Page 1


Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries 20 Years Of Success Dubai South The City Of Gold Neptune Hotels The Last Word in Luxury UK CAN USA EUR SA ZAR

£4.95 $7.95 $7.95 €5.95 69.00


BE THE 1 Right now, near you, someone needs blood. Not just any blood, a perfect match. That’s why Cristiano Ronaldo donates blood. Join him and Abbott to donate now. You could save a life. BE THE 1TM.

Sign up to donate at


BE THE 1 and related brand marks are marks of Abbott Laboratories in various jurisdictions.


EDITOR’S NOTE Heads of Departments Managing Editor Djamil Benmehidi Sales Director Alex Smith Sales Manager Emlyn Freeman Head of Editorial Research Paul Bradley


ell, thank goodness it’s December! Like you, most likely, we’re beginning to wind down with the end of year, and some much-needed Christmas festivities in mind

after what has been a 2016 to remember. Now that we’re reaching the end of the calendar, we can’t help but be a little reflective about what has been a bonkers year. Perhaps the foremost thing on our minds is just how the quickly the past 12-months have flown by. It only seems like yesterday when we were excitedly watching the Brazilian Olympic Games in Rio, but then again 2016 has been one of those years where an awful lot has happened in a very short

Editorial Research Alice Instone-Brewer

space of time. Whatever’s said about it by future generations, it won’t be

Editorial Research Steven Weller

On the economic front, this year of quite staggering change has been a good

Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman

to be entirely unfounded, and instead the world appears to be, for the most

Lead Designer Alina Sandu

been lifted out of poverty, whilst in North America and the UK there has

Publisher Stephen Warman

its sluggish form, and continues to be beset by all manner of economic woe.

Any enquiries or subscriptions can be sent to ENDEAVOUR MAGAZINE is published by Littlegate Publishing LTD which is a Registered Company in the United Kingdom. Company Registration: 07657236 VAT registration number: 116 776007 343 City Road London EC1 V1LR

Suite 10, Thorpe House 79 Thorpe Road Norwich, NR1 1UA

Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in articles

described as boring. one. The fears in some quarters of an impending 2016 recession have proved part, booming. In Africa and Asia, unemployment has fallen and millions have been steady, albeit unremarkable growth. Europe has, of course, maintained No, the key talking points have been less economic-related and more political in nature, and boy haven’t there been a lot of talking points. 2016 will be known as the year of the populist revolution, when utterly fed-up voters from half the world, seemingly, decided they’d had enough of economic liberalism and the political status quo. And by crikey, didn’t they made it known. We’ve had Brexit and Trump, while Filipinos chose Duterte’s unique brand of hard justice. Right wing populism is en vogue in Australia, France, Holland, and Austria too, while Russia and China have their own longstanding strongman leaders in the guise of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. If, as some fear, the dismantling of the internationalist global order begins in due course, 2017 could be particularly eventful, and the ramifications for business will be immeasurable.

by attributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this

That being said, change is healthy and much-needed from time-to-time. It

magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.

cannot be said that the old guard didn’t have this coming – their policies left

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy

too many people less fortunate than ourselves by the wayside. Here’s hoping

of the information contained within this magazine, no legal

that the bizarre events of 2016 herald the beginnings of a truly wonderful

responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising

2017, and a more inclusive way of doing things that provides greater

from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable

opportunities for all.

system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the

On behalf of myself and the rest of the team here at Endeavour Magazine,

prior written consent of the publisher.

we’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2016


Endeavour Magazine | 3


107 Kishugu 4 | Endeavour Magazine

13 COVER STORY Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries 20 Years Of Success And Good Health 21 COVER STORY Neptune Hotels The Last Word In Luxury 27 Legoland Malaysia Between Reality And Magic 33 MovieTowne The Magic Of The Movies 41 Pizza Boys The Taste Of Italy In Trinidad & Tobago 47 Shoon Fatt 50 Years Of Quality 53 M-Sport The Best Of British Motorsport 59 Cartrack South Africa On The Right Track 67 SANBS Lifeblood Of The Healthcare Sector 75 PLIPDECO Keeping Everything Ship-Shape 83 ACTS Success That’s No ACT 89 COVER STORY Dubai South The City Of Gold 95 Masdar City We Built This City 101 Rothco Engineering The Future, Today 107 Kishugu Managing Fire 115 Sphinx Resources Ltd Rebirth, Rebuilding, And Excellence 121 IOS Services Geoscientifiques Inc Integrity. Originality. Service. 129 Guyana Goldfields Success Through Sustainability 135 Refraline Group Three Decades Of Success 141 STAMICO & STAMIGOLD Successful Through To The Core 149 Better Agriculture Better Business, Better Agriculture 157 Seed Co Ltd Spreading The Good Seed 163 Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association (ZTSA) Growing Success

53 M-Sport

ARTICLES 3 Editor’s Note 6 Business Headlines Middle East Africa Asia Americas Europe 38 72 112 146

Amazing World Land Art Generator Initiative: Life Imitates Art Cologne Christmas Market: The Spiritual Home Of Christmas Svalbard Seed Bank: The Guarantor Of Civilisation Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland: A Winter Paradise


Automotives The New Mclaren 570S With ‘Track Pack’

149 Better Agriculture Endeavour Magazine | 5

BUSINESS HEADLINES MIDDLE EAST IRAN AND TOTAL TO SIGN LUCRATIVE US$6 BILLION GAS-FIELD DEAL Iran is set to sign a preliminary US$6 billion deal with the French oil giant, Total SA to help develop an offshore gas field. This deal will be a momentous one, and will mark an agreement that represents the first Western energy investment in the country since international sanctions were lifted. Under the deal, Total, China National Petroleum Corp. and Iran’s state-owned Petropars willdevelop part of a giant gas field in the Persian Gulf, known as South Pars, a press official at Iran’s oil ministry said. It is unclear how much of the US$6 billion investment

Khalid Al-Falih spoke about how the kingdom aimed to more than triple the contribution of its mining industry to GDP by 2030. “We have a good position in energy. We have good infrastructure and we need to make sure that our labour is competitive as well,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference. Al-Falih said the industry was experiencing a period of “excess capacity” and “low profitability”, with regards to the heavy aluminium production in China that has driven down global prices, but he expected a boom period in the coming years.The new mining strategy is planned to be implemented early next year as part of the Vision 2030 reforms to reduce the country’s reliance on oil.

will come from Total, or how the deal will be structured for Total to steer clear of U.S. restrictions still in effect. The agreement with the French oil giant could be a harbinger for the return of more Western companies to Iran’s vast energy industry. Certainly, it represents a step forward for the Islamic Republic’s goals of ramping up production of oil and gas over the coming decade.

JOINT VENTURE FORMED BY DUBAI FIRMS TO DEVELOP US$1.6BN STEEL PLANT IN ALGERIA The Dubai-based conglomerate Emarat Dzayer Group has formed a joint venture in Algeria to set up Dhs5.87bn (US$1.6bn)


steel plant in the country. Groupe Imetal will hold a 51% stake in

A new 62km highway connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai is now

the joint venture - called Emarat Dzayer Steel Company - through

98 per cent complete and on track to be opened by the end of this

its two subsidiaries – Naftal (41%) and Asimdal (10%) – and the rest

year. An extension of the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, the

49% will be held by Emarat Dzayer Group.

new highway begins from Seih Shuaib at the Abu-Dubai border.

The new plant, which will be located in Algeria’s Annaba province,

It will pass through the Forest Belt, Al Maha Forest, Kizad, Khalifa

will produce 1.5 million tonnes per year of directly reduced iron (DRI)

City, cross Al Ajban Road and then pass by Abu Mureikha, Zayed

and 1 million tonnes of steel in the form of rails, steel structures and

Military City and Al Falah area. It will then connect to the Sweihan

seamless pipes. Technology for the operation will be sourced from

Interchange on the Abu Dhabi-Sweihan Road. In total, the new

countries such as Germany, Italy, the US and Japan, a statement said.

highway includes six interchanges and six underground passes. It

The plant is hoped to create jobs for the local population, generate

will also have four lanes in each direction and have the capacity

and save foreign exchange reserve, and support economic growth.

for 8,000 vehicles an hour. The Dhs2.1bn project is being executed

Ahmed Yazid Touati, chairman and CEO of Groupe Imetal, said:

by the Abu Dhabi General Services Company (Musanada) in co-

“I strongly feel that this value-added steel plant will be self-sufficient

operation with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport.

to meet the local demand and help our national economy.”

Work on the project began in the first quarter of 2014. The project’s execution follows a detailed study of the volume of


daily traffic between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The highway is expected to serve as an alternative route to the existing E11 Abu DhabiDubai highway. It will also provide additional capacity – particularly

Saudi Arabia is putting the finishing touches to a mining strategy

during peak hours and weekends. The road will enhance the quality

aimed at raising annual mining revenues to SAR240bn (US$64bn)

of infrastructure and strengthen the economic development of the

by 2030, according to its Energy, Industry and Resources Minister.

emirate, Musanada said in a statement.

6 | Endeavour Magazine

AFRICA KENYA’S CENTRAL BANK TO SEE RESOLUTION OF CHASE BANK RECEIVERSHIP IN EARLY 2017 Kenya’s central bank hopes mid-size lender Chase Bank will be brought back out of receivership sometime during the first quarter of 2017, the governor said. The Central Bank took over Chase Bank in April after a run on its deposits raised fears it would be unable to repay customers. Chase was the third medium-to-small lender to be closed in Kenya over a period of nine months, rattling investors in East Africa’s

TUNISIA BOOSTED BY REGIONAL PARTNERS WHO PLEDGE BILLIONS IN SUPPORT Qatar said it would provide US$1.25 billion in aid to shore up Tunisia’s post-revolution economy as regional and Western partners pledged extensive financial backing at an investment conference on Tuesday. The money from Qatar, announced by the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is the biggest single offer of aid to Tunisia since a 2011 uprising ushered in a democratic transition but also years of economic uncertainty and weak growth. The European Investment Bank (EIB) said it would lend Tunisia 2.5 billion euros (US$2.65 billion) by 2020, while the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development said it would give US$1.5 billion in soft loans over the same period. Kuwait is to lend US$500 million and Turkey said it would deposit a US$100 million zero-interest loan at Tunisia’s central bank.

biggest economy, where the level of gross non-performing loans reported by banks rose sharply last year. “Our expectation is sometime in Q1 of next year, we will bring this to fruition,” Patrick Njoroge told a news conference. In April, Njoroge said that he had received nine indications of interest in Chase Bank, including from the private bank’s own shareholders and other local lenders or investors, as well as two foreign parties. In the same month, Chase Bank reopened after KCB Group was appointed to manage it. Njoroge said there was interest from both foreign and local investors but did not elaborate apart from saying that they were looking at all possible ways of bringing Chase Bank out of receivership. “Everything is on the table, so there is nothing that you can say is off the table, including even, just as an example, we haven’t said the way to go forward would not include some equity conversions of deposits or equity conversions of loans.”

Tunisia is also expecting to sign deals worth some 10 billion Tunisian dinars (US$4.3 billion) to finance economic projects during the conference, said Khalil Abidi, a senior Tunisian official. Representatives from some 40 countries are in Tunis for the event. Tunisia is trying to reverse a decline in foreign investment following the revolt that toppled Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali five years ago.

TRADE DEFICIT WIDENS AS EXPORTS DROP IN MAURITIUS Mauritius’ trade deficit widened by 15.9 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year, as exports from the Indian Ocean island nation tumbled, the statistics office said on Tuesday. The deficit, at 21.17 billion Mauritius rupees (US$590 million), was 11.7 percent higher than the second quarter, Statistics Mauritius

EXPANDED MINE TO PRODUCE FIRST DIAMONDS IN 2017 SAYS BOTSWANA’S DEBSWANA The world’s biggest diamond producer by sales value, Botswana’s Debswana, is on track to produce its first diamonds from the expanded Jwaneng mine by next year, a company official said. Known as Cut 8, the $3 billion expansion project aims to prolong the Jwaneng mine’s life by a further seven years and produce 100 million carats. “The Jwaneng pit expansion is on track and will start delivering first ore to plant in 2017,” Debswana Corporate Affairs Manager Matshidiso Kamona said.

said in a statement. The value of exports fell 12.6 percent to 20.71 billion rupees after exports of machinery and transport equipment tumbled by 47.1 percent. Imports dropped 0.2 percent to 41.88 billion rupees. “Based on quarterly trends and indicative information from various sources, total exports for the year 2016 are expected to be around 88 billion rupees against 167.50 billion rupees for imports. Consequently, the trade deficit would be around 79.50 billion rupees,” the agency said.

The project involves the widening of the existing pit. Debswana is aiming to keep production flat at 20 million carats in 2016. Endeavour Magazine | 7

ASIA PLANS FOR VIETNAM’S FIRST EVER NUCLEAR-POWER PLANTS ARE SCRAPPED Vietnam’s government has decided to scrap its long-delayed plan to build the country’s first nuclear-power plants, due to the falling prices of other energy sources and falling demand for power, due to sluggish economic growth. The government will submit its proposal to cancel the project to the country’s law making body, the National Assembly, which is expected to ratify it this month, the official Vietnam News Agency reported. Vietnam was among the first countries in Southeast Asia to embark on plans to develop nuclear power, once considered essential for its fast-growing economy, which mainly relies on coal and hydropower for electricity. The National Assembly in 2009 ratified the plan to build two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts in the central province of Ninh Thuan. The government had chosen Russian nuclear-energy company Rosatom and Japan Atomic Power Co. to build the plants, and signed a deal to borrow US$8 billion from Russia for building the first facility. Construction was initially scheduled to begin in 2014, but has been delayed several times. Early last year, officials said construction would be delayed until at least 2019, citing safety concerns following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.


SHIPPING OPERATOR KOREA LINE SIGNS US$31.5 MILLION DEAL TO ACQUIRE HANJIN ASSETS Shipping operator Korea Line Corp. signed a 37 billion won

Despite Donald Trump’s threats to abandon free trade deals and

(US$31.5 million) deal to acquire some assets of Hanjin Shipping

slap tariffs on the world’s second largest economy, China will not

Co., whose collapse in late August stranded billions of dollars in

“shut the door” on globalisation, President Xi Jinping has vowed.

cargo at sea, disrupting supply chains world-wide.

Mr Xi described Mr Trump’s surprise victory in the US

The acquisition would mark the entry of Korea Line into container

presidential election as a “hinge moment” in US-China relations but

shipping. Korea Line, a bulk carrier owned by the construction-

insisted the country would play an even bigger role in the process of

focused Samra Midas Group, is expanding its business after exiting

economic integration and pledged to open up the country to foreign

bankruptcy protection that it filed for in 2011 amid a slump in dry-


bulk shipping rates.

“Sealing off and excluding others is not the correct choice,” he

Under the deal, Korea Line will take over the business network

told an audience at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

and client information of Hanjin’s Asia-U.S. route, subsidiaries in

summit in Lima, Peru. “China will not shut the door to the outside

seven countries including the U.S., China and Vietnam, and 574

world but open more,” he said. “We’re going to ensure the fruits of

workers based in Korea and overseas, according to its regulatory

development are shared.”

filing. The asset sale is expected to be completed on Jan. 5.

Mr Trump’s protectionist policies have sparked fears of a fresh

Hanjin filed for receivership Aug. 31. In a surprise decision last

trade war. The President-elect has vowed to renegotiate trade deals

week, a Seoul court chose Korea Line over much larger Hyundai

that he claims have destroyed American jobs.

Merchant Marine Co. as the preferred buyer of the Hanjin assets.

8 | Endeavour Magazine



Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Mark Fields has voiced concern

A proposed Enbridge Inc. pipeline to the West Coast that

about President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed trade policies,

had become a flashpoint for protesters has been turned down by

saying the imposition of high tariffs on automobiles and other

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while giving approval for

products coming into the U.S. will harm the auto industry and wider

a less controversial expansion of a Kinder Morgan Inc. corridor that

U.S. economy.

will boost oil-sands producers’ access to export markets.

Mr. Fields, speaking with reporters on the sidelines of the

Mr. Trudeau rejected Enbridge’s years long attempt to build the

Los Angeles Auto Show, said Ford has talked to Mr. Trump’s

Northern Gateway pipeline, which would have carried 525,000

transition team and believes the company can work with the new

barrels a day of crude oil along 730 miles to the port at Kitimat,

administration. During a separate interview, he said, “We all share

British Columbia. The project was widely supported by Canadian

the same objective; we want a vibrant and healthy U.S. economy.”

oil producers, whose only significant export market is the U.S., but

The two sides appear to be at odds on how to achieve that goal.

faced fierce opposition from aboriginal and environmental groups.

Ford’s plan to move a substantial portion of its passenger-car

However, the prime minister approved Kinder Morgan’s

production to Mexico from a factory in Michigan was heavily criticized

proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, which will nearly

by Mr. Trump on the campaign trail. Like many of its rivals, Ford is

triple the capacity of an existing pipeline to 890,000 barrels of crude

building more-profitable light trucks in the U.S. while investing in

a day at a cost of 5.5 billion Canadian dollars (US$4.1 billion).

new capacity in Mexico to produce lower-margin small cars. Ford is

The project would increase Canadian crude exports to Asia and

also looking to better use the rest of its global footprint. This month,

reduce its dependence on the U.S. market where Canada’s oil sells at

the company unveiled a small sport utility called the EcoSport. It fills

a substantial discount to global prices. Kinder plans to increase ship

a hole in the company’s U.S. market, but the company will import the

loads of crude oil to foreign markets, including China, to 34 ships a

vehicle from India.

month from five now.



Corporate profits continued to rebound last quarter alongside

Constellation Brands Inc. has put its Canadian wine business on

solid growth in the broader U.S. economy, following strong growth

the block in an auction that could reap more than US$1 billion, said

of company earnings.


A key measure of after-tax earnings across U.S. corporations

The Victor, N.Y.-based company has already received offers for

rose 5.2% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Commerce

the Canadian business from several parties, including the Ontario

Department reported. That was the first annual increase since late

Teachers’ Pension Plan and a potential buyer from the alcohol

2014 and the strongest year-over-year growth since the fourth

industry whose identity couldn’t be confirmed. A Constellation

quarter of 2012.

spokeswoman declined to comment

Profit gains were reflected among large U.S. companies in most

The sale reflects Constellation’s strategic goal of streamlining its

industry sectors as healthy consumer spending and other forces

business to focus on premium wines and beer in the U.S. Publicly

helped accelerate economic growth and set the stage for further

traded Constellation began as a bulk wine purveyor in the 1940s

expansion in the fourth quarter.

and expanded through the takeover of popular wine brands like

The U.S. is “the bright spot in the world right now,” Dow Chemical Co. Chief Financial Officer Howard Ungerleider told analysts.

Robert Mondavi and Clos du Bois. Over the past year and a half, the company has agreed to buy

Third-quarter earnings gains were led by technology, utilities,

Meiomi, a higher-priced Pinot Noir brand, and Prisoner Wine Co.’s

basic materials, financial and consumer-discretionary companies,

portfolio of luxury wine brands. In 2013, Constellation acquired

according to Thomson Reuters. Real estate, health care and financials

rights to Grupo Modelo’s U.S. beer business, which includes the

showed the most improvement in revenue.

popular Mexican beer brands Corona Extra and Modelo Especial.

10 | Endeavour Magazine

EUROPE U.K. TO GIVE THE ECONOMY A MUCH-NEEDED BOOST THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING To mitigate the expected economic difficulties ahead as the U.K. negotiates its withdrawal from the European Union, the government

restructuring would yield significant savings, quicken decisionmaking and narrow a profitability gap with rival Boeing Co. Both companies are scrambling to deliver planes to customers after racking up record sales.

must protect any gains made and invest in infrastructure in preparation for any post-Brexit opportunities or challenges, Treasury chief Philip Hammond said. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Autumn Statement that a new fiscal framework will be put in place to give the government flexibility to respond to changing economic conditions and the need to invest in the economy’s productive capacity. In an interview with the BBC, Mr. Hammond said forecasts were pointing to a slowing of economic growth next year and a “sharp challenge” for the public finances. “We have got to make sure what we do is responsible— that everything we do is compatible with building resilience in our economy—as we go into a period when there will be some uncertainty around the negotiation over our exit from the EU, and focus on making sure our economy is match-fit for the opportunities and the challenges that will lie ahead,” he said.

GAZPROM PUSHES ON WITH NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE TO GERMANY Russia’s state energy giant PAO Gazprom is pushing forward with building controversial natural-gas pipelines to Germany, calling for bids on the US$11 billion project under the Baltic Sea, people familiar with the matter said. The two pipelines would bring a capacity of 55 billion meters3 of gas and boost Germany’s importance as a transit hub for Russian gas into Europe. Nord Stream 2, a Switzerland-based wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom, has issued tenders for laying pipes in shallowwater areas near landfall in Germany and Russia, the people said. Gazprom referred questions to Nord Stream 2, which said the tender process was “continuing according to schedule” and declined to comment further. The controversial project would help Russian gas bypass Ukraine, a former Moscow satellite that has moved closer to the European Union. Germany supports the pipelines, but the U.S. and some European Union countries have strongly opposed them as a Russian plan to deprive Kiev of gas-transit fees and to limit Eastern European access to gas.

NETWORK SALES TO DECLINE IN 2017 NOKIA WARNS Telecom-equipment maker Nokia Corp. said it expects its networks business to decline further next year, while vowing to ramp up cost-savings as it struggles with weak demand and fierce


competition. The Finnish company said that it expects 2017 net sales of networks, its core business, to decline in line with the global

Airbus Group SE has announced it may shed as many as 1,164

telecommunications network business, which it estimated will shrink

positions as part of a companywide cost-cutting process that will

by 2% next year. The firm flagged this warning in an investor briefing

merge its corporate headquarters with that of its commercial-jetliner

in Barcelona on Tuesday. The news sent Nokia shares down 5% in


morning trading in Helsinki.

Airbus, the maker of A380 superjumbo planes and the popular

Nokia said the outlook was influenced by “competitive industry

A320 single-aisle jetliner, announced the bad news to its staff and

dynamics,” and the “timing of major network deployments,” among

labour groups this month.

other things. Over the past year, the telecom-gear industry has

The Toulouse-based company revealed its plans to restructure in

been hit by slowing demand from telecom carriers, as many of them

the latest of a series of steps to boost profitability in September. At

have finished rolling out of latest-generation wireless networks, or

the time it disclosed the plans to integrate headquarters functions,

4G. At the same time, Nokia and its European peer Ericsson AB of

though didn’t say how many jobs might go.

Sweden are battling stiff competition from Chinese companies, such

In September, Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said the

as Huawei Technologies Co Endeavour Magazine | 11

12 | Endeavour Magazine



Outstandingly beautiful, immeasurably rich in natural resources, and yet tragically unable to capitalise fully on its vast potential, Africa has in some ways been defined by the false dawns which in the past have promised so much but ultimately amounted to little. For all its gifts, the African continent is the last remaining final frontier of the global economy, if you will – much to the disappointment of foreign investors, and to the detriment of its people, it should be added. Until recently, that is. Endeavour Magazine | 13


Outstandingly beautiful, immeasurably rich in natural resources,

and yet tragically unable to capitalise fully on its vast potential, Africa has in some ways been defined by the false dawns which in the past have promised so much but ultimately amounted to little. For all its gifts, the African continent is the last remaining final frontier of the global economy, if you will – much to the disappointment of foreign investors, and to the detriment of its people, it should be added. Until recently, that is.

nce, it seemed as if the only news to leave Africa were reports


The numbers speak for themselves: Africa’s pharmaceuticals

of its seemingly never ending troubles; a lazy narrative,

industry, which was valued at only US$4.7 billion as recently as

granted, albeit one which may have once had an element of

2003, has since more than quadrupled in value over the space of

truth to it. But no longer. The tired old perception of Africa as an

a decade to reach over US$25 billion today – a figure which by

impoverished backwater is quite rightfully being shaken off, to be

2020 is expected to rise to anywhere between US$40-65 billion,

replaced by an altogether more optimistic image; one of a rising

according to research conducted by the US-based research and

continent rich in opportunity which, finally, looks as if it is on

consultancy firm, McKinsey & Company. In Uganda, the pharma

the cusp of realising its vast potential; much like South East Asia

market accounts for around US$350 million in annual spending

over half a century ago. One which is finally beginning to find its

on the procurement of life saving medicines, but over the next

confidence, not to mention strength.

10-years alone this number could conceivably quadruple, should

As with any such rise, there is an epicentre; an engine of growth

present rates of growth be maintained.

and development, if you’ll forgive the cliche. In the case of Africa,

“If you look at the macroeconomics of disease and healthcare,

this engine is the East African Community (EAC) – a region of

the potential of Uganda is huge. We are still struggling to cope with

the continent which, with its stable governance and pro-market

infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS but unfortunately,

economic approach, has posted year-on-year GDP growth rates

there is major rise in the levels of non-communicable diseases,

that have consistently been amongst the highest in the world for

such as cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes,

nearly two decades.

normally associated with urbanisation and a general change in

Taking this into account, corporate investors with deep pockets

lifestyles ” Nazeem Mohamed, the CEO of KPI told Endeavour.

and a nose for finding the best returns on their investment are

He continued: “So when you’re looking at it from an investor’s

naturally keeping a close watch on this booming region. Uganda,

perspective, this is all sadly good news. With its fast growing

and its budding pharmaceuticals sector, is a leading hotspot, in this

population, growth of the middle-class, and double-disease burden,

respect. Of course it is; the African pharmaceuticals market remains

will place a huge burden on the health systems within countries

virtually untapped, with the Ugandan pharma sector especially

with an ever increasing need for essential medicines.”

offering potentially huge rewards to investors. 14 | Endeavour Magazine

The window of opportunity for serious and credible foreign




Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries (1996) Ltd

20 Years of Commitment to Good Health

At KPI, all our activities have an underlying purpose: to improve the quality of life of the people with whom we work with and in communities in which we operate, regardless of their particular religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.  00256 414 285645 Stretcher Road, Ntinda P.O. Box 7551, Kampala, Uganda. 

Endeavour Magazine | 15


investors on the look-out for high-growth markets, is presently

manufacture and market over 60 essential medicines ranging from

wide open. Over the years to come, it is all but certain that such

antibiotics, pain killers, cough/cold remedies, diabetes and blood

investors will increasingly enter into partnership deals with local

pressure products. As part of the Aga Khan Development Network

pharmaceuticals manufacturers in Uganda, as they seek to navigate

(AKDN), we are one of the largest manufacturers of quality and

the obstacles that come with entering into new, unfathomable

affordable medicines in the region. This year we are celebrating

markets in countries in which they have no experience doing

20-years of providing quality medicines to the people of our region.

business. Indeed, they already are – as Nazeem pointed out, Indian-

A few years back KPI was awarded the Frost and Sullivan

based companies have already stolen a march on the traditional

“product leadership award for Uganda” for launching products for

European pharma heavyweights, who he suspects remain distracted

chronic disease like diabetes. KPI operates regionally and exports

by troubles closer to home.

pharmaceutical products throughout the East African region.

And typically, their first port of call has tended to be the

As with any successful company, KPI has proven to be

companies with a pre-existing domestic and regional reputation for

resourceful and innovative in its day-to-day operations. Take it’s

professional excellence and quality; the local elite, in other words,

working culture, for example; in a clear demonstration of the trust

like KPI who have demonstrated good standards of quality and

shown in KPI’s 300 or so staff and its senior management team,


whom Nazeem refers to fondly as the company’s greatest asset,

KPI, said Nazeem proudly, is a well-established and respected

the company has a deeply-engrained collaborative culture in which

regional company which just last month celebrated its 20th birthday

employees are empowered and encouraged to participate actively

– this is no mean feat, taking into account the challenges that have

in the company’s success. As evidence of this, KPI is one of the

faced the company since it opened its doors for business in 1996.

few organisations in the region to adhere to a ‘Code of Ethics,’

When asked to elaborate further, he said of the company: “We

developed from a bottom-up approach, involving all levels of

16 | Endeavour Magazine

staff within the company. “Our values are PITT – Professionalism,

manufactured drugs are more expensive to produce, and also due

Integrity, Transparency, and Team Work, and we try very hard to

to the perceived

live by them.”

have in domestically-sourced medicine.

lack of trust that some middle-class Ugandans

An industry veteran of 40-years who cut his teeth with multi-

“It is well-known that a very significant portion of the healthcare

national giants, GSK, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer, Nazeem Mohamed

budget in East Africa goes toward procuring medicines, most of

has been afforded the perfect position from which to observe the

which are imported. Overseas pharmaceuticals companies have

evolving pharmaceuticals market over the course of his 13-year

long had an advantage over domestic pharma manufacturers here

tenure at KPI. The key observation he has made is that the East

in Uganda, thanks to support from their own governments in the

African pharmaceuticals sector, like that of the wider continent,

form of subsidies and from economies of scale.

has undergone great change over the last decade. Historically,

Competition is healthy, but unfair competition is unhealthy. I

healthcare in Africa has not had a great record. It is common

would guesstimate that local manufacturers in East Africa enjoy

knowledge that the EAC has grappled with numerous health issues,

only around 25% market share, with the rest being fulfilled by

most notably the scourge of counterfeit and low-quality drugs from

imports, mainly generics from India and China. If you consider

unscrupulous overseas suppliers – a problem which on its own

that the government is the biggest buyer in most countries, and

has caused terrible, and wholly unnecessary loss of life. And then

that price has become the single most important criterion when

there is the age-old dilemma of how to deliver essential lifesaving

procurement decisions are being made, you will find pharma in the

drugs affordably to those at the bottom of the socio-economic

region struggles to compete on international tenders as foreign

ladder. These two issues are intrinsically linked – Ugandans turn

companies can dump products in our region at artificially low prices

to medicines imported from overseas which pose the risk of being

and still make decent margins at home.”

counterfeit or of insufficient quality because at present locally-

Times are changing, however, and from what he has seen

Endeavour Magazine | 17


Nazeem now believes the path ahead is as rich with opportunity

R&D – an important but capital-intensive undertaking that is left

as it is fraught with challenge. That being said, this opportunity can

to the developed world industry giants. In developing countries like

only be realised with the support of the East African governments,

Uganda, capital is rarely made available for research projects, with

which, like the governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and

the exception of limited scale malaria research.

Bangladesh before it, will need to intervene directly with new

In-line with this focus on quality, KPI is investing in a state-

policies that will help re-tip the needle back in favour of domestic

of-the-art manufacturing facility which will greatly improve KPI’s

pharmaceuticals manufacturers. On this, he noted:

ability to supply affordable, high-quality medicines in sufficient

“We have been watching these countries that have done


extremely well; like us, all of them developing countries, and when

When asked about this, Nazeem Mohamed said: “We have

you go into the reasons why they’ve done well it is because of

board approval for expanding Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries.

government policy. It’s been intentional – they’ve come up with

In addition, we are planning the construction of a new state-of-the-

certain policies like banning certain products, putting taxes on

art manufacturing facility in the East African region. This shows our

certain products, and harmonising taxes on pharmaceuticals with

long-term commitment to improving the healthcare system in the

those of surrounding countries.”

region, in collaboration with the governments.

Undoubtedly, such measure would tremendously benefit both

Our major goal is to reduce the burden of disease in the region

Ugandan pharma companies like KPI, as well as its regional partners

through the provision of quality and affordable medicines. In the

and rivals. It makes no sense, for example, how over 50 different

last few years we have focused on developing medicines for non-

generic brands of paracetamol are imported into the region when

communicable diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

local manufacturers can quite easily meet this demand; a point

The new facility will allow us to manufacture more modern products

which was no doubt one of many raised at a recent high level

to satisfy our future needs as the disease profiles are changing.”

multi-stakeholders conference, Promoting Pharmaceutical Sector Investments in East Africa – an event that was recently held in Nairobi, Kenya, and which was organised by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with EAC member states, along with international development partners such as the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Nazeem continued: “In my years of managing KPI, and following countless interactions with counterparts and industry stakeholders in the region, it is clear that the issues we contend with are very similar to those experienced by pharmaceuticals manufacturers in all the other East African countries. Quite aside from the unfair competition from overseas, pharmaceuticals manufacturers in Uganda have been hindered by poor infrastructure and a limited capacity for R&D, but things are improving. Following the creation of the Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (FEAPM), an industry lobby which works closely with the EAC Secretariat and its member states as it seeks to advocate a better business environment for ourselves, and create a level playing field from which to compete against imported medicines.” So, what next for KPI, and the wider regional pharmaceuticals industry? In Nazeem’s view, achieving growth means prioritising the basics, and showing the world, not to mention local people, that the quality levels of locally-manufactured are the equal of anything that can be purchased from foreign producers. At present, this focus on here and now quality has taken prominence over

18 | Endeavour Magazine

Another goal on the part of Nazeem Mohamed and KPI

optimistic. He concluded the interview by saying: “One of the

over the near future surrounds the idea of working with other

most reassuring things for me is that I can see for all the challenges

pharmaceuticals manufacturers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to

that exist, the political will to support local manufacturers is there.

work together and open-up larger markets via the EAC Regulatory

There is no doubt that most people in government understand that

Harmonisation Programme – an initiative driven by The New

to achieve many of the sustainable development goals including

Partnership for Africa’s Development. Through the adoption of this

increasing access to affordable, good quality medicines, local

scheme, a process of regulatory harmonisation which includes the

manufacturing plays a significant role. That is quite an achievement.

removal of trade barriers and tariffs between the neighbouring East

Local pharmaceutical manufacturing can impact favourably on our

African countries, and the alignment of medicine manufacturing and

health systems, improve their capacity to respond to emergencies,

trade regulations. The positive effect of such regional integration

and contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the

and collaboration would be beneficial indeed for EAC-based


pharmaceuticals producers, in that it will facilitate the growth of

We’ll also continue to commit ourselves to community

a buoyant, competitive domestic pharma market which is largely

enrichment initiatives, where we focus on working with local

safe from the threat of cheaper foreign imports. With regards to

communities to improve their quality of life – I believe this makes

the benefit to KPI specifically, the company, as part of the Aga

us different from many other pharma companies in the region. As

Khan Development Network, could make use of the group’s many

part of AKDN, we have good corporate governance with a focus on

hospitals and clinics across East Africa to distribute its goods into

having a significant developmental impact on the region. Our focus

new markets easily, and thereby expand its own customer base.

on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as part of our business

All in all, while Nazeem still harbours concerns at the challenge facing KPI and EAC pharma sector, he is for the most part

strategy has won KPI much recognition and awards for community development.”

Endeavour Magazine | 19

20 | Endeavour Magazine



We’ve spoken many times before here at Endeavour Magazine about the outstanding natural beauty and vast riches of East Africa, but it’s one thing to talk about it – visiting this stunning part of the world is the only true way to sample its bounty of natural gifts. We caught up with Neptune Hotels Group, one of the leading luxury resorts on the African continent, to find out more about their business, and the secret to their success over three decades. Endeavour Magazine | 21


The East African landscape consisting of Kenya, Tanzania and the island paradise of Zanzibar just off the Tanzanian coast, is a truly magical place, the likes of which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world. It is a wild and natural land of savannas and golden Serengeti grassland – the legendary home of lions, wildebeest, zebra, giraffes, hyenas, and elephants; snow-topped mountain ranges and lush green forest; exquisite white beaches and blue-green emerald waters, all of which act as the perfect setting for weary visitors who wish to get lost awhile, and escape the rigours of modern living.


ocated amidst this bounty of natural gifts are to be found the resorts of Neptune Hotels Group, one of Africa’s leading hotel brands. Combining luxury and relaxation for its visitors,

Nairobi Office: Kolobot Road

Mombasa Office: Machakos Road

Off Forest Road, Opp Mister Wok P.O. Box 38744-00600, Nairobi T: 0775-813-965 T: 0703-647-573

near Railway Station P.O. Box 99205 - 80107 T: 041-2229299

Proud to work with

Neptune Hotels

Neptune Group is the first word in luxury – a 5-star experience with a twist, if you will. “We promise African memories and will take the utmost care to deliver the highest standard of service for total customer satisfaction. Our teams are trained to the highest standard to ensure you have a stress-free and memorable holiday. Our aim is to exceed your holiday expectations by offering you the best resorts at the best locations. The opening of our first hotel, many years ago, signified the start of a lasting legacy, a brand which spoke of excellence worthy of international recognition. With our operation underway, we held within it our 3 very fundamental principles. As I like to call them; the 3 P’s and they are: PEOPLE, PRODUCT, and PASSION.”

Nairobi Office: West Point

Mombasa Office: Vish Tower

2’ Floor, Mpaka Road P.O. Box 38744 - 00600 Nairobi T: +254 20 8082824/5, 2077538 F: +254 203744369 C: +254 720 447009

1’ Floor, Machakos Road P.O. Box 80814 - 80100 Mombasa T: 041 2221077 041 2220332 C: 0780 136031 0702 136031 22 | Endeavour Magazine

Amin stated, when asked to describe his vision of the muchloved hotel group. All of Neptune’s resorts, from the Neptune Paradise Boutique Resort & Spa, located at the stunning Diani Beach in Mombasa, Kenya, to the Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge, situated in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania are highly-regarded for their world-class facilities and hospitality.



Firstly, there is Neptune’s Boutique Hotel. Counting 60

The ideal choice if you are looking for that “special touch”,

large deluxe rooms and potent with the mesmerising charm of

with 150 deluxe and 4 master suites all enjoying Indian

modern Lamu architecture, it perfectly marries tropical gardens

Ocean views. This luxurious resort has been meticulously

with the beauty of the Indian Ocean. Time for a romantic dinner

created emulating traditional Zanzibar style, using the best

in this enchanting atmosphere of rustling palm trees? Your

in local design, interiors, furnishing whilst conforming to top

dream holiday has come true.

international standards. Pwani is located toward the NorthEast, on Zanzibar’s best beach on the Kiwengwa shoreline and

NEPTUNE PARADISE BOUTIQUE RESORT & SPA Neptune Village Beach Resort & Spa is set on 25 acres of landscaped tropical gardens which stretches down to one of

45 km from the International Airport and Stone Town.


the most spectacular beaches on the African continent. With

The perfect base for your exclusive Safari adventure is the

164 superior rooms and 2 suites in African cottages with palm-

Neptune Mara Rianta luxury tented Camp, nestled in the heart

thatched roofs, visitors can listen to the sound of the wind on

of the North Conservation Masai Mara Reserve. Immersed in

their own private terrace.

the original bush among indigenous plantations and trees, the 20 luxury tents are directly overlooking the Mara River, which

NEPTUNE PARADISE BEACH RESORT & SPA A charming oasis of tranquillity, the resort features 92 superior rooms in African cottages with palm-thatched roofs. Situated 40 km south of Mombasa, on the famous Diani Beach, visitors can relax in the tropical garden with waving coconut trees, towering Baobab and lazy Bougainvillea’s.

winds itself around the camp with languidly flowing waters, surrounded with wildlife.

NEPTUNE NGORONGORO LUXURY LODGE Set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape, this all suites wood log cabin style retreat is located a few steps from the Game Reserve Gate and a mere

NEPTUNE BEACH Situated on the silver sands of Bamburi Beach, 14 km to the North of Mombasa city and 24 km from Moi International Airport, the hotel has 78 elegantly furnished rooms with modern comforts. Enjoy the large freshwater pool in the lush tropical garden. Dream away looking at the Indian Ocean Views from the restaurant, serving international and local cuisine.

24 | Endeavour Magazine

20 minutes’ drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. This allinclusive property features 20 spacious private log cabins with a built-in fire place, restaurant, bar and conference facilities.

From the moment Neptune Group opened its first hotel in Kenya in 1981, Amin Merali endeavoured to put in place the foundations upon which today’s empire has been built, but never has he deviated from the ethos which he unequivocally holds dear: “More for All, Less to none.” Its success is borne of love and passion, not merely a drive to grow revenue – as Amin told us, his desire to be an hotelier and bring joy to others goes back to when he was little more than boy: “I spent many weekends with a close friend I made called David while studying in England, and while staying with his most hospitable family I discovered David’s father owned Hotels. It is here where I got my first glimpse into the hospitality industry. I realised that this industry creates happiness. It creates memories. It is able to play a big part in some of the best memories that families and friends will ever share together.” The coming 18-months will be an exciting time for the company, which off the back of great customer feedback is enjoying a roaring trade. “Neptune has won many awards back to back over the years based on guest comments. These awards are from organizations

“We are proud to have supplied all kitchen, refrigeration and laundry equipment to the Neptune Group of Hotels”

like Trip Advisor, Bookings. Com. Other awards from major tour operators again based on their guest experience have also been awarded to us for excellence.” We are exploring the possibility of adding more guest rooms at the Neptune in Zanzibar due to high demand and a new luxury lodge in the Serengeti National Park. This would be an extension to our existing lodge in the Ngorongoro.”

Endeavour Magazine | 25

26 | Endeavour Magazine



Imagine being able to throw lightning bolts, move shockwaves, shoot fireballs and blast waves of ice, just by using your hands – well soon, visitors to LEGOLAND Malaysia will be able to do just that. Endeavour Magazine | 27


The unveiling of LEGOLAND Malaysia’s thrilling new attraction, Lego Ninjago: The Ride, represents the biggest, most exciting development at the resort in recent years. Based on the Lego series Ninjago, which has been brought to life by the company’s iconic toy Lego bricks and a popular TV show that is broadcast on the Cartoon Network, the US$9.4 million ride will draw excited Ninjago fans and long-standing Lego-lovers from across the entire East Asian region. Endeavour Magazine investigated further to find out more about the newest addition to LEGOLAND Malaysia.

s we all get older, and as life’s commitments and responsibilities


The iconic LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort – the first LEGOLAND

increasingly stack-up with every passing year, occasionally all

resort to open in Asia, and only the 6th to open its doors in the

of us will let our minds drift back to our childhoods – often

world – has enchanted and thrilled all visitors, child and adult alike,

an altogether less stressful time of lives, where we didn’t have

since it first opened. If it wasn’t enough that visiting this colourful

reports to complete ahead of committee meetings or day after day

Lego brick-Shangri-La can already make you lose yourself battling

of looming deadlines to meet.

flying dragons or searching for lost treasure aboard pirate ships,

For many of us, the nostalgia remains while the specific

zooming past clouds or racing down highways at LEGOLAND

memories fade, but there is one colourful plastic part of childhood

Malaysia’s 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions, the new Ninjago

in particular which will always stay with us. Yes, that’s right – Lego.

World area will no doubt tip the scale.

Surely otherwise known as one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

What is there to say? LEGOLAND Malaysia is a place where

Following the peerless success of this most universally loved

the line between imagination and reality becomes blurred – that’s

toy, the great minds behind what is undoubtedly one of the world’s

what make it magical. And with the opening of Ninjago World – an

greatest brands, having recognised the near unconditional love

attraction which is set to steal the show, it would be something of

that die-hard Lego fans of all generations held for these wonderful

an understatement to say that the number of visitors to the site is

colourful bricks of joy, made quite possibly their most astute

set to go through the roof.

business decisions in decades, with the launch of their flagship

If you already have children who are 16 or under, the probability

LEGOLAND theme park in Billund, Denmark, way back when in

is strong that you’ll already be well-acquainted with Ninjago and its

1968. On the first day, the park drew 3,000 visitors, and a further

six lead characters: Kai, the fire ninja; Cole; the earth ninja; Jay, the

625,000 over the year that followed – pretty impressive numbers,

lightening ninja; Zane, the ice ninja; Nya, the water ninja; and Lloyd,

bearing in mind the site opened nearly half a century ago. The

the green-gold ninja. And even if you’re not, Ninjago will still reach

success of the Lego’s first ever theme park acted as the springboard

out to the inner-child that still sits uncomfortably within us; all foot

for the opening of a further five LEGOLAND resorts over the course

tapping restless energy, bored, and itching to escape our morning

of the 50-years since.

meetings so we can get and play outside. Perhaps this is another

28 | Endeavour Magazine


reason why Ninjago World and its signature feature, Ninjago: The

Ninjago is quite simply part-classic theme park ride, part cutting-

Ride, has drawn in so many visitors – excited wide-eyed children

edge intercative 4D gaminign experience. The interim General

and faux-disinterested adults alike.

Manager of Legoland Malaysia, Young-Pil Kim, said of the game

On November 4th 2017, Ninjago made its long awaited bow at

that that it will provide an opportunity for visitors to experience the

LEGOLAND Malaysia, with the opening of Ninjago World and its

fun adventures through virtual response including heat, smoke and

main feature, Ninjago: The Ride. If the Ninjago World in Legoland

wind. The 4D ride is set to change visitors’ perception about indoor

Billund - the spiritual home of Lego in Denmark - is anything of a

rides, as it makes use of a person’s hand movements. Through the

yardstick to measure against, the Malaysian sibling is going to get a

use of 3D imagery, high-tech sensors and hand movements, up to

box office reception. Built from 727,000 Lego bricks at a cost of 85

four riders in a single car could become fighters blasting animated

million Krone and 7,000 man hours, the original Ninjago World has

fireballs, lighning, shockwaves and ice in a training stint to become

been hugely successful. More than 500,000 visitors have gone on

Ninja Warriors.

the ride, which can take 1,000 people an hour, making it the Billund park site’s most popular attraction.

The 4D effects such as heat, smoke and wind are incorporated throughout the adventure, giving guests the ultimate interactive

How popular, you might be wondering? Well, while actual figures

experience. The new attraction is developed by Triotech, a world

are unavailable, what with Lego being well-known for its coyness

leader in media-based interactive attractions and features Maestro

in revealing the revenue its product lines generate, consider this:

hand gestures technology.

Legoland is rolling out Ninjago World’s at all of its theme parks,

“Brand Lego inspire the community to experience interactive,

following on from near record-breaking visitor numbers at its

thereby fulfilling the main attraction for the visitors. Ninjago

Billund and California Legoland sites. And let us not forget that the

The Ride of the efforts towards reforms that meet the needs of

US$9.4 million price tag of Ninjago World Malaysia, whilst costly,


clearly isn’t prohibitive.

30 | Endeavour Magazine

Headline theme park rides don’t come cheap; this much we all

know, but nonetheless Ninjago: The Ride’s RM$40 million price tag represents a whopping spend on the part of Legoland Malaysia. But what else might we expect? LEGOLAND has a reputation to keep, and to ensure the success of its latest attraction, no expense was spared on the advanced technology used to build this 4D ninjasensation. Legoland Parks Managing Director, Hans Aksel Pedersen elaborated further in a statement, describing the Ninjago World, and in particular Ninjago: The Ride as a game-changer for the entire LEGOLAND franchise. “Now that Lego Ninjago: The Ride has arrived in Malaysia and become the first of its kind in Asia, fans of the popular television show Ninjago, especially those from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines will be able to join in the fun.

Endeavour Magazine | 31

32 | Endeavour Magazine



What more is there to say about MovieTowne? A name that is synonymous with cinema magic, and a world-class entertainment experience in Trinidad & Tobago. MovieTowne is the epitome of a picture perfect company that is always looking for ways to build both its business and local communities. Endeavour Magazine found out more about his remarkable business, and the remarkable man who built it, Derek Chin. Endeavour Magazine | 33


With its wealth of incredible natural gifts, Trinidad & Tobago has long been a magnet for holidaymakers from all over the world, and one of the region’s premier tourism hubs. Quite sensibly, however, the country’s government has worked tirelessly to implement the diversification schemes and policies needed to re-orientate the country away from its traditional reliance on tourism, and set in place the foundations upon which a more complex and prosperous national economy can be built.


f the many industries which have been rebuilt and reborn over the past 5-years, the entertainment sector is perhaps the country’s biggest success story. And this is all down to the

efforts of one man; a man who has single-handedly stepped up to the plate and taken a cinematic sector which was on its knees, and transformed it into one that is the envy of much of the world. That man was Derek Chin. Derek is something of an eccentric, but he is certainly not a man to be underestimated; it is only as a result of his vision and bloodyminded determination to make Trinidad & Tobago a world-leader in entertainment that the region has come so far, and been propelled forward so quickly. Having completed a business administration degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, where he completed a stint as an auditor with KPMG, he returned to Trinidad back in 1981 with one goal; to revolutionise the entertainment industry, and boy did he accomplish that! The experience he later gained after his return as a key figure in both the Trinidad Commercial Development Company Limited and Dachin Enterprises, coupled with his desire to always be pushing local business development, has given him unique insight into what consumers want, and what it takes to do business successfully on the islands. This is why when he saw a cinema industry which was a national disaster, he was able to spot the opportunity this presented and take the steps to lead the sector into the 21st century.

34 | Endeavour Magazine

Project: Couva Children Hospital

Project: Mayaro Fire Station

Project: Cariccom Headquarters

# 5 DEANE STREET ST AUGUSTINE TRINIDAD E: T: 868-662-0793/0824 F: 868-645-1440

Interior Harmony has been a leading supplier of tiles for more than 30 years. We have worked on a wide range of prestigious projects including residential homes and commercial spaces across the region. We supply a wide variety of tiles, different shapes, sizes & colors for your kitchen, bathroom wall/floor, tile trims & various cleaning products. If you want quality tiles with amazing prices come into any three of our modernized showrooms. Interior Harmony is always your best choice for tiles‌ Head Office and Showroom 19 Beetham Highway, Corner Pioneer Drive, Sea Lots Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Phone: 1(868)627-3444, 1(868) 627-8453, 1(868) 623-3537 Fax:-(868) 623-5129, E-mail:


Speaking about the cinema industry in the region, he is candid

movie fans here on the islands and give people a real experience.

about its humble beginnings; “The cinematic industry in Trinidad

Also, I wanted to introduce people to a far higher level of customer

and Tobago was on its knees before MovieTowne came into being.

service than they were accustomed to. MovieTowne was ahead

People preferred DVD’s, VHS and Betamax at home to going to the

of its time and I believe we have really opened people’s eyes and

cinema and considering the conditions of the old auditoriums, it was

changed their expectations.”

no surprise. There was little or no variety in choice, the bathroom

With 14-years of successful operation under their belt, it

facilities were deplorable and it was a dowdy and intimidating

should come as no surprise that Derek didn’t want to stop at just

experience. Customer service was also far from polished.”

one complex, so in the years that followed the opening of the

Highly regarded as the premier Cineplex, shopping and

initial location, expansion was rapid and impressive. A further

entertainment complex in the region, MovieTowne was a breath

two complexes were opened which, like their predecessor, were

of fresh air for Trinidad and Tobago when it opened in 2002, as

not limited to simple cinema chains. Instead, these incredible

it offered high-end, family-friendly entertainment at an affordable

complexes offered a multitude of shopping centres, restaurants

price. It also appears to have singlehandedly reinvigorated the

and entertainment suites as well. It’s the small details that make a

country’s passion for seeing the biggest, most exciting new releases

huge difference though;

on the silver screen. By offering state-of-the-art facilities, up to the

“Our Cineplexes are themed along the lines of Hollywood, with

minute sound quality and superior customer service, MovieTowne

notable examples being a back drop of Jurassic Park with all the

quickly became the go-to destination rather than an idea that

dinosaurs as an attraction. We also have various life sized models of

was, initially, heralded as something of an unnecessary flourish of

Batman, Chewbacca from Star Wars, the Joker, Gollum and Shrek…


and these are just a part of our growing museum of film characters.”

“I wanted to bring the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood to

36 | Endeavour Magazine

What’s really interesting to note is that people aren’t simply

attending these cathedrals of modern entertainment; they are

shopping mall, a project owned by the JT Allum and Carlton Mack

sitting up and taking notice of the man behind the brand, with

family of South Trinidad. MovieTowne South will be 92,000sq feet

Derek becoming something of a local hero and a figurehead that

of cinema and retail space and is probably going to be the nicest

represents what young people growing up in Trinidad and Tobago

Cineplex of the whole chain so far, fitted with eight state of the art

can accomplish with hard work. That’s because this isn’t just a

cinemas, digital and Dolby surround sound systems, 3D technology,

business enterprise for Derek; it’s a way of life, and offers a tangible

thematic layouts and even a VIP section. We’re in the final stages

way to give back to the local community. Something that has not

of outfitting MovieTowne South and we anticipate that the grand

gone unnoticed. “MovieTowne is more than a business, and is now

opening will take place in early 2017 – we’ll announce a confirmed

a cultural, educational and charitable institution on the islands.”

date as soon as we can.”

“We promote and fund youth education through film and we

While you might think this has all been something of a fairytale

founded the Secondary Schools Short Film competition, which

for Derek, the success he enjoys has come as the result of years

enables film students to not only get specialist support and tutoring

of training and dedication to bringing premier entertainment back

but win scholarships into higher education courses and we engage

to Trinidad and Tobago. Watching films could, on the surface,

in much charitable work while investing in communities.”

seem like a frivolous pastime, but Derek has an inherent and deep

What an incredible way to ensure that emerging talent is noticed and nurtured as soon as possible, and Derek sees this as the key to continued success for the region.

understanding that they have a much deeper purpose; to bring people together. He may not have realised it at the start, but he has brought a

With an eye for a development opportunity, Derek is excited

whole nation together now and we can’t wait to see how he mixes

about what the future holds for MovieTowne, and elaborated about

things up again in the future with his contagious enthusiasm for

plans in the pipeline; “In San Fernando, we are the anchor for the c3

progress and community.

The Power Of The Group There is strength in the multifaceted just as there is strength in financial numbers. First Citizens Group First Citizens Bank First Citizens Holdings First Citizens Asset Management First Citizens Trustee Services First Citizens Securities Trading First Citizens Investment Services First Citizens Brokerage & Advisory Services First Citizens (St. Lucia) First Citizens Financial Services (St. Lucia) First Citizens (Barbados) First Citizens Investment Services (Barbados) First Citizens, Costa Rica S.A. (FCCR)

62-FIRST (34778) |

Endeavour Magazine | 37



n the past decade, it has been a joy, not to mention a relief to

members of society are inspired by the promise of a world which will

watch the world’s transition toward a cleaner, more sustainable

one day have a net-zero carbon future. With this in mind, it should

future gathering pace. Contrary to the opinions of the naysayers,

be of little surprise that events such as the Land Art Generator

evidence from the scientific community is all but unanimous with

Initiative (LAGI), a bi-yearly event which first began in 2008, have

regards to the alarming subject of climate change. It is happening -

inspired huge followings and earned cult status.

to deny this as many do is simply ludicrous. You’d do as well to argue that white is black.

We’re ashamed to admit that the Land Art Generator Initiative’s 2016 competition entirely passed us by here at Endeavour, and it

Fortunately, while the matter of gaining support from some

simply wouldn’t do to end the year without making reference to it.

national governments has been akin to watching an elderly man try

Quite simply, LAGI has grown to become one of the world’s most

to herd cats, the populations of countries around the world have

followed sustainable design events, and an inspiration to the many

taken matters into their own hands. We live in an age of socio-

who avidly follow it. Life imitates art, in the words of a certain man

environmental conscientiousness, where even the most unlikely

named Oscar Wilde, and in the case of LAGI it truly does.

38 | Endeavour Magazine

If you’re wondering how on earth art could make

its conceptual beauty, has the ability to cleanly harness

a difference, consider this: art, a powerful form of

energy from nature and convert it into electricity and/or

expression with the proven ability to create movements

drinking water for the City – a fitting task, considering

and stimulate creative dialogue, is the perfect medium

California’s much publicised water shortages. The 2016

through which to work towards the creation of a

design site offered participating teams the opportunity

better world. The artist community has long taken a

to utilise wave and tidal energies as well as wind, solar

critical approach to the problems of energy use and

and other technologies, and suffice to say the entries

production, which has helped to open the public eye to

were astonishing.

the severity of the problems facing us. LAGI provides a

This year’s winner, Regatta H2O - the sails of

platform for artists to go further, and to take an active

which are fog-harvesting meshes, designed to capture

role in solving the problem through their own work:

fresh water and harness the wind in order to power

“solution-based art practice”.

its operations - is hauntingly beautiful and yet utterly

LAGI’s goal is to accelerate the transition to post-

practical for use as a piece of sustainable infrastructure.

carbon economies by providing models of renewable

Amongst the best of the rest, there is The Pipe – a

energy infrastructure that add value to public space,

device which sparked a media frenzy due to its sleek

inspiring and educating while providing power to

cylindrical aesthetics capacity to generate 10,000

thousands of homes around the world. It achieves this

MWh of energy and desalinate 1.5 billion gallons of

through the harnessing of ideas, where competitors

drinking water annually. Then there’s the Cnidaria

are challenged to fuse art and aesthetic beauty with

Halitus, Catching the Wave, Cetacea, and The Clear

cutting-edge technology – unlikely bedfellows on

Orb – all of which are no less incredible.

the surface, granted, but undeniably an effective

The Land Art Generator Initiative just goes to show

union indeed when you look at some of the design

that while the world may at times seem as if it is losing

concepts that were submitted to this year’s LAGI 2016

the plot, you only need to scratch beneath the surface

competition in Santa Monica.

to find that wonderful things happen.

The brief for this year’s competition entrants was to design a site-specific public artwork that, in addition to

To learn more about the incredible work of LAGI, visit:

Endeavour Magazine | 39

40 | Endeavour Magazine



Since 1986, Pizza Boys has been served the best pizza on the islands, establishing themselves as the first-choice for the world famous Italian dish. A product of hard work, consistent effort and great vision, they are now easily recognised as the number one selling pizza brand in Trindad and Tobago. Endeavour Magazine | 41


With 19 stores throughout the country, as well as recent additions

in St. Kitts, St Lucia and Guyana, they are set on expanding throughout the Caribbean, and with such a positive reputation and loyal customers their growth is practically assured.


his growth is further supported by the size and experience

Pizza Boys, the Group includes also the Burger Boys restaurant

of the umbrella company that they belong to. Owned by the

chain and Donut Boys bakeries; Rituals Coffee, Wok and Roll and

same franchising company that own the Caribbean’s Ritual

Imperial Chinese restaurants, Vie de France French restaurants,

Coffee House, Pizza Boys has become a perfect place to enjoy hot

and the Trinidad and Tobago franchises of Captain D’s seafood and

pizza. Considering the popularity of pizza, a meal that has become

Church’s Chicken.

synonymous with enjoyment, fun and pleasure, Pizza Boys has

“We operate franchises throughout most of the English-

been onto a winner for almost three decades, combining delicious,

speaking Caribbean,” he says. Pizza is always a guaranteed crowd

hot pizza with clean, well thought out seating and children’s play

pleaser, after all, and following the extensive experience gained

areas to tick all the boxes of a successful night out.

at numerous successful outlets in Trinidad and Tobago, they are

“More than just a pizza place, Pizza Boys is a popular family style restaurant that serves every family’s favourites,” says Norman Sabga Aboud, Managing Director and Founder of Pizza Boys Group of Companies.

confident that their new franchises will prove no less successful at their new locations. One key secret to success when it comes to the food industry, Norman reveals, is to listen to what your employees are saying – a

A man of impressive education, Norman went to high school in

simple and yet smart move, bearing in mind how it is the frontline

Leamington, Ontario aged 14 and after Grade 12, he continued his

staff who truly have their finger to the pulse, so to speak. With

studies and earned a BA (Hons) in Business Management from the

over 1,200 employees across the franchises, he recognised the

Univeristy of Western Ontario. In 1985 he earned his MBA from

importance of having open communication from day one because

Boston University, where he placed in the top 15% of his class.

the staff are the ones who interact with customers directly. To

For Norman it has always been important to provide choice and

keep employees motivated, it is company policy on the part of

a great customer experience to consumers, and as he has sought

management to make the employee’s job as simple and straight

to cover all bases by catering to all culinary tastes. Aside from

forward as possible.

42 | Endeavour Magazine


“No detail is too small,” he reveals, “And it is the smallest changes that can have the biggest results.”

Internet, it is impossible for restaurants to cut corners or allow any sort of shoddy service without paying a price. Whatever food

For example, however delicious and well-cooked the Pizza Boy

is being served, the presentation of that meal has to be picture

pizzas might be, they will never be considered ‘fine dining.’ And why

perfect. If it looks great, there is a chance one of the customers may

would they? Rather than haute cuisine, instead, Pizza Boys provides

take a picture and post it online – as we all know, word spreads fats

a fun, memorable customer experience for family restaurant-goers,

on social media. If on the other hand the meal is poorly presented,

hence why Pizza Boys the great, family orientated. With their family

or even worse, poorly cooked, there is almost a 100% chance that

market in mind, the children’s play centre – a key feature in all Pizza

a customer will take to the internet to let the world know about it.

Boys restaurants - plays a very important role in helping to take the

“Even before the internet, the presentation of all my food and

weight off the shoulders of worn-out parents who are looking for a

the cleanliness of our kitchens and the conduct of my staff have

bite to eat for the family.

been of the highest attainable standard,” Norman says proudly.

“We are a national leader in sales growth and bottom line

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and it only takes

performance,” Norman says, “Which says it all because, like any

one poorly reviewed franchise to cause the entire chain trouble.

business, there are other companies and franchises vying for the

While some may argue that Pizza Boys has reached a level where

consumer market. We create a setting which is very casual, while

they’d enjoy a degree of immunity to such concerns, Norman is

the conduct of staff is highly professional. It is important that we

adamant that this isn’t so - every one of his franchises needs to be

stand for good food, family fun and good standards of tasty food

fighting fit, and determined to be the best.

and safety.” Thanks to the ease with which people can now access the

44 | Endeavour Magazine

“Franchising has been central to the development and the growth,” he says, “The brand recognition alone in Trinidad and

Tobago is impressive and with our expansion in three new countries, our unique products and procedures puts us as a cut above the rest.” He goes on to point out though that every franchisee who is included needs to be of the right calibre, and possess the experience needed to run a Pizza Boyd to expected standards. Therefore, a number of factors will always be carefully considered prior to the opening of any Pizza Boys restaurant. “Location is very important,” he says. “And this is not only regarding the place where the restaurant is but who the mainstay of the clientele will be. It has to all work together if it is going to be worthwhile.” Throughout the year, Pizza Boys provides product training and support for their franchisees as well as structured plans to ensure the successful development of individual pizza shops. “This is a proven concept,” Norman says, “We’ve been doing this for almost three decades and we’re here to stay.” You’d better believe it.

Producing Quality Processed Meats Since 1992

Big on Taste

St. Francis Village, Siparia-Erin Rd, Erin, Trinidad, W.I.

Endeavour Magazine | 45

46 | Endeavour Magazine



Since opening its doors for business in 1966, Shoon Fatt has more than made its mark as one of South East Asia’s leading biscuit producers. Undoubtedly one of Malaysia’s most popular biscuit and much loved confectionary brands, Shoon Fatt has aggressively expanded its international export market over the past two decades and is now reaping the rewards. Endeavour Magazine | 47


These are exciting times for the company. We at

Endeavour Magazine managed to speak to Mr. Loo Chun Kheong, General Manager of Shoon Fatt, to find out more about his business, not to mention its delicious biscuits!


s the East continues to grow in strength and wealth, increasing

as the company went from strength to strength. Inevitably, as

levels of disposable income in the region mean that the South-

business boomed, Shoon Fatt soon found that surging demand for

East Asian biscuit market is flourishing. A newly empowered

its biscuits and snacks was outstripping its supply capacity to meet

consumer class is quite rightfully beginning to flash the cash and

it. Soon after, operations were shifted to a small factory in Kampung

enjoy the finer things in life, and as any true biscuit lover knows full

Banjar in 1976 – a defining move which acted as the catalyst for

well there are fewer finer things in life than a good biscuit.

the company’s rapid growth over the decades that followed.

The growing hordes of hungry consumers with money to spend

In the view of Mr. Loo, the appeal of Shoon Fatt’s products is

has triggered something of a sugar-coated gold rush for the biscuit

down to two key things: a wide and varied selection, which creates

producers and confectioners who can satisfy the surging demand

universal demand from a broad cross-section of customers, and

for tasty, high-quality snacks. This being so, the market is there for

quality. He said: “We are well-received across consumer segments,

the taking for Shoon Fatt; one of Malaysia’s oldest and best loved

and enjoy a healthy growing market share. Our strong relationship

biscuit and confectionary manufacturers.

with our customers and quality products means that international

As a specialist producer of sweet treats, including biscuits, cookies, wafer rolls, and corn crackers for its loyal customers, at home and abroad, Shoon Fatt has something for all tastes.

competitors haven’t been able to break into our market. As an example, our ‘Naiyu Jagung’ corn crackers product line is No.1 in the industry, and is much loved by consumers for its unique and crunchy taste.”

A WELL-LOVED AND MUCH-LOVED PRODUCER WITH OVER 50-YEARS OF SUCCESS It would be an understatement to say the company has come a long way over the 50-years since the Shoon Fatt story began way back in 1966.

AN EXPORTER OF HIGH-QUALITY BISCUITS AND CONFECTIONARY TO MORE THAN 30-COUNTRIES As part of its strategy to continue satisfying customers old and new for years to come, and safeguard its standing as one of

After initially starting life as a humble shophouse in Durian

the industry leaders, Shoon Fatt has taken measures to refine and

Sebatang, the seeds of Shoon Fatt’s success were sown as word

improve operations, and boost production in order to take the

of Shoon Fatt and its delicious offerings increasingly spread among

company to the next level

people living in the surrounding area. With each passing year, the

Mr. Loo told us: “We have made a huge effort over the last

company’s reputation, not to mention revenues increased steadily

10-years to improve the way we do business, improve our fantastic

48 | Endeavour Magazine

Endeavour Magazine | 49

SHOON FATT products, and to give customers what they want: a product which tastes delicious, and which meets all international safety standards on quality and safety.” He continued: “Shoon Fatt is one of the oldest, most trusted biscuit and confectionary producers in the country. We can more than match our international rivals in terms of taste and quality – no-one ever thought a small provincial town like Teluk Intan could be home to such a quality producer!” Today, the spread of countries which Shoon Fatt exports its biscuits and confectionary to includes Singapore, Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, India,

CKE OVEN SYSTEMS Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Maldives, Mauritius, New atingGhana, principles for your individual demands Zealand, Nigeria, Vietnam, the US, and a number of countries across

East. If youand reside in one of these thirty or so countries, direct the gas Middle fired, cyclothermic hybrid versions available the Shoon Fatt, SF, and Vidory brands will likely be known to you.

ation of different heating systems by 2m-modules Shoon Fatt’s journey to the top hasn’t been without its aking chamber dimensions challenges, however. As a company which caters to the low to

timesmiddle-income and uniform baking process markets, Shoon Fatt has over 50-years come to

dominate the to field. foroven all its continuous growth, rising gn with easy access the However, inside of the operational costs have resulted in increasingly narrow profit

RE-INVIGORATING AND RE-POSITIONING THE BRAND “We’re currently working with lead brand strategists to help us reinvigorate our existing Shoon Fatt brand and product offerings. In addition to updating our packaging and re-positioning our brand, we are in the process of applying for the Mark of Malaysia Brand Status; an elite award which can only be issued by the Malaysian government, and which will strengthen our reputation in the international arena.” Shoon Fatt remains committed to its existing product lines and loyal customers, but Mr. Loo has, in light of the company’s continued profits squeeze, wisely decided to diversify the company’s target markets and product offerings. Insofar as specialisation is a crucial component for success in modern business, equally, it is unwise to put all of your eggs in one basket. On his company’s anticipated entrance into the premier biscuit and confectionary market, he said: “In addition to our fantastic product offerings to the mid and low-income customer markets, we are excited to announce that Shoon Fatt will create a new unique brand aimed at the luxury biscuit and confectionary market.

bands for a wide range of products

margins for the business, which has thus far avoided passing on

mization by band tracking, inspection and cleaning tools these increased costs to the customer.

y unit for saving up to 15 % of surplus heat and CO2 emission OVERCOMING HURDLES AND CHALLENGES THROUGH ASTUTE

AN EXCITING ENTRANCE INTO THE LUXURY MARKET This new premier range will differ from our existing brand and

ntrol system for an optimum baking climate INVESTMENT

“The rising cost ingredients is presenting us with a major on – begin production in 14ofdays hurdle. Nevertheless, we still continue to produce our biscuits and

confectionary without short-changing the customer in terms of taste, quality of ingredients or reducing the size of our biscuits and confectionary. We have focused on improving efficiency and leaner operations, along with reducing wastage, and improved planning and business strategies.” Shoon Fatt has achieved improvements in operational efficiency and production capacity as a result of heavy investment in its facilities. At great cost, to the tune of US$2.5 million, the company has rebuilt its entire production area over the past decade, allowing Shoon Fatt to produce up to 95,000kg of biscuit and wafer rolls per-day, and invested a further US$1.5 million in warehousing infrastructure and operations systems upgrades. However, Mr. Loo was keen to emphasise the company’s investment in repositioning Shoon Fatt, and its intention to pivot more towards the luxury market over the coming years. “The transition from old to new plant facilities, the embrace of new technology and adoption of modern operations has resulted in continuous growth and increased market share. However, overlooking the importance of boosting our brand and setting in place a dynamic marketing strategy was admittedly a mistake for the company,” he told us.

50 | Endeavour Magazine

21.03.16 16:36

Traditionally, Haas-Meincke ovens are known for high quality baking. All ovens provide a very even and reliable baking of the products, which is primarily obtained through a very precise control of the moisture, the airflows and the heat distribution inside the oven. This precise control also makes them also flexible. Haas-Meincke combines also different oven types according to the customer’s wishes.

target markets, and allow us to reach out to new customers. This

The customer is at the heart of what we do. We are keen to

is an exciting time for the business. Our marketers and consultants

get feedback from our customers on what they enjoy about our

are in the process of building entirely new brands and business-

products and where they feel we can improve. This feedback is

lines to appeal to wealthier, more discerning consumers”

invaluable to our company.”

He then went on to say: “Our range of biscuits and treats

Before concluding our interview, Mr. Loo finished by telling

is already diverse, to satisfy the varied tastes of our different

us about the new promotional tour which Shoon Fatt is set to

customers. To add to our portfolio of biscuits and snacks, we’ll

embark on later in 2016, as the company sets out to reach out to

be launching a new line of butter cookies, along with new baked


potato snacks and potato chips. We’re excited about this, in terms of the market penetration it will give us into the snacks market.”

“We have a first-of-its-kind Biscuit Food Truck which is set to hit the road late this year. We’re excited because the truck will go

These are heady times for Shoon Fatt, but while the company

on a promotional tour which will give us the chance to introduce

anticipates great success from its forthcoming re-brand and re-

our delicious range of biscuits and confectionary to both existing

orientation to the luxury market, Mr. Loo is keen to point out that

loyal customers and soon-to-be customers across the country and

his business will remain as committed to the taste, quality, and

the region.

safety of its products as it always was.

This isn’t just about creating brand awareness but interacting with our consumers. We’re passionate about biscuits at Shoon Fatt


and we want to spread this passion far and wide. It’s all part our new mission of ‘Satisfying Hunger, Anytime, Anywhere!”

“As a respected exporter to international food markets, compliance with government bodies and adherence to international safety and quality standards is a must. We are committed to producing quality products that our customers will enjoy.

BAKING THE PERFECT PRODUCTS HAAS-MEINCKE OVEN SYSTEMS DIffErENT HEATINg prINCIplES fOr YOur INDIVIDuAl DEMANDS convection, direct gas fired, cyclothermic and hybrid versions available easy combination of different heating systems by 2m-modules with same baking chamber dimensions short baking times and uniform baking process hygienic design with easy access to the inside of the oven various oven bands for a wide range of products process optimization by band tracking, inspection and cleaning tools heat recovery unit for saving up to 15 % of surplus heat and reduction of CO2 emission humidity control system for an optimum baking climate fast installation – begin production in 14 days

Haas@interpack May 04 – 10, 2017 Hall 3, booth no. B22/B46

MOrE IDEAS MOrE VAluE MOrE flEXIBIlITY Endeavour Magazine | 51

52 | Endeavour Magazine

M-SPORT WWW.M-SPORT.CO.UK 0044 1900 828 888


In a world which seemingly becomes more sanitised and pedestrian with each passing year; a place of ‘safe spaces’ and overbearing health & safety policy, it is reassuring to remember that mud and guts motor racing is there to offer a form of thrilling adrenaline-fuelled entertainment that is becoming ever harder to find. Endeavour Magazine | 53


Through the skill and verve of companies like M-Sport, British

motorsport has long had a seat at the top table in virtually all competitions, across all branches of the sport. Endeavour Magazine revisited this wonderful company to find out more.


ust ask any young boy or girl what they want to be when they

amongst our 246 employees which is very rare in the professional

grow up, and it would be a safe bet that being a racing car

Motorsport sector. All staff are fully trained and we are actively

driver would be in the top-3 for most. Everyone is a fan of

involved in helping our employees reach their full potential. For the

fast cars and motor racing, including the those who know next-

past two years, two of our young machinists have been nominated

to-nothing about the subtle nuances of rallying or touring cars or

for international awards and both made it to the UK final of the

F1 – only that it is exciting to hear the throaty roar of engines,

World Skills programme.

and watch mud spray as finely tuned high-performance vehicles

In addition to this, our base at Dovenby Hall is particularly

driven by drivers of great skill and superhuman nerve blast through

unique – a stately home set in 115 acres of lush parkland which sits

rough forest track and asphalt mountain passes at break-neck

on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Combining the old

speed. It’s a sexy, highly competitive industry, flush with money

with the new, the Hall itself has been fully restored with a state-of-

and testosterone, particularly at elite level – the spiritual home

the-art workshop constructed to the rear.”

of the biggest names in motorsport, and the most technologically advanced cars our species has ever created.

To give some idea of the company’s calibre, consider this: of all the teams who will compete in the 2017 FIA World Rally

This undoubtedly is one of the reasons why M-Sport is so

Championship next year, M-Sport will be the only team competing

uniquely fascinating. The company, which is the birthchild of

as a private team without direct backing from one of rallying’s

Managing Director Malcolm Wilson – himself an ex-British Rally

automotive heavyweights, Hyundai, Citroen, or Toyota.

Championship winner with world-class racing credentials, is a

That said, M-Sport isn’t going it alone entirely. The bond

thriving Motorsport business which operates across three branches

M-Sport forged over the course of two decades with Ford, during

of motorsport; rallying, rallycross, and GT3 racing.

which it operated Ford’s World Rally Championship programme,

“As a family-run business, there is a unique atmosphere 54 | Endeavour Magazine

isn’t one which is easily broken. A strong relationship exists still,

Endeavour Magazine | 55


and this has been an integral part of the company’s success in recent years.

The commitment of both parties to this grass roots initiative remains strong, as is evidenced by the collaborative development

“We’ve still got very strong links with Ford – we couldn’t do

of a brand-new Rallycross car by M-Sport and Ford, the new Ford

what we do without them, but since they withdrew marketing

Focus RS RX. Granted, it is early days, but early indications suggest

support in 2012 we’ve basically gone it alone. It’s been tough but

that the design and development of the latest iteration of the

we’re still here!

Ford Focus might represent the pinnacle of M-Sport and Ford’s

We now operate within a technical partnership with Ford, and

achievements over their long-standing historical partnership.

we’ve recently developed a fantastic car to suit the new regulations

Promisingly, the performance of the Focus RS RX has so far taken

for 2017. We’re very confident we can be competitive next year

M-Sport by surprise for all the right reasons, having already made

and hopefully win some rallies.”

its mark in this year’s World Rallycross Championship.

Together, Ford and M-Sport have worked in close partnership

“Prior to this, we had the Ford Fiesta RX which competed in

on the design and development of more than 1,000 cars, all of

America, but the new Focus was designed from a completely clean

which have competed in tournaments and championships around

sheet of paper and has made FIA World Rallycross history in the

the world over nearly a quarter century. As part of this, the Ladder

hands and Andreas Bakkerud and Ken Block – the first car to ever

of Opportunity scheme has been developed in order to allow

win all of its preliminary heats as well as its Semi Final and Final

talented aspiring competitors to rise up through the motor racing

over the course of a single weekend.

ranks and graduate from grass root rallying all the way up to the

The car was developed in just six months with limited testing,

very highest level in the FIA World Rally Championship. Participants

but won its very first heat – proving the high level of design and

who enrol on the scheme begin their career with the Ford Fiesta

engineering that can be found at M-Sport.”

R1, before graduating to the R2, R5, and then finally the World Rally Championship.

56 | Endeavour Magazine

In addition to M-Sport’s longstanding competitiveness at elite level in rallying and rallycross, the commencement of a technical

partnership in 2013 with prestige automotive manufacturer,

Centre will allow us to further build on our existing Motorsport

Bentley Motors represents another exciting venture that has since

programmes, but it is also hoped that this project will allow us to

yielded positive results.

tap into the ever-growing automotive sector – providing a one-stop

This relationship, which has seen M-Sport design and develop the Continental GT3, and act as Bentley’s key technical partner in

shop with complete privacy where manufacturers might develop, test and produce bespoke road-going projects.

the Blancpain series, has already borne fruit for both parties. Despite

We are also in the process of designing a new World Rally

having no prior experience of racing, Bentley were impressed with

Car – the Ford Fiesta WRC – which will debut with new technical

M-Sport’s business model and excellence, having heard already

regulations in January. The team are currently undergoing a

of the company’s formidable reputation through the motorsport

vigorous test schedule with this car which has been designed from

grapevine. Their trust was well placed, and the Continental GT3

a completely new sheet of paper and will usher in a new era of

has secured a number of great victories around the world.

rallying with more power, more aero and more spectacular viewing.

So, what next? Between the start of construction work on new

We will be hoping that the new car takes M-Sport back to the top

facilities at Dovenby Hall, and ongoing design and developing the

step of the podium. Hopes are extremely high and this new project

next generation of new championship winning race cars, there

has given the team a real sense of ambition and determination.”

is plenty to look forward to for the company with the 2017 race season just around the corner. “We are currently developing a £19 million Evaluation Centre on site which will see our business expand further. With the success of the business, we have outgrown our current facility so the development includes another workshop as well as an on-site test track which will allow further expansion. The new Evaluation

Endeavour Magazine | 57

58 | Endeavour Magazine



Automotive theft is big business the world over, which means that any form of prevention or recovery will naturally be too. Cartrack aims to give vehicle owners peace of mind through stateof-the-art telematics technology systems and Endeavour Magazine decided to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 59


Despite only being founded in 2004, Cartrack is by no means an

industry baby, thanks to quickly establishing a network of clients that were looking for fleet management, stolen vehicle recovery or insurance telematics technology services. But before we get down to the nittygritty of what Cartrack offers its customers, what exactly does telematics involve?


he transmission of real time computerised information, telematics has quickly become a firm favourite with car insurance companies and new drivers alike. Huge discounts

can be offered to those drivers that know they won’t do anything ill-advised, have nothing to hide and therefore have no issues with data regarding their driving being sent to their insurance handler on a regular basis. From GPS locations through to speeds and time spent driving, there is very little that telematics can’t measure, record and transmit. In this case, big brother definitely IS watching you! Tel +27 (0)11 827 5503 | Fax +27 (0)11 824 3759 Hangar +27 (0)60 955 4758 (All Hours) Hangar 6 Rand Airport Germiston Johannesburg PO Box 18027 Rand Airport 1419 South Africa

It’s clear to see what a valuable asset telematics are, but how has Cartrack used them to give total client satisfaction? “Cartrack has developed into a leading global provider of Fleet Management, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Insurance telematics services, with a strong focus on technology development to enhance customer experience. An extensive footprint is already well established in Africa, Europe and South East Asia; more recently, operations have been opened in America and New Zealand.” We’ll take that as a resounding yes. Described as a ‘servicecentric’ organisation, Cartrack likes to keep as much in-house as possible, with design, development and installation of telematics technology all being undertaken by one of the expert team and when big car manufacturers have faith in that team’s abilities, why wouldn’t everybody.

60 | Endeavour Magazine


“Our technology is widely accepted by motor manufacturers and insurers, with hardware and installations being of the highest

products and fleet management systems and the maintenance thereof. Pro-Fit exclusively installs Cartrack products.”

standard. Cartrack’s user-friendly and cost-effective web-based

So let’s ask an uncomfortable question; do the products really

Fleet Management portal provides a comprehensive set of features

work? We’d be forgiven for simply assuming they do, given the

ensuring the optimisation of both fleet and human resources. To

number of countries that rely on them, but how can a consumer

expand its integrated service offering, Cartrack is providing driver

be sure that Cartrack is the best, most reliable telematics system

risk assessment offerings in the field of insurance telematics.”

on offer? Well, let’s just say that the company has a unique take

It’s worth noting here that although a staggering 98% of

on ‘putting their money where their mouth is’ to prove their point,

all installations are carried out by a Cartrack team member, on

“Cartrack specialises in vehicle tracking and recovery, providing

occasion, SMEs are also used, as part a the socio-economic

an invaluable service to combat vehicle theft in countries where

development programme. Pro-Fit Fitment Centre is now a listed

crime is prevalent. Demonstrating its confidence in its systems,

authorised fitter for Cartrack, but that’s as far as the net has been

Cartrack was the first company, globally, to offer a cash back

cast, as the more people you bring in, the greater the potential for

recovery warranty of up to R150,000 to its customers in the

sloppy, unacceptable work,

unlikely event of non-recovery of their stolen vehicles. An industry-

“Pro-Fit Fitment Centre has received full training on all Cartrack products and specifications; this includes all motor manufacturers’

leading audited recovery rate of 94% in South Africa is evidence of the superior quality of our technology and services.”

standards and agreements. Pro-Fit is also authorised to sell all

Let’s take a moment to really let that sink in. Not only does

Cartrack products at recommended market prices. The main

Cartrack have a staggering 94% recovery rate in South Africa, it

purpose of the business is the installation of stolen vehicle recovery

also offers money to customers whose cars cannot be found. To • 697 Jacques St, Pretoria, 0044, South Africa • +27 12 997 0504




Always expanding. Always evolving. 62 | Endeavour Magazine

list that as a business selling point, you’ve got to be exceptionally

There can be no doubting that the future for Cartrack is going

confident and it’s this belief in the product that keeps clients

to be an exciting one, encompassing diversification into new

coming back for more. The tangible sense of total trust is somewhat

telematics systems and branching out into lucrative territories and

contagious and all of a sudden, consumers are driving their cars and

with one recognised industry award already behind them, there

feeling that bit more secure and at peace. That’s a feeling that we

must surely be more on the way. As well as even more success,

never thought money could buy you, but apparently it can and it

“The Technology Top 100 programme is focused on identifying

also directly contributes to the ongoing high quality of the entire

the true South African role models who through innovation, tenacity

Cartrack team’s performance,

and a passionate belief in people, have been able to take their

“Cartrack technicians are assessed on their installations on a

organisations to new levels of competitiveness. The programme

monthly basis, countrywide. We nurture and grow our in-house

seeks to identify role models who are either users or developers

talent and recognise accredited industry talent as well, which

of technology. Cartrack, as a leader in technology and business,

underscores our ethos of working with the best possible skills that

has achieved the Technology Top 100 rating. We pride ourselves

the industry has to offer in order to provide superior service to our

on the knowledge that we develop cutting edge technology, which


improves our clients’ quality of life.”

You actually read that right; Cartrack analyses its people’s abilities on a MONTHLY basis. Not yearly, in a standard employment assessment, but regularly, to make sure that every installation is meeting the exacting standards that are self-imposed by the company. • 697 Jacques St, Pretoria, 0044, South Africa • +27 12 997 0504


Since 1996, TRX Electronics

have supplied South Africa with . DISTRIBUTORS OF expanding. QUALITY ELECTRONIC Always Always evolving. theINDEPENDENTLY-OWNED components needed to create, COMPONENETS IN SOUTH AFRICA . Always evolving. innovate and inspire.Always Forexpanding. us, there is no job too big or small; whether you are a large corporation or a . Always expanding. Always evolving. single visionary, we pride ourselves INDEPENDENTLY-OWNED DISTRIBUTORS OF QUALITY ELECTRONIC QUALITY ELECTRONIC COMPONENETS IN SOUTH OF AFRICA on INDEPENDENTLY-OWNED our ability toDISTRIBUTORS source everything COMPONENETS IN SOUTH AFRICA you need at superior quality and affordable prices - even rare or discontinued parts. Always expanding. Always evolving.. . Always expanding. Always evolving.

Endeavour Magazine | 63



cLaren Automotive has announced the first details of its new

weight and aerodynamic downforce to deliver the most gifted on-

Track Pack, which will be offered as an option exclusively

track ability of any member of the Sports Series family.

for the multi-award-winning McLaren 570S. The Track Pack,

Visually, the aerodynamics of the Track Pack are enhanced for

available to order immediately, is designed to deliver a superior

circuit performance, with the inclusion of a 12mm higher rear wing

driver experience for owners who like to put their foot on the

that boosts the already high cornering downforce by an additional

throttle and blast round the track, without compromising the car’s

29kg at 150mph, enhancing stability in the fastest of corners. This

all-round usability.

is not available on any other McLaren Sports Series derivative.

The Track Pack is inspired by McLaren’s long and illustrious

Other Track Pack visual clues include a McLaren Special Operations

racing history, including recent success in GT3 and GT4 categories.

roof finish in Dark Palladium, a stealth-finish Sports exhaust, and

And like the road-going, and sold out, iconic McLaren 675LT, the

a discretely extended rear wing to generate additional downforce

Track Pack for the McLaren 570S exploits all the benefits of light 64 | Endeavour Magazine

Already the most powerful and lightest car in its class, the

McLaren 570S with Track Pack tips the scales at 25kg less than the coupé in standard form. This weight reduction is made possible by a lightweight interior package with Alcantara® replacing leather for the seats, dashboard and steering wheel covering, plus the introduction of carbon-fibre racing seats with circuit-proven lateral location. This delivers the most rewarding cabin environment for the driver to exploit the car’s capabilities to the full – including its acceleration from 0-124mph in 9.4 seconds and 204mph top speed. Further weight reductions include the Stealth-finish superlightweight alloy wheels. In recognition of the increased time the McLaren 570S with Track Pack is likely to spend on circuits, the package includes the ultimate must-have of McLaren’s Track Telemetry system, as also used on the McLaren 675LT and McLaren P1TM. The system provides real-time information, such as lap times, sector splits and comparisons between drivers, as well as post-drive analysis and data-logging with graphical plots of vehicle speed and laptime deltas. Naturally the Track Pack also retains the existing car’s standard carbon-ceramic discs. Track Pack is available to order now with deliveries beginning in early 2017. The option is priced at £16,500.

Endeavour Magazine | 65

66 | Endeavour Magazine

SANBS WWW.SANBS.ORG.ZA 27 11 761 9226


A world-beating, high-tech organisation which provides the blood that fuels the medical industry in SA, SANBS is among the global elite in its field. Endeavour Magazine caught up with SANBS to talk about the organisation’s success in restoring trust, and the story behind its rise to prominence. Endeavour Magazine | 67


In our busy everyday lives, it can be all too easy to overlook and

take for granted the little things in life that are truly important. Take blood, for example; that most essential of natural resources upon which our own bodies, and the wider medical profession relies. If you’ll forgive the cliché, it is the lifeblood of the modern world – certainly, it is worth its weight in gold.


lentiful blood reserves mean that seriously ill patients can

to marketing strategy and process, but as a keystone company in

undergo surgery, mothers-to-be can receive blood transfusions

a sector with many dependents, there a number of things that will

when going into labour, and accident victims, or the many

not change.

victims of violent crime can get the emergency treatments that

“The changing donor demographic, if not managed correctly,

can, and do save lives. Blood is the key resource needed for South

could see reductions in blood donations,” Trevor said. “This could

Africa’s medical and emergency care system to operate effectively

place both patients and the financial well-being of SANBS at risk.

and save lives, and it is the South Africa National Blood Service

This is why things need to evolve.”

(SANBS) which acts as the guardian responsible for the collection, screening and distribution of this national treasure.

The first key issue that South Africa National Blood Service has had to address is the small matter of supply. South Africa has a

Since its formation in 2002, following the merger of several

total population of 53 million inhabitants, 480,000 of which are

separate blood transfusion services, the South African National

regular blood donors. Considering that blood supply is the single

Blood Service has seen its operations grow substantially over

most used resource in every hospital worldwide, it is easy to forget

the 14-years since. Renowned for the expertise of the medical

that it has to be donated. With some South African cities sitting

professionals working for SANBS, the high-tech facilities that are

dubiously in the top five of the most violent cities in the world, and

the equal of anything to be found in the West, the stringent safety

with a national adult HIV infection rate of 16.6%, the challenge that

procedures that have been stablished to protect both donors and

this organisation faces is clear to see.

staff, its capabilities are the envy of the world. And being a notfor-profit organisation which is free from shareholders and private

“We are of course looking to improve this number and attract

sector involvement, South Africa National Blood Service is able to

more regular donors but it’s not a bad statistic. The World Health

re-invest all profits back into the organisation, with the drive to

Organisation estimates that only around 1% of the population give

improve service and safety being the only driver.

blood in most countries and we are not far from that.

Having recently undergone a change of leadership with a new

In fact the supply issue we have is that like in most other

CEO, Trevor Vroom, SANBS is looking forward with praise and

countries we suffer from seasonal shortages of blood. We find that

promise. Yes, there is a fresh direction with plans afoot for change

over the Easter period we can struggle because 20% of our blood

68 | Endeavour Magazine





TEL. +27 21 001 7188


TEL. +27 31 569 3767

pOrT ELIzAbETH TEL: +27 41 581 8520


TEL. +27 21 555 6777


TEL. +27 13 244 1486


TEL: +27 44 333 0235

JOHAnnEsburg TEL. +27 11 928 8300


TEL. +27 15 285 0060


EAsT LOnDOn TEL. +27 43 731 1480


TEL: +26 7 313 3022 TEL: +44 0 1753682498

TEL. +27 12 548 5056


donations come from secondary schools so when they close for the

South Africa’s troubled history, the scandal that followed was a PR

holiday break, we do experience shortfalls. Another period within

catastrophe for SANBS, who lost a great many donors as a result.

which we struggle is the December and New Year holiday period

That said, research has shown that SANBS is making progress on

where many people are away in the run up to Christmas.”

winning back a sceptical donor base.

Therefore, to avoid the crisis that occurred in late 2011 where

“One of the key strategies has been to increase the black donor

a shortage of blood had a knock-on effect for the entire medical

base from 35% by the end of the previous financial year. This target

industry, South Africa National Blood Service has in recent years

was exceeded by 3% and black donors now make up 38% of our

initiated a number of big high profile drives to encourage South

donors while the white donors decreased marginally from 48% to

Africans to give blood over the Christmas period, including the


much publicised ‘patriotic blood appeal’ which begins on the 25th November each year.

The completion of two new blood screening facilities in recent years means that the SANBS laboratories in Johannesburg

The second key issue that South Africa National Blood Service

and Durban are rivalled by few others in the world. It is now

has had to tackle is winning back the trust of a sceptical South

possible to screen every bag of donated blood for infection -

African public, who were very wary of the blood donation industry.

quite an achievement when you consider that in 2008 alone, the

The reasons for this lack of trust are many, but undoubtedly the

organisation received 718,962 blood donations. This does come at

fallout of the infamous race-rating scandal in 2004 – an event

a premium, however, with the continuous operation of such high-

that occurred following a revelation in 2004 by a black nurse who

end technology costing SANBS R500,000 per day.

gave blood that the national blood bank used sexual practice,

“We have a high prevalence of HIV and hepatitis in some areas

healthiness of lifestyle but also skin colour to assess the safety

where we take blood. It is a very expensive process but the decision

of blood donors and as a result was discarding bags of blood

to invest in such facilities was taken to build trust. It has been

donated by black people; quite understandably, bearing in mind

necessary to spend time and money re-building trust and investing

70 | Endeavour Magazine

in highly stringent blood screening equipment and though it has

technology which will cut the risk of bacterial contamination of

pushed up the prices of blood considerably, the government has

platelets products, an area where there is still risk. Dr Mpuntsha

had to accept this and everyone agreed it was necessary and we

feels the future is bright for South Africa National Blood Service

are now reaping the rewards.”

and is positive that the nest is yet to come.

It goes without saying that in such a health and safety

“The infrastructure and systems developed thus far make it

conscious industry, South Africa National Blood Services is highly

easy for us to have a secure future in delivering blood to the health

regulated, and its 2,400 staff receive on-going and meticulous

& medical system in our country. I feel that the industry is going to

training. All nurses and technicians employed by the organisation

continue growing from strength to strength and that our already

are continuously trained and registered with a statutory council

excellent service can only get better.”

who ensure that necessary high standards are maintained. Due to

Like a perpetually turning wheel, the need for blood supplies

the risk of staff coming into contact with individuals infected with

will never stop. The message from SANBS is that blood donation is

hepatitis B or HIV, employees are immunised for hepatitis B and

ultimately something we should be involved with.

only the highest quality protective equipment such as needles with

“Global readers can get involved through encouraging their

protective sheaths and specialist medical gloves for example are

friends and families to donate blood, and helping us to spread the

permitted. Employee safety is paramount, and any concerns that

education message regarding blood donations.”

a member of staff may have contracted HIV from a donor will see them receive prophelactic treatment immediately. So what next for South Africa National Blood Service? A year of consolidation rather than further expansion has been forecast which will see the organisation further develop its internal infrastructure, and safety measures, in particular via investments in advanced

Endeavour Magazine | 71



or those of us who truly, truly love Christmas and all the

place of outstanding charm, but at Christmas time the city becomes

colourful winter festivities that come with it, the wait is almost

something more, acquiring what can only be described as a fairy tale

over. After a long, and to say the least, eventful 2016, the season

beauty – it is easy to see how, each year, these wonderful Christmas

of goodwill is finally set to usher us into the new year once more.

Markets can attract upward of 2 million visitors.

Undoubtedly, one of happiest, most warming experiences that

The Christmas Market at the Cologne Cathedral is widely

come with the festive season is the return of the beautiful Christmas

considered to be the most impressive of the seven markets, thanks

Markets which pop-up over the December month in every country

to its striking and yet imposing Gothic Cathedral. Beneath the

that takes this happy time of year seriously. And if you had to choose

Cathedral and the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, there are

a location which might be considered the spiritual home of the

well over 160 festive wooden pavilions and log cabins where visitors

Christmas Market, you need look no further than the German city

can watch artisans at work while they sip traditional mulled wine, or

of Cologne.

‘Gluhwein’ as the Germans call it, and walk amongst stalls selling of

Cologne is a city that doesn’t take half-measures, hosting not one but seven Christmas Markets in total. Amongst them are four

sweets, treats and local delicacies in such number one can scarcely imagine them all.

renowned markets located at the Cologne Cathedral, Alter Markt,

The Christmas Market on the Alter Markt takes place in the

Neumarkt, and on the Rudolfplatz. In itself, the city of Cologne is a

heart of quaint Altstadt – meaning Old Town - and in front of the

72 | Endeavour Magazine

Old Cologne Town Hall, situated only 200 metres away from the

designed chalets and a unique “stars at night” theme.

Cathedral. For many years, this market in particular has acted as a

Set against the historic backdrop of Hahnentorburg, one of

magnet for young and likeminded people to Cologne from all over

Cologne’s three mediaeval gate houses, the Christmas Market on

the world. Shadowed by beautiful narrow-gabled houses and half-

the Rudolfplatz takes you to a world of brothers Grimm fairy tales.

timbered stalls, the Christmas Market on the Alter Markt conveys

Large fairy tale figures and festive illuminations provide a special

a very romantic and idyllic feel. Children especially find it to be a

eye-catcher, especially for children.

magical place, and there is plenty to see and do here for even the

Besides the four big Christmas markets there is also a Cologne

most restless and excitable children, be it a nostalgic Merry-Go-

Harbour Christmas Market, located at the Chocolate Museum;

Round, a puppet theatre, Santa Claus’ grotto, or the many, many toy

the Stadtgarten Christmas Market, a fairly large Christmas Market

stands. According to an old Cologne legend, Alter Markt is where

located on the edge of Cologne’s oldest park, and, last but not least,

the famous ‘Heinzelmännchen’ gnomes, the guardians of Christmas

the seventh Christmas Market - the ‘Christmas Avenue’.

splendour, carefully keep watch as they secretly work to protect the of traditional festivities on the site. Curiously located on the ‘New Market’, amidst the backdrop of St. Aposteln’s Church and Cologne’s main shopping area, the Neumarkt

As one of Germany’s most prominent cities, set in the beating heart of Europe, getting to Cologne is for the most part a none-too challenging trip, and for sure, it is a Christmas experience which will stay warm in the minds of enchanted visitors for a lifetime.

Christmas Market is ironically Cologne’s oldest. As in previous years, the Angels Market glows in pre-Christmas splendour with charmingly Endeavour Magazine | 73

74 | Endeavour Magazine



Taking the lead in port management and industrial real estate management, Point Lisa Industrial Port Development Corporation Limited is a huge part of the commercial vista in Trinidad and Tobago. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at the operation, now in its 50th year, to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 75


The history of the Point Lisa Industrial Port Development

Corporation Limited (PLIPDECO) is a long and fascinating one, filled with momentous milestones and determination. Its story began 50-years ago in 1966 when, after years of campaigning by local businessmen for an industrial port development to be considered, light appeared at the end of the tunnel, and the green light was given to bring this ambitious proposal to life. From this point on, PLIPDECO was born.



uddenly, all the Government-funded research paid off and it was acknowledged that not only was a commercial port development the way forward, but that an insightful and

trustworthy team needed to be put in place to oversee and manage it. Naturally, key figures from the Chamber that had lobbied long and hard for the brave foray into port development were selected to take charge and the company has never looked back, thanks to the shrewd business sense and focused interest of those innovative men. We should stop and take a moment here to reveal just how much of a step forward the inauguration of PLIPDECO was, as when the company came into being on September 16th 1966, there wasn’t a port to develop, let alone an industrial estate to manage and make hugely profitable. These notions were totally new and, as such, a lot of persuasion in the form of transparent financial justification was required, especially when you consider

Exclusive local distributor (drum supply) for Methanol manufactured by Methanol Holdings (T’dad) Ltd. Massy Petrochemical Services Ltd. Plipdeco Warehouse #4, Amazon Drive Point Lisas Industrial Estate,Trinidad, W.I. T: 868 679 2263, F: 868 679 5645

76 | Endeavour Magazine

what had to be sacrificed to make way for this brand new version of Trinidad and Tobago. With sugar production being a longstanding and well-understood industry in the region, choosing to usurp that, in favour of something totally untested, was a real risk. “There was a well-established, if marginal, sugar land, except near the coat, where the cane gave way to scrub and then a band of mangrove swamp along the shoreline. It was here that Trinidad and Tobago’s most ambitious industrialisation was to take shape.


“Sugar, the commodity of the old economy, gave way to the high

the 860-hectare Point Lisas Industrial Estate, located on the west

technology of the new: cane to wire rods. Point Lisas was Trinidad

coast of central Trinidad. The Estate houses more than 103 tenants,

and Tobago’s way of making a break with the past and turning its

comprising a mix of world-class methanol, ammonia and urea plants,

natural resources into steady revenue.”

three steel plants, a power plant and smaller light manufacturing

You start to get a real sense of just how persuasive the early

and service companies.

incarnation the PLIPDECO proposal must have been, don’t you?

“Port Point Lisas, the second major port in Trinidad and Tobago,

But thank goodness they were. Imagine a world where Trinidad

consists of six general cargo and container berths. The facility

and Tobago still relied solely on sugar production? It doesn’t bear

handles a variety of cargo including containerised break bulk,

thinking about, considering the substantial impact of the port as a

lumber, paper, consumables dry bulk and steel.”

key employer, and a major source of income and prosperity.

As you can see, this is not a task for the weak-hearted, as not

So, with a port in place and an industrial estate created, what

only are there real estate management services to be tackled; a

exactly are the day-to-day duties that PLIPDECO fulfills? It’s an

tricky task on its own, but with large industries using the port to

interesting question, given the fact that without the company itself,

move their products as well, to say that a firm hand is needed on

there would be nothing for it to actually do. It’s a corporate game

the tiller would be a drastic understatement.

of chicken and egg, but the fruits of the organisation’s labour are clear to see.

A public company, with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago owning a 51% share and the remaining 49% being held by private

“PLIPDECO’s two core activities are industrial real estate

shareholders, PLIPDECO has a responsibility to maintain the

management and port management and operations, including

standard by which they have always worked to, which so many

cargo handling services. PLIPDECO is the owner and landlord of

other operations could only dream of achieving. It’s because of

With a passion for service, Paramount was solidly anchored from the roots of Joseph Lutchmansingh in 1945. The Paramount group, first secured place in the energy sector in #44their Maharaj Street Marabella 1967 by successfully assisting Texaco Trinidad Trinidad and with the construction of Tobago a desulfurization plant; andMailing: have since maintained a frontline P.O. Box 4, San Fernando presence building on experience gained by Telephone: 653-3803 / 653-1881 the demands of the highest standards known worldwide. The Paramount name is now Fax: 652-8030 / 652-2066 reinforced with an employee base of over 500 committed individuals who can celebrate 3 generations of best practice, refinement and evolution. Through heavy lift equipment rates in excess of 700 tonnes, heavy haul capabilities beyond 1 kiloton and loads over 200 feet in length we have been known to draw a crowd when executing an impressive array of well 78 | Endeavour Magazine

planned lifts, twists and turns. Paramount’s value is not defined by lifting / moving a load within the striking parameters of our equipment; it is our ability to execute without incident, safely and as planned, utilising the right equipment for the job. Paramount’s potential is enabled through the technical skill of our workforce, providing customised solutions to the dynamic business needs of our clients. No job is too difficult; safety and customer service is paramount to us. The Paramount influence includes a steady supply of ready mix cement out of our Advanced Ready Mix plant fed from our very own Vega Minerals quarry. Our passion for refinement has allowed us to offer our clients a truly superior product resulting in an ever expanding market footprint.

Paramount’s fleet is unparallel


the stringent attention to detail, industry knowledge and business

ideas to new approaches that will revolutionise the way we work.”

savvy that permeates the organisation as a whole that these

There’s a lot of revolutionary, innovative and brave language

standards are in place, and, we suspect, a contributing factor which

permeating the history and current operations of PLIPDECO, but

led to its award of the Caribbean Shipping Association’s Port of The

we see why. It IS a visionary and forward-thinking organisation

Year Award, which it won for three successive years.

that, lead by local business moguls, made good on a promise to

So far, PLIPDECO’s history and successes read like a fairy tale,

create prosperity for Trinidad and Tobago. What’s more; with the

but don’t forget that it wasn’t plain sailing at the start. Convincing

industrial complex attracting profitable businesses that are vital

the Government that funding should be released for a new port,

for the future technologies market, we suspect that PLIPDECO is

as well as an industrial estate complex, was no small feat and

going to have a lot to deal with in the coming years.

taking charge of a totally new venture can’t have been easy, but

We look forward to checking back, to see what new innovations

PLIPDECO embraced this challenge with a confidence far beyond

they’ve put in place to make sure that they are always on the crest

the company’s years, and with a strict mandate of values in place.

of yet another successful wave.

“Our mission is to develop, market and operate port, logistics and industrial estate infrastructure for optimal economic growth, alongside our vision of becoming a global Leader in port and estate management by consistently providing superior, innovative service. We will act with honesty, without compromising the truth and be personally accountable for the highest standards of behaviour and we will convert knowledge and

Tel: 1-868-636-1858 Tel: 1-868-620-0693 Tel: 1-868-662-4775 Tel: 1-868-730-2910 Fax:1-868-679-2974 80 | Endeavour Magazine

LP 83 Phoenix Park West, Point Lisas, Carlifonia, Trinidad & Tobago

PCS Nitrogen Trinidad Limited is a subsidiary of PotashCorp and is located on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. The facility is one of the world’s largest nitrogen complexes, consisting of four ammonia units producing approximately 2.4 million short tons annually, and one urea plant which produces approximately 800,000 short tons annually. PCS Trinidad also helps develop Trinidad and Tobago’s agricultural sector. The PCS Model Farm & Agricultural Resource Centre was officially launched on February 11, 2009. It provides the local farming community with free training and new agricultural techniques.

We are the proud sponsors of twice National Panorama Champion, the PCS Silver Stars Steel Orchestra.

Endeavour Magazine | 81

82 | Endeavour Magazine



While still in its infancy, compared to a number of other construction operations, Advanced Construction Technology Services has proved to be just the breath of fresh air that building projects in the Middle East needed. Endeavour took a closer look at this amazing company to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 83


Currently enjoying its 20th year in operation, Advanced Construction

Technology Services (ACTS) is still something of a spring chicken in terms of age, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the experience, knowledge and courage to explore new innovative ideas aren’t there.

Always Advancing Members of the American Concrete Institute produce thousands of industry leading documents and articles on the latest concrete materials, design, and construction. ACI also provides over 20 certification programs and over 120 online courses.


ounded in 1996, ACTS is proud to announce that it is now considered to be the preferred third party provider for a number of specialist services in the Middle East, as well as shouldering

the responsibility of being Local Sponsoring Group for the American Concrete Institute, another highly regarded construction operation. These aren’t honours that are bestowed lightly or with a glib, throwaway attitude, but as a reward for consistently raising industry standards and surprising even those that have been in the construction sector for a lifetime. “We were the first consulting firm in our field in the Middle East to obtain the ISO 9001, ISO 17025, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications and we are the recognised representative of IHS, ASTM, BSI, IEEE and many other global standards development

A special congratulation to ACI Vice President Khaled Awad for 20 years of business as chairman and CEO of ACTS.

organisations.” In a cynical world, it could be easy to become used to companies taking a little poetic licence when it comes to their talents, but if anything, ACTS almost underplays them, which allows their work to really take centre stage and impress. “We have pioneered technological advancements in concrete materials and geoengineering and successfully adapted new advancements in the field to local practices and specifications in

Visit our website at 84 | Endeavour Magazine

the MENA region. We proudly host the largest library of hard copy


and online engineering specifications, standards, codes of practice







and regulations in the world. We are dedicated to spreading our

engineering, materials testing, environmental assessment, training

knowledge through seminars, training and conferences, including

and certification, or speaking engagements, we use our substantial

Future Concrete, a unique technical forum for the applications of

knowledge and resources to help our clients achieve the highest

concrete and the largest concrete conference in the region, which

standards of excellence.”

we annually organise.”

This is what makes a company stand out from the crowd:

You see? There’s no ‘faking it until they make it’ here, no

the willingness to share information. While some might see this

bravado and certainly no false claims about their knowledge base,

inherent understanding of concrete and building practices as a

instead there are just cold hard facts about how and why ACTS

valuable commodity that must be kept behind closed doors, ACYS

has reached the top of the construction industry and they are as

understands that it has a responsibility to the entire construction

steadfast and reliable as the concrete that forms the foundations

sector to share information and educate everyone, as a whole. It’s

of this staggering organisation.

starting become very clear why they have risen to such prominence

It’s one thing to be part of the construction industry, but it’s

in just 20 years.

quite another to be responsible for the foundations that other

So what does the future hold for ACTS, other than stable

sector giants build their clients’ dreams on, but ACTS takes this all

foundations and a brace of clients that all rely on the matter-of-fact

in its stride. Working throughout the MENA region, with offices

but intense knowledge base of the professional team? GROWTH,

in Qatar and KSA, the underpinning notion that seeps through

that’s what!

into every project undertaken by ACTS is that improving the

It will come as no surprise, we’re sure, that an operation

understanding and use of construction materials is the key to

that enjoys the levels of success that ACTS does, needs to keep

continued and future success.

growing in order to accommodate an ever-increasing client base

86 | Endeavour Magazine

and that’s something that the managerial team has been tackling,

its specialisms is exactly why the operation has risen to fame

“In line with its intensive growth strategy and its continuing

so quickly and become a recognised name in every office in the

commitment to meet client needs, ACTS has formally announced

Middle East construction sector. Of course there are other set-ups

the opening of a new branch in Tripoli, Lebanon. Located in Al-

that offer consultancy services and material testing, but how many

Qalamoun, Tripoli, the new facility features a state-of-the-art

could you name that also provide training services, conferences,

laboratory fully equipped to perform various field sampling and

professional certification and non-destructive testing? We’ll wager

materials testing procedures, such as compressive strength of

not even one.

concrete cylinders, curing of concrete cylinders, sieve analysis of

We all know that the foundation of any amazing company that

aggregates, specific gravity and absorption of aggregates (fine and

will have the success and longevity to continue far into the future is

course), material finer of aggregates (fine and course) and sand

in-depth sector knowledge and the basis for impressive construction

equivalent of fine aggregate, among others.”

sector success is using the right materials and consultants. ACTS

This will be welcome news, as ACTS undertakes a great deal

covers both of these bases in one ingenious, innovative move and

of testing and geotechnical work in the Middle East and this new

ensures that the future is going to be a prosperous one for both

branch will not only open up potential for new clients, but also

itself and every single ones of its clients.

strengthen the already rock solid presence ACTS enjoys in the region. We often find that companies these days are looking to find that unique niche that they can fit into, some overly specialist area that only they can tackle, in order to enjoy the lion share of the market, but that’s not the case with ACTS. Diversifying

Endeavour Magazine | 87

88 | Endeavour Magazine



Dubbed ‘The City of You’, Dubai South is an ambitious urban project that looks set to irreversibly change the vista of the emirates, but not only through stunning design, sustainable construction and efficient processes. It’s the first city in the world to be master-planned to focus entirely on the happiness of the individuals that live and work there, which was all the reason Endeavour Magazine needed to take a much closer look. Endeavour Magazine | 89


Widely described as being the Emirates’ most unique and

recognisable new development, Dubai South has been entirely focused around the innovative vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


he Vice president, Prime minister and ruler of Dubai, he has directly imparted guidelines for the development of the city in a bid to produce exactly what the regions needs. His Highness

has decreed that he wants Dubai South to, “…become a city of happy, creative and empowered people, become the preferred place to live, work and invest, create an inclusive and cohesive society, build a smart and sustainable city and become a pivotal hub in the global economy” These aren’t small dreams, but the emirates is no stranger to daring design or thinking ‘big’. In fact, with projections claiming that Dubai South will be able to comfortably sustain a 1 million-strong population and will create 500,000 jobs, the royal vision for how it will organically blossom isn’t no longer considered to be fairly optimistic. A Government-controlled project that was initially launched in 2006, Dubai South is within easy access of both downtown Dubai and Abu Dhabi and has excitement at every turn. Notably, it will be home to the world’s largest airport. The Al Maktoum International Airport will be a gargantuan display of architectural genius and visionary design and has already been chosen as the World Expo 2020 location, as well as hosting the Dubai Airshow. While all these facts, figures and visions are amazing and

90 | Endeavour Magazine

37th Floor, Single Business Tower

 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai – United Arab Emirates

  +971 4 338 7479  +971 4 338 7479



undoubtedly impressive and on a scale almost alien to us, there

societies will learn to treat each other in order to prosper in every

is never appoint where the wellbeing and welfare of the proposed

facet of life. The key words that are linked to the project are far

population is forgotten by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin

more than just impressive buzz terms that will merely generate

Rashid Al Maktoum, as he reminds us,

interest and garner a positive outlook, however. Sustainability,

“Our objective is to make our people happy. There is no delaying happiness.” This simple sentence goes to show that not only will the project be completed on time, but that it will also bring about joy and a fantastic standard of living for many people.

passion, empowerment, excellence and delivery come together as a set of core values that drive the project and deliver what the team behind Dubai South promises that it will, every single day. A city of 145 sq. kms, Dubai South is not what you could ever call a small project, but knowing how adept Dubai and the emirates

Thinking about the project itself, a dedicated working and

as a whole is at creating exciting new architecture, we now see that

living community that connects to the main area of downtown

this isn’t an ambitious idea; it’s a natural progression. With a fully

Dubai is going to dramatically change the landscape, as well as the

integrated ecosystem designed support any kind of business or

commercial interests of the regions. Speaking about the project’s

sector, when completed, the city will be a vital connection between

mission, it’s revealed that this has already been considered,

the east and west,

“Leveraging our strategic location connecting both air and sea

“At Dubai South, you will find the ideal integrated urban

mega ports, we are creating a self-sustained urban destination to

ecosystem that enables your business to make significant savings

empower businesses, families and individuals to grow and prosper.”

with regard to time and money. As a self-sustained and integrated

Add to this the constant reminder that people come first, with

city, we are able to provide you with a wide range of offerings to

their happy and contented private and professional lives being a top

suit your unique needs.”

priority, all within a “sustainable, healthy and happy environment”,

As a potential business client that was looking for a new office

and suddenly it feels as though we’re in a sci-fi film, observing how

location, Dubai South would certainly be a hard prospect to turn

92 | Endeavour Magazine

down, especially as it has already secured so many impressive

apartments. What they’ll find is an exciting new home that is within

industries already, including aviation, hospitality and education.

walking distance from everything they could possibly need,

Literally everything you could ever need will be there, right on the

“An attractive, affordable community catering to families and

doorstep. How many newly created areas can you name that offer

young professionals, Residential District includes schools, nurseries,

so much?

hospitals, retail outlets, F&B options, a post office, swimming

Speaking of doorsteps, the future for Dubai South looks

academy and a sports centre. The pedestrian-friendly, aesthetically

extremely exciting, especially given that a staggering $272

designed, sustainable city is designed to ensure all amenities and

million has been awarded, in the form of contracts, for residential

necessities are well within walking distance.”

developments in the area, which will join up with the Expo 2020

Totally geared towards the happiness of the people that will be

Dubai site. Noting that the team is confident in their choice

living and working there, Dubai South is a city of the future being

of contractors and designers, with smart city technology and

built on humanitarian principles, today. 2020 will be an exciting

sustainability being at the top of the requirements list, Ahmed Al

year for observing the progress of the project and we just know

Ansari, acting Chief Executive for Dubai South said,

that it will have a deep impact on all new construction projects,

“We, at Dubai South, are excited to be working with the


leading companies in the construction industry to help create a solid foundation for the future homes of Dubai South residents. Our investments will take us closer to realising Dubai’s vision of becoming a city of happy, creative, and empowered people.” With in the region of 10,000 residential units projected to be complete by 2020, an estimated 35,000 people will be able to relocate to the beautiful city, in to villas, townhouses and

Endeavour Magazine | 93

94 | Endeavour Magazine



Eco initiatives are big business and vital for the sustainability of our planet, so when you combine these two facets, what happens? Masdar City happens! An exciting, innovative and mindblowing development, Masdar City looks set to change not only the construction industry, but also the whole world and if that doesn’t intrigue you, we don’t know what will. Endeavour Magazine | 95


Trying to lay the groundwork for an article about one of the most

audacious eco-developments out there is difficult. Set the bar too high and we might struggle to keep you as excited as we are, but set it too low and you might skip past.


e think the minds behind Masdar City can best reel you in,

and the world’s benchmark for sustainable development”, Masdar

“In 2008, Masdar City broke ground and embarked on

has set its own targets exceptionally high, but there can be no

a daring journey to develop the world’s most sustainable

doubting that they will be reached and exceeded, after all, this is

eco-city. Through smart investments, Masdar City is successfully pioneering a ‘greenprint’ for how cities can accommodate rapid urbanisation and dramatically reduce energy, water and waste.”

an operation that makes no bones about why it is doing what it is, “We believe that sustainability is a key criteria that we must use in making decisions. We think about the degree to which the actions

Admit it, you’re hooked and need to know more, right? Well

we take can be repeated in the future without any significant loss

you’ll be glad to discover that this is no joke and could well be a

in quality, resources or efficacy. Because our business is so forward

glimpse into how the future will look, if the Masdar City team has

thinking – pioneering new concepts and technologies – it’s vital that

anything to say about it!

our decision making process be firmly rooted in reality. Everything

We all know that they way we live and work now isn’t

we do is grounded in what is feasible, given financial and technical

sustainable and that a whole new attitude to ecological survival

constraints. This will result in better technology, healthier returns

and stewardship is needed if we are going to make the planet last

and greater uses.”

long enough for us all to realise our commercial dreams and Masdar

Wow. This really assuages the fear that any company seeking

City, though sounding like something from a sci-fi film right now,

to make real environmental change will be run with a ‘head in the

offers a very real and tangible solution. It’s because it actively seeks

clouds’ approach. Masdar recognises that environmental stability is

to overcome the biggest environmental threat currently facing the

vital for us as a species and offers fantastic commercial potential to

world: humans.

any operation that can tap into it and make it a reality. This really

As a species we are wasteful beyond belief, so we are totally reliant of future-focused companies, such as Masdar, that

is what you’d call a win-win situation. So how will Masdar City contribute?

are determined to tackle our flagrant disregard for all things

“Masdar City is an emerging clean technology cluster that

environmental. Looking at the mission statement and values that

places its resident companies in the heart of the global renewable

guide the team at Masdar, it comes as no surprise that they have

energy and cleantech industry. Widely recognised as one of the

sought to go large with their eco endeavours.

world’s most exciting eco-developments, the city is a free zone

With a vision to make “Abu Dhabi the preeminent source of

located in close proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport and

renewable energy knowledge, development and implementation,

17 km from downtown Abu Dhabi. The community is a launching

96 | Endeavour Magazine


point into local, regional and international markets and it provides

reducing wastage due to human error, a whopping 95% decrease

a critical mass of sector knowledge and talent.”

in domestic hot water energy, 75% less in air conditioning and 70%

There is far more to Masdar City than just impressive jargon,

less electricity demand is already being witnessed. Extend this

as when you get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes this

technology to residential buildings, as well as commercial spaces

commercial free zone so special, you’ll understand why we are so

and we’re sure you can imagine the potential for cost-effective,


eco-friendly living on an enormous scale,

Featuring a mix of traditional Arabic architectural techniques

“With a few thousand people living and working in Masdar City,

and incredibly innovative modern technology, Masdar City captures

it is on its way to realising its vision. But this is only the beginning.

and uses all the natural weather conditions and uses them to great

Masdar City continues to add new businesses, schools, restaurants,

effect. During the soaring summer temperatures, natural winds are

apartments and much more, creating the diversity of any major,

caught and directed around the city, to offer pleasing breezes, while

modern city. “

the year-round sun is harnessed by a 22-hectare field of close to

Masdar City IS the future. It’s the future that we all need and

90,000 solar panels that power the city. But we’ve only just begun

whilst it serves mostly commercial interests at the moment, when it

to tell you about the amazing green initiatives!

is completed, Masdar predicts that 40,000 people will live and work

As we said, we are a wasteful species, so to counter our

there, with a further 50,000 commuting in on a daily basis. We can

thoughtlessness, Masdar City has no light switches or water taps,

tell you that we can’t wait to see how this eco utopia develops and

with movement sensors seeking to attend to every need. Moreover,

thrives and we hope the rest of the world follows suit soon, for all

all vehicles within the city will be electric or use only clean energy.

our sakes.

If this all sounds a little stringent, let us put it into context and reveal that thanks to the futuristic set-up that sees natural energy replacing depleting consumables and automated facilities

Multiplex is a leading global contractor with a focus on sustainable growth,

safety and innovation. We have been shaping skylines and delivering vital infrastructure assets across the Middle East for 19 years and globally for over 50. In 2014, Multiplex successfully completed the Shell and Core design and build works as well as the fitout works for International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Headquarters. Touted as one of the most sustainable, energy-efficient offices in the United Arab Emirates, the 32,000m2, 7-storey Grade A office and retail complex was also the first project under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System to achieve 4-Pearl Design and Construction Ratings. Multiplex was appointed to deliver another design and build project in Masdar City in early 2015.

98 | Endeavour Magazine

100 | Endeavour Magazine

ROTHCO WWW.ROTHCO.CO.ZA 0027 11 970 1930


It’s rare to be able to say that any operation is a ‘one-stop’ solution these days, but when it comes to design and engineering, Rothco is exactly that. Taking projects from conceptual drawings through to physical creation, it’s not only designing the future, but engineering it too. Endeavour Magazine had to take a closer look at this inspired solutions provider, to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 101


“Driven by an endless quest for perfection, Rothco supplies high

quality products and expert services to the manufacturing industry. Using our innovative ideas and dependable expertise, our mission is to help our customers become even more creative and efficient at what they do.”


hen this is the first introductory statement about a

1952 saw Mr. Edwin Roth set up his own company, Edwin Roth

company, you know you’re in pretty deep when it comes to

& Co, which serviced specific copy lathes from Switzerland, but

aspirational design and manufacturing and that is certainly

it wasn’t long before an impressive programme of expansion and

true about Rothco.

diversification was embarked upon. Over the years, CNC machinery

If you were sat at a dinner table with a host of different

was added to the roster, followed by specialist machine importing

engineering companies, having a discussion about complex

and becoming the sole distributor of certain design technologies

manufacturing processes, Rothco would be the only ‘guest’ to

from the USA. By 2013, there were so many specialisms all being

never utter the phrase “I don’t know”, as it is crystal clear that what

offered, it became necessary to streamline, which is how the name

it doesn’t know, isn’t worth wasting your time on,

Rothco came into being, which enveloped all interests under one

“Our solutions flow through every single facet of the manufacturing business, from helping and stimulating designs to take shape to rapid and effective prototyping and a multitude of

umbrella name, while still having separate internal divisions. Despite a rigorous rebranding and streamlining endeavour, the central vision for the company remains unchanged,

manufacturing options. Whether through machining, tooling or

“Rothco’s vision is to never be satisfied with anything, except a

specialised services, we provide our customers with the solutions

job done to the very utmost of our ability, tuned and perfected until

to revolutionise their business, all delivered with cutting-edge

we are content that there is simply no room left for improvement.

knowledge and a sure certainty borne through decades of

Redefining the manufacturing solutions industry, we are obsessed


with perfection. In our meticulous little world there is no room

Such levels of understanding and inspiration can be a little

for the merely brilliant – everything we do has to take it one step

overwhelming, or even daunting for smaller clients to encounter,

further; partly because that’s just the way that we are, but mostly

but that’s not the case with Rothco, which despite the gargantuan

because that’s what our clients deserve. We’re setting a brand new

levels of knowledge and experience on offer, remains approachable,

standard for service in the industry – one where not only is the

humble even, an approach that seems to stem from the modest

mediocre not an option, but neither is the merely outstanding.

beginnings of the company.

Rothco strives for nothing less than perfection.”

102 | Endeavour Magazine

THE NEW HIGH-PERFORMER FOR THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY. Born with the Zimmermann DNA. Newly developed Pallet Handling System, Innovative Column System, and patented 3-Axes M3ABC Milling Head: these are all unique components of the Horizontal Machining Center FZH400 and part of the Zimmermann DNA. Our demand for the highest surface quality and maximum machining volume is deeply rooted and due to this heritage we are developing exceptionally precise milling solutions for the aerospace industry.,


It’s a strange thing, but hearing the Rothco vision, it becomes

“While we are constantly on the lookout for the latest

obvious just how many companies out there are simply reaching a

advancements in technology, it is through our people that we are

little low. While we are used to people referring to ‘the best that

able to harness this technology and channel it to the optimum

they can do’, Rothco has taken it upon itself to be the best that

benefit of our clients. Making technology available to those who

ANYONE can do and that’s a high mantle to live up to, especially

need it most, we put our creative skills to use in implementing and

when it’s self-imposed and consistently repeated,

tailoring technological solutions to ensure that our clients’ most

“Leaving behind our past as a brilliant machine tool company,

detailed needs are met.”

Rothco has evolved into something even better; a manufacturing

It’s almost unheard of to encounter a company that seeks to

production and solutions provider with the insight and knowledge

not only offer a totally in-house project management service, which

to evaluate our clients’ entire processes and advise on the optimum,

takes a client from initial thoughts through to designs, prototypes

comprehensive solution. We believe in offering our clients the

and a finished product, but also an inclusive, appreciative work

peace of mind of knowing that their entire manufacturing process

environment for the team of people that make those clients’ dreams

has been minutely examined and tested, putting our quality

a reality, but that’s Rothco, in a nutshell. A perfectly proportioned,

solutions and depth of knowledge to work in designing the best

CAD designed and 3D-printed nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless!

solution.” Everything is geared around the client, whether existing or

Given that Rothco is clearly the future of engineering, available now, what can the real future actually offer or hold?

potential, but don’t fall into the trap of assuming that Rothco must

“We believe that, through our mission of making the brilliant

be one of those notorious operations that impose such unattainable

even better, we will leave a legacy of quality in the manufacturing

standards that they are impossible to work for. It’s actually quite

processes industry. With our commitment to innovation, Rothco

the opposite, thanks to their unabashed love for the people that

has taken the lead in the groundbreaking field of rapid 3D

make those standards a reality,

prototyping. With this technology developing at a staggering pace,

104 | Endeavour Magazine

we have made a considerable investment in becoming experts in this field, which we believe has the potential to provoke revolution in manufacturing.” But that’s not all, “Working in exclusive partnership agreements with a number of manufacturers of technology for the industry, we are confident that we are able to offer our clients the latest and most up-todate products for their needs. The splitting of the company into specialised divisions has also allowed Rothco to focus on the upskilling of staff and to dedicate the required resources to provide our clients with an even more improved and dedicated level of service. We believe that our planned developments in trade networking will allow us to foster a new spirit of engagement in the industry, resulting in significant benefits for suppliers and clients alike.” So even more incredible technological developments, staff appreciation, client satisfaction and expansion. With plans as ambitious as that, you have to wonder if Rothco has managed to create a time machine, looked into the future and seen where it will be in 20 years. Given how innovative and self-assured the company is, we don’t think we’d put it past it…

Endeavour Magazine | 105

106 | Endeavour Magazine

KISHUGU WWW.KISHUGU.COM 0027 13 741 6400


Kishugu is more than just a company devoted to suppressing fire. Implemented via the company’s very own Working on Fire (WOF) initiative, the mission is to equip companies within the agricultural sector and beyond with the tools and knowledge to manage one of natures most unpredictable forces. Endeavour magazine had the pleasure of speaking with Kishugu’s joint managing director, Mr Chris de Bruno Austin. Endeavour Magazine | 107


In 1986, a group of young fire prevention enthusiasts came

together in the South African city of Nelspruit to form a company that would not only change the fortunes of South Africa but the world. Like a phoenix from the ashes of the Fire Prevention Association, in 2003, the brand Kishugu was born. A company committed to saving lives, supporting agriculture and educating workforces. A company truly dedicated toward, “the greater good,” Kishugu is a shining light to those whom it serves.


ire is very much misunderstood, it is not the destructive

buds etc. and then there’s the global effects of climate change. Is

force which it’s really made out to be. In fact, we need

there a correlation between rising atmospheric temperature caused

large scale fires to ensure survival. The lands need

by increased carbon emissions and wildfires? No one is better to

replenishing on an 8-year cycle in the southern hemisphere for

judge than Chris, who has worked in fire for the best part of 25

habitat to flourish”, Mr Austin explains.

years. On this he elaborates, “We are definitely seeing an impact,

Wildfires are no new phenomenon. For the past 420 million

we are seeing drier dry spells and wetter wet spells. Third world

years, fires have engulfed the natural landscape; no wonder, given

countries are currently the ones suffering from these spells. There

the earth’s cover of carbon-rich vegetation, seasonally dry climates

is a lot of money being thrown at suppression when there needs to

and levels of atmospheric oxygen which are critical for sustaining

be a higher emphasis on prevention training.”

life. Many ecosystems rely greatly on cyclical fires for wildlife to reproduce and grow. This may seem difficult to fathom but consider this: fire helps return nutrients from plant to soil, and the heat it produces is essential for the germination of certain seed types. Additionally, the dead trees which are left behind create essential habitats that are beneficial to fauna. So, what’s all the fuss about?


HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Chris began his career fighting fire on the ground, and one particular day in 1985 lasts long in the memory; a day known locally as Black Thursday – an unhappy day in the eyes of many South Africans, remembered for the devastating wildfires which caused loss of life and many millions of dollars in damage. Chris was working on the ground that day whilst Kishugu’s co- managing

Well, much unlike 420 million years ago, humans now occupy

director Mr Johan Heine fought the blazes from the skies. Following

most of this planet and despite the environmental benefits of

the tragedy, Chris and Johan started providing Integrated Fire

wildfires, they continue to pose a very real threat to both human

Management (IFM) services to forestry companies, fire protection

habitat and life. As we all know, fire can be unpredictable and

associations, district municipalities and landowners; thus, the

cause mass devastation, as illustrated by the California wildfires of

Forest Fire Association (FFA) was established.

2016. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire

“Ours is a real humble-beginnings story”, said Chris de Bruno

Protection, as of October 29 2016, 6,883 fires had burned 563,411

Austin at the time. “We started as two small businesses in Nelspruit

acres of land, killing 6 civilians and 1 firefighter. Many would argue

and we’ve gone global with a distinctive brand and identity”.

that we are the contributors of our own downfall.

The FFA progressed quickly, acquiring numerous private

Whilst wildfires cannot be pinned to the existence of humans,

organisations, as they continued to develop and implement

evidence suggests we have certainly added fuel to the flame.

IFM strategies. Eventually, the company was rewarded for its

There’s the obvious factor of human negligence, arson, cigarette

endeavours, when they gained their first Working on Fire (WOF)

108 | Endeavour Magazine

African-rooted CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS A2A Kopano began improving and expanding several existing South African black empowered firms since 2005.

With 10 practices country-wide, this national footprint is the oldest practice in continuous operation since 1925.

Guiding you to a better future.

5 van Rensburg street, Nelspruit l 013 762 1600 l

KISHUGU contract. Thanks to its rapid expansion and ongoing commitment

alone, but their impressive work is by no mean limited to the African

to the highest levels of professionalism and service, by 1995 the

continent. “In 2004 we expanded our Integrated Fire Management

company had grown considerably, covering 70 percent of South

services into Chile, where we currently employ in the region of

Africa. With ambitions to become a global leader in IFM, the FFA

1,600 staff. We are also established in Australia and currently

transformed into the Kishugu Group in May 2014, taking its name

progressing into new markets such as Indonesia, US, Canada and

from the Swahili word for an anthill. The name, explained Heine,

Mongolia. There was a lot of resilience initially, but the results are

reflects the industriousness of ants, which are, “a perfect example

there for all to see and we broke the mould,” said Chris on company

of a broad collective that works for the common good”.

expansion. Kishugu’s resources are as vast as their staff force. Remarkably,


the company manufacture vehicles and equipment internally, “We

In South Africa, the most visible aspect of Kishugu’s expertise is

believe in vertical integration, we supply our own fleet, aviation

in the award-winning South African government-funded Working

and training with 400 vehicles in South Africa and near 200 Chile”,

on Fire (WOF) programme. The Working on Fire subsidiary not only

continued Chris.

manages the company’s IFM services but, through the government funded programme, provides poverty and income relief via work opportunities. The programme has seen more than 5,000 previously unemployed people trained to become highly skilled wildfire firefighters, as well as supporting rural communities to be Firewise. WOF is celebrated as the most successful job creation and skills upliftment programme in the history of Southern Africa. To date, Kishugu employs a team of over 7,000 in South Africa

110 | Endeavour Magazine

FOR THE GREATER GOOD On another level, Kishugu has implemented, through its Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) subsidiary, a Global Environment Facility project to reduce climate change-induced risks in South Africa’s highly vulnerable Fynbos Biome, the world’s smallest but richest floral kingdom, which is expected to become more fire-prone under increasingly hot and dry conditions. Kishugu PBO offers clients

a platform to engage civil society, the private sector, donor and government agencies in partnership efforts to find sustainable solutions to socio-environmental problems. They’ve launched four successful programmes that include Kishugu JobShop, Kishugu Kids, Kishugu Honey, and Kishugu Carpentry. Take Kishugu Honey, for example, which provides a platform for ethical, ecosystem friendly honey production linked to economic development at a community level. Honeybee populations are threatened globally, and collapsing swarms are impacting on pollination and food security. It was Albert Einstein who famously quoted, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man”. Just one of many examples of the company’s commitment toward “the greater good”. Moving into 2017, Chris tells me that he plans to double the size and stature of Kishugu within South Africa. On an international level, the company will continue the implementation of fire management via the Working on Fire subsidiary throughout previous territory and new. Chris’ vision is the same now as it was 25 years ago, “We want to make a difference”.

We value life, that’s why we invest in it.

Kishugu believes in the power of the collective. Empowering people good. We live up to our promise to protect lives, the environment and property.

Kishugu comprises of: Working on Fire (Africa, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia and USA) | ProcurePoint | Kishugu Aviation | Kishugu Forestry | Kishugu Clothing | Kishugu Training | Kishugu Fleet Solutions | Kishugu NPC | Kishugu Projects |

Endeavour Magazine | 111



f you haven’t heard of the Svalbard archipelago, a small island

The spectacular sight of the illuminated entrance to the Svalbard

group halfway between Norway and the North Pole, you’re

seed vault, which juts out of the mountain snow - a striking brutalist

in good company – aside from the tiny civilian population of

monument that looks not a little unlike the entrance to a Bond

Longyearbyen who call Svalbard home, few know of this remote

villain’s hideaway - is a fittingly impressive gateway into what could

part of the world. Unassuming as the region might be, however,

be deemed the ultimate guarantor of mankind’s future.

Svalbard is in fact the unlikely home of a facility which some quite

Tunnelling 426 feet into the very foundations of the mountain,

rightly believe to be amongst the most important structures ever

130m above sea level, and located in an area renowned for its lack

built by man.

of tectonic activity, this underground facility has been constructed

Tucked away on a still and silent Norwegian mountain on the

to protect the seed samples of 4,000 at-risk plant species from

frozen island of Spitsbergen, just 1,300km from the North Pole, is

every conceivable threat - seeds that have been deposited at the

the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a ‘doomsday’ vault of sorts, that

site by nations from every corner of the globe.

has been entrusted by the world to safeguard the essential crop

Barring a direct nuclear strike, the safety and security of

seeds, such as beans, rice, wheat, and corn, upon which human

Svalbard seed bank is absolute. The intense cold of the region and

civilisation has been built.

surrounding permafrost means that it is easier to safely maintain the

112 | Endeavour Magazine

−18°C temperature at which seed storage units are kept. If the site’s

stored in a gene bank near the

refrigeration units were to fail, it would take at least several weeks

war-ravaged city of Aleppo in

before the facility’s temperature rose to the surrounding sandstone


bedrock’s temperature of −3°C. Additionally, as the vault is situated

Barring a handful of nations,

130m above sea level, it is safe from rising waters, even in the

including India, Japan, and China,

catastrophic event of the ice caps melting, and its notoriously robust

every nation in the world has

security guards and systems mean that it is entirely inaccessible to

deposited seeds at the facility.

those with ill-intent.

Let’s hope that no further

In the event of an existential disaster, be it nuclear war or a

events of the magnitude of the

cataclysmic natural disaster, the unit holds just over 860,000 seed

Syria crisis takes place anytime

samples safely frozen away, to be reclaimed by the depositor nation

soon, or we could see the world

should the need ever arise. Until September 2015, seeds had only

making more early withdrawals.

gone into the vault for storage, never out. However, researchers in the Middle East asked to withdraw seeds that had previously been deposited into the seed bank to replace plant material that had been Endeavour Magazine | 113

114 | Endeavour Magazine



What goes down, must come up. This is true of life, and especially in business and finance. In mining – an industry notorious for its cyclical nature at the best of times – boom and bust is an accepted and expected given; it simply comes with the territory, as anybody who has earned their stripes in the industry will know all too well. The heady days of the rampant commodities boom of 20062011 are, to say the least a distant memory, when the streets of Canada’s most prominent mining provinces were seemingly paved with gold and base metals were in short supply. Endeavour Magazine | 115


Even still, companies like Sphinx Resources which narrowly survived

the 6-year drought that followed it was a time of rebuilding and strategic preparation for the future in anticipation of an inevitable swing upward. Endeavour Magazine spoke to Sphinx Resources President and CEO, Normand Champigny, to find out more about this fast-rising company.


obody saw it coming, of course. During the boom years when the entire Canadian mining sector, giants and juniors alike, were caught up in the frenzy to meet China’s voracious

hunger for minerals and metals, it came to be thought by most that the boom was the new norm; that Chinese demand could only rise, not slow down and that high prices were the new standard. All folly, of course, as the five year depression that followed proved. But unlike many, Sphinx Resources survived. Based out of Montreal, Sphinx Resources is in the words of Normand; “A nimble junior explorer focused on precious metals (gold, palladium, and platinum) and base metals (zinc + silver + gold). We are engaged in the generation and acquisition of mineral exploration projects in Quebec, a Canadian province which is recognised as one of the most attractive mining jurisdictions worldwide for discovery and mineral development – a location with great quality of life in which to live and work. There are three

Osler is proud to support Sphinx Resources Ltd.

criteria that we are looking for in a potential project: First, good infrastructure preferably with road access; second, good social acceptability; and third, areas with both precious metals and base metals potential in high grade metamorphic terranes.” At present, Sphinx’s exploration work focuses exclusively within the province of Quebec, but potential expansion further afield into other Canadian provinces is something Normand is considering in the near future. With its promising projects, a remarkably strong

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt llp

team with well over a century of collective industry experience to call upon, and a smart business model set-up to minimise risk, it is easy to forget that the new and improved, more modern iteration

116 | Endeavour Magazine

SPHINX RESOURCES LTD of Sphinx Resources is the product of great struggle. The Sphinx

to rebuild the company, Sphinx had fallen victim to the perfect

story is one of rebirth, rebuilding and reinvention in the wake of its

storm and lost its assets. The downturn was, well, unprecedented

near-collapse, when the industry depression was at its nadir. Since

– nothing like it had ever been seen before. The re-building process

Normand Champigny took the CEO role of the company in 2013,

required a lot of work and persistence in very difficult market

Sphinx Resources has been painstakingly rebuilt, brick by brick,

conditions. Without the support of my family members, Quebec

piece by piece. Champigny reflected on this time of unprecedented

institutions and our legal counsel at Osler, such re-building would

difficulty and said:

not have been possible. ”

“The mining industry has gone through a significant downturn

Sphinx Resources has come a long way since this time. Following

over the last five years. Equity and debt markets dried up and cash

its re-emergence into the market, the company has made sound

reserves reached unparalleled lows. There is a general sentiment

progress in rebuilding its portfolio, having now acquired a number

that we have now seen the worst and we will see an upturn over

of exploration projects across its home province. As the holder of

2017. The signs are promising.

the rights to five projects of excellent potential across the province

However when the board appointed me three years ago as CEO

of Quebec, comprised of

1. Cheechoo-Éléonore Trend: The much-publicised

discovered values including 3% Zn over 10 m which also

Cheechoo-Éléonore Trend gold project is adjacent to the

included an interval of 6.9% Zn over 1 metre. SOQUEM in

recently- discovered and producing Éléonore Gold Mine

collaboration with Sphinx are currently conducting an active

(Goldcorp). Only this September, Sphinx Resources and one of

exploration program on the property.

its key partners, Sirios Resources, with whom it signed a joint

3. Green Palladium: The Green Palladium project

venture to explore 551 claims (286km2) along the northwest

– a 126 km2 site is adjacent to the Calumet Sud property.

extension of the Chechoo-Éléonore corridor, announced the

Following recent IP, electromagnetic, and magnetic ground

commencement of exploration work via an initial till sampling

surveys and drilling of priority geophysical targets, has

program along a 50km potential gold trend – a process which

discovered palladium, platinum and gold values. Hand

was completed just this November. In all, a total of 195

samples of massive sulphide breccias at surface returned 3.3

samples as well as 29 duplicate samples were collected at an

g/t, 2.3 g/t and 0.6 g/t Pd respectively and 3.2%, 3.3% and

average spacing of 200 m along the prospective trend. These

0.2% Cu respectively. Nickel graded between 0.2% and 0.1%

samples will now be examined, and then sieved to extract fine

while platinum and gold were present in trace amounts. Initial

fraction sub-samples, before a heavy mineral concentrate

drilling in 2015 intersected mineralized reef, which returned

is prepared by INLANDSIS. The fine fraction will be then

3.44 g/t Pd+Pt+Au over 40 cm at the main showing. Further

chemically analysed by ALS Geochemistry Laboratories in

drilling extended the anomalous horizon over 700m.

Val-d’Or, Québec while the heavy mineral concentrate will be

4. Somanike: Located in the heart of Quebec’s Abitibi

analysed using neutron activation by Activation Laboratories

region, Sphinx holds a significant ground position around

Ltd. in Ancaster, Ontario. It is anticipated that both the

the past-producing Marbridge mine (774,227 tonnes of ore

visual examination and analytical results will be revealed in

grading 2.28% nickel and 0.1 % copper between 1962 and

early 2017, and then be followed-up by further field work

1968). Drilling in 2015 discovered 1.41% Ni, 0.05% copper,

and assessments in the areas which have yielded the most

0.30 g/t palladium and 0.04 g/t platinum over 0.5 metres on


a newly identified airborne geophysical response.


Calumet Sud: The Project covers rocks with a


Chemin Troilus: The project is located 110 km north-

significant potential for various types of mineralization

northeast of the town of Chibougamau with good road

including:1) zinc, lead, gold and silver-rich volcanogenic

access. The project is situated at the southwest end of a

massive sulphide deposits, 2) high-grade zinc mineralization

gold-copper bearing corridor that hosts the Troilus gold mine

hosted in carbonates, and 3) platinum group element-bearing

(25 km northeast of the project) which operated from 1997

layered reef and related nickel-copper deposits associated

to 2010 and produced in excess of 2 million ounces of gold

with the Obwondiag layered igneous complex that intrudes

and 70,000 tonnes of copper. Initial prospecting of this new

the sequence. The Project is adjacent to, and south of, the

and unexplored property returned 13 mineralized boulders

former New Calumet mine that produced 3.8 million tonnes

within an area 220 m by 45 m. The analysis of the boulders,

at 5.8% Zn, 1.6% Pb, 65 g/t Ag and 0.4 g/t Au from 1943 to

anomalous in gold, revealed values up to 1.57 g/t Au.

1968. A soil geochemical revealed a strong 300-metre long zinc and lead anomaly. Channel samples taken in trenches

118 | Endeavour Magazine

Quite simply, Sphinx Resources has a portfolio which is enviable in the region and the company’s future looks buoyant.

sound advice since the company’s first days of having opened its doors for business.

Proof in the pudding, if ever you’ll find it, of the benefits that come

As far as 2017 is concerned, Normand is cautiously optimistic

with bringing on-board a high-performance team that includes

about what the year holds for the company. Should the green

three mine finders in the business, all of whom have an intimate

shoots of recovery continue to emerge from the industry’s battered

understanding of Quebec and its geography. The company’s ability

landscape, Normand anticipates further steady and sustainable

to bring on board Michel Gauthier, renowned in Quebec for his

growth for Sphinx, primarily centred on advancing the Cheechoo-

understanding of the geology of mineral deposits. He co-baptised

Éléonore project, as well as the Calumet-Sud and the Green

the Éléonore gold prospect in the James Bay region and what is

Palladium projects.

now Goldcorp’s Éléonore gold mine. Of Michel, Normand spoke

“We are very keen to see the initial results from the Cheechoo-

fondly: “Michel is well known in Quebec and elsewhere with the

Éléonore Trend project and we will advance both the zinc-silver-

Eleonore Gold discovery, now a mine operated by Goldcorp. Michel

gold project at Calumet-Sud and the Green Palladium projects

had identified areas with good mineral potential in the Pontiac

in southern Quebec. We’re planning to have work done on the

MRC in southern Quebec, which also has good infrastructure, good

Somanike nickel project and looking at the possibility of having a

social acceptability and some past production for zinc, lead, silver

partner fund that work.”

and gold.”

“Then on Chemin Troilus we’ll be doing ground follow-up on

Indeed, Sphinx’s small team along with the strong relationships

the mineralisation that occurs in boulders on surface. We’re also

that it has forged with its partners has proven key to its

looking at one, possibly two, more projects to advance strengthen

achievements over the past three years. To explore and operate, the

the company through project generation in Quebec. We’ll

company has relied upon excellent suppliers, which include Abitibi

eventually do work elsewhere, as well.”

Geophysics for surface surveys, Geotech for airborne surveys,

“Sphinx is engaged in the generation and acquisition of mineral

Forages Rouillier for drilling, Osler for legal advice, PwC for audit,

exploration projects in Quebec, a Canadian province which is

tax and business advisory services and Zorayda Consulting Ltd for

recognised as an attractive mining jurisdiction worldwide. Sphinx

business and technical guidance. Sidex, a limited partnership that

concentrates first on Quebec, although potential expansion

finances mineral exploration companies working in Québec has

into other Canadian provinces is something we’re looking into

also been very supportive of the Sphinx’s effort, having provided

for the future.”

Endeavour Magazine | 119

120 | Endeavour Magazine



The brave new world into which IOS has emerged, following the end of the worst industry downturn in living memory downtown, is a very different landscape to the one of five-years ago. Endeavour Magazine | 121


The Canadian mining sector of 2016/17 is a game which must

be played to new rules. Not that Rejean Girard, the CEO of IOS Geoscientifiques, is in anyway concerned – he has observed first-hand the ebbs and flows of this most cyclical of industries for nearly a quarter century, and kept the company at the top, rain or shine, through the provision of service excellence and unrivalled innovation. Djamil Benmehidi had the chance to speak to Rejean about what has been a tricky few years for IOS, and to find out more about the key to this company’s success.


ou’ve got to hand it to IOS Geoservices and Rejean Girard, its longstanding CEO. Even in the depths of the unprecedented five-year downturn just gone, both man and company

managed to keep a steady hand on the tiller, so to speak. More than this, however, the company kept its head as the rest of the Canadian mining sector lost theirs. That said, perhaps this is to be expected of a company which has forged a reputation in Quebec and beyond as one of the best explorers in the business; a company which has completed over 1,200 projects in Québec alone, and which for many years has been regarded as the gateway into Quebec for international clients looking to do business in this distinctive part of the world. “IOS is a technical service provider to the mineral exploration industry. We are consultant, we are contractor, we are manufacturer, we are developer. And this broad offering to a specialized

Integrate images and data from multiple sources for rapid and accurate mineralogical analysis with ZEISS correlative workflows. Incorporate optical, electron and X-ray microscopy with automated mineralogy to link the micro and nano worlds in 2D and 3D. Correlation from ZEISS gives you the complete picture. Images of a nickel sulphide ore, Fraser Mine, Canada. Courtesy of Leicester University, UK.

122 | Endeavour Magazine

industry is built on a deep understanding of the industry’s need. And this is how we get efficient,” Rejean stated, when he was asked to summarise IOS. He continued: “We customise services to the clients, who’s needs varies greatly depending if they are multinational mining company, junior companies, government agencies, large engineering firms or simple prospectors. We act as a door in, if you will, and help companies coming into Quebec - by using us they don’t need to invest time and resources in building their own network and knowhow, saving precious resources for exploration strategies.”


Most importantly, however, IOS stands out in what is a

sector emerges from a downturn so astoundingly brutal that few

conservative industry because of one particular attribute:

are in any doubt it was the worst in generations, it is clear to see

innovation. “Be different,” Rejean smiles wryly. “If you do the same

that a price would always need to be paid for the short-termist

as everybody else, you will stay a water carrier – leave this to the

strategies aimed at infinitely expanding production; how the belief

competition. Instead, you must be perceived as a leader by your

that the Chinese miracle would continue forever was so very

clients; as somebody who can generate value for them. If you do

misplaced. That a saturated market so reliant on high commodity

things nobody else can, and demonstrate the benefits to your

prices would suffer the most terrible hangover when the music

client, you will win the run!” This is what sets IOS Services apart,

finally stopped. And so it proved.

and indeed it is this that ensured the company’s survival during the

Even for IOS Geoservices and its flamboyant CEO, Rejean

recent downturn which for half a decade relentlessly battered the

Girard – a man who having seen no fewer than four recessions

Canadian mining sector.

during his 23-years leading the company is no stranger to adversity

At the highest heights of the Chinese demand-inspired global

– the downturn proved to be a gruelling period which stretched

commodities boom during the early 2010’s period, well over

both company and man to their very limits. But IOS made it, and

1,500 mining and exploration companies called Canada home

most remarkably of all, the company has emerged out of the storm

– a figure which accounted for nearly three quarters of all such

into a position of market dominance perhaps greater than before.

mining companies in the world. Canada, as arguably the world’s

That being said, however, the landscape in which IOS finds itself is

single-most dominant mining power, was unique during this time,

a different, more competitive place with fresh opportunities and

in that it was the only G7 nation to find itself near-immune to the

new challenges.

quite devastating global financial crash that laid low the rest of the developed world. Of course now in the cold light of day, as the Canadian mining

124 | Endeavour Magazine

“The ecosystem has profoundly changed,” Rejean stated. “There is now far less exploration companies, although the ones that remain are better capitalised and stronger. The field is now much

more competitive, so we have to move away from conventional

operate in the field without the need of a helicopter, and heat

services and built on innovative products. It’s challenging but I’m

camps at 20% of the cost of its competitors.


Rejean explained: “During the doldrums we invested massively

Following such a painful event, and in so competitive a field as

in technology and niche product development. And it paid off. As

the one IOS currently inhabits, the default action might for many

an example, we re-engineered from scratch a technique which

be to conserve, consolidate, and painstakingly rebuild. Certainly,

looks at the dispersion of gold grains in sediment in order to trace

there is no appetite for risk. But, as is evidenced by Rejean’s bold

back the source. This technique was used successfully since about

decision making, even in the very depths of the crisis, not IOS. On

40-years ago without any improvement by the gold exploration

the contrary, the company is now beginning to capitalise on the

industry. Our technique, commercialised as ARTGold™, is seen as

investments that would made in the very depths of the crisis with

a gamechanger. We currently have about a year of work in front of

the future in mind.

us at the lab, and new contracts are piling in! Instead of competing,

Where rival lines broke in panic and disarray as equity and capital dried up, IOS held its nerve – while rivals cast away their

we just jumped to the front – we have about 10 such innovations in the pipeline.”

best employees in a desperate bid to slash operating costs, instead,

Understandably, Rejean is most optimistic about what the

IOS waited quietly in the wings to snap-up the newly available

coming years hold. As always, commercialisation of innovation will

top-talent; where others ceased all spending on R&D and new

remain at the heart of IOS Service’s development strategy over the

equipment, and instead ploughed all available resources into

coming 18-months, but as you might expect the company has a

present-time field operations, conversely, IOS invested large sums

unique approach to harnessing the advantages it brings. Rather

of capital into developing cutting-edge equipment and technologies

than go about the development of innovative new products and

like the Kaskoo-X04 all-terrain vehicle and a geothermal temporary

services with a view to implementing them for use in current

camp heating system – innovations which mean that IOS can now

projects, instead, IOS develops innovations to use as a magnet

Endeavour Magazine | 125


that will attract new projects. Innovation is a motive rather than a

built with the help of artificial intelligence, to recognize the shape

reaction, in other words – a product of the synergistic relationship

of the gold grains, and automatically classify in regard of its growth

between field and laboratory work, and R&D that exists at the

environment and deformation it suffered through dispersion. No


more arbitrary classification based on technician decision.”

The biggest new trend that will emerge in the industry is

You have to give credit where it’s due to IOS – they have a

‘big data,’ in Rejean’s view. Following remarkable advances in

healthy order book, even in market conditions which remain, if not

computing technology over the past decade, tasks that were once

dire like only 12-months ago, certainly uneasy. Rejean anticipated

considered unimaginable have now become routine, and this has

that the market would begin to recover this year, and never lost

had a profound effect on the day-to-day workings of the mining

sight of the fact that even this most dreadful of market crashes

exploration sector. Geometallurgy, photonics, and 3D modelling are

would pass. “When the bubble bursts, too many companies panic

three realms in which advanced computing has become invaluable,

and lay people off. When the market was in the doldrums, this

and IOS has embraced the computer technology boom to get its

wasn’t the time to do that; because we got our affairs in good order

nose ahead in these areas.

and the machinery oiled, we are ready for the next boom!”

When asked about this, Rejean said: “In geometallurgy, almost everybody works with EDS spectrum matching to classify minerals. Computing capacity recently leads to the release of new software which allows deconvolution of the EDS spectrum into chemical analysis in order to classify the minerals. Building on this approach, we developed a cluster and textural analysis procedure for mineral classification. As a leading example, our ARTGold™ procedure has a routine,

126 | Endeavour Magazine

128 | Endeavour Magazine



Endeavour Magazine has had the pleasure of featuring Guyana Goldfields before, and it felt only right that we revisit this exciting Canadianbased mid-tier gold producer to catch-up on what’s been happening at the company this year. Endeavour Magazine | 129


A highly-respected explorer, developer, and operator of a portfolio of promising gold projects, including its flagship Aurora Gold Project, Guyana Gold has experienced a 2016 of ups and downs. What we’ve learned is promising, and after a fantastic 2015, this year has been an up and down affair which is set to finish on a high.


e’ve featured a number of Canadian-based miners with strong credentials over the years, but undoubtedly Guyana Goldfields (GG) is one which for a number of reasons

remains particularly memorable. Focusing their attentions primarily on the exploration and development of gold deposits in the Guiana Shield of South America – a region in the northern part of the Amazon Craton which covers parts of Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guyana and northern Brazil - the main directive of the company has been to source, explore, and develop the ever-increasing number of highlypromising sites in the sleepy and astonishingly beautiful South American nation of Guyana. Technically speaking, GG is considered to be an emerging producer, but in-reality this label simply doesn’t do the company justice. Guyana Goldfields, which has been operating continuously, responsibly, and sustainably since 1996, has enjoyed fantastic success with their flagship gold mine, the Aurora Gold Project – a world-class project of great potential, which announced significant first gold production in August 2015. Understandably, there was a great deal of interest in this world-class project from the mining world, and it hasn’t disappointed on the production front. As you might expect of a Canadian-based miner, there is a great emphasis at Guyana Goldfields on going about its business the right way. Many years ago, gold mining had an unfortunate, but perhaps justifiably bad reputation for unsound practice and greed, but this is rarely the case today. Just ask anybody affiliated about this subject and they will quickly tell you that the long-term success of

130 | Endeavour Magazine

GUYANA GOLDFIELDS Guyana Goldfields is connected to its ability to operate in a socially

facet of this forward thinking, progressive company. Again,

and environmentally responsible way. A commitment to proactive

going about business sustainably and responsibly is the Guyana

and sustainable health, safety, environmental management, and

Goldfields way.

community best practices are at the heart of the company, and

“Proactive, healthy interaction with the communities impacted

policies have been implemented which serve to ensure a safe and

by the Company’s exploration and development programmes is an

healthy environment for the communities in which it does business,

important part of the long-term investment strategy for Guyana.

and to protect natural resources, which includes the wildlife that

Though early stages of airborne exploration have a minimal impact

resides areas where exploration, and subsequent mining occurs.

on communities, this changes once targets are identified and

“The Company’s CSR Strategy, Community and National

evaluation and development programmes are implemented. The

Initiatives target areas locally within our communities and also

Company recognises that from the inception of the programme,

on a national level that promote sustainable development in

and as the project progresses, it will be important to communicate

Guyana. Some of the activities that we developed are; National

and interact proactively with any community and role player that

Library Support, erection of Monument of Hope in Bartica,

may be affected by its programmes and inform and obtain buy-

Amerindian Heritage Month Support, Indian Arrival Day and

in with any stakeholders that may be impacted by exploration,

African Emancipation Day support. We’ve also been involved

evaluation and development.”

with the Fire Prevention Week Fund, Guyana Relief Council

Of course, the notion of CSR is now part of the fabric when

Support, Community Company Information Sessions, Community

it comes to developing business strategy for multi-million dollar

Development Initiatives and $20 Million Children Needs and

businesses. However, it is one thing to tell the world through slick

Development Initiatives.”

marketing campaigns how valuable environmental and community

There is no desire for smash and grab for GG, nor an indifference

well-being are, but sadly it is still relatively rare for this to translate

to the well-being of the areas of Guyana where it operates. Rather,

into anything other than speeches, press releases, website

there is a sense of stewardship that naturally pours out of every

manifestos, and token gestures in front of cameras. The fact that

132 | Endeavour Magazine

GG are proactive in their desire to consistently minimise the impact

Operating costs are higher in the four-month ramp up period as

they have on established communities really sets them apart from

GG transitioned from development to commercial production. As

the unscrupulous element of the mining industry.

such, the processing facility had not yet consistently attained its

“Prior to implementing any drilling, evaluation and other such

design capacity of milling 5,000 tpd, and the Company expects

programs, the Company will endeavour to identify the impact of

improvements to mining, processing and G&A costs to be realised in

the proposed activities and determine how to best manage them

2016. In addition, gold sales were made substantially in November

to minimise negative impacts and maximise potential benefits at

and December 2015. Extensive costs were incurred in September

affected communities.”

and October for commissioning and start-up operations.”

Does such an emphasis on sustainable mining, not just

All in all, it seems as though the management team at GG has

by Guyana Goldfields but an increasing number of respected

a firm and experienced pair of hands holding the levers. Over the

industry players prove that sustainability is the new normal? Can

12-months to come, the company is planning to invest heavily in

responsible, thoughtful operations still enjoy good profit margins

improved machinery and equipment which will allow for greatly

and longevity? It would appear so! The publication of 2015’s year-

improved production capacity over extended periods of operation.

end results showed that Guyana Goldfields was in rude health,

With the Aurora project’s total gold resource estimated to be

having produced a staggering 35,901oz of gold, of which 28,850oz

6.54 million ounces, in the measured and indicated categories,

was sold, generating the company US$31m in revenue last year.

plus a further 1.82 million ounces in the inferred category, how

Make no mistake about it, these are impressive figures, but Guyana

could it not? It is truly reassuring to feature a company with such

Goldfields was keen to explain why the soon-to-be-released year-

a progressive approach to good mining practice. It just goes to

end results for 2016 are expected to be better.

show that great things can be achieved without cutting corners,

“The Company does not believe that the 2015 financial

or through neglecting the responsibility that business has to the

information is representative of expected results to be achieved

environment and society in the modern age. Here’s to the good

in 2016, as optimal operating performance has not been achieved.

guys coming out on top.

Endeavour Magazine | 133

134 | Endeavour Magazine



For over 30-years, Refraline Pty Ltd has played a hugely important role as a leading supplier of refractory ceramics and services. It is for good reason that it is now recognised as one of the most recognisable names in its field across subSaharan Africa. Endeavour Magazine investigated to find out more about this exciting company. Endeavour Magazine | 135


As with all things subtle and yet essential, the importance of

the refractory ceramic ‘fire bricks’ and other heat resistant materials which Refraline Pty Ltd manufactures is difficult to overstate. Consider this; across South Africa’s vast heavy industries sector, on which the national economy relies so heavily, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company which doesn’t require some form of heat resistant materials to go about its business.


ince it was established in 1981, Germiston-based Refraline Pty

to the company’s success over three decades – an impressive feat

Ltd has enjoyed steady and consistent growth over the years

indeed. Few companies have the staying power to keep their doors

to become one of the market leaders in its field. As one of the

open for business for so long in any industry, after all.

principal providers of refractory solutions, the company serves a

So, what is the key to this remarkable longevity? Well, granted,

hugely important role in sub-Saharan Africa – just ask any company

Refraline provides a specialist service which few others can, but

operating within an industry which relies on the refractory ceramic

this alone doesn’t explain fully the company’s staying power. No,

‘firebricks’ and other heat resistant materials that Refraline supplies.

the key to Refraline’s success is its experience and know-how

“We are installers, manufacturers, and suppliers of refractory

gained over three decades and superior reputation, of course, but

and corrosion materials and linings,” Rosch stated. “Essentially

more than this it is its understanding of client needs, and ability to

our customers are everybody with heat processes and the need

deliver beyond the client’s expectations.

for protection in certain environments, which in South Africa can

The importance of forging strong and enduring relationships

be glass companies, petrochemicals, steel, foundries, and mining

with clients, and its emphasis on gaining an intimate understanding

companies. While we operate in South Africa, we also do business

of their individual internal processes and nuances, has set Refraline

in our neighbouring sub-Saharan countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe,

in good stead. Through this above and beyond approach to offering

Zambia, and Botswana. Refraline also has international clients in

an unrivalled customer experience, Refraline can deliver a tailored

the Middle East and as far afield as the Middle East, although these

service in-line with the needs of each client, and therefore ensure

are not our regular territories.”

that the service delivered is exactly what they need and sometimes

We have orders that vary from R5,000 up to R10 million projects, and the duration can be one day or one year. No job is too large or small for us.” And make no mistake about it, Refraline’s order book is full. Over the 32-years that have passed since it first opened its doors

under budget. Such an approach is vital because of the competitive state of the industry. There are a number of rivals in South Africa alone which given the chance would be more than willing to boost their market share. This is a threat that Rosch is only too aware of:

for business, the company has grown in stature and reputation,

“It is a market which is not really growing, which means we really

to the extent that it has become the go-to refractory solutions

have to fight. Simply, we must be better than our competitors. The

provider in sub-Saharan Africa. Undoubtedly, this can be attributed

fact that we have continued growing into a company which today

136 | Endeavour Magazine


has a 300 million Rand turnover and more than 500 permanent

Zirconia refractories, on the other hand, are used in different

staff is a real sign that our customers appreciate the service we

applications altogether. Able to maintain their extraordinarily high

offer to them.”

strength at temperatures as high as 15,000C and with low levels

Whilst, as Rosch himself admitted, demand for refractories is

of thermal conductivity, zirconia-based materials are used as

not growing, the anatomy of the South African economy means

construction materials for various high-temperature metallurgical

that demand for the materials needed to line furnaces, kilns,

and glass furnaces.

incinerators, and reactors is high, and will remain so for the

Taking into account the nature of the industry and the inevitable

foreseeable future.

exposure to furnace-hot temperatures that employees who work

Take the steel industry, for example. Just ask any C-level

with refractories face, understandably, safety and good working

executive plying their trade in the steel industry of the importance

practice is paramount. Employee safety is ingrained in the culture

of refractory materials to their trade. As one might expect, the

of Refraline, and as such the company can proudly point to a safety

range of refractories that exist to serve the steel industry is as

record which is astonishing, bearing in mind how fraught with

diverse as the number of different types and grades of steel that are

hazard the environments are in which Refraline does business.

manufactured. Magnesite refractories, a chemically basic material

“We are very proud of our safety record, and we subscribe

containing at least 85% magnesia oxide, are the most important

to the DIFR (Disabling Injury Frequency Rate), which shows that

group of refractories for basic steelmaking. A Basic Oxygen

we have had zero accidents for over 12-months. Many years ago

Furnace, for example - the function of which is to decarburise

we introduced our own in-house safety management processes

hot metal using pure oxygen gas – uses a specially selected high-

that have helped us to get to that standard. This is an important

performance seawater magnesite carbon brick lining, which,

consideration for prospective clients and is very important to us

thanks to its additional carbon content, improves slag resistance,

when we are working on a client’s premises.”

particularly to lime and iron-rich slags.



138 | Endeavour Magazine

shapes up to the extreme

140 | Endeavour Magazine



The State Mining Corporation is driven by an innate desire to contribute to the national economy of Africa, but this mandate is never fulfilled by transgressing the integrity-fuelled core values of the operation. With a clear focus on safety and sustainability, this is an industryleading set-up and Endeavour Magazine spoke with Ms. Zena Kongoi, Director of Mining and Engineering Services, to find out more. Endeavour Magazine | 141


It’s no secret that mining is a competitive, targets-driven industry,

which makes standing out as a sector leader all that much harder, but the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), has made it seem spectacularly easy. Thanks to a committed programme of expansion and development, STAMICO has quickly become something of a benchmark by which competitors judge themselves and that’s a reputation the senior management team take very seriously. After all, mining isn’t the only industry where a great reputation once gained, can be difficult to hang onto.


ne dissatisfied client or a publicised accident could be all that

joke to say that many businesses still operate under the illusion

stands in the way of STAMICO plummeting down the ranks and

that ‘bigger is always better’, but STAMICO recognises that a

being ‘just another mining operation’, but that won’t happen.

more intensive, small-scale approach can yield far better results.

With a fantastic history behind it, a firm management structure

Don’t mistake a locally focused attitude for a small-town mentality

in place currently and a promising future ahead, STAMICO looks

however, as every member of the STAMICO team works alongside

set to ride out any storm that could hit the industry and come out

a set of rigid core value that any multi-national conglomerate would

victorious. That’s just what it does.

be proud to list as their guiding principles,

Brought into being in 1973, STAMICO has an impressive

“In carrying out business, STAMICO upholds the following

legacy of successful mining projects under its belt and exists as

core values: Integrity; Professionalism; Innovativeness; Team work;

a public parastatal under the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

being Results oriented; and Accountability.”

With Government interest in exploring potential investments into

With accountability in mind, STAMICO makes no bones about

the market revealed, STAMICO has been earmarked to oversee

the fact that mining is one of the leading causes of environmental

specialist projects on its behalf.

degradation and has sought to put in place as many eco-policies as

As we all know, for any formalised or Governmental institution


to place faith in one company to make good on their investments

“STAMICO aims to put remedial measures to minimise the

and interests, there must be more than a little success and know

impacts. In achieving this aim, the Corporation has developed

how floating around; there also needs to be a set of core values

the Health, Safety and Environmental Policy, which drives

that align perfectly with their own. STAMICO heralds its vision as

our commitment to analysing, controlling and mitigating the

“being a world class investor and service provider in the mining

environmental impacts of our operations.”

sector in Africa, contributing significantly to the national economy”, while its mission is just as non-convoluted,

They went on to iterate that, “For health and safety of our workforce, we ensure all our

“To invest in the mining industry and provide quality services in

workplaces have a comprehensive health, safety, risk and

the management of mines, drilling, consultancies and other related

emergency management system in place. We place a strong

businesses particularly to the artisanal and small-scale miners.”

emphasis on the training competency, health and wellness of

The key here is the noted focus on smaller operations. It’s no

142 | Endeavour Magazine

our employees by providing opportunities for learning as well as


enforcing and monitoring the application of attained skills. On the

highly prospective grounds owned by STAMIGOLD Company

job performance is also one of the measures for ensuring safety at

Limited through a number of Prospecting Licenses (PLs). Based

our workplaces.”

on the available resources, the STAMIGOLD Company Limited is

As well as taking an active role in the stewardship of the planet,

expected to be operational for at least three years. This life of mine

STAMICO is quick to recognise the importance of the hardworking

is expected to increase as more exploratory work is conducted in

team of professionals that carry out the day-to-day tasks associated

the area.”

with mining in Africa, hence it has such a stringent and immovable health and safety policy in place.

This is just one of the exciting projects currently being undertaken, with re-development of other sites also happening

STAMICO really is one of those rare companies that has it all.

and extensive exploratory works already underway. It seems fair to

A team of expert colleagues upholds the core values and green

say that there will not be a shortage of work in the years to come

initiatives that fuel daily operations and large institutions trust

and in today’s employment market, such job security can be hard

the judgement of said team, so the only question that remains, is

to come by. STAMICO is already an attractive prospect for both

what does the future hold? What projects are on the horizon that

clients and employees, but the future projections being released

are really firing up the team and giving them renewed vigor for

certainly bolster that even further.

dominating the industry?

While digging through layers of compacted earth and rock to

“Biharamulo Gold Mine, formally known as Tulawaka Gold

reveal millennia-old compounds and minerals doesn’t sound like an

Mine, is currently operated by STAMIGOLD Company Limited,

endeavour that is closely linked to the future, it is. STAMICO is

a subsidiary of the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO). It is

exposing the necessary ores that will drive and fuel Africa into the

located 160km southwest of Mwanza in the western part of the

next week, month, year and century and we can’t wait to see them

Lake Victoria Goldfield, in Biharamulo District, Kagera Region.

do so.

Adjacent to the special mining licence, there are a number of

SAFE LINERS THICKENER BASE LINERS | DAM LINING | GREEN HOUSES | SHUTTLE SERVICES Located in Arusha, Northern region of Tanzania, SAFELINERS have been in the business for years, providing quality dam lining, drip and sprinkler irrigation equipment and helping people across the country find out how easy and effective sprinkler and drip irrigation as well as water harvesting respectively can be.

SAFELINERS.CO.TZ | +255 713111976 | SAFELINERS@SAFELINERS.CO.TZ Blue Rock Building 2nd Floor, Middletown Street, P.O. Box 11197, Arusha, TANZANIA 144 | Endeavour Magazine



here are more than a few enticing options out there, when

While Kakslauttanen is open summer and winter, the winter

it comes to choosing a resort for a much-needed mid-winter

season is considered by most to be the best time to pay a visit, and

getaway. However, few, if any, enjoy the heritage and reputation

for good reason. Set right by the Urho Kekkonen National Park - the

for excellence enjoyed by the Finnish Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.

largest, most pristine of Finland’s national parks - Kakslauttanen is

Located 250-miles north of the Arctic Circle at the northern-

situated in what must be one of the most peaceful places to be

most tip of Finland, Kakslauttanen is the perfect place for those who

found anywhere in the world. At Christmas time, this area of Lapland

want to disappear beyond the reach of the world. The hotel feels

is truly magical. For starters, there’s the blue light of twilight, and

completely isolated, even though the Ivalo International Airport is

metres upon metres of snow – perfect for skiing and snowboarding

conveniently situated and, if guests are of the mind, Norway and

- and then there’s the wonder of the aurora borealis to behold; a

Russia lie a mere stone’s throw away.

natural event so spectacular it needs little explanation.

146 | Endeavour Magazine

Photo © Photo © It is the epitome of a winter

Kelo-glass igloos, which combine the striking views of the glass igloo

wonderland, where the water is

with the warmth and comfort of a cosy log cabin? Able to sleep up

so crisp you can quench your

to six, and featuring a private sauna, fireplace, and a luxury kitchen,

thirst from one of the many

it is the perfect place to stay with the family or friends and good

passing streams, where the air


is cool and fresh, so that you

Of course, if you prefer your creature comforts, guests can

can feel it in the depths of your

choose instead to stay in a rugged-style log chalet, complete with

lungs, and the snow is thick and

everything needed for a little rest and relaxation time. Conversely,

soft beneath your feet.

for the more adventurous there are Kakslauttanen’s famous snow




Photo ©

Kakslauttanen is world-famous

igloos – an ice-cool experience that will still allow guests to sleep in absolute comfort, whatever the temperature might be outside.

for the glass igloos that await

In keeping with the Christmas season, visitors to Kakslauttanen

its guests. From the comfort

will be delighted to know that after centuries of anonymity Santa

and warmth of your bed, you

has chosen to unbolt the door to his home here – an idyllic and

can stay up all night and marvel

striking red-decorated log cabin which awaits visitors at the end of

at the waves of colour of the

an ornate wooden bridge. Set in the heart of a dark snow-topped

northern lights, or stay up with

forest, Santa’s Celebration House is a festive cabin which is well-

friends talking and laughing and

known across Scandinavia as the largest log building in Finland. Able

exploring the frozen wilderness

to host up to 250 guests, be it for dining, celebrating a wedding,

around you. If this isn’t your cup

or letting their hair down for drinking, music and merriment, the

of tea, then why not consider

Celebration House is undoubtedly worth during your stay.




To find out more, visit: Endeavour Magazine | 147

148 | Endeavour Magazine



Once referred to as the ‘Breadbasket of Africa’, Zimbabwe’s economy still relies heavily on agriculture, a sector which currently contributes little more than 20% of the country’s total GDP but accounts for up to 66% of national employment. These employees mostly live in rural communities, where the ability to participate in a fair and inclusive agricultural industry can be a make or break for the area’s growth. Endeavour Magazine | 149


Endeavour Magazine spoke with Mike Bailey, Managing Director of

Better Agriculture, about the company’s role in supporting local farmers and their communities, helping them to achieve their potential and grow a stronger future for rural Zimbabwe.


ince Zimbabwe’s land reforms in 2000, independent farms have worked hard to increase their output sufficient to match the production of the large-scale farms that operated before.

Originally left with poor resources and little to no organisation or structure in place, these farms have turned a corner, and are now ushering in a period of golden opportunity. The country’s farmers are hardworking, determined and resourceful, but many small family-run farms found themselves unable to gain access to resources of sufficient quality or to reach out to those lucrative foreign markets. This is where Better Agriculture comes in – a company which strives to empower small farmers. “Better Agriculture aims to address poverty-related challenges and




simultaneously delivering

commercial returns,” explains Mike. Still a young company, the Zimbabwe based, Zimbabwean-owned agricultural consultancy has worked with independent farmers since 2012, and have already seen a marked difference in the lives of the growers they support. The company focuses primarily on chilli farming, providing links between growers and the global market, as well as offering support through technical services and their extensive knowledge of agricultural business in Southern and East Africa. “Access to free and transparent markets is vital to many farmers in the developing world, and yet these markets are not easy for the average individual farmer to link with.” They also assist in the processing, packaging and shipping of the product, packing to the buyer’s requirements 150 | Endeavour Magazine

Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund (Pvt) Limited


PRODUCTS & SERVICES  General/Term Loan  Line of Credit  Partially Guaranteed Instruments  Equity Finance Investments  Value Chain Financing  Asset Financing  Green Financing




of our loans go to female clients

of our loans go to rural areas

of our loans go to productive sectors

WE GROW: Bimi & chillies in the UK in Senegal Sweet potato and chillies Asparagus in Peru +44 (0) 1243 268811

Endeavour Magazine | 151


in the Better Agriculture BRC (British Retail Consortium) registered

their current levels. Maintaining high-profile relationships such as

pack shed near Harare airport, and providing freight solutions by air

this has been one of BA’s keys to enabling their growers to achieve

and sea as required.


In the 2015/16 season, Better Agriculture registered 1,300

Better Agriculture also export 600 tonnes of fresh fruit and

small scale chilli growers in eight locations. They have exported

vegetables to selected regional and overseas markets. A major

the equivalent of 1,500 tonnes of fresh chillies this season, which

percentage of these exports are sent via appointed UK importers

includes both chilli mash and dry chillies. These chillies are the

to the UK multiples. This includes fresh chilli peppers, of course,

African bird’s eye, aka the piri piri or peri peri, which are exported

but also peas and other vegetables, citrus, spices and even flowers.

to markets in the UK, USA, Europe and South Africa, after first

Mike Bailey has been with Better Agriculture since its

satisfying local demand. The company have been able to link their

inception in 2011. He has an extensive background in the sector,

growers’ products with some key markets and buyers, including

having worked in agriculture and horticultural production within

international restaurant chain Nando’s plc, who use the product in

Zimbabwe and East Africa for 40 years, including shipping, logistics

their popular range of PERI-PERI sauces.

and marketing. He leads his team with the support of Agronomy

Piri piris get their name from Swahili, literally meaning ‘pepper

and Production Director Martin Bepete, who has 27 years of

pepper’. Globally, there are many varieties of chilli pepper growing

experience in the industry, and Technical Director Pete Caminada,

both agriculturally and in the wild, but all varieties originated from

with another 35 years. With over 100 years of experience between

South America. However, the Africa bird’s eye/piri piri has grown in

the three of them, the founding Directors decided to utilise this

wild Africa for centuries, and is grown agriculturally both for food

through the founding of a new company that would not only serve

and the pharmaceutical industry. Nando’s have maintained a close

themselves, but the country as a whole.

relationship with Better Agriculture since 2014, seeing the output

The impact Better Agriculture has already had on growers’ lives

of their iconic sauce ingredient rise from 260 tonnes in 2014 to

is notable. Roderick Muusha, secretary of the Farmers’ Group in

152 | Endeavour Magazine

Deure, commented on one chilli grower: “The income he received

personal connection between his family and the communities he’s

in a month from selling chillies to Better Agriculture exceeded his

working with provides a satisfying sense of continuity and keeping

total revenue on his farm for the previous year.” This increase in

a legacy going, much like the families that are now flourishing can

revenue and stability soon affects the communities it reaches.

create legacies of their own.

Powerson Chisaka, a Community Teacher in Ruware, expressed the

Agricultural production is always at risk from climatic extremes.

difference seen because of Better Agriculture’s support; “Our area

BA counter this by making sure their growers are spread throughout

is developing. For example, chilli growers have since built beautiful

the country, farming in eight locations from the subtropical climates

and spacious houses, or bought luxurious cars and trucks, while

of Zimbabwe’s elevated heights to the dry, low-lying regions in the

others have bought grinding mills and livestock.” This rise in income

south. As well as preparations such as this, which protect their

has also had a positive impact on youth education. “Many families

ability to reliably supply their buyers and markets, they also work

are now able to send their children to secondary and tertiary

to support the farms on an individual level. “Our most important

education. For example, Mrs. Prisca Chisaka has managed to send

partners are our growers. Their success is our success.”

her child Tichafara to Midlands State University. Our area is very proud of Better Agriculture.”

One way that they achieve this is by embracing new technologies; recently, this has included the Greenfingers app for android. This

Testimonies like these are what keep Mike and his team

survey data collection platform allows real-time management

motivated. They illustrate the real impact the company has been

solutions, input tracking, yield and growing programme forecasting,

able to make, whilst at the same time producing a top-quality

technical assistance logs, and the managing of micro loans to

product and doing good, sustainable business. “My maternal

farmers. Meanwhile, BA are also involved in more traditional

grandfather Edgar Sheppy was a land development officer after the

technical support, such as soil science and analysis, remote sensing,

Second World War, and he was involved in establishing some of

and even hands-on help in irrigation, dam building/management

the irrigation schemes that we currently operate.” For Mike, this

and greenhouse installation.

Endeavour Magazine | 153


In order to ensure their products maintain a consistent standard,

Thanks to their professionalism and these strong relationships,

BA need to be able to provide financial advice and support towards

Better Agriculture are able to not only continue their work, but

their growers’ needs. This requires access to appropriate finance at

expand it, establishing new nurseries and facilities in rural community

a reasonable cost, an issue that remains a constraint to local growth.

centres, and looking to further broaden their operations. “We are

“Over the years, learning from both success and failure, we have

currently investigating the markets for growing more crops, such

established a new enterprise-based model to deliver significant and

as cayenne, paprika, garlic and ginger.” As well as expanding their

lasting social and environmental outcomes.

products, they are being sought to expand their support network.

“We now deploy a blend of financial and non-financial resources

“Requests from neighbouring countries (Malawi and Mozambique)

to accelerate social innovation and harness private markets to

for our intervention and assistance are being considered currently.”

deliver public benefit at scale.”

Providing fair business in these rural communities has injected

BA are growing in size and sustainability as a business, but

the income to change lives and provide opportunities, allowing the

none of this would have been possible without receiving financial

areas to grow rather than losing their young people to cities in the

backing and support of their own. The company was established in

pursuit of employment.

2012 with help from the Shell Foundation, an independent charity

As Powerson Chisaka expressed; “We are thankful to BA

established by the Shell Group in 2000. Since then, BA has received

Company because it has occupied our relatives, especially our youth,

support from several other organisations dedicated to improving

from going to Diaspora by growing and selling chillies here.” These

livelihoods and agriculture in Zimbabwe: TechnoServe, the Africa

opportunities at home promise fruitful futures for Zimbabwe’s rural

Enterprise Challenge Fund AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge

communities, as well as strengthening the industry that employees

Fund), and Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund (ZMF).

them, suggesting at a rising future for Zimbabwe’s 66% and the

Support such as funding from the AECF comes in the form

strength of the country as a whole.

of one-off grants. BA was recently one of only two companies in Zimbabwe who won a grant from the AECF, having participated in a bid which started with over 8000 companies. Alternatively, ZMF provide a more consistent support. The group strive to tackle poverty and enable growth by enabling affordable and reliable access to financing and manageable loans. The ZMF board is made up of democratically elected board members, their mission to “provide quality and sustainable funding to MFIs and similar enterprises that can reach the productive and economically active poor particularly women and the youth in rural areas so as to promote human dignity” BA also work to provide opportunities to their employees. The company currently employs 40 permanent staff, taking on as many as 200 during peak season. A high degree of training and excellence is expected across the board; all of their technical staff are from educated backgrounds, talent scouted from agricultural colleges and

Perishable Logistics Solutions for Africa

universities, whilst in-house training and annual refresher courses are provided to all of the company’s field extension officers, who lives in the rural communities BA work with to provide constant on-the-ground support and a link between them and the company. Mike believes in leading by example, encouraging both his growers and his staff with recognition and positive re-enforcement. At the end of each season, their five top growers in each project are acknowledged with a prize. Likewise, they encourage their staff to achieve by giving them a high degree of autonomy, and prioritising them for new positions and promotions. They also offer their staff production-related incentives and bonuses, so that a good year’s

For enquiries, email:

yield not only benefits themselves and their growers, but everyone

working hard on the processes in between. Kenya, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates

154 | Endeavour Magazine

156 | Endeavour Magazine

SEED CO LTD WWW.SEEDCO.CO 263 4 308881-5


Seed Co is a an agricultural industry giant, providing South Africa with certified crop seeds that they have developed themselves, but there is so much more to know. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at its operations and structure, to find out exactly why the modern incarnation of agribusiness is the key to a sustainable future. Endeavour Magazine | 157


Think about seeds and crops and what comes to mind? A charming

picture of an arable farmer sowing them with the help of a trusty cart-horse and a manual plough? If the answer is yes, then the modern agribusiness industry is really going to come as a shock for you and Seed Co is right at the forefront of the revolution!


ormed back in 1983 by a group of seed producers, the Seed Co-operative Company of Zimbabwe was brought about to encourage better product variations and stronger crops.

The success of the operation and assumed longevity was quickly affirmed, by the company going public in 1996 and being listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, but the team are quick to draw attention to an even earlier incarnation that is often overlooked, “Our history in Zimbabwe can be traced back earlier and our business has operated in various forms since 1940. Initially we depended on Government research for our new material, but in 1973, we acquired the Rattray Arnold Research Station, the first of three research stations that form the core of our research intellectual property.” Addressing the crops themselves, we assumed that perhaps every seed producer would have a ‘special recipe’; a big agribusiness secret that everyone else wanted to learn the makeup of, so imagine our surprise when we discovered that individual operations work together, to create the best quality seeds possible, “Our relationships with international seed companies over the years have opened up opportunities. A joint venture with DeKald Genetics Corporation of the USA from 1992 to 1999 preceded

158 | Endeavour Magazine


our research collaboration agreement in 2000 with Syngenta, a

certainly isn’t a company that’s willing to skim over the important

European based global agribusiness involved in seeds and crop

facets of production in favour of slick wordplay. In fact, with a


vision of totally dominating the agro-industry in Africa, the team

With an incredible heritage behind it and, we presume, many

acknowledges that they can’t rest on their laurels for one second

more collaborations ahead, Seed Co is in a fantastic position

and have set themselves some big challenges in terms of future

to bolster the industry and raise standards even more, but what


exactly do they do? On a day-to-day basis, what are the tasks that a world leader in seed production has to complete?

“The strategic technical partnership with Limagrain, which has so far enabled the Group to access the latest technologies in hybrid

“Seed Co develops and markets certified crop seeds, mainly

seed breeding activities, and the commissioning of the recently

hybrid maize seed, but also cotton seed, wheat, soya bean,

completed technology laboratory are major prospects, as is the

barley, sorghum and ground nut seed. Most of our hybrid and

expertise of Limagrain in the vegetable business, which we hope

non-hybrid cereals and oil crop seed varieties are proprietary,

will help to grow this new line of business in all our markets.”

having been developed and bred at our research stations through

Diversification, investing in future-proof technologies and

market-oriented research and breeding programmes and our

increasing market share in East Africa are all high on the priorities

seed is produced from our own parent seed under contract by an

list, but add in a determination to break into the West African

established producer network. Research has been and will continue

market and the future looks set to be high pressure, but hopefully

to be, the cornerstone of Seed Cos success and leading market

also high yield. While such ambitious growth might scare lesser

position in the Southern African region.”

setups, Seed Co knows that know is the time for being brave and

With a mission to “breed, seed, feed and lead in Africa”, Seed Co

160 | Endeavour Magazine

building on the reputation built over the last seven decades,

“2015 was a special year for the Seed Co family, as we marked

things, when people are learning a new activity, there are always

an amazing 75 year journey which has seen us grow from humble

adaption pains. As a resolute company, our response was to

beginnings to Africa’s largest seed company. We look back from

intensify training programmes and deploying agronomists to work

1940 when the Rhodesia Seed Maize Co-operative Company was

closely with them. We are pleased to record steady growth through

formed and trace our life to date, where Zimbabwe Seed Maize Co-

the intense training programmes that we aggressively pursued in

op Company Limited has stood the test of time, through various

Zimbabwe. Seed Co continues to build on the experience and

challenges and stand proud of our evolution.”

believe that we are going from strength to strength.”

With words of such encouragement coming directly from Mr.

Inclusivity, partnerships and a dedication to more than mere

Morgan Nzwere, Group CEO, is it any wonder that Seed Co feels

profit margins; that’s what we saw in Nzwere’s words and much

strong, resilient and optimistic about the future? We get the feeling

more. Knowing that the future goals are to widen the market share

that everyone who comes into direct contact with the organisation

currently being enjoyed and offer new, innovative and climate-

is instantly welcomed as part of the family; a successful, vital family

specific products to currently untapped regions of Africa, we saw

that millions of people depend on and Nzwere confirmed that

hope for a sustainable agricultural business model.


Sowing the seed indeed; the seed of a brighter future.

“Over the years, we have nurtured a strong producer family. Developing this network has come with its challenges since producing seed is a highly technical process. In Zimbabwe, the land reform accorded the indigenous people who had various experiences outside farming, an opportunity to farm. Like in all

3632/48442 ADMAKERS.COM


The boldly styled new-look front end is just one of the many enhancements made to the legendary Isuzu KB range. So you’ll be sure to turn some heads, without turning a blind eye to performance. Because with Isuzu, good looks mean nothing if it can’t get the job done.



Endeavour Magazine | 161

162 | Endeavour Magazine



Agriculture has always been an industry filled with challenges, a fact that the Zimbabwean agricultural industry knows well. Yet agriculture continues to be one of the country’s greatest strengths, with one crop standing out amongst the rest for its value. Endeavour Magazine | 163


Endeavour speaks with Sharon Kockott, Manager of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association, to find out how they have been supporting their growers to produce top quality seed for the past 50 years, and in particular, the past two decades.


griculture has long been a leading industry in Zimbabwe, if not

country’s tobacco output quadruple from 50 million kilograms to

the leading industry. Maize is the staple food in the country,

two hundred million kilograms. However, for the country’s farmers

with wheat, sorghum, groundnuts and soya beans also

and economy to make the most of tobacco’s potential, these small

playing key roles. However, by far Zimbabwe’s most valuable crop

farms needed a way of accessing the best seeds and equipment.

is tobacco. The dynamics of the country’s tobacco industry have

The Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association (ZTSA) is a tobacco

shifted drastically since 2000, and particularly in the past ten years.

seed growers’ association, and is one of the only two seed houses

The catalyst for this change was of course the 2000 land reforms,

producing certified tobacco seed in Zimbabwe, the other being

a controversial move that sought to counter the white dominance

the Tobacco Research Board. The TRB has the sole mandate for

of Zimbabwe’s agricultural land by redistributing 110,000 square

Tobacco research and variety development in Zimbabwe; ZTSA

kilometres to black, mostly independent farmers – a move with

acquires parent seed from the TRB and pays them breeder’s

varied implications for the country’s agricultural industry.

royalties on the multiplied seed.

Once grown solely on large scale commercial farms, this

Sharon Kockott, manager of the ZTSA, sees the supply of high

redistribution of land has seen a rise in small scale tobacco

integrity seed to the industry as the ZTSA’s top priority. “ZTSA’s

production. A typical small scale producer will grow between one

growers are our biggest assets - their passion and attention to

to five hectares as a small family-run operation. According to the

detail makes for great seed production.”

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), 62% of tobacco

ZTSA operates from its premises in Bluffhill Industrial Park in

farmers are now working on these small-scale farms. This change

Harare and has outlets in Harare and in the rural areas during the

has made it possible for families to start up their own crops and to

seed selling season. Their growers produce both Flue Cured Virginia

work for themselves, creating employment and allowing growers

(FCV) hybrid seed and Burley (air cured) hybrid seed. Zimbabwe

to have agency over their own business. 60% of the crop is grown

uses FCV seed for the national crop, whereas Burley seed is

under contract to merchants and the other 40% sold on open

exported. Their crops are hand pollinated and treated with silver

auction floors.

nitrate on the farms by growers, then delivered to the Association

In 2000, there were 8,537 growers operating across the country, and currently there are over 75,000 – a change that has seen the 164 | Endeavour Magazine

for testing, certifying and marketing. Tobacco seed may only be sold between March 15th and

Felix Kamusasa’s K RK26R Commercial Crop


September 15th. Within this period, the leaf tobacco selling season

success. Go the extra mile and deliver more than just a product.

will usually last 130 days. Around this time, the ZTSA’s employs

Our seed is grown on isolated plots and inspected regularly, and

more people to pack, ship and sell the seed.

testing and certification is a rigorous process, making sure our seed

“Since our selling season is limited to six months, the work load

meets the highest international standards.”

is hectic in that time, but we are lucky to have a stable team that is

Sharon’s path to her role was unconventional and almost

close knit and can multi task.” During this busy time, Sharon gets as

accidental: “My first position was teaching high school. After

stuck in as everyone else. “We prefer to think of ourselves as a team

I got married I worked as camp manager in the tourism industry

as opposed to a staff. I believe strongly that managers should lead

until we went tobacco farming until 2002. Since then I have been

from the front. You get what you give; a manager should embody

involved on the financial side of regional community agricultural

the attributes they wish to inspire in their co-workers. Don’t expect

projects in Botswana, Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. I studied at

respect, honesty, hard work and reliability if you don’t give it in

the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), but have concluded that


the most valuable education you get is what you learn afterwards

The Association is owned by the member growers and

and it is seldom accompanied by letters behind your name.”

an elected executive committee oversees the running of the

“I hasten to add,” she continues with a laugh, “That being the wife

Association. The growers deliver their seed to the ZTSA and All

of a Zimbabwean tobacco grower will qualify you for just about any

growers of a particular variety of seed will share in the proceeds

position in the world!” The tobacco seed industry is complicated

from that Variety. “This means they receive a fair and equitable

and regulated. ZTSA offers grower support and training at regular

distribution of earnings”, explains Sharon. The Association exports

field days and site visits through their seed inspector, Laureen

to SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries.

Nyabani They also work closely with AGRITEX and the Tobacco Trade to extend support to leaf growers.

Workers in a Plot of K RK26R

“I believe that the old-fashioned virtues are still the key to

166 | Endeavour Magazine

Sharon is also keen to promote the future of female employees

that ZTSA seed producers have a lot to offer to potential partners,

and growers. “Although our growers are mostly men, Milly

particularly in the horticultural and flower industry. Our skill set

Kamusasa lifted our Seed Grower of the Year trophy at the AGM

and infrastructure is ideal.”

in 2016. She serves on the committee and we look forward to her taking the Chair in the near future.”

Challenges will continue to arise, but ZTSA have equipped themselves and their growers to respond and rise above them. “We

“We are very proud of Milly. She graduated with honours from

are proud of our achievements, especially considering that doing

Gwebi Agricultural College, and she and her husband Felix have built

business in Zimbabwe is not for sissies!” The key - to invest in

a successful seed production and commercial tobacco enterprise

people, and inspire through example. We ask Sharon if she has any

from scratch. When they started, their farm had no electricity and,

other secrets for success; “At all times, show enthusiasm and have

apart from water rights to a syndicate dam, no infrastructure.” Milly

a sense of humour – they are priceless commodities.”

and Felix represent one of the country’s success stories that have been able to flourish thanks to hard work. The Association has had a good season this year. “We have increased our market share by 16% over the last two years despite an uncertain economic climate. We added two new outlets in rural areas and plan to add a further two in 2017. All our outlets were furnished with card paying facilities to cope with cash crisis in the country.” The ZTSA also plans to expand its rural network of outlets. “Whilst tobacco seed is our core business, we are exploring production of other high value hybrid seed. We believe

Article cover image: Male Flowers Harvested for Pollen Collection


Superfert Fertilizer is manufactured at our three blending plants in Bindura, Liwonde and Chimoio, and distributed nationwide across Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. We supply large corporate and commercial farming enterprises across the region, fueling the fire of many industries such as sugar, maize, cotton, tobacco, wheat, soyas and horticulture. Superfert is also readily available to small-scale farmers in all corners of Zimbabwe and Malawi, and has a growing retail footprint in Mozambique and Zambia. For more information contact or call +263 772 143 243-6

Endeavour Magazine | 167

December 2016  
December 2016