, dynamic, and an empowered management team from its inception. Over the years the team has become integral players in the property industry, which provides key services to both the private and public sector. The young management team is able to succeed in its endeavours due to the mentorship afforded to them by Negi Molefe the Chief Executive Officer of the company. Molefe’s wealth of experience has been acquired from working for Africon, a well-established engineering company as well as the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront company, the most successful waterfront in the world. TN Molefe Properties specialises in civil engineering, project and construction management as well as development management of rural development, township development, infrastructure development etc. Services rendered Development Management The business also offers the following as specialised services in order to assist Investors and Developers on the attainment of their dreams and aspirations: The development management services, which are offered by the company, include the following processes: • Programme management, • Township and property development, • Affirmative and empowerment management, • Identification of need/development opportunity, • Negotiation and acquisition of suitable land • Appointment of professional team and design development, • Identification of tenants, • Financial structuring, • Property marketing, • Project management of development, • Leasing, • Negotiating of sale to investors, • Black empowerment procurement implementation and monitoring, and • Operation and maintenance
TN Molefe Fleet and Plant Hire (Pty) Ltd is a Fleet Management and Plant Hire company that was newly formed by Mr. Negi Molefe in January 2012. The company pride itself for outstanding Fleet Management and Plant Hire services to TN Molefe Group of Companies, Private sector, Communities, and Government (Local, Provincial, and National) entities. The company is equipped with skilled operators and drivers with vast experience. The practice was founded to assist all the Stakeholders (Communities, All forms of Government, Private Sector, Parastatals etc.) to deliver infrastructure and building services projects. In addition, the practice acts as a role model to aspiring young engineers, technicians, and all other technically qualified persons in South Africa. The practice strives to employ staff who are firmly committed to deliver professional services to all our clients by ensuring that high standards are met and integrity is upheld at all times. The company is equipped with plant machineries and fleet of vehicles.
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FATS www.fats.co.za +27 31 369 0888 Written by Don Campbell
ENTHUSIASM, COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 37
Founded by sisters, Caron and Elaine Harris in 1992, Forwarding African Transport Services cc (FATS) has, with unwavering focus provided superior quality service through innovation and leadership, becoming a primary choice for freight forwarding in South Africa. In a testament to the leadership of these sisters, as they celebrate the twentieth birthday of their company they do so with over 60 employees whereas when they first began they only had two. This progressive growth of the company can be traced back to their approach to their business: “Every project,” Caron Harris, Chief Executive officer opens with, “Is dealt with enthusiasm, commitment and dedication.” “Initially, the concept was of cross border road transport from locations like Durban,” Caron continues, “After ten years, we decided it was time to open an international business in South Africa. It was three years after that we moved into the current office block from where we handle all aspects of the business, warehousing, exports, imports and logistics.” In today’s market where clients are not only more discerning but also have access to such a variety of options, freight companies need to be diverse in their offerings, innovative in their thinking and passionate about the little details. Naturally, FATS exhibits of these traits and have a catalogue of options available for their clients including: sea freight, air freight and road freight.
“Our sea freight and air freight options allow us to open routes internationally,” Caron explains, “While our road freight allows us a national footprint. We knew that if we were going to be a serious name in the industry that we would have to offer an expansive option to our clients so that they could feel that they were getting the best deal.” FATS has recently opened an office in Zambia to increase their footprint and as over 60% of their business is sourced from overboarder transportation it makes good sense for their business to have an office in that location. Another unique aspect of FATS is their standard of communication. During their working day they may find themselves conducting business as often in Hindi or Mandarin as they may with English. Combine this with the eleven official languages in South Africa and you can have a scope of how important this accurate communication becomes. From my own experience I can testify that dealing with a foreign business person in their own language is often the turning point between a successful collaboration and a failure. There is a lot to be said about a woman’s intuition when it comes to business and it is no surprise that the freight industry, previously a realm of men, has benefitted so greatly by the endeavours FATS have taken. For example, as part of an initiative to increase the spread of female leaders in business FATS are heavily involved in a self-help centre for the education of women. “In South Africa there is a skills shortage across the board but especially when it comes to women,” Caron explains, “To change this we are very involved in the centre where we develop essential business skills in communication, budget training and life skills training. So that these women can generate their own income and become independent citizens contributing to the South African economy.” As a female entrepreneur this sort of initiative is very close to Caron’s heart and it is very important to help add to the economic development of South Africa as 50% of the population of SA is female. One of the key facts adding to the success of FATS is that through her own example she has transferred her passion and commitment to her staff, “It is really a company-wide philosophy and quite simply we are very passionate in what we do,” she says, “You need passion and drive.” Unlike many of their competitors, FATS offers a second-to-none personalized approach with includes daily check-ups for their clients to update them on progress and to keep them informed. This information is vital for the decision making progress of their customers in their own day-to-day operations.
“Understanding is crucial,” Caron says, “We make sure that we have a full grasp of our client’s needs by speaking with them, developing open and honest communications. Our business relationships are person to person and not client to company, that way our clients know they can trust us and this is an integral part to our company’s growth.” With twenty years of successful business and a long list of highly satisfied clients it’s clearly a model that works. Africa is a huge business environment and in it FAT’s are kings, or rather Queens, thanks to educational knowledge on the freight business that makes them a standout competitor in the marketplace. Caron says, “Africa is a very difficult beast but our understanding of the processes that I believe is one of our strengths, as is having good partners in the countries that we deal with.” Plans for further diversification and expansion have led to the Zambian office and it’s clearly just the start of big things. Caron Harris is a remarkably forward thinking woman with a clear vision about the aspirations for her company. Including an aim of a R1 billion turnover within the next three years. FATS has been a mainstay in the marketplace and with the hard work of Harris and the passion she has for the craft, the company has seen immense growth. With the continued success of the business and its quality customer support and options for transport, FATS will surely achieve its goals and continue to stay a leader in freight services throughout South Africa and internationally.
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 39
Maputo Corridor Logistics www.mcli.co.za +27 13 755 6025 Written by Don Campbell
CLEARING THE WAY
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 41
Maputo Corridor Logistics
Having heard so much about the incredible changes that MCLI has undergone, Don Campbell eagerly spoke with Chief Executive Office of Maputo Corridor Logistics Barbara Mommen to get the inside scoop.
In 1996, when the governments of South Africa and Mozambique were looking to rebuild their economies and re-establish trade and investment connections, The Maputo Development Corridor (MDC) was launched. Developed as a Spatial Development Initiative (SDI), both governments agreed it was of enormous importance that they rehabilitate the key elements of the transport corridor as it strategically links the Port of Maputo with the industrial heartland of Southern Africa and the city of Johannesburg. The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) is a non-profit organisation aiming to translate the vision of a sustainable future for all sectors relying on the corridor into a reality. As part of this they have brought together infrastructure investors, service providers and stakeholders from Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland who have a common interest in the promotion and further development of the MDC as the region’s primary logistics transportation route. “Our task could be really simple,” Barbara tells us, “We provide a platform for inward investment on the Corridor; removing barriers along the corridor, coordinating and liaising and facilitating the necessary changes to ensure investment and to unlock barriers to trade.” “The Port of Maputo is in an ideal location for exports to India and the Far East and for transit into the eastern SADC region,” she continues. “However there have had to be a number of developments. For example, when MCLI first started, we had no container lines calling the port, which meant that cargo owners could not ship containers out of the port although they wanted to, so there was the typical Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 42
Maputo Corridor Logistics
chicken and egg scenario.” Infrastructure has been something which had been a concern for the region for many years. Before MCLI’s establishment in late 2003, the neglected port infrastructure and the lamentable state of road and rail links with Johannesburg were definitely constraining factors. However, the awarding of the port concession in 2003 and the initial investment in rehabilitation of the port of $60million and the 20 year port master plan will see a $1,7 billion investment in port infrastructure, equipment and training and will promote benefits to those who would be best able to use them. “During the early part of the first decade, there were huge border delays and terrible congestion which compromised the efficiency of the logistics chain into the port itself,” she says, “Our original remit was to promote the benefits of the port on the basis of distance versus the costs of the logistics chain for products in transit from the north-eastern area of South Africa. The port also forms a key departure point for the emerging markets of India and the Far East,” MCLI is in the unique position that they are not profit focussed, meaning that they are driven more to reach developmental targets rather than mere bottom lines. This being the case they can draw on a far wider range of resources from interested parties. A great initiative but it requires devout leadership and Barbara’s background serves her well.
“My background is in education where I worked in the KaNgwane Administration and the Premier’s Office in the Mpumalanga Government, involved in project developments,” she reveals. “Prior to that I obtained a Certificate in Development Management from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, followed by a short attachment to the Cabinet office in London. “My interest in the Maputo Corridor developed while I lived in Mpumalanga where I worked in the chamber of business which had, during my tenure, began to explore business relationships between Nelspruit and Maputo. I joined in 2006 as the chief operations officer and was appointed as CEO in July 2011.” And where does the success herald from? “Having a clear idea of what needs to happen so that you can plan appropriately,” Barbara continues, “I feel very strongly about economic development in this region and the growth of the private sector is incredibly important. Until there is a mutual cooperation between the public and private sectors we’ll always have an issue. MCLI has achieved this cooperation to a considerable extent.” Over $64 million has been invested into the port since 2003 on infrastructure improvements related to roads and rail improvements with new warehouses, quay rehabilitation, tugs, equipment and operations. Equipment and infrastructure at the Matola coal terminal have been updated following a
similar investment and over $61 million has been pumped into the container terminal for infrastructure developments and equipment such as cranes and cargo depots. Terminals dealing with cars, vegetable oils, sugar and citrus and Ferro slabs have benefited from these investments and the depth of the channel has been increased to 11 metres to provide better access for containers. And, beyond the port, the turnaround time on trains on the Maputo Corridor have dropped from 200 hours to a staggering 90 hours. All in all, just under $300 million has been invested in the Port of Maputo since 2003. “With a handful of employees we are very under resourced with everyone working together as a team to get things done,” Barbara reveals, “You can’t manage if people don’t believe in the validity and importance of what they’re doing and while it is a challenge the changes are substantial and you can’t argue with the results.” The success has come from Barbara and her team catalysing the necessary requirements to turn MCLI into what the working machine it needs to be, they have made it easier for investment to take place by liaising and coordinating the necessary requirements between the governmental departments and individual stakeholders, directing the efforts of all parties into a productive and positive development. “We want to raise the profile of the Corridor in the SADC region generally, and we are particularly keen to deepen our
collaboration with the government of Swaziland,” Barbara says, “For the moment we face the challenge that the majority of trade along the Corridor tends to be one way, moving from South Africa to Mozambique. To fully capitalize on what the Corridor is capable of we need to have more growth in bidirectional movement and an increase in the usage of the Corridor as a key transit route into the SADC region.” There is already notable emphasis on growth, with investments in trade facilitation system improvement and processes as well as a greater focus on collaboration and partnership. The projected figures include a cargo volume increase to top 48.6 million tonnes by 2030 and the Maputo Port Development Company has had its port concession extended to 2043. “Thanks to the significant investment over the last decade the Maputo Corridor has seen incredible opportunities for growth and this will have a consequential knock on effect when the region moves towards a free trade area,” Barbara says, “The drive towards borderless trade on our corridor is a passion that we share with COMESA, EAC, SADC, the AU, and NEPAD.” “It is only through the continued partnership of users and service providers, including public sector agencies, that this corridor will reach its full potential as an efficient, predictable, reliable logistics route servicing the region,” she concludes.
Swaziland Railway in Brief Swaziland Railway was officially commissioned on 5th November 1964 by His Majesty King Sobhuza II. It is a parastatal organisation that provides transport services for import and export commodities as well as transit cargo through Swaziland to South Africa and Mozambique. The railway is considered one of the best in the SADC region in terms of transit time, reliability and predictability, and linking Swaziland’s main industrial centres with the railway systems of South Africa, Mozambique and other SADC countries. SR owns and maintains the infrastructure and rolling stock and operates a 300km rail network. Relationship with MCLI Swaziland Railway is a member of MCLI through partnering with the other Railways (TFR and CFM) to provide a seamless rail service to support the Maputo corridor and Port. Swaziland is in the centre of South Africa and Mozambique and provides a major link in connecting these two countries. Goba Rail Route The Goba rail route starts from Matsapha Industrial Sites with end point Maputo. This rail route is used mainly for the export of sugar through Maputo
Port to overseas markets. Maputo Port is closer making a low cost route but high efficiency because locomotives and wagons are turned around quickly. Another commodity being exported from Swaziland is iron-ore, this traffic started in March this year but has been very strong averaging 75,000 tonnes per month, the iron –ore has improved the utilization of the line. Imports from Maputo are limited to the fuel which unfortunately has no regular flow, the client places order as and when he needs the fuel. Dry Port Swaziland Railway operates a dry port which in future will also serve Maputo Port. The Dry Port facility makes it easy to handle containerized cargo. All port processes are carried out on site so that when the container is dispatched it is taken straight to ship’s stack without any further documents clearing process, this reduces the transit time, if it is an import container upon discharge from cargo ship it is railed to destination where all customs procedures would be carried out. Exporters and importers in Swaziland are fully aware of the advantages of using Maputo port but need more frequent calls of major shipping lines who would leave Maputo Port after loading straight to overseas destinations. Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 45
Arab Engineering Bureau www.aeb-qatar.com +974 4406 8888 Written by Djamil Benmehidi
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 47
Arab Engineering Bureau
The Qatar based Arab Engineering Bureau is one of the Gulf region’s, if not the world’s leading multi-disciplinary architectural design and engineering consultancy firms. Established in 1966 as the first company of its kind in Qatar, today the Arab Engineering Bureau boasts an absolutely staggering portfolio of over a thousand projects which include countless multi-million dollar projects within the corporate, residential, governmental, mixed-use and hospitality sectors. The highly renowned Ibrahim Jaidah, CEO and architect-in-chief of the Arab Engineering Bureau told Djamil Benmehidi more about AEB’s story.
In stark contrast to the economic strife afflicting many of the worlds traditional powerhouse economies, the oil rich Gulf region of the Middle East is enjoying the greatest boom in its history and having already accumulated a literal sea of wealth in the last two decades, has never had it so good. Understandably, regional economic powerhouses such as Qatar and the Arab Emirates are now flexing this economic muscle to invest in some of the most vast and ambitious building projects the world has ever seen and the region is now home to the world’s tallest building, only seven star luxury hotel, not to mention numerous modern, glittering metropolitan cities and an infrastructure which is fast becoming the envy of the world. The Arab Engineering Bureau, Qatar’s premier architectural design and engineering consultancy company with over 46 years of experience in its field, has been at the forefront of managing many of these grand construction projects. Its portfolio of over 1,500 completed projects which range from private villas to multi-billion dollar projects adhere to CEO Ibrahim Jaidah’s award winning design principles which draw on a unique architectural methodology, conceived by Jaidah himself. Buildings such as the Barzan Tower, known as one of the most striking buildings to grace Doha’s skyline, the Al Qassar Tower and the Qatar Foundation headquarters which has the honour of being the recipient of the Arab City Awards for the 2nd best project in the whole Arab world and being immortalized on the face of Qatar’s QR100 banknote, reflect this as they illustrate perfectly Jaidah’s contemporary fusion of traditional Qatari architecture with a modern design which ensures the client functional space which is tailored to their needs and design brief. With such a strong portfolio containing many landmarks in the region, and a strong emphasis on working specifically to client design needs and specifications, the Arab Engineering Bureau gets much in the way of repeat business from its previous customers. Around 80% of AEB’s business comes from direct commissions, such is its reputation. Ibrahim Jaidah is very proud of the Arab Engineering Bureau’s achievements and feels that success is due to an eye for detail and a passion for helping a client make their vision a reality. He said: “We are mainly architects and engineers, but there is much more to what we do than just this. We work alongside our clients through every stage of the process from inception to completion and are involved in all activities. For example landscaping, where we prepare detailed Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 48
FOUNDATION ENGINEERING | MARINE WORKS | HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING | GROUND IMPROVEMENT Formed in 1968, NSCC International has grown from a marine contractor into a multi-disciplined organisation and the regional leader in Ground Engineering. Our innovation, integrity and enterprise has been integral to the very foundations of modern Middle East and we are proud to have worked on countless iconic projects such as the Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Sheikh Zayed National Museum, Palm Jumeirah, Meydan Race Course and Qatar National Museum. Generations of experience is backed by a highly motivated and ambitious workforce eager to put their stamp on the Middle East of tomorrow. Committed to staying abreast of all of the latest trends and technologies, NSCC was the first to introduce piled foundations to the UAE in the early 1970s, and over the last three decades NSCC has continued to evolve to become a regional leader in the design and construction of foundation engineering solutions to the various sectors of the construction industry. Decades of delivering on-time and within budget has cemented our reputation as a premier service provider. Such efficiency has only been possible with constant investment in the most sophisticated machinery and techniques. Operating on the cutting-edge has and will spur growth and ensure NSCC’s position at the top of our industry.
Your Total Ground Engineering Partner ABU DHABI • BASRAH • BEIRUT • CAIRO • DOHA • DUBAI • JEDDAH • KUWAIT • MANAMA • MUSCAT • SHARJAH www.nsccme.com
Arab Engineering Bureau
construction drawings and develop master planning and concept designs as well as interior design where we work on design development and interior spatial layout are other parts of the process. We have a full team that will usually deliver the building and though time-scales depend on the size of the project, it usually takes on average 2-3 months.” Ibrahim Jaidah, CEO and chief architect for AEB is the man who must take credit for the company’s monumental achievements in the past two decades. Having taken over the business in 1990, through hard work, perseverance, a grand vision and strong leadership, Ibrahim transformed AEB from a small firm with seven staff which had fallen onto hard times into what it is today; a regional juggernaught in its field with over 450 highly skilled staff and revenues of close to a billion dollars. A surprisingly modest man considering the scale of his achievements and awards, Ibrahim credited much of the company’s success to his staff. “We have been very successful and of course so much of this is due to the dedication and talent of my employees. We have over 480 staff of 35 nationalities within the firm as we seek to take on the best talent from around the world. Their skill, dedication and hard work have made all our dreams a reality. My management team are crucial in looking after the dayto-day running of the office. On the other hand, I have a
Reliable Partner to Qatar’s Growth
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 50
s a firm involved in the field of building construction over three decades, taking part in the State’s infrastructure construction and development , we have since been producing many outstanding records in a wide range of purpose-oriented construction activities like, Medical Facilities, Sports Facilities, Educational Facilities, Commercial and Residential Facilities, Infrastructure, Highways & Roads. In order to meet the market demands and for a smooth operation, we have associated divisions like Roads, Electrical, Plumbing and Sanitation, all under one roof providing competitive quality services to our valued customers. We stress in our approach on the following: • Clear understanding of project and site. • The project is staffed from our large and direct employed skilled labor force of wide experiences and skills. • Our strong Engineering team, who are technically competent and capable of mastering all the new skills required for carrying out the tasks within the time-frame. • Have capacity to handle more works. • Commitment to deliver a high quality of construction that meets the international standard and as per client’s requirements and satisfactions. P.O.Box: 2658, Building No.47, Street No.819, Haloul Street, Zone No.43, Al Maamoura, DOHA-QATAR Telephone: +974 44109333 Fax: +974 44109399, 44510788 E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.contraco.com.qa Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 •
Arab Engineering Bureau
In 2010, NSCC International was appointed as the main contractor for the enabling works for Marsa Malaz Hotel at The Pearl in Qatar. Laying the foundation for this iconic project marked the start of a great working relationship with Arab Engineering Bureau as NSCC embarked on more ground engineering projects consulted by AEB, such as the impressive Rabban Suites tower and other developments in Doha.
With more than 40 years of experience behind it, NSCC International has grown to become one of the leading foundation engineering contractors in the region. From the very beginning, NSCC prided itself on quality, workmanship, on-time delivery and S | HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING | GROUND IMPROVEMENT superior value, which fuelled the company’s desire to both expand and diversify. Its a marine contractor into a multi-disciplined organisation and the regional leader innovation, enterprise has been integral to the veryintegrity foundations ofand modernenterprise Middle East and has jects such as the Midfield Complex Abu Dhabi International Airport, beenTerminal integral toatthe very foundations of eydan Race Course and Qatar National Museum. Generations of experience is modern Middle ce eager to put their stamp on the Middle EastEast. of tomorrow.
nds and technologies, NSCC was the first to introduce piled foundations to the ades NSCC has continued to evolve to become a regional leader in the design s to the various sectors of the construction industry.
cemented our reputation as a premier service provider. Such efficiency has only sophisticated machinery and techniques. Operating on the cutting-edge has and op of our industry.
ound Engineering Partner
OHA • DUBAI • JEDDAH • KUWAIT • MANAMA • MUSCAT • SHARJAH www.nsccme.com
11/29/12 10:04 AM
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 52
good design team who have been working with me for such a long time that we have an excellent understanding. We can combine my vision and theirs which makes it possible to create what we need to create. It is important to keep our staff happy and motivated which is why we offer competitive incentives and packages, not to mention constant opportunities to continue learning and gaining experience. This is perhaps why many of our staff are second generation employees’” Though the Arab Engineering Bureau is one of the elite businesses in it’s field already, Ibrahim Jaidah already has ambitious plans for 2013 and is seeking to further expand internationally. With existing branches in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, the company will not only be looking to consolidate in these markets but expand into new ones. “My strategy for next year will emphasise on looking for new firms to work in partnership with around the world first of all. I want to expand the overseas aspect of the business and through new partnerships and the right acquisitions we can take the Arab Engineering Bureau to the next level. We have already taken over half of firm in Thailand but there is a lot more to do in the New Year as I am looking next at North Africa, though there is no real time-scale for this. It will be a definite challenge as I want to make sure that I maintain quality as we grow but I have a great team alongside to meet these challenges.”
Sealake Industries www.unityfood.co.za +27 33 845 0786 Written by Rod Hunter
40 YEARS OF DELIVERING VALUE WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON QUALITY Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 55
A family-run manufacturer of edible oils, candles and soap products of the highest quality, Sealake Industries celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. With a well known range of household commodity products, a place at the top of the market and plans for further development of the business, Djamil Benmehidi spoke to General Manager of Sealake Industries, Mahomed Obaid Essack and found out more about Sealake’s recipe for success. Considering its market penetration across Africa and the strong reputation of the company and its products today, it is difficult to conceive of the idea that Sealake Industries, founded by the Essack family in Sea Cow Lake in Durban back in 1972 was in fact a product of humble beginnings. However, though times have changed in relation to Sealakes’ size and status, at its core it still remains a tightly knit family business and as a result it has fused the values, ethos and passion which one would find in an honest, family run business with corporate commercial savvy and a meticulous approach to doing business. The current CEO of Sealake Industries, Mr. Baboo Essack, combines excellent leadership with the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of the company’s founding fathers to continue spurring the business to further success. Now based in Pietermaritzburg, the company is recognised as one of the largest producers of edible oils, candles and soaps in South Africa and has ownership of a highly popular portfolio of well-known and cherished brands, such as the Golden Lite, Sunseed and Safa range of cooking oils, Sunbrite
candles and Win soap. These products reach not only South African consumers via independent shops, convenience stores and large national supermarket chains, but also consumers across the entire African continent as a result of Sealake’s thriving export business. Sealake Industries’ subsidiary, Unity Food Products (Pty) Ltd distributes Helios Pure Sunflower Cooking Oil, a premium brand that has been loved and enjoyed by South Africans for over 60 years and has commissioned a brand new state-of-the-art margarine plant to cater for the growing demand of margarines and spreads for the baking industry. Brands include Helios, Golden Lite, Ruby and Cresta and Palmfry, a Palmolein Oil supplied for the catering industry. Managing Director, Mahomed Rayhaaz Essack (Baboo), won the 2010 “Supplier of the year – National Award” for Shoprite Checkers. This is another reason why Helios Pure Sunflower Cooking Oil is South Africa’s number one brand in its field. In addition to this, Sealake Industries is also a large scale manufacturer of own brand products for some of South Africa’s largest retail outlets such as Spar, Pick n Pay and Shoprite Checkers. General Manager of Sealake Industries, Mahomed Obaid Essack believes the key to the company’s success and longevity is due to getting the basics right. He said: “Our clients know that they can rely on us and we have cultivated a reputation for always doing what we say we will do. Our customer service and sales teams ensures that while reaching out to new customers, we continue to make sure that
our existing customers are happy. The thing to remember is service, service, service. Our clients can also rely on us to provide value for money and competitive pricing on our products without compromising on quality. We have a sound business model which makes this possible.” Sealake Industries places a relentless focus on pricing and minimising costs and to achieve this, the business continually seeks to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process by implementing ever improved standards and control, while investing in state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. In addition to this, the strategic location of Sealake Industries’ Pietermaritzburg factory and distribution base means that it is situated close to the key import and export ports in the area, which coupled with the fact that the business has its own fleet of trucks, means that logistically speaking, Sealakes is able to deliver its goods quickly and on time without having to go through the expense and time of relying on third party logistics firms to do so. Another crucial aspect of Sealake Industries approach to business which has kept the company buoyant through the good times and the bad is its ability to adapt to changing markets and demands. Over the last 40 years, Sealake has evolved and changed as South Africa has evolved and changed around it. For example, in the 80’s Sealake diversified into completely new markets and launched its candle and soap making arms to complement its edible oil business. Today, instead of launching new product chains, Sealake is responding to the austerity and falling disposable incomes that afflict its traditional customer base and has reacted accordingly by offering new bottle sizes for its oils or smaller packets of candles for example. A strong employee focus is ingrained within the business and Sealake Industries credits its workforce of around 250 staff for making its success story, referring to them as ‘our greatest asset’. “We enjoy a strong relationship with our employees and our surrounding community, which is why we always seek to employ our staff locally. We expect our staff to work hard and to work together as a team. We always try to keep our staff motivated and happy which is why we place a real focus on providing on the job training to improve their capabilities and skills, whilst also offering good incentive and reward packages.” The global financial crisis is predicted to continue into 2013, but though Sealake Industries has been affected by the crisis in the same way that many others have, particularly because of the increasing price of the commodity markets which it relies on to manufacture its products, Obaid envisages a successful year which will see the company continue to grow from strength to strength. “At the moment we are in the process of developing strategies which will allow us to identify new markets and products. We will continue to expand through organic growth of our business of course but we are also looking to be proactive and will be seeking growth through acquisitions as our goal is to increase market penetration. “Markets and demands are changing and for that reason we will also be looking more at product innovation this year. Specifically, we want to focus more on the healthy living market.”
We are proud to be associated with Sealake Industries and wish them many more years of success
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134 Silverton Road Musgrave Durban 4001 Tel: 031 202 4052 Fax: 031 201 1329 email@example.com Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 57
Wilmar International www.wilmar-international.com +65 6216 0244 Written by Daemon Sands
THE GIANT BEHIND IT ALL
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 59
Ranked amongst the largest of the listed companies by market capitalization on the Singapore Stock Exchange, with its quarters in Singapore Wilmar International has been the leading agribusiness group in Asia since its inception in 1991. Part of their success has been their speedy expansion, for example in 2010 they took their first steps into the sugar industry by acquiring Sucrogen Limited, the largest raw sugar producer and refiner in Australia, and PT Jawamanis Rafinasi, a leading sugar refinery in Indonesia. Immediately expanding their presence globally this led to another acquisition in 2011 of PT Duta Sugar International in Indonesia, Proserpine Mill in Australia and Natural Oleo chemicals, a leading oleo chemicals producer with significant market share in Europe and Asia and a growing presence in the USA. Diversification, not only of industry but also of location has ensured a solid global presence which is very much the model of corporate giants today. “Currently we’re investing $250 million into the construction of a petrochemical refinery in Gresik East Java,” Jeremy Goon explains, “And $300 million to construct
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 60
a flour mill and bio-refinery plant in Gresik. “ It appears that a substantial part of Wilmar is setting up shop and laying down the groundwork for future development and growth. Their business activities include palm oil cultivation, biodiesel and fertiliser manufacturing and grain processing At the core of Wilmar’s strategy is a resilient integrated agribusiness model that encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination and processing to branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural products. With over 400 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries the Group employs a staggering multinational workforce of 90,000 people. Considering the tidal impact of their presence upon the nature and being the axis around which much of the food industry supply chain revolves it is surprising how so few of the consumers at the end even know of their existence. With this in mind, Wilmar’s portfolio of high quality processed agricultural products is the preferred choice of the food manufacturing industry, as well as the industrial and consumer food catering businesses. Its consumer-packed products occupy a leading share in its targeted markets. Through scale, integration and the logistical advantages of its business model, Wilmar is able to extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. “As our spread is so varied with cultures, people and locations it is important for us to maintain a structured mandate of approach,” Jeremy specifies, “To ensure this we have a structured set of values that are known throughout our workforce and up through the entire corporate structure.” Integrity, Excellence, Passion, Innovation, Teamwork and Safety, simplicity is the key to managing people. The expectations for every employee are easily communicable and easily understood and it’s this simple but strong approach which can be directly attributed to the vast expanse of this country. “While Wilmar’s net income dropped 53 percent to $378 million in the first half of this year,” Jeremy explains, “Our revenue climbed 7 percent to $21.5 billion.” As a member of the RSPO (Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil) who share a vision to make sustainable palm oil the norm, Wilma comes with the hefty task of conducting themselves in a manner befitting their status as one of the global leaders in this industry. Their approach to this end has included all the major areas of their business. “As one of the largest oil palm plantation owners in Indonesia and Malaysia,” Jeremy tells us, in explaining the lengths of their corporate approach, “Our oil palm plantations are strategically located in the various regions of Malaysia
The Desmet Ballestra Group has sold, installed and commissioned over 7,500 process units in 150 countries on 5 continents.
Oils & Fats processing technologies Detergents, Chemicals & Oleochemicals plants Oilseeds equipment
Science behind Technology
Endeavour Magazine â€˘ December 2012 â€˘
and Indonesia where the climatic conditions are suitable for planting oil palms.” To best make use of the weather conditions, in Indonesia their plantations are located in Sumatra, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan with is in the southern region while in Malaysia, they are located in the states of Sabah and Sarawak. “The Group, through joint ventures also owns oil palm plantations in Ghana, Uganda and West Africa,” he tells us, “Approximately 247,081 a hectare (ha) of planted area of which about 74% is located in Indonesia, 24% in East Malaysia and 2% in Africa.” Under the Plasma Scheme, Wilmar manage approximately 38,021 ha of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. The Plasma Programme is an initiative designed for the development of oil palm plantations for smallholders by a developer of plantations. “We are committed to purchasing all the fruits produced by the small landholders’ plantations,” he states, “And intend to grow our plantation business through greenfield projects and acquisitions to better tap into the ever growing demand for palm oil.” Wilmar is committed to the use of best management practices, which include good field and harvesting standards and timely application of fertilisers to optimise crop yields. With stringent corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and procedures ensuring their plantations are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner everything from the cultivation of the seeds to the harvesting of the
final product over a palm-oil lifespan of twenty five years. “A scientific approach to the cultivation and production is pivotal to reaching maximum yield,” Jeremy points out, “For example once a seedling has spent a year in the nursery it is put into the field and the young palms are planted about nine metres apart resulting in 128 to 140 trees per hectare. “Generally oil palms begin to produce fruits 30 months after being field planted with commercial harvesting commencing six months later. Although low at first the fruit yield increases as the palm matures,” it is clearly a longterm commitment, “Fully mature oil palms produce 18 to 30 metric tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare.” The milling of these fresh fruit bunches takes place within twenty four hours of harvesting, where they are first transferred to the palm oil mills for sterilisation by applying high-pressure steam, whereupon the palm fruits are enzymedeactivated and separated from the palm bunches. After steaming, the palm fruitlets are crushed in a pressing machine to obtain crude palm oil and palm kernel. Waste and water is then cleared and separated by means of a centrifuge. The cleared crude palm oil emerging from the centrifuge is then sent for refining while the palm kernel nut is sent for crushing and the liquid waste material arising from the process is recycled as fertiliser in the plantations. As part of Wilmar’s integrated business model, they own a fleet of vessels which caters primarily to their in-house needs, improving the flexibility and efficiency of their logistics operations. The shipping operation is managed by Raffles Shipping Corporation Pte Ltd a subsidiary of Wilmar.
A driving force to every industry leader is research and development and the lengths that this company goes to ensure that they are ahead of the curve in all new movements and changes are remarkable. “Wilmar’s research and development takes place in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Russia and Germany,” Jeremy outlines, “Aiming to improve current processing technology and products and develop green and white biotechnology, creating new product concepts that support healthy living.” In China, the R&D focus is primarily on edible oils, specialty fats; food technology, oleo chemicals, flavour chemistry, food ingredients and cereal processing while in Indonesia activities include research into agronomic traits of palm oil. The cloning of key oil palm genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, environmentally friendly approaches to controlling or preventing oil palm diseases, bio fertilisers and the use of microbes to improve plant growth and for waste treatment are just some of the areas that are being looked at right now. Besides supporting Wilmar’s business and brands, their research and development efforts also focus on providing sustainable solutions to optimise resources, reduce energy consumption and minimise environmental impact. “One such example is the rice milling operations in China where paddy husks, a major by-product of the milling process, are used to generate electricity,” Jeremy concludes, “It is through these sort of developments and this innovative thinking that keeps us ahead.”
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 63
Stock Enchange of Mauritius www.stockexchangeofmauritius.com +230 212 9541 Written by Djamil Benmehidi
AN INNOVATIVE EXCHANGE THAT IS DRIVING CHANGE WITHIN AFRICA’S EXCHANGE SPACE Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 65
Stock Enchange of Mauritius
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius Ltd (SEM) has witnessed significant changes to its operational and regulatory framework during the last two years and developed a reputation as being one of the most dynamic exchanges in Africa, resulting in SEM being awarded the title of “Most Innovative African Stock Exchange of the year Award” at the New York Stock Exchange for two consecutive years. As one of the leading Exchanges in Africa and with it pushing ahead with a raft of measures to ensure that it further builds its status as an attractive multi-currency listing and trading platform, the future looks bright. Djamil Benmehidi spoke to Sunil Benimadhu, Chief Executive of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius to find out more.
On the back of strong economic growth and positive growth estimates over the coming years, the World Bank has identified Africa as the next frontier and believes it “could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago, and India 20 years ago”. With projected growth of 5.9% in sub-Saharan Africa and 4.2% in North Africa this year according to the IMF and with several African countries expected to be among the 10 fastest-growing economies between 2011 to 2015, global investors are starting to take notice of the African continent. With the World Bank mooting Africa as a place which has the potential to offer considerable investment returns, companies are increasingly looking at ways to enter the market and it is the continent’s premier exchanges such as the Stock Exchange of Mauritius which will become the beneficiaries. Having been set-up in 1989 as a private limited company responsible for the operation and promotion of an efficient and regulated securities market in Mauritius under the Stock Exchange Act 1988, SEM began operations with five listed companies and a market capitalisation of just under $100 million. However since this time, much has changed and after becoming a public company in 2008, and having overhauled its operational, regulatory and technical framework, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius has become what it is today; a member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and a dynamic, leading Exchange in Africa with just under 100 listed companies and a market capitalisation of close to $8 billion within its two markets, the Official Market and the Development & Enterprise Market (DEM). Sunil Benimadhu, CEO of SEM since 1998 and a man with a reputation as a pioneer and a standard-setter within the stock exchange space in Africa, has been at the forefront of Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 66
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 •
Stock Enchange of Mauritius
SEM’s surge over the last 14 years. “SEM started its operations in July 1989 as a small pre-emerging Exchange with a manual operating system, but has since then evolved into a sophisticated Exchange which operates a state-of-the-art trading and settlement infrastructure. Market capitalisation hovers around USD 8 billion and the Exchange has proved to be a powerful valuecreation platform for many listed companies and has offered investors attractive returns on their investments” This growth has been achieved partly through ensuring that the Stock Exchange of Mauritius remains at the forefront of institutional reforms and development, providing quality service delivery to stakeholders. “We have implemented a significant overhaul of our operating system. Trading takes place through workstations which are linked to the centralised SEM trading engine.” Built on third generation technology, the SEMATS system has put an end to traditional trading patterns which had typified the Stock Exchange of Mauritius until April 2001. Another crucial factor according to Sunil Benimadhu is
the implementation of a Central Depository System (CDS) in 1997. This has led to prompt, efficient clearing and settlement of trades and at the same time reduced some of the inherent risks in the process. With the support of the Bank of Mauritius which acts as clearing bank, CDS ensures delivery versus payment (DVP) on a T+3 rolling basis. The CDS also provides for a Guarantee Fund Mechanism to guarantee settlement failures of participants. In addition to this, from a foreign investment perspective, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius offers a compelling environment for trading and listing different types of securities because of incentives such as exemption from paying capital gains tax for investors and no taxes on dividends. Another point that makes SEM stand out from its rivals in Africa is the multi-currency trading platform, which means that SEM can trade and settle equity and debt products in Euro, GBP and USD. In line with its reputation for innovation, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius became in June 2011 the first Exchange in Africa to list, trade and settle equity products in these three international currencies, an innovative thrust which has
positioned SEM very favourably on the international front and contributed to the internationalisation of the Exchange. Looking forward to the coming years ahead, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius has committed itself to reinforcing its foundations and maintaining its development momentum in line with its multi-pronged internationalisation strategy of steadily moving from a domestic-equity-focused Exchange to a multi-product-internationally-focused Exchange. In the years to come, the split of listings on SEM is expected to overwhelmingly consist of international funds, international issuers, specialised debt instruments, Africa-based ventures, African-focused Exchange-traded funds and other structured products. The value of products traded and settled in USD, Euro, etc. is expected to increase over time, confirming the internationalised status of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. Aspirations to emerge as a capital raising platform for Africafocused investments routed through the Global Business Sector will also be realised and the SEM platform will be used to channel investment flows from South America, Europe and Asia into Africa and from the US, Europe into Asia. The number of issuers, players and investors in their market will increase over time, increasing the breadth and depth of the market in Mauritius, and thereby also bringing a meaningful contribution to the integration of the Mauritius financial services sector within the international financial system. SEM also aims at consolidating its position with a view to further contributing more broadly to the development of the Mauritian economy and of capital market activities on the national and regional fronts.
Anglo-Mauritius Stockbrokers Limited is one of the largest stock broking companies in Mauritius. The company, which started its activities in 1989, has over the years increased its services to offer its clientele a one-stop shop for investments. The investment services offered include trading in listed equities, government bonds, investment advisory, and sponsoring broker. Anglo-Mauritius Stockbrokers Limited also provides extensive research as a valued added service to its clients.
He who masters the information masters the game
Tel: +230 208 7010 Fax: +230 212 9867 anglostockbrokers.mu Endeavour Magazine â€˘ December 2012 â€˘ 69
Cable Consortium of Liberia www.cclnetwork.weebly.com +231 880 673 982 Written by Djamil Benmehidi
BRINGING LIBERIA ON BOARD AFRICA’S DIGITAL BROADBAND REVOLUTION
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 71
Cable Consortium of Liberia
Following two tragic civil wars which engulfed the West African state for nearly two decades, Liberia is starting to recover from this dark chapter in its history. However as wounds begin to heal and the rebuilding programme for this nation and its economy which was once the envy of Africa begins, Liberia is not only investing in traditional infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals but also a digital infrastructure which Ciata Victor, one of the Directors of the Cable Consortium of Liberia believes will herald a new dawn for this proud, democratic state. She told Djamil Benmehidi about this new chapter in Liberia’s story.
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It is a simple, undeniable fact: the world in which we live today is a digital one. If you don’t think so, really, really take a step back for one moment and try to imagine a world without e-mail, Google, instant 24 hour news etc; as I’m sure you’ll agree it really is unthinkable. Since the 1990’s when the internet first started to become accessible to the global population, the world has slowly and steadily become a smaller place in which to live and do business as new markets seemingly opened up overnight, instant communication between people on opposite sides of the globe became affordable as well as easy, and effective methods of transferring large volumes of data became feasible. This is stating the obvious perhaps but the internet has changed everything. Largely speaking, though the African continent’s population presently lags behind global ICT trends in terms of both the internet penetration rate and the number of internet users, the falling price of technology and improving telecommunications infrastructure on the continent has led to explosive growth in this area. What’s more, Africa’s large population and low user base offers businesses staggering untapped market potential, while increased Internet access and usage will contribute to economic growth. The digital revolution which is fast gathering pace in Africa is a goldmine in terms of the opportunity if offers the continent. The Republic of Liberia, a country which due to civil strife missed earlier chances to connect to the digital world is now seizing this opportunity. The Cable Consortium of Liberia (CCL), a public-private sector venture involving the Liberian government and
Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 •
Cable Consortium of Liberia
the country’s three most prominent telecommunications companies Libtelco, Lonestar Communications and Cellcom, has opened up Liberia to the digital broadband revolution which is sweeping the continent via its investment in the industry leading ACE fibre optic network cable project. “It all started a few years ago when the Managing Director of LIBTELCO, Ben Wolo, requested assistance from the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) who paid the $40,000 for Liberia to join at the ACE Consortium table. Ben Wolo understood the potential of this project for Liberia and really went after it. It took almost a year of meetings and negotiations to agree on who had what stake but in the end it has been a success and a victory for Liberia” Shortly after this, Liberia’s digital future was set in stone when the Cable Consortium of Liberia met in Paris for the signing of the ACE Construction and Maintenance Agreement contract with France Telecom on Saturday, June 5, 2010 along with the delegates of 20 other African countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. However as a member of the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) Consortium, a trans-national venture which allows
Liberia and 20 other countries to connect to global super-fast broadband networks for the first time via a vast fibre-optic cable network which stretches from the Northern coast of France to the Southern tip of Africa, Cable Consortium of Liberia faced a real challenge in raising the enormous sums required for funding a project of such magnitude. The total cost of the ACE submarine communications cable project was $700,000 million in total, of which the Cable Consortium of Liberia contributed $25 million. Ciata said: “It was difficult raising such funds for the project. As well as the contributions by the three telecoms companies, the World Bank also contributed but there were conditions relating to the public-private ownership of CCL. We had to approach the government several times requesting funding and the administration was always helpful. President Sirleaf knew how important this technology was for Liberia.” In spite of the difficulties, the funding for the venture was secured and since then, the herculean task of laying the 17,000 kilometre long state-of-the-art undersea cable system has been completed and it is now landed to a terminal station in the Liberian capital Monrovia. With construction of the terminal station and installation of its equipment completed
between November 2011 and April 2012, its systems have been tested, commissioned and approved by technical staff in Liberia, as have its sister stations and systems in the other 22 member countries in April this year. To man the terminal station, Cable Consortium of Liberia currently has a small, highly trained team of experts and technicians which is 100% Liberian. Having been trained extensively in Paris by the best in the industry, these technicians are required to operate, monitor and test equipment within the station 24 hours a day which has given them the benefit of gaining continuous on the job learning and experience. Until the Government of Liberia completes its distribution network, the staff number will remain small but CCL inevitable hopes that as demand increases, the number of staff will increase in the run up to and finally when Liberia’s broadband distribution network is finished and has gone live. Once the internal distribution network is set up, the Liberian people and businesses will have access to at least 1.92 terabits per second data transfer speeds and Ciata believes that this will act as a great catalyst for the Liberian economy. “Much of Liberia’s infrastructure was destroyed during the war and replacing and rebuilding it is a priority. The war finished 9 years ago now but there is still so much damage to repair and there are so many priorities; roads, electricity, schools and clinics to name but a few. This fibre optic digital infrastructure is no less a priority. Imagine what we can do once Liberia is online! Once we have built the distribution network, the internet will improve the life of Liberians in so many ways. We could teach our children through e-tutoring, diagnose medical conditions and provide information about health related issues online, even use e-governance to manage Liberia. E-commerce and e-banking would also transform business in Liberia. At the moment Liberians wait two to three hours in long lines at local banks to cash a paycheque, withdraw funds or go about other basic transactions. A familiar response to the delay at banks in Liberia is that the system is down or the system is slow, but imagine if Liberians had access to ATM’s? Where pay cheques could be directly deposited and cash withdrawn, where the verification process will be done electronically. These simple things would take the pressure off the banks and streamline the entire process.” Other anticipated boosts for business and the Liberian economy would be due to new business opportunities and career opportunities in technology being created, improved access to global markets for Liberian goods and services, and improved access to banking systems and international financial institutions among other things. The creation of call centres, emergency response centres, data centres and server farms would also become feasible, as would local management of the .LR Domain Name Space that is currently being maintained in the US. Now that the first task of landing a submarine cable for Liberia’s fibre optic network is complete and nationwide
access to super-fast broadband isn’t far away provided Liberia can find the $35 Million Dollars required to construct the full distribution network, what’s next for Cable Consortium of Liberia in 2013? Ciata Victor is insistent that though the first major step towards Liberia reaching its digital future has been achieved, there are still more challenges ahead in the New Year. “The plan for next year is to get Cable Consortium of Liberia bringing in an income and serving the public. The World Bank is currently supporting us in setting up a business plan which will help us reach our goals as quickly as possible. For all Liberians to enjoy the full benefit of broadband, our next step will have to be getting Liberia’s distribution network built and my hope is that the government identifies sources of funding for this next project which we estimate would have a maximum build time of around 24 months or so. In other words if the Government of Liberia who also owns a 60% share in CCL, can identify the funding to construct the full distribution network, it would make broadband and all its benefits, not only a reality of Liberians living in the capitol Monrovia, but it would provide access to Liberians in all 15 counties, which for Liberia, would be a major leap into the digital age.”
WOCS’s teams can take on all works associated with the Engineering & Construction of network optical cable link • Terrestrial Backbone • Submarine link • Duct route & Cable landing construction • Development & Qualification of optical cable jointing equipment • Maintenance contract
1 Rue de la Butte Rouge ZA les Marcots 95480 PIERRELAYE FRANCE firstname.lastname@example.org. | +33 9 63 403444 Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 75
Promor www.promor.com.sg +65 6274 3770 Written by Rob Hunter
THE INDUSTRY SPECIALISTS WHO PROVE THAT LESS IS MORE Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 77
The way in which oil & gas is extracted from marine offshore sites has been changing since the 1970’s as the industry continues to discover sub-sea reservoirs in ever deeper waters and in ever more isolated frontiers. Increasingly complex, sophisticated systems and engineering solutions are required to process and transport liquified natural gas (LNG) and oil from to sea to shore in a manner which is economically viable, and it is industry specialists such as Promor who provide the knowledge and expertise to make this happen safely. Djamil Benmehidi spoke to company President Alan Hooper and his Marketing Director Tom Seal to find out more about Promor’s success.
Having found that the traditional method of installing large scale pipeline infrastructure for the movement of oil and gas was uneconomical in developing regions which do not already have them, oil & gas firms are fast transferring to the use of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO’s) and Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO’s) vessels as the primary method of processing hydro-carbons and for the storage of oil. The use of FPSO’s and FSO’s holds many advantages as they generate a faster cash flow due to their quick and easy set-up, require a lesser upfront investment, can be re-located and re-used at other fields and are cheap to scuttle if necessary. With the number of FPSO’s at 160 and FSO’s at 100 worldwide and rising fast, the industry is big business. Following the acquisition of Prosafe Production by industry giant BW Offshore, a group of Prosafe’s leading engineers and specialists in the field decided to go it alone and by early 2011, had established Promor PTE Ltd. Based in Singapore, the fledgling Promor is very much a unique and truly independent provider of specialist engineering and manufacturing services to the FPSO and FSO facet of the oil and gas offshore industry. In particular, it is a specialist in the manufacture and installation of the advanced mooring turret systems which are crucial for holding an FPSO or FSO in place in rough waters, as well as a range of other marine systems and utilities. These engineering services include work on cargo and ballast, inert gas, freshwater, cooling, steam generation and distribution, air systems, power generation concepts and structural design. The company also provides full system development from conceptual and feed stage through to fabrication drawings and details.
“Promor is of course an engineering group but there is more to it than that as we also provide analysis and a consultancy aspect too. We are able to offer a complete turnkey service to our clients. Our staff have over 50 years total experience in this field as we were all involved extensively in work with FPSO’s and FSO’s during our time at Prosafe. Having had this industry exposure and operational feedback, we know which equipment to use for which job and we are reliable which is important as our clients in the oil and gas industry demand high production up-times of at least 95%.” Though there are no shortage of competitors in this sector, it is only the largest players in the industry such as BW Offshore, MODEC and SBM Offshore who possess the specialist, in-house capabilities to design, manufacture and install the complex systems which are required for the conversion of vessels such as tankers into FPSO and FSO vessels. “Apart from the big boys who have their own proprietary designs, systems and technologies which they keep to themselves, Promor is one of the very few independent turret providers and we can fill that niche.” Promor’s home base of Singapore is one of the prime global hubs for converting vessels for a variety of purposes, including the conversion of vessels into FPSO and FSO platforms. For this reason, Promors client FPSO and FSO companies in the viable Australasia, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese markets will send their vessels to Singapore to undergo conversion and it is then simply a case of Promor’s engaging in assembly and testing of systems as the vessel is converted at dock. In terms of Promor’s employee focus, it possesses a mantra of quality over quantity. Due to the highly specialist nature of Promor’s work, the company has a compact organisational structure which is comprised of 25 engineers and technicians who possess a wealth of experience, industry knowledge and the ability to think innovatively and generate ideas. More than this though, Promor has a close knit and spirited staff base who work closely with one another, much akin to your typical family business, which is why good people skills and a strong team ethic are so highly regarded within the firm. Now that Promor has become firmly established within the industry and as the number of clients begins to increase, Alan Hooper is looking to expand on this to take Promor forward over the next few years. “We are not short of work and are currently working on finishing an Australian turret system at home in Singapore, not to mention various other general FPSO and FSO engineering services which are keeping us ticking over. Next year we are looking to further expand our staff base, more specifically by taking on more people for our research and development workshop as well as for our backroom offices. As we continue to grow, we would also like to increase our resources and assets as it is important to have the right gear for the right project. We will continue to adhere to our corporate philosophy which is to focus especially on our clients needs and work jointly together with them. By doing this we can sure clear and effective communication and a clear exchange of visions and ideas. It is win, win for both sides.” Endeavour Magazine • December 2012 • 79
The IDC is the biggest supporter of tenders awarded in the
Over the next five years, the IDC will make available R25 billion
Department of Energyâ€™s Renewable Energy Independent Power
to fund projects related to green industries.
Producers (REIPP) programme. The IDC is identifying and providing funding for many projects In the first round of REIPP tenders, the IDC participated in twelve
that will contribute to building South Africaâ€™s industrial capacity
successful bids, and seven more in the second round. The green
and creating jobs. Visit www.idc.co.za to find out more.
energy bids include wind power, concentrated solar power, photovoltaic and small hydro projects.
The power behind renewable energy
Telephone: 086 069 3888 Email: email@example.com To apply online for funding of R1 million or more go to www.idc.co.za