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JUNE 2018

THE ENMAN GROUP Powerful Connections FINE HYGIENIC HOLDING Changing The Game KUKU FOODS A Finger-Lickin’ Franchise

Petroserv Ltd

Further Along the Oil & Gas Journey Tarek Malhas - Manager of the Oil & Gas Business Unit


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EDITOR’S NOTE Heads of Departments Managing Editor Alice Instone-Brewer Sales Director Alex Hilling-Smith Sales Manager Emlyn Freeman Head of Editorial Research Paul Bradley Project Manager Steven Weller Editorial Researcher James Lapping Editorial Researcher Will Girling Editorial Researcher Alex Hayes Editorial Researcher Dennis Morales Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman Lead Designer Alina Sandu Publisher Stephen Warman Any enquiries or subscriptions can be sent to ENDEAVOUR MAGAZINE is published by Littlegate Publishing LTD which is a Registered Company in the United Kingdom. Company Registration: 07657236 VAT registration number: 116 776007 343 City Road Suite 10, Thorpe House London 79 Thorpe Road EC1 V1LR

Norwich, NR1 1UA

Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points


une has been a month of energy

passionate about innovating a product

and construction. First of all, we

that we all take for granted, and we were

reconnected with our friend Tarek

impressed to see that they rising to that

Malhas at Petroserv, who was excited to


inform us about the company’s upgrades

Meanwhile, our car reviewers took two

to its Oil & Gas Business Unit. Meanwhile, we were extremely pleased to speak with the ENMAN Group’s Chairman, Donald Baldeosingh, who told us about his longterm plan to clean up the Caribbean’s energy use. Not only is this plan a large long-term project, but it’s already been 17 years in the hatching! The proposition is

Some of our more unusual companies this month have included Firmenich, who

masters must balance the twin demands of impact and health, creating competitive and memorable scents and sensations

the information contained within this magazine,

whilst always protecting the diets of their client’s consumers. On quite literally the

published. All rights reserved. No part of this

opposite end of the spectrum, we spoke

publication may be reproduced or stored in a

with Fine Hygienic Holdings, a hygiene

the publisher.

Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2018


for ENMAN’s home of Trinidad and Tobago.

every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of

by any means without the prior written consent of

doors, hidden away on the English coast…

provide a strategic industrial diversification

living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst

retrievable system or transmitted in any form or

mystery, this one not too far from our own

a clean, green future for the region, and

scents and flavours. These sensory potion

publishers for loss arising from use of information

series, we looked into yet another global

network; if successful, it could mastermind

are expects in the delicate art of creating

no legal responsibility will be accepted by the

office excited. Finally, in our Amazing World

power and a vast, Caribbean-wide cable

writers and/or in advertisements included in this the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons,

including a Mustang that got our whole

an ambitious venture involving geothermal

of view expressed in articles by attributing magazine do not necessarily represent those of

fantastic offerings from Ford for a spin,

tissue company. Celebrating their 60th anniversary





their new CEO, James Lafferty, FHH are

Endeavour Magazine | 3



FIRMENICH 4 | Endeavour Magazine

12 The ENMAN Group Powerful Connections 22 Fine Hygienic Holding Changing The Game 30 Petroserv Limited Further Along the Oil & Gas Journey 38 Water Authority - Cayman Islands Overflowing Success 46 Firmenich Taste of success 54 Advantage Air Keeping Cool 60 Harrogate Civil Construction Building On Success 66 Melcom Group of Companies A Household Name With Heritage 74 NWSC NWSC’s Cup Runneth Over 80 Adam’s Project Management & Construction Building You Up 90 Al Ahlia A Spark Of Recognition 96 Kuku Foods A Finger-Lickin’ Franchise 104 Palabora Mining Company Ltd One Of A Kind 110 Ethiopian Airlines Still Rising 124 Solareff A Bright Future 130 SAIA Insuring The Future


Business Headlines Africa Asia Americas Europe Middle East


Studying Smart for University Students Paul Nathan

Amazing World 52 The Enigma of the Margate Shell Grotto 102 Ilha da Queimada Grande: Snake Island 86 88

Automotives Ford S-Max ST Line Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Shadow

KUKU FOODS Endeavour Magazine | 5


Since the vaccinations, there had been no great increase in cases.

The site was a quarry area where stones are dug up for use in gravel roads and

Salama also said he hoped to get

similar. However, quarry diggers discovered

Zimbabwe will hold a general election on

government approval within days to use

rocks that looked gold in colour. It is not yet

July 30, President Emmerson Mnangagwa

five experimental drugs to treat Ebola

known whether this substance is real gold

has announced.

patients, in a clinical trial which could lay the

or not, but that hasn’t slowed locals down.

He has pledged that the election be free and fair, with international monitoring.

groundwork for more rapid treatments in future outbreaks.

Samples of the stones have been taken to Pretoria for tests. In the meantime,

Mnangagwa, who took power after the

attempts are being made to keep the area

November military coup against dictator

safe, as several people have already been

Robert Mugabe, counts on the election

injured by the crowd.

to bolster his legitimacy as he pursues a

Between independent miners flooding

promised break with Mugabe’s repressive

to the area to dig for ‘gold’ and outsiders


coming in droves to purchase the material,

He also hopes the election will encourage

there are fears of chaos. Attempts are being

foreign investment in Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa Commonwealth

has to

made to fence off the site to avoid further








Zimbabwe for the first time since 2002, when Harare was suspended from the group over accusations of rigged elections. He has also applied for Zimbabwe to

Ethiopia’s government plans to amend

rejoin the Commonwealth.

parts of the nation’s anti-terror law, after

Should the election be certified by

the high court dropped terrorism charges

international monitors, it could be a key

against the heads of two U.S.-based

step to regaining foreign financial aid for the

opposition groups.

country for the first time in two decades. Mnangagwa’s



The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary is

Democratic Front and other parties will meet

40-year-old Nelson Chamisa from the MDC.

after agreeing to alter unspecified articles of

Sixty percent of the 5.4 million voters

the law. The meeting follows the dropping of

on the new register are under 50 years

charges against Berhanu Nega of the Ginbot

old, according to official data. Prospective

7 group, Jawar Mohammed who heads the

candidates will be registered on June 14.





Network, and another opposition media organization, ESAT. The moves are the latest signs of


political change in a nation that has been tightly controlled by the EPRDF for 25

The World Health Organization has

Over 5000 ‘gold diggers’ from the rural

years. Its new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed,

said that it is “cautiously optimistic” about

village of KwaMachi in Harding, South

has released thousands of prisoners and

the progress of the Ebola response in

Africa, traveled to the site of a recent ‘gold’

started talks with other opposition groups

Democratic Republic of Congo, after 90% of

discovery to dig for profit.

since taking office in April. His predecessor,

people at risk in the city of Mbandaka were vaccinated.

The men and women, with some babies

Hailemariam Desalegn, quit in February after

in tow, have been mining the area with

failing to end sporadic regional protests that began almost three years ago.

Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-

shovels, axes and pickaxes, and have been

General for Emergency Preparedness and

selling the ‘gold’ substance to travellers and

Response, said more than 400 potential

businesspeople who come to the area with

Ebola contacts had been vaccinated.

interest in the unidentified material.

6 | Endeavour Magazine

Ethiopia on May 26 pardoned 745 prisoners, including Andargachew Tsige.


long ban to analyse how Facebook is being

upset, with the ex-leader, his family and

used and prosecute those breaching the

cronies accused of looting state fund 1MDB.

country’s 2016 cyber-crime law.

Giving an update, the police’s head of

At least 22 were killed and more than

commercial crime Amar Singh said: “From

100 injured in different parts of Rajasthan

the money found, there were 26 currencies,

as a high-speed dust storm in the Bharatpur,

the total amount as of yesterday is 114

Alwar and Dholpur districts left a trail of

million (ringgit) ($28.6 million).

destruction, uprooting hundreds of trees


and electricity poles.





Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has

According to preliminary reports, 11

insisted that the seized cash, including that

people were killed in Bharatpur, four in

in the 400 handbags, was party funds which

Alwar, five in Dholpur and one each in

the ousted leader had intended to return to

Jhunjhunu and Bikaner.

the party.

The storm caused major destruction

Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing.

in Alwar, where more than 100 trees were


uprooted, many falling on vehicles and electricity cables. The power distribution company switched off electricity to prevent further damage. More than 1,000 electricity poles were

Animal rights activists have expressed

uprooted in the storm, plunging the city in

outrage after a report on Japan’s ‘scientific


whaling’ programme showed that more

The state government rushed the State

than two-thirds of the female minke whales

Disaster Relief Force to affected districts

harpooned in the Southern Ocean earlier

and issued an alert.

this year were pregnant.


The report also showed that 53 of




animals. “The killing of 122 pregnant whales 400

is a shocking statistic and sad indictment

for a month while it identifies fake profiles

handbags and cash amounting to almost

on the cruelty of Japan’s whale hunt”, said

and considers the website’s effect on the

$30 million in raids on luxury apartments as

Alexia Wellbelove, of the Australia branch of


they probed corruption allegations revolving

Humane Society International.

The country’s communication minister,


the 333 whales slaughtered were juvenile

around ousted leader Najib Razak.

Activists accuse Tokyo of ignoring a

Sam Basil, said users posting pornography

The money and a vast trove of handbags,

ruling in 2014 by the International Court of

and false information would also be

as well as watches and jewellery, were found

Justice, in The Hague, that Japan’s whaling


in two condominiums in Kuala Lumpur.

was a commercial exercise rather than a

This caution follows Facebook facing

A total of 12 locations, including the

scrutiny over the Cambridge Analytica

ex-leader’s home, were searched by police

scandal, and being criticised over the way it

last week as part of an investigation into

Tokyo, which provides large subsidies

has tried to tackle false news stories.

the scandal surrounding a sovereign wealth

to keep its domestic whaling industry


afloat, responded by adding new research

Basil has also proposed that the country set up its own social network.

After more than six decades in power,

Although only about 10% of people in

Najib’s coalition was defeated by a reformist

Papua New Guinea have internet access, the

alliance headed by his former mentor

country is taking issues relating to Facebook

Mahathir Mohamad in the May 9 poll.

seriously. The government aims to use the month-

scientific research programme and that it had to halt.

procedures and resuming operations in 2015 with a quota of 333 minke whales. To protect itself from further legal challenges,





Public disgust at allegations of corruption

recognition of the International Court of

linked to Najib was a major factor in the

Justice as an arbiter of disputes over whales. Endeavour Magazine | 7

AMERICAS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BACK AND FORTH ON TRADE WITH CHINA Following lengthy discussions between China and the US, the two groups claimed to have agreed not to impose new tariffs on

and extensive interviews with families of

Allergan said it is arranging for return

the deceased and funeral home directors

of all sample pack products with the lot

to question the Puerto Rican government’s

#5620706 Exp. May 2019. The drug maker

official tally of deaths.

urged patients to consult their physicians if

Previous estimates suggested Maria contributed to about 1,000 deaths.

one another, and that China would increase

The team from Harvard arrived at its

purchases of American goods and services

much-higher estimate by surveying 3,299

to reduce the $375 billion trade imbalance.

randomly chosen households across the

However, the US has since announced

island earlier this year.

they think they are affected by the recall.


that it would move forward with tariffs on

protection for significant geological and

Chinese goods worth $50 billion, as well

historical features on the moon, Mars, and

as restrictions on investment in critical

other planets.


Jack Matthews of Memorial University of

The Chinese government said the

Newfoundland says as nations and private

announcement “is obviously in violation

companies increasingly explore and develop

of the consensus reached in Washington

outer space, there’s a growing threat to

recently by both China and the United

extra-terrestrial environments.

States.” Trump’s strategy regarding his talks

“A global agreement to protect the most

with China is baffling trade experts, who

important sites is needed before it’s too

think the whiplash could ultimately hamper

late,” he claims.

the United States’ ability to get what it wants from Beijing. Divisions within Trump’s team have also contributed to complications in the nations’ trade talks.


DRUGMAKER RECALLS TAYTULLA BIRTH CONTROL PILLS The maker of Taytulla birth-control treatment issued a nationwide recall in the

Matthews, a post-doctoral fellow in Memorial’s Department of Earth Sciences, and Sean McMahon of the U.K. Centre for Astrobiology have just published a paper on the topic.

United States over concerns that misplaced

“The solar system holds billions of

capsules in pill packs could cause unintended

years’ worth of geological heritage,” said


McMahon. “We owe it to future generations

A physician reported that four placebo

not to squander their inheritance.”

Estimations of those killed by Hurricane

capsules were packaged in the wrong order

Matthews said that includes historical

Maria in Puerto Rico have risen to an

where active capsules should have been,

and cultural sites, including the Apollo 11

estimated 4,645 people, according to an

drug-maker Allergan said in a statement.

lunar landing site.

academic report published recently in a prestigious medical journal. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s official death toll remains at 64. “These numbers ... underscore the inattention of the US government to the frail

The physician sample pack should have

Matthews said with a number of

24 pink capsules with hormones followed

countries and private companies actively

by four maroon capsules without hormones,

preparing to send humans beyond Earth,

Allergan said. Instead, the faulty pack had

now is the time to have the discussion and

four maroon placebos at the start of the



SpaceX, a private American company

infrastructure of Puerto Rico,” authors from

“As a result of this packaging error,

founded by Elon Musk, has a goal to send

Harvard University and other institutions

oral contraceptive capsules that are taken

its first cargo mission to Mars in 2022. The

wrote in the New England Journal of

out of sequence may place the user at risk

People’s Republic of China has initiated


for contraceptive failure and unintended

a manned spaceflight program, while the

pregnancy,” the statement said.

European Union, Japan, and India have also

The official death toll in Puerto Rico has been the subject of controversy since

“The reversing of the order may not be

Hurricane Maria hit this island, a US territory,

apparent to either new users or previous

The paper was released Tuesday in

on September 20. CNN and other news

users of the product, increasing the likelihood

“Acta Astronautica,” a publication of the

outlets have used government statistics

of taking the capsules out of order.”

International Academy of Astronautics.

8 | Endeavour Magazine

planned future crewed space missions.

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EUROPE ITALIAN POLITICAL CRISIS CAUSES JITTERS IN FINANCIAL MARKETS Italy may call a snap election as early as July after prime minister designate Carlo Cottarelli failed to secure support from major political parties for even a stop-gap

Europe has been grappling with a

Serge Dassault, whose group builds

migrant crisis since 2015, following wars in

the Rafale war planes and owns Le Figaro

Libya and Syria. More than a million people

newspaper, died in Paris on Monday aged 93.

from Africa and the Middle East have tried

The Dassault group which his father had

to reach the continent via Turkey or by sea. Prominent




criticized Kremlin shot dead in Kiev


created controls Dassault Aviation and Le Figaro, and holds major stakes in Dassault Systemes and Thales. Airbus holds a 9.9 percent stake in

Earlier, hundreds of supporters holding

Dassault Aviation, and the French and

Italian and 5-Star Movement flags marched

German governments both in turn have

through Naples to protest at the president’s

stakes of around 11 percent in Airbus.

decision to quash a 5-Star Movement and

The family-owned Dassault Group had

League government.

in 2014 appointed Charles Edelstenne as

The populist parties’ effort to form a

eventual successor to Serge Dassault, saying

government foundered on their choice of

at the time that the succession would be

an anti-euro figure as economic minister,

automatic. Edelstenne is currently CEO of

rejected by Mattarella.

the group.

The events have thrown Italy into


political and financial turmoil, including a sell-off of Italian bonds and a fall in bank shares, and the euro has hit multi-month lows. Investers are concerned that the antiausterity, Eurosceptic 5 Star and League

Journalist Arkady Babchenko, who often

could increase their majority at the next

speaks out against the Kremlin, was believed


to have been shot dead by a man waiting in

POLICE CLEAR PARIS MIGRANT CAMP Police started to move out hundreds of migrants living in makeshift camps in Paris. Scores of people were taken away from the “Millenaire” camp next to a canal in the northeast of the city and escorted to




Riot police were also on standby as the evacuation took place. France




measures to clear out migrant camps in Paris, only for new camps to emerge. Critics have suggested that this is due

his apartment building.


It was reported that Babchenko had been shot in the back three times in a murder that seemed akin to a contract killing. His death was believed to have been an assassination in reaction to his outspoken views.

Dassault company will continue to play

However, it was revealed at a press

a strategic role for France says the country’s

conference in Kiev that Babchenko’s death

defence minister.

had been staged. He appeared at the press

Serge Dassault, billionaire industrialist

conference alive and well. Ukraine admitted

who controlled the group that builds fighter

it had faked Babchenko’s death to expose an

jets, has died at 93.

alleged Russian plot to kill him.

Airbus holds a 9.9 %stake in Dassault Aviation.

“Thanks to this operation we were able to foil a cynical plot and document how

to insufficient support and appropriate

“This is a company in which the state

the Russian security service was planning

accommodation being provide for these

cannot play down its own interests,”

for this crime,” security service head Vasyl

migrants and asylum seekers once they

Parly told the Public Senat channel in

Grytsak said at the press conference.

reach France.

an interview, adding that the Dassault

Moscow has condemned the staged

company represented a “strategic role” for

death, calling it an “anti-Russian provocation”.

The French government has said it wants to be both firm and fair on immigration, but

the country’s armed forces ministry.

Babchenko’s close family were aware

it has adopted a tougher stance lately, with

Parly also said the French government

of the planned assassination, but he still

parliament approving a bill that tightens

would keep a close eye on the succession

publicly apologised to his wife for “putting

asylum rules.

plans at the Dassault company.

her through hell”.

10 | Endeavour Magazine


to the leadership’s continued support to the business sectors in the emirate and in overcoming all obstacles that face them”.


The kingdom’s Shoura Council has

The move comes as some businesses

The world’s first AI powered freelance

approved a draft law which would introduce

have been hurt by the introduction of 5

job platform is set to redefine the way

a prison term of up to five years and a

percent value added tax across the UAE at

freelancers and entrepreneurs interact in the

penalty of $80,000.

the start of 2018.

region, according to its founder.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to outlaw sexual

Sami Al Qamzi, director general, DED,

“There are a lot of issues in the current

harassment, it has announced, less than a

said: “DED urges all business owners to

online freelancing platforms,” said Rajesh

month before the conservative kingdom lifts

benefit from the decree, which exempts

Pavithran, founder and CEO of Boon Tech.

its decades-long ban on women driving.

companies and establishments operating

“When blockchain happened, I realised

in the emirate of Dubai from all the fines

it actually solves a lot of these issues,” he

is slated to end June 24, as part of a highly

The kingdom’s driving ban on women



publicised liberalisation drive launched by

procedures for renewing licenses by the end

powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin

of 2018.







“This will add to the financial benefits

The prince has also lifted a decades-

of the owners of expired business licenses,

long ban on cinemas, allowed mixed-gender

restore legal records and licenses, and help

concerts and clipped the powers of the

the business community in Dubai enhance

long-feared religious police.

their competitiveness.”

Boon Tech aims to add value to this market through the new technology. He said blockchain will help eliminate the service fee. “You can eliminate the middle man, which is usually a bank,” Pavithran said. The US-based company went live with

However, the social reforms appear

its new platform in November 2017. It

overshadowed by the recent arrests of at

managed to raise some money through a

least 11 activists, mostly identified by rights

fundraising campaign ahead of the launch

groups as veteran women campaigners for

the website and app, which now have more

the right to drive and to end the conservative

than 800 users.

country’s male guardianship system.





Authorities have accused the activists

expansion, and why Dubai appealed to the

of “suspicious contact with foreign parties”,

online platform, said, “Dubai is a very open

providing financial support to “enemies”

economy and there are a lot of skilled people

and attempting to undermine the kingdom’s

here for marketing.

“security and stability”.

“Also, Dubai’s time zone is perfect for us to expand to any part of the world. As we


are based in the US, it is very difficult for us to operate in Asia and Europe without a base in Dubai.”

The Dubai Department of Economic Development hailed a new decree to exempt companies from administrative fines in a fresh effort to stimulate business in the emirate. A






Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum cancels fines imposed by the DED through to the end of 2018 to further enhance the competitiveness of the emirate. The






different fines for commercial violations, said the decree is a “strong testament Endeavour Magazine | 11


POWERFUL CONNECTIONS On the year of their 25th Anniversary, the ENMAN Group are finally on the cusp of something almost two decades in the making; we caught up with Donald Baldeosingh, the group’s co-founder and President, to talk about a vision he’s been pursuing since the start of the millennium. If it comes together, it could be a complete game-changer for the Caribbean, and would certainly make waves in both the oil & gas and the renewable energy sectors… WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


The ENMAN Group was founded by three men with a shared

dream; then ENMAN Services, the company managed to forge enough of a space for itself in Trinidad and Tobago’s heavy energy sector to grow into a fivecompany group. Today, the ENMAN Group covers not only power and energy services, but also marketing, media and even healthy living information.


tarting out where their strengths lay, the new venture marked

stood out not only because of his views, but also his relative youth

themselves out as different from the off: “Our focus was

amongst the powerful figures he was working with – but therein,

on offering services to the energy sector from outside the

Donald believes, was his strength. “I was a very young person in a

gate,“ explains Donald. “Prior to that, everybody in Trinidad and

sector that was dominated by a lot of tradition and history, older

Tobago kept their own in-house resources, and outsourcing hadn’t

heads and so on, and I think that is part of the reason that I was

really taken root. However, we decided to develop excellence in

brave enough to be different. I think younger people feel as though

engineering that could be offered to all the operating plants, and

they have more of a stake in the future.”

in particular in the areas of high technology, computerised control

Donald may have seemed idealistic, but under him, Petrotrin

system and fibreoptic communication, which were all in their

produced something that couldn’t be argued with – results. “We got

infancy in those days.” Offering these services, ENMAN developed

Petrotrin reporting on its environmental and social performance,

a reputation that soon made them invaluable to the islands’ leading

as well as its commercial performance, and the company year to

industry sector.

year improved on its profitability. During my time as Chairman,

Two years in, Donald was also appointed as the non-executive

the company’s profitability grew to ten times what it was when I

Chairman of Petrotrin, Trinidad and Tobago’s national oil company –

started. Through this, we were able to demonstrate what is possible

aka, the most influential company in the country. With a workforce

with better attention to corporate governance and performance

10,000 strong and an annual turnover, then, of US$2 billion, it


was a daunting yet possibility-rich responsibility: “I was 34 when

The results may have been clear, but the path there was not

I was appointed Chairman, and I was intent on making sustainable

an easy one. As a young figure in the industry, and one looking

change. I was already looking into the future of energy for the

to drastically change the way the country’s oil and gas business

region; I found myself spearheading a Caribbean Climate Change

was done, Donald faced resistance at every turn. “It was extremely

Centre in 1999/2000, and we started looking at renewable energy

difficult – it was changing a whole order of things, and upsetting

for Petrotrin’s future, as well as working to reduce its current

a lot of people who had benefitted from the old order. They were

environmental impact.”

kicking and screaming the whole way - and then there’s the big

Donald was ahead of the curve in his environmental concerns,

c-word, corruption.” The transformation process that Donald

especially given his position within the oil and gas industry. “In

took Petrotrin on encountered every hurdle, and was such a

those days, pollution was seen as a natural consequence of the rich

significant operation that he now lectures on the experience at the

reward we got from having oil and gas. So, I was an oddity then.” He

University of the West Indies, which uses the event as a case study

14 | Endeavour Magazine

THE ENMAN GROUP on the potential barriers to industrial change – especially in the

HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Country), the second-poorest in the

state sector.

hemisphere after Haiti, but I said, ‘To me, Guyana is one of the

During his time as Petrotrin’s Chairman, Donald began to

richest countries in the hemisphere, in terms of its concentration

look to Guyana and the possibilities offered by the then under-

of natural resources in a small land footprint, and with less than

developed country. The potential in Guyana was three-fold: firstly,

700,000 residents. So, we don’t want money – we want a share in

whilst it was unconfirmed at the time, there was every reason to

your oil company and your power company, and we will grow these

suspect that the country was sitting on oil and gas potential (as

two industries to the benefit of everyone.’” At the time, Petrotrin’s

Donald put it, “It stood to reason that they were; Trinidad was,

annual turnover was three times Guyana’s whole GDP. “I said,

Venezuela was, Surinam was, Brazil was – why would the good

‘Petrotrin will do all that you need for the country and will help

Lord have skipped Guyana in the middle of all of this?”), but much

you to develop these important sectors, and in our selfish way, we

more significantly, it had vast natural resources such as food and

would be creating a future for Trinidad and Tobago beyond oil and

natural minerals and, most importantly, Donald saw in it great

gas.’ He said, ‘Sounds good, let’s see what we can do.’”

potential for hydro-electric power. This potential inspired Donald,

Unfortunately, creating change also makes enemies, and the

who felt strongly that Trinidad and Tobago needed to invest in a

young Chairman soon found himself under pressure from powerful

future beyond oil and gas before the finite resource upon which

players within the global oil and gas industries, to the extent that

the country’s economy relied dwindled. During an event in Paris, he

he felt in fear for his physical safety. Petrotrin faced the challenges

got speaking with Guyana’s Minister of Finance, who would soon

thrown their way head on, achieving justice in court where needed

after become its next President. He seized the opportunity of this

and emerging as a stronger entity than ever before – however,

meeting and pitched a mutually beneficial proposition:

eventually, the amount of negative attention, threats and opposition

“I said to him, ‘Guyana historically owes Petrotrin money for

that Donald had attracted became counter-productive, and after

products that you’ve never paid for.’ At that time, Guyana was a

years of victorious battle against his challengers, he stepped down.

POWER SYSTEMS ENGINEERING SERVICES MODELING & ANALYSIS • System Planning & Compliance • PV Integration & Energy Storage • HVDC & FACTS Studies • Operations & Maintenance • Generator Testing • Harmonic Analysis • Switching Transients Analysis • GIC/EMP • Synchrophasor Analysis • Protection Coordination

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16 | Endeavour Magazine

THE ENMAN GROUP When he did, half of Petrotrin’s board stepped down with him in

who would use it? Guyana’s demand was only 1/10 of what we

support – a clear acknowledgement of the impact he had made and

would be able to produce. The situation was similar to Trinidad

the respect he had earned there, even in the face of struggle.

in the ‘70s and ’80, when our gas became what was known as a

Soon after he stepped down, Donald ran into the President of

‘stranded resource’: it was here, but was of no value unless we could

Guyana once more; “He said, ‘All of these big ideas you had for

take it to a market, or could bring a market to it.” The investment

Guyana - what are you going to do about them now?’, and I told

cost of the hydropower plant – US$2 billion – would not be feasible

him that I still planned to do them, but from the private sector.”

until buyers for this power were in place.

Following this conversation, Donald travelled to Guyana to assess

So, in 2005, the ENMAN Group began looking into the

the possibilities of moving forwards. In March 2001, the plan was

possibilities of exporting this power. First of all, they looked to

thus: to create a model in Guyana similar to Trinidad, but more

northern Brazil, a land-locked territory in need of energy. The

diverse and sustainable. Whereas Trinidad and Tobago use their oil

country showed interest, but due to changes in the government

and gas both as their power source and as the natural resource they

mid-talks, the proposition didn’t get off the ground. “Next, we went

process using this power, they put double the demand on what they

up the island chain, looking to take the power all the way to Puerto

have – alternatively, Donald suggested that Guyana could use its

Rico and the Dominican Republic, which are large demand centers

renewable energy source for power, leaving any oil and gas purely

to the north, and this would include Trinidad and Tobago as well.

as an exportable resource.

We got a lot of interest, but people didn’t believe it could happen,

Once a suitable site for the construction of their proposed

so we weren’t able to close.”

hydropower plant was located and studied, the ENMAN Group

This is the frustration in selling a commodity that isn’t in

started searching for a partner, and found them in Hardy Stevenson

production yet – especially when exporting said resource raises its

and Associates - expert Canadian hydropower professionals. From

own challenges. “You can’t simply put hydro-electric power on a

here, the next challenge wasn’t the If, but the How: “We knew that

barge like oil and gas and take it to another country – the way to

we had this large resource of hydro-electric power available – but

send it is by cable.” This challenge inspired Donald’s vision for the

18 | Endeavour Magazine

THE ENMAN GROUP Caribbean: an interconnected set of islands, joined through cabling

off, and we must start thinking about a world where people are

to form one fully connected, cooperative energy market.

not relying on hydrocarbon products. We have to diversify our

“We began to look at the interconnection concept in more

economy away from its over-dependence on this one industry.” The

detail, and recognised that it was critical to the energy future of

role he imagines for Trinidad and Tobago in a connected Caribbean

the region. We have several territories that can produce renewable

is a central one, with their well-established gas supply serving as

power way beyond their own market demand: for example, you

a safety-net that could come into effect during peak periods and

have a little island like Nevis with a demand of only 20 MW, yet

dry spells – and, in the meantime, as a backbone upon which to

they could produce 200 MW of geothermal energy, but they

develop the necessary renewable energy plants.

can’t build a full-scale plant unless they can export the power.

Turning dreams into reality is a slow process, and coordinating

The Caribbean power interconnection would allow us to connect

a costly development between multiple countries is one that

the islands and create one energy market. In the island chain, all

historically can take decades – and this is no exception. 17 years

of the volcanic islands - St Lucia, St Vincent, Dominica, Grenada,

from first conception, the pieces are only now seeming to come into

Nevis, St Kits - have geothermal energy to varying degrees. Then,

place for Donald’s vision to move forwards. As he told us, “It’s very

to the south you have in Guyana and Surinam, who together have

complex to get everybody aligned in anything. So, we’re currently

14,000MW of hydroelectric power potential – enough to power

trying to simplify the plan.” Everything has to start somewhere,

the whole Caribbean.”

and for a connected Caribbean with a strong renewable energy

Whilst Donald’s vision would benefit the entire Caribbean, his

industry, the ENMAN Group hope to start by linking up Trinidad

goal first and foremost is, of course, to prepare Trinidad and Tobago

and Guyana; the discussions are already in place, the investigations

for the future. “Trinidad has to look for sustainability beyond oil

have been carried out, and the two countries are on friendly terms,

and gas. We have a very high carbon footprint in Trinidad - we are

with much to gain from each other if the project goes ahead.

the second highest producer of carbon emissions in the world, bar

Global attitudes today are finally treating climate change and

Africa. On top of this, the production of oil and gas now is falling

sustainable energy seriously, enough so that Donald feels the time

20 | Endeavour Magazine

is right to get the investment and support needed to move forwards.

than in it: its main export over the years has become people,

“We are in a position where the world needs to be carbon-free by

including its brightest and best.”

2050. In the Caribbean, we sometimes feel like we’re outside the

The hope is that an economic boost will attract Guyanese people

radar and can’t make much of an impact, but everybody has to

home again, but where does this leave Donald and Trinidad and

make that change.” With this shifting attitude, enthusiasm for this

Tobago? “I am putting up a strong case with the new government,

type of longer-term, green investment has grown, and Donald says

who have been in place for two years, saying we should accelerate

that the stars have finally aligned: “We are now at a stage where

the hydro-electric power development.” His plans remain exciting

we have the suppliers, contractors and investors in place. I’ve had

and empowering one for Guyana, and through them, they could

some preliminary meetings with Guyana’s vice-presidency, the high

provide an empowering future for a post-oil and gas Trinidad.

commission in Trinidad and so on, and we are preparing to go to

Through it all, Donald’s thoughts have been on the environment,

another meeting in Guyana with, hopefully, the president, to show

but more specifically, they have been on his home:

them that now is the right time to start construction.”

“Typically, big ideas over here will come from a company from

However, life is not without its complications, and there is

overseas, who put a project together looking from the outside, and

a big one: Guyana has now found its oil and gas. The discovery

hire us to get involved in making it happen. This is home grown,

sees Guyana set to become one of the most prolific hydrocarbon

focused heavily on solving local problems and viewed from within.”

territories in the region in three to four years’ time: this is exciting

Hopefully, the stars really have aligned, and this exciting build

news to Guyana, but could be a spanner in the works in terms of a

will take off the ground soon. When it does, it could be the first

hydroelectric power plant. “You cannot stop Guyana from wanting

domino in a carefully arranged chain that will transform Caribbean

the oil and gas,” Donald explains, going on to say that the discovery

energy as we know it, for the good of our planet, and for every

seems like a golden ticket to a country facing challenges. “There are

island in that cooperative chain.

twice as many first-generation Guyanese living outside of Guyana

Endeavour Magazine | 21


CHANGING THE GAME Growth and innovation never end – no matter how experienced we are, there is always room to improve and push further, as long as we are creative and willing to take a risk. 60 years after their company was founded, Fine Hygienic Holding’s new CEO says there’s still room to innovate in the hygienic tissue business, and that his team are the ones to do it. We spoke with James Michael Lafferty about his journey to his new position, the challenges of the tissue business, and the future he envisions. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH) is a hygienic tissue and diaper

company that operates throughout the MENA region. To stop being coy, that means they produce toilet paper. In fact, more than that, they design, manufacture and sell menstrual products, toilet paper, face tissues, kitchen towels and even infant and adult diapers. This company represents many brands within these products groups, including Fine and Smile, has grown to become one of the largest hygienic tissue and diaper producers in the world, with a presence in 75 countries over five continents. This makes them the biggest and leading tissue and diaper producer in the MENA region.

2018 marks FHH’s 60th year of business, and it also marks the

would have left it there, but ambition and chance had another plan:

beginning of James Michael Lafferty’s appointment as company

“I was too stupid to accept that, so I wrote a letter back saying

CEO. A Board Member since 2015, Lafferty’s route to this position

“’Interviewing is not a science, it’s an art, and I want another group

has actually been a one of unlikely twists and turns. Starting out

of artists to look at me. Procter & Gamble was so shocked that

as a psychology and physiology student in Ohio, a CEO position

they set up a second set of interviews, and after that they offered

in Jordon was the last thing on his mind: “I’m a great believer in

me a position.” James sold his fitness business, and suddenly his

serendipity; if I go back 35 years ago, this is certainly not a place

entire career path had changed – he was working in marketing at

I thought I would be in. I was studying physiology and psychology

the biggest company in his town, surrounded by marketing MBAs

at the University of Cincinnati and I was coaching track, and all I

from Harvard. “They had the better education,” he says proudly,

wanted was to coach kids, teach and make no money.” In 1983,

“but I had the most heart.”

James and a group of doctors that he knew set up a corporate

From there began a career of rising through brand management

fitness company, turning their knowledge to advising executives

and marketing, on a route that would end up preparing James

on healthy living. “This was the beginning of the whole wellness

perfectly for FHH: starting in an overseas position in Morocco,

boom that went into companies worldwide. We were employed by

he rose from brand manager to marketing manager, before finally

a number of companies, including Procter & Gamble, who were the

landing his first CEO position, under which he opened P&G in

biggest company in my home town.”

countries in the Levant region including Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

Here is where serendipity first comes into play; whilst doing

“That job would come back to revisit me 20 years later.” After that,

a health check-up for one of P&G’s executives, James had the

he ran the Poland/Baltics business as CEO, then the toilet paper

conversation that would change the rest of his life. ‘One day, I’m

business in Western Europe, which would also serve him many

measuring a guy’s body fat using a skinfold calliper. He’s standing

years later in FHH. He concluded his P&G career as the CEO of the

there all nervous as I’m measuring and plugging the measurements

Philippines business, historically the largest unit in Asia; and then

into an algorithm, and then he looks at me and says, “You ought

moved on to CEO roles at Coca-Cola Nigeria and BAT Philippines.

to do what I do’. I said “Well, what do you do?’ and he said, ‘I’m

All along, he continued to feed his love of coaching, working with

in Brand Management.’ He starts explaining the job to me, and it

the Nigerian Marathoners and the Philippines Olympic team for

sounded pretty cool, so he got me some interviews.” Soon after,

2016 Rio Olympics.

James received a politely worded rejection letter, and most people 24 | Endeavour Magazine

Serendipity intervened in 2015. “I get this phone call from a private equity group in Dubai, and they say ‘Hey, are you the guy who launched P&G in Syria in 1998? There’s a company who would like to see if you’re interested in a board spot?’ Well, I loved the region, I always respected the company and the ownership, who are a wonderful family, so I said sure.” Once James was a Board Member, it wasn’t long until the calls about the CEO position started. He joined the board in 2015, and unofficially began as company CEO in January this year, although he officially only went on full-time as of April. In many ways, it was an ideal transition: “I had a huge advantage coming in as a Board Member; I had been very active on the business side of the company, if not the operations side, and if you looked at our key leaders and country heads, we already knew each other. It was about as smooth a start-up as you can have.” Being in a fantastic position to quickly find his feet has allowed James to waste no time in implementing change. In familiarising himself with the company’s operational side, he quickly found systems that he wanted to alter: “We’ve simplified the company, which included taking layers out of it. For example, the previous

FINE HYGIENIC HOLDING structure only supported five direct reports, so it was a very narrow

Creating this environment is a key in James’ mission: innovation.

pyramid up there. I now receive 17 direct reports.” The change

“We’re looking at how to innovate on toilet paper. I refuse to accept

has more than tripled the number of direct reports that James

that you can’t innovate on these products.” However, when it

receives, and involved removing layers of personnel, but with them,

comes to both innovating and marketing hygienic tissue, James is

layers of unneeded systems. “Why? To give people faster decision

the first to admit that FHH have a challenge on their hands: “If you

making and less layers to claw through if you want to change an

think you’re a good marketer, if you really think you’re good at sales

idea. Before, a country head had two layers to get through before

and marketing, you need to come to the paper business, because

reaching the top of the structure – today, country heads report

this is ground zero of the war in consumer goods.”

directly to me. It’s also a leaner, meaner organisation that can react to market situations with a lot more speed and nimbleness.”

Between feminine hygiene products, baby diapers, adult diapers, tissues, toilet paper and kitchen towels, there is little

The new model not only saves on time and money, but most

glamorous about the application of FHH’s products, and James is

importantly to James, it produces happier employees: “It’s about

happy to admit it. “I deal with everything that nobody wants to talk

frustration. When people don’t have enough work to do, they look

about.” However, he is a man who understands marketing, and one

to make work, and making work means over-inspecting people and

who thrives on a challenge: “You can certainly innovate on toilet

making comments and adding non-value processes just to feel like

paper – people innovate on water. You can charge for water, and

they did something. You need to keep people busy.” Streamlining

you can charge premium on certain brands verses other – it just

the company’s structure also means that employees from any level

takes good marketing. This business will show you how good you

can get themselves heard more easily: “If you have a great idea

are, because it’s the hardest marketing job of all.”

to grow the business, people in the middle don’t want to just say

A key success in innovation previously came for the company

‘Go ahead’. They want to add value, and so they change things

in 2016, thanks largely to focus that James had the company put

and twist things.” Without surplus positions and middle managing, employees feel as though they have a greater voice and place within the company, which in turn encourages better work. For James, taking care of its employees is what truly sets FHH apart, and was part of the reason he held the company in such high regard and was so keen to accept a position with them: “FHH has the old-fashioned values that many companies have lost. They still firmly believe that people are the centre of the company. We care about our people, and we want to take care of them, right down to knowing the birthdays of every one of their employees’ children and sending them gifts. I’ve never seen another company go to that kind of depth to create a family environment.” Whilst the company has kept these brilliant elements of “old-fashioned values”, however, it has thrown out the bad: James is a strong

extra value for innovative films Topsheet and elastic films/materials for the hygiene and medical industry, developed thanks to own and proprietary technology for 3D vacuum and mechanical perforation

advocate for women and diversity in the workplace, marking FHH out from many companies in the region for its trail-blazing equal opportunities. This attitude both creates a better environment for FHH’s employees and, by allowing them to achieve, lets the company enjoy their full potential. The high standard of employee care and support at FHH allows the company to demand high standards in return, which ultimately makes for a far more efficient and productive company. “If you want to play for the Brazilian football team, you’ve got to be good. They get well treated, but they’re the best at what they do. We’re similar – we’re a tremendous company to work for, but the expectations are high, the performance standards are high, and I make no apologies for that. We have high standards here and I’m proud of it, but if you make the team, you’re going to be well taken care of.” 26 | Endeavour Magazine

Phone: +39 085 85 44 026 Fax: +39 085 85 43 049

Email: Web:

into the product whilst he was on the Board: their Fine Baby diaper

a cardboard core in the middle to be constructed, and you’re also

was the only diaper in the world to be endorsed by the Medical

paying for air in that core. They’re shipping that air, and that has a

Wellness Association, and this year, it received the “Paediatric

real cost. Instead of wasting your money on these cores, we instead

Product of the Year” award from the same entity. Moving forwards,

insert a pre-wrapped mini 50-sheets travel roll. It’s like a little joey

we asked James if he was investing more funds into R&D, but it

in a kangaroo pouch – you pop it out of the centre, and you put it

is his belief in his staff and his encouragement of their voices that

in your purse or your kid’s backpack etc. Because we save money

he most values: “We have these brilliant kids, and then we strip

on the format, you get the mini roll for free. So, when you buy toilet

all creativity out of them. Why? We’re not open minded to new

paper today, you could pay for the useless core, or you could buy

ideas. If they fail, we shoot them. The key to innovation is to stop

our product and get a travel roll for free.”

people being terrified of making mistakes. You need to encourage

It’s an idea we’ve certainly not seen before, and one that

creativity, reward creativity, and help people test their ideas out -

changes the game on a product where we thought we’d seen it all!

find easy ways to test and fail cheaply. We’re getting innovation

James says this is one of many innovations to come; we’re curious

because people know they are free to try stuff and their CEO isn’t

to see what FHH will come up with next, but if any company is

going to assassinate them behind the barn!”

going to raise the bar, this is the one to watch.

Is it just a theory? Well, this freeing approach has already produced results! Believe it or not, FHH has indeed innovated on toilet paper. Don’t believe us? James explained their new product – Duetto. “It’s a simple concept. When you buy toilet paper, you don’t even realise that you’re wasting money, because you’re paying for

We wish

Fine Hygienic Holding


in all their future endeavours. King Abdullah II Street, Building 137 Masannat Plaza Building, 2nd Floor P.O.Box 961079, Amman 11196, Jordan

Tel: +96265335888 Ext. 1030 Fax: +96265335111 Email: Endeavour Magazine | 27



aul Nathan knows a thing or two

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Endeavour Magazine | 29


FURTHER ALONG THE OIL & GAS JOURNEY 40 years since their inception, Qatar’s Petroserv Limited are pushing their operations further than ever before. We had the pleasure of catching up with Tarek Malhas, Manager of the company’s Oil & Gas Business Unit, to hear about the exciting advances and operational optimisation that Petroserv has realised as a part of their oil and gas journey.



As the leading EPIC contractors in the State of Qatar,

the owners of Petroserv Limited and its board of directors have been a forward-thinking group since it was formed in 1978.


etroserv Limited consists of multiple business units: Building & Civil Infrastructure, Oil & Gas and MEP & Facility Management. Focusing on their Oil & Gas division, their key

operations are engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and construction services, including mechanical, piping, electrical, instrumentation and in-house fabricated engineered skids. Such

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services are fundamental to the growing domain of oil and gas in Qatar. Nonetheless, stakeholders in the industry are mindful of the fact that it is a volatile sector full of challenges and risks to be managed - and Petroserv’s groundworks and developments ensure that it tackles these encounters head-on. Petroserv recently faced a challenging period, thanks in part to the volatile nature of the oil and gas industry. However, they overcame these challenges, and are now in a stronger position than ever. We spoke to Tarek to find out how they had achieved this, and how the company had developed. In essence, they entered an optimized phase to control cost while endeavoring also for ways to better deliver to their market, and these were the results: following leadership restructuring in 2016, the company underwent a bid to

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enforce capital discipline and enhance its operational efficiencies. With this in mind, all business units entered a phase of thorough monitoring, to validate the efficiency of their processes, to reassess their expenditures, and to make sure that they were as efficient and as sustainable as possible. This streamlining took place at every level of the business units, through the examination and optimization of staff, labour and equipment, including reconsidering operational costs and enhancement of competences. In the meantime, Petroserv also worked on substantially increasing their

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PETROSERV LIMITED order book and business portfolio – no easy feat, considering the

reflected in the number of advancements they have made, for whilst

market circumstances!

they have been looking into managing their cost and efficiency,

Given its insight into the

industry, Petroserv’s Oil & Gas

As Tarek illustrated, “To thrive in such an industry, a player in the

Business Unit is conscious that the current market volatility shall

domain needs a robust strategy that serves no matter what the

linger, as will its effect on oil prices. Oil prices have been influenced

market brings. This includes the ability to explore opportunities

by the global growth, OPEC agreement, hedge fund speculation and

in adversities rather than surrendering to disappointments. Only

shale production. Tarek explained that many of those who oversee

those companies who can do this will prevail.”

the supply side of the global energy situation can find themselves

The increase in Petroserv’s order book across all business units

in state of overconfidence. However, demand continues to surpass

is partly a reflection of the industry’s recent recovery, and partly an

annual forecasts, inventories are being reduced, and reserves are

outcome of the initiatives they have put in place to achieve this.

not being replenished enough - the world, in short, remains reliant

Coming out of a recovering market, the company has not only greatly

on oil and gas, and Tarek feels that the need to unearth more will

optimised its operations, but has pushed and raised awareness on

become more pressing over the short to medium term.

operating with financial discipline and cost consciousness, thus

Whilst the future seems to hold its contests for the industry,

intensifying its competitive edge to win more work.

Petroserv seem confident that their role in oil and gas will remain

So, how have they improved their viability? As well as controlling

essential. Additionally, whilst the business environment is ever

their surpluses and assigning staff, labour and equipment more

changing, they are currently finding themselves in a promising

efficiently the business unit has enhanced its project controls

period in the state of Qatar as a local company: “In general, the oil

and supply chain systems by re-structuring them in a centralised

and gas industry feels much healthier than it did 12 months ago,”

fashion, allowing staff to plan, execute and monitor operations with

Tarek tells us. “The price of oil has rebounded, and the industry

greater accuracy, and thus achieving projects on time and within

is thus recovering from the brutal last few years.” This surety is


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This wasn’t the only development that Tarek listed: “Through extensive portfolio realignment, our business unit has become resilient, and productivity and capital efficiency are now forming the bedrock of our operations. Moreover, innovation is thriving

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Some recent innovations of note for the business unit include the introduction of a recyclable steel shot blasting workshop, which allowed Petroserv to eliminate the use of non-eco-friendly, harsh chemicals, as well as reducing the relevant consumables down to 1/5 of the original figure, thanks to the use of recyclable steel shots. The changes have also eliminated the production of surplus consumed garnet as a by-product of fabrication operations – a material that is classified as hazardous waste. Overall, these changes have been beneficial not only for Petroserv, but for the environment as well. The company’s other key recent innovation is their plan to

We are working closely with “Petroserv” on many projects and we look forward to maintaining this successful cooperation in the years to come.

implement a lean manufacturing and fabrication automation onestop-solution. In short, the company has begun down the path of turning its fabrication shop into a mostly automated industrial unit. Once complete, this conversion would not only reduce cost, but the company is sure that it will also up productivity, lower production

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Web: Endeavour Magazine | 35

PETROSERV LIMITED time, save on physical space, and reduce the repair rate, amplifying

paper and digitising more information to reduce on printing, all

the quality of production.

the way through to heftier and more complex undertakings such

Petroserv’s other key for the business unit’s growth has been

as turning surplus used shipping containers into modular on-

diversification: “Petroserv Limited and National Gas Company

site offices. They have also set up a scrap management system

(Oman) have signed an MOU to explore and generate revenue

that arranges for unusable steel to go back to foundries for re-

from LPG/SNG business in Qatar. We have also signed an MOU

production, not to mention working to eliminate non-eco-friendly

with several specialised companies in Operation & Maintenance

chemicals and minimising the use of diesel generators emissions.

and asset management activities, where we hope to take bigger

Petroserv’s oil and gas business unit also offers a fugitive emission

roles in operation and maintenance, refurbishment, overhauling

monitoring and control program that is designed specifically to

and reconditioning, as well as larger shutdown works. Finally, in

monitor, control and reduce volatile emissions. Finally, Petroserv

collaboration with a specialised partner, the company has also

is backing up these initiatives by raising awareness among their

spread out to include a leak detection program - a program that

staff, offering continuous training on sustainability, consequently,

offers a comprehensive environmental management service against

making sure that every pair of hands working for the company

volatile gas leaks.

understands their standards and knows how to uphold them. As

Of course, as well as operation efficiency and available services,

Tarek repeated to us: “Together, We Safely Deliver”

the issue on everyone’s minds these days is sustainability. When

On a final note, in an industry that’s ever-changing, it takes

revisiting costs and increasing the efficiency of your operations,

companies with leadership like this to have the commitment and

green and sustainable activities are a natural area to examine,

confidence to realign, streamline and keep walking. We are sure

and Petroserv have given them strong attention. Like in all things,

that this is simply an exciting chapter in the unfolding journey

change must happen at home, and green initiatives must cover

of Petroserv’s road less travelled, and that’s what makes all the

everything from the company’s heavy-duty operations to the every-


day habits of their offices. As such, their push towards sustainability covers company activity from the ground up, starting with simple initiatives such as encouraging staff to carpool, recycle their office

Project: Tank Farm Construction Client: ALCAT CONTRACTING COMPANY Tanks designed and fabricated in-house Petroserv’s fabrication shop.

36 | Endeavour Magazine

We will continue to keep an eye on Petroserv Limited, to be continued in the near future… | Phone: +91 9836953059 | +91 7574892533 301 Mohanpura Jodhpur (Rajasthan) India

Petroserv Limited WLL has the in-house expertise in design & fabrication of Engineering Skids within its fully equipped fabrication shop with highly skilled labors and equipment, located in Umm Salal-Doha. Endeavour Magazine | 37


OVERFLOWING SUCCESS 35 years ago, the Water Authority Cayman was founded. Offering meaningful connections with consumers through their consistent and reliable, not to mention affordable, water supply has set this Water Authority apart from other utility providers for many years. We spoke with company director, Dr Gelia Frederick-van Genderen. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


Given the intrinsic importance of maintaining a reliable

supply of what the Water Authority – Cayman (WAC) refers to as “the world’s most popular drink”, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the most senior executives of the organisation were too busy with more pressing matters to speak with us.


hat is not the case with WAC, however, as Dr Gelia Frederickvan Genderen, Director of the company, was more than happy to offer an insight into what happens day to day and why.

Moreover, she was able to explain just how central to the everyday operations consumer satisfaction and community development are, thanks to her many years with the authority: “I initially started my career as an Environmental Health Technologist with the Department of Environmental Health here in the Cayman Islands. I was there from 1983 until 1988, when I joined the Water Authority as an Operations Scientist. In 1994 I was appointed Deputy Director and then, six years later, promoted to the position of Director. I was honoured to be promoted to Director of the Water Authority in October 2000, after being with the organisation since 1988.” With a fundamental understanding of the science involved and a deep-seated dedication to the Authority already in place, Gelia was a natural choice for the role of Director and has brought a uniquely inclusive style of leadership into play, which has had farreaching benefits: “Two of the most consistent things you will hear from Water Authority staff is that they find their jobs meaningful and their colleagues are like family. When the Authority first started back in 1983, it was a much smaller organisation than it is now, but even though we have gone from a team of half a dozen to one of 133 employees, we still maintain that atmosphere. I have been a part

40 | Endeavour Magazine

WATER AUTHORITY - CAYMAN ISLANDS of this organisation’s growth for 30 years, so I know first-hand

factor. with in excess of 60% of the WAC workforce having been

how important it is to be able to recognise the strengths of each

in place for 10 years or more, there is certainly no underestimating

individual and develop a well-rounded team of senior managers

how respected and valued they are:

and supervisors who are, in turn, able to motivate their staff to the betterment of the entire organisation.”

“We have 133 staff and, during the last fiscal period alone, we spent approximately US$187,804 on staff training. Within

Any organisation that sits at the very epicentre of a community

any industry, but particularly in the essential service industries,

and provides a vital service, just as WAC does, needs to have a

succession planning is imperative. That’s why staff development

leader at the helm who not only recognises the critical nature of the

and training is so important to us here at the Authority. In addition,

work being done, but also the value of the staff that are physically

we do our best to attract young Caymanians to the industry

doing it. Gelia is one such leader. She understands that the

through a CI$30,000 Annual Scholarship and our popular Work

continued success of the Authority is measurable in terms of the

Experience Programme, through which we take on summer interns.

sustained wellbeing of the local population and the development

In fact, since 2006/7, the Authority has invested CI$445,000

of talented team members. Moreover, she seeks to never lose

(approximately US$542,682) in 11 scholarship recipients. We also

sight of the mission and values that underpin the Authority

recently announced the launch of a new scholarship that includes a

as a whole:

monthly stipend for Caymanians to attend the local higher learning

“Our mission here at the Authority is four-fold: 1) to provide

institute the University College of the Cayman Islands.”

the Cayman Islands with pure, wholesome potable water; 2) to

Offering a vital product and having keen staff in place would be

protect groundwater resources; 3) to provide sewerage services;

enough for some organisations, but not WAC, which looks to forge

and 4) to do all of these things in a financially sustainable manner.

beneficial and strong relationships within its supply chain, for the

The mission guides everything we do, from maintaining our lab’s

wider benefit of the Cayman Islands as a whole. Looking to always

international accreditation to achieving unqualified financial audits.

support other local companies, wherever possible, there is a real

We know our values and we stick to them.”

sense of community within the supply chain, as Gelia explained:

Given that WAC currently services over 18,500 accounts, spread out over Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, a clear focus on the founding principles of the Authority is vital, especially when expansion is on the cards. With plans to reach out to consumers on Little Cayman, the smallest of the islands, an objective understanding of the, forgive the overtly appropriate wording here, buoyancy of the sector is essential. Providing public water services, sewerage facilities and groundwater protection, all together, is no small feat and naturally, the stability of the wider industry and region will have a role to play. “A great deal of development is occurring in the Cayman Islands at the moment and forward-planning is more important than ever to ensure that the Authority’s operations can keep pace. That being said, this is nothing new to us here at the Authority. Since the Cayman Islands started experiencing its development and population boom in the late 1960’s, there has been very little slowing down. Since the Authority began we have always worked with an eye on the future, to ensure our infrastructure can sustain the rate of socio-economic growth that the Cayman Islands has come to experience as routine.” Gelia is, perhaps, being a little modest here, as there is a distinct adaptability to the Authority as a whole, with an openminded approach to new technologies, innovations and supplier partnerships. Nothing here is reactive, but everything is proactive in a bid to never be forced to play catch-up with consumers’ expectations or competitors. It’s important to remember that while fresh technology is exciting and needs to be embraced, the strongest organisations place a much higher value on the human 42 | Endeavour Magazine

“Given our status as a statutory authority here in the Cayman Islands, our relationship with the Cayman Islands Government is paramount to our continued success as an organisation. However, as public servants, our primary loyalty will always be to the Caymanian people whom we serve. Our customers and our community will always come first. Of course, we have many strategic business partners – vendors, suppliers, contractors, etc. – whose support is

For over 25 years, Vermeer Carribbean has been

essential to our daily operations and we are very grateful for their

serving the Caribbean region with the highest

continued partnership.” One particularly noteworthy partner is Florida Aquastore; a specialist supplier of treatment services, systems and tanks that is

quality equipment, parts, service, and solutions for the underground construction, wood waste

as dedicated to giving back to local communities as the WAC itself.

recycling, landscaping and tree care industries.

It’s said that you can tell a lot about a person by looking at who

Whether you’re looking for new or used equipment,

they are friends with and the same goes for business relationships.

connect with us to learn how Vermeer machines

The WAC and Florida Aquastore are so similar in both outlook and commitment to consumers that working together makes perfect

can help you get the job done.

sense and benefits everybody, a critical element given the number

For more information, contact Manny Ayala at

of developments being embraced over at the WAC:

561-733-3901 or

“The Authority is currently working with Florida Aquastore to construct a new factory-coated bolted steel water storage tank at

our Red Gate Water Works facility. Once completed, this tank will add another 2 million US gallons (7,570 m3) to our current storage


Vermeer Caribbean offers a comprehensive and high-quality product line, including horizontal directional drills, guided boring systems, trenchers, vibratory plows, rockwheels, piercing tools, vacuum excavators and mini skid steers, as well as a range of tooling, accessories, and support equipment ready to see you through the most challenging jobs. For more information, contact Manny Ayala at 561.733.3901 or

© 2018 Vermeer Southeast Sales & Service, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vermeer Caribbean is an affiliated company of Vermeer Southeast.

Endeavour Magazine | 43

WATER AUTHORITY - CAYMAN ISLANDS capacity of 14.2 million US gallons. In addition, the Authority has

the years, of course, we have also experienced inconceivable

contracted Wharton-Smith, Inc. to install approximately 800 linear

challenges – chief among them the devastation of Hurricane Ivan

feet of HDPE pipe (6” nominal diameter) and ancillary works as part

in 2004. As an essential service provider in the Caribbean, you are

of the West Bay Beach Sewerage System. This project is currently

constantly striving to ensure your operations are resilient and your

on-going, and we expect completion on or before 20 May, 2018.”

staff are prepared for the worst but the impact of that storm was

Looking to also bring more freshwater supplies to Little Cayman,

bigger than any of us could have anticipated. Hurricane Ivan hit the

while adapting existing wastewater and water infrastructure, in line

Cayman Islands square on as a Category 5 storm and the damage

with new expansion projects on Grand Cayman, the future looks

was truly catastrophic. In the aftermath of that terrible storm, if

set to be very busy for the WAC, but Gelia is not worried; she is

you had asked us if we thought the Authority or even the country


would be able to come back from that destruction, I doubt many

“This is a very exciting year for the Water Authority because it

of us would have been very optimistic. But we did. We came back

represents the 35th Anniversary of the Authority’s establishment in

stronger than ever both as a community and as a company. Now,

1983. Over the last 35 years, the Authority has experienced huge

as we prepare to go into yet another Atlantic hurricane season, the

growth in terms of its daily operations, staffing requirements and

lessons learned from that catastrophic storm are once again at the

customer base. Even for someone who has been with the Authority

front of our minds.”

for 30 years, it can be hard to explain the pace of development that

If we’ve ever encountered an organisation that seems

the organisation has experienced. The fact that what started out as

intrinsically able to weather a storm of any magnitude, it’s most

a small government department working out of a converted house

certainly WAC and we’ll be keeping a close eye on future projects

is now a multimillion-dollar business with five reverse osmosis

that look set to prove that point beyond any doubt.

plants is staggering.” She went on to conclude, “The projects we are embarking on now would have been absolutely inconceivable in 1983. Over

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TASTE OF SUCCESS Our senses not only let us navigate the world around us, but open us up to a world of moods, experiences and associations: when we smell a fragrance or taste a particular flavour, we don’t just identity what that scent or taste was - we’re transported by it. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Images of foods, thoughts of far-away places, memories

of a moment or feeling; we shouldn’t underestimate the impact these senses have on us, or, therefore, the art that goes into creating them.


f we want to talk flavours, we need to talk Firmenich. Firmenich

packed, artificially flavoured treats were consumed with gusto,

is the largest privately owned Flavour and Fragrance Company in

but today, we like to know that the tangy treats we’re enjoying are

the world - an impressive claim that is made even more notable

not only safe, but nutritious. Flavour impact alone doesn’t cut it

by the fact that this vast company is still a family-owned business.

anymore, and as the champions of taste excellence, Firmenich are

We spoke with Marco Monteiro, the General Manager of Firmenich

staying on top of the game. As the company expands; “Driven by

Sub Saharan Africa, to learn more about Firmenich as a whole, and

our deep sense of responsibility, we seek to enable solutions that

to focus in on Marco’s branch of their operations.

contribute to greater health and nutrition, hygiene and sanitation,

Headquartered in Geneva, the Firmenich entity was established in 1895 – as you can imagine, the technology in their laboratories

while preserving nature’s most precious resources and empowering sustainable livelihoods across our value chain.”

has gone through quite a growth in the 123 years since! As the

This mention of sustainability shows Firmenich’s wider view on

company describe their own operations, “Led by our passion for

their responsibilities as a company. Along with being attentive to

taste and smell, we put our creativity and innovation to work every

the health of their clients’ consumers, they are also conscious of

day to delight the senses.” Currently, the company operates in over

the impact they have on the world around them – both the global

60 markets around the globe.

environment, and the daily lives of the communities they operate

Of these markets, Sub Saharan Africa is a key location, and

within. “Being a family-owned business is what drives us to make

this is where Marco comes in. Firmenich Sub Saharan Africa was

positive contributions to our communities”, explains Marco. Being

established in 1972, and they are passionate about their work. “We

a family-owned business has certainly kept the heart beating at the

have the best job!”, Marco enthuses. “We work with our food and

centre of this company, despite its now vast size. “This has always

beverage customers to help them drive consumer preference.”

been a priority of ours and this is why sustainability is core to our

“At the same time, we work with them to create products that

strategy. We put creativity and science together to address global

are healthier and more nutritious. We have technologies that allow

challenges such as nutrition, health, climate change, hygiene and

our customers to reduce or remove sugar, salt, fat and MSG in their


products whilst still keeping the great taste. Flavours are just one part of the value we add.”

To tackle these issues, both for the sake of their clients’ products and their wider corporate responsibility, Firmenich place

Health implications are rightly, an ever-increasing concern of

heavy importance on their R&D department. In fact, they feel this is

monitoring bodies and consumers alike. Not too long ago, sugar-

the key to separating them from their competition: “R&D is one of

48 | Endeavour Magazine

our strongest differentiators. We have four R&D centres that serve our global business: Geneva in Switzerland, Shanghai in China, Princeton, New Jersey in the U.S.A and Gujarat in India.” Creating delicious and appealing flavours is a delicate science in itself, but especially when one is working to be not only the safest, but the best: “In making products healthier, we need to assist our customers to remove certain ingredients whilst still make their products taste great.” “Reflecting our position as an industry leader in innovation, Firmenich has more than 2,900 patents worldwide and we reinvest 10% of our annual revenues back into R&D. Our local solutions and flavour development is done locally in our labs with our clients’ consumers’ taste preference in mind, but the tools and technologies we have at our disposal are backed by this impressive corporate R&D function.” Globally, this vast operation employs over 7000 team members.

Suppliers of: Spices Seasonings Batch Packs Food Ingredients Contract Blending

As for Marco himself, he has only recently stepped into the GM position Firmenich South Africa. “I have been the General Manager of Firmenich South Africa for 5 months. I began my career at Firmenich just over a year ago as Commercial Director for our Flavors business in South Africa, before taking on the additional responsibilities of General Manager for the business. Prior to

Address: Unit 184, Northlands Business park, New Market Road, Northriding, Randburg, 2162 Tel: 011 794 8096 Fax: 011 794 8096 Email:

Endeavour Magazine | 49

FIRMENICH Firmenich, I spent 20+ years working in fast-moving consumer

for providing best-in-class service to local customers will be critical,

goods companies and have been very fortunate to have worked

as we work on growing our business in this strategic market.”

with Southern Africa’s biggest brands.”

“This acquisition will allow us to have direct access to attractive,

With years of experience and a genuine passion for the creative

local customers in South Africa as well as to acquire a high-quality

and responsible work the company does, Marco has quickly found

manufacturing facility that will enable us to service both local and

his mojo with Firmenich; “Firmenich is family business and the

global customers operating in South Africa from a dedicated plant.”

values of the organisation fit well with my own leadership values. We do what is right for the business as a family.”

This acquisition will set Firmenich South Africa up for further expansion. “Our main focus for Sub-Saharan Africa is to successfully

“I believe that empowering teams and driving the right culture

integrate Flavourome into Firmenich. This adds together two

is imperative to success in today’s business world. I challenge my

strong sales and technical teams in order to unlock value with our

team to debate, argue maturely but challenge the status quo for the

customers for growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

betterment of the business. My team doesn’t have to agree with me - that’s the rule.”

Marco also hinted that there are other development plans in the works, but wasn’t about to give us a confirmation just yet,

His short tie with Firmenich South Africa has already been

besides implying that the company has several irons in the fire. He

eventful – in fact, in January 2018, a significant acquisition took

was able to tease that “Firmenich is a very ambitious company and

place. “Firmenich has recently acquired Flavourome in South Africa.

are always assessing opportunities to grow both organically and

Flavourome has been our exclusive distributor in South Africa since

inorganically.” We’ll have to watch this space!

1998. David Wright, founder and CEO, has been an outstanding partner for Firmenich and has developed a high-performing team who have an intimate knowledge of our offerings. Their track record

50 | Endeavour Magazine

CARAGUM INTERNATIONAL is a French-owned family company, specializing in Stabilizers of flavoured emulsion for over 30 years. Since 2015, Caragum offers CARAROSIN BG CG 389-E445, a new source of Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin E445 (GEWR) produced in Europe. Thanks to the release of this market, Caragum offers a freedom of choice to its customers




here exist many ancient man-made monuments and landmarks around the world that modern historians simply

cannot deduce the exact purpose of: the Nazca Lines in Peru, the ruined city of Teotihuacan, and of course Stonehenge. The debates have been ongoing for centuries, but we are still no closer to a comprehensive understanding of them or even the cultures that created them. However, it cannot be denied that it is exactly because of the mystery these obscure remnants of human history hold that we are continually drawn back to them. Perhaps not the most likely place for one such historical riddle is the English seaside town of Margate, Kent. Generally held in the national consciousness as the perfect

© american_rugbier

place for a bank-holiday escape or “jolly boys’ outing”, Margate also contains one of

with a primitive cement (covering a total

to us, as are the identities of the people

the most fascinating and baffling pieces of

surface area of 190 square meters). The

who made it and the historical era it was

subterranean architecture in the country:

patterns of the Grotto make spectacular

constructed in. The owner of the Grotto

the Shell Grotto.

displays at any point, but they reach their

will not (at present) permit the shells to be

zenith of complexity within ‘the Altar’, which

carbon dated, as such a large sample would


features renditions of suns, stars, and other

need to be taken - in order to rule out

generally conclude that it was in the early

astronomical bodies. There is also an area

previous repairs - that it might permanently

19th century, between 1835 and 1838.

called the Dome: a shaft that rises to the

damage the aesthetics of the building to

Whenever the exact date of the discovery

surface, featuring more complex cascades

do so. Subsequently, many rumours have

might have been, in 1838 an article printed in

of arranged shells and allows a glimpse of

spread, including that the tunnels could

the Kentish Gazette announced the Grotto’s

celestial daylight to illuminate the area.

be as much as 3,000 years old; that the

Although accounts of the Grotto’s original




presence to the general public and declared

As wonderful as the Shell Grotto might

arrangements of the shells combine to form

it open to visitation. Featuring a 70ft long

be, most people, after first seeing it, would

a type of pre-historic calendar; and that it

passageway of hewn chalk that concludes in

probably have many questions on the tip

was the meeting place for a secret society,

a 15x20ft chamber known as ‘the Altar’, the

of their tongues: who, what, when ,where,

such as the fabled Knights Templar.

Grotto is renowned for featuring intensely

why and how are all starting points, but, as

Whilst these suppositions and others

intricate geometric mosaics on all its walls,

of yet, we have no answers whatsoever. The

like them run the gamut of likely to flat out

all crafted from 4.6 million seashells adhered

purpose of the structure is totally unknown

‘conspiracy theory’, there is one significant

52 | Endeavour Magazine

© Chris Barber

fact that might shed some light on the matter: the shells themselves. The vast majority of shells found in the Grotto are common to the Kent coast, but a significant portion are much rarer. For example, the flat winkle is much more common to the Hampshire coast, roughly 150 miles to the West; some come from even further, such

© Ruth Johnston

as queen conch shells in ‘the Altar’ chamber that originate from the Caribbean! If the

Some contend that the structure is nothing

from both sides, you will have to decide

Grotto truly does date back to before the

but a “rich man’s folly” from the 18th century,

yourself whether you belief the Shell Grotto

time of Christ, this evidence would suggest

which was subsequently, either innocently

to be a mystery or a hoax. Either way, this

these shells either washed on shore by

or mischievously, propagated as a legitimate

incredible work of art is truly spectacular

pure chance or voyages to the Americas

enigma. Opponents of this view counter by

and easily accessible to the general public. If

have been occurring millennia before we

questioning why a building constructed as a

you’re ever in the area: go, and let us know if

first thought.

statement of wealth would be kept hidden

you’ve worked it out!

Ultimately, though, the history of the

from public record for over a century. With

Shell Grotto remains shrouded in mystery.

relatively convincing arguments emerging Endeavour Magazine | 53


KEEPING COOL Comfort turns a house into a home. The right lighting, the right temperature – these elements can make all the difference between a calm, welcoming, habitable atmosphere, or one we’re at war with when we should be relaxing. They’re fundamentals of a positive living or working environment, and Advantage Air have them covered from both sides. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


An air conditioning systems and components manufacturer,

as well as implementors of innovative, easy-to-use Smart Home technology, they care about home systems from creation to control.

dvantage Air was founded by David and Margaret Devoy


This difference is clear in the way the company markets itself

in Perth, 1990. As classic origin stories often go, the pair

in these two territories: Advantage Air’s Australian website offers a

literally began the company in their garage, and from these

detailed breakdown of Smart Home technologies such as MyLight

small beginnings, have grown into an international operation over

and MyAir, systems that easily control your home’s light and

last three decades. Advantage Air now operate out of Western

temperature settings via a tablet or smartphone app, whilst the

Australia, New South Wales and Queensland in Australia, and

South African branch’s international website focuses on ducting,

Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape in South Africa.

grilles, air regulators and other speciality components. They boast

The company also supplies Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland, and

that they are the most comprehensive one-stop-shop for all South

now this Australia-born company is now looking to increase its

African contractors in the HVAC industry, as well as the most

reach throughout the African continent. We spoke with Manager

reliable manufacturer and supplier of air conditioning products and

Crispin Cheadle to learn more about the company.

components. It is within the small parts field of these operations

As well as having a broad reach, Advantage Air produce a

that Crispin and his two fellows oversee their team.

broad range of products, from components and small parts for air

The company not only produces individual parts for air

conditioning and central conditioning units, to producing innovative

conditioning, but designs and produces its own control systems as

Smart Home technologies. We asked Crispin about the differences

well. As the company states, “Since 1990, we’ve been researching,

between the company’s two main markets: “In Australia, we’re a

designing and manufacturing air-conditioning systems in both

much more residential-focused company, with a more established

Australia and South Africa, specifically for our environments.

market in the air conditioning, lighting and Smart Home technology

We take great pride in producing a home-grown product that is

fields. In South Africa, we’re more focused on our componentry

world class, and we have the six patents, 24 registered designs,

business, and we are therefore much more commercially focused.”

two innovation patents, four trademarks and two design marks to

The South African and Australian branches of the company work

prove it.”

closely with contractors, providing the reliable parts needed to

Specifically designed for South African and Australian weather

develop top-quality air conditioning systems and similar, whereas

and temperatures, Advantage Air’s systems are tough. As they

in Australia, they work at the other end of the narrative by assisting

put it, their designs must be able to “withstand the demands of

contractors and home owners and similar who are looking to

a Durban summer, Johannesburg winter, or four seasons in one

streamline their household solutions.

Cape Town day.” This is quite a claim, and with such demands to

56 | Endeavour Magazine

contend with, it wouldn’t be surprising for these systems to come at a high cost – but Advantage Air have made sure to protect their customers through a commitment to energy efficiency in their designs, ensuring that users of their systems are only paying for the energy they need. For both air conditioning and small parts, the competition is South Africa is heated. We asked Crispin how Advantage Air work to stand out: “We’re one of the three or four biggest companies country-wide, and we just focus on manufacturing the widest variety, as well as trying to provide quick, reliable service. In terms of the market, it’s incredibly competitive – there are many players focusing on many different aspects. Some competitors only focus on one component, so we’ll have someone who just focuses on grills or just on ducts, things like that. Also, in South Africa, there are quite tough economic conditions at the moment.” With so many companies in the mix, it is the services that really set Advantage Air apart, especially in terms of out-doing one-item specialist manufacturers. As the company states, “While we are at the forefront of technology, we believe in providing old-fashioned personal service. We are here to help and, being local, parts and servicing are always readily available.” Crispin expanded, “We

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deal directly with our customers, and we try to keep really close

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Endeavour Magazine | 57

ADVANTAGE AIR relationships with them, in terms of what’s important to them and

that develops at a far faster rate. “There’s three broad categories

making sure that they get what they need out of our services.”

of Smart Home products: there’s the cheap products that you

Working directly with their clients, Advantage Air seek to not only

simply plug into your light switch, and then there’s our category,

build relationships with the contractors who use their products, but

which is affordable products that have a service behind them, so if

also to boost them up, offering support in the market as well as

something goes wrong, someone will help you. Then, there’s high-

support services for their parts: ““We take the approach that if they

end products where someone has to come in and programme it

grow, we grow, so we try to grow the market and then introduce

specifically for you.”

them and help them with leads.”

As the company explains, “We manufacture the world’s most

In order to provide their loyalty-winning services, Advantage Air

advanced ducted air conditioning management systems, controlled

put great importance on the training of their staff, whose abilities

from your smart device. Our system gives each room individual

must not only be top of the pile, but must stay constantly up to

climate control for the smart home, offices and commercial

date with the company’s new products: “We combine trying to

properties.” These systems extend beyond air conditioning, also

hire people who have got good experience and providing ongoing

controlling your lighting and, through a soon-to-launch new

in-house training. When people start with us, they do four to six

product, window blinds. Crispin described the experience: “It

weeks of pretty intensive training to learn about our products

manages the temperature of the house automatically, can switch

and standards, and then we have people travelling back and forth

the lights on at night, and our new camera system will let you know

from Australia in order to train there. It’s a continuous process -

if there’s any unexpected movement. You can also programme so

we try to give our employees the best level of up to date training

that at, say, 6 o clock, it will open yours blinds and switch the lights

that we can.”

on to wake you up.”

The other branch of Advantage Air’s operations, their Smart

Whilst the rise in smartphone technologies and systems such

Home products, is operating in a much smaller market, but one

as Alexa are starting to provide extra challenges in this sector,

58 | Endeavour Magazine

Advantage Air are expanding. Not only are they bringing out new camera-sensors and remote blinds for this range, but they are expanding across the board: “We’ve just moved into a brand new facility, which we’ve kitted out and updated the equipment for to make it more efficient. We’re also looking into establishing ourselves in Zimbabwe: we’ve looked into the market and begun talks, and there’s a lot of new hope now, with the new president. However, it’s still early days.” The company are already established in other Southern countries such as Namibia and Swaziland, but they are always looking at new frontiers. “For us, the long-term goal is for us to make Smart Homes to be more affordable so that it’s not just for the top 1%, and we want to do that throughout Southern Africa, and then Africa.” This ambition extends to every aspect of their business. Whilst exploration into some African markets is still in its early days, and their approach is therefore still being discussed, Advantage Air know one thing – they want to keep moving. “The markets around us are smaller, but as we grow, we want to keep expanding, and take our business as far as they can go.” 124 Escom Road PO BOX 1583

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Endeavour Magazine | 59


BUILDING ON SUCCESS Harrogate Civil Construction is a Johannesburg-based civil construction and building development company. Operating out of Midrand, Gauteng, the company is involved in numerous medium to large-scale construction contracts across South Africa. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Harrogate was founded by couple Kieran and Julie Rabitte

back in 2003; after 30 years of experience with blue chip construction companies, the pair decided to take their expertise and apply to an entity of their own. We caught up with the company to see what they have built in those 15 years.


hen they started out, the Rabittes only had one TLB and a roller to the company’s name. With these, they took on small road and earthwork contracts – a humble beginning

on which they have built something that boomed. Today, Harrogate’s operations cover a spectrum of contract types, specialising in bulk earthworks, roadworks, concrete works, township and substation infrastructure, paving, kerbs and channels and storm-water construction. During this growth, the Rabittes focused on keeping the values of small business in place: they built their organisation around a family-orientated structure and put value on creating and maintaining great working relationships with staff and clients alike. Concentrating on its projects in Gauteng, Harrogate has achieved a steady annual growth of between 10% and 15%, thanks in part to this people-first attitude and the firm relationships it has forged. We spoke with Tamara de Jong, Harrogate’s Marketing Manager, about some of these ongoing connections: “Our customers are mainly large development companies, architects and private businesses. As the industry is heavily reliant on strong relationships, we owe every success to those clients that have remained loyal to us over the years, such as Murray and Dickson, Tyris Construction, Probest Projects and Lexkon.” Harrogate now employs a team 150 strong. With this workforce, they have their fingers in an impressive number of pies; last year,

62 | Endeavour Magazine

HARROGATE CIVIL CONSTRUCTION they completed seventeen different construction projects, mostly

those who can afford them. The units will range from one and two

in the Gauteng area, and they currently have 24 projects already

bed apartments to three or four bed duplexes. The project brags

underway this year. We asked Tamara about the company’s current

creative and varied architecture and a superior standard of living,

slate, and whether there were any exciting new projects lined up

making it an engaging challenge for Harrogate and a perfect project

on the horizon:

for demonstrating their expertise alongside a talented team of

“Major projects that we have ‘won’ recently include


#EdenSandton and #Illovo96. These projects are indicative of our

Competition over construction contracts is high in South

favourite type of project, while still being large and interesting.” The

Africa, but Harrogate has a busy year already lined up for them.

work at the Illovo 96 project is striving for something more than

As the company declares, “Harrogate continuously strives to

excellence - it is striving to achieve excellence in a green way. As

be progressive, dynamic, flexible and efficient to meet the ever-

Tamara continued; “We are thankful to be involved in projects that

changing demands of the construction industry today. Our

strive for green development such as Illovo 96 and Law on Keyes.”

capabilities, both in size and experience, have turned Harrogate

Harrogate’s excavation work for the Illovo 96 office build

into a leading company in the industry since its inception.” We

represents a R 3,600,000 project for the company, during which

asked Tamara what exactly set the company apart from their

they have excavated about 40,000m3 of earth and reached their

rivals: “With the combination of our director’s education and his

target depth of 13m in only two and a half months. Meanwhile,

international skillset, we have developed a business structure

their work on the Eden Sandton build is “vast, interesting and

unique to Harrogate that ties in old and new techniques and ideas.”

multi-faceted.” The project is an upmarket residential project,

These fresh approaches are followed by a team of well-qualified and

developing in the heart of Rivonia – only a few minutes’ drive from

experienced personnel, with specialists in substation civils, building

Sandton CBD. The build includes 354 units, all built to luxurious

development, township infrastructure and even equestrian arena

quality to provide a tranquil and enviable home environment for

surfacing working under the Harrogate name.

64 | Endeavour Magazine

On a more practical level, they also have the resources: “We

industry as a whole: “I have a personal philosophy, in that whatever

have an extensive fleet of trucks that can rapidly service sites, as

I do will be done with integrity. If mistakes happen, I am honest

well as multiple tip sites in prime locations. Our allocation of sites

about them and take full responsibility for them whilst turning

to project managers also highlights their individual strengths in

them into learning opportunities. This is something indicative of

the industry and helps us to provide service quality to the highest

the construction industry as well, where problems such as water


logging on sites or logistical issues are only overcome through trial

However, more than their expanding services and capabilities, it is the company’s investment in people that continues to see it

and error and meticulous planning. When we make mistakes, we must creatively come up with solutions to rectify them.”

flourish: “We strongly believe that trust amongst staff ensures their

If this attitude is carried from one end of the chain to the

dedication to responsibility and success. It has been evidenced

other, then no wonder Harrogate continues to grow in capability

within Harrogate that as soon as trust is broken, the system

and excellence. The company has expressed confidence in South

unravels from thereunder. When we trust our project managers

Africa’s economy, and looks forward to growing and developing

to follow through with their responsibility, they then tend to place

into the larger market. Judging from their success and rate of

their best foot forward in terms of quality and professionalism, and

growth so far, it won’t be longer until this is the case!

they aspire to do better. That, in my opinion, is good leadership.” As Tamara said, this trust and hands-off management places the responsibility on the individual to perform to their best, and this faith and expectation in turn produces a fantastic work ethic in Harrogate’s employees. Speaking for herself, Tamara expressed her own work ethic – one that reflects the attitudes that Harrogate’s fantastic leadership fosters, and the attitudes needed in construction


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Endeavour Magazine | 65


A HOUSEHOLD NAME WITH HERITAGE So much more than a chain of retail outlets, the Melcom Group seeks to supply everything that Ghana needs through a range of conveniently located and beautifully maintained premises, as well as a significant online presence. Endeavour Magazine looked at the history underpinning this exceptional organisation, to find out the secret to its success. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


It can be easy to assume that any successful retail group started

out due to a desire for commercial profitability, but there is something far more admirable behind the evolution of the Melcom Group: a heartfelt love for Ghana.


r. Bhagwan Khubchandani, Chairman of the Group, explained

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how his father’s vision enabled Melcom to come into being: “Many may be surprised to discover that our journey

in Ghana actually began 89 years ago, in 1929, when Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. My late father, Mr. Ramchand Khubchandani, immediately fell in love with the country and its people upon his arrival and decided to settle here. After working tirelessly for 17 years as a shop manager, he had saved enough to start his own business and made the decision to do so with his younger brother.” Skip ahead to 1989 and the intrinsic appreciation of Ghana, the community and its people that Bhagwan was born with had translated into a phenomenal business idea; a Group that could fulfil the varied needs and desires of an entire nation: “The Melcom Group of Companies caters to B2B, institutions and the basic household needs of the general public. Melcom, through its brands and businesses, provides services and support notably through ‘Melcom Ltd’, which is the retail arm of the

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business both in brick and mortar as well as online (melcomonline. com). It also has other businesses such as CrownStar Electronics (Service arm), Century Industries (Plastics Manufacturing), Melcom Hospitality (Food & Beverages), Melcom Travel and Tours (Travel Agency), Melcom Care Foundation (CSR) and other support businesses.”

MELCOM GROUP OF COMPANIES Having conceptualised and founded the Group with his sonsin-law or, as he likes to say, “sons-in-love”, Bhagwan ensured that

with its history of overcoming obstacles and barriers, is well positioned to compete.”

the family-first approach to business was tightly interwoven into

Aside from a rugged commercial hardiness that has steered

the fabric of the Melcom Group from day one. This is an important

Melcom through periods of economic turbulence, there is an extra

element to note, as it lends understanding as to the driving force

pillar of strength running through the core of the organisation; an

behind the organisation; human connection and gratitude to Ghana

unflinching desire to serve the public and delight them with great

for providing a beloved home. It also explains why the Melcom

value, quality products and reliability. In a bid to never disappoint,

Group primarily focuses on operating within Ghana, as appose

there is a contingent of incredibly hardworking staff that all take

to stretching resources and attempting to take on international

personal responsibility for their contribution to the wider success

contracts as well. There are a smattering of international offices in

of the Group:

place, but they provide administrative support for the business as a whole rather than acting as bases for extended trade.

“The Melcom Group has over 2,800 employees and the numbers are still growing, with more stores to be added to our

An impressive heritage and deep-seated investment in the

existing 38. Our approach to staff training is to focus on continuous

region give the Melcom Group a distinct advantage in terms of

improvement for the benefit of both the Group and the individuals.

outperforming competitors, but this would only be so useful if the

We offer a structured “benefits and rewards programme” too,

market was flaccid:

which is intended to promote a culture of recognition for effort,

“We are currently operating in an economy that is growing,

innovation, expertise and excellence.”

but at a slow pace. Melcom continues to look for opportunities

Add to this an established supply chain that uses Ghanaian

while also investing in its core businesses. As a market leader with

people and companies, and the integrated locality of the

over 50% of the organised trade, Melcom sees everyone in its line

organisation is clear to see and easy to appreciate. It’s this internal

of business as a competitor, so we are continuously striving to

approach that has helped to make the Melcom Group a beloved

improve, as we do not take this threat lightly. However, Melcom,

household name and a genuine success story.

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72 | Endeavour Magazine

Turning our attention to Bhagwan himself and his leadership

“With hard work and, hopefully, a bit of luck along the way,

style, it won’t come as a surprise that he maintains a level of

surely you will fly with the birds, if not touch the stars.” His

awareness and cognisance that can only come from understanding

philosophy has always been “Aim high. You will only hit what you

a company from the ground up:


“Even though I have always held the position of Chairman

Having recently completed a number of impressive projects,

of the Melcom Group, I must say, I feel as though I have held

including a world-class warehouse in the Tema Free Zone,

every position or role starting from the cleaning person through

Bhagwan’s attention is turning to the future and all of the exciting

to salesman and accountant etc.” Perhaps this is why he has

new developments that are on the horizon:

such a personable approach to leadership? “The key to effective

“We have bigger and better stores coming up at Bolga,

leadership and inspiring success among staff is to ensure that

Koforidua. La - Accra and Mankesim. A Century Industries revamp

a healthy competitive environment is always fostered.

is also in the works, designed to increase capacity and introduce


hopefully, guarantees that all persons are making a contribution to

new product lines.”

the growing businesses, and that personally, they are also realising

He concluded, “At the Melcom Group, we aim to work with

their individual aspirations along the way.” As the Chairman of

diverse people and groups to optimise capacity, grow the Ghanaian

Melcom, I am also the number 1 servant. I take full responsibility

brand and culture and provide quality and excellent results in all

when problems arise.

touch points.”

Of course, maintaining quality and consistency across such a

Already a treasured household name and spectacular

wide-ranging portfolio of products and services, including clothing,

ambassador for Ghana, there can be no underestimating just how

groceries, hospitality and electronics, takes dedication and ambition,

much more the Melcom Group can achieve. In fact, as Bhagwan

both of which are in plentiful supply within the Group. Always

himself alluded to, the sky is the only limit.

aiming high and diligently planning new strategies, Bhagwan has a poetically eloquent way of looking at future endeavours:

Tel: Fax: Email:

+233 302 22 00 77 +223 302 23 18 53


Beko is the international home appliance brand of Arçelik Group and a Global Premium Partner of FC Barcelona. It offers product lines that include major appliances, air conditioners and small appliances. Beko is No.1 in the European free-standing white goods market and the second largest home appliance brand in Europe in the white goods sector. Endeavour Magazine | 73


NWSC’S CUP RUNNETH OVER Citing a vision of becoming “the leading customer centred water utility in the world” is no modest ambition, but the National Water and Sewerage Corporation is not a small fish in a big pond, which is why Endeavour Magazine dove in to find out more about what the organisation offers its customers. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


Dr. Silver Mugisha has enjoyed his role as Managing

Director at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) since 2013 and he has brought as much inspiration as the position has offered him fulfilment.


nowing this, there was no better person to speak to at NWSC

Bringing extensive management experience, alongside a clear

about the everyday activities and aims of the progressive

vision of how a unified leadership team, culture of respect and


exemplar professionalism can all come together to create success

“NWSC Uganda – a public utility that is 100% owned by the

Government, provides water and sewerage services across the

on a large scale, which is absolutely essential when talking about a public-sector provision.

country on a commercial and financially viable basis. Since my

The demand for clean, safe water and effective sewerage will

appointment to the position of Managing Director in 2013, my

never diminish, anywhere in the world, but Uganda is bearing

leadership team has led the corporation with heart, a strong work

witness to a period of growth and development. Naturally, this

ethic, a high level of professionalism, a positive service culture and

requires cost-effective and reliable water services to be on hand

a united leadership approach that has enabled the it to achieve

and Dr Mugisha made it clear that he understands what this means

high performance and international recognition.”

for the NWSC specifically;

If your talents and interests aren’t naturally aligned with all

“NWSC Uganda is a national utility serving the population of

things water related then it could be difficult to understand how

Uganda. Systematic and aggressive expansion of the geographical

anybody could make it their life’s work, but that’s exactly what Dr

coverage has resulted into an increase in the number of NWSC

Mugisha has done. Having worked at NWSC since 1994, when he

service towns from 24 to 178 towns across the country in just

entered the company as a junior engineer, he has gradually worked

three years. This is a significant transformation in the business and

his way through the upper ranks of the management team by

service model of the corporation and has redefined NWSC’s role in

always demonstrating a clear and present understanding of what

the Uganda water sector and service delivery industry.”

makes the NWSC so vital and his passion is still evident, even though he has now reached the top; “I am passionate about the advancement of the water sector

While awareness is absolutely half of the battle, the NWSC is active in the way it diverts available funding to future-proof operations and account for continued growth:

in Africa and the world as a whole. I have a wide and extended

“The corporation is cognisant of the growing demand for

experience in water governance, performance improvement,

water and sewerage services mainly emanating from the growing

planning and institutional development and have contributed to

number of towns and as such, continues ploughing back the

knowledge development in the water sector. I’ve also published

surplus into infrastructure development. In a bid to reach out to

a number of policy and research papers in several peer-reviewed

more customers, the corporation launched and implemented the

journals, mainly focusing on performance management, WSS

second phase of the Infrastructure Service Delivery Programme

reforms in developing countries, pro-poor services, and technical

(ISDP) with the aim of increasing water supply reliability and access

efficiency analysis.”

through water and sewer mains extensions.”

76 | Endeavour Magazine

NATIONAL WATER & SEWERAGE CORPORATION (NWSC) This programme piqued our interest and Dr. Mugisha expanded further for us.

the company, it won’t come as any surprise that talent is not only identified, but nurtured as well, at NWSC.

“The ultimate aim of the ISDP programme is to subsidise

“NWSC employs about 3300 workers. The corporation lays

customer connections by extending the pipe network closer to

emphasis on capacity enhancement of its staff and recognises that

the customer premises, hence reducing the connection costs.

they are at the forefront of effective service delivery. Like Martin

Of significance to note is the fact that the ISDP is wholly funded

Oliver said, “Whether you are big or small, you cannot give good

from the corporation’s internally generated resources, which are

customer service if your employees don’t feel good about coming

a clear manifestation of the performance improvements that have

to work”. Staff motivation and empowerment are key in pursuance

enabled the NWSC to plough back its surplus into infrastructure.

of our vision and we therefore ensure that our employees have the

In addition, the corporation has taken bold measures to avert the

right tools and means to effectively deliver services.”

intermittent water supply situation in the country, especially in

This philosophy of treating people well in order to glean the

the newly taken over towns through implementation of the Water

optimum levels of service from them is also extended to the

Supply Stabilisation Programme (WSSP).”

supply chain, with key partners and suppliers being given the

Rising to the challenge of ensuring clean, reliable water for all,

spotlight in terms of recognition and thanks. In particular, the

as well as functional sewerage, regardless of continued growth

Ugandan Government has a vital role to play and is cited as being

patterns, the NWSC has sought to employ not only capable staff

a collaborative partner that really shares the aims and vision of the

members, but individuals that recognise the sheer importance


of their role and that only comes from management structures

With an enviable management structure in place, a strong and

that encourage open honesty, transparent working practices and

stable supply chain and a clear image of who the consumers are

a culture of gratitude and reward for tasks completed perfectly.

and what they need, the NWSC is in a prime position to continually

Knowing already that Dr Mugisha worked his way up through

improve on service parameters, year on year and it’s a good job, as

78 | Endeavour Magazine

there are some exceptionally ambitious and exciting developments already looming on the horizon: “We are in the final stages of beginning construction of a 160 million litre per day water treatment plant to the East of Kampala.

Seeking to play out its mantra of “Water for All for Delighted Customers by a Delighted Workforce”, the NWSC is ready for any and all challenges that are on the horizon. Dr Mugisha concluded by adding:

Added to the existing 240 million litres per day capacity, the new

“The corporation has had stepped growth in geographical

plan will help NWSC meet the water demands of Kampala City up

coverage, infrastructure, customer base and revenue base. We

to 2032. We have also placed a lot of emphasis on e-services and

intend to maintain the well-balanced growth and our priority focus

the use of digital applications to improve service delivery and make

on “water for all”, so as to reach out to as many people as possible

it easier for our customers to access services and freely interact

and also, in the process, ensure that most of our areas of operation

with our teams. We have various IT innovations developed in-

(sub-Utilities) are self-sustaining. Kampala Capital City remains the

house like the e-water payment platform, in-house billing system

key growth area and we have a number of big projects in the pipeline,

and the NWSC mobile App. We have developed a very active social

which, once completed, will address all the water supply challenges

media platform.”

in Kampala and provide a big leap in our business growth trajectory.

In simple terms, the future is going to include expansion,

Our strategy is to make Kampala a big revenue basket and node

development and, most crucially, a natural acceptance of

of subsidisation of other upcoming towns, so that the commercial

contemporary technology and customer outreach methodologies.

and financial sustainability objective is maintained. In this way, the

Given that there is a goal in place to achieve 100% service coverage

corporation will remain financially stable and incrementally capable

in all areas of operation within the next three to five years, a

of accessing market infrastructure financing.”

willingness to adopt new approaches is essential. Yes, the NWSC might be a public utility, but there’s no reason for that to translate to a static or old-fashioned operation.

Endeavour Magazine | 79


BUILDING YOU UP Adam’s Project Management & Construction Limited (APM) was founded in 2001 by Managing Director Imtiyaz Adam. The Trinidadian company aims to be one of the leading Project Management & Construction Companies in the Caribbean, by treating quality and safety with equal value, both for their clients and their employees. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


A company that looks after these two things will have a

positive experience from both sides of the fence – a fence that Imtiyaz has been on both sides of himself, having worked as a civil engineer in the Caribbean for over two decades before founding his company.


PM is a versatile company, taking on challenges across Trinidad

also the contracts it can take on. To date, the company’s portfolio of

and Tobago in a broad spectrum of fields. Their construction

completed work totals over $1 billion worth of investment.

portfolio covers projects in health, industrial, educational and

When high-value projects are at stake, it is more important than

hospitality venues, as well as office space and residential builds.

ever to look before you leap. Whilst also a construction company,

They have even worked on sports and recreation projects, all the

much of APM’s most crucial work happens before the plans leave

way through to religious and cultural sites. As the company say

the drawing board: as they explain, “The greatest opportunities to

themselves, “With over a decade of experience, our proficiency

affect project outcomes occur early in the design process. We are

extends to virtually every commercial construction market.”

dedicated to supporting the client and architect/engineer with the

Trinidad and Tobago are small but ever-active islands, with plenty of competition jostling for position in the heavy industries

broad expertise of our project planning team during this process, by working together in a collaborative, team-based approach.”

– especially when it comes to the pursuit of progress through new

Project planning does not simply mean an assessment of how

construction projects. APM are confident in their position, however;

best a facility’s construction should be carried out – it also means

“With an emphasis on teamwork, planning and innovative services,

making sure that their client is aware of exactly what they are about

we focus on adding value to the bottom line of every project. Strong

to build, and that this is what they want from their investment:

leadership, forward-thinking management and application of the

“By emphasizing ‘the true cost of ownership’ of a facility over its

latest technologies have propelled us into our hard-won position

life, we commit resources and tools that include value analysis,

as one of the nation’s preeminent construction services firms.”

life-cycle costing, owning and operating cost modelling, phase

Still at the helm of this confident vessel is Mr Adams, who

specific constructability and maintainability reviews, and many

approaches APM’s various briefs and challenges with “a supporting

other services by our resource experts. This provides the project

and collaborative style”. This professional yet personal touch

team with the maximum opportunity for informed and deliberate

allows clients to feel that they are in safe hands, and it’s kept them

decision-making during the design process.”

coming back; 80% of APM’s clients come back to them after the

This process requires close collaboration with not only the

fact with repeat business. This confidence amongst their clientele

client, but their architect, and any other construction teams,

has allowed the once-small company to rise higher with every job,

engineers and consultants. They work with these individuals to

growing the size of its reputation, team and resources, and therefore

carry out a stringent and thorough series of checks and studies,

82 | Endeavour Magazine

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ADAM’S PROJECT MANAGEMENT & CONSTRUCTION LIMITED including existing conditions surveys; cost modelling; value,

rates, which helps us be more competitive in the marketplace,

operational and life-cycle analysis; scheduling and communication;

passing savings onto clients and creating more opportunities for

cash flow and health, safety and environmental plans, to still name


but a few areas. This thorough preparation allows a level of surety

APM’s safety programme is a detailed one, including within

and cohesion necessary on any collaborative build, but especially

its steps and incentives several safety orientation and training

one with high investments in the balance. APM are the middle

programs, daily and weekly safety meetings and discussions,

man, but instead of complicating communication, they are the hub

random safety inspections and even employee safety incentive

that simplifies it, not only passing information between parties, but

programs to encourage all employees to work carefully together to

running that information between all the checks needed to make

achieve the company’s Zero Injuries Goal.

sure the project is being planned and going ahead as it should.

Staff are also carefully training to ensure that they can achieve

Whilst APM carries many responsibilities on a build, the most

and maintain the very best quality on every build. “Companywide

key area for both parties is safety. From electrical works to heavy

meetings are an essential part of our quality management and

machinery to heights, there are numerous hazards on a construction

training programs. They include formal training, invited speakers on

site, and keeping personnel safe requires strict and thoughtful

innovative construction products and methods, staff presentations

safety procedures from the equipment used to the training and

on current projects which highlight unique installations; or other

attitude of every single member of staff.

issues with potential quality impact and how they were successfully

“Employees are our most important asset, and their safety is

managed, and an open forum to promote general quality discussion,

our prime concern.” Of course, reliable safety measures are not

questions and feedback…We promote ongoing staff development

only best for APM’s employees but are also smart business: “It’s

across a broad range of project management responsibilities,

no coincidence that good safety practices are also good business

including: project planning, construction quality, risk management,

practices. A strong safety record translates into lower insurance

change management, cost effectiveness and safety.”

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If you need an industrial or institutional project delivered on time, on budget, and with quality service that surpasses your expectations, MB HAYNES is the answer.

84 | Endeavour Magazine

However, one of APM’s fastest-growing business areas is not in the planning or even the construction of a project at all, but in steel fabrication. Mr. Adam considers steel fabrication and erection to be one of the company’s best and most essential areas, and therefore is eager to invest heavily in its growth. To support rising demand from their clients APM recently constructed a 16,000 square foot building to house this division, decked out with sate of the art equipment and topped off through the purchase of two cranes for the purpose of steel erection. Expanding in this direction makes APM a double, if not triple threat, covering not only project management and construction, but even providing the materials that form a build’s backbone. Control over this resource may have greater overheads than project planning, but the costs it saves the company, and the extra revenue it brings them from their clients, is an intelligent move. Now that the new facility is in place, we look forward to keeping an eye on AMP, to see what area of the market they grow to corner next.

Endeavour Magazine | 85


2.0 TDCI 180ps Standard car-on-the-road price of £34,160


he Ford S-Max has been around since 2006, but its evolutions through time mean that it’s anything but old: this is a

great, modern family car that looks, feels and drives superbly. The S-Max is renowned for its versatility and practicality. Its role for the purpose of this test was to transport six adults to the London Marathon; the journey was over a 350-mile round trip in a freakishly hot April weekend in the UK, with temperatures hitting 27 degrees (that’s hot for us!) In fact, this would prove to be the hottest London Marathon ever recorded. April weather can be hit and miss here, and a hot marathon is a daunting prospect for the runners, who train mostly over the cold winter months: running in the cold temperatures acclimatises your body to them, making it unused to performing in the summer heat. This weather was a real shock to us, so the plan was to travel in a calm and pleasant environment, to best feel prepared for the challenge ahead: no pressure, Ford S-Max! Our route was split between motorways and city driving, and the Ford ate it all up. The adaptive cruise control, speed limiters

with the cruise control as I was driving at

adaptive cruise control, panoramic roof, rear

and traffic sign recognition are perfect tools

30 mph down what I found out was a 40

air conditioning, upgraded stereo, rear view

when you are negotiating roads you don’t

mph road. Two frustrated cars overtook me

camera, ST line lux pack etc., you can add

know. The emergency braking is excellent,

– unfortunately, standing to attention was

£7,000 of goodies onto the price. Although

reacting faster than anybody’s human

a speed camera that flashed twice at they

our model was the sportier ST Line, the

reactions, and the adaptive cruise control,

roared past. Sorry to those two drivers, who

S-Max’s do have the feeling of a car rather

in particular, is a fantastic piece of kit: not

I am sure have by now received a fine and

than a jumped-up MPV.

only does it allow you to set your speed, it

points to their licenses!

ensures that you are always a safe distance behind the car in front. That said, I did have a funny moment 86 | Endeavour Magazine

Just to confirm, the colour combo was

The price for this ST-Line standard

stunning, Ruby Red paint, grey wheels and

vehicle is £34,160. However, to add our

the luxurious Salerno Leather with Miko

Ruby Red paint, 19” Rock Metallic Alloys,

Suede in Ebony with red stitching - lovely.

yet it will happily carry seven people. All of

A top speed of 129 mph and 9.5 for 0-62

the seats are comfortable, with the main

are good statistics for this type of vehicle.

rear seats on slides and recline. The rear two

Our car was heavily loaded with six adults

seats in the boot are alright, although my

and luggage, and still returned over 45 MPG.

adult passengers found the leg room limited,

The automatic box is smooth, putting down

as no dip for your feet leaves your knees

power in an effortless manner.

resting high. On longer journeys, these seats

The S-Max ST-Line is a fun, comfortable

would become uncomfortable for adults but

and capable car. It isn’t the cheapest option,

are great for kids.

but you do get what you pay for. We had

The materials used inside and out are all top

The panoramic roof is a brilliant detail. As

a stress-free journey to and from London in

drawer, from the paint to soft plastics to

in many MPV vehicles, when space is tight

what could have been very uncomfortable

supple leathers - there is nothing that feels

due to the additional seats, this glass roof


cheap here.

opens and lightens the cabin effectively. The

It is important to remember that these

The Ford feels bigger than it is, and I put

air-conditioning works well and distributes

types of cars try to be everything to everyone,

that down to the long bonnet. It took me

the benefits fairly, with vents throughout

and sometime that fails monumentally. Not

a while to get used to the size and shape

the car and even present in the boot, for

so with the S-Max – it proved to be the

of the car when parking, but fortunately the

the rearmost passengers. Finally, the vast

perfect multi-people mover for the job.

parking sensors and the rear-view camera

Infotainment Centre is easy to use, with a

are spot on.

clear and loud sound system that reaches

180ps give a spritely feel to this car, and

the whole car. Endeavour Magazine | 87


Six-speed manual in Grabber Blue

This car is all about the grin factor, and it

mile round trip with four adults, and we all

Standard car-on-the-road price of

provides that by the bucket load. The big V8

got out feeling fine. Granted, the rear seats


grabs attention wherever it is seen or heard.

don’t have a lot of leg or head room, but

If you are worried about MPG, then read no

they still offer plenty more than most sports

ven if you loathe American muscle cars,

further – yet, for a sports car, this Mustang

cars. The engine is peachy and useable in

you cannot deny that this Mustang is a

makes real sense as a purchase, able to

traffic - not fiery and twitchy like you might

good looking vehicle. It might not have

double as a drivable, practical every-day

expect. Open her up, though, and she excels

the finesse of other super-cars, but it also

vehicle, as long as you don’t mind frequent

– wow! With a 4.8 second 0-62, the front

doesn’t have the pricetag. The Ford Mustang

visits to a petrol station.

lifts with an angry howl from the exhaust


GT costs the same as, say, a Mondeo, but a

I clocked up 500 miles in this car and

pipes, feeling stable and secure. This car can

Mondeo doesn’t look and sound this divine.

every one was pure fun. I even braved a 140

be driven fast and safely on normal roads,

88 | Endeavour Magazine

quality to them; the cup holders are in a stupid position, as any cup gets in the way of the fabulous stubby gearstick; whilst boot volume is passable, it has a oddly shaped opening that makes it difficult to put anything inside. However, these little details are lacking compared to other cars out there – but something had to give. If you can overlook these small elements, this car is brilliant and great value for money. There is also no Sat Nav included with the model as standard, but I didn’t mind this so much, as whenever I got lost it carried the plus side that I got to drive further! Also, whilst Ford have skimped on some details, they have put thought into others: for example, at night, the car projects lights in the shape of mustangs on the ground beside the car – it was an awesome little touch, and I loved it. I asked my passengers what they thought one would have to pay for this car, and the guestimates were always about £65k. All told, the value speaks for itself - you get a whole lot of car for your money! It is rare for me to not want to give a car back at the end of the test, but the Mustang was a break from the norm. I absolutely loved everything about it - even which is not always the case; many of the

with independent suspension in each corner,

its few idiosyncrasies that just confirmed it

sports models I have driven hard had a

not revolutionary as a concept, but new for

is American and a Mustang!

tendency to bite you when you relax, not so

the Mustang. The change transforms the

If you want better MPG, Ford also

car: not only is it fun and punchy to drive,

produce this model with a 2.3 EcoBoost

it now stays flat on the corners and the

turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, but don’t

steering is sharp.

do it: it would be sacrilege to not have the

with the big Mustang. The




muscle cars that rocket in a straight line but

sweet V8 throbbing under this car’s bonnet.

become loose cannons around the twisty

The interior looks fantastic and works

bits. However, Ford has developed the

well with the design of the car, but inspect

I have a request for Ford: please let me

Mustang to excel in handling around corners.

it too closely and you can see how Ford

do a long term test with the Mustang – say

To achieve this, they have removed the

have kept the cost down. Tap on the plastic

a year or two should do it. Oh, and can you

previous suspension set-up and replaced it

surrounds and they have a brittle sound

also provide me with a fuel card? Endeavour Magazine | 89

AL AHLIA WWW.AHLIAINTEG.NET // 00 965 2467 0152

A SPARK OF RECOGNITION A heavy hitter in the Kuwait world of Electro-Mechanical Services, Al-Ahlia Integrated General Trading & Contracting enjoys an enviable reputation thanks to recognition from respected partners and clients. Endeavour Magazine asked Shawkat Ghamrawi, President of the organisation, to explain the company’s continued success and to any exciting upcoming projects. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


The portfolio of services offered by Al-Ahlia Integrated

General Trading & Contracting (AAIGTC) is as diverse as the services themselves are complex, and needing a high level of expertise, as Shawkat Ghamrawi explained:


l-Ahlia Integrated General Trading & Contracting Co.

operations could be managed, but by retaining a tight grip on

(Kuwait) is over 40 years old, conducting contracting

location, all the knowledge and professional expertise that has

business in the Electro-Mechanical (H.V.A.C., plumbing &

helped AAIGTC to reach the levels of success it currently enjoys,

fire fighting, electrical and controls) field for major projects (hospitals,

can be put to great use to improve infrastructure in Kuwait, for

commercial centres & buildings, power stations, pumping stations,

the good of the population. That’s not to say that the contracting

water desalination plants, residential & industrial). Our main clients

sector is not competitive, however, AAIGTC has more than risen to

are the Government of Kuwait and private entrepreneurs, for

the challenge of a busy industry:

whom we normally implement specifications and drawings, and sometimes conduct design reviews plus value engineering.”

“Our field of operation, or industry – if you will, is purely contracting and having a certain connection to trading,

To break this down a little further, there are four divisions within

offering related products to our field, as well as conducting

the company, each of which has a specific focus and specialty. The

servicing and maintenance. Our business was buoyant from

Contracting arm looks after the execution of both small and large-

1977 until 1990, with minor annual growth through to2011.

scale engineering projects, while the Commercial section offers

Sudden growth commenced in 2012 and has continued to

specialised sales within a number of areas including, but not limited

now, with an annual growth of between 60-80%; that

to, refrigeration, hydraulics, plumbing and fire fighting equipment.

translates to a jump in revenue of US$6.5 million to over

There are more specialist areas to be added shortly, so this is a

US$45 million in 2017.”

growing division.

That’s a phenomenal jump by anyone’s standards and begs

Offering a more independent service is the B.A.S arm of

the question, what has lead to such growth? Shawkat credits five

AAIGTC, which is focused purely on Building Automation Systems.

pillars of operation that really makes AAIGTC stand out from its

With sales, design and engineering, through to maintenance all

competitors: honesty, commitment, technology, trust and delivery.

carried out by this one division, the relevant expertise needed here

By striving to maintain transparent working practices, exemplar

is evident. Finally, the Maintenance division takes responsibility for

expertise and by using cutting edge technology, the company

any and all electromechanical services and equipment.

really has become a force to be reckoned with, but Shawkat

With such a diverse range of services to oversee, it makes

acknowledges that these endeavours would all be fruitless without

perfect sense that AAIGTC has retained a localised field of

a staffing body to uphold the values that underpin AAIGTC.

operation, servicing Kuwait only. There’s no doubt that international

“True, reliable and sincere staff are key assets in our company,

92 | Endeavour Magazine

AL AHLIA especially when they are appreciated, rewarded, respected

Sept./Oct. 2018) at an estimated cost of about US$ 8.5 million. In

and trained.”

addition, we have signed several agency agreements for different

Seeing team members as vital assets is a healthy and progressive

associated products of UK, European, U.S.A. and China origin.”

approach and naturally leads to the same respect being extended

On the surface, it could appear as though there is no project

to supply chain partners. By never losing sight of the fact that every

that AAIGTC won’t take on, but there is a steady hand guiding the

person and company, at every stage of the process, has a critical

direction of the organisation, courtesy of Shawkat. He recognises

part to play in the success of any contract or project, a culture of

that the rate of growth up to now has been exceptional and has

mutual appreciation can be encouraged, which allows for easier

no qualms in slowing things down a little in the future, to maintain

growth, development and even, where appropriate, diversity.

quality and delivery expectations;

AAIGTC is proof incarnate of this, judging by those impressive numbers seen earlier. Year on year growth is one thing, but to get a better sense of the levels of success being enjoyed by the team at AAIGTC, we asked Shawkat to divulge a few recent accomplishments that he is particularly proud of: “Signing a contract for M.E.P. works for the Maternity Hospital,

“Our company’s goals and objectives are to maintain the principle of expansion and growth at tolerable and wise pace and acceleration. Perhaps, we may impose a halt on our present jump of growth and to try to limit it to an average of 10-15% annually.” This is not to say that everything is going to grind to an abrupt halt though, as every company in the world needs to keep moving with the times in order to remain current and relevant:

as sub-contractors, at a value of about US$ 170 millions, for

“On the contracting front, we may add a couple of sub-

execution within 42 months. We also recently signed a contract

contractor works for M.E.P. Services. Naturally, we will not be

(as a sub-contractor) for electrical works for the New Air Terminal

closing our doors for additional contracts, but we will be more

(T II) at Kuwait International Airport and are constructing our

selective for volume, commitment, parties, receivables, benefits,

new 3000m2 floor area headquarters (for planned occupancy in

etc. We recommend and implement planning ahead for periods of

94 | Endeavour Magazine

three to five years, and normally, based on governmental planning, our expertise forecast, and, perhaps, the practices and movements of the international arena and market moves.” Concluding the interview, we asked Shawkat if there were any other accomplishments that he’d like to draw attention to: “The exciting news at our end was actually the acquisition of Al-Ahlia interest (Shares) by Fouad Alghanim & Sons Group of Companies (F.A.S.), by which 75% of the total shares are shifted to F.A.S. This acquisition, in 2012, has created drastic up-lift jump in the complete status of Al-Ahlia in moving its status from a third-grade set-up to super first grade level in the M.E.P. field; we are keen to maintain it and try to improve on it.” Already acknowledged as a bright spark in the industry, we have no concerns about AAIGTC fulfilling this brief and more!

Endeavour Magazine | 95

KUKU FOODS WWW.KFEAH.COM // 00254 20 5144200

A FINGER-LICKIN’ FRANCHISE Colonel Sanders’ smiling face is known the world over, but who are the teams behind the American icon? We spoke with Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings Ltd, the Kenyan-based East Africa franchise-holder for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


KFC is an American fast food chain well-known for its

fried chicken. A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, KFC is second only to McDonalds in terms in sales, with over 20,500 locations in over 125 countries, the brand in prolific. Less of a household name as the franchiseholders who run the Kentucky-based chain’s locations outside of the USA. One such company is Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings Ltd.


FC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in Kentucky

company was officially founded and opened its first outlet, in the

during the Great Depression – a courageous and some would

Junction Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, was announced in 2013, although

say foolhardy time to launch a business. However, a hardy

its intentions had been announced two years before. Today, it has

businessman by nature (the honorific ‘Colonel’ was a title of honour

become one of the region’s most successful fast food providers –

in Kentucky, not a military title), Sanders wasn’t one to shy away

something that must partly be credited to KFC’s popularity, but

from the challenge. He was also a visionary: seeing the potential of

must also be credited to the efforts and standards of the company

restaurant franchising early, the first franchised branch of his brand


opened in Utah in 1952. However, as the company’s expansion

Representing KFC in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the holding

snowballed, the fast-paced, global approach became too much for

has had flourishing success in all three countries since inception.

the colonel – a more hands on, traditional businessman at heart, he

It expanded beyond Kenya after its first successful year, taking

sold the company to a group of investors in 1964. Even so, his all-

the time to plan and to conduct careful market research, much as

American face and name remain intrinsic to the brand to this day.

it did in the two years between announcement and launch of its

At the time of KFC’s launch, the hamburger had dominated the

first outlet. This preparation includes carefully mapping out their

American fast-food market, but the company’s popularity made

consumer profile in the area, evaluating their supply chain, and

chicken into a contender. It was also one of the first American

looking into the particular operational challenges of that area to

chains to expand globally – possibly explaining why this pace of

make sure that they are sufficiently equipped to take them on. All of

growth eventually became too much for Sanders. By this point, in

this is evaluated with a five-year view. Growth is slow, but steady,

the mid 1960s, the chain had locations in Canada, Mexico, the UK

and accelerates a little every year; today, the company presents

and Jamaica. In 1987, it became the first even Western restaurant

over 30 restaurants in Kenya alone.

chain to open in China.

Their success in their five years of business has been noted.

So where does Kuku Foods factor in to this history? The East

In 2016, KFC’s Regional Leadership meeting awarded Kuku the

African wing of the chicken chain is only a recent addition; the

Franchise of the Year award, in acknowledgement not only of

98 | Endeavour Magazine

KUKU FOODS the franchise’s growth and success in general, but in particular,

want to achieve local success; representing a well-known chain

to recognise a push of efforts that took place in 2015. With its

brand means re-creating the menu, feel and expectations of that

presence in all three countries established and grounded, Kuku

chain, but it also means understanding your local audience and

had turned its attention towards streamlining its strategies, raising

catering the chain to that culture. This includes adding local dishes

its customer service performance and pouring energy into new

to the menu, and also making sure that they can provide KFC’s

restaurant builds and pulling in staff. Its feet were firmly planted,

iconic flavours and staple meals with locally-sourced ingredients.

and it was ready to flex – and did so well enough to capture the

They must also constantly monitor trends, both to assess where

global brand’s attention. The criteria for the award evaluated the

their newest locations should be established, and to keep up with

following: the spirit of the partnership. ability to deliver a winning

varying needs and demands in the locations they run.

customer experience, excellent operational standards, openness to

One of the biggest trends that Kuku have adapted to is the

innovation and adding of sales layers, building new KFC restaurants,

growing need for convenience, which has inspired the holding

and the quality of existing restaurants. To top all of these is certainly

to launch a regional delivery service for what is traditionally only

an achievement, especially after only a couple of years in business!

a take-away or eat-in restaurant. This follows a pattern that is

On top of this, Kuku was also nominated for Developer of the Year

happening the world-over, both with take-away chains and even

and People Grower of the Year.

fully eat-in restaurants, thanks to companies such as Deliveroo

To Kuku, an essential ingredient in this success is down to their

and Postmates. The popularity for this service was soon booming,

people. Carefully selecting their staff and training them to meet

with Kenya’s outlets a lone quickly seeing over 20,000 deliveries

the chain’s, and their own, mark, producing staff with a passion

a month. This success then freed up money from the Board to

for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as customer

invest in this service for Kuku’s Uganda and Tanzania outlets. The

service. This creative thinking is essential for a franchise if they

service not only requires the obvious costs of delivery personnel

100 | Endeavour Magazine

and vehicles, but also ordering and tracking technology to ensure a smooth and professional process from start to finish. Such large-scale investments occur alongside the rolling costs of keeping their franchise up to date. Every five years, Kuku has committed to fully upgrade every restaurant that they oversee, to make sure that the kitchens, systems and look of the outlets never fall below par. The success of a multinational giant doesn’t just lie at the head; a chain relies on every link, and Kuku are passionate about safeguarding the KFC identity whilst delivering this in an East African way. Just as Colonel Sanders’ restaurant has spread the world over, we anticipate that it will continue to spread across Africa at a similar rate – especially with his ongoing legacy in such safe hands.

UNGA LIMITED has been at the core of

wholesome meals in Kenya for over a century delivering happiness. We bring a promise of quality foods fit for any meal or occasion. Our products are carefully sourced and selected to improve nutrition and transform every meal into a memorable feast. We, are your nutrition partner.

Building your family’s nutrition every day.

Endeavour Magazine | 101



n the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of

population of this small island is now zero!

was once connected to mainland Brazil, and

São Paulo in Brazil, lurks a treacherous

Snake Island is located approximately

when the sea level rose 11,000 years ago

fate: Ilha da Queimada Grande, also

90 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the

and secluded the area, the snakes became

known as ‘Snake Island’. Under a canopy of

nearest city, São Paulo, and 21 miles off

trapped on the island. Alone, they managed

trees, on what seems to be an idyllic, green

the coast of São Paulo state. Nobody really

to reproduce with ease, as they were (and

island in the tropics, lives the golden lance

knows how the snakes appeared in such

still are) the only predators on the island.

head pit viper. This snake has a venom so

numbers on the island, but rumour has

Ilha da Queimada Grande consists mainly

poisonous, it can kill a human in less than

it that they were put there by pirates, to

of rainforest, except for a solitary lighthouse.

an hour. It gets worse…there are 4000 of

protect buried treasure. More realistically,

Yes, this does mean that the island was once

them. Unsurprisingly, the official human

the scientific explanation is that the island

inhabited by a brave lighthouse keeper!

102 | Endeavour Magazine

reason for this is their diet. Many different species of birds can be found frequenting © Prefeitura de Itanhaém

the island, but there are only a couple that are foolish enough to be caught by this serpent by venturing to the floor beneath the canopy of the rainforest. The second reason for the endangerment is their circumstance - these serpents are found only on Snake Island, and due to the limited space with which to roam, they are bound to cross each other rather frequently. Over thousands of years, their situation has also led to inbreeding, and naturally this causes many health defects in the snakes. Due to the vipers’ lethal venom, which is five times deadlier than snakes on mainland Brazil, the snakes are even the target of smuggling “bio-pirates” who catch them and take them to pharmaceutical companies. They can also fetch up to $30,000 each on the bio-black market. Though there are many other “Snake Islands” across the globe (belonging to Australia, Canada and Romania, to name a few), none quite live up to their name like lha da Queimada Grande. Ophidiophobia, or the fear of snakes, certainly affects many people today, and knowledge of this Island will Once technology allowed the beacon to be

the island’s native Portuguese name, Ilha

not lessen these people’s fears. In popular

automated, this became the preferred way

da Queimada Grande: the term ‘Queimada’

culture, the snake pit of Indiana Jones fame,

for the lighthouse to manned – or, more

means ‘to burn’, this was the method they

the scheming Kaa of The Jungle Book, and

pointedly, not. There have also been fated

used to make way for the postponed

maybe even David R. Ellis’ Snakes on a Plane

attempts to farm on the island, with areas

plantation on the island. It wouldn’t be

have struck a chord with audiences over the

of the island deforested to make room for

surprising if they hoped to dispose of a few

years. What makes these different to Ilha

a banana planation. However, the locals

vipers in the process too…

da Queimada Grande, though, is that they

abandoned the idea once their lives, too,

Though there may be up to 4000 golden

are all fiction. For many, Ilha da Queimada

came to a slithery end. The past inhabitance

lance head pit vipers living on Snake Island,

Grande embodies the true realization of

of the island can in fact be witnessed in

these reptiles are in fact endangered. One

this fear. Endeavour Magazine | 103


ONE OF A KIND Two billion years ago, a series of violent volcanic eruptions occurred in what is now Phalaborwa, in the Limpopo province of South Africa. These eruptions were spread over millions of years, slowly building up a rich and unique body of minerals - copper, phosphates, magnetite, uranium, zirconium, nickel, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, and in similar veins nearby, vermiculite and phosphate. The hill this treasure trove is buried under is known as Loolekop, and the treasure itself as the Palabora Igneous Complex. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Modern mining efforts were not the first to reach

Loolekop. Artifacts suggest that surprisingly pure copper has been mined and smelted here as early as the 8th century. However, it was at the beginning of the current century that modern miners began to turn their eye to this Complex, after geologists discovered he phosphate bearing mineral, apatite, in the area.


he Palabora Mining Company Ltd began operations in 1956. Their subsidiary, Palabora Copper, mine, smelt and refine copper from this unique formation, with all of their facilities

housed in Phalaborwa. The company is South Africa’s sole producer of refined copper, with an impressive output of between 45,000 to 60,000 tons a year. On top of this dominance of the refined

Providing Quality Services at the Forefront of Economic Change & Social Transformation Cleaning services Building and Construction Sanitation and Water works Marketing materials Advertising Printing services Waste removal Owned & managed by a Bush clearing and routen black female cleaning in Limpopo Phone: 015 291 2627 Fax: 086 695 1587 E-Mail: Web:

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106 | Endeavour Magazine

copper market, the mine also processes and exports a wide range of by-products from the mineral-rich soil, including Magnetite, Vermiculite Sulphuric acid, anode slimes and nickel sulphate, as well as small quantities of gold, silver and platinum. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the company’s open-pit copper mine and processing plants produced over 2.7 million tons of copper. Part of what makes the Palabora Igneous Complex so unique is that, due to its volcanic history, it is the only known place where copper occurs in carbonites, rather than the usual sulfides. As South Africa’s only refined copper supplier, they sell most of their output to the local market, only exporting the excess – along with the various additional minerals they are able to process from the valuable ‘waste’. Not content to rest there, they also own a nearby vermiculite deposit, which is mined and processed for sale worldwide. Palabora’s operation employees around 2,200 people. The large block cave mine in connected with the company’s smelter and refinery complex, and works closely with the company’s vermiculite operation. However, their attention goes beyond these operations,

3 Leyd Street P.O. Box 759 PHALABORWA 1390

Tel: (015) 781 6000 / 0879 / 6530 Fax: (015) 781 6032 / 086 587 4656 E-mail:

LA Crushers utilises its wealth of experience, extensive fleet of trucks and machinery, and highly skilled operators to undertake a wide range of operations.

Mining – Load & Haul • Materials Handling • Civils and Earthworks Rehabilitation • Crushing, Screening and Ready-Mix

Vexovax are proud to support and work together with Palabora Mining Phone: +2715 590 8413 Cell: 073 834 1762 E-mail: 39 Hardekool Street, Phalaborwa, Limpopo Province, South Africa, 1390

1 Copper Road Phalaborwa, 1389, South Africa

Endeavour Magazine | 107

PALABORA MINING COMPANY LTD with the company deeply involved with the surrounding area: the

to 700 meters on the periphery, rendering Palabora a world-class

mines are located close to Kruger National Park, protected land


and a popular eco-tourism attraction for South Africa. With this

Geographically, the mine’s actual production footprint is small,

proximity comes a responsibility to ensure that their operations do

measuring in at only 650 by 200 meters wide, with 20 production

not impact negatively on the park. In response to this, and as a

cross-cuts and 320 draw-points. As the company explains, “With the

part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability, Palabora have

coarse fragmentation of the ore body, a high degree of secondary

committed some of their staff and resources to coordinating several

breaking activities is required to treat hang-ups and oversize; and

onsite wildlife management and cultural heritage programmes,

to keep ore flowing through the draw-points for the loaders to

designed to protect and promote the nature and cultural history of

haul.” The mine’s construction was completed in late 2004, and by

the area. They also work closely with many of the communities in the

May 2005, operations were impressively already producing 30,000

area to strive to support them and boost economic development.


This community responsibility is all a part of Palabora’s high

Ore from the mine is carried to be processed both by haulage

standards for itself. As the company states, “Palabora strives to grow

vehicles and then, once it has been crushed to a manageable

sustainably and profitably while delivering excellent value to all our

size, an efficient conveyor system. “Our fleet of Load-Haul-Dump

stakeholders. We achieve this through the efforts of our talented

vehicles tip 3,000 buckets of ore per day into four jaw crushers

people, safe operational practices, best-in-class technology and a

on the northern side of the footprint. Ore is reduced to less than

commitment to excellence in all we do.”

220mm and fed onto a high-capacity conveyor system up to the

Palabora describes its copper mine, an underground block-cave,

shaft complex from where it is hoisted to the surface.”

as a “benchmark for integrated design. No other block-cave mine

During processing, a dried copper concentrate is blended with

has been put into as competent an ore-body. The block height of

fine quartz flux and process materials, which are recycled from

the cave reaches a record 450 meters in the centre, increasing up

upstream for sustainability. It is then put through a reverberatory

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furnace burning at 1,400°Cm which separates the melted material

uses are extremely varied, from insulation and fire proofing to soil

into two layers – a layer of copper and a layer of unwanted slag.

preparation, brake linings and the absorption of hazardous liquids.

The process then continues to blow hot air through the material

With so many resources passing through their systems, and at

to oxidise any sulphur or iron in the mix, allowing it to be removed,

such impressive quantities, Palabora’s mines are a constant hub of

and ultimately resulting in blister copper that is 98% pure. Again

activity: “The mine practices full calendar operations, with 24-hour

in the name of sustainability and to avoid waste, excess heat from

workdays, 365 days per year. We utilize 3-hour by 8-hour shifts

this process is then used to melt the facility’s internal recycling and

per day, keeping the underground abuzz with focused activity at all

copper scraps.

times. Production, maintenance and service activities are carefully

Meanwhile, mining at Palabora’s adjacent vermiculite resource

scheduled to obtain maximum benefit from the footprint, fixed

is carried out by ‘blasting’ the ore in the 50-meter-deep pit. The

plant and production machinery; and optimal output from our

ore is then loaded onto trucks and transported to the surface to

competent work teams.”

the processing plant, where it is crushed, screened, stockpiled

With such constant activity in a high-risk heavy industry,

and dried. Finally, the material is passed through cross-currents

maintaining safety standards is just as importance to Palabora as the

designed to remove the lighter flakes from denser ones; crude

purity of their product. As well as keeping high safety standards and

vermiculite appears as golden-brown flakes, and its grades are

regulations in place, focus is given to every one of their 2,200-strong

classified depending on particle size. This scale ranges from coarse

staff. “Safety is personalised, with our teams practicing a ‘high-care’

grades at 8mm to 2.8mm, to the finest grade at 0.710mm to

attitude towards all team members. Employees are also encouraged


through extensive training and operational guidelines to be directly

Remarkably, heating vvermiculite expands the material to many

responsible for their own safety.”

times its original size. This process is called “exfoliation”, and is carried out commercially to prepare the material for use. These

Endeavour Magazine | 109


STILL RISING As Africa’s leading local airline, Ethiopian Airlines knows a thing or two about flying. We spoke with Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO, about how the airline is meeting and exceeding its goals, and how it plans to work with Africa’s other carriers to fly to new heights WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


Ethiopian Airlines describes itself as “the flag carrier of

Ethiopia”. In operation for over 70 years, the airline has grown from its first flight in 1946 to become of the biggest carriers in the continent. In fact, according to Tewolde Gebremariam, the Ethiopian Aviation Group – of which Ethiopian Airlines is a part - is the “fastest growing aviation group in Africa”. This national endeavour originally ran weekly services to Cairo, but this service quickly expanded as demand grew.

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t the time, the airline’s fleet consisted of surplus aircraft from the US military – sparse vehicles that were efficient but had few in the way of creature comforts. However, it was a

starting point – 70 years later, in 2016, the airline became the first in Africa to receive the highly advanced Airbus A350XWB and to fly one in African skies! Today, now wholly owned by the government of the FDRE, the airline serves 112 international and 21 domestic destinations across five continents. Within Africa today, the airline claims to be “unrivalled for efficiency and operational success”. The company goes on to explain: “Operating at the forefront of technology, the airline has become one of Ethiopia’s major industries and a veritable institution in Africa. It commands a lion’s share of the pan-African network, including the daily and double daily east-west flight across the continent.”

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2025 VISION This strong position and recognition within Africa is, in part, the result of their efforts towards their company Vision: “As per our 2025 Vision, Ethiopian aspires to become the leading aviation

+850 flights/year

+300 employees

group in the continent – a vision we have already accomplished with time to spare.” This achievement already firmly under their belt,

3 airports 112 | Endeavour Magazine

+10 types of plane

Ethiopian don’t plan to become complacent. Instead, Tewolde says that Ethiopian will continue growing, expanding both in network

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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES and fleet size. To achieve this, the airline is seeking to increase its

(SAATM) to the world, underlining the need for the collaboration

collaboration with African carriers – a collaboration that will not

of African states as per the Yamoussoukro Decision. SAATM

only allow Ethiopean to further expand into reach within Africa, but

is intended to drive down airfares by allowing the airlines of

the entire indigenous aviation industry.

signatory countries to freely access each other’s airports.” These

“The aviation industry of the continent is characterized by

lowered charges would help alleviate financial stress on local

being buoyant, yet heavily skewed in favour of non-African

airports, and would free up local airlines’ ability to collaborate and

airlines,” Tewolde explains, going on to elaborate: “As it stands,

share resources. SAATM has already been signed by 23 member

African airlines have limited market access within Africa. 80% of

countries, and Tewolde feels confident that this is an important

the air transport between Africa and the rest of the world is owned

step forward: “We believe we will succeed in this.”

by non-African carries, while indigenous African carriers share the remaining 20%.”

WELL CONNECTED Of course, campaigning for open airspace and cut fees is only


half the battle in Ethiopian’s continued conquest of Africa’s skies –

In part, these challenges are due to a lack of well-developed

the other half is in their quality as an airline. Already the leader of its

airport and ICT infrastructure for African airlines, as well as slow

indigenous family of airlines, Ethiopian is clearly doing something

progress in discussions over an African Open Sky Agreement. In

right. We asked Tewolde what he felt was the key to their current

the face of these issues, Ethiopean decided to act: “As Champion


of Single African Skies initiative, Ethiopian has been advocating the

“The success of Ethiopian Airlines, among other reasons, is

implementation of the Single African Air Transportation Market

attributed to our unique hub, Addis Ababa. Strategically located

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES and ICAS have many things in common. Both entities have a common goal of providing a safe environment and customer friendly travel experience for their passengers. They build an environment on mutual trust. Despite the fact that there are competitions between the two companies, there are also areas where they can cooperate. To mention a few, using Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy to train ICAS staffs from different disciplines, use of the Airlines ground support equipment maintenance center and loaning of equipment from each other. They bring unique qualities and services to their respective customers. So, “when two or more companies do the same thing, it is more than the same.” It is a relationship that is intertwined and yet complex.

114 | Endeavour Magazine

GROUND GROUND HANDLING HANDLING COMPANY COMPANY According Accordingto toIATA IATAestimates, estimates,airlines airlinesoutsource outsource more more than than 50% 50% of of thethe ground ground handling handling to to nonnonairline airline operators. operators. With With its its vision vision to to provide provide world world class class ground ground handling handling services services in East in East Africa, Africa, ICAS ICAS obtained obtained its its certificate certificate of of operation operation in 2015 in 2015 as as thethe 1st1st IATA IATA certified certified private private Ground Ground Handling Handling Company Company (GHC) (GHC) in Ethiopia in Ethiopia operating operating outout of Addis of Addis Ababa Ababa Bole Bole International International Airport Airport andand Dire Dire Dawa. Dawa. TheThe motives motives behind behind thethe establishment establishment of ICAS of ICAS are:are: • • To To joinjoin thethe aviation industry as as a standard aviation industry a standard ground service provider in the areas of of ground service provider in the areas Passenger, Cargo andand Ramp services Passenger, Cargo Ramp services • • To To be be an an alternative andand a support ground alternative a support ground handling company in the country handling company in the country • • To To be be a choice between a mutually exclusive a choice between a mutually exclusive different needs to quickly andand efficiently meet at at different needs to quickly efficiently meet anyany time. time. • • To To be be part of the players wherein Ethiopia is the part of the players wherein Ethiopia is the 2nd2nd flower exporting nation in Africa, next to to flower exporting nation in Africa, next Kenya. ICAS plays a major rolerole in facilitating thethe Kenya. ICAS plays a major in facilitating export of fresh produce from thethe country. export of fresh produce from country. It mainly provides: It mainly provides: • • FullFull passenger andand cargo Ground Handling passenger cargo Ground Handling Services Services • • Ware house Management Ware house Management • • Cargo De-Consolidation services for for seasea andand airair Cargo De-Consolidation services freight freight • • Customs transit andand clearing services Customs transit clearing services • • Doorto-door delivery service. Doorto-door delivery service. • • Courier andand baggage intra storage andand delivery Courier baggage intra storage delivery services. services. • • Special Limousines service for for VIPVIP andand CIPCIP Special Limousines service customers customers TheThe company is currently handling Saudi Airlines, company is currently handling Saudi Airlines, Etihad, Qatar Airlines andand AirAir Djibouti Airlines notnot Etihad, Qatar Airlines Djibouti Airlines mentioning thethe AdAd hoc operators. ICAS hashas also mentioning hoc operators. ICAS also created jobjob opportunity for for more than 500500 people created opportunity more than people which also hashas a rippling effect. which also a rippling effect.

Head Head Office Office Address: Address: Lidya Lidya Building Building behind behind Edna Edna Mall Mall in front in front of of Harmony Harmony hotel hotel Tel:Tel: +251 +251 116 116 61 61 04 04 05 05 Fax: Fax: +255 +255 11 11 663 663 31 31 98 98 P.O.Box: P.O.Box: 433 433 Code Code 1250 1250 E-mail: E-mail:

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES in the middle of East-West major trade lane, this hub makes our

Q-400 double cabin. To date, the airline currently operates 98

connections seamless and convenient. This efficient network of

aircraft, with a further 58 on order.

connectivity has enabled Ethiopian to connect Africa with the rest of the world better and faster than any other carrier.”

“Utilization of latest technology is also one of the qualities that led to our continued success. We are at the forefront of utilizing

“The other reason Ethiopian is successful is the efficient

latest industry technology and pioneer in African aviation.” This

network of connectivity and frequency of our flights. There

applies not only to the planes themselves, but also the systems

is no airline, other than Ethiopian, that connects Africa

used to support both flights and the ground services provided

with itself and the outside world. Our frequency stands out

to passengers and customers. Technology is as essential as staff

as best with daily and double daily connections throughout the

when it comes to running operations smoothly, especially given


an airline’s complex logistical requirements. “Here at Ethiopian, we say ‘Success Loves Speed!’, and we believe that we have to grow fast. With the abundance of technology at everyone’s


hand, we have to stay updated to satisfy the requests of our

Ethiopian’s fleet is not only well connected – it is also extremely

esteemed customers.”

well maintained. With an average age of only five years, their fleet – which started out from the humble beginnings of second-hand American war planes – now boasts a range of what Tewolde rightly


calls “trailblazing and environmentally friendly aircraft”, including

Handling both passengers and cargo, Ethiopian must be reliable.

the Airbus A350, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 777-300ER,

Their Cargo & Logistics Services department is one of the largest

Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter and Bombardier

in the world, with its top capacity at close to 1 million annual tons.

Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA)

E-mail:; Website:  +251 011 5518055, Fax + 251 011 5511479  2458 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Like fraternal twins, Ethiopian Airlines and AACCSA have, over the past seventy years, overcome challenges and stood as shining examples of audacity and resilience. Ethiopian grew as the leading Airline in Africa and one of the best few in the aviation industry, while AACCSA served the interests of the private sector by promoting trade and investment and helping businesses grow and prosper. We are happy that we are selected as one of Ethiopian’s key business partners and look forward to build on this phenomenal relationship in the years ahead. We are really proud of Ethiopian.

116 | Endeavour Magazine

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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES They are equipped to handle anything from perishable items to dangerous or unstable cargo, and even live animals! However, the most precious of their cargo will always be their paying passengers, and their staff themselves. As a part of their care for both, one of Ethiopian’s many recent expansions has been an investment in its catering department. The department employs a team of highly trained local chefs that can produce traditional Ethiopian dishes as well as Chinese, Indian, Ottoman, Italian, Halal and many more European meals. In keeping with the airline’s 2025 vision, the department has recently had a complete overhaul, with high-tech upgrades and an increase in space to their kitchens. The new premises is three times larger than the previous facility, including 20 loading and 10 offloading docks to help in the delivery of ingredients and transport of meals to the airline’s 240 daily flights. In the new facility, the catering team are able to produce an impressive 100,000 meals a day to support the airline. The department even has time to offer a laundry service, looking after everything from crew uniforms to seat covers.

ETHIOPIAN AVIATION GROUP This department is one of many; to break Ethiopian Airlines down, one must look at the Ethiopian Aviation Group. This Group supports the airline itself and the many departments needed to keep it running smoothly, including the ET In-flight Catering, but also ET Regional Services; ET International Services; ET Cargo & Logistics Services; ET MRO Services; the ET Aviation Academy; ET Ground Services and ET Airports Enterprise. Of these, one of the most exciting is Ethiopian’s own Aviation Academy, which allows them to train staff to their high expectations: “We are self-sufficient in the training of aviation personnel who embody the values and spirit of Ethiopian Airlines. Our Aviation Academy is the most modern and the largest in Africa with more than USD 100 million investment, and intake capacity of 4000 trainees.” The Academy prepares trainees who wish to work in all areas of airline operations, from pilots and cabin crew to maintenance staff and customer service personnel. The ability to run this in-house training, to such a high standard and with this level of resources at their disposal, allows Ethiopian to invest heavily in their most valuable resource. “Our highly skilled

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offers online and heavy maintenance for our airplanes Bombardier Dash8-Q400. It also supplies all necessary parts needed for the up keeping of our airplanes. The training is a part of the partnership.


Endeavour Magazine | 119

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES and dedicated employees play significant roles in the success of the

As well as serving as CEO, Tewolde also serves as a member

airline. We have a hard working and skilled workforce. The airline

of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport

is also led by highly skilled and vigilant management who skilfully

Association (IATA), is an Executive Committee member of the

navigate through difficult situations such as fuel surge, conflict

African Airlines Association (AFRAA), and also holds Board

situations, and sustain the airline’s success and growth.”

positions for the Airlink Advisory Council, Ethio-Telecom, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia


and, and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO).

Leading that management is Tewolde himself. Tewolde first

Tewolde’s journey through the company’s ranks prepared him

joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1985. Beginning his career with the

well for his senior position, giving him a ground-up appreciation

airline in cargo traffic handling, he was soon promoted to manager

for the daily operations of a creature as complex as an airline. Now

of the department. From there, he was appointed as Regional

having been in the position for seven years, and with the company

Director for India and South East Asia, and later transferred to

as a whole for 33, he has been the recipient of numerous awards

Jeddah as Area Manager for Saudi Arabia. Finally, when Ethiopian

acknowledging his excellent leadership skills and business sense.

began offering direct services to the USA, he was appointed as Area Sales Manager for North East USA and Canada. From here, he was given several new appointments in the early 2000s: Executive Officer Marketing & Sales in 2004, Chief Operating Officer of Ethiopian in 2006, and finally airline CEO in January 2011.

First, in November 2012, he won the ‘African CEO of the Year2012’ award from the African CEO Forum. Then, the next month, he won the ‘Best African Business Leader’ award from Washington D.C.’s Corporate Council on Africa. In July 2013, he became the first African Airline CEO to receive the ‘Airline Strategy Award for Regional Leadership’ in the award’s

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ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES 12-year history, and later that year, he also won the the 2013

The expansion project will increase the capacity of the airport to

‘Planet Africa professional Excellence Award’. They go on – Ethioian

22 million passengers per year – a dramatic rise from the current

Airline’s own Board of Directors awarded him a Gold Medal for

10 million. Meanwhile, the hotel, currently under construction, has

leadership excellence, and he received a plque from the Trade

been designed to house an impressive 373 rooms, four restaurants,

Union for his commitment towards Vision 2025. Finally, in 2015, he

two bars, swimming pools, gift shops and duty-free shops, meeting

received the International Grand Prix Special Award in Milan. This

rooms, gyms, and a banquet hall that can hold 2000 people.

awkward was in “recognition for his achievements in developing

However, it is the airline’s recent SAATM agreement with local

the Airline into the foremost aviation group in Africa, and for

carriers that promises the most exciting change. Already far ahead

spearheading the transformation of Ethiopian into becoming one

of their personal goals, Ethiopian are passionate about bringing

of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.”

about industry-wide change for indigenous African airlines, and their recent successful negotiations are only the beginning.

ON THE RISE Between their strong position in Africa, their strong leadershipm and their ability to ensure a constant supply of well-trained staff, it is no wonder that Ethiopian Airlines are confident about their future, and they’re happy to invest in it. New developments on the horizon for the company include ten new global destinations, the construction of an Ethiopian 5-Star Hotel, and an expansion to the Addis Ababa Bole Airport, which is central to the airline’s operations.

122 | Endeavour Magazine

Hopefully this is the first essential step towards African companies reclaiming their skies: watch this airspace!

Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO

SOLAREFF WWW.SOLAREFF.CO.ZA // 0027 11 675 1114

A BRIGHT FUTURE When we think of Africa, one of the key factors almost guaranteed to be in your mental images is sunlight. Hot, baking sunlight dominates the skies for much of the year; however, if we think of Africa’s power industry, we are more likely to think about traditional oil and gas, and even diesel generators in remote locations. Solareff, and many of their fellow in South Africa, think there’s something wrong with this picture. WRITTEN BY ALICE INSTONE-BREWER


You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed that

industry is (finally, some would say) becoming evermore environmentally conscious. Whilst globally, we are still a far cry from operating in a truly green way, the interest in sustainable practices and renewable energy has spread enough to move from a hypothetical discussion to action from investors. In South Africa, this has manifested in a spiking enthusiasm for solar energy.


he power grid in South Africa is far from the worst in the

to reach critical mass and scalability required to lead the industry

continent, but it is still less reliable than would be desired.

and roll out a network of EV charging stations across the country,

This, coupled with a growing consciousness of the global cost

which will be the enabler of a carbon-free transport system for

of pollution, and of course the desire to harness new markets, has seen this technology begin to take off, and Solareff got in early enough to already be enjoying the rewards.

South Africa.” This boost to the already well-know GridCars has allowed the company to increase its engagement with electric and hybrid

Solareff is a specialist South African-based renewable energy

vehicle manufacturers to further both their own expansion and

solutions company, with a proven track record of installing medium

the growth of the electric vehicle industry. For GridCars, the move

to large scale rooftop and ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

was so that the electric power being supplied to their customers

projects. They are leaders in their field in applying these solutions

was solar powered, and thus keeping their transport alternatives

to commercial, agricultural and industrial markets, delivering

as green an option as possible. As GridCars founder and director

everything from engineering design, procurement, construction,

Winstone Jordaan said in a public statement, “Our clients often

monitoring and after sales management. These after sales and

request that the charge stations are solar powered. We want to

post-installation services include the use of online monitoring

be working with people who really understand the technology.”

tools to detect issues with your solar panels, as well as monitoring

Together, the companies have also developed an app software that

them with regular physical systems checks and cleaning, to make

allows users to find available charge points and manage their billing.

sure that faults are prevented as well as possible, and found and

The number of projects Solareff has in its portfolio, and has lined

resolved quickly should they occur.

up for the coming year, is extremely impressive. In part, this prolific

As of September 2017, the company has diversified from this

activity is a testament to the company’s high standard of work, but

focus by acquiring a 75% stake in GridCars - a Pretoria based

it also reflects on the alternative energy sector’s emergence as a

developer of electric vehicle charge points and their software. This

reputable and financially viable energy source. A drive toward a

move to add ‘Green Mobility” to their operations is an exciting

cleaner, more environmentally sustainable South African economy

expansion for Solareff that adds an impressive new arrow to their

is taking place, as both the business community and households

quiver. In the company’s statement on the purchase, MD Jaco

turn away from grid-sourced energy and the coal that powers it, in

Botha said, “As a leading Solar PV specialist, we are excited to be

favour of off-grid energy sources. Solareff and its fellow providers

expanding into green mobility. Our investment will enable GridCars

of renewable energy sources have naturally been the beneficiaries

126 | Endeavour Magazine

SOLAREFF of this seismic shift in attitude – a point that is reinforced by the

Another major project, completed by Solareff for the global

recent successful completion of two of its more recent installations,

retailer Woolworths, has had no less a profound environmental

the Graham Beck Wine Estate and Woolworths projects.

impact. As one of the country’s largest and most prominent

The name Graham Beck is one that South African wine

retailers, Woolworths’ ambitious aim to become entirely reliant

connoisseurs will be familiar with, both for its reputation as a

on renewable energy sources by 2030 should have an incredibly

highly-regarded producer of red, white, and sparkling wines and

positive environmental impact, and set a high bar for the rest of the

for its standing as one of Africa’s foremost ethical wine brands.

South African business community to follow. Solareff’s selection

Graham Beck Wine Estate has gone to great lengths conduct its

to install, commission and maintain a vast 1MWp solar PV system

business operations in an environmentally sustainable way, and

at Woolworths’ Midrand, Gauteng-based Distribution Centre

this manifested itself in the company’s decision to install a 312kWp

represents a leap forward towards realising its goal.

solar PV system on the roofs of buildings across its sprawling

The installation of this system, made-up of 3,129 Canadian

estate. The project, which required 1,200 Canadian Solar 260Wp

Solar 320W panels covering 6,920m2 of roof space, was a project

panels, equating to 2,384m2 of PV surface area, proved to be a

even grander in scale than Graham Beck. In the first year alone, this

vast undertaking, but its benefits were undeniable. This solution

energy solution accounted for 12% of the site’s total energy usage,

provides 16% of the estate’s total energy consumption, which

which resulted in the reduction of 1,700 tons of CO2 emissions –

result in cost savings of over R300,000 in the first year and cuts

an outcome that has delighted Woolworths.

CO2 emissions by 474 tons. The electricity generated by the solar

However, the move to GradCars is the real point of excitement

PV solution is for the estate’s own consumption – the majority

for Solareff – as electric vehicles become less of a novelty and

being consumed by the cellar and any surplus being fed into their

more of a serious, sometimes even luxury choice, improving their

own grid. This installation will continue to produce clean electricity

feasibility throughout South Africa is a significant step towards a

for at least 25 years, providing tangible environmental benefits for

sustainable future – and Solareff have made sure that step has their

sustainable, responsible farming.

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128 | Endeavour Magazine

SAIA WWW.SAIA.CO.ZA // 0027 11 726 5381

INSURING THE FUTURE The insurance industry intrinsically offers peace of mind, but in South Africa, protection comes with an extra side of assurance, in the form of the South African Insurance Association. Endeavour Magazine took a closer look at what makes this representative body such a linchpin of the sector. WRITTEN BY AMY BUXTON


The insurance industry might not immediately seem like

a sector that enjoys a good deal of heritage, but in the case of the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), there is a legacy of stewardship that spans over 100 years.


riginally founded in 1907 as the Council of Fire Insurance

close links to the SAIA. The SAIA also supports the South African

Companies, the representative body has evolved and adapted

Police Services (SAPS) in combating crime, through participation

over the years, transforming into the SAIA of today in 1973 -

in various Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) initiatives.

but what exactly does it seek to do? “The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) is the

The SAIA donates a significant amount of money to BACSA on an annual basis to further specifically identified relevant initiatives.”

representative body of the short-term insurance industry. It

Putting aside archaic jokes about insurance being daylight

represents the industry to all relevant stakeholders, to ensure a

robbery, it’s impressive to observe such a commitment to best

sustainable and dynamic short-term insurance industry.”

and legal practices, but the inherent community responsibility

Given the vital importance of fair and reliable insurance

doesn’t end with these allegiances. Recognising the importance

premiums, it makes sense that a body has been set-up in order to

of better road safety in the country, the SAIA, in partnership with

oversee all relevant companies and parties involved, but there’s so

BACSA, is constantly looking to improve initiatives that drive better

much more to it than that. Consumers and stakeholders alike can


take comfort in the knowledge that the SAIA is fully operational,

It’s a reassuring notion that an insurance body operates under

as it seeks to promote a fair and sustainable ethos that leads to

a strict mandate of not only maintaining a fair and legitimate

competitive practices and a long-term viable market.

industry, but also improving the landscape and safety of a country

Representing the lion’s share of short-term insurance providers

as a whole, but there is an underlying sense of responsibility in

in South Africa, the SAIA has full authority to negotiate on their

every endeavor undertaken by the SAIA, as the vision of the body

behalf while also playing an active role in both the set-up and

aptly demonstrates, by stating that it aims:

continuation of external organisations that seek to improve the general landscape of South Africa: “In its quest to fight insurance crime, and especially also insurance fraud, the SAIA was instrumental in establishing the South

“To promote and represent the interests of the short-term insurance industry, while leading and enhancing the efforts of the industry to become recognised and trusted as an important contributor to the South African economy and society.”

African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) at the end of 2008. The

This overarching stewardship is tailored and focused in the

SAICB is an independent organisation with its own members and

everyday operations of the governing body, to hone in on the

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It’s the detail that makes the difference

people that matter most; the companies that are members of the association, as well as the customers of said organisations. The mission statement of the SAIA states that it is determined to: “Encourage fair and ethical treatment of short-term insurance customers, favourably represent the short-term insurance industry

At Constantia Insurance, we believe that it is only in taking care of every little detail that we can offer comprehensive insurance products tailored to your specific needs.

in such a way that all stakeholders have trust and confidence in the industry and to create an environment in which industry members can share information, debate important and relevant issues, and create a common vision for the short-term insurance industry.”

We have a wide range of business, health, personal, legal and life insurance products to give you peace of mind that you’re covered.

Aiming to also keep any and all stakeholders fully informed of developments and initiatives that might arise, while also promoting awareness of the industry and the impact that it has on the landscape of the South African economy, it’s clear that the SAIA

such aplomb. Insurance companies have a significant impact on every facet of life, so it makes sense that a comprehensive code of conduct was introduced. With some of the most respected regional

264 | Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

has willingly taken up a mantle of intense responsibility, but with

providers enjoying membership with the SAIA, proper regulation

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SAIA and behavioural guidelines are absolutely essential, to ensure that

of prioritising the needs of one faction above the other, which

everyone is representing the interests of the association and the

makes this an association that neatly accounts for the need of the

insurance industry as a whole, in the most positive way possible:

many, not the few and that’s not easy to do.

“The SAIA and its members are committed to actively contribute

Given that almost everybody needs short-term insurance

to the principles of sustainable insurance practices. This is to ensure

policies of some description, from vehicle and home cover through

that the South African short-term insurance industry remains

to personal accident and travel insurance premiums, the importance

relevant, inspires confidence amongst its stakeholders and offers

of an association such as the SAIA cannot be ignored. As a growth

products and solutions that are beneficial to both the economy and

industry, the South African insurance sector needs proper support

society at large. To support these goals, the SAIA Code of Conduct

and governance and the SAIA will always be on hand to promote

was introduced in 2010 with the purpose of promoting high ethical

best practices and new initiatives, for the benefit of everybody. If

standards and good business practices in the industry, as well as to

that’s not a promise of a lucrative future, what is?

give a clear indication of the self-regulatory guidelines followed by members.” It takes a knowledgeable and committed board to not only govern high standards within a commercial industry but also offer consumers peace of mind, but that’s exactly what the SAIA manages to balance. Providing an easy way of verifying legitimate insurers, while always keeping member companies informed of any relevant legislation and operational developments, there’s no sense


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134 | Endeavour Magazine

Endeavour Magazine June 2018  
Endeavour Magazine June 2018