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FEBRUARY 2018

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EDITOR’S NOTE Heads of Departments Managing Editor Alice Instone-Brewer editor@littlegatepublishing.com Sales Director Alex Hilling-Smith alexsmith@littlegatepublishing.com Sales Manager Emlyn Freeman emlynfreeman@littlegatepublishing.com Head of Editorial Research Paul Bradley paulbradley@littlegatepublishing.com Project Manager Steven Weller steveweller@littlegatepublishing.com Editorial Researcher James Lapping james@littlegatepublishing.com Editorial Researcher Will Girling willgirling@littlegatepublishing.com Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman anthonyl@littlegatepublishing.com Lead Designer Alina Sandu studio@littlegatepublishing.com Publisher Stephen Warman stevewarman@littlegatepublishing.com Any enquiries or subscriptions can be sent to info@littlegatepublishing.com 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 Suite 10, Thorpe House London 79 Thorpe Road EC1 V1LR Norwich, NR1 1UA Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points

I

t’s February already – how did this

night of devotion promotes a message that

happen? Somehow, a month of 2018 has

we could all get behind as we continue to

already passed, and unsurprisingly, it has

venture into this brave new year – especially

been a mixed bag. Now that the year has

as hatred and ignorance seem to sound

begun in earnest, our optimistic projections

from every tweet and headline, in the East

have given way to reality, both bad and

and the West!

good. Whilst certain arenas continue their

However, even as we measure our choices,

timeless forwards-and-back dance – arenas such a politics, environmental sustainability, or the constant quest for humans to treat each other with simple equality and decency – other fields are more satisfying. Whatever else is happening in the world, when it comes to matters such as technology and business, we know that we are moving ever-forwards. As always, we were thrilled to talk to a range of companies that are not

plenty of amazing success stories out there!

ALICE INSTONE-BREWER

begin lent the following day – a period of reflection and restraint. Inconveniently

not lent-compatible! Whilst that internal

every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of

struggle takes place, other cultures will

the information contained within this magazine,

also begin a reflective period on the 14th. In Hindu cultures, for example, the day will

published. All rights reserved. No part of this

mark Maha Shivaratri – the Great Night

publication may be reproduced or stored in a

of Shiva: a major festival for meditating

the publisher.

at Endeavour month after month, there’s

13th, meaning that the Christian world will

like to be eating chocolates – definitely

by any means without the prior written consent of

create success – and as we’re reminded

Shrove Tuesday this year falls on February

St Valentine’s Day, when we’d all rather

retrievable system or transmitted in any form or

we work in. If you want to create change,

associations we spoke to this month.

magazine do not necessarily represent those of

publishers for loss arising from use of information

at large, we can develop the companies

many contractor companies and supportive

writers and/or in advertisements included in this

no legal responsibility will be accepted by the

whilst we can’t always affect the world

creating results for others – particularly the

for Western countries, the 14th is also

living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst

wheel of progress keeping turning, and

only achieving success for themselves but

of view expressed in articles by attributing

the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons,

let’s keep moving those feet forwards. The

on enlightenment, duty, and overcoming darkness and ignorance. This sleepless

Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2018

Endeavour Magazine | 3


CONTENTS

94 FRANCIS – LAU CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD FEATURES

40 BANKING ASSOCIATION SOUTH AFRICA 4 | Endeavour Magazine

14 20 28 34 40 50 58 68 74 80 88 94

NH International Building a Community CB Group Growing Success Arawak Cement Solid Ground Baitali Group Building Together Banking Association South Africa Bankable Results Winelands Pork Bringing Home The Bacon RSA Logistics Solving Demand Chain Challenges UAE Contractors Association Strength In Numbers K & D International Contracting Standing Out P.H. Heat Treatment The Metal Industry Is Heating Up Amarna Consult Ltd Success By Design Francis – Lau Construction Co. Ltd Keeping It In The Family


50 WINELANDS PORK ARTICLES 6 7 8 10 11

Headlines Europe Africa Middle East Asia Americas

12

Focus Jeff Bezos

26 48 86

Amazing World Mount Kailash The Centre Of The Universe? Mardi Gras: Everybody Loves A Carnival The James Webb Space Telescope

64

Automotives BMW M5 Saloon

74 K & D INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTING Endeavour Magazine | 5


EUROPE WORLD’S FIRST ELECTRIC CONTAINER BARGES TO SAIL THIS SUMMER

and wounded hundreds. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State. Riot police broke up a picket outside

The world’s first fully electric container

the Fresnes prison near Paris where he was

barges are set to enter operation summer

being held, as some staff threatened to

2018. The vessels will be emission free and

refuse to let him out.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) supports the move, describing the debt as “unsustainable”, and the eurozone has also agreed in principle to pay out new loans. Eurozone countries have provided some debt relief already, in the form of lower

have designed to operate without a crew,

Bendaoud faces up to six years in prison

interest rates and extended repayment

saving on manpower, resources and energy.

if convicted of harbouring the ringleader of

periods, but some have been reluctant to

These sustainable shipping alternatives

the Paris attacks. His defence claims that

go any further due to electoral pressure and

will operate in Dutch and Belgian waters,

he did not know the two men, Abdelhamid

displeasure among the public.

and could be the beginning of a revolution in

Abaaoud and Chakib Akrouh, were terrorists.

shipping, greatly reducing reliance on diesel-

Both men died during the attacks.

powered freight. Instead,

they

Eurogroup head Mario Centeno said that cash injection into Greece was “critical to ensure Greece’s full market access”.

operate

on

20-foot

batteries, charged on shore by carbon-free energy provider Eneco. These batteries

SYRIA WAR: TURKEY USING GERMAN-MADE TANKS

provide 15 hours of power. The

electronic

barges

will

launch

from ports in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Currently, they are designed

The German government is being called

only for inland waterway travel, and are not

to cease arms trade with Turkey, following

suitable for shipment overseas.

sightings of German-made Leopard tanks in

Despite being designed to require no

an offensive against the Kurdish YPG.

crew, the early voyages will be manned, until

Reports on Friday suggested Berlin was

supporting infrastructure has been built to

moving to approve a request from Turkey for

assist the new vessels. The crew will also be

German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to

on hand to trouble-shoot any unexpected

upgrade its Leopard 2 tanks, to make them

difficulties.

less vulnerable to explosives.

About 23,000 trucks, mainly running on

The tanks are thought to have been used

diesel, are expected to be removed from the

by Turkey against the Islamic State (IS) group

roads as a result of the new vessels.

in Syria. However, defence experts have claimed in German media that recent images from Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” appear to show them being used against

JAWAD BENDAOUD FACES FIRST OF PARIS ATTACK TRIALS Jawad Bendaoud, 31, is being charged with harbouring two jihadists responsible for the Paris attacks.

Kurdish groups. Politicians from both the left and right

GREECE DEBT-RELIEF TALKS TO BEGIN EU creditors will begin talks on possible debt relief for Greece as the country prepares

have spoken out against the tank upgrade deal, and asked the government to clarify its position on the Turkish offensive in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

The landlord lent his flat to two terrorists

to leave an eight-year bailout programme.

Turkey’s president has vowed to “crush”

involved in the November 2015 assaults.

On leaving the programme, Greece’s public

the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia,

His trial is the first to come to court relating

debt totals 180% of its economy.

which controls Afrin and more than 400km

to the attack. Some of those injured were in

Previous proposals to offer Greece debt

the Paris courthouse for the start of the first

relief have been opposed by some countries

The United Nations said an estimated

trial.

within the EU – particularly Germany. The

5,000 people have been displaced so far in

new talks will therefore focus on how to link

the clashes in the Afrin region.

The 2015 suicide bombing and mass shootings around Paris killed 130 people 6 | Endeavour Magazine

any relief to economic results.

(250 miles) of Syria’s northern border.


AFRICA ZIMBABWE’S EMMERSON MNANGAGWA PROMISES FAIR ELECTIONS

timing, it is believed that its aim was to

called largely symbolic, as Israel’s airlines to

achieve a high civilian death toll.

not fly directly to many African countries, but

The bombing is part of an ongoing

the hope is that the outrage and shortage of

Emmerson Mnangagwa - Zimbabwe’s

struggle in Libua since its leader Muammer

pilots willing to carry these deportees will

new president – has released a statement

Gaddafi was overturned in 2011. Two rival

encourage the government to re-think their

promising that his party would would accept

parliaments and supporting militia groups

position.

defeat if they did not win the upcoming

continue to struggle for dominance.

election this year.

The city of Benghazi is suffering from

Mugabe successor seemingly made a

a conflict between Islamist militias and the

break from Zimbabwe’s history under the

self-styled Libyan National Army, headed by

dictator, promising “free, fair and transparent

Khalifa Haftar.

CAPE TOWN TO RUN OUT OF WATER WITHIN WEEKS

elections”. He has also expressed his

South Africa is facing a water crisis as

intention to work with other party leaders to

count downs to April 12th fret over the

keep the elections free of violence.

arrivals of “Day Zero” - when Cape Town’s

This

promise

has

been

met with

water supply is expected to be shut down.

scepticism by some, given that Mnangagwa

The city is facing its worst drought for a

was widely thought to have organised

century, with water levels soon set to hit the

the violence surrounded elections under

emergency mark at which this precaution is

Mugabe.

supposed to come into effect. This measure

The elections are set to take place

has never needed to be taken, and city

before July. Having taken over leadership of

residents are uncertain what the future will

the country following Mugabe’s removable,

hold.

Mnangagwa feels confident that he will fare

If the water supply is shut off, those in

well at the ballots thanks to his pledged

Cape Town will need to queue for emergency

commitment to restoring the country’s

water supplies. The crisis will make the city

suffering economy.

the world’s largest to run out of water in

He has invited any Zimbabwean citizen over the age of 18, whether they lived at home or abroad, to vote this summer.

AT LEAST 27 DEAD IN BENGHAZI CAR BOMBINGS At least 27 people have been killed in two car bombings Benghazi, Libya. A further 20 to 30 were wounded.

ISRAELI PILOTS REFUSING TO FLY DEPORTED AFRICAN ASYLUM SEEKERS Pilots for Israel’s national airline are refusing to fly African asylum seekers who

modern history. To prevent or manage the crisis, strict water restrictions are already in place, with residents limited to, 50 litres per person per day. However,

despite

these

measures,

are being deported, in protest to Israel’s

predictions have gotten worse. ‘Day Zero’

strict new immigration and deportation laws.

was originally projected for April 22nd, but

One pilot has been quotes as saying that

has now been moved to April 12th, whilst

he would not “fly refugees to their death”. Earlier in the year, the Israeli government

the overall amount of usable water has falled to 17.2%. The water supply will be shut off

The causalities include a mix of civilian

issued a notice for thousands of African

when this figure reaches 13.5%.

and military personnel. The two blasts,

migrants to leave the country or face

Cape Town is home to four million

which went off near a mosque as worshipers

imprisonment. Migrants were offered $3,500

people, all of whom the city will need to

were leaving the building, went off within a

to leave the country within 90 days, with the

organise peacefully whilst they queue daily

few minutes of each other.

option of returning to their home country or

for rations of 25 litres from 200 water

One car was positioned in front of the

electing a third country. However, refusal to

collection points.

mosque, where worshipers were exiting,

leave was met with threats of imprisonment.

The police and army are on standby to

The pilot protest was organised by local

be deployed to prevent any unrest in the

whilst the second detonated on a side-street after survivors had begun to flee.

rights group, Zazim, which contacted the

queues.

As yet, no one has claimed responsibility

Civil Aviation Authority and pilots to urge

Residents are already stockpiling bottled

for the attack, but given its position and

pilots to participate. The protest has been

water from supermarkets and corner shops. Endeavour Magazine | 7


MIDDLE EAST SAVE THE CHILDREN OFFICES ATTACKED IN JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN

capital. The declaration of siding with Israel

The path, which followed extremely

is in keeping with the Trump administration’s

cold, rocky terrain, was a known smuggling

aggravation of tensions with the Muslim

route in al-Masnaa area.

community.

Attackers have stormed the offices of

Benjamin

Three of the refugees were still alive, and

the Save the Children charity in the eastern

Netanyahu has praised the US for their

were able to be hospitalized. Amongst those

Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing at least two

support, but Arab lawmakers have protested

who died were two children.

and injuring 12.

the move, stating that its ultimate goal is to

International children’s charity UNICEF

damage any chance at peace between the

have cited the tragedy as a call for support

two countries.

for Syrian refugees as a whole. The charity’s

Around 50 staff were in the building at the time of the attack. First, the attackers detonated

explosives,

including

Israeli

At least 14 bodies were discovered. Prime

Minister

suicide

campaigns are currently heavily focused on

bombers and rocket-launched grenades,

the Syrian refugee crisis.

before charging inside.

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER QUITS EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

The attack has been claimed by the Islamic State, who claim that three of its fighters organised the attack. Save the Children has temporarily

Khaled Ali, a leading human rights lawyer,

suspended all of its Afghan programmes,

has dropped out of Egypt’s presidential

but has said that they plan to re-open and

race. He states that the process is corrupt,

continue their “life-saving work” as soon as

and that he has dropped out to protect his

possible.

supporters.

Afghan commandos joined police efforts

He also claims that his supporters were

to end the attack, successfully rescuing 45

being intimidated, and that many youth

people from the building’s basement.

amongst his support base were arrested.

The UN’s mission in Afghanistan have

Ali is one of several figures to drop out of

described the attack as a possible war crime.

or be removed from the electoral race. Sami Anan, a former military chief, was detained after he put himself forward. The reason

PENCE SAYS US EMBASSY TO OPEN IN JERUSALEM BY END OF 2019

supplied was that army rules require him to seek permission before running, but it has been seen as another sign that the race

The USA has announced that it will

is both corrupt and dangerous for those

open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end

involved.

of 2019. The proposal, which has been met

In the wake of these removed rivals,

with controversy, was originally projected to

President Sisi now stands in a strong position

be complete in four years.

to win. The current leader won by a strong

This move follows on the heels of

majority in a 2014 election, following seizing

President Trump’s recent change in policy

power in 2013 after a military coup.

by stating that the US regard Jerusalem the ‘capital of the state of Israel’. This change went back on seven decades of US policy. The US embassy is Israel currently stands in Tel Aviv. The nearer completion date to this move suggests that the US are concentrating resources on this change.

SYRIAN REFUGEES FOUND FROZEN NEAR LEBANESE BORDER A group of Syrian refugees who had

The change has added to existing

crossed into Lebanon were found frozen in a

tensions and conflict between Israel and

mountainous area near the border, according

Palestine, who both regard Jerusalem as their

to Lebanese Civil Defense officials.

8 | Endeavour Magazine


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BUSINESS HEADLINES ASIA PADMAAVAT: EXTREMIST VIOLENCE AFTER INDIA LIFTS BAN ON FILM Protests erupted in Gurjurat, India, after the country’s Supreme Court overruled the state ban on a new Bollywood film; Padmaavat.

Rohingya

have

arrived

in

Buddhist-majority Myanmar describes

Bangladesh from Myanmar. Refugees have

the Muslim Rohingya as illegal immigrants

described military-backed attacks, rapes

from Bangladesh, despite many of them

and the burning of villages – all of which

tracing their roots back hundreds of years.

Myanmar denies.

Yet, they have still demended their return,

The UN has denounced Myanmar for what they are calling a clear attempt at

The film, which tells the start of a beloved

688,000

14th

Century

Hindu

queen

ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority.

which refugees fear will be a return to their death. One of the key concerns among the Rohingya is that the refugees will be

belonging to the high Rajput caste, has been

Now, the thousands of refugees who

repatriated to temporary camps inside

met with controversy over fears that she is

have escaped death and torture in Myanmar

Myanmar with no guarantees on if they will

depicted as entering a romance with Muslim

are faced with the prospect of returning,

be able to return to their villages. They have

ruler Alauddin Khilji (played by Bollywood

after a ‘repatriation’ deal made between the

been assured that they will be provided with

stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh).

Myanmar and Bangladesh governments.

adequate accommodation and eventually

This has been described as “disrespecting

transport home, but they fear that they will

her character”, and ties to long-standing

be vulnerable, collected targets in these

tensions between the Hindu and Muslim

temporary settlements.

communities. Whilst the film tells of Khilji’s obsession

SERIAL KILLER ARRESTED IN KASUR, PAKISTAN

with the Queen, the filmmakers have claimed that allegations of any disrespectful treatment of her character as false, and footage in the trailers shows her as an

A serial killer who has been targeting

empowered figure.

young girls has finally been arrested in

Even so, the film was met with outrage,

Kasur, Pakistan,

and led to bans being put in place by the states

of

Gujarat,

Rajasthan,

The eastern Punjab province has faced

Madhya

protests from distressed citizens calling for

Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, due to reactions

the killer to be caught, following the rape

from certain Hindu groups and Rajput caste

and murder of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari.

organisations. However, the Supreme Court

The girl was one of several who had

overuled the ban, calling it unlawful.

disappeared

In the wake of this decision, extremist

over

a

two-year

period,

including Laiba Bibi in July 2017.

Hindu groups took to the streets, torching

Zainab’s body was found five days

buses and vandalised a theatre in the

after her disappearance, after wide-spread

western state of Gujarat, Rajput groups

searches carried out by police and the

Karni Sena and Mahakaal Sena have blocked

community.

the streets with protests. Theatre owners in

Outrage of the girl’s fate saw violent

the state have decided against screening the

protests erupt, in which two protestors died.

film in fear of further violence.

In reaction to the outcry, Punjab Chief

The Supreme Court has denied appeals from lawmakers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to re-instate the ban.

ROHINGYA REFUGEES FEAR REPATRIATION TO MYANMAR Since, August 25, 2017, an estimated 10 | Endeavour Magazine

Minister Sharif ordered police to arrest the Bangladesh officials say the vetting

girl’s killer or killers within 24 hours, and

process and the building of temporary

offered a 10 million Pakistani rupee bounty

shelters is already underway, but there’s no

(over $90,000) for anyone who helped find

timeline for the physical repatriation of the

those responsible.

refugees.

Authorities have now arrested a 24-year-

Eventually, 1,500 people a week will

old man named Imran. In total, he is charged

be repatriated – a process that could take

with the abduction and murder of eight girls,

two years.

all under the age of 11.


AMERICAS AT LEAST 10 KILLED IN COLOMBIA BRIDGE COLLAPSE

with high members of the Catholic church, he almost plans to meet with the poor, the vulnerable, youth groups and indigenous

At least ten people were killed Monday

communities.

MEXICO HITS NEW RECORD FOR MURDER RATE 2017 was Mexico’s worst year for

after a bridge collapsed near Bogota,

However, recent attacks on churches in

Colombia, according to the country’s Civil

Chile have raised concerns for the visit. At

Defense authorities.

murders on record, according to government statistics.

least five churches were recently firebombed

Mexico suffered 25,339 murders in

Known as the Chirajara bridge, the

in Santiago, Chile’s capital. The vandals left

2017, the highest figure since it began

structure was under construction and not

the message: “Pope Francis, the next bombs

keeping records in 1997. This statistic shows

operational at the time of the collapse.

will be on your cassock.”

a 23% increase since 2016, despite a recent

Nine people were killed at the site of the accident and a tenth victim died from their injuries. “The victims are construction workers who were working on the project’s drainage,”

No one was hurt in the church attacks.

decline in murders over the past years.

The Pope’s security plans are being

In Baja California Sur, home to many

revisited, but he has no intention to cancel

popular tourist destinations, the number of

his trip.

murders nearly tripled in 2017.

Tensions are, in part, linked to continued outrage

Church

was in 2014, at 15,520. The vast increase

statement. “We are still working to verify the

for allegedly covering up child sex abuse

has been blamed on drug-related crime,

total number of people who were working

scandals.

in the wake of battling drug cartels in the

at the time.”

the

Catholic

stats of Guerrero, Jalisco, Sinaloa and Baja

The bridge was part of the main thoroughfare

towards

Mexico’s lowest recorded murder rate

the Colombian Civil Defense said in a

Following this new trend, six journalists

Villavicencio, a city southeast of the capital.

were killed in Mexico last year - the highest

It was estimated to be 446 meters long,

number since at least 1992. Baring war

according to the National Infrastructure

zones, it has become one the world’s most

Agency.

dangerous locations for journalists to enter. infrastructure

Bogota

California Sur.

to

The

connecting

agency

also

announced that it will visit the site to investigate the accident at the request of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Minister of Transportation. A search and rescue mission is underway to locate additional missing persons.

POPE FRANCIS FACES TENSIONS ON SOUTH AMERICA TRIP Pope Francis’ trip to South America this week faces threats of violent protest, following allegations of abuses by the Catholic Church. Francis, a native of Argentina, is set to return to South America for a six-city apostolic visit that starts in Chile and ends in Peru a week later. During his visit, he plans to address subjects such as the environment and indigenous peoples, and as well as meeting Endeavour Magazine | 11


FOCUS

JEFF BEZOS

I

n 1994, entrepreneurial minds were still holding their breath and waiting to discover exactly what the online world ©StickerGiant Custom Stickers www.flickr.com/photos/stickergiant

would be. It was the time to get in early and enjoy the ride – the internet’s potential was clear to those who knew how to look at it, but no-one was sure where this evolving entity would take them. At the time, we were still dialing up via modem, spending money per minute and hogging the phone lines (remember landline phones?) to snatch a few precious moments on our favourite slowly loading sites. The road ahead was so unclear, we were sure we’d all be ‘surfing’ it, intrepidly exploring an ever-stretching web

of employees worldwide, Bezos was and

diminishingly possible – especially in the

of information without a compass. Now,

continues to be the mind behind it all –

social media age. Whether it was increased

we’ve hung up our surfboards in favour of

and it’s a talent that’s made him the world’s

attention, a freer schedule or a change of

‘Googling it’, we learn more from Youtube

richest man.

heart, suddenly, Bezos is everywhere, and

than we do from teachers, and poor Jeeves

It’s an impressive claim, and it carries

doesn’t get consulted much now we can just

an intimidating reputation. For many years,

Recent public appearances from Bezos

ask Siri.

Bezos has appeared an elusive figure, rarely

and his wife, MacKenzie, have including

It’s been a wild journey, and for those

attending public events. The impression was

the Golden Globes, a red carpet screening

that got in early, and played their hand well,

of a powerful yet cold man – yet it seems

of The Post in Washington (following his

there was a goldmine to discover. One such

logical that a computer-savvy businessman

recent purchase and revitalization of the

savvy opportunist was Jeff Bezos, founder of

might simply not enjoy the social spotlight.

paper), but what has really grabbed people’s

Amazon – aka that place you buy everything

Even more logically, it’s fair to assume that

attention is his charitable giving. The couple

from.

he has been extremely busy! However,

recently went public with a massive $US33

23 years on, Amazon is the world’s

he was sometimes as elusive at work as

million donation to a nonprofit that supports

marketplace. It is the most valuable retailer

he was in the public eye: to spend quality

America’s ‘Dreamers’ – immigrants brought

in the United States by market capitalization,

time with his wife MacKenzie and their

illegally into the US as children, who have

and the largest Internet company by revenue

four children, Bezos never schedules early

grown up as Americans and made their lives

in the world. It is also the fourth most

morning meetings. This may seem eccentric

there. (‘Dreamers’ are facing unsettling times

valuable public company in the world, which

to the American work ethic, but the picture

at present, after President Trump ordered a

shows how small a gap now exists between

it paints is a successful company owner who

scrapping and re-wording of the DREAM

ecommerce

companies.

is attempting to balance home and work

Act, leaving many futures in the balance).

Their success has been a combination of

life – and, it seems, he’s doing well at both.

reliability and customer service (in a world

Something had to give, and perhaps for the

million

of uncertain online shopping, Amazon have

peace and quiet of his family, or for himself,

campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.

a reputation as the safe bet), integration

it was PR.

Whilst same-sex marriage was legalised

and

physical

he’s instantly made an impression.

The billionaire also made a $US2.5 donation

to

Washington

state

with independent sellers, and different ways

However, recently, Bezos’ entire image

nation-wide in 2015, Washington was

of shopping, continuing always to expand

has changed; now the world’s richest

able to block the law coming into effect in

until they pretty much sell everything, and

man, with his company valued at $US600

its state – a move this campaign wishes to

staying relevant with changing trends.

billion and himself owning a net worth

overturn. Bezos’ donations are significant for

Whilst they now hire hundreds of thousands

of over $US100 billion, allusivity became

their public political statements as much as

12 | Endeavour Magazine


that Bezos decided to show his cards and let us see his human side. Like companies ©StickerGiant Custom Stickers www.flickr.com/photos/stickergiant

such as Google, Amazon have their fingers in more pies that we realise, and these include

the financial amounts: it would be possible

separate. The sudden change new approach

is having a more real impact on people’s

for the businessman to give such gifts

has made him a target of Presidential tweets,

lives than ever; as of last year, there are

anonymously, as he may have done in the

and has earned him praise and celebration

more than 300,000 small to medium sized

past, but allowing his name to appear on

from many.

American businesses selling through the

research into areas that push the boat further out into the science-fiction waters of possibility. For Bezos, this is Blue Origin, a space startup that aims to protect the planet from pollution by moving heavy industries off-world. With the company motto “step by step, ferociously”, it isn’t surprising that their more than slightly ambitious goal has plenty of people upset – namely, the vast numbers of businesspeople working in heavy industry. With irons like this in the fire, neutrality wasn’t likely to last for long. Perhaps the future for Jeff Bezos contains a closer resemblance to Bill Gates, not to mention the technological headlines of Elon Musk. He is certainly forming a name in his own right, not only in the world of business, but as a public player. Meanwhile, his company

both contributes to the ongoing debates

‘Big Tech’ companies are not only vast

company, not to mention the numerous

surrounding both issues. In terms of business,

corporations, but ones that are affecting

businesses overseas. Like internet culture

it’s a bold move, as a political stance can gain

the way we think, earn money, spend

in general, it will be exciting to see what

you loyalty from some customers, and lose

money, socialise and, well, live. As such, it’s

comes next for Amazon – after 23 years of

you others. In fact, for the better part of

no surprise that they face much scrutiny

adaptability, it seems they will be leading us

Amazon’s first two decades, Bezos was vocal

and backlash. Perhaps it’s for this reason,

forwards for some time to come yet - “step

on his wish to keep the company and politics

as the magnifying glass gets every-closer,

by step, ferociously”. Endeavour Magazine | 13


NH INTERNATIONAL WWW.NH.TT // 001 868 622 7402


BUILDING A COMMUNITY A bright, spacious office building in the sun-drenched city of St James, Trinidad, is the picturesque hub of operations for one of the Caribbean region’s most expert and trusted construction companies. WRITTEN BY CLAIRE HAMILTON RUSSELL


NH INTERNATIONAL

Containing all of the primary support functions, from IT

to HR, technical services and procurement, as well as the offices of the Executive Chairman and Managing Directors, this building is the nerve centre of NH International (Caribbean) Ltd. From here, their sphere of operations spreads out to over a dozen countries across the Caribbean region, stretching from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad and Tobago in the south; from Barbados in the east all the way to Jamaica in the west.

N

H International (Caribbean) Ltd (NH) has built its reputation

included not only government departments and local authorities

from the ground up. Initially founded 26 years ago as an

in Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat,

alliance between Emile Elias & Co Ltd and Northwest Holst

St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago,

International Ltd, the company came about in its present form in

but international institutions such as the BAA, for whom one of

1995 when the Emile Elias Group – a long-established company

the fledgling company’s first projects, Hewanorra Airport, was built

which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2015 - undertook a strategic

in 1993.

buyout of the Caribbean operations of its partner business. NH

In addition to their public works, the company has also

was thus born as an industry leader, proudly acclaimed as a flagship

produced more than $1 billion US dollars’ worth of construction

company by its parent group, and, in the 23 years since, has cemented

for private developers in the Caribbean area, tackling projects such

its reputation as a respected constructor and financer of vital large-

as commercial resorts, office buildings and residential building

scale private developments and social infrastructure projects that

developments, providing infrastructure that has boosted tourism

frequently transform the local and national communities in the

and commercial revenue as well as attractive but affordable housing

areas in which they are built.

stock across the region.

Refusing to allow itself to be pigeonholed, NH has

Executive Chairman Emile Elias speaks with great pride of the

enthusiastically embraced the challenge of project diversity and

company’s record in building vital infrastructure and expanding

gone on to undertake construction and development projects

social and commercial development in the region’s many young

across a broad slate, from small-scale specialist projects such

countries: “We encourage innovation to achieve our goals, making

as the complete furbishment of four orthopaedic wards in San

sure our staff has the skills, information and the latest technology

Fernando Hospital, to the creation of entire city square areas such

required to meet client specifications. We take pride in consistently

as the Government Campus Plaza in Port of Spain. They have even

exceeding our clients’ expectations.”

provided the full infrastructure for new residential estates, such as the still-in-progress Bon Air North Housing Project in Arouca.

The company’s governing philosophy emphasises a strong ethos of corporate responsibility, sustainability, cost-effectiveness,

Although their greatest concentration of projects are found

willingness to innovate, and service, both directly to clients and

in St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, NH has undertaken building

indirectly to the wider community of the region. Elias made these

works and developments all across the region. Clients have

beliefs clear, stating that “Throughout NH, there is the belief that

16 | Endeavour Magazine


NH INTERNATIONAL we must all be good stewards of the resources that are available to

great deal of respect in the region by offering to meet with clients’

us. We see ourselves as nation builders, and we will continue to be

financiers when important projects have run into financial difficulty,

governed by transparency, accountability and fair practice.”

seeking to find ways to keep them moving forward. They are also

This respect is returned by their clients in the region. A particular

well known to have always met or exceeded requirements for

mark of the esteem in which NH is held in Trinidad and Tobago

insurance coverage and bonding in their projects, and have a long-

is that they are seven-time recipients of the Trinidad and Tobago

term relationship with their insurance broker that has gone from

Contractors’ Association’s Contractor of the Year Award, but there

strength to strength since the inception of the company.

are many others. The sheer number of public contracts NH has

Even a brief pass across a few of their recent projects shows

been granted by the different governments and departments across

the range and scope of NH’s operations. In December 2016,

the region speaks for itself, as does the massive number of repeat

they completed worked on the Besson Street Police Station in

contracts they continue to win from both government and private

Port of Spain - a modern three-storey police station constructed

clients. Their name has become a byword for trustworthiness and

from reinforced concrete using the FORSA aluminium formwork

value for money in the region, while their range of recent projects

system, housed on a post-tensioned slab. In November 2016,

show that this need not preclude the use of innovative methods

they completed the Fairfield Housing Project, for which NH fully

and techniques, or of unusual designs made to fit the specific needs

designed and constructed nearly 550 family homes, using cast-

of a project’s local area and their proposed users and residents.

in-place reinforced concrete superstructures and the FORSA

This passion for quality and cost-effectiveness in their actual

formwork system atop reinforced concrete columns on augered

construction work is matched in their banking and insurance

piles. However, one of their most impressive projects remains

facilities. NH are known for their strong ethic of financial

the Rosemont Roman Catholic Primary School, which was not

responsibility and for keeping in close contact with funders and

only constructed on a very limited space due to site restrictions,

financial officers at all stages of a project. They have earned a

but also in a very limited time period, with the FORSA aluminium

18 | Endeavour Magazine


framework and superstructure constructed in only fifteen weeks.

Within the construction sphere specifically, Elias co-founded

Available space was so limited that it proved impossible to locate

the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC)

suitable playground space for the pupils at ground level; the NH

in 1978, and, while Executive Chair of NH, has served on it to

teams showed their creative flair by creating innovative play areas

represent the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors’ Association from

within and on the roof area instead.

1996 onwards. During this period, he also played a substantial part

However influential their creations are in transforming the

in founding the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute.

landscape, they are not the full story of NH in the Caribbean.

He continues to lead NH forward in offering time, expertise and

NH’s parent company, Emile Elias & Company, and its Executive

resources to many local community and campaigning organisations,

Chairman Elias himself, have a record of community service and

NGOs and development projects across the Caribbean region, while

engagement in the region extending as far back as the 1960s, when

remaining a major and influential voice for fairness, accountability

they became involved with planning, team building and advocacy

and following best practice within the construction agency.

work for the family planning movement, and then expanded to other local social movements and NGOs. Keen to extend the benefits of his experience as a self-made builder to the community at large, Elias himself founded the National Commission for SelfHelp, offering training and partnership opportunities to a variety of development projects, and served as Chairman until 1996. He was installed as the first lifetime member of the Executive Committee of the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and later went on to found the Cancer Society of Trinidad and Tobago, and co-found the Beryl McBernie Foundation for the Arts.

Endeavour Magazine | 19


CB GROUP WWW.MYCBGROUP.COM // 001 876 924 6000


GROWING SUCCESS Food can represent the heart of a country: not only does it feed mouths and provide an essential pillar to the economy, but the uniqueness in ingredients, flavours and traditions can sum up the feeling of a people. A country and its food can have a love affair – it’s a relationship that is life-giving in the jobs and business it generates, but if it is worked with care from the field to the frying pan, it can mean so much more. CB Group understand this relationship well, and have used it to not only achieve success for themselves, but also to help their country grow, whatever the weather. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


CB GROUP

CB Group was founded by Chairman Karl Hendrickson.

Hendrickson loved food: he approached the company both as a fan of baking and a fan of farming - he knew how to produce the best products, and he loved to use them! Like most ventures, he started small, purchasing a poultry processing operation called Caribbean Broilers in the early 1980s. Over the next ten years, he worked to improve the business, streamlining the supply chain and modernising production through automation.

W

ith a Caribbean hatchery already in business to supply baby

influence has grown, and the CB Group have been able to involve

chicks, he opened Newport Mills to supply himself with

themselves in more and more of Jamaica’s industries, supporting

better feed. Vertically integrated and running smoothly, a

their regrowth. In particular, they made major investments in the

successful future was a sure thing. However, history had other plans,

pork, egg and animal feed industries, with suppliers receiving steady

both for Hendrickson and for Jamaica at large. What happened in

business as well as hands-on assistance from CB’s resources. Today,

1988 could have been the end of many businesses, but Caribbean

the CB Group stands as a diversified agribusiness, covering three

Broilers not only rose from the ashes, but raised Jamaica up with

main markets: consumer foods, livestock & animal feeds, and crops.

them.

It all began with chicken, and CB Chicken is still a local favourite

In September 1988, Jamaica was hit by Hurricane Gilbert – one

that is offered in retail chains and wholesales island-wide. A staple

of the most powerful storms recorded to date. In terms of wind

meat in Jamaican cooking, CB Chicken has become the go-to brand

speed, it even surpassed 2017’s Hurricane Maria, and with it came

for pan vendors across the island, so much so that it annually holds

catastrophe for Jamaica. Once the storm had passed, not one farm

a PAN Competition attended by hundreds of vendors a year, and

was left standing. Between flood damage and sheer force, the

is spectated by thousands! These festivals are as popular and

crops were not only destroyed, but livestock was wiped out: the

energetic as they are in touch with the soul of Jamaica.

country’s agricultural sector was crippled, along with most other

This sums up CB Foods, and the entirety of the CB Group, with

areas of island life. However, the country was resilient, and this

their country’s enjoyment and wellbeing behind every decision as

included Hendrickson’s business. Rebuilding themselves better

they develop their delicious and sustainable foods. Local flavour

than they had been, the company saved no expense in choosing the

and high product quality is found in every aspect of CB’s companies

best farming technology available. Such a costly investment would

and brands, as is their dedication to supporting and raising up

have seemed like a risk after such devastating loss, but they knew

local farmers. The brand Caribbean Passion produces ready-to-

that to come back strong, they needed to come back swinging. This

eat deli products that use and celebrate local ingredients, their

restoration resulted in the Caribbean’s first-ever tunnel ventilated,

selection including extremely popular Christmas hams, sausages,

climate-controlled broiler house, proving a turning point not just

and smoked and cured meats. The Group also produces two ranges

for the company, but the local industry as a whole.

of eggs (Smart Eggs and Chippenham Eggs), and the “lean, clean

From that point onwards, the company has continued to

and tender” Copperwood Pork. The Group even has a company

innovate, invest, grow and diversify. In doing so, its affluence and

dedicated solely to producing flavoursome Jamaican beef burgers,

22 | Endeavour Magazine


CB GROUP and they’re not doing things by halves. Using Jamaican pimento and

As true supporters of agriculture, they not only purchase local

real Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers, Bonafide Burgers’ patties

livestock – they help farmers to care for them, too. Nutramix,

are full of local taste. They can also boast that their products use

another of the Group’s many companies, are producers of healthy,

no fill, no paste and no preservatives, promising a better quality,

natural feed for almost any kind of animal a farmer might keep. From

meatier burger. CB see Bonafide Burgers as an important arm in

livestock such as pigs, cows, rabbits, goats, sheep, poultry and fowl,

their support of local agriculture, using beef exclusively from local

they even provide feed for healthier, happier dogs. Farmers can rest

cattle farms, and only ever from grass-fed cows.

easy knowing that Nutramix has taken all their animals’ needs into

Bonafide Burgers only hit the shelves in summer 2017, as

consideration, right down to their four-legged helper. For example,

one of the many results of CB Foods’ ‘Live Better’ movement

their sheep and goat feeds “are enriched with ammonium chloride,

launched in February that year. “Through everything we do, we

which helps to prevent urinary tract stones known as ‘stoppage of

want Jamaicans to live better by making not just safe and quality

water’, a health concern for small ruminants,” whilst their poultry

foods, but by making more healthy and convenient foods, by being

feeds will have birds “ready for market faster without compromising

more eco-friendly and by continuing to support our local farmers.”

health.” Despite the latter’s promises, all of Nutramix’s feeds claim

Another brand of CB’s supporting this campaign is Happy Foods,

to be hormone-free, offering instead a healthier, more natural feed

a range that currently only carries soups, but aims to eventually

that has been carefully designed species by species to provide the

carry a whole range of healthy, wholesome meals hand-made from

greatest benefit. (The only agricultural animal Nutramix don’t feed

“homegrown” ingredients.

are horses, but CB has them covered as well with the Front Runner

All of these brands claim to teach and encourage top-quality,

feed produced by Newport Mills Ltd!)

sustainable practises in their fields, as well as empowering local

Much like CB’s meat brands, the Group’s feeds benefit from

suppliers of these meats. “Without our contract growers, there

locally grown, fresh ingredients. Encouraging local crops is

simply is no CB Group. Quality foods start on the farm and it is

essential for Jamaica’s farmers. It’s shocking to know that, despite

the hard work, dedication and excellent farm management skills of these special people that make it possible for us to provide safe and quality foods for our country each and every day.” Almost all of CB Group’s contract farmers have completed their ISO, HACCP and GMP certification, and new growers are encouraged and enabled to do so when they start supplying the Group. This is important for upholding not only safety, but quality taste, and also empowers more and more farmers to develop their practises for the good of the country. However, for many, the Group’s real game-changer is Bad Dawg Sausages. The “Bigga, Betta, Badda tasting sausage” is marketed as a meatier, more genuine-tasting alternative to the frankfurter, filled with richly flavoured ingredients and, like CB’s Bonafide Burgers, using no filler or paste. In the early days of the brand, Bad Dawgs were sold from independent cart operators. Each vendor ran their own business, empowered by CB and benefiting from the Group’s vast marketing resources. Like CB’s support of local farmers, this business model allowed many Jamaicans to work on their own terms. As the brand grew over its five years, its popularity soured to the extent that it has now worked its way into retail stores, although its cart vendors are still going strong! As the company themselves have said: “At CB Group, we care about our people and that’s why, in everything that we do, we always put them first. Our culture of hard work, passion and love for both our country and her people has been the cornerstone of the company’s success.” Of course, it isn’t only people that CB want to see eating well.

24 | Endeavour Magazine


the country’s agricultural potential, Jamaica’s iconic scotch bonnet

we’ve covered so far, they also provide extremely practical, hands-

peppers are not all locally grown. In fact, in 2016, the country

on help in the form of veterinary services: “Our expertise is honed

imported two million kg of these peppers. The country also

by operating one of the largest and most sophisticated poultry and

imports the majority of its sweetcorn every year, as well as 85%

pig livestock grow-out operations in Jamaica, and our veterinarians

of its onions. CB want to tackle this; much like their intervention

also provide field support for our extensive network of contract

to revive agriculture following Hurricane Gilbert, the Group are

farmers, feed and animal genetics customers.” These support

getting involved again, by creating the new brand ‘Homegrown’.

services are available across the island, assisting not only with

This brand focuses on freshly picked Jamaican produce, including

health concerns and site visits, but also by providing workshops

scotch bonnet peppers, sweet corn and onions!

and training to better inform and equip farmers for everything

Unsurprisingly at this point, the Group aren’t stopping there.

from general healthcare, to specific practises such as artificial

As well as working to make Jamaican farming what it should be,

insemination. they also facilitate the importation and distribution

CB are asking what it could be. “We have a passion for building

of veterinary medicines and supplies.

Jamaica and we recognize the importance of the agricultural

From surviving disaster to developing a vertically integrated,

industry as a driver of the Jamaican economy. Imagination is the

mutually supportive industry chain, CB Group’s success is the clear

seed of success, and so we started Imagination Farms. At our agri-

result of wise investments and genuine hard work. In everything

campus in St. Catherine, we’re investing in agricultural research

they do, they both benefit themselves, and their industry at large,

and development. Here, we grow a variety of crops, exploring the

and pull this off in an impressive number of fields! With so much

‘What If’ whilst developing sustainable best practices that can be

agricultural expertise under one name, with every company able to

applied by all local farmers.”

assist and inform each other, Jamaica’s farmers can know that they

As if all of this involvement wasn’t enough, CB have found yet more ways to feed into Jamaica’s agriculture. On top of everything 188x138mm pauta Cacia carnes Dic17.pdf

1

12/12/17

are in safe hands when they turn to the CB Group – whether they are buying, selling or both.

6:20 PM

Endeavour Magazine | 25


AMAZING WORLD MOUNT KAILASH - THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE?

BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER

I

t is not uncommon for a landmark with religious significance to hold meaning for several faiths at once. The most famous

and one of the most tragic examples is the greatly fought-over city of Jerusalem, heralded as a Holy City by both Judaism and Islam, as well as Christianity, with the city’s Temple Mount in particular valued by all three. Just as these Abrahamic religions share many points of reference, the Eastern faiths also share plenty of overlap between their beliefs and holy places. One of the most striking and unusual examples of this is Mount Kailash, a focal point for Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, as well as the local Tibetan religion Bön. The mountain casts a striking image: located in western Tibet, its towering peak is formed from a deep black stone, covered year-round with ice and snow thanks to its altitude. There are many beliefs surrounding the peak, from the religious to the paranormal. It is thought by many to be the Axis Mundi – the centre of the universe, where our world and the next one meet; others say that it is the source of mystical rivers, or a milestone on the road to the mythical wonder-kingdom Shambala; Russian scientists have even theorised that it is man-man, which would make it the largest pyramid in known history by an impressive margin! Whilst the stories vary and speculation flies, the faiths that revere this site have many beliefs in common when it comes to the looming mountain. Whilst it may look intimidating, this indomitable, unclimbed peak is actually

reflection and enlightenment, and a symbol

wisdom. Amazingly, Jainism keeps the theme

renowned as a centre of enlightenment and

of the meditative “Om”. As Shiva is God of

going, believe the site to be where the first

spiritual bliss. Bön regards the mountain as

Death and the afterlife, it is also a bridge

Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha, attained

the centre of the universe, and the home of

between this world and the next.

enlightenment.

the sky goddess Sipaimen. Hindus instead

Buddhism also sees this mountain as a

It’s uncanny how similar these traditions

believe it is the residence of Lord Shiva,

focus-point for our world, calling it the ‘naval

are. However, despite the stories and

whom many Hindu groups believe is the

of the universe’. They too link the mountain

reverence around it, the mountain is rarely

God of all gods. Shiva, in a state of eternal

with the idea of enlightenment and bliss,

visited by pilgrims compared to other holy

peaceful meditation beside his beloved

seeing it as the home of Buddha Demchog,

sites. This is due to its remote location in

Parvati, supposedly resides on or above

who represents these ideas, similar to Shiva’s

the Tibetan Himalayas: there is a four-day

the mountain, making it a holy site of bliss,

symbolic link to meditation and supreme

hike from the nearest village in Lhasa to the

26 | Endeavour Magazine


there have been some odd reports about

were equally skilled, and no victor arose. To

the effects the area has had on pilgrims

break the tie, they instead challenged each

and other passers-by. Although there has

other to a race to Kailash’s summit. Naro

been no scientific explanation offered,

Bön-chung, one of the sorcerers, flew up the

and there is little documented evidence,

mountain side on a magic drum, whilst his

it is a common rumour that hair and nails

rival, Milarepa, sat and meditated. At the last

will grow faster in this region: supposedly,

second, Milarepa suddenly overtook Naro by

spending 12 hours around the mountain

speeding to the top carried by sunlight.

will result in hair and nails growing as much

With so many faiths and incredible tales

as they usually would over two weeks!

links to this mountain, it is no surprise that it

Attempts at explanations often point to an

is a valued spot for pilgrims. Unfortunately,

‘energy’ around the mountain, but without

pilgrimages to the mountain from India were

much evidence, it is probably just a story.

stopped between 1954-1978 due to border

Potentially, the rumour has been sparked

disputes, meaning that worshipers of Shiva

by the length of the journey pilgrims take

were unable to travel to the god’s home.

to reach the mountain, or the fact that

Today, only a limited number are permitted

some extend the 32-mile walk around the

at a time, under the supervision of the

mountain’s base from 15 hours to 4 whole

Chinese and Indian governments. Whilst

weeks, by performing physically demanding

guest houses and even a small medical

body-length prostrations the entire way

centre exist, it is a dangerous journey, with

sparse guesthouses at the pilgrim outpost,

around. To complete this, pilgrims will kneel,

some traveling across the Himalayas to

and from here, pilgrims traditionally attempt

lay flat, rise and begin again, toes beginning

begin it.

to walk around the mountain’s entire base

where their fingers last reached. It is a

Despite the potential peril, this mountain

– a trek of 32-miles. No one has ever been

painful and slow form of supplication, and

keeps drawing people back. This month will

recorded as having climbed the mountain

plenty of time for hair and nails to grow like

certainly be no exception: as Hindus mark

itself; this is partly because of its steep and

the rumour describes.

Maha Shivaratri, “the Great Night of Shiva”,

icy footing, and partly out of respect – it is

The mountain is even supposedly the

it is likely that as many Indian pilgrims as

said that disturbing the gods by entering this

setting of a legendary sorcerers’ battle!

may pass will make the treacherous journey

site of bliss will bring a bad fate on those

According to myth, around 1000AD, two

to this place of bliss – a safe journey and

who tread there.

magicians supposedly challenged each other

Happy Maha Shivaratri to them all.

Whilst no-one climbs the mountain,

to a duel at the mountain’s base, but they Endeavour Magazine | 27


ARAWAK CEMENT WWW.ARAWAKCEMENT.COM.BB // 001 246 439-9880


SOLID GROUND Construction is one of the world’s most exciting industries, and one that plays into almost every aspect of our lives. No matter how talented the architect and construction team working on a project, if the materials aren’t as they should be, the whole thing crumbles. Fortunately, Barbados’ Arawak Cement have not only proven the strength of their product, but also their dedication to the Caribbean community during 2017’s turbulent times. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


ARAWAK CEMENT

Arawak Cement Company Limited (ACCL) are a Barbados-

based company primarily focused on the manufacture of Portland Limestone cement. The plant is located in Checker Hall, St. Lucy, close to the coast on the northern tip of the island. This position is ideal for export, which the company utilizes – however, their priority is to serve the local market, both through the provision of jobs and a product that construction companies can bank on.

I

nitially founded in 1984, ACCL’s journey began almost ten years

time in 1997. The restoration of the cement plant was an incredible

earlier, and the company only opened as it is known today ten

success, profitable for TCL and a source of much-needed jobs for

years later. This first decade was one of challenge and change

Barbados. In restoring the kiln, ACCL were also able to participate

for the cement producer; at first, it was launched as a joint venture

in the export market for the first time in six years.

between the Government of Barbados (51%) and the Government

As the company states on their website, “Arawak Cement

of Trinidad and Tobago (49%), following feasibility studies and

Company Limited is committed to satisfying the needs and

negotiations that had begun in 1973. However, the production

expectations of its internal and external customers, by the

facility suffered significant losses, and both governments voted

production of consistently high-quality products and services.”

to terminate production in 1991. The kiln was closed, and for

They uphold this aim through a series of approaches, including

the next three years the plant served instead as a grinding circuit

taking a preventative approach to problem solving, and of course

that supplied cement for the domestic market. This, too, was met

ensuring that all of their staff are conscious of and committed to

with difficulty, and in 1994 the shareholders decided to sell the

the same goal. Quality is not a concept that can be created by the

company. Barbados’ cement would no longer be a government-run

Head Office, but is a result achieved by every choice from each

endeavour.

employee. Their concentration, work ethic and BLAH all contribute,

Whilst these governments saw a failure, others saw a

and it is a goal that the company takes seriously. In fact, with only

rich opportunity. ACCL was purchased by the TCL Group, the

one competitor operating on the island, the question of superior

Caribbean’s leading producer and marketer of cement and ready-

quality has been a personal one. ACCL only have one competitor

mix products, and with the speedy application of their expertise,

on the local cement market; Rock Hard Cement. Only established

the Group promptly turned ACCL’s fortunes around. The company

in 2015, the Barbados-based distribution company imports cement

was restructured financially and administratively, with new systems

blends from overseas, whereas ACCL produce all of their products

introduced in their accounting, human resources, reporting and

locally.

management approach. The Group had seen ACCL’s potential, and

This initially friendly competition quickly heated up, as Rock

they wasted no time in realising it, with the abandoned company

Hard Cement’s marketing based a campaign on claiming to have

seeing a complete reversal of their fortunes within the first year.

the “best” and “strongest” cerement in Barbados. As the only local

It was no light investment for the TCL Group – on top of

producer, ACCL didn’t take these claims lying down. Upon seeing

purchasing the company, the Group threw in a BDS$13.6 million

the marketing campaign, the company promptly commissioned a

kiln reactivation project, which was completed on budget and on

third-party scientific study to reliably and quantifiably establish

30 | Endeavour Magazine


ARAWAK CEMENT the truth. Confident that their Portland Cement blends would be

practical benefits for the country’s people. As well as contributing

proven the superior product, the company approached the CTL

to local employment and business, the product’s reduced journey

Group, the cement and concrete technology R&D laboratories of

increases its reliability for Barbados companies. Arawak fear that

the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

imported cement faces the risk of damage whilst in transit, which

Samples for the experiment were taken from all cement varieties

can compromise the integrity of the product. In fact, Arawak’s

sold in Barbados since 2015: locally made ACCL cement, Rock Hard

public notice claims that CTL’s study found lumps of hard cement

Cement imported from Portugal and Rock Hard Cement imported

within Rock Hard’s imported samples, which indicates that the

from Turkey. A company statement described these experiments as

product has begun the ‘hydration process’ and thus weakened in

‘compressive strength tests’. ACCL’s confidence was not misplaced

reliability and consistency. The study, which happened overseas in

– out of the products tested, their registered the highest values,

Illinois USA, tested exported samples for both companies, implying

proving that theirs was indeed the strongest product. With the

that Arawak’s cement did not present the same issues, thus making

authority of scientifically verified results in their corner, ACCL

it the safer choice for both local and overseas consumers.

released a public statement promoting the findings and calling out

The results of this study seem like an attack, but when proven

Rock Hard, but they didn’t stop there. The company has gone as far

findings clash with undefended claims, it’s no wonder ACCL

as calling on regulators to take action, proposing that Rock Hard’s

is feeling confident! When it isn’t combating its competitors,

statements are in breach of the Consumer Protection Act, citing

however, the manufacturer is helping its neighbours. ACCL has

CTL’s findings as evidence that Rock Hard’s claims were incorrect

involved itself in many community outreach programmes over the

and misleading.

years, including several youth outreach programmes and donations

This study aside, the clear distinction between these two companies is that Rock Hard import, whilst ACCL produce locally in Barbados. Locally made cement has not only economic, but

32 | Endeavour Magazine

to local schools. However, its most significant initiative of late was its response to the Caribbean’s recent hurricane crisis. In October 2017, ACCL appealed to the public to support them


in gathering aid for the affected islands. Their campaign stated “We

active month for hurricanes in modern recorded activity. However,

stand together”, and inspiringly, “Together, we will rebuild!” Whilst

the Caribbean has been no stranger to hurricanes, even if they

Barbados stood untouched by the hurricanes that had devastated

haven’t been to this magnitude and frequency, and this October

their neighbours, ACCL called to the islanders to intervene for those

was not the first time ACCL have been in involved in disaster aid.

in need: “As members of the Caribbean community, we cannot stand

For example, when the Department of Emergency Management

idly by as our sister islands come to terms with the devastation

(DEM) in Barbados dubbed March ‘Tsunami and Earthquake Smart’

caused by recent hurricanes. Our Caribbean neighbours need us

Month, the company partnered with the Barbados Association

now!”

of Professional Engineers (BAPE) to sponsor a workshop on

In a public release, the company stated: “The TCL Group is committed to supporting the rebuilding efforts by working with

disaster readiness, including talks from structural engineers on the importance of building resilient structures.

regional governments and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency

Their continued work in the wake of September and October’s

Management Agency (CDEMA). To this end, we have launched

tragedy is one of many stories of generosity and strength that the

Phase 1 of a massive relief drive, and have been collecting donations

crisis has inspired. Through their aid, ACCL are demonstrating their

from employees, suppliers and customers. Cash donations from

commitment to solid foundations, not only in construction but

employees are being matched by the company.”

in the very lives of the Caribbean people. As for their dedication

As well as matching monetary donations, the company called

to quality, the evidence is in! From a slow start to their speedy

on the public to donate much-needed relief items such as canned

success, ACCL are the company to beat – and they have the results

foods, bottled water, clothes, toiletries, tarpaulins and trauma kits.

to prove it.

ACCL then utilized their existing fleet and export logistics network to make sure the items reached where they were most needed. September 2017 has been described by many as the most

Endeavour Magazine | 33


BAITALI GROUP WWW.BAITALIGROUP.COM // 00597 530 654


BUILDING TOGETHER Construction and agriculture – these industries evoke opposing images of urban and country development, hard to imagine working in harmony, and yet these are the two pillars of Suriname’s Baitali Group. In reality, both industries are cornerstones of civilisation, and one cannot exist without the other. For the Baitali Group, this is especially true: we spoke with Farsi Khudabux, company CEO, to talk about the two faces of the company, and what it is that pulls the Baitali Group together. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


BAITALI GROUP

The Baitali Group run a regional operation, working in

Suriname and its neighbouring Guyana as well as throughout the Caribbean. Like any group, it is the umbrella for a range of companies, some of which were founded almost 40 years ago whilst others have only stood for four. This range of experience and services is the product of a long and evolving tale, including venture in construction, manufacture, agriculture and even mining. With these many strings to their bow, Baitali Group are a jack of many trades – but that hasn’t stopped them mastering some, too.

B

reaking the Group down, the umbrella covers the following companies: General contractors Aannemingsmaatschappij Baitali (AMB), manufacturers Baitali Pavement Products (BPP),

testing company Baitali Pavement Testing & Technologies (BPTT), Batali Mining and the agricultural Machinale Landbouw Nanni (MLN). Their customers range from rice exporters to government bodies, their contracting work covering everyone from local groups to multi nationals. Their collection of services first began to take form in 1960, with the construction company Surinaamse Constructie Maatschappij N.V. (SCM). SCM stood as the sole

Proud to support Baitali Group

company in the Baitali Group for 20 years, until AMB succeeded it in 1980. The second company would serve as a replacement to the first, rebranding the efforts and experience of the last two decades into a new and smoother machine. AMB’s core operations revolved, and still revolve, around infrastructure, performing engineering, construction and project management on major projects within road construction, dewatering, dike construction and irrigation works. It is a field

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36 | Endeavour Magazine

that comes laden with wide-spread implications for Suriname, and that’s a responsibility that AMB take seriously. In their own words; “Purposeful, smart and sustainably designed infrastructure is key to well-being, economic growth and prosperity.” AMB have delivered some of the largest and most complex civil infrastructure projects in Suriname, ranging from major irrigation projects to work on heavy duty pavements for the country’s ports and harbours. Not stopping at construction, AMB are also involved


in the design and operation of the infrastructure they help to create, including services in traffic planning, utility relocation and sustainable infrastructure design: “AMB combines smart planning, resilient design, technical know-how and an integrated approach to make visions become a reality. We have helped customers bring ambitious concepts to life, like large-scale urban development projects.” AMB’s extensive works represented the entirety of Baitali’s activities for six years, but as is often the pattern after six years of success, it became time diversify. Mr Baitali did so in a drastic direction, not complimenting his contractors with a manufacturer or expanded construction services, but instead branching into agriculture. To forgive the pun, the founder didn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket – however, the agricultural company’s main output was in fact rice. MLN took on rice production head-on, launching into this new field by tackling every aspect of the industry, all the way from sowing through to processing and sale. Today, the company’s annual production is approximately 5000 tons, most of which is exported to Europe, whilst the remainder is sold on the local market. This two-pronged company continued in its approach, growing

Chisu Investment and Development N.V.

We would like to congratulate Baitali Group on their continued success.

Neumanpad No. 46 Paramaribo Suriname

Tel. (597) 478272/ (597) 8868834 Fax: (597) 478273 Email:chisupmp@gmail.com Endeavour Magazine | 37


BAITALI GROUP in expertise and experience, until 2012, when the diversification

able to support, monitor and cover its own operations essentially

bug struck again. This time, three new companies were founded

head to toe – a position that results in consistency, reliability, and

in the space of two years, more than doubling the number of

significant savings along the way.

companies under the umbrella in a sudden burst of activity:

At the cusp of this game-changing expansion for the Group,

Baitali Pavement Testing & Technologies, Baitali Mining and Baitali

Farsi Khudabux took over the role of CEO. He has held the position

Pavement Products were all founded consecutively. These three

for the past five years, part of a total 12 with the Group. As an

companies worked in co-operation to streamline a new range of

overseer of this change, we asked Farsi what he felt Baitali’s key

operations that all built upon AMB’s origins: road laying, asphalt

to success has been. For him, it is always the people. “I started in

and concrete.

2005 as a Junior Engineer and worked my way through different

Founding three new companies hot on each other’s tails is a

positions and departments to the position that I have now. I think

costly and ambitious move, but in doing so, Baitali set themselves up

this is a good example of how the company facilitates personal

with a smooth, well-integrated series of operations. BPP specialise

growth.”

in asphalt, soil cement and subbase production, whilst Baitali

An inevitable part of any expansion, and particularly the

Mining produce aggregates perfect for this process. Their mines,

founding of new companies, is a growing body of staff. Farsi sees

currently operational in Apoera and Upper Corentyne (Kabalebo),

the protection of these assets as top priority, and what enables

also produce different sizes of dike stones that are essential for

Baitali to achieve the range of quality services they offer: “We

the Baitali Group’s infrastructure works, with enough left over

employ 400 people and we consider each one of them as the most

for profitable trade with the Apoera and Wakay port. Meanwhile,

important asset of our company. Our vision is to give employees all

BPTT is a certified research laboratory, providing geotechnical

the possibilities and opportunities (especially training) to develop

engineering and testing on all types of materials needed for road

themselves in a professional way. Ultimately, they shape the

construction. Between these triplets and AMB, the Baitali Group is

organization.”

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Despite this dedicated workforce and a wide and well-

goal, with so many of its branches supporting each other, whilst still

connected series of operations, Baitali’s market has thrown the

operating in their own rights. However, they aren’t stopping there

company several challenges. Farsi explained:

– with local funds an issue, the Group’s companies are starting to

“The industry Baitali Group operates in is currently experiencing

look abroad: “Baitali Group is attempting to spread its wings beyond

difficulties due to the economic recession in Suriname. Due to price

Suriname. We are aware that at some point, the small society and

drops of the country’s leading commodities (gold and oil), there has

scale of Suriname might become an obstacle in the expansion that

been a drastic cut in government earnings. Since the Government

we aspire towards.”

and government related institutions have been the prime market

Yet despite local strains, Baitali’s success in Suriname is far

of Baitali Group, this development also had its influence on our

from over. Quite the contrary – they have a slate of plans at home

company.”

as well as for abroad, including designing, building & financing a

When keeping afloat in difficult waters, attention can end up

project for reconstructing the East-West connection road into

turned on the competition. However, Farsi is more concerned in

Suriname, launching their own rice brand, and investing in ocean-

seeing Baitali being the very best that it can be, rather than focusing

going vessels for the export of their aggregates. Most notably, they

on undercutting its rivals. “As a large-scale company, we certainly

have recently won a contract for rehabilitating one of Suriname’s

face competition in Suriname, but our approach to competition is

busiest shopping streets. Suriname has been the home of Baitali’s

positive. In our industry, and certainly in an economy as small as

success since the 1960s, and the Group are far from flying the

Suriname’s, we don’t consider competitors as rivals. We believe

nest – more, their home is a country they will continue to benefit

that competition is a positive impulse to raise your bar. We just try

and improve through their infrastructural expertise, and from that

to do everything with an extra touch of our core values and always

foundation, can reach out to the wider world and see just how far

try to be one step ahead.”

their ambition takes them.

The Group has already positioned itself well to achieve this

BAITALI GROUP OF COMPANIES Duisburglaan 29 Paramaribo, Suriname

Tel: +597 530-654 Email: info@baitaligroup.com Website: Baitaligroup.com


BANKING ASSOCIATION SOUTH AFRICA WWW.BANKING.ORG.ZA // 0027 11 645 6700


BANKABLE RESULTS Headed by Managing Director Cas Coovadia, the Banking Association South Africa seeks to maintain stability by embracing change. As the mandated representative of the banking sector, theirs are the shoulders upon which the country’s banking stands – an industry that, in turn, supports the country as a whole. Whilst a small group in terms of staff, the Banking Association South Africa’s reach and influence is vast, as is the responsibility of their role: Endeavour caught up with the association to take a closer look at how they handle their calling. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


BANKING ASSOCIATION SOUTH AFRICA

The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) exists as a

go-between for South Africa’s government and its banks. However, in reality, there is also a third essential voice that they bring to the conversation: South Africa itself. Between politicians and stakeholders, one might expect BASA to advise these two power-groups without much thought to the impact on the South African people, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s more than just business to you.

W

ith a focus on accessibility, inclusiveness and change, MD Cas Coovadia has taken BASA against the grain of what we expect from the banking world. The result? Amazingly,

more stable business for their members. That’s right – it seems that good banking pays. In its own words, BASA is “an industry body that aims to build a positive banking environment for consumers and banks. It addresses industry issues through advocacy; guiding transformation in the sector; acting as a catalyst for constructive and sustainable change;

That’s why we help.

and engaging with critical stakeholders.” It works closely with its

As a bank built by entrepreneurs, we understand that it’s more than just business to you. It’s more than just banking to us. That’s why we help.

government to make them aware of the bank’s needs. It also stays

members to advise on issues facing the sector, and to lobby the aware of how banking can impact the country in a positive way, as Cas elaborated: “BASA manages various committees that advise our executive on issues pertinent to the sector. For instance, we have affordable housing, agriculture, SMME, debtor financing and

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property finance committees among many more.” BASA is aware of the demands on its position and holds itself to the highest standards in order to meet them. This includes monitoring the quality of its staff, the efficiency of its communication systems and the way in which BASA represents itself and its members to South Africa as a whole. As it states on its website: “We are an organisation that exists to contribute to the enablement of a conducive banking environment. Part of this responsibility is to ensure that we participate at the highest-

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42 | Endeavour Magazine

level of decision making in the country. To this end, The Banking


Association South Africa has structured and organised itself to ensure effective participation in cabinet and its executive through the calibre of people and leadership that interact with Government at various levels.” When it was initially established in 1992, BASA was a different animal. In fact, it was four animals: The Association of Mortgage Lenders, The Merchant Bankers Association, The Clearing Bankers Association and The Association of General Banks. These four separate associations worked cooperatively under the name ‘the Council of South African Banks’ (COSAB), but they did not become one official entity until 1998. When merged, the new association was named The Banking Council South Africa, until 2005 brought a complete re-structuring, re-naming and new leadership. That new MD was Cas Coovadia, and the entity was the beginning of BASA as it stands today.

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With a pressing need for professionalism, BASA needed quality in every member of staff, and a clear head at the helm. Coovadia was a natural choice – having previously worked closely with his

predecessor, he was able to bring a fresh approach to leadership whilst building organically from the foundation of BASA’s past. He

seized the opportunity to re-invent how the association worked: as a sector, banking has a reputation for being resistant to change,

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Endeavour Magazine | 43


BANKING ASSOCIATION SOUTH AFRICA but in order to keep up with South Africa’s evolving needs and best

within state-owned enterprises. We look forward to working with

support its members in responding to them, the new MD ruled that

government in helping to shape an exciting period of clear, growth-

stagnancy and complacency were not an option. Going further still,

friendly policies that boosts confidence in South Africa even further

he made sure that BASA’s focus was not simply on its members, but

and helps drive development in the interests of all South Africans,

on their customers, helping one by protecting the other:

particularly the poorest of the poor. We see inclusive growth as

“We work with government and other stakeholders to ensure

the key to overcoming poverty, inequality and unemployment and

inclusion in banking, so that as many people as possible in our

we see a new political environment taking shape where that can

country have access to some form of banking service.”

accelerate.”

It seems a simple aim, but it is one that banks can, in honesty,

Globally, banking hit a crisis in 2008 and 2009. However, thanks

overlook, but Coovadia is on a mission to prove that fair and

in part to the support and advice of the association, a proactive

successful banking can work hand in hand. He was no stranger to

and efficient regulator and relatively conservative banking practice,

working towards change before his position as MD, either; “I have

South Africa’s banks faired surprisingly well: “SA boasts the second

a lifelong commitment to civic issues, including as an activist within

most sound banking sector in the world. Our banks are well

the United Democratic Front during the anti-apartheid struggle

capitalised and amongst the best in the world. This is borne out by

and as a founder member of the SA National Civics Organisation.”

the fact that our banks weathered the 2008/9 financial crisis and

It is an attitude that has seen him through 12 successful years as

not a single bank experienced any liquidity or capital problems.”

BASA’s MD, and they have been successful for South Africa, too.

This statement in itself suggests a link between inclusive

“With banks being so closely integrated into the economy, the

banking and stability. Whatever the cause, it’s inarguably an

interests of our members are aligned to the economic fortunes of the

impressive boast! “The South African banking sector, despite

country,” Cas explains. “Following recent political developments, we

being a concentrated sector, is still competitive and continues

are extremely positive about policy indications and appointments

to diversify its products and broaden its services according to

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beyond a bank

2018/02/07 11:47 AM

Endeavour Magazine | 45


BANKING ASSOCIATION SOUTH AFRICA international best practice. Currently the South African banking

their staff learning and promotion opportunities is essential to

sector is comprised of 17 registered banks, two mutual banks, 14

the MD; to encourage an attitude of offering inclusiveness and

local branches of foreign banks, two co-operative banks and 43

opportunity to the bankers of South Africa, he must offer the

foreign banks with approved local representative offices.” This isn’t

same to his staff. “BASA strives to be a caring organisation. We

to say that economics in South Africa are problem free. Like most

encourage staff development and, as far as our budget permits, we

of the world, the truth is far from it, and this is bound to have an

contribute towards training and studies of staff, provided this is of

impact on banks, however stable: “The current economic issues

relevance to the position. Staff get a maximum of 10 days’ study

we have in South Africa don’t provide a conducive environment

leave per annum for graduate qualifications and 13 days for post-

for banks, because the volumes of bank business are limited by the

graduate qualifications. “

pedestrian economic growth and lack of investment, which in turn

Coovadia is no fool – by valuing the idea of brand and corporate

is constrained by a poor environment for investment. However,

vision, mingled with a personal and genuine investment in his

even in this difficult environment, our banks remain sound, stable

staff, he has created an entity where employees can be proud to

and solid, and ensure the safety of depositor funds.”

work, and will pass that positivity and zeal on to their members.

Instigating change in an industry must happen on many fronts

When asked his philosophy regarding leadership, he responded

– as well as influencing his 35 - member banks and lobbying the

with “Humility, morality, ethics and servant leadership” - it isn’t a

government, Coovadia needed to create change at home. He knew

common answer, but it one that has served him and South Africa

that to keep ideas fresh, he could not ignore the potential of young

well. As always, he has a slate of plans moving forwards to improve

employees: “Always try to encourage young talent and develop

awareness and communication between the groups BASA interact

it. We take in interns every year and expose young people to the

with, and with every step, to continue the mission he began 12

industry. We also try to promote from within wherever possible,

years ago. It’s a breath of fresh air to see, and an attitude that we

bearing in mind that we have a relatively flat structure.” Offering

hope will catch on!

19280

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Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking is a division of Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP16).

46 | Endeavour Magazine

19280 NB CIB Endeavour Mag 138X188.indd 1

2018/01/19 2:07 PM


AMAZING WORLD MARDI GRAS: EVERYBODY LOVES A CARNIVAL

BY WILL GIRLING

A

ll around the world, February is truly the month of the carnival. From the colourful Italian stylings of the

Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice), the monster parades visible in Germany during

the

Kölner

Karneval

(Cologne

Carnival), and the spectacular grandiosity of the Rio Carnival, it seems like the world can’t wait to thaw the remnants of winter and kick-start the warm renewal of spring. With so many to choose from, there’s one festival in particular that we’d like to talk about - perhaps the most famous of them all. Its location is New Orleans, Louisiana USA; it was famously the ‘milk & honey’ destination for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s motorcycle-riding hippies in the classic movie Easy Rider; and as of 2018 it will have been celebrated for 319 years. If

temporary inversion of social norms and

and often provocative parades by groups

you translated the title into English, you’d

customs. Transmitted from Ancient Greek

such as the ‘Mystic Krewe of Nyx’ and

call it ‘Fat Tuesday’, but everybody knows it

celebrations such as Bacchanalias (tribute

the ‘Krewe of Muses’. A ‘krewe’ is a group

in the original French: Mardi Gras.

rituals to the god of wine), Mardi Gras

who specifically prepare public displays for

With the first recorded Mardi Gras

served to alleviate social tensions and help

the carnival season; social clubs do and

celebration in New Orleans dating back to

people ‘let off steam’. For instance: during a

always have played a very important role

spring 1699, the history of the festival is a

normal feast it was traditional for those of

in the festivities. The krewe members are,

long and technicoloured one. Originating as

the highest status (lords, aristocracy, etc) to

often without exception, costumed and

an observance of the Catholic faith in the

be served food first, followed by the other

masked in burlesque fashion throughout the

French-colonial portion of America, Mardi

diners in their respective social hierarchy to

proceedings. Their outfits are meticulously

Gras’ revelries take place during the two

the lowest. However, during a carnival feast

planned, often months in advance, and fitted

weeks prior to Ash Wednesday, the official

the order would be reversed. Part of the

with the utmost dedication: feathers, make-

beginning of the Christian season of Lent.

reason the celebrations during Mardi Gras

up, thematic props and every colour under

Historically, as a symbolic juxtaposition to

became so charged is that it signified the last

the sun are fair game. However, on the day

the ascetic 40 days that proceed after Shrove

time people could eat and drink well; using

of Mardi Gras itself (Shrove Tuesday), the

Tuesday, party-goers indulge themselves

up their remaining stores from the winter,

general public often decide to get in on

in rich foods, drinks and spectacles – with

they would seek to voraciously devour the

the action too. In fact, Louisiana state laws

at least one formidable parade taking place

rich food that could not be preserved during

regarding the concealment of one’s identity

every day. With the amount of sensational

the 40 day fast.

are actually temporarily suspended, although

excess taking place during this time, you can

The two weeks of Mardi Gras are marked

some public buildings may deny entry to

easily understand where the ‘Fat Tuesday’

by heated anticipation: during the preceding

those who refuse to shed their celebratory

moniker originates from!

week, it is estimated that the population of

duds.

It is speculated in folklore that the word

New Orleans increases by more than 50%

The extravagant pageants put on by the

‘carnival’ originated from the Latin phrase

as attendees begin to assemble (in an official

krewes aren’t limited to just their eccentric

‘carne vale’, or ‘goodbye to meat’ - a reference

2010 census, the ordinary population of

wardrobe: parade floats dominate the city’s

to the impending fast of Lent. Historically,

the city was recorded as 343,829). Modern

streets, their choreographed ambassadors

a carnival like Mardi Gras also signified the

celebrations

dazzling the audience; large, custom-made

48 | Endeavour Magazine

include

highly

decorative


‘doubloons’ – coins minted by each krewe

renowned for its unrestrained movements

at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium,

with a unique stamp – are cast into the

and forms. Some families have even made

where two masked balls are held in their

crowds, as well as the infamous technicolour

participation

tradition,

honour. With the stroke of midnight and

beads now synonymous with Mardi Gras,

literally carrying on the flame for their

the arrival of Ash Wednesday, the revelries

and troops of blazing torch-bearers march

ancestors.

are officially drawn to an end and the New

a

long-standing

down the sultry streets of New Orleans. The

Although the party may still be going

Orleans police force make an exhibition of

latter are called flambeau carriers, and before

strong after three centuries, the conclusion

clearing the lingering patrons from the city’s

the advent of electrical lighting, they served

of each individual Mardi Gras is as abrupt

famous Bourbon Street. As dawn breaks

to illuminate the festival during the hours

as the first blossoms of spring it portends.

on the horizon, sanitation workers begin to

of darkness. Now, the flambeau carriers

As the final hours approach, the elected

limber up for the truly hefty task of cleaning

practice a special kind of performance art

‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of the carnival converge

the carnival’s debris. Endeavour Magazine | 49


WINELANDS PORK WWW.WLPORK.CO.ZA // 0027 21 945 2428


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WINELANDS PORK

It’s unlikely that South Africa will ever be something of

a mecca for vegetarians, what with the country having a long and impressive legacy of producing some of the most fantastically mouth-watering braai treats, but that doesn’t mean that meat production companies can rest easy. Hubris and complacency are the cornerstones of unexpected business failure, which is why it’s those operations consistently looking to improve that will prosper. Winelands Pork Ltd (WP) is such a company.

F

ounded in 2001, in the Western Cape of South Africa, WP has enjoyed tremendous growth and expansion, to the point of now offering export-approved abattoir services. Paying

attention to the finer details at every stage of the pork production process has allowed WP to revel in a reputation that is, frankly, enviable, and clients are able to benefit from it as well: “Winelands Pork is committed to finding constructive ways to

Thank you to Winelands Pork for their continued support

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52 | Endeavour Magazine

participate with its clients, in order to ensure the brand involves a sense of pride, quality and superiority at all times. Being approved as an export abattoir ensures that our product meets the highest standard not only nationally, but also internationally. Our clients can be assured of the best quality at all times.” From selecting only the finest pigs, from approved farms, through to hiring nothing but committed and expert staff, WP is going the extra mile in terms of sustainable and traceable sustenance. To find out more, we spoke with Henry Shaw, Operations Manager. As you no doubt already expect, WP has a very definite mission in terms of what it wants to bring to the meat industry, as well as how to go about meeting goals and targets, but you might be surprised by how client-focused the mission actually is: “Our mission is to create value for both the farmers and consumers through our products, serve the nutritional needs of local and global communities and grow responsible by fostering and


WINELANDS PORK focusing on our platform of producing pigs and the slaughtering thereof in the Western Cape.”

The result of this ethos is a body of staff that feel valued and intrinsically responsible for their part in the production process.

In order to do this, WP recognises that it will need to continue

This sense of ownership naturally lends itself to better standards,

expanding and diversifying, whilst also maintaining a focus on

which can be tangibly measured, assessed and, where possible,

sustainability and quality practices. There’s only one way to

bettered.

guarantee these end results: by utilising talented professionals that are committed to working alongside the principles of respect, integrity, open communication and excellence that underpin everything that WP does.

Speaking to Henry about day-to-day endeavours of WP, it’s clear that he is as passionate as he is inspiring: “Winelands Pork’s aim is to strategically position ourselves amongst the most admired global marketers and distributors of pork

Henry Shaw is a perfect example of the caliber of WP’s team

meat in the world and to meet the various needs of the consumer

members. Having been with the company for five years now, after

every day, by marketing and selling pork meat of a consistently high

being successfully headhunted for his talents, Henry has brought

quality. The confidence that consumers have in our products is a

with him a philosophy of inclusive support that has made him a

result of our company’s many years of knowledge in pig farming,

manager with a difference:

the slaughtering of pigs, research and development as well as

“You must motivate your staff on a continuous basis and

continuity. Consumers relate to this and feel they can trust our

take note of their existence and needs. Every staff member at

products. We are ranked among the most admired companies in

Winelands Pork feels important. We put a lot of focus on our staff.

South Africa and our vision is to expand this status to that of a

We currently employ 300 people and we have a social and ethics

global one. We supply all the retailers in South Africa and some

committee whose main function is to identify the needs of our staff

production houses.”

and their families, and to direct resources for that purpose. We also definitely promote from within the company.”

Well, there’s certainly no arguing with that! The stats really do speak for themselves and as South Africa’s second largest abattoir,

DELI SPICES & MANE FORM A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Deli Spices and MANE enjoy a long-term partnership that sees the coming together of the functional and aromatic expertise of one of the world’s leading flavour houses, with the supply of high quality ingredients, local market knowledge and access of one of South Africa’s most prominent ingredients suppliers Deli Spices is the third biggest spice supplier to the meat processing industry in South Africa. Continuing the founder Mr. Walter Haller’s legacy, they remain dedicated to creativity, quality, food safety and service. The joint-venture between the two family-owned businesses creates a high-quality, comprehensive and technologically innovative meat and food ingredients supply hub. 54 | Endeavour Magazine


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WINELANDS PORK meeting volume demand in a consistently growing industry is

60%, going from slaughtering 1000 pigs per day to 1,600 pigs per

proving to be absolutely no problem:

day. The pork industry is also in negotiations with some Eastern

“Our industry is growing at a very fast rate at the moment. Yes, there is competition, but by constantly expanding our operations,

countries for possible export opportunities, as well as some African countries.”

it gives us the edge on them. There are challenges, but we are

One thing’s for sure; if any South African pork products are of

the biggest supplier of carcasses and boxed meat in the country,

a high enough quality for export, it’s WP’s offerings, which means

whereas the other abattoirs focus on processed products. We only

that the goal of global recognition and respect can only be a few

slaughter our own pigs, thus giving us great consistency, volume

deals away. From national treasure to international household

and traceability.”

name, that’s the Winelands Pork way.

Taking ownership of every aspect of pork production, valuing staff and delighting customers as a matter of course means that WP is in a fantastic position to embrace new challenges in the near future. Henry was only too happy to share some of the new developments currently being rolled out: “We have just started receiving pigs from Chalala 2, another 4,800 sow state-of-the-art pig compartmentalised unit. Winelands Pork was the first Pork 360 approved abattoir in South Africa under the South African Pork Producers quality assurance programme. We are currently busy extending our blast freezer and cold storage capacity at the abattoir.” “We are also currently increasing our slaughter capacity by

56 | Endeavour Magazine


RSA LOGISTICS WWW.RSA-GLOBAL.COM // 00971 4 8879333


SOLVING DEMAND CHAIN CHALLENGES FOR A BETTER TOMORROW Dubai is a bustling centre of progressive construction and business – and these sorts of demands call for infallible logistics. RSA Global are an all-in-one transport and storage provider, ready to meet these demands for the UAE and beyond; we spoke with RSA Logistics, the flagship name under their umbrella, to see what they can provide to this essential sector. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


RSA LOGISTICS

RSA Global is a multi-award winning third-party logistics

provider headquartered in Dubai. It is a machine of many parts, including RSA-TALKE, RSA Cold Chain, RSA National, and the highly efficient RSA Logistics. The Group as a whole describe their purpose as “Solving challenges for a better tomorrow”. They offer their clients a range of storage and transport support, including 360-degree supply chain solutions such as distribution, transportation, and international freight, assisted by their global allies to guarantee a smooth delivery and worldwide reach.

R

SA Logistics play a key role in these services, offering seasoned solutions and problem-solving daily with their transportation, storage and freight forwarding operations, keeping their

clients’ businesses turning. These clients are as varied as their stock’s destinations, hailing from a range of industries that include power, chemicals and petrochemicals, automotive, and food & drink. Each of these industries come with their own set of requirements, from transporting chemicals safely to keeping food and drink fresh. Their ability to meet these needs mark the company as a supply chain specialist, their clients confident that shipments will not only arrive safely and on time, but in top condition. Between their own fleet of three-ton vehicles and the fleets of their trusted vendors, RSA are able to get almost anything to anyone. Their vendors even provide heavy haulage vehicles and related equipment to industries who need it, including cranes and fork lift trucks. It is no wonder that RSA Logistics cover a core segment of RSA Global’s operations – in fact they were the first logistics company to run operations in Dubai South, which gave them an open window to corner the market and secure themselves a strong foothold. To strengthen this hold, they made sure to corner as much of this market as possible; as well as providing transportation solutions, they also provide on-site logistics that offer - “sophisticated and tailor-made people, process and technology solutions” to clients’ warehouses. As they elaborate:

60 | Endeavour Magazine


“As our customers’ supply chains continued to evolve and become more complex, RSA had to create a solution that fit their requirements. On-site logistics focuses on three main aspects that bring people, processes and technology to our customers’ doors.

30/1/2018 10:30:39 AM

The idea is to continue to allow our customers to focus on their core competencies while we, as 3PL experts, come in and add further value to their already invested infrastructure,” noted Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder and Group CEO. RSA have everything covered: as well as offering this service to clients’ warehouses, those without one can still rely on their assistance. Thanks to a partnership with German logistics giant Alfred Talke Logistic Services, RSA Global operates a state-ofthe-art warehousing facility that is capable of storing dangerous and non-hazardous chemicals. On top of this, they also operate an integrated warehousing facility dedicated to the hi-tech and automotive industries, with temperature control. As well as being able to handle different types of products and their preservation needs, the warehouses can also accept these shipments however best suits the client: in cartons, pallet racks or in bulk. Whatever

SSI SCHAEFER is the world’s leading provider of modular warehousing and logistics solutions. As an international player, it can deliver one-stop solutions to all four corners of the earth. Its comprehensive portfolio encompasses design, planning, consulting, and customer-specific aftersales services and maintenance thus offering highly sophisticated, turnkey systems. Solutions from SSI SCHAEFER improve the productivity and efficiency of customer organizations.

the product, RSA can keep it safe.

EQUIPPED FOR THE FUTURE Companies the world over are relying on SSI SCHAEFER as their partner for future-proof logistics solutions. When it comes to mastering the ever more complex and dynamic processes in your warehouse, our experts are there for you. As the world‘s leading supplier of logistics systems, we not only offer everything for your internal storage needs, but also concentrated IT power. Developed by specialists who listen and will not rest until you are satisfied. info.ae@ssi-schaefer.com | ssi-schaefer.com

188x138mm_3mm.indd 1

Endeavour Magazine | 61 30/1/2018 10:30:39 AM


RSA LOGISTICS Of course, safety is not only determined by storage conditions,

The company’s headquarters are strategically located between

but by warehouse security. Fortunately, RSA have spared little

Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South,

expense in combining high-level security systems with technological

from which transportation is easy by land, air and sea. From here,

solutions to have full visibility of the sites.

they continue to expand, currently pushing themselves through

RSA Global and RSA Logistics are careful to deliver top-of-

the Middle East, India and East Africa. With so much to offer the

the-line systems and solutions, but none of this would be possible

field of logistics, it seems likely that this push will take them much

without quality staff. With a workforce consisting of employees

further, and we look forward to seeing what they take on next!

across the world, this successful team is a diverse group – a diversity that RSA are keen to celebrate: “With team members hailing from different corners of the world, we appreciate the diverse and unique perspectives brought to the table. This adds to our strength and holistic approach as solution providers”, says Seema Gupta, Director of Talent Development at RSA Global. This pride in their workforce is backed up by a strong support system that makes sure to provide what they describe as a “nurturing environment” for every employee to train, develop, and feel valued as a passionate member of the team. They also provide their staff with health benefits such as training to reduce negative health impact in the workplace, and special programs to monitor and reduce risks. After all, logistics is heavy work!

62 | Endeavour Magazine


Over the years, United Gulf has built strategic alliances with world class OEMs and equipment vendors. We are dealers of Haulotte Group, CO.ME.T. Officine, Palazzani Industries, LUX TOWER, Combilift and Aisle Master. In 2017 United Gulf has added a new unit - United Gulf Logistics Solution for racking, shelving, docking equipment and industrial door with manufacturers from Eonmetall, Inkema. These 8 partnerships further strengthen United Gulf’s brand image and empower UG to provide a complete range of Access equipment, lighting towers, material handling and logistics solutions to its valued customers.

Deliver Excellence, Share Success

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UGER - LOGISTICS DIVISION

Products • Aerial Work Platforms • Material Handling Equipment • Lighting Towers • Racking systems, Door & Dock Levellers Services • Onsite technical support • Spare parts management • 24x 7 Service support

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Oman muscat@united-gulf.com +968 2450 3257

KSA alkhobar@united-gulf.com +966 13 890 1018

Sharjah shj@united-gulf.com +971 6 534 0800

Endeavour Magazine | 63


AUTOMOTIVES BMW M5 SALOON

F

or more than 30 years, the M5 has been the epitome of the ultimate sports saloon. Launched in 1984, it was always

a car that hid its amazing sporting capabilities behind a discreet yet powerful exterior. The latest model embodies that spirit and takes it even further! With the new BMW M5 (Type F90), BMW M is continuing a success story that began over 30 years ago. BMW claims that the original M5 started the high performance super saloon genre. It’s a bold claim, but looking at the all-new sixth generation of the BMW M5 Saloon, we can believe it. This beauty is equipped with an enhanced V8 engine, a new M-specific, all-wheel drive system known as M xDrive, and performance statistics that surpass all previous incarnations. The introduced M xDrive is highly adaptable, thanks to a central control module and a variety of different dynamic modes that can be selected. When first started, the car is in four-wheel-drive mode with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) switched on. Other modes cover a range all the way up to a track-friendly pure rear-wheel drive without DSC.

is specific to the M. For example, the

of comfort akin to those of the 5-Series

The M5’s power comes from the

completely redesigned front bumper with

saloon, combining the best of both worlds as

latest 4.4-litre V8 engine, with BMW M

its enlarged air openings has the task of

a high-performance sports car and business

TwinPower Turbo technology. It delivers a

supplying the cooling systems and brakes

vehicle.

maximum torque of 750Nm, accelerating

with sufficient cooling even in race track

The M5 also enjoys tremendous levels

the new M5 from zero to 62mph in just

applications. The front design also serves to

of standard equipment, all geared towards

3.4 seconds, making it the fastest M5 yet!

splice the oncoming air to keep your drive

driving dynamics. The focal point is the

Power is transferred to the road via a new

aerodynamic.

driver’s seat, with all switches and buttons

eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The design of the new BMW M5 64 | Endeavour Magazine

The car’s interior focuses entirely on the

comfortably in the driver’s field of vision,

driver. The new M5 offers space for up to

and able to be operated in an ergonomically

four passengers, a large boot and high levels

designed way. The large digital display


from the BMW 5-Series was reconfigured

This attention has also been extended

specifically for M. It informs the driver

to the seats. The M multifunctional seats

seat backrest width to offer the best lateral

about dynamic modes, the all-wheel drive

are now offered as standard and provide

The new M5 is available in a variety

M xDrive and the Drivelogic setting. The

better support in the shoulder area. With its

of exterior colours, some of which are

speed warning alarm is adjustable and shift

racing cup shape and the more pronounced

exclusively reserved for the model. For

lights inform the driver when it is the optimal

side edges of seat and backrest, the M

example, you can get the M5 in a brand-

time to change gear in manual shift mode.

multifunctional seat offers even greater

new shade of Marina Bay blue metallic. You

The data can also be reflected in the head-

lateral support for keen drivers. They also

can also request matt colours such as Frozen

up display. This attention to detail makes

feature electric adjustment, seat heating,

Dark Silver or Frozen Arctic Grey.

for a smoother, more luxurious operating

and a memory function. The seat depth

experience.

can be electrically adjusted, along with the

support to all shapes and sizes of driver.

The M5 Saloon will launch in February 2018, and we can’t wait! Endeavour Magazine | 65


Making life easier for fleet managers everywhere


UAE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION WWW.UAECONTRACTORS.ORG // 00971 4 2979559


STRENGTH IN NUMBERS When people work together, the results are always better, but it takes a firm and experienced hand to keep a collective of professionals collaborating as opposed to competing. That is exactly what the United Arab Emirates Contractors Association offers, and the construction industry landscape has never looked better. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


UAE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION

The UAE Contractor’s Association (UCA) has been paving

the way for improved professional relationships and exemplar safety standards in the construction industry since September 1985.

B

y embracing cooperative working practices with municipalities

PROFESSIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY IN UAE SINCE 1979

and accepting support from relevant professional bodies, the progress made in terms of industry-relevant innovations have

been key.

WHO JOINS THE UCA AND WHY? Essentially, any reputable organisation or individual that is a part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction industry is eligible to join the UCA, and given that the positive reasons to do are extensive, it’s little wonder that there are so many respected members already, with the list growing all the time. The Board recognises the diverse range of benefits that being a UCA member can offer, and highlight the following as real selling points: “Members get a prestigious certificate of membership which

We support the manpower needs of our clients by sourcing, taking assessment test, and accommodating specialist teams of personnel to meet our client’s needs. We specialise in recruiting all types of construction workers and have provided over 130,000 placements in the past 39 years.

entitles them to mention their membership on company stationery,

WWW.OLSUAE.COM P.O. Box 2702, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Street, Al Butina, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 6 565 7163, +971 6 5651817 Fax: +971 6 565 4913 E-Mail: ols@eim.ae Mobile: +971 50 6462691

in the UAE construction industry. A free subscription of bilingual

70 | Endeavour Magazine

which in turn lends confidence to the company in the UAE marketplace. A free subscription to the bilingual Contractor’s News magazine, from which you can source technical information about a variety of relevant subjects is also included, as is a free copy of the annual contractors’ directory; a rich source of business contacts Tenders Circular from time to time will also be made available.” But let’s not overlook perhaps the most valuable benefit of all; access to a world of fantastic networking opportunities with


UAE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION similarly minded fellow contractors that are not only looking to

construction companies access to guaranteed professionals, as and

improve their portfolio of clients, but are also keen to work with

when the need arises. OLS states that:

other local professionals.

WORKING ALONGSIDE FELLOW PROFESSIONALS It’s no secret that the cornerstone of any successful trade

“The greatest asset of any organisation is its people. That’s why professional recruitment is of utmost importance. Recruiting the right people demands trained professionals with rich experience to analyse a resume and ‘read’ a candidate during an interview.”

association is a rigorous vetting process that ensures every

This is a service that not everybody can provide, and when time

member is committed to upholding the same standards, but there’s

is tight and construction companies are facing stringent deadlines,

something else to think about as well: supplier relationships. You

as many in the UAE are, having fast access to a network of ready-

might be thinking that a professional association has little to no

to-work professionals is a valuable asset. UCA identified this early

need for a reliable supply chain, but UCA has joined forces with

on and have been enjoying a fantastic partnership with OLS ever

a wealth of fantastic organisations to guarantee the continued

since, whilst passing the benefits of said relationship on to its

success of the construction sector. Most pertinently, recruitment

members.

links have proven to be critical, as provided by Overseas Labour Supply (OLS).

WHY IS UCA SO VITAL?

OLS is a veritable pioneer in terms of construction industry

It’s fairly obvious why any construction industry needs to be

specific recruitment and has been making a fantastic name for

properly regulated and bolstered by open communication, but

itself since its inception in 1979. So much so, in fact, it has placed

the association’s Chairman, Dr. Ahmad Saif Belhasa, offers a more

in excess of 130,000 workers, which adequately demonstrates

location-specific insight:

exactly why it is considered to one of the best in the game. It is

“The UAE construction boom has made it imperative to create

thanks to this remarkable reputation that UCA has formed a close

channels to develop and improve building standards and increase

bond with the company, so as to be able to seamlessly offer UAE

efficiency. The state has therefore endorsed the establishment of

72 | Endeavour Magazine


specialised construction organisations to undertake this function.

opportunities lined up for 2018, all of which are guaranteed to

State officials are trying to support local potential as a cornerstone

keep things moving in the right direction.

of the country’s development. The unlimited support provided by

The association works with a strict mandate of “building for

the state to the parties concerned is proof of this plan of action,

sustainable development”, and has made a pledge to oversee the

which aims at achieving development in every field. This confirms

“development of professional contracting in the UAE, through the

the importance of construction organisations and public welfare

upgrading of the construction industry, coordination and integration

departments in contributing to building and development, side

between the members and their effective representation before

by side with all the state’s institutions and official departments.

the relevant authorities, locally and internationally, and to achieve

Naturally, the aim is not to achieve some momentary gain and quick

excellence in customer service management techniques and

profit. The ultimate goal is to create a sound national economy as a

advanced technology to contribute to sustainable development.”

basis for various development projects.”

With a huge number of respected members signed up, a

Given that the stakes are so high, it’s little wonder that UCA is

board of industry experts guiding the association and professional

manned by a board of top construction executives, each of whom

relationships in place that benefit absolutely everyone, perhaps

brings experience and a host of unique perspectives to the table.

UCA is showing the rest of the world exactly how it is done. If

With a number of events hosted every year, it is essential that

nothing else, that’s a great foundation for the rest of us to build

everyone in attendance can offer some insights and suggestions as

upon.

to the best course of action for progressing construction projects, legislation and safety standards.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Offering a number of training events, conferences and expos, the UCA has a jam-packed calendar of exciting networking

Endeavour Magazine | 73


K & D INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTING WWW.KDI-INTERNATIONAL.COM // 00971 4 443 1726


STANDING OUT As K&D International Contracting LLC say themselves, there are over one million construction companies in the UAE, a region known for its beautiful buildings and innovative infrastructure. In such a sea of talent, how does one choose who to hire? We spoke with Kevin Dickinson, K&D’s Managing Director, about what he feels sets his company out from the crowd. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


K & D INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTING UAE construction and design industries are competitive

ones; with Dubai standing as a glistening testament to modern Middle Eastern architecture, the bar has been set extremely high. Fortunately, work is plentiful, but with that comes plenty of contenders. Contractors in the UAE are numerous, and yet those with talent, confidence and a solid portfolio behind them still find ways to get noticed.

O

ne such company is K&D International Contracting LLC (KDI).

As Kevin told us; “We are currently the only company in Dubai

This company is so unafraid of competition that they highlight

that offers and delivers a true Turnkey Project. 90% is done in-

their existence on their website, following this by proudly

house - we even purchase the sheets for the beds, knives and forks

declaring that their passion sets them apart. It is an easy soundbite,

for the kitchen and art work when required.”

and one most companies use, but its truth can be verified by looking

The company advertises: “At KDI, we pride ourselves on

at the company’s history, projects, and the philosophies behind

transforming an empty shell into a fully-equipped space ready for

their work ethic. With the help of Kevin Dickinson, company MD

client occupation. Whether this is a restaurant, office, showroom,

and founder, we took a closer look.

residential apartment or villa, spa, or any other commercial or

KDI is a turnkey Design & Build construction and fit-out

residential premises, we have ensured our clients have opened for

company that is vocally unafraid of technically challenging projects.

business or moved into their new home within days of handing over

Originally founded in Australia in 1994, the company moved to the

the keys.” This promise is only achievable because of their multi-

UAE in 2001, where it soon earnt recognition within its field. “I

service operations – so what exactly is covered by KDI?

started K & D International because I saw a niche in the market

Naturally, one of their primary functions is that of construction

for a good quality Turnkey Contractor,” explains Kevin. “I kicked off

consultants. With decades of engineering and construction

the business with Dhs35,000.00 of my savings and now, after six

experience gained from their experts, KDI aren’t intimidated

years, we have grown to the size we are today.” The company now

by project administration. Of course, a one-stop shop couldn’t

employees over 100 enthusiastic and highly trained staff in the

exist without design and, most essentially, construction itself:

country, and as well as Australia and the UAE, KDI also operate in

whether renovation, remodelling, or a from-scratch design and

Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Italy and France.

build, KDI have departments and expertise for all eventualities.

However, as the base of their operations, the UAE’s market

Not only this, but there is a heavy emphasis on green solutions

is most important to KDI, and Kevin is aware of the challenges

and approaches throughout. As the company states: “Building

in such a glutted industry. “Dubai and the UAE in general is very

green cost effectively requires solutions that address relationships

buoyant. However, it is an extremely competitive market with new

between the whole building and its surroundings. We implement a

companies coming on line every month. Our biggest challenge is

customized approach on green building projects to deeply integrate

meeting a client’s need and want for a 5-star quality product on a

environmental performance objectives into a program as early as

3-star budget.”

possible, establishing a foundation for delivering green building

How do KDI attempt to achieve this challenging requirement?

projects within conventional budgets.”

Their cost-efficiency is made possible by the company’s all-in-one

A less expected bow in KDI’s quiver is their Interior Design

approach, with almost every service you could require covered by

department. Their interior designers provide the finishing touches

their umbrella: from design to manufacture to installation and even

to a project, turning it from a structure to an environment and

warranty, KDI are a single source solution, with a track record for

truly achieving their goal of delivering a finished, polished product.

on-time, on-budget delivery.

The team’s specialties include programming, design analysis,

76 | Endeavour Magazine


Renowned German ornamental blacksmiths, the HANTELS are proud to announce their collaboration with ARTNOW INTERNATIONAL. ‘Artnow’ are sought after for high-end, fine art creations and creative concept development. The Hantel family have transcended the blacksmith world to produce unparalleled and unrivalled works. These two distinctive fabricators of art fusion will be exhibiting their signature collections at the exquisite new gallery in Zell Am See, Austria. The luxurious, European style that these acclaimed companies produce exceeds the sublime. The wrought iron genius and master craftsmanship of the Hantel family is evident in everything they make from balustrades, gates and doors to chandeliers and art pieces. Artnow International’s team are artists who specialise in authentic, hand brushed grandeur. Using traditional methods mixed with modern products, its painters and designers provide awe-inspiring masterpieces on a grand scale.

www.artnowinternational.com Tel: (+61) 412 454 763

www.hantelart.com Tel: +49152 3382 0042 Tel: +9715 0508 6601


K & D INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTING space planning, interior construction, building codes, materials

KDI’s pride in their staff and their company achievements is

and furnishings, working together to develop safe, functional,

clearly well-earned, but in all of that, they haven’t forgotten the

aesthetically pleasing environments that meet the needs of the

other ingredient in their success - the professionalism and reliability

client.

of those they do business with: “It would be difficult to select one

In all things, from roofing to room décor, attention to detail

particular company who has been at the forefront of our success.

is key in achieving KDI’s 5-star goal. “Here at KDI we understand

Each and every sub-contractor, supplier or designer has played an

that even the most spectacular installation can be undermined by

integral part in it, and without them we would never be able to

a single chipped tile or uneven brushstroke, and it is our attention

achieve the highest quality for our clients.”

to detail that has earned KDI its reputation as one of the finest

With such a strong entity going, it’s no surprise that KDI’s slate

companies in its field.” In ensuring this level of perfection, one must

is filled with exciting projects on the horizon. One such is a US$16

first ensure that the company has happy, enthusiastic staff. Kevin

million Design & Build contract to build one of their previous clients

agrees wholeheartedly: “Happy staff means a happy client.

a new villa. The size of this investment from a past client speaks

“A successful company is only successful because of its staff.

for KDI’s quality. They are also preparing to build 38 townhouses

We train all our staff internally and, when required, send them out

for another existing client, as well as embarking on a challenging

to do courses or upgrades to their current qualifications. When

and entirely new venture: designing and building swimming pools

possible, we also encourage promotions from within.

from shipping containers to help in affordable community growth.

“As a company and as individuals our philosophy is and always

In total, 2018/2019 sees KDI starting four new projects with a total

will be to look after the employees first and foremost, treat them

value in excess of Dhs59 Million - if ever there were a sign that

with fairness and help guide them to do the job well. This in turn

these are contractors that clients trust, that would be it!

allows us to give our clients the very best of projects on time and within budget.”

78 | Endeavour Magazine


Since 2001 K & D International Contracting LLC has developed a reputation for being one of the most prestigious bespoke home builders and fit-out companies in the United Arab Emirates. Achieved through a commitment to the highest standards, coupled with the ability to bring to life the most demanding designs, whilst ensuring we pay attention to the smallest detail. K & D International Contracting LLC provides a complete single source turnkey solution. With a highly qualified and experienced workforce there is no job too large or small, and we have the expertise to deliver time and again, on budget, on programme, and exceeding client expectations of quality and finish. The Mission of K & D International Contracting LLC is offer our clients a unique QUALITY service, where customer care and listening to our client’s needs, are key to developing success for both parties. Whether it is design, construction, fit -out, refurbishment, or remedial works, ensuring our clients feel they are treated with TRUST and PROFESSIONALISM is paramount to our service delivery and our aim to achieve EXCELLENCE IN CONSTRUCTION. Our background ensures we offer a CLIENT ORIENTATED approach in all our services, here at K & D International Contracting LLC we understand what is important to you, and our focus is upon ensuring key client requirements are met through tailormade solutions, incorporating INNOVATION IN DESIGN, coupled with our company beliefs of HONESTY, we always aim to deliver projects to our clients exacting standards, completed in a TIMELY manner, and within budget. K & D International Contracting LLC Office 408 Detroit House Motor City, Dubai United Arab Emirates Telephone: +971 4 443 1726 Fax: +971 4 443 1728 Website: www.kdi-international.com


P.H. HEAT TREATMENT WWW.PHHEAT.CO.ZA // 0027 11 822 2704


THE METAL INDUSTRY IS HEATING UP A company with serious heritage, P.H. Heat Treatment is a longstanding pillar of the South African commercial landscape. Having carved a niche as a heat treatment expert, Endeavour magazine was keen to speak with Cecil Zlotnick, the company’s Managing Director, to find out how. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


P.H. HEAT TREATMENT

Founded back in 1958, P.H. Heat Treatment (P.H.) is

enjoying the continued success and phenomenal reputation that only a company with a real legacy of excellence can.

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N

ow one of the oldest commercial metal heat treatment operations within South Africa, there’s nothing the team doesn’t know about both ferrous and non-ferrous treatments,

which has made for a terrific portfolio of services: “Processes offered by P.H. include gas carburising, carbonitriding and other case hardening processes, as well as neutral hardening and tempering, carbon restoration, normalising, etc. P.H. is also the only South African heat treatment organisation to offer certain copyrighted nitriding and ferritic nitrocarburising processes under licence to Nitrex Metal Inc. Canada. The company also carries out specialised U.K. developed processes such as Alpha Plus and Beta, all of which allow steels to withstand wear and corrosion.” This is impressive enough, but in order to really get a grasp on how P.H. has consistently superseded industry standards and

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requirements, we need to understand why these heat treatments are so vital. We asked Cecil Zlotnick, one of the joint Managing Directors of P.H., to elaborate and explain: “The company is involved in the heat treatment of metal components, particularly steel. It is a service industry providing an essential service to manufacturers of steel products and components. The purpose of the heat treatment is to enhance the mechanical properties of components such as hardness, strength, wear and corrosion resistance, depending on the requirements and


Furnace Engineering & Equipment Ltd. would like to congratulate P.H. Heat Treatments on their continued success story as a leading, high quality heat treater in South Africa. We have supported the company over many years, supplying heat treatment plant, spares parts and technical support, over which time we have developed a strong and personal relationship. Furnace Engineering wish P.H. Heat Treatments every success in the future.

globe www.furnaceeng.co.uk � furnaceeng@aol.com � 00 44 (0) 1299 – 404631 Atmosphere Furnace Ser vice . Equipment Sales . Installation . Repairs . Spares

Endeavour Magazine | 83


P.H. HEAT TREATMENT the application.” In layman’s terms, if a client needs to guarantee the strength of metal tools and/or components, P.H. is a go-to operation that

grip on operations. However, despite exemplar management techniques, external influences and industry fluctuations will always be something to be mindful of:

can complete the task. Just imagine the commercial implications of

“Unfortunately, the current state of the industry is struggling

this: every industry from mining through to automotive and even

and shrinking due to the high operating costs, difficulty for our

specialist engineering firms would be able to benefit from working

customers to compete against Chinese and Indian imports and

with P.H., especially when you consider the levels of precision

low commodity prices affecting the mining industry. In our niche

being maintained by Cecil and his team,

market of finished component heat treatment there are very few

“In 1981, I purchased the company along with a partner, both

competitors - probably only six or seven in the country. However,

having 50% share and becoming joint Managing Directors. I have

many of them have small, inferior quality and antiquated plants and

always believed in instilling a culture of customer focus and striving

processes. Our plant is the largest of its kind in South Africa.”

for perfection in all aspects of the business.”

Whereas lesser companies might allow such outside factors to

This ground-up style of management is becoming increasingly

take their toll on the amount of work coming in, P.H. merely views

rare, but by keeping a finger on the pulse of the business and

them as extra challenges that, once overcome, will simply cement

remaining not only financially but also personally invested in the

the good name and enviable industry position that the team revels

on-going success of it, Cecil is able to ensure that his desire for

in. Cecil explained that rising above industry difficulties and always

perfection is seen through to fruition. After all, you don’t get to

striving to be better is what makes P.H. so unique:

become a recognised industry giant by cutting corners or relying

“Our company prides itself on superior technical and

on a previously well-maintained reputation. Having chosen to only

metallurgical knowhow and experience, and always uses the most

operate nationally, mainly in the Gauteng region, Cecil and his

advanced methods, plant and controls to produce the best quality.

business partner, Dale Boxshall-Smith can maintain a far firmer

We are the only company in our field with extensive knowhow

84 | Endeavour Magazine


in steels, metallurgy of heat treatment and gas/metal chemical

our capacity by approximately 40% over the last ten years. We are

reactions, as well as furnace technology knowhow. Our service to

continually looking to diversify further in the heat treatment field –

customers is fast, as we are able to react very quickly to customers’

however, the major obstacles to this are the high cost of capital due

demands.”

to our extremely weak Rand and the shrinking market.”

It’s not just a great attitude that P.H. can offer clients though,

He went on to explain; “Our main objective for the coming year

as there is a dedicated team of around 50 employees fulfilling

is to expand our existing business by aggressive selling into the

the promises being made to existing and potential customers.

market, with emphasis on competing with our rivals. Secondly, we

With little scope for external training, P.H. takes ownership of

aim to improve efficiency by using our knowhow to cut costs to

making sure that every member of staff is given extensive in-

offset massive annual increases from our main suppliers. We are

house education and, for those that show particular aptitude, the

currently investigating the possibility of expanding into processes

potential for promotion is promising. This is great news, as P.H. is

such as austempering, vacuum heat treatment of tool steels and

resolutely not going anywhere.

nitriding of stainless steel.”

Having established excellent relationships with local banks for

With a plethora of expansion plans, a loyal customer base

continued funding, not to mention key suppliers, both locally and

and a sterling reputation already in place, P.H. is only going to get

internationally, P.H. has everything in place to enjoy countless more

stronger, and we look forward to reporting back on them in the

decades at the top of the industry. Let’s also not forget that there

future.

is a roster of longstanding clients as well, all of which, combined, make for a positive future. Cecil was keen to divulge what P.H. has in store: “Over the years, we have concentrated on our core business and expanding it as much as possible. To this end, we have increased

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AMAZING WORLD

© NASA MSFC David Higginbotham

THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

T

he

advancements

The development of the Webb has

unfold and adjust to shape after launch.

predicted for 2018 remind us, once

technological

been a close collaboration between the

The telescope is extremely sensitive and

again, that the classic sci-fi image of

three agencies, managed overall by NASA’s

accurate: its cameras and spectrometers are

the future is happening right now. As we

Goodard Space Flight Centre. However,

able to record extremely faint signals, and

look ahead to the year to come, NASA are

making this vision a reality has pulled in

its Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is

preparing to look back - all the way back. In

expertise and support from even beyond

able to observe up to 100 different objects

fact, a collaborative effort between NASA,

these groups – Northrop Grumman. a

simultaneously, thanks to its programmable

the European Space Agency (ESA) and the

leading global security company, has been

micro-shutters. Webbs’ biggest feature, in

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that has

the Webb’s main industrial partner, and the

terms of sheer scale, in a tennis court sized

been long in the making is finally nearing its

Space Telescope Science Institute are set

sunshield that reduces the heat from the sun

launch - with it, the way we view and study

the operate the great observatory once it is

over a million times! This incredibly powerful

space should change, allowing us to study

launched.

sunshield works alongside a cryocooler that

even the first glows after the Big Bang.

The high number of players involved in

that the telescope’s mid-infrared detectors

The James Webb Space Telescope

Webb’s development is unsurprising when

to an extremely cold 7°K (7° Kelvin, aka

(Webb) is described by NASA as “the premier

you consider the number of innovative

-266.15° Celsius or -447.07° Fahrenheit) so

observatory of the next decade.” Its creators

technologies that have been created for it.

they can work.

claim that it will be capable of studying every

In essence, the creation is a vast infrared

These new technologies are all essential

phase of the universe’s history, succeeding

telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror

in affording the telescope its unprecedented

the Hubble Telescope and providing a

made of ultra-lightweight beryllium. To

accuracy, and in allowing this sensitive

field-changing resource to thousands of

survive, this mirror has been designed as

equipment to survive the conditions of

astronomers worldwide.

18 separate segments, which are able to

space. Now finally almost complete, the

86 | Endeavour Magazine


© NASA Goddard Chris Gunn

the organisation that was defined by the space-race and the build-up to the Apollo 11 moon landing. Founded only three years earlier, the space race placed NASA in the global eye, and President Kennedy wanted to ensure their success. Rather than placing a top scientist in charge of the organsation, Kennedy looking for someone with the right legal and managerial knowhow. A businessman by experience, with a background as an attorney, Webb was Kennedy’s ideal candidate. The President made it clear to Webb that he saw the role as a policy job, dealing with organization and politics on a national and international scale, and thus allowing NASA to achieve what it needed. Bemused by the appointment, Webb never the less rose to the challenge. Despite the ten-year deadline to put a man on the moon, Webb was determined not to run a “one-shot program”. Instead, he made sure that the funding and attention NASA received was put to more than the space race alone: thanks to his efforts, at the height of the Apollo program, the agency had 35,000 employees and more than 400,000 contractors across the U.S., and by the time he retired, NASA had launched more than 75 space science missions studying everything from our atmosphere to the galaxies beyond our own. On top of this, the agency invested

telescope will be launched in Spring 2019,

organization it is today. When announcing

in robotic spacecraft and had begun the

on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.

the new name, current NASA Administrator

initiative to develop their first-ever large

Formerly known as the “Next Generation

Sean O’Keefe said: “Thanks to [James

space telescope. All of this allowed NASA

Space Telescope”, the project was renamed

Webb’s] efforts, we got our first glimpses

to live on beyond the space race, and to

after the former NASA Administrator in

at the dramatic landscape of outer space...

be the vastly developed agency it is today.

Sept. 2002. Despite having no experience

Indeed, he laid the foundations at NASA

Webb may not have held a background in

as a scientist, the project’s namesake, James

for one of the most successful periods of

science, but his vision and organisation gave

Webb, is a significant figure in NASA’s

astronomical discovery.”

staggering amounts to the scientific world:

history, having been instrumental in the

Webb was the NASA Administrator

space program becoming the powerful

between 1961 – 1968, a crucial period for

as O’Keefe said, it is a fitting honour that the next giant step should be named after him. Endeavour Magazine | 87


AMARNA CONSULT LTD WWW.AMARNACONSULT.COM // 001 758 450 0227


SUCCESS BY DESIGN Originating from the sunny island of St Lucia, Amarna Consult is a small group with a wide influence, and an even greater vision. We spoke with Dannys Delgado MartĂ­nez, Senior Architect and 3D Specialist, about the services Amarna offer their many clients, and where the ambitious company is heading next. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


AMARNA CONSULT LTD Amarna Consult was founded in 2003 to provide services

in the fields of civil and structural engineering and architecture. In the fourteen years since, the company has evolved and expanded its services; their operations are now extensive, covering geotechnical engineering, construction supervision, project management, value engineering, soil sampling & drilling and soil testing.

D

uring this time, Armana’s reach had been growing as much

construction systems and are reluctant to use new technologies

as their capabilities - from modest beginnings in St. Lucia,

such as metal structures, flooring systems and insulated walls

the engineering company now has a presence across the

systems because they think are not as strong as traditional ones.

Caribbean, including St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad &

This is not true - these systems are internationally certified, and

Tobago, St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Grenada. Their ambition

have been proven to be as or more resistant than traditional ones.”

not stopping there, they next have their sights set on the Americas – both North, Central and South.

This

challenge

poses

the

conflict

facing

professional

construction and engineering groups in the region – on the one

Amarna Consult’s name has earnt a strong reputation in

hand, there is the pressure to stay as modern as possible, so that

every country it is has reached, with the company quickly making

your company is offering the very best in value and reliable quality.

themselves known. We spoke with Dannys Delgado Martínez,

However, although competing companies are aware of the benefits

Senior Architect and 3D Specialist, about how the company has

to these solutions, if the public remains wary, they will not hire

been received: “Over the last decade, Amarna has established an

your company to implement them. As with all times of change,

excellent reputation for delivering optimized and quality-controlled

marketing here is key, as is the need to innovate in a way that will

designs at unprecedented speed, and as the most cost-effective

appeal to the client. One approach taken by Amarna is to work to

solutions for our clients. In order to achieve this high degree of

existing designs whilst looking for strong and efficient alternatives

productivity and efficiency, our design process combines cutting-

to particular materials or solutions. By keeping solutions similar

edge technologies with the best and brightest minds the industry

in feel, but more cost effective and reliable in delivery, they are

has to offer.”

able to make the customer comfortable with and welcoming of the

These are confident claims, and this confidence is key; the

improved technologies in use.

construction industry is a highly competitive sector in the Caribbean,

The other way Amarna strives to implement and encourage the

especially in recent years. We spoke with Dannys about where

very best in modern engineering solutions is in working closely with

this competition is coming from; “New technologies are emerging

manufacturers. By collaborating, Amarna and their manufacturers

every day that make the construction process faster and cheaper”,

can combine their expertise to produce something that raises

he explains. With fast-paced innovation and evolution, a company

them both to a new level: “What characterizes us is the work in

must stay up to speed or fall behind, both in order to provide the

conjunction with the leading manufacturers of new technologies,

very best service, and also the most cost-effective. Amarna are well

generating solutions based on their products, benefiting each other

aware, and keep their eyes always on these developments; “Amarna

and satisfying all the expectations of the client.”

aims to provide our clients with a high-quality service, tailor-made

Some of manufacturers Amana Consult work most closely

to their needs, budgets and expectations. Our company makes its

with include the flooring system manufacturers Speedfloor USA,

designs based on the latest market technologies, providing more

headquartered in Ohio; the Brazilian steel frame and flooring

feasible solutions generating savings to our customers.”

system manufacturer Medabil, headquartered in Sao Paulo; the

“However, there are several challenges, especially here in

Trinitarian steel frame manufacturer Kee-Chanona Ltd. and the

the Caribbean. People are mostly familiarized with traditional

American insulated concrete block system manufacturer Omni

90 | Endeavour Magazine


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AMARNA CONSULT LTD Block. This network is as wide-spread as the countries they operate

many creative challenges across his desk. “I was working for another

in, with links in North and South America already paving the way

company in St Kitts when I received the offer to join Amarna.

for the company’s planned expansions.

I did not hesitate for a moment; I knew it would be a very good

Despite being a small company of only 14 full-time employees, including technical and administrative staff, these manufacturers

opportunity to expand my knowledge and face new situations, and all at a regional level in a company of great prestige.”

are just one aspect of the company’s full, branching network:

In his three years with Amarna, Dannys has been able to test

“Amarna is characterized by making alliances with consultants,

his architectural knowledge, and has also learned and developed

manufacturers and construction companies with high prestige,

other essential skills, including those of leadership. In a close-

both at regional and international levels. As I mentioned before,

knit team, navigating this role well is essential. We asked Dannys

our designs are based on the new technologies, and for their

how he approaches the task, as well as what he sees as important

successful implementation, we make alliances with said companies

qualities in the company’s leading directors, MD Akhnaton St Rose

in order to offer a high-quality product.” At a local level, Amarna

and Technical Director Na’im Jn Pierre:

partner with companies such as Metro Construction and CMS,

“A leader must have mental, emotional and spiritual strength.

both headquarter in Santa Lucia. Further afield, their relationships

If you want to be an effective leader you must transmit a strength

include multidisciplinary consulting companies such as Coles

that will allow you to influence others. A leader must also present

Associates Ltd, headquartered in Canada, and the multinational

themselves as a good example, and must be enthusiastic about

TYPSA, which has offices in America, Europe, Asia, Africa and

the work. Finally, they should also be ethical - this is the backbone

Australia. Each connection not only allows the company to create

of leadership success, as employees are also people and deserve

the most efficient and advanced designs, but also expands the

a reciprocal respect. Ethics are also essential because a leader is

small company’s extensive influence and reach.

useless if they are not true to their word; if you want to be a great

Dannys has been a senior figure in Amarna’a select team for three years, and as a Senior Architect, the position has brought

92 | Endeavour Magazine

leader, there must be agreement between what you say and what you do.”


With such clear and inspiring goals for leadership, Amarna

long-term cooperation agreements and forming alliances with

are well-set to continue their work in guiding and improving

strategic partners. We aim to combine a highly skilled team with

construction efforts in the region. One of their vaster and most

the most innovative engineering practices in order to bring the very

important current projects is the assessment of the OECS

best solutions to our clients, and most of all, we aim to conduct all

(Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) Community Colleges - a

our business with the highest level of integrity.”

project aiming to enable the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Tourism

These are all solid strategies, but when chasing a vision, the

(ECIT) to meet the training and education needs of the diversified

most important ingredient is passion. Dannys knows this all too

hospitality and tourism sector in member countries. They are doing

well, and has strong feelings on how to move forwards for anyone

this by expanding the facilities at the OECS colleges – namely,

pursuing a goal:

upgrading the Tourism and Hospitality departments. “We undertake

“First, believe in what you want to do; believe in your dream no

an assessment of audio-visual requirements for ECLT and propose

matter what others say and how difficult it can be. Life is a learning

recommendations for retrofitting these facilities for the use of

process and success is reached through a path of failures. If we

virtual classrooms under the NETHTE project.” The project, taking

know how to accept them and we learn from them, we will have

place in multiple colleges throughout the Caribbean, will empower

new opportunities. That is why it is important to persevere, to

locals who are looking to enter the extremely lucrative tourism

not conform and to keep pushing until you reach your objective.

industry, opening up a reliable route into one of the strongest

Remember, losers let things happen and winners make things

sectors in the region.

happen.”

Amarna’s long-term goal is simple yet ambitious: to become one

These are some motivating words to enter the New Year on;

of the most respected engineering firms in the Caribbean region by

only time will tell if they take Amarna where it aims to go, and

2020. With their target date fast approaching, how are they going

Endeavour will be on hand to report back!

about chasing this goal? “Our strategy is to continue to expand our services to other countries by developing our network, establishing

and with piles of innovation, we are the collaborative future of reliable, durable and cost effective inshore and onshore construction, across the Caribbean

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Endeavour Magazine | 93


FRANCIS – LAU CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD 001 868 662- 9030


KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY Founded by Clifford Francis-Lau in 1963, Francis-Lau Construction Co Ltd has remained a family business, owned and operated by Clifford’s decedents to increasing success. We spoke with Christopher Francis-Lau, company Managing Director, about his father’s legacy and the family’s plans for the company’s future. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


FRANCIS – LAU CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD

Francis-Lau Construction Co. Ltd is a specialist

construction firm that designs, fabricates and erects structural and secondary steelwork for just about every field in the industrial sectors, both at home in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean.

F

rom small beginnings as a family business, the Francis-Laus have taken their company on to greatness; over the decades, this once-small operation has not only developed a wide and

impressive scope of capabilities, providing the steel works for a wide scope of industrial builds, but has evolved into the leading specialist construction firm in the Caribbean. With over 45 years’ worth of experience between them, brothers Wayne and Christopher run the company as Chairman and Managing Director, carrying on what their father founded with the skills-base and competencies to meet the most challenging requirements. When it first began, Clifford’s business operated out of the Industrial Development Corporation industrial estate in Sea Lots, Port-of-Spain, where they specialised in wrought iron work, burglar proofing and gates. This evolved eventually into steelworks, taking their product from a small, bespoke scale to a vast, industrial one. Following this shift, the steelworks company made their name working on stand-out projects from St Maarten to Guyana. Then, in 1984, they had a sudden idea for a second profit-stream: on many of their jobs, they provided and assembled (‘Completely Knocked Down’) steel structures – structures that arrived in pieces and needed full assembly on site. Such structures are easy for transportation – and this included transportation oversees. As well as using this resource on their own contracts, Francis-Lau Construction began exporting them across the Caribbean, to St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados and Grenada. CKD structures are

96 | Endeavour Magazine


FRANCIS – LAU CONSTRUCTION CO. LTD popular for the logistical ease and the reduced risk of damage

easy kill a careless contractor. With such a high-stake environment,

occurring between the factory and the build site; this new side-

any companies and members of staff who take on such jobs much

line was so successful that it became a main part of Francis-Lau

be well-educated on the potential risks involved.

Construction’s operations, and the company is still doing it today.

Attaining this certification wasn’t simple, or cheap, but Francis-

Following their successes, the company is strategically

Lau could see the potential to greatly widen their customer-base.

positioned among the most prominent Caribbean contractors in

MD Christopher assigned the task to Wayne’s son, Rhou Francis-

the industry. After almost 55 years in business, some companies

Lau - the company’s Policy and Strategy Manager. Rhou worked on

would go lax, but with the second and third generations in

making the company STOW-certified for over six months - a process

leadership positions, its Francis-Lau Construction’s integrity has

that involved training staff in new health and safety measurements,

been safeguarded. As the company state; “We remain committed

first aid and managements systems, as well as securing a welding

to meeting and exceeding customer expectations when it comes

certification and a certification in risk management. To guide them

to structural steel fabrication and erection, whether we work in

through this process, the company chose to take on a consultant

the capacity of tier-one or sub-contractors. As such, we continue

– this is not a requirement, but was opted for in order to ensure

to uphold our reputation for delivery of projects that are on time,

that their transition into the energy field was done correctly, and

within budget and to scope.”

that their training and preparation was at the highest standard. This

Not content to stand still, in 2014 the company traversed

quality-assurance measure cost the family business TTD $250,000.

the tape and hoops required to attain Safe to Work (STOW)

This commitment to quality paid off: Francis-Lau quickly began

certification, which would allow them to tender for and take on

to secure tenders for work with an electrical component: their

contracts in the energy sector. A company does not have to deal

first was a contract for Schlumberger in La Romaine, working on

with electronics directly in order to need certification for these

the expansion of their existing facilities. The main contractor on

contracts – one false cut or decision can be costly, or worse, can

the project, which required a total cost of $2.5 million, was Hook

98 | Endeavour Magazine


Mally Ali, with Francis-Lau providing their steelwork expertise. The company also soon began attracting attention from BP TT and energy companies, including working on an offshore BP TT project, under Trinidad and Tobago giants Massy Wood. Christopher, Wayne and Rhou are only some of the many family members keeping Francis-Lau construction moving forwards. Until recently, Royce Francis-Lau, brother to Christopher and Wayne, served as the General Manager to related company Francis-Lau Machining Technologies – an offshoot that has since merged into the central company. Meanwhile, yet another brother, Andrew Francis-Lau, manages exports for the region. Clifford had many sons, and whilst he passed away in 2005, his children thankfully all share the same passion for keeping his legacy alive. With investments such as the STOW, his children and their own will continues to expand upon what he created, allowing the company’s skills and operations to reach ever further afield. Endeavour looks

Our areas of expertise include but are not limited to; multi-storey commercial & residential buildings; primary & secondary schools; hotel resorts, equipment foundations, specialist industrial non-building structures, warehouses and private single family residences.

forward to seeing how far they go.

A Structural Engineering Consultancy Company

Aleron Limited is a structural design engineering consultancy firm based in Trinidad that uses the latest international codes and standards to provide value engineered design solutions to all our clients, for whom we have successfully delivered a broad spectrum of projects ranging from small (<US$10K) to mega (>US$50M) in Trinidad and throughout the Eastern Caribbean.

IN-HOUSE SERVICES

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Unit 18, Circular Courts, Circular Road, San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies (868) 221-6720 | (868) 221-6829 info@aleron-tt.com |  www.alerontt.com Endeavour Magazine | 99


Endeavour Magazine February 2018  
Endeavour Magazine February 2018