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EDITOR’S NOTE Heads of Departments Lead Editor Djamil Benmehidi editor@littlegatepublishing.com Sales Director Alex Smith alexsmith@littlegatepublishing.com Sales Manager Emlyn Freeman emlynfreeman@littlegatepublishing.com

W

ell, what a January it’s been. Fresh off the heels of a 2016 that oozed theatre, the first month of 2017 has proved to be no less fascinating. Predictably, there’s only one talking point on

everybody’s lips.

Head of Editorial Research Paul Bradley paulbradley@littlegatepublishing.com

On the 21st of last month, Donald Trump was officially inaugurated as the

Editorial Research Alice Instone-Brewer alice@littlegatepublishing.com

of little more than a week that all of those controversial, and in some

Editorial Research Steven Weller steveweller@littlegatepublishing.com

well, he meant them.

Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman anthonyl@littlegatepublishing.com

for it through the imposition of a 20% border wall tax on all Mexican

Lead Designer Alina Sandu studio@littlegatepublishing.com

Trump has also launched a volley of hostile statements and tweets at China

Publisher Stephen Warman stevewarman@littlegatepublishing.com

first salvo no doubt of a tit-for-tat trade war which will inevitably erupt

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 London EC1 V1LR

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Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for

President of the United States, and it has become clear within the space instances ludicrous, statements he made on the road to the White House… The Mexican wall will be built, and he intends to make the Mexicans pay imports. And whilst we’re on the topic of protectionist policy, President threatening to impose heavy tariffs on Chinese manufactured goods – the in response. Then there’s the 90-day travel ban on anybody born from a number of Middle Eastern countries, and the looming threat of mass deportations of the 11 million Mexican immigrants who moved to America for a better life - all part of a new immigration policy which is not without a sense of irony, coming from a country which wouldn’t exist as we know it were it not for immigrants. Naturally, the world has united in outrage, and even the originally pro-Trump markets are now a tad jittery about what the future holds. By all intents and purposes, the liberal world order that has existed since the end of World War II, and the move toward a world of freetrade between multilateral trading blocs is dead in the water. The new

omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in articles

Trump administration saw to that when it pulled the plug on American

by attributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this

membership of the far-reaching TTIP.

magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely

The world is on the cusp of great change, for better or ill, especially for

coincidental. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy

the business community. Ladies and gentlemen, put on your helmets – it’s

of the information contained within this magazine, no legal

going to be an interesting four years.

responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part

DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher.

Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2016

Endeavour Magazine | 3


CONTENTS

61

Kanu Equipment

FEATURES 13 19 27 35 41 47 55 61 69

13

Marasa Africa

4 | Endeavour Magazine

Marasa Africa Walk On The Wild Side Seychelles Ports Authority Propelling Port Victoria Forward FSG (Fertilizers, Seeds & Grain) The Catalyst For An Industry Reborn Furness Group 125 Years Of Quality And Service Simba Corporation Ltd Growth Evolved Vieira Incorporated LTD Lightening The Load Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board (TIMB) No Smoke Without Fire Kanu Equipment Experience The Support Kencor Holdings Embracing Market Change


19

Seychelles Ports Authority

ARTICLES 3 Editor’s Note 6 Business Headlines Middle East Africa Asia Americas Europe 24 38 66

Amazing World Antikythera Mechanism The Rainbow Mountains of China The Silk Road Reborn

52

Automotives Hyundai Ioniq - Petrol-Electric Hybrid

55

Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board Endeavour Magazine | 5


BUSINESS HEADLINES MIDDLE EAST OPEC BRACES FOR US SHALE THREAT TO GLOBAL OIL PRODUCTION CUT DEAL

ORGANISATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION SAYS TRUMP VISA BAN EMBOLDENS EXTREMISTS

Opec’s plan to slash production and drain the flood of oil that

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on Monday

continues to hold market prices down could be foiled by the steady

that US President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travel to the

return of resurgent US shale oil producers.

United States from seven majority-Muslim countries harmed the

The latest report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting

common struggle against radicalism.

Countries shows that the oversupply is expected to shrink as the

“Such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to

world’s largest oil producers reduce exports, but demand is not

embolden the radical narratives of extremists,” the group said in a

growing as quickly as hoped and US shale, or tight oil, is on the rise.

statement on its website.

Previous reports from the in-house analysts predicted a decline

“(The move) will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence

in oil flows from US shale reserves after producers were almost

and terrorism at a critical time when the OIC has been engaged with

wiped out during the two-year oil market downturn. But the new

all partners, including the US, to combat extremism and terrorism in

data shows a return for US frackers.

all their forms and manifestations.”

“The main component of US oil output – tight oil – is forecast

President Donald Trump on Friday suspended the entry of

to grow,” Opec said. “The number of drilling rigs and reactivation of

people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The

companies’ spending are the two most important factors leading to

decision caught airlines off guard, leading to challenges in enforcing

an output surge in the coming months.” The increase in US shale will

the new rules. Separately, Iraq asked the United States to reconsider

partially offset the cuts that are expected from Russia, Kazakhstan,

the ban imposed on Iraqis, adding that the US decision was “wrong”.

China, Congo and Norway meaning non-Opec oil supply is projected to grow by 0.12 million barrels a day.

“It is necessary that the new American administration reconsider this wrong decision,” the foreign ministry said. Recalling their continuing cooperation in the war on ISIL, the statement added: “We affirm Iraq’s desire to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.”

DUBAI TO AWARD US$3BN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS FOR 2020 WORLD EXPO SAUDI GOVERNMENT COULD CANCEL US$13.3BN PROJECTS IN 2017 DUE TO FISCAL PRESSURE At least US$13.3bn of government projects are at risk of being cancelled in Saudi Arabia this year because of fiscal pressures and changing government priorities, following a study by consultants Faithful & Gould. Faithful & Gould’s 2017 forecast assumes a major project will be awarded by “exception or royal decree”, according to the firm’s Construction Intelligence Report on Saudi Arabia. The report said about 20 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s long-term projects pipeline of US$820bn, or US$168bn worth of projects, could be at risk of being cancelled because of the reprioritisation programme. “2017 will see at least a SAR50bn cut-back due to the reprioritisation programme because of fiscal pressures and realigning the project pipeline to national priorities,” Clifton said in an emailed response to questions. “I don’t expect 2017 to be very easy” for construction firms, he said. “Backlogs are shrinking and staff have been laid off. I think 2017 is still a ‘batten down the hatches’ kind of year, and 2018 is very much the year to commence recovery.” 6 | Endeavour Magazine

Dubai will award 47 construction contracts worth 11 billion dirhams (US$3 billion) to local and foreign companies this year as it prepares to host the 2020 World Expo, the government-backed body arranging the world’s fair said. That would leave Dubai on track to complete most construction a year before the fair opens in October 2020, Expo 2020 Dubai said. Deals worth over 2 billion dirhams were done last year. This year’s contracts will include construction of car parking, three districts that will hold most of the pavilions, and public areas. Development of the expo site, which the government expects to require US$6.8 billion of capital spending, is one of the biggest projects in Dubai’s history and will help to open up a new district in the south of the wealthy emirate. HSBC has estimated overall expo-related spending, including private sector projects, may reach US$18.3 billion. Authorities project the expo will attract 25 million visits during the six months it is open. A huge exhibition centre will be built on the 438-hectare (1,082 acre) expo site, plus thousands of new hotel rooms and an extension to Dubai’s metro line.


AFRICA KENYA’S AMINA BEATEN TO TOP AFRICAN UNION POST BY CHADIAN RIVAL The African Union on Monday elected Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat to succeed South Africa’s Nkosazan Dlamini-Zuma as new chairman of the African Union Commission, dealing a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s aggressive shuttle diplomacy to have Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed ascend to the post. Mr Mahamat, who is Chad’s Foreign Affairs minister, garnered 38 votes during the seventh round of voting held after the preceding ones failed to produce a winner. A candidate needs to garner two thirds of total votes (about 34) to win the contest. Ms Mohamed posed the stiffest challenge to Mr Mahamat — exchanging the top position with him till the sixth round when she lost to the Chadian. Kenya had put up a well-funded campaign for the 56-year-old Ms Mohamed, including a spirited shuttle diplomacy that saw Mr

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) issued a statement, saying that the real value of the projects arising from the first three bid window lies in the cost reductions achieved for solar PV and wind to 62c/kWh, which is 40% cheaper than new coal. These reductions would not have been possible in the absence of the competitive bidding associated with the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). In addition to significant tariff decline over the past 4 years, in 2016, renewable power plants produced roughly 6 TWh. The entire bid window four solar PV and wind projects, for which Eskom’s signature under the PPAs is outstanding, will produce 9 TWh/yr. This shows that for Round 4 projects, the country will be paying 45% less each year for 50% more energy, compared to the projects already operational. These new Renewable power projects will therefore be almost cost neutral from a purely fuel-saving perspective.

Kenyatta and the deputy President, William Ruto, visit a number of African countries to lobby support for her.

PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN SA-UK TIES DESPITE BREXIT The South Africa and the United Kingdom have committed to strengthening ties amid preparations by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU). In a joint statement by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, both countries have committed to working together to identify trade and investment opportunities that will not only benefit the two countries but the wider Southern Africa and Africa region.

DAR EPA STANCE DIMS KENYA’S BID FOR UNIFORM CUSTOMS RULES

Bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and South

Kenya’s bid to build a shared customs with its neighbours in East

Africa stood at £7.6 billion in 2015, with UK exports of goods and

Africa remains in limbo as Tanzania continues to show reluctance to

services increasing by 25% in the last decade. South Africa’s exports

sign a crucial pact with the European Union as deadline nears, a new

into the UK have increased by over 5% on an annual basis for the

report says.

last decade. South Africa is the third biggest trading partner for the UK in the Commonwealth. “The UK is a historical and strategic trade and investment partner for South Africa and remains a key market for especially agriculture exports accounting for over 20% of SA’s exports of wine and 30% of fruit exports globally,” said Minister Davies.

The report by financial advisory firm Citi says Kenya’s quest to rally the bloc to ratify the economic partnership agreement (EPA) will likely hit a brick wall as Dar es Salaam sticks to its guns in shunning the pact. “Tanzania’s relationship with the EAC (East African Community) often seems to have parallels with that of the UK to the EU: a somewhat reluctant member who is far from fully committed to

SAREC SLAMS ESKOM PROPAGANDA ON RENEWABLE ENERGY COST The South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC), together

greater integration which creates periodic tensions,” says the report. “However, given the potential economic impact of this deal, notably to Kenya, it seems that this is more than a periodic tension, but a much more fundamental difference between members.”

with various independent energy bodies, has come out in strong

Failure to sign the deal as a bloc will result in a wave of taxes

opposition to the distortion of facts associated with the cost of

on produce entering the EU market from Kenya, the EAC’s only

renewable power purchases.

developing state. Endeavour Magazine | 7


ASIA SAUDI ARAMCO AXES PLANS FOR PETRONAS JOINT VENTURE Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, has given up plans to partner Malaysia’s national oil company for an up to 89 billion ringgit

makers including General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. over their plans to produce in Mexico, and has threatened higher taxes on imports of cars from abroad.

(US$20.1 billion) refining and petrochemicals project in the southern state of Johor, according to insiders. The world’s largest oil firm concluded that the project led by Petroliam Nasional Bhd. wouldn’t generate sufficient returns after a feasibility study. The two companies were in talks to create a joint venture partnership to build a refinery with capacity to process 300,000 barrels of oil a day, alongside a petrochemical complex with a combined annual chemical output of 7.7 million metric tons. Petronas previously estimated the proposed complex, located at a fishing town in Johor, just opposite Singapore, would cost some 53 billion ringgit to build. Related facilities ranging from raw-water supply to a plant to turn liquefied natural gas back into gas would cost another 36 billion ringgit. A Petronas spokesman said, “Petronas does not respond to speculations and will not be offering any comment on this.” A Saudi Aramco spokesman said, “Saudi Aramco is continually evaluating new business opportunities but does not comment on rumour.”

UNDER US PRESSURE ON TRADE, JAPAN SCRAMBLES AHEAD OF WHITE HOUSE VISIT Japan is scrambling to respond to intensifying trade pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planning to meet the head of Toyota Motor Corp, and business lobby Keidanren planning a Trump task force. Abe will visit Washington on Feb. 10 for talks with Trump at which the U.S. leader is expected to seek quick progress toward a two-way trade deal with Japan and discuss the automotive sector. In a phone call with Abe, Trump reiterated his pledge to create jobs in the United States and asked that the Japanese auto industry contribute, the Nikkei business daily reported, quoting unidentified Japanese government officials. The two leaders discussed the automotive industry, senior government spokesman Koichi Hagiuda told reporters after the phone call, without giving details. A White House statement said the two “committed to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship”. Japan needs to craft a plan to show that its firms, car makers especially, will contribute to creating U.S. jobs, a former Japanese diplomat said. “I think that is the only way forward to make the bilateral summit a success,” the diplomat said.

US-CHINA WAR INCREASINGLY A ‘REALITY,’ CHINESE ARMY OFFICIAL SAYS China is preparing for a potential military clash with the United

HYUNDAI MOTOR PLANS TO INVEST UP TO US$3.1 BILLION IN U.S. PLANTS

States, according to an article on the Chinese army’s website. “The possibility of war increases” as tensions around North Korea and the South China Sea heat up, Liu Guoshun, a member

Hyundai Motor Co. said it would invest up to US$3.1 billion in its

of the national defense mobilisation unit of China’s Central Military

existing U.S. manufacturing facilities and was considering building a

Commission, wrote on Jan. 20th - the same day as President Donald

new plant there, joining other auto makers in highlighting investment

Trump’s inauguration. “A war within the president’s term’, ‘war

plans after President-elect Donald Trump criticised the industry.

breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, but the reality,” Liu said in

The South Korean automotive group, which includes affiliate Kia Motors Corp., said its investment and factory plans would help create thousands of new jobs. It aims to spend the money over the next five years on research and development of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and on upgrading existing facilities.

the Chinese commentary piece. The commentary comes amid concerns about a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Ian Bremmer, president and founder of global political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, said the article from the People’s

“The U.S. market is crucial to our success as a global auto maker.

Liberation Army was more a warning rather than a show of strength.

We will continue to expand our presence in the key market. Our

Previously, Beijing was more cautious in reacting to Trump’s

investment will also help the U.S. efforts to create more jobs,”

anti-China rhetoric, Bremmer said, but now, “Chinese officials are

Hyundai Motor President Chung Jin-haeng told foreign reporters.

preparing for the worst, and they expect to retaliate decisively in

Mr. Trump recently aimed a series of social-media posts at auto 8 | Endeavour Magazine

response to any US policies they perceive as against their interests.”


AMERICAS TRUMP BECOMES 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States on Friday, vowing to drain power from Washington elites and always put “America first” in its dealings with the world at a moment of transformative political change. Trump’s inaugural address centred on the themes that animated his stunning outsider campaign, which shattered political conventions and gave voice to heartland voters who felt badly let down by professional politicians. Though he paid tribute to outgoing President Barack Obama, the President sketched a vision of America that came across as a repudiation of the last administration. He promised to restore the nation’s strength and purpose and to rebuild it from within, vowing to “bring back” American jobs, borders, wealth and dreams.

States from seven Muslim-majority countries on grounds of national security, while also banning refugees from Syria. Thousands rallied in major US cities and at airports in protest. Goldman Sachs, Nike and Starbucks were among the companies that did not support the ban. “The market is reacting negatively right now because of the uncertainty that it creates,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. “If it can pull more Republicans off of the president’s following and maybe weaken his strength in Congress then you wonder about the other initiatives that may not get passed.” US equities hit record highs following Trump’s election in November, encouraged by his promise of tax cuts and simpler regulations. However, the potential risk of Trump’s protectionist policies and the lack of clarity since he took office have dampened the enthusiasm.

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, and in every foreign capital and in every hall of power,” Trump said. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land, from this day forward, it’s going to be only ‘America first! America first!’”

TRUMP WOULD WIN TRADE WAR WITH CHINA, SAYS AIDE One of Donald Trump’s closest advisers has told the BBC that the US would win a trade war with China. Anthony Scaramucci warned that if China chose to retaliate when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports, it would cost them “way more” than it would cost the US. He added the current trade relationship was “more favourable to China than us”. The comments came just as China’s President Xi warned that no-one would emerge in a winner in a trade war. In the first address to the World Economic Forum by a Chinese president, Mr Xi gave a staunch defence of globalisation and attacked protectionism. During his election campaign, Mr Trump floated the idea of a 45% tariff on goods from China. Mr Scaramucci, who will enter the White House on Friday as a senior adviser to the president, called the relationship with China “asymmetrical”, and downplayed the nation’s ability to exact revenge on the US. “What are they going to do, [are] they going to move against our move for fairness? That’s going to cost them way more than it is ever going to cost us, and I think they know that.”

WALL STREET SUFFERS WORST DAY IN MONTHS FOLLOWING TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

CANADA NEEDN’T BE ‘ENORMOUSLY WORRIED’ ABOUT U.S. TRADE RESET SAYS TRUMP OFFICIAL Canada is well regarded south of the border, so Prime Minister Justin Trudeau need not be “enormously worried” about a looming overhaul in U.S. trade policy under Donald Trump, an adviser to the new administration said. Stephen Schwarzman, who leads the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum, said Canada will be in a good position should there be a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. “There may be some modifications, but basically things should go well for Canada in terms of any discussions with the United States,” said Schwarzman, who was in Calgary for meetings with Trudeau and his federal cabinet. Trump has famously promised a new trade relationship with the world focusing on American interests - indeed, he made good on one part of that promise Monday by signing an order killing off the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Schwarzman said the Trump administration is more concerned

US investors had their worst day in more than three months,

with agreements in which there are big trade imbalances, which

as President Donald Trump’s orders to curb travel and immigration

is not the situation with Canada. Americans hold an “unusually

from some countries sparked falls in all the major stock markets.

positive” view of Canada and the two countries have been great

Trump signed executive orders to suspend travel to the United

partners “for as long as anybody can remember,” he added.

10 | Endeavour Magazine


EUROPE HSBC AND UBS TO SHIFT 1,000 JOBS EACH FROM UK TO EUROPE IN BREXIT BLOW TO LONDON

FEARS AS GERMAN INFLATION AND FRENCH ELECTION PUSH UP BORROWING COSTS ACROSS EUROPE

Two of Europe’s biggest banks have warned that they could both

The cost of borrowing across Europe spiked up as German

move about 1,000 jobs out of London as they prepare for expected

inflation figures and French elections triggered concern over

disruption caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union.

whether central bank stimulus could be cut short.

UBS Chairman Axel Weber said that about 1,000 of the Swiss

Official data from Germany’ statistics office show consumer price

bank’s 5,000 employees in London could be affected by Brexit, while

inflation across the country has risen 1.9% year-on-year, the highest

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said his bank will relocate staff

level since July 2013. It slightly undershot forecasts of a 2.0% rise

responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading

and sent the euro to an 11-day low.

revenue to Paris. Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper also reported

The European Central Bank (ECB) has a core mandate to target

that Goldman Sachs is considering halving its London workforce

inflation at or around 2 percent and any hint of rising prices could

to 3,000 and moving key operations to New York and continental

pressure the central bank to end its easy monetary policy sooner

Europe, particularly Frankfurt, where it could move up to 1,000 staff.

rather than later.

A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman said the bank does not

Jan Randolph, Head of Sovereign Risk at IHS Markit, said in an

recognise the numbers in the report and that it has yet to make a

email that some investors have taken higher inflation in Germany

decision . Leading financial firms warned for months before Britain’s

as an excuse to shift out of bonds into equity. He said the inflation

June referendum on European Union membership that they would

print will add more fuel to the fire of those in Berlin who oppose

move jobs out of the country if there was a vote to leave but have

Quantitative Easing (QE).

set out few details since on how many will go or where to.

“Current ECB QE policy along with 2% inflation in Germany, will definitely ire the Germanic monetarists and other hawks. Mario Draghi can only point out that ECB policy is for the Eurozone as whole where inflation is much lower, not just Germany,” he said.

UK CITIES EXCEPTIONALLY VULNERABLE TO LOSS OF EU EXPORT TRADE POST-BREXIT: THINKTANK Britain’s cities are overwhelmingly dependent on their European

UK OPTS FOR ‘HARD BREXIT,’ AND WILL LEAVE SINGLE MARKET, SAYS THERESA MAY

counterparts for trade, according to new research, underscoring the risk to jobs and growth in the U.K. post-Brexit. An annual report from the Centre for Cities think tank found that

Theresa May has said the UK “cannot possibly” remain within the

the European Union (EU) is, by some distance, the biggest export

European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the

market for almost every British city. The report also showed the

EU at all”. The PM promised to push for the “freest possible trade”

UK would need to drastically increase trade to other international

with European countries and warned the EU that to try to “punish”

markets in order to offset a downturn in exports to the EU.

the UK would be “an act of calamitous self-harm”. The European

Currently, 46% of exports from UK cities are delivered to the EU,

Parliament’s lead negotiator said there could be no “cherry-picking”

which is three times more than to the US and 11 times more than to

by the UK in the talks.

China, according to Centre for Cities’ research.

Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce her

“Securing the best possible EU trade deal will be critical for the

priorities for Brexit negotiations, including maintaining the common

prosperity of cities across Britain, and should be the Government’s

travel area between the UK and Irish Republic and “control” of

top priority as we prepare to leave the single market and potentially

migration between the UK and the EU. Negotiations are set to begin

the customs union,” Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for

after notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is served. It was

Cities, said in a note.

not her intention to “undermine” the EU or the single market, Mrs

“While it’s right to be ambitious about increasing exports to

May said, but she warned against a “punitive” reaction to Brexit, as it

countries such as the US and China, the outcome of EU trade

would bring “calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe and it

negotiations will have a much bigger impact on places and people

would not be the act of a friend”. She added: “I am equally clear that

up and down the country,” she added.

no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.” Endeavour Magazine | 11


12 | Endeavour Magazine


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WALK ON THE WILD SIDE WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

Wild, rugged, and yet immeasurable in its outstanding natural beauty, Africa is the literal cradle of life, from where much of the world’s animal and plant life first originated, and where mankind first began its march to civilisation. Endeavour Magazine | 13


MARASA AFRICA

East Africa in particular is a richly bio-diverse land with a

captivating array of wildlife species, and the sweeping golden savannahs, soaring snow-tipped peaks, and expanse of lush, rich rainforests that are home to them. Unique and all but unspoiled – its wilderness untouched by the oft withering hand of human development. A place where one can still reach out and see, smell, touch, and reconnect with nature in its purest, most spiritual form.

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of natural gifts, it is little wonder how thousands of tourists travel from every corner of the globe to East Africa each year

for the opportunity to leave their busy lives behind and sample the authentic African experience. The Marasa Africa story is the culmination of a journey which began over a century ago in Uganda. From the humblest of beginnings, the company has grown from strength-to-strength with the passing of the years. Where once adventurers and tourists would visit its singular property, a sleepy, lodge in the heart of Uganda’s leading game reserve, today, tourists can stay at one of seven luxury camps, homesteads, and lodges located across the Uganda and Kenya, and soon Rwanda and the idyllic island paradise of Zanzibar. “Marasa Africa offers bespoke experiences in its properties in various national parks in East Africa with efficient personalised services. We operate regionally with a strong brand positioning in East Africa. Our legacy Lodges in Kenya and Uganda have provided us with the platform to expand within the region. We have been operating for several years in the region. This gives our guests and partners the peace of mind when booking and staying at our

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Local Knowledge: Nothing compares to having someone on the ground who has an intimate understanding of the places you wish to visit. This, along with many years of proficiency in East Africa, will make for a safari of a lifetime. Personalized Service: Whilst we have a number of prepared itineraries, our forte is to tailor-make safari packages that meet your specifications.

Superior Vehicles: We have a fully equipped fleet of vehicles customized for safaris and wildlife viewing - No detail has been overlooked! In order to reduce drive times between the parks, & also give additional value to our travelers, daily scheduled & chartered bush-flights are available. Let us craft, perfect, and operate your holiday to the Gorillas, Chimps, Big 5 & lots more!


MARASA AFRICA – an accolade which, as the recipient of the 2015 Best Luxury

Marasa Africa’s Managing Director Mayur Madhvani, the

Hotel gong in only last year’s Tourism Excellence Awards, it is fully

company’s mission is simple: “Our vision to share our breath-

deserving of.

taking country with those from beyond our borders and far away

As a company which is recognised as one of the industry leaders

shores, led us to acquire and develop what we felt to be locations

in its field, and a pioneer with regards to employee recruitment

of outstanding natural beauty. Each of these properties also

and training, Marasa Africa is one of the largest, most diversified

represents the combination of the very best of what there is to

private-sector employers in East Africa, employing hundreds of

offer at these destinations. All of our hospitality properties have

people, and providing a livelihood, both directly and indirectly, to

been consolidated under Marasa Holdings, and as we expect to

many more individuals in Uganda alone. Not that its growth over

grow, Marasa will be one of the largest providers of high quality,

the years has changed the distinctly family business approach to

comfortable, charming safari lodges in East Africa.”

doing business, however:

Whether Uganda or Kenya, Marasa Africa has sought to ensure

“Despite our diversity and size, our family business continues to

that both destinations captivate their guests, ensuring memories

be proudly African and we continue to recognize the key values that

of a magical stay which will last a lifetime. Each of Marasa Africa’s

have contributed to our success by embracing the stakeholders and

seven separate resorts offer a uniquely enchanting stay, but they all

communities in which we operate as our destiny is entwined with

share something in common, however – the guarantee that a stay

theirs. We strive to engage with and empower these communities

with Marasa will offer world-class service, and an eclectic blend of

and ensure that we may continue to grow hand in hand with them

luxury and adventure.

wherever possible.”

THE ABERDARE COUNTRY CLUB Only a two and a half

MARA LEISURE CAMP in what

FIVE STAR LODGE CHOBE SAFARI LODGE

is widely

Set in the heart of the

Located in the Murchison

hour drive northeast from

regarded to be Kenya’s prime

Aberdare National Park, it is an

Falls National Park, this Five

Nairobi, The Aberdare Country

wildlife area, Mara Leisure

iconic and, yes, quirky vacation

Star

Club is nestled on a slope of

Camp is located along the

spot. The Ark overlooks a

the gem in Uganda’s crown

Mweiga Hill in the Aberdare

Talek River at the confluence of

floodlit waterhole and salt lick,

of tourism destinations. The

Highlands, part of the Great

the Masai Mara’s four wildlife

which attracts an incredible

breath taking panoramic views,

Rift Valley. This captivating

viewing areas, on the northern

host of wildlife. Modelled after

coupled with the sounds of the

site was the homestead of an

boundary of the Masai Mara

Noah’s Ark, The Ark has four

River Nile’s magnificent rapids,

English couple that decided

Game Reserve.

viewing decks with balconies

sets the scene for an adventure

is

and lounges to provide superb

that will impress even the most

half century later, their home,

located within one of the

game viewing from the comfort

discerning of visitors.

“The Steep”, was renamed the

most spectacular locations in

of the lodge. For visitors, the

Aberdare Country Club and

the entire Masai Mara Game

animals come to you!

unique opportunity to sample

opened for guests. Considered

Reserve. One of the most

www.thearkkenya.com

the wildlife, birds, flora and

a heritage property in Kenya,

exciting spectacles in the world

fauna; all in an area of the park

The Aberdare Country Club

is that of the ‘Great Migration’,

that has yet to be discovered.

has retained the charm of a

where two million wildebeest,

This area of Murchison Falls

private home with the simple

zebras and other herbivores

National Park is ideal for

comforts of a country inn. It

pass through the Masai Mara/

fishing, and will revive this

will take visitors back to a time

Serengeti ecosystem in Kenya

newly refurbished lodge to

when life proceeded at a far

and Tanzania. This is a perilous

become one of the best fishing

more leisurely, gentle pace.

migration

destinations in Africa.

www.aberdarecountryclub.com

where they encounter many

to settle in Kenya. Almost a

Set

THE ARK

Mara

Leisure

for

the

Camp

animals,

river crossings, and have to run the gauntlet of crocodiles in waiting. www.maraleisurecamp.co.ke

16 | Endeavour Magazine

lodge

is

undoubtedly

Chobe Safari Lodge offers a

www.chobelodgeuganda.com


MWEYA SAFARI LODGE

PARAA SAFARI LODGE

Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors

an

unforgettable

SILVERBACK LODGE While

Marasa,

much

Established in 1954, Paraa

The latest addition to the

Safari Lodge is set in Murchison

Marasa Africa properties is

like its peers and rivals, has

a

Falls National Park. The lodge

Silverback Lodge, located in

experienced a troubled few

peninsula within the heart of

is located in the north west

the Buhoma sector of Bwindi

years, during which it has been

the Queen Elizabeth National

of Uganda overlooking one of

Impenetrable Forest National

affected by events beyond its

Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is

nature’s best kept secrets, the

Park

Uganda.

control including the distressing

surrounded by the magical

River Nile, on its journey from

Silverback Lodge is only a

rise in terrorist activity in the

Rwenzori

its source at Lake Victoria to

5-minute walk to the national

region, and the Ebola crisis in

join Lake Albert.

park and has sweeping views

Western Africa, 2016 proved

of the valley and forests that

to be a positive year. All being

surround it.

well, it is anticipated that 2017,

experience.

Located

on

Mountains,

aptly

described as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. To

the

Paraa Safari Lodge offers east,

lie

in

western

the

a unique blend of comfort,

guardians of the birthplace

relaxation and adventure. Each

The lodge has sweeping

which will see the opening of

of mankind, the Great Rift

of the rooms is a haven of style

views of Bwindi Impenetrable

new luxury camps atop the

Valley hills, separated from the

and serenity, complete with

National Park - a 124-square-

falls in Murchison Falls National

Mountains of the Moon by the

balcony and private bathroom.

mile UNESCO site home to

Park in Uganda, and expansion

of

approximately 350 mountain

into neighbouring Rwanda and

Here the water flows endlessly

the lodge still reflects the

gorillas (half of the world’s

Zanzibar, will see Marasa build

into two giant lakes – Lake

bygone era of early explorers,

remaining population), non-

further on what has been a

George and Lake Edward.

enshrined

habituated chimpanzees, more

12-months of roaring trade.

www.mweyalodge.com

touch. The

meandering Kazinga Channel.

The

safari

with

décor

a

modern

than 100 other species of

These are exciting times for

overlooks the winding River

mammals, 346 species of birds,

the company, and there is no

Nile below. Enjoy a variety

and 163 species of trees.

better time to embrace Marasa

of excursions and activities;

www.silverbacklodge.com

Africa for a whirlwind romance

luxurious

pool

from exhilarating Safari drives

with nature. At Marasa Africa, it

to boat trips along the River

is always an affair to remember.

Nile, ending at the foot of

There’s a big, wild world out

Murchison Falls.

there – why not reach out to it?

www.paraalodge.com


18 | Endeavour Magazine


SEYCHELLES PORTS AUTHORITY WWW.SEYPORT.SC 00 248 4294700

PROPELLING PORT VICTORIA FORWARD WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

With its perfect ivory beaches, its palm trees and turquoise waters, it is far from surprising that the islands of the Republic of Seychelles have become the luxury refuge of choice for the international jetset, who for decades have visited in droves to experience a taste of paradise. This tiny Indian Ocean archipelago is well-known, if not renowned for its utterly exquisite beauty. Less well-known, understandably, are the economic vital statistics of the country, which make for impressive reading. Endeavour Magazine | 19


SEYCHELLES PORTS AUTHORITY

Lying far off the East African coastline, the Seychelles is currently

the African continent’s only high-income economy, thanks in the most part to the vast wealth that enters its borders in the deep pockets of visiting sun-seekers. That being said, the considerable revenue generated by its world-famous tourism sector is as much a potential Achille’s Heel as a strength. The dependence of the Seychelles upon the waves of tourists that flock to its islands each year has led to the creation of a national economy which is strong but brittle.

L

ike all small island nations, the Republic of Seychelles relies

In the mission to safeguard the future prosperity of the country,

overwhelmingly on the seas that surround it for a thousand

Seychelles Port Authority (SPA) plays an indispensable role. Since it

miles in each direction. The Indian Ocean is the mother of this

was first established in October 2004 by the SPA Act, following the

maritime nation – its waters are home to the shoals of fish and

decision on the part of the government to adopt a more efficient,

rich marine life that feeds its people, and upon the sea lanes come

business-focused doctrine toward management of the country’s

the ever-larger container ships which bring valuable cargo from the

commercial ports, management of the national economy’s key

outside world, and take away the island’s exports.

asset, Port of Victoria, has fallen to Seychelles Ports Authority.

With this in mind, the critical importance of maintaining and

On this, a spokesman for SPA said: “SPA manages all national

managing the marine infrastructure, particularly the ports that

and international terminals. SPA’s principal activities also include

accommodate the giant cruise ships, commercial vessels, and

the management of mooring and movement of vessels in and out of

fishing boats large and small, on which the Seychelles relies, is

Port Victoria Harbour, the management of the main International

difficult to overstate. Certainly, it has proved demanding at times

Commercial Port, the Industrial Fishing Port and a network of

for Seychelles Port Authority to consistently meet the challenges

domestic, inter-island jetties and terminals.

that it has faced, but it cannot be said that this all-important body has not proved itself equal to the task.

Located in the sleepy port city of Victoria, once the region’s colonial seat of government for the British Empire, and the French

From its headquarters in the nation’s capital, Victoria, SPA

before that, Port of Victoria is the largest and deepest port for nearly

and its more than 200 staff manage over 1,660 nautical sq. miles

1,000 miles in all directions. Granted, it is a relative minnow when

of the Victoria Port Limit. Along with management of mooring

compared to the largest mega-ports that are to be found along the

and movement of vessels in and out of the main international

East African and Indian coastlines but, as the undoubted engine

commercial port in Mahe quay, SPA also manages the industrial

of the Seychellois economy, its strategic importance shouldn’t be

fishing port, and a network of domestic, trans-island jetties and

underestimated.

terminals to be found at the many smaller commercial and fishing

In-line with the SPA’s mission to develop Port of Victoria into

ports that are dotted across the length and breadth of the island

the most vibrant and competitive in the region, and to ensure that

chain.

the Seychelles’ fragile economy maintains growth and forward

20 | Endeavour Magazine


SEYCHELLES PORTS AUTHORITY

momentum, the national government, in partnership with private

basin and approach channel will be increased to 15m, which will

partners and organisations such as the African Investment Bank,

allow the port to accommodate all but the very latest super-size

has embarked on an investment drive which will see hundreds

container ships and cruise ships – an essential attribute for any port

of millions, if not billions of dollars ploughed into rejuvenating

of such strategic importance, taking into account the current trend

country’s aging public infrastructure. Naturally, the Port of Victoria

of vessel cascading, which is increasingly displacing smaller vessels

will be one of the main beneficiaries.

on the world’s sea lanes. In addition to the physical rehabilitation

The Mahe quay rehabilitation project, which is scheduled to begin at the end of 2017, is an ambitious 4-year expansion scheme

work, Port of Victoria will also be given a technological makeover, with a view to improving staff safety and efficiency.

which will vastly increase the ports capabilities and operational

In terms of its day-to-day duties, the SPA has a number

efficiency, and secure its long-term viability as an effective

of different areas to focus on. By way of an example, the SPA’s

maritime hub. The US$107million scheme will be the first upgrade

Finance Department works to ensure that costs and expenses are

to Port of Victoria since 1986, and will address the limitations that

carefully managed so as to ensure its net reaches its maximum

exist at present, not to mention the structural damage the site

potential. Then there’s the essential work of the SPA’s legal team

has sustained following years of operating beyond its intended

to consider, in analysing and reviewing all legal documents linked

capacity.

to the SPA, including lease agreements issued to tenants, harbour

The port’s existing quay, currently 270m in length, will be

dues regulations, and the Seychelles Ports Authority Act.

drastically extended by an additional 330m, which upon completion

However, for an organisation which is as employee-centric as

will effectively double Port of Victoria’s operation capacity, and

SPA, its Corporate Services and Human Resources Department

allow the quay to accommodate two vessels measuring 250m in

plays a crucial role in ensuring that the its most valuable assets

length at a time. Additionally, the depth along the quay, turning

are carefully managed and looked after. Great importance is

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Endeavour Magazine | 23


AMAZING WORLD ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM

T

he astounding achievements of our forefathers, particularly those of Classical Greece, and the Golden Age of the

Romans and the Islamic world which followed and endured for more than a millennia after, are truly humbling. Still, we read the works of Cicero and Socrates and still we learn from the great philosophers and thinkers of the ancient world and still we give thanks to the ancient Greeks for developing and implementing the political system of democracy which large tracts of the modern world now employ. Recent scientific investigation into the fragments of an enigmatic object found along with a trove of other Classical Greek treasures, recovered from a Roman shipwreck just off the coast of the Greek Island of Antikythera in the Aegean, have revealed that the achievements of the ancient world are even more remarkable than originally thought. The discovery of the first fragments of in 1900-01, a purely accidental discovery by sponge divers who happened on what at first appeared to be an unusual looking green rock, has since shown that the brilliance of our Greek ancestors was not merely limited to politics, mathematics and critical thinking, but also extended also to the design and manufacture of staggeringly intricate machines so complex that nothing of their equal are yet thought to have been built for well over 1,000-years after. After spending more than 2,000 years at the bottom of the Aegean’s shallow waters, the three misshapen fragments of what

it, and for many decades after its discovery marvelled at it but made no sense of it.

has been dubbed the Antikythera Mechanism, in their rich hues

Initially, it was presumed that the Antikythera Mechanism was an

of emerald and dark greens, are eye-catching, if unremarkable.

ancient clock or orrery or astrolabe, but as it so happens those clever

The sight up-close of the embedded gears and their perfectly cut

Greeks in-fact built something much more. Through the application

interlocking teeth; the small but exquisite inscriptions and text

of X-ray imaging in the 1970’s and increasingly advanced imaging

which adorn them, and the ring which much like a school protractor

scanning technologies in recent years, however, it has finally been

is divided into degrees, however, reveals that we are in the presence

revealed how the device was an astronomical instrument used to

of something extraordinary.

track the cycles of the solar system and the movements of the sun,

The Antikythera Mechanism was once a sophisticated machine, this much is clear, but what was its actual purpose? Until recently,

moon, and the then-visible. With absolute precision, it should be added.

this would have been a difficult question to answer. Archeologists,

Much like your typical mantel place clock in size and with a

researchers and Classical Greek experts could make head nor tails of

circular front face with rotating hands, the design would have been

24 | Endeavour Magazine


Images © Wikimedia

somewhat modern in appearance. However the trains of interlocking gearwheels concealed within the case, the complexity of which amaze and at times baffle the world’s greatest watchmakers of today, drove the movement of at least seven hands rather than just two: one hand for the sun, for the moon, and each of the then-known planets visible to the naked eye – Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. No maker’s mark has been discovered on any of the recovered fragments, meaning that the creator of this machine will forever remain unknown, but sometimes a little mystery is no bad thing. What we do know beyond all doubt, in light of this discovery, is that the Antikythera Mechanism is living proof that when our species truly reaches its potential, the results can be truly incredible. Endeavour Magazine | 25


26 | Endeavour Magazine


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) WWW.FSG.CO.ZW 263 772 143 243

THE CATALYST FOR AN INDUSTRY REBORN WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

After the most challenging decade for the country’s agricultural sector, an industry which once set the standard not only in Africa but the world over, the green shoots of recovery are finally beginning to emerge from the lush soil of Zimbabwe. Endeavour Magazine | 27


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN)

Agriculture still stands as the main pillar of the national

economy of Zimbabwe. Remarkably, even after the collapse in agricultural production between 2000-2010, tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane contribute at least 30% of Zimbabwe’s national GDP and provide the stillfragile economy with an invaluable flow of foreign currency.

A

s recovery continues after the devastating drought of 2015, the country’s fertiliser industry will play a no-less important role in the ongoing revival of Zimbabwe’s signature industry.

Home-grown fertiliser producers and distributors like Ferts, Seed, & Grain are committed to restoring the country’s farming sector back to its rightful state, and empowering the small independent farmers it serves, who have worked tirelessly to increase crop production to a level matching those of the sprawling commercial farms that once dominated the industry. Established in 2010 as a small-scale importer of finished fertilisers, Ferts, Seed, & Grain (FSG) has undergone great change over its six-year lifetime. Once a local distributor of fertiliser products for Malawi-headquartered agribusiness, Meridian Group, FSG now stands as one of the industry leaders in Zimbabwe, and as a leading manufacturer of fertiliser in its own right. It is a Zimbabwean company through-and-through, committed to proving excellent service and high-quality products to its customers. Steve Morland, FSG’s Managing Director, told Endeavour: “FSG started off as an importer of finished fertilisers into Zimbabwe. In 2013 we moved on to purchase a large property, formerly a cotton factory, in Bindura, and in 2014 went on to erect a small bulk blending plant which allowed us to blend our own fertilisers. This year we have built a much larger blending plant, and also began commissioning our own granulator. These latest developments enable us to manufacture up to 700 tons of fertiliser per day, as well as producing a number of different blends simultaneously.” He continued: “We currently cater for the entire Zimbabwean

28 | Endeavour Magazine


FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) market’s needs, which includes sugar cane production for sugar

legislation was to build a thriving domestic industry, Zimbabwean

and ethanol, large and small tobacco companies, government

owned and run. With the stroke of a pen, the historical dominance

programmes, cotton production, commercial farmers of maize,

of the traditional industry monopoly was broken, and as a result of

wheat and soya, and small-scale farmers through a widely

this legislation FSG’s path to success was cleared. “We took this as

established third-party retail.

an opportunity to set up our production facility, establish ourselves

Besides our fertilizer business, FSG are also involved in grain

with a large number of retail outlets across the country, and also

trading and supporting a number of contract growers. In some

embarked on a very serious grass-roots marketing campaign.

cases, we combine these two disciplines to swap inputs for maize

During this period, we focused on giving prospective customers

outputs with the farmer.”

the opportunity to use our products, and after farmers started

Needless to say, business is booming. Demand for FSG’s

getting excellent results with Superfert, word of mouth spread and

fertiliser, the Superfert fertiliser brand, has increased at an

the brand gained popularity. 2016 has become our best year yet,

impressive rate both on its retail and commercial arms, whilst its

we are extremely happy and encouraged by our sales figures to-

retail tobacco sales alone have increased by almost 90% year-on-

date.

year since 2015. With growth rates forecast to keep rising over the

With the support and resources of the Meridian Group to

coming years, these are exciting times for the company, along with

call upon, FSG was comfortably able to meet the surge in volume

its competitors and indeed the wider industry.

demand for the raw materials required to manufacture its fertilisers

FSG’s success is, in part, thanks to an intervention on the

and capture market share. Importantly, it was able to do so cost-

part of the Zimbabwean government, who have shown strong

effectively. This isn’t to say that FSG has rested on its laurels; the

commitment to the development of agriculture and making the

company has invested in the facilities to hold up to 20,000 metric

country self-sustainable in food production. This window of

tons of stock, and implemented processes so it can be placed on

opportunity presented itself two years ago with the legislation that

the ground where it is needed ahead of demand. Then, there are

NPK fertilisers could no longer be imported as finished products

the advantages that come with operating the most modern fertiliser

and, instead, had to be manufactured locally. The aim of this

production facility in Zimbabwe, which in Steve’s words “is also the

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FSG (FERTILIZERS, SEEDS & GRAIN) most cost efficient as far as operational costs are concerned, and

seminars as these opportunities arise.”

which therefore gives us a competitive advantage on the price we can offer to customers.”

All-in-all, it is difficult to imagine a position better for a company like FSG. The foundations upon which further growth and

Another string to the bow of FSG is its employees, many of

prosperity can be built are in place, and, crucially, it has a strong

whom have been with the company since it opened its doors for

and positive working relationship with the national government,

business. In a country with an agricultural heritage as prestigious

with whom it has won various contracts to supply and distribute

as that of Zimbabwe’s - one that accounts for over 66% of national

fertiliser countrywide over the past two years, as well as a host of

employment, there is a strong pool of talent to pick from for

contracts to supply commercial farming enterprises for wheat and

businesses operating in the sector. Within its ranks, FSG’s 60

maize, and a number of contracts for the country’s large tobacco

permanent staff and its 200 seasonal workers have an intimate

producers.

GAVILON FERTILISER

knowledge of both the country and the industry, thanks to the experience gained from years of working in agriculture.

And then there’s the retail side of operation, which is also in the process of being expanded so that FSG’s products will soon be

On this, Morland told Endeavour: “It has always been our policy

made available in every corner of the country network – from 2017,

to promote from within so we have a team that has moved through

Superfert will be available in 40 towns and cities nationwide, from

the ranks and been around from the very start. It is a very tight

130 outlets. Steve said: “This is an ongoing expansion program;

group of people that run FSG in Harare; a hugely committed and

we’re continuously looking for new opportunities, particularly to

motivated team who are driven further by the great results the

develop our export market, which will assist us in generating much

company has had over the years.

needed foreign exchange.”

Our entire factory staff complement has been trained from the

These are exciting times, not only for FSG but for the country’s

very beginning by specialists who we brought in specifically for this

resourceful farmers, and indeed Zimbabwe itself. Times remain

task. We have developed a full agronomy team, all of whom started

challenging, granted, but finally the country has turned a corner:

with us while still completing their formal training and studies.

here’s hoping that the good times are here to stay.

We continually encourage our staff to attend training courses and

THE FOOD CROPS PREFER. GAVILON FERTILISER

www.gavilon.co.za

THE FOOD CROPS PREFER. Gavilon South Africa (PTY) LTD

Ground Floor, Silky Oaks Building, Ballyoaks Office Park, 35 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2012 • P.O Box 133, Cramerview, 2060 Sales Managers: Leon Lotz 076 303 4598 • Willem Engelbrecht 082 825 7781 Handro Swart 082 801 7948 • Bryanston office no. 011 367 8420

www.gavilon.co.za 32 | Endeavour Magazine


W W

hat hat started started as aasmere a mere maize maize grower grower andand it was it was the the lineline thisthis system system be retained. be retained. PartPart of the of the which the the company company hadhad on the on the agreement agreement between between the the Ministry Ministry of of Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-operatives Co-operatives which in the in the citycity of Salisbury of Salisbury on onmembers’ members’ grain grain thatthat made made trading trading Agriculture Agriculture andand the the Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op the the payment payment for for members’ members’ maize maize 21March 21March 1908 1908 hashas grown grown to become to become practical practical andand all0wed all0wed the the Farmers’ Farmers’ waswas the the largest largest agricultural agricultural andand hardware hardwareCo-op Co-op to make to make certain certain cashcash advances advanceswould would be initially be initially to the to the Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-Coretailer retailer in Zimbabwe, in Zimbabwe, making making a a when when the the maize maize waswas delivered, delivered, or to or to op. op. TheThe Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op waswas therefore therefore givegive modest modest credit credit to the to the members members in ainposition a position to deduct to deduct what what waswas significant significant contribution contribution to the to the agricultural agricultural sector sector andand the the economy. economy. when when in need. in need. Thus, Thus, when when maize maize owing owing to ittoand it and paypay overover the the balance balance to its to members. its members. TheThe system system stood stood the the TheThe Farmers’ Farmers’ Co-op Co-op waswas essentially essentially control control came came intointo being being it was it was of of established established for for the the benefit benefit of the of the vitalvital importance importance thatthat some some partpart of of testtest of time. of time.

Banket Banket Chinhoyi Chinhoyi Mhangura Mhangura Karoi Karoi Gweru Gweru

Retail Retail Stores Stores

Glendale Glendale Bindura Bindura MtMt Darwin Darwin Mvurwi Mvurwi Guruve Guruve Murewa Murewa

FarFar more more than than simply simply a retail a retail andand wholesale wholesale outlet, outlet, though though it fulfils it fulfils these these functions functions through through its network its network of 38 of stores, 38 stores, centred centred on the on the 3,300 3,300 square square metre metre flagship flagship at 4th at 4th Street Street

Marondera Marondera Rusape Rusape Mutare Mutare Nyanga Nyanga Chipinge Chipinge Hauna Hauna

Masvingo Masvingo Chegutu Chegutu Zvishavane Zvishavane Kadoma Kadoma Harare Harare Kwekwe Kwekwe Mutoko Mutoko Chiredzi Chiredzi Gokwe Gokwe Bulawayo Bulawayo

Harare, Harare, Farm Farm & City & City is aisstrategic a strategic chicks, chicks, veterinary veterinary products, products, animal animal player player withwith its roots its roots in ainco-operative a co-operativefeeds, feeds, protective protective clothing, clothing, fencing fencing business. business. It sells It sells everything everything a farmer a farmer andand building. building. needs, needs, including including implements, implements, seed, seed, Farm Farm & City & City Centre Centre is the is the preferred preferred chemicals, chemicals, fertilizers, fertilizers, tools, tools, dayday old old agro-retailer agro-retailer in Zimbabwe, in Zimbabwe, offering offering retail retail agricultural agricultural inputs, inputs, building building materials materials andand general general hardware. hardware. FSG, FSG, being being oneone of our of our keykey suppliers suppliers of fertilizer, of fertilizer, supports supports us immensely. us immensely. We We appreciate appreciate the the rolerole FSGFSG plays plays in delivering in delivering for for the the farming farming in Zimbabwe. in Zimbabwe.

Contact Contactdetails: details:

 +263-4-251162-8 +263-4-251162-8  info@farmandcity.co.zw info@farmandcity.co.zw  www.farmandcity.co.zw  www.farmandcity.co.zw  farmandcitycentre farmandcitycentre


34 | Endeavour Magazine


FURNESS GROUP WWW.FURNESSGROUP.COM (868) 625-1241

125 YEARS OF QUALITY AND SERVICE WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

Founded in 1891 as a Branch office of Britishowned Furness Withy & Co Ltd, today, the Group is a well-regarded regional player, operating across a wide range of sectors such as shipping & distribution, insurance, cold storage operations and car rental. Endeavour Magazine took some time out to take a closer look at the company’s vast and varied history in the maritime sector. Endeavour Magazine | 35


FURNESS GROUP

As you might expect of a Trinidad & Tobago-based conglomerate

which is something of a national giant, Furness Trinidad Group of Companies (FT Group) has, to say the least, a somewhat diversified portfolio of businesses operating under its 125-year old brand. The primary markets in which FT Group range from import and distribution, short and long-term car leasing, general sales, the real estate market, and general insurance, to property underwriting, motor, engineering and bonding providers, industrial and domestic cleaning, and manufacturing and distribution.

B

ut let’s take a closer glance at the cogs and gears responsible

started when, at the turn of the decade, Furness Withy was granted

for FT Group’s success. Firstly, there’s Furness Trinidad Ltd,

the management rights to two ships Canadian ships which were

Furness Shipping and Marketing Ltd – responsible for import

gifted to the Federal Government of the West Indies in 1961,

and distribution services, AVIS/Budget – their General Sales

the Federal Maple and Federal Palm. Upon being incorporated

Agents business, Furness Anchorage General Insurance Ltd – their

into the business, Furness Withy began a regular shuttle service

general insurance providers, and Furness Rentals Ltd – the arm of

for passengers between the Federated Islands, which continued

the business responsible for long-term care leasing operations.

even after the Federal Government was dissolved the following

Additionally, within the FT Group stable is also Furness Chemicals

year. Federal Maple and Federal Palm continued their role as an

Ltd, Furness Personnel Services Ltd, Furness Withy Ltd – the

important, recognizable and much-loved means of transport and

group’s shipping agency operators, I & E Investments Ltd, WAF

travel for passengers to and from Trinidad & Tobago for many years

Resorts Ltd., and a number of other smaller subsidiaries that all

after.

contribute to make the business what it is today.

Not long after, Furness Withy enjoyed yet another boost with

Suffice to say FT Group has been a busy bee over the course of

the news that the US Navy intended to vacate part of the naval

its impressively long history, and has its fingers firmly placed in a

base at Chaguaramas in Trinidad, which was to be released back

number of lucrative pies across the islands – it is undoubtedly this

into the ownership of the government of Trinidad & Tobago. It

spreading of eggs across numerous baskets that has helped ensure

was little wonder that Furness Withy was so keen to acquire the

its longevity and success over its century-long lifetime. Well, this

newly available site. The facilities, which included two deep water

along with the businesses’ 400 well-trained employees who in the

piers, plus storage units, first-rate infrastructure, and equipment

view of William Ferreira, CEO and Chairman of the group, have

for the repair and maintenance boats and ships, were of the highest

been instrumental in making FT Group what it is today.

standard.

THE SWINGING 60’S – A BREAKTHROUGH DECADE FOR FT GROUP’S MARITIME OPERATIONS

EXPANSION OF MARITIME SERVICES AND THE MAKINGS OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’S MOST CAPABLE SHIPPING OPERATOR

Whilst the company’s history has always been one of aggregate

The rest as they say is history. A few years later in 1964, a

forward-movement and success, the 1960’s was a particularly

partnership was formed with Smith’s Dock Company Ltd, part of

buoyant time for the group’s shipping arm, Furness Withy. It all

the Swan Hunter Group, to lease the facility, and the newly formed

36 | Endeavour Magazine


9

Furness-Smiths Dock Ltd entered operation in May 1966 – a joint

areas that we focus on. For example, in our car leasing business, the

venture which, in addition to Furness Withy’s previous capacity

vehicles are kept no longer than two years, even though they may

as a maritime transport and shipping management operator, now

have a four-year lease attached to them. In the case of insurance,

also offered marine repair and construction services for small

prompt and courteous claims settlement and in distribution timely

to medium-size vessels. Furness Engineering Ltd was also later

deliveries and stringent good quality control is one of the key areas

absorbed into this joint venture, giving the company yet further

that have kept the growth.”

product and service offerings, as the business evolved to become

Ferreira is keen to emphasise how the company regularly looks

Dockyard Investments Ltd – a company which added a pair of

at creating additional leverage to its supply chain so that it can

tug boats and a floating dock capable of lifting 11,200 tons to its

encourage long-term partnerships with build relationships at home

portfolio. These were delivered in 1966, and named Maraval and

and abroad. “We keep assessing and evaluating the portfolio. We

Lere respectively.

consider all suppliers/partners essential to our business operation,”

Success followed success over the decades after as the company continued to grow, and eventually became what it is today; Furness Trinidad Ltd, an associate company responsible for advising a number of overseas and local authorities on shipping and maritime matters, and an outfit considered to be the most experienced shipping agent in Trinidad & Tobago.

THE 125-YEAR MILESTONE BUT ONE OF MANY MORE TO COME There is much to look forward to, with regards to FT Group’s plans for the coming 12-18-months. Construction work on a new head office has commenced, whilst further build work on a 10-story building that will house the Holding Company, Furness Trinidad Ltd, and Furness Anchorage General Insurance Ltd, is ongoing.

FURNESS; A SYMBOL OF QUALITY AND SERVICE

The future looks not just secure but buoyant for the Furness

Whilst the company has grown beyond all recognition since

Group. Having achieved so much over its colourful 125-year history

its humble beginnings, it has retained its local company charm

so far, during which it has empires come and go, and governments

and customer-centric outlook. “Our motto is ‘Furness, Symbol

change, the company is no-doubt well placed to reach many more

of Quality and Service,” said Ferreira. He continued, “we are very

milestones over the years to come.

much customer-focused and this is reflected in the growth of our leasing operation. After sales, customer commitment is one of the most important Endeavour Magazine | 37


AMAZING WORLD THE RAINBOW MOUNTAINS OF CHINA

T

here are more than a few beautiful and utterly bonkers

mountains within Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park are as

natural marvels to be found dotted around the world, but the

real as you and me.

psychedelic Rainbow Mountains of North-West China are

something a bit special.

The jagged technicolour peaks of the Rainbow Mountains are something of a paint palette geological wonder of the world, surely

You haven’t tumbled down the rabbit hole and, no, these images

at least the equal of the world-famous Grand Canyon. Perhaps

haven’t been doctored on Photoshop to make them look more

unsurprisingly, the Danxia mountain range is a UNESCO World

impressive than they really are - the otherworldly splash of blues,

Heritage Site, and a bucket list destination for many Chinese and

magentas, oranges, rich reds and lemon yellows that colour the

international tourists, but this remarkable feat of nature has only

38 | Endeavour Magazine


top of each other, creating a layered effect that you will find in any ordinarily cliff or mountain. Nothing to see here so far. However, somewhere around 40-50 million years ago, geologists found that the movement of the world’s giant tectonic plates set India – then a large island separate from the continent which it is part of today – on a slow-motion collision course with the Eurasian landmass. For an idea of the sheer force that the impact generated when the two plates bearing India and the Eurasian continent collided, we need look no further than the Himalayan mountain range which runs around the northern perimeter of India – a vast rift of fractured, jutting rock thrust thousands of feet into the air by the combined pressure of the two tectonic plates over millions of years. The Rainbow Mountains of Danxia are the product of a similar crumpling effect, as opposing plates forced the creation of vast mountain ranges in what is now north China. In the case of the Danxia mountains, the crushing force severely disrupted the layer cake of red sandstone, and its accompanying layers of rocks and minerals, which subsequently led to the creation of the strange begun to capture the world’s attention over the past decade or so.

patterns and colouration that we see today. A fitting comparison

This may explain why World Heritage Site status was achieved only

might be if we you scrunched up a painting into a ball, and then

as recently as 2009.

observed the patterns – the principle is the same.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks: how did the Rainbow Mountains

So, there you have it. The immense power of the Earth’s natural

of Danxia come to be? The geological explanation behind the unique

forces, at the right place at the right time, can lead to incredible

colouration of the site is predictably fascinating. Here goes: over the

results. If ever you visit the Rainbow Mountains, try to take the time

space of millions upon millions of years, different types of rock, such

to appreciate a piece of art which was more than 50 million years in

as red sandstone and an array of other mineral deposits formed on

the making.

Endeavour Magazine | 39


40 | Endeavour Magazine


SIMBA CORPORATION LTD WWW.SIMBACORP.COM 254 703046111

GROWTH EVOLVED WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

Stretching back nearly seven decades, the story of Simba Corp is a truly fascinating tale of success which predates even the modern Kenyan nation as we know it. After beginning life as a modest used car dealership, setup by Abdulkarim Popat, the company’s founder in 1948, Simba Corp, like Kenya itself, has since embarked upon a journey, during which it has grown beyond all recognition into the regional giant it is today. Endeavour Magazine | 41


SIMBA CORPORATION LTD

A conglomerate with more than 1,500 staff and interests across

a range of industries, Simba Corp is recognised as one of East Africa’s most influential home-grown companies. Certainly, in terms of its transnational footprint, reach, and outlook, Simba is all but unrecognisable to its former self. And yet, in spite of the company’s transformation over the span of many years, the family business essence remains. Even today, the legacy of the founder still reigns in the group – the company is a proudly Kenyan one, and remains as committed to Kenya, and investing in communities it operates in as it is to achieving continued commercial success.

A

dil Popat, CEO of Simba Corp, explained: “Simba Corporation Ltd is a leading regional corporation with diversified interests in automotive and power generation, services and solutions,

as well as real estate and hospitality. The company is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and has grown to a large integrated multi-sector business group representing international brands and franchises such as Mitsubishi, FUSO, BMW, Mahindra, Renault, AVIS, SAME Tractors, and AKSA Generators.” The group has grown remarkably and has become the representative of global recognised brands locally, to the extent that its vehicle distribution division, Simba Colt Motor Division is the country’s go-to organisation for the distribution of leading international brands to discerning consumers. Simba Colt Motors is, and has long been the company’s flagship business division. Over the course of 45-years, Simba’s motor division has grown to become the sole representative in Kenya for the distribution and service of passenger and commercial vehicles to individual, corporate, and government clients. Among this group of key international partners are Mitsubishi Motors, one of Japan’s leading automotive manufacturers, and a multiple world rally and endurance race champion. Simba has represented Mitsubishi in the Kenyan market since 1968. German-owned and Japan-based, Fuso - one of the world’s largest truck and bus manufacturers, is another. Since it acquired the franchise to sell a full range of Fuso trucks in 2001 Simba has distributed these vehicles to those who seek fuel economy, exceptional reliability, durability, and low running costs.

42 | Endeavour Magazine


Then there’s Bavaria Auto Ltd, a BMW importer for Kenya and

and yet a sum which in the grand of scheme of things represents

Uganda which provides full sales, service, and parts for BMW cars

but a fraction of the potential revenue a mature, well-developed

and Motorrad (Motorcycle), acquired by Simba in mid-2008.

tourism sector could, and no doubt will, command in time.

Xylon Motors, a fully owned subsidiary of Simba Corp, is the

Already, tourism is one of Kenya’s leading drivers for economic

Mahindra franchise holder for a wide range of Mahindra pick-

growth, and unquestionably the country’s chief foreign exchange

up models and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Xylon also has a

earner, followed only by the export of agricultural exports such

countrywide presence through our showrooms and dealer network

as flowers, tea, and coffee. It’s truly magnificent landscapes and

and offers custom applications for the utility vehicle segment with

diverse topography, made up of lush forest, snow-tipped mountains,

various body designs, such as the bread body, tea body, fire truck,

and idyllic beaches the equal of more high-profile tourism hotspots.

and ambulance.

And then there’s its renowned savannah plains and grasslands for

Simba Caetano Formula Ltd, a JV with Caetano Formula East

which the country is world-famous – a land that teems with an

Africa (EA), is the Renault importer for Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania,

extraordinary array of wildlife, including the big-five game animals,

will supply a range of cars beginning with the Duster, Fluence, and

the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and

Koleos.

rhino. Quite the draw for safari-seeking tourists and adventurers, if

However, whilst its reputation as a leading distributor of

ever there was one.

marquee motoring brands is the line of business with which the

Kenya’s as-of-yet unrealised tourism potential is great indeed,

Simba brand is still synonymous, the company’s entry into the

and that’s without taking into account the country’s growing

lucrative hospitality market could one day prove to be no less fruitful.

reputation as the region’s de facto capital status, with regards

In the view of Simba Corp’s executive leadership, hospitality is the

to the hosting of world-level business conferences and political

future, and its multi-million dollar investments in this industry will

summits in the region.

be the instrument through which it intends to realise its ambitions

The rewards for the companies capable of successfully

of taking Simba Corp to the next level, and expanding beyond the

capitalising on Kenya’s hospitality sector boom are potentially huge

borders of East Africa to become a truly pan-African brand.

indeed, as Simba Corp knows all too well.

A report compiled by the UN World Tourism Organisation

“We believe the African hospitality sector is ripe for growth

(UNWTO) revealed how the 56 million tourists who travelled to the

and we look forward to delivering the Acacia chain of hotels to

African continent in 2014 contributed a total of US$36 billion to the

the market to capitalise on growing tourist numbers and increased

coffers of the country’s they visited – a considerable sum indeed,

regional/intra-Africa travel. We believe there is a strong demand for Endeavour Magazine | 43


SIMBA CORPORATION LTD hotel accommodation and conference facilities amongst travelers

and only when a clear skill gap exists, do we seek talent externally.

and local businessmen.

Our benefits are structured in a manner that supports brand loyalty,

Simba Hospitality was founded five years ago, and currently

seeing employees as our topmost brand ambassadors.”

has a portfolio of three properties. The hospitality division was

Simba Corp’s form for nurturing its staff and facilitating their

established to drive the group’s diversification strategy and has

growth and development is borne of a wider commitment to the

quickly grown to be a key revenue contributor and foreign exchange

communities in which it does business.

earner for the group. In addition, both the Villa Rosa Kempinski and

The ongoing work of its corporate social investment arm,

Olare Mara Kempinski hotels have been recognised as outstanding

the Simba Foundation, might best be considered the physical

properties in both local and international hospitality publications.

embodiment of this commitment. For all Kenya’s rapid economic

In 2015, Simba opened up Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu

growth and development in recent decades, pockets of its people

which was our first self-managed property under our flagship

remain excluded from the rise in prosperity and living standards. To

Acacia brand. Our goal is to grow the Acacia brand throughout

counteract such opportunity inequality, the mission of the Simba

the region through our in-house two and three star brands Acacia

Foundation is simple: to provide a platform to underprivileged

Express and Acacia Premier respectively,” said Adil.

youth by equipping them with technical and business skills, and

He continued: “There is an immense amount of competition for already established brands, especially home-grown brands.

to build on Simba’s heritage in providing healthcare interventions through partnerships.

Therefore, home-grown brands, such as our Acacia Brand, need to

As one of Kenya’s foremost home-grown private sector

remain competitive by keeping up with industry standards, offering

operators, Simba Corp is capable of harnessing its formidable

world-class service and quality facilities.”

resources and expertise to engage with isolated, impoverished

And that’s without mentioning other obstacles which are

communities, and through structured processes invest in the three

outside of Simba Corps control, including the risk of political

key pillars of societal development; Education, Health, and Disaster

instability and the threats posed by international terrorism, both

Management. Marginalised youths from troubled communities

of which can cause havoc, and have already wrought great damage to visitor numbers in recent years. Corruption is another threat to business, particularly at a time when such huge flows of investment, in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, are pouring into the country. These are forces which are beyond Simba’s influence, but such problems are all part and parcel of doing business. The key is to focus on what you can affect, namely to provide a world-class service and a positive customer experience, which in turn will create a reputation for excellence over time. The key to achieving this is to have a motivated and well-trained workforce that recognises how their individual actions contribute to the greater success of the business. Creating such a corporate culture, and an inspired, passionate staff base which is genuinely invested in this way, requires effective leadership, and the provision of training and generous employee benefits – this is not lost on Simba Corp. “Simba Corporation is home to about 1,500 staff across the group. Our approach to training and benefits is as an investment approach, made by both the company and the employee, with mutual benefits. We employ a targeted and strategic method of identifying training needs which takes into consideration both performance and competency gaps as well as succession plans. We train not only for current jobs but also for future jobs, where an employee is identified for the same. We are very keen on developing/ promoting our internal talent and our training plans also take this into consideration. Internal recruitment is always given preference

44 | Endeavour Magazine


are provided with the technical and hospitality skills, including entrepreneurship and ethics skills, to help inspire positive life change and escape from a potential life of destitution or criminality, while the communities themselves benefit from the provision of healthcare services and road safety programs and disaster management support. The term CSR has become something of a buzzword over the past decade but, as a 100% Kenyan company, Simba Corp is, inline with the foundation’s tagline, striving to truly ‘put African communities in the driving seat.’ Simba Corp strategy is to grow the motor industry in the country and beyond and hospitality divisions, but also seek other ways to support its expansion strategy as it seeks to realise its vision of creating a truly pan-African business. In addition to its commitment to opening new showrooms, service, and parts facilities in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, and its plans to open Acacia hotels in Meru, Nakuru, and Eldoret, the company has plans in place to enter into the food and beverage industry by opening restaurants in Nairobi.

Endeavour Magazine | 45


46 | Endeavour Magazine


VIEIRA INCORPORATED LTD WWW.VIEIRAINC.COM 001 868 673 7261

LIGHTENING THE LOAD WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON

A cornerstone of any successful enterprise, a streamlined logistics solution is a much soughtafter facet of modern day business and if you’re not currently using Vieira Inc., you might not be working with the best. Endeavour Magazine spoke with Kent Vieira, company MD, to find out how him and his team seek to do much more than getting your goods from a to b. Endeavour Magazine | 47


VIEIRA INCORPORATED LTD

There was a time when the businesses you wanted to deal with

were all family operations, run by a close-knit team of genuinely invested professionals, but the decline of this kind of set-up has made the few that remain absolutely worth their weight in gold. Vieira Inc. (VI), is one such operation, having been founded by Heidi Vieira; an inspiring leader, whose passion and influence can still be felt today.

H

aving worked tirelessly to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to provide reliable freight and logistics services throughout Trinidad, Heidi sadly passed away on 2004,

Bridge Control Services Ltd.

leaving the company to her beloved family members, to carry on her amazing work, “Even though Heidi’s time with us was shortened, her legacy and values live on today in the manner in which Vieira Inc. continues to do business and deliver services of the highest quality. Heidi was all peace and love to all, which was responsible for her success. Her love extended not only to her family but to all who became involved in her life.”

TRANSPORT SERVICES FOR THE PILOTS OF THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO PILOTS’ ASSOCIATION Launch Hire • Crew Management • Private Water Taxi • Crew changes • Emergency Evacuations • Transportation of Supplies • Mooring Boat Operations and Dry Docking of Launches

You might be tarnished by the modern condition of cynicism, but having spoken to Kent Vieira, Heidi’s brother and now, MD of the company, we can confirm that family is everything and we’re not talking about blood. Discussing how a sense of personal connection permeates the day-to-day running and interactions of VI, Kent commented that, “We are a family company and that closeness forms our philosophy and impacts on the way we work with clients and our employees. Absolutely everyone is considered to be part of the Vieira Inc. family.” With a firm belief that nothing is impossible, VI is bringing

P.O. Box 1385 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Tel: (868)671-0751, 672-7678, Fax: (868)672-4694

admin@bridgecontrolservices.com www.bridgecontrolservices.com 48 | Endeavour Magazine

ambition, creativity and unique problem solving techniques back into the logistics industry, thanks to their two main branches of cargo and vessel operations. Kent noted that,


VIEIRA INCORPORATED LTD

“We can offer a novel opportunity to our clients in that we can

of competition, as there are many other companies offering some

efficiently tackle freight, customs and shipping agency needs. We

of the services which we do and quite a few of them have chosen to

also offer meet and greet services and a whole suite of services

form partnerships in order to corner the market, but we have a zero

regarding inland transport as well. We satisfy every need of our

tolerance stance when it comes to our code of ethics and legislation

customers, so they can focus on their core business.”

compliance, which sadly, can be an obstacle in this industry.” With

Offering a ‘door-to-door’ service with their cargo operations,

such a powerful moral compass guiding VI, choosing its staff must

clients really can sit back and focus on their own business interests,

be a tricky process. Obviously, it needs people who are willing to

safe in the knowledge that VI is taking care of international

commit to the values and working practices that the company has

freight forwarding, cargo handling, customs brokerage, inland

always had in place, since Heidi instigated them, but how do you

transportation and even extra services, such as export packing

keep the energy and enthusiasm alive in workers?

and crating. Add to this, a comprehensive vessel operations unit,

“We have a team of 20 people. We believe whole-heartedly in

which offers a one-stop vessel husbandry service, and you have

encouraging the development of our team members and as such,

the makings of a logistics company that puts the passion back into

we have a leadership coach that works with us on a fortnightly

planning.

basis. Training and development is important, as it helps to stamp

Operating primarily in Trinidad, collaborations with customs

out ‘non-family’ habits. We offer a novel environment, whereby

brokerage companies in Grenada, Barbados and Guyana are all

our staff get more than just a paycheck. Our work is our home

indicative of a move to enjoy more international appeal and even a

by bringing a genuine family culture into the corporate world,

downturn in the sector hasn’t quashed future ambitions,

we keep our interests manageable, small and specialist. We want

“In Trinidad, the industry is not buoyant at the moment, due

people to come and work with us and contribute something. The

to the low oil price. This affects not only the oil industry, but also

challenge for us, as employers, is to find ways to maintain employee

domestic trade, due to the lack of foreign exchange. There is a lot

excitement and zeal.”

50 | Endeavour Magazine


With a family culture, enviable client base and sterling reputation all in place, the future looks secure for VI and we felt sure that a programme of expansion or development must already be on the cards and we weren’t disappointed by what Kent told us, “Our strategic plan for 2017 involves the establishment of offices in Guyana. The development of the Oil and Gas industry will serve to allow us to use our expertise in developing the logistics sector there. Another part of the strategic plan is the strengthening of our third party registration process, to ensure we can expand our local transport package. It will be called OutSource Logistics (OSL). OSL will bring our local logistic services under one umbrella for all services, making it more user-friendly for the client. OSL is intended to help Vieira Inc. Trinidad to become a regional hub for the transhipment of cargo and a leader in the region for vessel supplies and services.” Successfully blending a family culture with high-end logistics

United Ship Chandlers Ltd. are proud to work with Vieira Inc

solutions is no simple task, but VI have mastered it by staying true to the philosophy and ethos with which it was formed and we look forward to seeing what 2017 brings for this innovative and inspiring operation.

71 Woodford Street Newtown, Port of Spain Trinidad, W.I.

Tel: (868) 628-2970 / 5666 / 2135 Fax: (868) 628 - 7677 After Hours: (868) 633-5730 (868) 355-7483 Email: operations@unichand.com

Endeavour Magazine | 51


AUTOMOTIVES HYUNDAI IONIQ - PETROL-ELECTRIC HYBRID BY JACK SLATER

T

here are a number of little perks that come with working here

competition is no bad thing, and it’s great to see the Koreans

at Endeavor magazine, chief amongst them being that we get

elbowing themselves into this market with the Hyundai Ioniq.

to test many the latest cars, motorbikes, and even gadgets.

The Ioniq comes in 3 versions, the first of which is a Hybrid car

I’ll admit now that when I was told my next car to review would

with a petrol engine, coupled with an electric motor which cannot

be an eco-car, I was curious, sure, but I wasn’t overly excited.

be charged externally. All the charge is internally created from the

That said, it’s obvious how, as a population, we must curb our

kinetic energy the movement of the car creates. Second-up is the

all-consuming ways sooner or later and begin to embrace a more

plug-in Hybrid version, which is basically the same car but with a

sustainable way of life. It took hundreds of millions of years to create

bigger battery for more range that you can charge externally – this

the world’s oil reserves and yet little less than a century fears have

model is set to be launched later in 2017. And finally, they have a

already been raised that we will run out of oil. And that’s without

version which is powered purely by electricity that is exactly what

factoring in the environmental impact of firstly extracting oil from

it says on the tin.

the ground, and the emissions that are created when we use it. We

The Ioniq is a good-looking car and, on the surface at least,

need to slow our consumption of the black stuff - could the use

you’d have no reason to suspect it is anything other than ordinary.

of eco-cars help? Surely this new breed of cars has an increasingly

The exterior is smooth, which gives a very low drag factor, aiding

important role to play in our under-resourced, over-polluted world.

those big MPG figures, and all three versions use a Dual-clutch

Up until now, the Toyota Prius has been the world’s bestselling

automatic box for the smooth 6-speed gears, eliminating clunky

hybrid car by a country mile, however, as we all know, a little

changes up and down the box. The dual petrol-electric Hybrids

52 | Endeavour Magazine


The regenerative brakes system is commonplace on eco-cars, and the Ioniq is no exception. They pump kinetic energy from braking back into the batteries and the Hyundai system is very smooth - not an easy task to master as you’ll know if you have driven some of the competition in the past. Another nice touch is that the car’s low CO2 emissions qualifies it for free of car tax and low company car tax. However, our hybrid version doesn’t qualify to be exempt from the London congestion charge – take note those of you who live and work in London. Before parting with your money, you need to think long and hard about which version of the Ioniq to buy. As an example, the full electric model is the most expensive to buy off the bat, however if you think the 130-mile range suits you then it could pay for itself over time, thanks to the low cost of electricity versus petrol. Bear in mind that if you are planning a longer trip in the all-electric model, it will take around 10-12 hours to charge from a domestic wall socket to recharge the battery. That isn’t to say there aren’t other methods of charging it more quickly, however few these are not readily available at present. use a combination of both energy sources to power the car, and

The regular Petrol-electric Hybrid version is likely to be the

it seamlessly switches from petrol to electric and vice-versa when

best seller, and is priced below rivals such as the Toyota Prius. This

the car feels it needs to. The Ioniq will even use both power plants

version gives you the benefit of cheaper electricity power and the

when necessary, however you cannot choose when or how this is

flexibility of petrol, making it ideal for both the daily commute and

delivered. We are told that this intelligent use of power can deliver

longer cross-country trips too.

around 78 MPG, but based on my own driving, which is neither fast nor slow, I averaged 50MPG.

The Hyundai warranties are superb, with a 5-year/100,000 mile as standard, and an 8-year/125,000 battery warranty option.

The car has a quality feel to it, and the doors shut with a

Prices range between just under £20,000 to the top of the

reassuring clunk. The interior is welcoming and comfortable, and

range being around £23,500. Compare this to the basic Prius in

nicely put together. Due to the body shape the forward view is

for over £23,000, and on the basis of price alone its definitely a

brilliant, however the rear view has a couple of blind spots with

contender for the eco crown.

the rear pillars. In fact, the rear screen is so difficult to see out of there, even with no rear wiper, that the Ioniq comes provided with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard. Having been given a top-notch model to review, the car came all the bells and whistles, including temperature-controlled leather seats which heat up or even blow cold air up on those hot sticky days. Of course there aren’t many such days in an icy January, so the heated steering wheel was a lovely little luxury to have on the early morning commute. The cabin is quiet thanks to the thicker windows. Our Ioniq has a 104hp petrol engine and a 43hp electric motor, which delivers a respectable 196lb ft, and offers two drive modes: eco and sports. Eco mode does exactly what it says on the tin, offering a nice and relaxed drive, whilst sports mode will see revcounter change to a more aggressive orange colour, and trigger a power output increase. Pulling away is quick too, with the instant power delivered from an electric motor, and being as well-balanced as it is, the car feels planted and very capable in the twisties. Allin-all the Ioniq is much more fun to drive than you would dare to believe an eco-car should be. Endeavour Magazine | 53


54 | Endeavour Magazine


TOBACCO INDUSTRY & MARKETING BOARD (TIMB) WWW.TIMB.CO.ZW 00263 7 921982

NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON

A profitable market within Zimbabwe, the production and selling of tobacco is subject to strict legislation, which is masterfully managed by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at just how vital the board is and how the tobacco industry supports local economy. Endeavour Magazine | 55


TOBACCO INDUSTRY & MARKETING BOARD (TIMB)

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘there’s no smoke without fire’, but in

Zimbabwe, there would be no tobacco market without the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB). You might think that this isn’t a huge problem, but when you consider that tobacco is the single largest export to come out of the region, it quickly becomes clear just how important proper management and promotion of the industry actually is.

A

government organisation, TIMB has a lot of strings to its bow and far from seeking to merely increase profitable yields year-on-year, there is an element of pride and craftsmanship

involved in the production of tobacco, which the Board has sought to encourage, since its inception back in 1936. Initially brought together to instigate the selling of tobacco through the auction and later, contract floors, the Board has undergone a number of restructuring processes in order to cater to the ever-growing industry. 1994 saw one of the biggest changes, with the Board being rejigged in order to cater for all classes of tobacco growers, buyers and stakeholders, but 10 years later, even more progress, “From the 2004 selling season the growing and marketing system was changed with the introduction of contract growing and marketing of tobacco. Tobacco selling in Zimbabwe was done exclusively through auctions, whereby tobacco producers took their crop to an auction floor of their choice for its marketing. Under this system, the grower is responsible for mobilising the necessary cropping resources on his own. When ready for sale, the tobacco was delivered to an auction, where the highest bidding buyer secured the produce. The buyer took no risk in the production process. Contract growing and marketing departs from this arrangement, in that the buyer provides the inputs required for tobacco production, with the buyer guaranteeing to buy all the tobacco contracted at prices (per grade) equal to or higher than those prevailing on the auction floors.” If you are wondering how TIMB actively supports the tobacco

56 | Endeavour Magazine


TOBACCO INDUSTRY & MARKETING BOARD (TIMB)

industry, the first thing to understand is that it’s a regulatory and

selling season, granting export permits, licencing tobacco buyers,

advisory statutory body. It doesn’t simply oversee the growing and

auction floors and commercial graders, monitoring and ensuring

selling if tobacco and take a bask seat, it maintains a firm grip on

timeous and efficient shipment of tobacco exports, controlling

the quality of produce, fairness of trade and directly reports to the

tobacco pests to ensure exportation of tobacco free from pesticide

Minister of Agriculture as to the profitability of the export. This is

residues and the registration of all types of tobacco growers.”

no small task and given that tobacco is the region’s biggest export,

A heavy workload indeed, but one that is undertaken with a

all eyes are on TIMB to make sure they are protecting a huge

professional and vested interest in a positive outcome for not only

resource for local economy growth.

the industry, but Zimbabwe as a whole. Working towards a vision

In a nutshell, TIMB has been charged with overseeing the

of being “the icon of excellence in the production and marketing of

marketing, promotion and selling of tobacco in Zimbabwe, while

Zimbabwe flavour tobacco”, the Board has no time to rest on the

also collating useful statistics that will help to develop and grow the

already impeccable reputation and high standard that it is known

industry, but that’s not all. TIMB is also responsible for,

for.

“…The administration and control of the tobacco delivery

The national pride that is invested in the Zimbabwe tobacco

system, arbitration and sales supervision at auction floors in order

industry is clearly a guiding force for TIMB, as the values it works

to maintain orderly marketing, classification of tobacco from

alongside are stringent and unforgiving,

which statistical information is derived and reports published and

“Our values are designed to promote client and stakeholder

collating and distributing information on production, consumption,

satisfaction, teamwork, integrity, commitment and accountability.”

manufacture and export tobacco.”

Looking at the TIMB website, we were staggered by the

In addition, the Board also takes charge of,

resources freely available to anyone working within the tobacco

“Conducting crop assessment surveys to determine crop yield

industry, with legislation materials being easy to access and even

potential and quality composition of the crop in advance of the

a comprehensive planning calendar, to aid perfect crop scheduling.

Proud to support

Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board 145 Borrowdale Road Gunhill HARARE, Zimbabwe 58 | Endeavour Magazine

0773 061 926 0774 800 455 voedselenterprises@gmail.com


Add to this, extensive advice as to how to deal with persistent pests and you have a one-stop resource centre that is perfectly geared to successful yields and quality produce. This is the crux of why the Board is so vital. Throughout the world, you’ll find a host of boards that are in place to promote and amplify certain industries, but how many have genuine local pride running through their core? How many go the extra mile and offer a comprehensive resource centre for the continued development and improvement of an already popular product? You’ll find plenty that offer buzzwords that relate to integrity and profitability, but TIMB is the standard by which all other boards should be measured and judged. It’s truly rare to find an industry board that is as invested in people as it is the end product, but TIMB is. It would be so easy to simply look at the numbers and profit margins of the tobacco industry and give little consideration to the people that have grafted to significantly contribute to the national economy, but TIMB can see every facet. From the growers through to the Minister of Agriculture, everyone has a key role in the continued success of the Zimbabwe tobacco industry and bringing them altogether is TIMB, with shared focus and commitment.

 13km peg, Simon Mazorodze Road Harare, Zimbabwe  +263 4 613 018  info@boka.co.zw Endeavour Magazine | 59


60 | Endeavour Magazine


KANU EQUIPMENT WWW.KANUEQUIPMENT.COM 0027 11 923 7000

EXPERIENCE THE SUPPORT WRITTEN BY JASPER MILVAIN

It is no secret that the lands of Africa are blessed with unimaginable riches, thanks to the vast natural resources that are to be found on and beneath its ground. For an example of this, we need look no further than the statistics surrounding its estimated mineral resources. Endeavour Magazine | 61


KANU EQUIPMENT

In the view of experts, more than 30% of the world’s mineral and

metal deposits are to be found on the African continent, including threequarters of the world’s known platinum-based metal deposits, half of its diamonds and chromium, and huge reserves of bauxite, cobalt, coal, copper, and iron ore. Naturally, for the countries that are fortunate enough to be blessed with such a bounty, mining acts as a key source of revenue with which to bankroll the building of the roads, railways, airports, dams and power stations that they so urgently need: a costly multi-billion-dollar endeavour.

0

nsurprisingly, the number of mining companies that operate

be said that the company didn’t manage this rise the hard way:

in the region - the explorers, the apprentices, and the big-

“After starting the business in Congo, we then expanded into

name multinational heavyweights – are many, meaning that

West Africa two years ago, and then last year we bought a business

marketplace competition is predictably fierce. As mining companies

in Botswana and Zimbabwe – we basically started out in the hardest

jostle and compete to find and extract the precious minerals and

countries to do business in and then worked our way around.

metals that lie in wait, demand for world-class equipment and service

We represent some of the best brands in the world. Liebherr is

support to give them an edge over industry rivals is great. As one of

obviously a leader in supplying some of the best mining equipment

the largest and best-regarded distributors of heavy equipment and

in the world, and for Liebherr it’s the productivity of that equipment

aftermarket spare parts across much of the sub-Saharan region, not

that counts. We’ve got an objective that we seek to achieve that is

only to the mining sector but also the construction and agricultural

to reduce the cost per ton of ore mined for our customers. Our

sectors, Kanu Equipment is often the first point of call.

mining customers are looking for productivity and reduced costs.

Kanu Equipment’s mission is simple: to ensure that its

They want availability of machines and availability of spares

customers across all industries are able to run their operations

On the construction side, the needs of customers are very

continuously. They achieve this through the supply of equipment,

similar. We deal with the top construction players in the sector,

as well as through the ongoing support of locally-based or onsite

and they are particular about their needs. In terms of equipment,

maintenance teams who have second-to-none access to spare

on the earthmoving side we’ve got the Liebherr, Wirtgen and Bell

parts. Kanu Equipment believe in doing the basic things right, and

brands to support our customers – we’re very strong in this area, in

also keep these services available to their customers maintaining

addition we rent a lot of machines out.”

the fruitful partnerships they have built with equipment suppliers of the calibre of Liebherr and Bell.

Initially, Kanu Equipment’s customers came from the Central African construction sector, but it wasn’t long before the company

The Kanu name is inspired by an old African tale Kanthu

made its first foray into the mining sector as an equipment and

N’khama, a story about a small but brave and resourceful bird

service support provider. Since this time, Kanu has carefully

that flies into a dark and forbidding forest, where it overcomes

cultivated a reputation for excellence, and has expanded into

challenges and great danger to emerge from the other side larger

West Africa and Ghana in particular, where it is highly respected

and infinitely wiser. Kanthu N’khama, meaning ‘hard work pays

by the artisanal gold sector, as well as expanding into Ivory Coast

off’, is a fitting namesake for the company, which through sheer

and Liberia. Recently, Smithyman has overseen Kanu’s expansion

hard work and an unerring dedication to superior service delivery

into Sierra Leone, where it provides earthmoving equipment to

has risen to become an industry leader in only four years. As Kanu

two mining projects, while in Botswana the company continues

Equipment’s founder and CEO, Stephen Smithyman, told us, it can’t

to enjoy the fruits of a strong working relationship with some of

62 | Endeavour Magazine


KANU EQUIPMENT the country’s leading mines. Kanu is one of the few equipment

the company’s support and maintenance services post-sale that is

dealers to be found anywhere across the continent that is able to

the key to Kanu’s success. Upon starting the business, Smithyman

operate in both Anglophone and Francophone countries, which in

soon found that the lack of support, poor availability of spare parts,

the view of Stephen means; “We’re quite unique in this respect, not

and disinterest after the deal was done, was a common complaint

many others are able to position like this because they have very

from Kanu’s growing customer-base.

different legal structures and ways of doing business. And this gives our customers quite a holistic view.”

“We really care about our customers. Our whole existence is orientated around the support we can give to our customers,

Being one of the largest dealers and distributors of Liebherr

and the support we can give to our staff. Our slogan means that

and Bell equipment, among others, across Western, Central, and

through supporting our staff, supporting our colleagues, we

Southern Africa, is undoubtedly advantageous to the company,

can then support our customers. That’s what’s embedded in our

However, as Smithyman was keen to stress, it takes more than

organisation.

equipment to achieve market leader status and stay there – rather,

We’re a very young team, we work hard, and for me the most

in his view, it is more a matter of values, knowing what customers

challenging thing and the most inspirational thing is when you can

want, and then delivering beyond their expectations:

do the difficult things really well.”

“It’s not about providing cheap equipment – it’s about delivering

Therefore, it became apparent very soon that entering into

productivity and longevity, and the ongoing maintenance of that

a technical partnership with the leading equipment brands

equipment, and ensuring that the cost per ton is very low.”

like Liebherr and Bell, with a strategic view to dominating the

As he was keen to stress over the course of the interview, the

aftermarket spares business, would quickly allow Kanu to gain

Kanu team, from its directors and senior management teams to the

market share at the expense of its rivals. By representing a lot of

man on the ground is committed root and branch to its mantra,

leading brands in the aftermarket space, it can help its customers

‘’Experience The Support,’ and for good reason. Rather than the

reduce the cost of doing business. And word soon spread that Kanu

company’s impressive range of world-class products, instead, it is

Equipment did things differently; communication doesn’t stop once

Built Tough For Demanding Applications

INDUSTRY BEST COVERAGE

PROVEN PERFORMANCE

Over 7300 OE Quality Parts

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• Products Meet or Exceed OE Performance • Efficiency to Protect Modern Engines • Capacity to Meet Extended Service Intervals 64 | Endeavour Magazine

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500,000 Filters Made Per Day 98% Fill Rate in 24 Hours Quality Exceeds 6 Sigma Products Tested Beyond Industry Standards (On-Site Test Labs) Media Development Innovation Center Vertical Integration Manufacturing Own 100 Facilities in 20 Countries plus Distribution Partners in +120 Countries Worldwide Over 150 Brand Affiliations Worldwide


PRAGMATIC, PASSIONATE, EXPERIENCED One brand. One team. Many talents. www.casece.com

money exchanged hands for the initial purchase. There’s aftercare,

EXPERTS FOR THE REAL WORLD support and maintenance – it’s an ongoing service. SINCE 1842

“Even if you’ve got another type of machine we can still provide a spare part to get your machine going. We are well stocked with CA_IST_2017_188x138.indd 1 aftermarket spares

In every country and region we have maintenance staff and mechanics on-hand, we have workshops and spare parts centres within easy reach, and we employ 490 people, made up of expats and locals who we have trained at training centres like the one in Botswana.” With further expansion into the last remaining region of subSaharan Africa, East Africa, and with the mining and construction sectors set to surge over the years to come, to say the least, these are exciting times for the company, as well as the African mining sector, which, having survived a gruelling downturn that shocked even industry veterans in its severity, is now set to reap the rewards of an overdue market boom. “We’re expanding this year into Tanzania and Kenya. Our overall objective is to become the biggest supported dealer in Africa, we want to cover the African map with the exceptional brands that we represent.”

Case – A full line of equipment and 20/02/17 10:40services Case Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of leader construction equipment around the world. Through a global network of over 450 Case dealers and almost 1300 outlets, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support. CASE Costruction and Kanu Equipment are proud partners for the Ivory Coast. CASE Construction Equipment is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI).

PRAGMATIC, PASSIONATE, EXPERIENCED One brand. One team. Many talents. www.casece.com

EXPERTS FOR THE REAL WORLD SINCE 1842

CA_IST_2017_188x138.indd 1

Endeavour Magazine | 65 20/02/17 10:40


AMAZING WORLD THE SILK ROAD REBORN

F

or many centuries, the old Silk Road of ancient legend – a

over the ages. This intercontinental trade and coming together of

vast and far-reaching network of land and maritime trade

far-off empires and cultures acted as a catalyst for the development

routes, stretching the entire length of the Eurasian landmass

of the great civilisations which flourished along its route.

from around 120BC to the 1450s – was a beating heart of global

Suffice to say, the ancient iteration of the Silk Road was perhaps

commerce and cultural interaction that brought the great dynasties

one of the crowning achievements of humanity, and the rewards

of Ancient China, the empires of India, the Middle East, East Africa,

reaped from this ancient trade network are still visible today. With

and the Roman Empire in its various forms, together.

this in mind, the emergence of a new Silk Road, part of China’s

Deriving its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk that

‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, fit for the modern age is something

took place across the great cities and sea ports along its length, the

which could once again trigger a modern Golden Age of trade

Silk Road came to be during the age of the Han dynasty between

and commerce, more pronounced even than in recent years. At a

207-220BC, and slowly expanded across Central Asia following

time when insidious forces threaten our globalised world in favour

diplomatic missions and explorations by Chinese imperial envoys

of isolationism, economic protectionism and xenophobia, the

66 | Endeavour Magazine


symbolism of a new Silk Road is especially potent. As its

was

the

ancient

China

is

Traders of the past travelled from China with silks, spices, case

with

predecessor,

resurgent,

France before arriving in England, following a 16-day journey. porcelains and gunpowder from the Far East; today, the East Wind

a

came bearing household goods to the value of £4 million. The

outward-looking

trains that follow will shuttle further goods between both countries,

the

including home appliances, laptops, and all manner of high-value

process of reviving land trade

currently

stock. Certainly, this heralds the beginning of a new era in Anglo-

routes stretching from China to

Chinese trade relations.

Madrid, with

the

in

difference

Of course, as with any endeavour of such ambition and

being that, today, merchants will

complexity, the re-establishment of the Silk Road hasn’t been

bring their exotic wares to new

without its challenges. Setting up maritime routes is a fairly simple

lands by train.

task because the cargo vessels and the ports are already there, but

The re-establishment of the

crossing several countries by train presents a number of practical

Silk Road achieved an exciting

difficulties, if only because different countries use different size rail

milestone last month, when

gauges, meaning that a single train cannot travel the entire route.

a rail freight train from China

That said, the inconvenience of transferring goods between trains is

made its maiden 7,500-mile

still easier and cheaper than air or maritime transportation.

journey to London – a latter day

There is a lot of work to do but, then again, Rome wasn’t built in

Venice, equal in influence to

a day. A cynic might say that China is set to do very well from its lead

the great Italian trading city of

role in implementing the new Silk Road, but so too will the wider

old. The East Wind locomotive,

world, particularly countries which have so far struggled to connect

with 34-carriages in tow, passed

to the global economy. Here’s hoping that today’s Silk Road proves

through

to be as lucrative as the ancient one.

Russia,

Kazakhstan,

Belarus, Poland, Belgium, and Endeavour Magazine | 67


68 | Endeavour Magazine


KENCOR HOLDINGS WWW.NATSEEDS.CO.ZW 00263 4 310284

EMBRACING MARKET CHANGE WRITTEN BY DJAMIL BENMEHIDI

The agricultural sector of Zimbabwe, a country which up until the turn of the millennium was renowned the world over for its fertile soil and rich farming heritage, has had a torrid time of it in recent years. Just ask the country’s farmers, who have been beset by a long list of disasters in recent years, including debilitating droughts and poor harvests. Endeavour Magazine | 69


KENCOR HOLDINGS

However, while the industry has experienced its challenges

agriculture is a growing market once more, thanks to the hard work and perseverance of the country’s industrious farmers, agribusinesses, and the support of the national government.

K

encor Management Services (KMS) has embarked on a journey

of seeds in the country through major retail outlets such as OK

which has mirrored to some extent that of the country in

Bazaars, OK Mart, TM, Metro Peech and Browne, and Electrosales,

which it has done business since 1978. Like Zimbabwe itself,

and is the exclusive agent in Zimbabwe for Rijk Zwaan – one of the

which has experienced its fair share of soaring booms and abject

leading suppliers of hybrid seed in the world. Not that it is resting on

crises, the fortunes of KMS have oscillated greatly over the years,

its laurels, of course - as mentioned before, Zimbabwe’s agricultural

rising to prominence during Zimbabwe’s boom years only to fall

sector is a growth market, and increasingly the threat posed by

away at the turn of the decade, before rising once more in recent

new entrants and existing rivals means that market competition is

times to become what it is today – one of the leading distributors

growing. With this in mind, NTS has opted to invest in expanding

of seed, farming inputs and support services in the country.

its range of seed further still, and has made significant headway

With its headquarters in Harare, KMS and its two subsidiary

in promoting open pollinated varieties of maize. Additionally, the

brands, National Tested Seeds and Farm Shop, remain as dedicated

recent release of two new seed offerings, NTS 41 and NTS 51,

to serving Zimbabwe’s hard-working farmers as they were the day

has also allowed NTS to penetrate the lucrative hybrid seed maize

the company first opened its doors for business.

market.

“Kencor Management Services is a Zimbabwean company

This expansion is not exclusive to National Tested Seeds,

comprised of two trading names, namely National Tested Seeds

however. Far from it. Farm Shop is also poised to expand

and Farm Shop,” explained Lance Kennedy, the Marketing and

significantly over the short-to-medium-term, in line with KMS’s

Operations Manager for KMS. He continued: “National Tested

drive to drastically improve the company’s national reach and

Seeds (NTS) is a supplier of quality seed, with a diverse portfolio

presence – a goal which KMS intends to achieve by opening new

of different seed types, including vegetable, oilseeds, small grains,

stores in Bindura, Gutu, Mhangura, and a second store in Bulawayo.

legumes, grains and cereals, and has established itself as a trusted

“Farm Shop currently has 21 stores, with the intention to

brand and a leading supplier of seeds in Zimbabwe. The Farm Shop

expand its network further by the upcoming season to a total of

is KMS’s retail division, which has a network of retail agricultural

25 stores. It has also established its first container store, a concept

input stores located in various cities and towns throughout

which it intends to develop further along its main distribution lines

Zimbabwe. The stores provide a one-stop shop to farmers where

to its branches,” Lance stated. He continued:

they can purchase all their inputs, including seed, fertiliser, crop chemicals, animal health, stock feed and hardware.”

“With Farm Shop’s continued drive to develop an extensive national footprint, it will assist in making Farm Shop recognised as a

As one of Zimbabwe’s market leading wholesale seed distributors,

national brand, with its brand becoming known by farmers as their

National Tested Seeds supplies the most comprehensive range

preferred supplier for agricultural inputs. Farm Shop will maintain

70 | Endeavour Magazine


Endeavour Magazine | 71


KENCOR HOLDINGS its objective of having small to medium sized shops in high traffic

specifically focused at helping small-scale farmers,” Lance added.

zones, with its emphasis on stock management through logistical

Additionally, Farm Shop is also in the process of developing a

efficiency, with buffer stocks being maintained at its head office

nationwide agency network of agri-dealer agents, following the

central distribution hub and at its larger stores.”

award of two grants from the Livestock and Food Security Program

Certainly, such an expansion plan, which will have seen Farm

funded by the UK-sponsored Department for International

Shop more than double its existing national footprint in recent

Development (DFID). Lance explained: “The first grant incorporated

years, is undoubtedly ambitious, and the key to successfully

a total of 30, in the Makoni/Mutasa area, while the second grant is

implementing it lies in utilising the company’s extensive industry

currently being implemented in the Gokwe area, again incorporating

experience in order to offer a level of service provision superior to

30 agri-dealers. The agri-dealers are principally general grocery

that of its marketplace rivals.

retailers, who will be given the opportunity to acquire a corporate

In Lance’s view, the holistic approach to business that Farm

identity that provides a focus on marketing agricultural inputs.

Shop stores are set to adopt will prove to be the difference in the

Once these projects are successful, Farm Shop will roll out the

eyes of its customers. Whereas fellow retailers offer only farming

project nationwide.”

equipment and products to their customers, Farm Shop will go the

Since obtaining financial support from the DFID, KMS has

extra mile by offering customers access to an array of services that

entered into fruitful partnerships with GOAL and Palladium. The

boost productivity, including technical expertise and training on

GOAL partnership is designed to develop Farm Shop’s agent

subjects such as conservation and zero-till farming, info-educational

network, with the use of POS computers and an IT software

programs via digital platforms, access to tractor and farm machine

program that integrates into the Farm Shop’s accountancy program,

hire, access to micro-finance, and importantly, assistance in helping

which in-turn will provide the company with greater efficiencies

farmers bring their crops and produce to market. “We’ll also

and controls in managing its consignment stock at the different

continue to develop our product range, including new innovative

agents. The Palladium Project also involves the above concept, but

lines, which we will incorporate into our Go Brand range. We have

additionally has tried to promote access for small scale farmers to

developed new irrigation and solar power products which are

new and improved technology such as drip irrigation, which comes

72 | Endeavour Magazine


as kits that can be self-installed by the farmer. The drip kits also

both personally and professionally within the business, and offers

include a component of rural finance, since extended supplier credit

ample opportunity for internal promotion. The company’s training

terms are offered by Farm Shop. Furthermore, the grant provides

officer oversees all in-house training, and also provides external

assistance in developing a tractor hire service that it attached to

resources in the form of training and industry qualifications, to help

the local Farm shop, which will provide tillage services including

staff improve their career prospects.

zero tillage planting.

With regards to what the future holds for KMS, the agricultural

All-in-all, the vital statistics of KMS’s business are impressive,

sector, and Zimbabwe, Lance is optimistic. There have been a

and serve to show that the company has returned to good health

number of exciting developments for the company over the past

following the difficulties of 2005-2008, when the Zimbabwean

two years, and it is anticipated that this positive trend will continue.

economy arguably faced its most trying period. That KMS has not

Lance concluded on this point, saying: “Kencor will continue to

merely survived but thrived in the face of an array of challenges, be

focus on developing both its business models, seed and the retail

it the ravages of climate change induced droughts and poor harvests

of agricultural inputs. In this regard, NTS will continue to look to

or the drastic effects of government legislation, is testament to the

expand its product portfolio with the introduction of new and

company’s adaptability and resilience – essential prerequisites for

improved crop and vegetable seeds. Its immediate objective will be

any business with aspirations for longevity and ongoing success.

to develop the market for the varieties that it has recently released.

Undoubtedly, Kencor’s 150 staff, a number of whom are long

In respect to Farm Shop, it will continue to expand its national

serving, have played an invaluable role in ensuring the company’s

footprint, firstly to achieve a network of 25 stores and then to

survival during its darkest hours, and facilitating its rebirth and

further expand the business through its agency network, with the

growth in more recent times. The art of good business is to ensure

expectation that in the next three years it will expand from its

that you have a motivated workforce that is invested in your

existing 60 agents to 150. Additionally, it will expand its product

company’s success and committed to helping the business achieve

range to further include new innovative products and technologies

its goals. KMS knows this all too well, which is why the company

for the Zimbabwean farmer.”

has taken an active role in encouraging staff to grow and develop

AgriCura’s is a platform established to level the playing field for farmers and allied agriculture services. It is no secret that we, as

Agri-businesses, get the short end of the stick when it comes to distribution of risk and return along the agriculture value chain. Our aim is to facilitate the formation of an online agriculture community that offers multi-dimensional solutions to agribusiness.

info@agricura.com

Endeavour Magazine | 73


February 2017  
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