October 2012 www.endeavourmagazine.com
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October 2012 www.endeavourmagazine.com
By Daemon Sands
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Heads of Departments Editor in Chief Daemon Sands firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Research Don Campbell email@example.com Sales Director James Martin firstname.lastname@example.org Corporate Director Anthony Letchumaman email@example.com Lead Designer Alina Sandu firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Stephen Warman email@example.com Any enquiries or subscriptions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org ENDEAVOUR MAGAZINE is published by Littlegate Publishing LTD which is a Registered Company in the United Kingdom. Company Registration: 07657236 Registered office: 343 City Road London EC1 V1LR VAT registration number:116 776007 Littlegate Publishing Ltd The Glasshouse, Kings Lane Norwich, NR1 3PS United Kingdom
October has arrived upon a deluge of international drama. Donald Trump is currently campaigning against a wind turbine farm on the coast of Scotland out of fears that the members of his new golf club will think they’ve joined a typically Trump-sized pitch and putt course, The Queen had to become involved in British politics to get shot of the hate-preacher Abu Hamza who has been luxuriating in a tub filled with UK tax payer funds for almost a decade and Apple sold 5 million IPhone 5s in the first week of being launched. Although as far as anyone can tell they’re exactly the same as their previous models in their ability to make calls and send texts. South Africans across the globe are mourning the tragic death of heavyweight boxing hero Corrie Sanders who was killed in a senseless shooting during his child’s birthday party at a restaurant in Gauteng, a brutal reminder of the distance this country still has to travel to ensure safety for its people. Whether governmental, social or business; on-going growth development has to occur to stay competitive. Stagnation is to be feared and avoided and it is the active duty of leaders to ensure that such stalling does not happen. Like a snow dome sometimes you have to shake things up to get a better perspective on things. In our October issue we reveal through our catalogue of business success stories the importance of thinking outside the box, why innovation is so essential and how after the shake up the global economic crash there are many opportunities to be had for those with an idea and conviction. We entertain social upheaval with Donnie Rust, modern technology conundrums with Rob James and marketing proposals with Jim Blythe, while in Biz-Tainment we highlight the routes performers at all levels of the music industry should follow. Additionally, we are pleased to highlight our latest musical find Kathleen Williamson whose astounding CD has become a hit around our offices and our readers. Her article has all the details and I would strongly suggest having a read through and a listen.
Littlegate Publishing Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in articles by attributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this magazine, no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © Littlegate Publishing Ltd 2012
Always able to ride the waves of change we bring you the best, Kindest
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 •
18 Alpine Lounge: Pounded By Great Maul Of China 24 The Waste Trade Company: Waste Not Want Not 30 BancABC: Fresh Thinking, Smart Banking 36 KK Security: Security With Integrity 42 New Britain Oils: Oiling The Wheels 48 New Britain Palm Oil: People, Planet And Prosperity 54 Bearings International: Smooth Running 66 OJ Construction: Visionaries United 72 Allied Publishing: Have We Got News For You 78 Solareff: Financial Sense 82 Top Carpets: Flooring The Competition 86 BlackJack Events: Fit For Every Function 92 Rhino Africa: The Menace And The Promise
By Joan Pumpkin
Dave Thomas first started working in a restaurant at the age of 12 in Knoxville. When his parents decided to move he opted to stay and started working at Hobby House Restaurant where he met Colonel Sanders himself. After serving in the Korean War, Thomas bought four failing KFC restaurants, simplified the menu and made them the most successful stores in the chain. He then sold them back to KFC for $1.5 million and started Wendyâ€™s using a method of fast-fooding that has been accepted as the basic model. 6000 restaurants world-over and the largest hamburger fast food chain worth $7 billionâ€Ś not bad.
6 Two Jims, Make Up 10 And Cheese Rolls Holy Social 12 U-Turn! Why Queue For Stuff 16 You Don’t Need To Queue For? An Interview With 98 Kathleen Williamson Musicians. 102 Know Your Industry National Association 106 Of Managing Agents Invest UK: Mark Pihlens
By Gerald Washroot In 1923, Otto Schnering, the founder of the Curtiss Candy Company that created the “Baby Ruth” candy bar, hired a pilot to fly his plane over Pittsburgh and drop several thousand Baby Ruth candy bars over the city. Each candy bar was equipped with a parachute to avoid injuring people.
By Marcus Berundi
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Thomas Jefferson
The SOS in S.O.S. brand scrub pads stands for “Save Our Saucepans”. The name was originally thought up by the wife of the creator of the SOS pad, Ed Cox. In 1917, Cox was an aluminium pot salesman; when he introduced himself to new customers he would give them a little steel wool pad that he had encrusted with soap as a calling card. Eventually these became more popular than the pans he was selling so he began selling them instead and the rest is history.
INVEST UK: MARK PIHLENS by Daemon Sands
Since the banks have stopped lending the recession has created a number of problematic holes which many SMEs and entrepreneurs are falling into. The time for innovation is upon us, for fresh thinkers who are solution orientated to come and bring something new to the table. And by producing an original and clear model for business, revolutionize a sector. I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Pihlens CEO of InvestUK, an innovative professional services company taking the industry by storm. Many of the problems that we are now facing have been caused by people thinking within a model structure. Even the out-of-the-box thinkers of the nineties and early naughties still had to think within prescribed modes and this formed a wearing effect on the resources that all the banks, SMEs, entrepreneurs and business empires were relying on. The global recession was merely the yawning of the hole that had already been created. Some holes cannot be filled, but they can be crossed and networking has proven to be the method of choice for creating bridges for international entrepreneurs and investors to fill this void.
“InvestUK was founded in 2011 as we saw the demand for overseas entrepreneurs and investment to come into the country,” Mark Pihlens explains, “We founded it to provide a commercial service to international entrepreneurs which aligns their business and residency ambitions while providing an opportunity for UK-based entrepreneurs to access finance and experience from overseas individuals and companies.” Mark Pihlens has always had the entrepreneurial bug. “Straight out of university I started working with one of the big four, PricewaterhouseCoopers,” he describes, “From there I joined Publicis Group working with large advertising clients such as Diageo and Mars. But I’ve always been more
interested in smaller, innovative companies and went on to help launch a media production business. This experience was a lot of fun but highlighted to me the challenges of raising capital for young companies. A man who knows the worth of education, with this specific interest in mind, he went on to do an MBA at Imperial College Business School. “The Imperial College Business School had a particular appeal because of its strong focus on entrepreneurship and early-stage companies,” Mark reveals. InvestUK is run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It provides a one-stop shop with a range of entrepreneurial investment and business solutions to international
entrepreneurs and investors who are already residing in, or seeking to reside, in the UK. Based in Mayfair, London the company provides the highest quality of service to all their clients. They always provide a free consultation and an initial assessment for potential clients to ensure they only offer the services to those whom they feel have the capacity to succeed in their business and residency ambitions in the UK. “Early on we saw the demand for overseas investors coming into the UK,” Mark says, “The United Kingdom is very attractive to foreign investors for many reasons. It is a safe and stable country that has an increasingly supportive approach to entrepreneurs and business.” Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 7
“The UK remains open for business... Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our economic recovery and I want to do everything I can to ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for them.” Damian Green, UK Immigration Minister
Although they are not in any way an immigration company they do work very closely with immigration authorities in the UK to ensure that everything is done according to the proper laws and regulations. InvestUK highlights the best road for interested investors and entrepreneurs, guiding them and providing a catalyst to ensure an easy and successful involvement. “It is a two-way street really,” Mark explains, “And this is why it works so well. Their input adds to our economic recovery, providing employment amongst other things and we provide them a well-connected place to do business.” Immigration advice from OISC registered partners who have been carefully selected based on their experience and high levels of client service, access to a choice of pre-qualified business opportunities which are alligned with their immigration requirements and a range of other
professional partners who are on hand to service the client requirements. Protection of the client’s interests and having all the necessary documentation and evidence tracked and managed throughout the initial visa period to give the client the best chance of securing an Extension Visa and Indefinite Leave to Remain. These are some of the services that InvestUK offer and this is exactly why they’ve been so successful despite the youth of their company. “The UK government is supportive of the initiative,” Mark explains, “We are creating clear and efficient highways for inbound investment to come into the economy as well as providing extensive networking routes for cross border
Our Tier 1 Entrepreneur Program Invest UK is the leading providing in the UK immigration business solutions for Tier 1 visa holders. The UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa allows overseas investors to come to the UK for an initial 3 years by providing evidence that they have the financial means to set up a business or invest in an existing business. Following the initial 3 years an applicant will need to apply for a further 2 years extension visa which will require a demonstration of the entrepreneurial achievements in the UK. By working with InvestUK from the beginning they can help ensure that the UKBA criteria is met for when the 2 year Extension visa is applied for.
business relationships. At the same time we are able to implement it at the ground level.” While many of their international clients are individuals with a high net worth and a desire to protect it, InvestUK also has a strong presence in the international student and graduate market who often see the option of entrepreneurship as a means to stay in the country. “With international students and graduates turned entrepreneurs,” Mark says, “It is very much taking them by the hand and leading them through it until they find their way. They are just as much a valuable resource to the UK as
“The UK ranks 2nd in the European Union for ease of doing business” World Bank ‘Doing Business’ Report 2011
our firmly founded clients.” Understanding the state of the industry at the moment and clearly seeing what has to be done to improve it, Mark has incorporated a strong personal approach to the business. Bringing business back to how it should be: “We believe in personal relationships and our reputation is extremely important to us,” Mark points out, “We are a team of experienced investment, business and immigration professionals and we have to maintain our reputation in every project we work on.” In conclusion, with a forward thinking approach, Mark Pihlens and InvestUK have shrugged off the doom and gloom that everyone would have us believe about the current state of the economy and provided a system for successful overseas entrepreneurs to duplicate their success within the UK. I wager that within the next few years we will all have a lot to thank them for. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 9
TWO JIMS, MAKE UP AND CHEESE ROLLS by Jim Blythe Before I get started this month I just want to clear up a small but potentially relevant point. Because I’m going to write about Marketing this month and this might lead you to believe that I’m the same Jim Blythe who wrote such books as ‘Essentials of Marketing’ and ‘Principles & Practice of Marketing’. But I’m not. He is Professor of Marketing at the University of Westminster and Visiting Professor at Plymouth Business School and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan, whereas I only managed to gain a Diploma in Marketing and have never visited Japan, not even for fun. And I’ve never written a book although I started writing one once but that was about a superhero and had very little, if anything, to do with Marketing. I’ve put this opening in for the other Jim Blythe’s benefit as I wouldn’t want to taint people’s opinions of him with my ill-informed rambling.
have upbeat titles like ‘Love It’ and ‘That’s Life’ but contain brutal stories around cannibalism, murder and varying types of abuse and are apparently just the reading you need for a coffee break or a few moments on the sofa. Now, these magazines always contain a lot of advertising, especially full page adverts for cosmetic products. And they are adverts that make big claims that are completely meaningless. For instance, Rimmel placed an advert in Glamour magazine a while back for Vinyl Gloss lipgloss, which they claimed would make your lips up to 80% shinier. The thing is “shinier” is a comparative measure so shinier than what? Rival glosses? Alternative products? The sun? And here’s another thing - how do you actually measure shine? Have Rimmel built some kind of shine-o-metre? They just don’t go on to tell us. I must stress in the interest of not getting this magazine sued that Rimmel haven’t broken any rules or regulations with their advertising but the question is, what exactly does this advertising actually mean? In the same vein, Bourjois say that its mascara will give you 130% more visible length, Pantene Pro V claims that their shampoo and conditioner will give you 60% more volume – but more than what I’d like to know! So these adverts are glossy, expensive, make big claims and ultimately tell you nothing at all. Let’s now contrast this with the small businessman. In this case, let’s compare it with Trevor, the landlord of my local pub who decided to start selling rolls. He put up a sign in his pub that said simply ‘Rolls - £1’ which tells you most of what you need to do. The rest of the selling was all down to Trevor himself. And this was how his sales pitch to me went.
The bit of Marketing that I’m going to be writing about is advertising. Now some of you might be under the impression that advertising is marketing but oh no, there’s far more to it than that. Professor Jim Blythe could no doubt tell you the difference in one concise, simple sentence but I can’t so you’re just going to have to take my word for it, ok? The only reason I wanted to write about advertising this month was that I was struck by two very different approaches with hugely varying costs attached to them that had the same approach. The first approach I spotted in the glossy magazines that my fiancée enjoys decorating our house with. They
“So, you’re doing rolls now, Trevor?” That was my opening gambit. “Yeah.” Trevor replied. I was hooked. “What type?” I asked, hungry not just for a roll but also for information. Trevor frowned. “Bread.” he replied. “White or brown.” I nodded encouragingly hoping for more information but it wasn’t forthcoming. “Right. What fillings?” I asked. Trevor frowned more deeply. Clearly this roll-selling endeavour was taking more time and effort that he’d anticipated. “I’ve got cheese, I’ve got ham and I’ve got cheese and ham.” he replied. Not a great range I’ll grant you but these were early days in the Trevor/roll partnership and being keen to encourage him I said, “I’ll have a cheese roll please.” Trevor paused, staring at me over his glasses. “You’ll have to hang on while I take the ham out.” he eventually replied. Now you’re a shrewd enough reader, I’m sure, to have quickly spotted the difference between what Rimmel and their cosmetics rivals were going for compared to Trevor’s smaller scale and more intimate selling device. There was
nothing glossy about Trevor’s advertising (or Trevor or his pub come to that), he clearly hadn’t pumped a great deal of money (or thought) into it but you ended up with a very clear idea of what it was you were buying. Too clear some might argue. But, as I mentioned at the start, both approaches had the same result. I didn‘t buy either. What, if anything, does this tell us about advertising? Well, I don’t know but the good news is that I think I know of someone who might and that’s Jim Blythe, Professor of Marketing at the University of Westminster and Visiting Professor at Plymouth Business School and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan. You should choose both your products and your Jim Blythe’s with care.
Jim Blythe is a writer, actor, director, producer, comedian and inconsiderate lover. When he isn’t moaning about his experiences in the field of business he runs Spooky Kid Productions, a platform to help new talent get in front of an audience. See more of what he does at www.spookykid.co.uk.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 11
Holy Social U-Turn! by Donnie Rust
To quote the great James Albert “Jim” Varney JR, who reigned supreme in the eighties and early nineties comedy scene with such memorable films as Ernest Scared Stupid and Ernest Goes To Camp and who I have also only recently discovered died in 2000*, “What the hell is going on?!” The world has gone crazy. It’s as clear as black and white, Fifty Shades of Grey is porno. Somehow, somewhere society did a U-turn and left me not knowing where I stand anymore. How could I have seen this coming? Since when does the publishing phenomena model go from: teenage wizards to teenage sparkly vampires to hardcore bondage?... as I write this I realize we should have expected it at the Lord of The Rings stage, but to be honest even that didn’t turn out how we expected. I am an open minded person and realizing that my girlfriend has an interest in this sort of fetishism pertaining to various descriptions of whipping, flogging and caning is both exhilarating and frankly terrifying. *twelve years of waiting for Ernest Goes To Bulawayo
Since finding her paging through a copy of this in the bookstore and smiling to herself I’ve cleaned out my entire house of anything that could be used to whip, flog or cane me and I am currently sleeping on a pile of newspapers in the corner of an empty room. What deeply concerns me is that this sudden change is damningly unfair. Whenever I watched pornography I had to order it from a shady catalogue, go online for it after locking the door or looking at magazines while hiding under my bed; and I’m twenty-eight! Since when is it okay to read this book on the bus, in the park, during a lunch break at work or at a family get together** (Very awkward moment when my mother held up her well paged copy of Fifty Shades of Grey and, while pointing wasted
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 13
asked “What does this mean?” and because I always answer my mother I told her and she added her seventeenth book mark while my father winced.) Women have exploited a loophole here. For years men have been the reputable perverts of the world while women have been far more down to earth with their cookbooks, their soap operas and their Anne Summers Parties oh my god! Blatantly they’re taking full advantage of gender profiling and they’re getting away with it! This can’t be fair! This must be wrong! (Why am I punctuating everything like this?) This isn’t the only thing. Oh no, someone has replaced all the reliable signs upon the road in my life with misdirecting ciphers pointing me in the wrong directions. I am terrified of the generation coming up behind me, the same ones who are going to be looking after me when I’m old and needing machinery to poop, the same ones who are being trained to enjoy murder and killing. Oh yes, your cute little babies with their disproportionately large heads, skinny shoulders and goofy, snot stained smiles have probably already contemplated your murder. When I was ten years old the most popular game at the time was Mario Brothers on the Nintendo and Sonic the Hedgehog was racing up to overtake him. I spent so much time playing these video games as a child that now whenever I hear the tune my thumbs start hitting imaginary run and jump buttons. This was childhood, irrelevant games involving annoying backing music and endlessly generating levels to satisfy the parents need for their child to be hypnotized and occupied and away from them. My nephew is ten. His favourite games include the likes of Ninja Gaiden, a game where a super powered ninja can run through an attacking mob of werewolves with a kusarigama spinning around him and slicing them into bits, Tenchu a game where a mystical ninja can creep up on an unsuspecting enemy and kill them using a varied arsenal of weaponry from blades, garrotte and bare hands and of course Mortal Kombat - a game that needs no introduction and was so violent that it spurned the creation of age restrictions across the gaming industry which of course no parent notices when their ten year old is jumping up and down and screaming for it. And it features the coolest, most violent and colourful ninjas. I am happy that my nephew is as obsessed with Shinobi warriors as I was at his age- but after hearing him shouting at the television, “Rip out his guts and bite his head!” I started to worry; and then last night I found him dressed in black and clinging to my ceiling with a katana between his teeth and a bunch of shuriken in his socks. Finally. My last point. I’ve spent a long time defining myself as an atheist and have for many years been unafraid of stating so especially on Facebook and am proud to see how so many people are joining in the freedom of thought, feeling and sensibility that can come from being a proud
atheist. I am evolved, I am enlightened and possibly one of the most religious people in the world… (Say again?) Five hundred years ago if you had questions about life, the universe and everything you would find religion, hopefully before it finds you**. You would seek out and ask the wisest man you knew who usually would be someone who was allowed to spend a lot of time in quiet contemplation i.e. a priest. In the same manner that parents will sooner lie through their teeth to their children before admitting they don’t know the answer, a lot of the answers would come in riddles aimed at making you feel guilty for asking. Historically speaking when a new religion provided answers that were more convenient they garnered more followers. This system of logic has provided the foundation for my atheism. For my complete and total belief in the nonexistence of any god- unless it’s a god-like alien like Thor from the Marvel Universe because frankly I’d like to get hammered with him***. But today, I have Google. When I want answers, I Google it, when I’m lost I Google where I am, when I don’t know what to do with my life? Well I just right up Google that too. Google provides the answers to every question and without it billions of people worldwide would be lost. We believe in Google, we have faith in the validity of its answers, we trust in its wisdom and its simple acceptance of who we are. It does not judge us, it does not expect us to do anything other than simple use it. Its love is perpetual, as is its determination to provide. And while we atheists are spending so much time Googling reasons to be atheist how ironic that we’re basically cementing our belief in something that is all-knowing and all-seeing. I have a very tenuous grasp of reality at the best of times, I’m still staggering from the last blow I received when I learned that Luke Skywalker was also the voice of the Joker. This brought two completely separate mental universes crashing together and now I can’t watch Star Wars without expecting Darth Vader to have pointy ears and an iconic shaped shuriken. As a generation of adults who never really grew up, we’re still waiting for social change to occur on the back of an alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse. The way in which it actually happens strikes me as an unfair betrayal of our sensibilities and has left me looking like a puppy that’s been body-rolled by a chew toy.
Donnie Rust, (AKA The Naked Busker) is one of Britain’s foremost comedy writers in the field of business, travel and adventure with over 1 million readers worldwide. His stand-up comedy is apparently hilarious too. He can be found at: www.facebook.com/donnierust. **Cue scary music. *** Get it? Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 15
WHY QUEUE FOR STUFF
YOU DON’T NEED TO QUEUE FOR? by Rob James
I’m English and as a result there’s not much that I enjoy more than queuing. Oh sure, there’s whinging about the weather, pretending we’re good at sport and casual racism but otherwise it’s queuing all the way. In the last couple of weeks alone I’ve queued for the bus, the cinema, to buy groceries, to buy lunch and to buy a flea treatment for my cat. I’ve queued at bars too but that doesn’t feel like queuing in the same way as no one ever forms an orderly queue in a bar; it’s a far more ‘French’ way of queuing. So as you can clearly see, I’m as committed to queuing as the next man. But I cannot, I will not, join the queue of people standing out in the cold and wet to be the first to own a phone. And this isn’t just because I refuse to join the iClones and sell my soul to Apple (although admittedly it’s partly that). It’s mostly because it’s just a phone; it’ll still be available the next day and the day after and the day after that and… you get the picture. I won’t join that queue even though my current smartphone is the HTC Wildfire, surely the village idiot of all smartphones. Its many features involve freezing until I remove the battery, opening any message it feels like from the menu when I’m trying to select the top one, an autocorrect that takes correctly spelt words and replaces them with random collections of letters and (you’ll like this one) not having enough memory to deal with any more than eight apps. I tried running a ninth once but the poor thing almost went into meltdown so I had to remove it. And if I try to update all of those apps it’s like the phone has a nervous breakdown and spends every second it’s switched on telling me that it doesn’t have enough disc space. Oh and the battery lasts about a day if I’m lucky. So all in all it’s not a great phone and owning it has been less like having a phone and more like having a phone-shaped-bi-polar-emo-teenager hanging around with me. But despite that I still wouldn’t join a queue to own a new one. So what’s the big deal about the iPhone 5? I don’t
know and I care even less. I don’t know what it is about iPhones but they seem to have a strange effect on people. They’re certainly well named because my experience of iPhone users when they’re focussed on their iPhone is that the ‘I’ is all they’re concentrating on. Honestly, I’ve sat in groups of friends where half of them have their attention constantly, and I mean constantly, on their iPhone. Users of Samsungs seem to be able to keep their hands off their phones with no real problem. Sony phone owners aren’t glancing at them every ten seconds to see if anything new and miraculous has happened. And if HTC users are constantly glancing at their Wildfires it’s probably only to work out what the useless item is doing because it won’t be what they asked it to. But iPhones have to be held and looked at and used every second of every day it seems. I know Apple fans will tell me it’s because the iPhone is that brilliant and that beautiful that it actually warrants that much of your time and
effort and if that’s true then I want to own one even less. Because I’ve only got an estimate 40-45 years left on this planet and I don’t want to spend it all staring at a small screen that tells me information I don’t need to know like, for example, what the weather is like at the moment where I am. Yes, my phone does that. Why? I know what the weather’s like where I am at that moment because I’m there. I’d mind less but it’s usually wrong. Right now it’s nearly 8pm, pi t ch dark
and pouring with rain but my phone is telling me it’s sunny with occasional cloud and rain showers. The suns on the other side of the world right now, how much wronger can it be? Of course it’s not just iPhones that the English will queue for when they really don’t need to. Harry Potter books, Harry Potter movies, Star Wars movies and various DVD box sets – Doctor Who & 24 to name a couple - have all had the English queuing for days and this was, again, utterly pointless behaviour. Other than of course that the English can enjoy having a good queue and maybe a communal moan about the weather whilst they’re there. They can check what’s it like on their HTC and discover that the light drizzle they thought they were standing in is actually bright sunshine! It really frustrates me. And the real reason that it really frustrates me is that given I know people will behave in that way for a product they could live perfectly happily without, then why can’t I invent one!
Rob James is a guerilla comedian prefering never to announce a gig in advance and to just turn up. He dislikes organised events, organised political parties, organised religion and organised socks. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 17
THE MENACE AND THE PROMISE SOS RHINO Rhino Africa www.rhinoafrica.com +27 27 21 469 2600 Written by Ben Walker
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 19
The one thing we have in Africa is wildlife, leading safari tour operator, conservationist and social betterment entrepreneur David Ryan tells Ben Walker. “That’s why people come here. And if our African wildlife is not protected there will be no reason for people to come.”
David Ryan, founder and CEO of Rhino Africa
At six feet high it weighs as much as 2.7 tonnes, an armourplated Time Lord that might have wandered in from ‘One Million Years B.C’, a grass-eating armed neutralist with no natural predator other than man. Introducing the African Rhino. “I saw my first rhino in Kruger many years ago and it’s my favourite animal,” says David Ryan, founder and CEO of Africa’s leading online tour operator, Rhino Africa, of Cape Town. “They are so pre-historic, been around for millennia, and are now so vulnerable and dependent on human protection. They’ve always appealed to me massively.” Launching Rhino Africa in late 2004 after working as a corporate financial manager, Ryan found the perfect arena for his passions – travelling through Africa, social economics and conservation. “I started Rhino when I was 34 and wish I had acted on it slightly earlier. You can spend a lot of time doubting yourself, but when I came to do so I had absolute faith in the idea and the model.” In eight years Rhino Africa has become the continent’s leading online tour operator, specialising in luxury, tailormade itineraries and facilitating the travel plans of over 10,000 guests each year. “Yes the growth has been pretty incredible. We have a very dedicated focus, with our expert travel consultants deploying their unrivalled first-hand knowledge of African hotels, lodges and destinations to create tailormade itineraries to suit our clients. Every single itinerary we create is tailor-made around a client’s budget - the time they have available, whether they are celebrating something special; in other words their exact requirements. Then we use our expert destination and product knowledge to provide the best experience and value for money possible. Ninetynine per cent of our feedback is absolutely phenomenal. And when you fully understand a client’s requirements, exceeding their expectations is really not difficult on this magnificent continent.” Ryan, 42, is an idealist and philanthropist, a hands-on leader whose work ethos is humility and leading by example. And while Rhino Africa’s growth has impressed and inspired, he takes pride in the social responsibility aspect of his business which he sees as a driver for beneficial change in Africa.
“The primary reason I went into business was to make a difference. My passion actually lies in wildlife conservation and community upliftment.” Four years ago as of this remit Rhino Africa created ‘Challenge4ACause’ in order to raise money for the conservation of Africa’s endangered animal and plant species, and also to finance projects that help improve the lives of poor communities. But the CEO idealist is also a dynamic businessman, a characteristic that has won him a place as a finalist in the emerging category of the Southern Africa chapter of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Awards 2012. “Very exciting, and yes it’s nice to be recognised within the South African business community for what you have done and are achieving.” Future growth is driven by operational integration (the Corporate Travel Division opened earlier this year) and market expansion. Here linguistics are key, with the initial English language websites now augmented by German, French, and, next year, Spanish divisions. Last month a London office serving the European market was opened, a development from which Ryan sees potential for significant growth. But Ryan is looking beyond the traditional catchment area. “There are a lot of emerging markets, with South America an especially important one for us - mostly Spanish-speaking and not a massive commute. It’s hugely important to be able to offer both your services and the experience in mother tongue, and I think conversion ratios will be a lot higher if you can cater for other nationalities and languages.”
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Endeavour Magazine • 2012/09/27 October09:03:17 2012AM • 21
But while Rhino Africa flourishes, the rhinos of Africa are under attack; targets of poachers who kill them and then sell the horns to Vietnam and China where, in powdered form, it is mistakenly believed to have certain health benefits. For Ryan protection should be a national priority. In the 1960s African black rhino numbered 100,000 but it waned to 2,4 00 in the early 1990s. Today there are about 4,500 black rhino in Africa. “That’s still low but heading in the right direction. The success has been the rebound of the white rhino. There were as few as 50 alive a century ago. Now, there are around 20,000. But the last few years has seen a dire increase in poaching.” From 2000-2007, only about a dozen rhinos were poached each year in Southern Africa (where nearly 90% of all African rhino live). Last year 448 were slaughtered. This figure is not yet high enough to suppress the natural population growth, but is edging ever closer to the tipping point where the numbers killed will exceed the number born. “The one thing we have in Africa is wildlife; that’s why people come here. We can’t compete with the history that Europe has. And if our African wildlife is not protected there will be no reason for people to come. But governments, particularly in Southern and East Africa, are so bogged down
with socio-economic problems that wildlife – which I believe is probably our biggest long-term asset – is low down the priority list. This means the private sector needs to step up in order to protect our most precious assets for generations to come.” How might the killings be stopped? “I’m an activist not an expert, and half the problem with rhino poaching is every man and his dog has an opinion. And when you have a million opinions very little action starts getting done. The bottom line is simple – the demand has to be removed. Ban the trade and it goes to the black market and prices will go through the roof. The reality is that you need the political will to stop it, and we don’t have it.” “To remove the demand internationally the Government has to take it up with the countries that are poaching rhinos – but they won’t do this; they are not prepared to talk to China, Vietnam and the UAE.” “Most of the people being caught are not the top of the chain - where it needs to be stopped - but at the bottom, people living in poor communities who are offered a few thousand Rand to find and kill the rhino.” “On the borders of the national parks, massive communities are being established, some of the poorest in
the country, many dependent on activities like subsistence poaching. And the reality is that if they had a vested interest in the long-term benefit of having the rhinos alive with millions of people photographing them rather than R20,000 for a dead rhino, they would quickly see the gain.” “But that interest doesn’t exist. So what we are doing is to partner only with people that have a strong social responsibility back-up to their business, employing and educating locals and providing them with social services. In this way they see the benefits and have a personal and economic interest in protecting wild life.” Rhino Africa, says Ryan, is built on a very simple principle: to provide exceptional destination and product knowledge in building tailor-made itineraries for this country and the region. “Our biggest mission is to make sure that everybody that leaves Southern Africa becomes an ambassador for the destination.” “We are working for a greater cause than just our business. We are working to become part of the solution in a country which, by a miracle, has reached the point where it is at the moment. It is only through businesses like ours and a mindset and ethos like ours, that South Africa will be a success.”
LION SANDS TREEHOUSE
www.morehotels.co.za Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 23
Alpine Lounge www.alpinelounge.co.za +27 21 951 7150 Written by Ben Walker
SOUTH AFRICA POUNDED BY GREAT MAUL OF CHINA Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 25
South Africa’s factories are locked in an increasingly daunting struggle in the teeth of Chinese import penetration, says an executive of the country’s premium and longest surviving furniture manufacturer. And in a call for a hard line shift away from the country’s open door trade policies, he warns that a strong large manufacturing sector is essential if South Africa is to make inroads into its massive jobless issue. “We have a huge unemployment problem in South Africa, probably 30% to 35% at least, and it’s absolutely essential for us, to maintain some sort of stability, to get these people into jobs,” says Lawrence Van Der Merwe of Alpine Lounge, Cape Town. “Only the large employers can do this on the necessary scale. It’s our duty, but we are finding it increasingly difficult to do this, bombarded as we are with imports from the East.” His analysis is backed by a report this month from a
British university which says in the ten years up to 2010, 77,000 South African jobs and $900m in revenue from trade were lost to the influx of Chinese products into Africa. Chinese competition says Professor Rhys Jenkins from the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, negatively impacts South Africa’s manufacturing sector, crowds out exports to other African countries and aggravates unemployment. Van Der Merwe is unsurprised. Operations and Technical
Director at Alpine Lounge which is part of the Bravo manufacturing Group – the company he joined as a trainee 38 years ago - he has seen the domestic furniture-making sector reel under the impact of Chinese imports whose overall local market share he puts at over 50%. “The Chinese have been active in South Africa since 2003-2004. In the early period what was coming in was a relatively inferior product – local manufacturers were not too concerned - but over the following years the improvement in product quality has been phenomenal. That competition is hitting us hard and we are facing an enormous challenge. “Loyal customers we had had for so many years now import freely, and we are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat. You just have to try all avenues to available markets – we’ve tried most - and it’s becoming more and more difficult to survive as a manufacturer.” As Van Der Merwe says, adaptability in the face of constant market challenge is reflex strategy for Alpine Lounge. From modest beginnings in 1969, its impressive growth and reputation has been driven by flexible response as well as design, high product quality and innovation. A specialist supplier to the retail sector, it long ago switched away from entry and middle market lounge furniture into the niche, premium quality high-end sector, focussing since 1996 on leather upholstered lounge products. Alpine Lounge’s Cape Town facility is world class, with sustained investment in computer-aided design and cutting equipment delivering predictable quality and minimal cutting waste. “You could take our factory and put it anywhere
www.dromedar.com Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 27
in today’s technologically advanced manufacturing environment. Technologically we are proud to be in line with what is happening in the most modern of factories, and we manufacture as cost-effectively as possible while at the same time employing a large workforce of 650 people.” With Chinese products now competing at the highest level of quality and innovation, Alpine Lounge is focussing on motion furniture – reclining chairs – and Africa-specific leathers. “What differentiates us is that as far as possible we concentrate on using local African bovine leathers, whereas most of those used on imports, are developed from India’s water buffalo. Our leather range is uniquely African, a rustictype, full aniline range which bears all the scars and marks, and so in a sense tell a story about the animal and it’s habitat. “The hides used are predominantly from free-ranging sustained cattle herds. We also use game skin namely Oryx Gazella, which is a Namibian desert antelope. Quantities are limited due to a strict controlled culling program which is necessary and in keeping with our country’s wild life policies. Britain’s commercial lounge market took 40% of the Alpine Lounge output until ten years ago - “when we got blown out by the Chinese”-this is one export market showing early growth. “Discerning lounge customers want something different, natural and good.” Alpine Lounge entered the motion or reclining furniture niche in early 2000, buying in mechanisms from a US manufacturer which itself became victim of Far East
imports, with job losses running into thousands. Now in a recent move Alpine has won the all-Africa manufacturing and distribution licence with the US global name, La-Z-boy “Most of the larger international manufacturers have taken the direct route to market, selling to the end consumer. We haven’t done this and our brand is still with the retailer. But it is a key challenge going forward and we believe that La-ZBoy is going to give us the momentum to expand the brand as we move into the future” Up until three years ago Alpine Lounge’s market was principally South Africa and Namibia. Since then it has moved into Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe, and is now looking at Zambia and Ghana. “We are pushing northwards but it’s not an easy market; you’ve got to get your connections right to be able to trade successfully in Africa. But so far so good.” Meantime, with this month’s figures showing another rise in manufacturing job losses, and Professor Rhys Jenkins report on South Africa and the China Factor, Lawrence van der Merwe says enough is enough. ““Where do we go from here? We have to realise the Chinese are here to stay. They are now mass-manufacturing products as good as – if not better than – any Western company, and their quality is steadily improving… and the reason is simple: they employ the Best in the West to guide them in development and design. “The Chinese have grown on the back of western imports.
The West has fuelled the Chinese economy by sending in the latest techniques and best expertise available and instructing them. They have capitalised out of the Chinese imports - the USA has been the main instigator here – and of course now it’s turned around and bitten them.” Does he see a contradiction between the Government’s job creation priority and its open door import policy? “Yes I do. Take Brazil as an example of a country on the same level as us, a country with a major unemployment problem. Over the past four years they have seen a major improvement in their economy. And to get more Brazilians into work they have simply banned the importation of products which they themselves can manufacture. As a result they’ve got the juices flowing, their shoe and clothing industry is back on track, and the economy is on the road to recovery. “South Africa should copy the example of Brazil and other countries with a similar approach. As it is we have very free trading rules in place - the Government is very pro-China in this respect - and all in all I think it’s too free. We could do with a more stable currency to encourage exports, and import duties on furniture should be in line with clothing and shoes which have recently been increased to revive local manufacturing. When you create jobs people have a bit of dignity. They can feed their families, put a roof over their heads, and ultimately contribute to the tax burden borne by so few tax payers. If we want to employ people in this country we will have to take the hard line.”
Vitafoam South Africa is proud to be associated with Alpine Lounge, a premier brand in the furniture industry in South Africa. As the leading producer of polyurethane foam in South Africa we offer our customers innovative solutions that assist in product development and improvement. Vitafoam has been a major supplier to Alpine Lounge for many years and congratulate Alpine on their success and look forward to making new contributions to Alpine Lounge’s future success.
South Africa’s largest producer of Flexible Polyurethane Foam
South Africa’s largest producer of Flexible Polyurethane Foam
Vitafoam SA is the largest producer of Flexible Polyure in existence for over 35 years. Its range of products is c multitude of technical problems in a variety of market
Vitafoam SA is the largest producer of Flexible Polyurethane Foam in South Africa and has been in existence for over 35 years. Its range of products is comprehensive and offers solutions to a multitude of technical problems in a variety of markets. www.vitafoam.co.za Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 29
WASTE NOT WANT NOT The Waste Trade Company www.thewastetradecompany.co.za +27 41 486 2204 Written by Chris Farnell Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 31
The Waste Trade Company
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a truism we all know, although few will have taken it quite so literally as Howard Bulkin did in 1998. That was the year he established The Waste Trade Company in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in an effort to exploit the business opportunities and potential revenue to be found in other people’s rubbish. More than that, Bulkin wanted to use this business to not only benefit himself, but to transform and develop the lives of his employees and the wider community they lived in. That was 14 years ago, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the company today – The Waste Trade Company has every bit of the energy and enthusiasm you’d expect to find in a new start-up. “We’re a progressive young company, with lots of young people working for us,” says Kay Hardy, the company’s General Manager. “It has a real impact on our attitude. As our shirts say, we think outside the box, we’re always looking at R&D and new ideas we can adopt.” The company is service driven, and has built itself a strong reputation thanks to its extensive social responsibility programs, which have attracted interest from several multinational companies. “We’ve started a schools program to educate young people,” Hardy explains. “The thing about Howard Bulkin is that he is a dedicated environmentalist before anything else. He wanted to educate children in schools about environmental issues, which in turn leads to the education of their parents and teachers. So we’ve started a completely separate division of the company which we have taken to 90 schools.” Over the last couple of months the program has expanded to include school groups visiting The Waste Trade Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 32
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The Waste Trade Company
Company’s factory. A special presentation area has been set up in the form of a small classroom, where children will be given a presentation about the importance of protecting the environment. From there the kids are given a tour of the factory, teaching them about recycling by showing them exactly what happens to items of rubbish such as a discarded drinks bottle. One of the highlights of the tour is a special mural that begins with the view of a horrible landfill site, goes on to tell the story of how recycling can work, and ends with a picture of a much happier, greener world. It’s not just for the school children though. The Waste Trade Company’s facilities are, if you’ll forgive the pun, littered with examples of the beauty of the natural world and how recycling and sustainability practices can help protect it. “We have aviaries at the main factory and at some of our other sites,” Hardy tells us. “We have an aviary at our Goodyear site and the staff will visit it during their lunch break. It’s a nice relaxing space that’s great for de-stressing. We’ve also got vegetable gardens made from truck tyres, and those vegetables actually feed our staff. They take them home to feed their children, and we’re starting to do this with the schools as well.” The Waste Trade Company has seen a lot of positive recognition for the work that it’s done, from the company itself being a finalist in the Proudly South African Most Green Company of the Year award in 2011, to Kay Hardy herself being a finalist for the Business Women’s Association Corporate Achievement award this year. Some of this recognition is more welcome than others, when asked about
being nominated for the award Hardy modestly says it was “completely embarrassing, not my cup of tea. I like to fly under the radar.” Pulling Together Of course it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The financial crisis of the last few years has hit everyone hard, and while it doesn’t make much sense in the long term, for many people it’s the environmental measures that are the first to be cut from the budget. “The prices of recyclable products are decreasing due to lack of demand while fuel, vehicles and labour are rising in cost. So it’s rising from the bottom while decreasing at the top,” Hardy admits. The Waste Trade Company isn’t taking this lying down. The key to getting through this rough period is, Hardy believes, cooperation. “You’ve got to work smart and think in different ways. We’re making sure we’re meeting the correct margins, and avoiding getting into debt,” Hardy explains. “We have management meetings every single week, including not only our managers but our up-and-coming supervisors and junior managers who can bring to the table their perspective on what the people on the ground are saying. If anyone at any level of the company can think of ways we can reduce costs, we want to listen, because if we all work at it we can all stay employed.” It’s an approach that’s paying off. Since the economic crisis began the company hasn’t had to let any of its staff go,
yet they’re coming up with lots of new ways they can give value added services to customers that will reduce their costs while not costing the business any more. The faith that The Waste Trade Company puts in its staff can be seen from the ground up, with the company making a conscious effort to give its people the best possible opportunities. “We are continuously training people,” Hardy says proudly. “There is a lady who is an operations manager for our whole schools project division. She started off sorting recyclables on the factory floor. We gave her training and experience, sent her to study and get a truck licence and provided her with mentorship and motivation, and she’s now responsible for a whole division of the company. We have other people that have told us that before they came here they didn’t think they were going to get anywhere. They joined at the bottom and are now supervisors and managers, and that’s down to skills transfer that we’re passionate about, sending people to study, not just on courses but at colleges and universities.” A Meeting of Minds The Waste Trade Company is keen to share the lessons it’s learned with the rest of the industry, and talking to Hardy it becomes clear she’s excited about the upcoming WasteCon 2012 conference at the East London International Convention Centre on the 10th of October. Hardy has been on the organising committee for this year’s event, and has been hard at work arranging the event.
The theme of the conference is “Wrestling with Waste” and it’s going to be a fantastic hub for exchanging ideas and solutions. “It lasts for three days. We’ll be having technical tours where we take delegates to businesses and factories around the area where the conference is being held,” Hardy enthuses. “We have 80 people presenting papers. We also have the green industry awards that are presented at a gala dinner. There will be delegates from Volkswagen, General Motors and Mercedes Benz, and we’ll be asking how green your company is and what green initiatives you can take.” So what next for The Waste Trade Company? Hardy is asking much the same question. “Two weekends ago I took twenty managers and supervisors away for a conference in training and strategy about where we see the company going forward. Today we have a feedback session on that conference with the same 20 people, so if you call back tomorrow I’ll be able to tell you!” she laughs. “We believe very much in our company being locally based. We want to expand here in the Eastern Cape, through providing different types of alternative energies and different ways of doing things. We’re working quite closely with two clients on bio-digestives we may be installing on their sites. We’re also looking at water treatment that would work on site for businesses to generate grey water for ablutions and production areas.” In the short time The Waste Trade Company has been in operation it has already achieved so much. We can’t wait to see what they’re going to be doing next.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 35
FRESH THINKING SMART BANKING BancABC www.bancabc.com +267 367 4300 Written by Don Campbell Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 37
BancABC, ABC Holdings Limited offer a diverse range of financial services to sub-Saharan African banks operating under its parent company umbrella. Guided by its core values of professionalism, people innovation, passion and integrity, BancABC is pursuing a vision to be the preferred banking partner in Africa by offering world class financial solutions and building profitable, lifelong customer relationships through the provision of a wide range of innovative financial products and services. We caught up with Group Chief Operations Officer Francis Dzanya who took time out of his busy schedule to highlight the success story of this company.
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Historically, a merchant bank offering a diverse range of services, now BancABC is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. They have a proud heritage dating back to 1956. Formed through a series of mergers and acquisitions of prolific financial institutions operating in Southern Africa it had given the group a strong geographical footprint and a sound understand of the diverse financial markets within the region. “BancABC has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Francis says, “and a group services office in Johannesburg, South Africa. BancABC was previously known as African Banking Corporation but we rebranded in April 2009 in line with our expansion into retail banking.” Since its inception BancABC has developed and provided through continuous organic growth a wide range of services to their clients and the industry. “We offer a comprehensive range of banking services and products throughout the region in which we operate,” Francis explains. “These include Corporate Banking, Retail and SME Banking, Consumer Lending, Treasury services, Leasing, Asset Management, Advisory Services, Stock Broking and Wealth Management. “The Group expanded into retail banking during 2009, which has since grown and is poised to play a major role in the business going forward. As of 31 December 2011 the
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Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 39
Group operated forty-nine branches across the five markets.” An impressive grasp of the industry and a powerful footprint in their regions have definitely added to the success of this powerhouse of a company. However Francis is very straight talking regarding what has been the pivotal reason for the success: “BancABC is not a silver bullet but has key competitive strengths upon which it has developed a winning strategy,” he elaborates, “Firstly, BancABC has established a solid regional banking platform and has become a geographically diversified business with established customer relationships across all economic sectors. “Secondly, BancABC is proud of being a local institution with a deep understanding of the local culture, people and economies in Southern Africa and offers best in class services to its customers. In time whereby many clients aim at investing in the region, BancABC local knowledge is a valuable asset.
“Thirdly, BancABC has focused on developing its strong shareholder commitment and market recognition. Currently, the main shareholders are African Development Corporation (“ADC”), an international emerging market investor, Old Mutual, IFC, Botswana Insurance Fund Management (“BIFM”) as well our management.” With any company it’s vital to have a grasp of who the target market is and to monitor the response to a company’s services and products from the corporate world. “We are a specialist wholesale bank with a retail offering,” Francis says, “As of 31 December 2011, we have 108,000 retail customers across all of our banking subsidiaries.” The customer base is also diversified across economic sectors with customers that are active in regional trade and run cross-border businesses. Because it is one of a limited number of financial institutions with a regional presence, it is also able to establish relationships with customers that are active in regional trade and run cross-border businesses. For
these reasons, it is well positioned relative to its competitors to increase its market share and become one of the leading providers of financial solutions in the region. Is this it though? What is the future expansion programme for BancABC across the SADC region and throughout the entire African continent? BancABC key operational objectives to 2015 are threefold: First, BancABC aims at successfully completing the rolling out of the Retail banking and as of June 30, BancABC has 55 branches opened for business across the footprint. Secondly, BancABC aims at increasing its market share between 5 to 10% in each market. As of June 30, 2012 this objective was attained in Zimbabwe and is likely to be attained soon in Botswana and third, expanding its footprint in East and Southern Africa depending on funding and market opportunities. It is very exciting and it’s easy to forget that companies of every size still have their own hurdles to cross. Francis explain what the challenges were that were encountered when doing business across the SADC region and beyond. “BancABC is in a fastrack growth plan and as such is facing difficulties, mainly related to capital funding to support the current growth trajectory,” he details. “Management has taken steps towards addressing this challenge including the recent and successfully concluded rights issue. A related challenge is the liquidity to fund the business expansion. Management is busy arranging lines of credit at the centre and subsidiary level.” Another important challenge is the rising cost. The Management at BancABC are also addressing this issue by
taking several initiative to stabilize costs and hence reduce cost to income ratio. “Finally the high impairments are being mitigated by the fast growth pace of the book which keeps the NPLs ratio low. However, the rising nominal amount is in process of being resolved.” As regular readers will know, we do enjoy looking at how companies protect and look after their employees as this is often the best representation of how they look after their customers. Francis highlighted the key steps that BancABC have taken with regards to employee training, incentives and promotions. “Our staff numbers have increased from 668 to 1,008 and continue to grow mainly to support the Retail rollout,” he says, “We have strong values which are: Passion, Professionalism, People, Innovation and Integrity and we invested heavily in training and incentives.” And this is not only for the grass roots level. “We ensure that our management attend the partnership programmes we have with Gibs school in SA (FLDP, MLDP etc) and ensure that all staff attend at least 2 courses related to their field each year,” Francis says with evident authority, adding, “reward and recognition is something we take very seriously.” BancABC’s vision is to become Africa’s preferred banking partner by offering world-class financial solutions. The banks belonging to them include ABC Botswana, ABC Mozambique, ABC Tanzania, ABC Zambia and ABC Zimbabwe. For information, visit www.bancabc.com.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 41
SECURITY WITH INTEGRITY KK Security www.kksecurity.com +254 20 42 45 000 Written by Jack Slater Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 43
Rocky Hitchcock, senior consultant for the company, joined KK Security in 1994 just after it came into new and dynamic ownership and has with other managers, been responsible for a number of heralding changes that have made the company what it is today. Daemon Sands discusses some of these implementations and how a strong philosophy has steered this company to its current success.
KK Security is one of the fastest growing Security Companies in Africa. Over the last decade, it has expanded geographically from its base in Kenya to become a regional force in six countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Burundi. With a focus on large Agricultural, Industrial and NGO/ Embassy contracts that require a dedicated management team and a motivated trained guard force, there is a reason why KK Security is the preferred supplier to many industries. “Wherever we operate, we have a saying, ‘Service with Integrity’,” Rocky says, “For us this is much more than a by-line - it is integral to everything we do and is often a key differential between us and our competition. “Beginning operations in Kenya in 1967, we started as a Guard Company in Mombasa and later expanded into Radio Alarms and Cash in Transit. We were bought by the current owners in 1993 and have since then expanded throughout Kenya and more recently throughout the region,” Rocky describes, “A region where, sadly, our industry is often marred by a lack of integrity.” Indeed, KK Security specializes in providing residential and commercial security in Africa for large corporate clients who are simply tired of being neglected by their security supplier. “Additionally we recognize that customers want a ‘hands-
on’ approach from management. They want advice and recommendations, they want to reduce their dependence on manned-guarding, and they want a management team that can motivate their Guard Force through training and reward systems,” Rocky states, “We’ve built up something incredibly strong here.” It is a firmly established mandate that for a business to offer superior services to their clients, they need to invest in superior training for their employees, KK Security is particularly well known for this which is of a far higher standard than any of their competitors. “Security does tend to be the job for people who can’t find a job, especially in Africa and notoriously many of the companies don’t have specific training. We knew that we had to be different to maintain the standards that were required of us,” Rocky explains, “I was in the military previously and, working with an associate who was a retired UK Police Officer, we devised a training programme for our staff that was validated by SITO the Security Industry Training Organisation in the UK. This was and is, an intensive training course with a pass/fail grade.” “I have always felt that security is not just about providing feet on the ground,” Rocky points out, “But has to be targeted at the security of the entire company.” With this in mind KK Security offers a wide selection of services for its clients from the start. Over and above their highly commendable security force of 17000 employees, they are also moving into oil and gas security. “Although we have training facilities at every one of
Alarm Response Team during Labour Day celebrations - 1st May, 2012 Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 45
our key offices,” Rocky explains, “the security for oil and gas rigs currently need to be trained either abroad or in Johannesburg. It becomes very expensive for companies to get trained staff due to the travelling. We are intending to provide a specialised training centre here in East Africa. With our pool of manpower, that understands training and has been vetted already and in many cases have vocational training before they joined us, we have the capacity to upskill our staff to meet the demands of the industry..” It doesn’t end there. Understanding what goes into security KK Security have spent the time to ensure their authority in many areas cannot be disputed. “We are certified trainers in IATA for airside security,” Rocky begins, “Offering training for ground personnel, Nairobi is after all, the airport hub of central and east Africa. In addition, we are one of the founding signatories for The International Code of Conduct of Private Security Companies (ICoC) (www.icoc-psp.org) signed in Geneva in 2010, that was aimed at legitimizing and regulating the private security sector.” “We don’t do guns but we do do dogs!” Rocky says, “Abiding by a strict code of conduct, we are NASDU accredited, with the 600 that we train and use. Ours is a UK recognized dog training programme.” A well-trained, properly handled dog is one of the best deterrents in Africa and KK Security have a breeding programme to raise their own German Shepherds and Rotweillers while also importing Boerboels from South Africa.
Canine centre vehicle
“We favour this breed because of its size, strength and fearlessness when faced with multiple intruders,” Rocky stipulates, “We also extensively train our handlers and ensure that they are matched with their dogs to develop a strong cooperative bond.” “In addition we provide a fully conducive health and safety course,” Rocky adds, “This is becoming more important in Africa as we’re working more and more with British and American companies and have to have procedures and training in place to ensure the standards are of benefit to these companies. We aim, in the future, to train NEBOSH inspectors and have them certified to international standards,” Their staff is given the best training available and are carefully looked after, all vehicles are tracked via satellite and are equipped to the highest standards to offer a truly robust response. State-of-the-Art Alarm equipment is installed at all their customer’s premises and receive Alarm Signal in fully equipped Control Centres. Data is recorded in the Control Centres to allow them to verify Alarm Signals and track subsequent actions taken. A strong workforce, encompassing over 17000 highly trained employees, a sterling reputation earned from providing top end security for foreign embassies and corporate giants, a strong desire to continually expand and improve themselves against their competitors and a powerful, focus leadership obsessed with being the best. Safe to say that future clients will always feel secure with KK Security.
Areas of action: KK Security (Rwanda) SARL started operations in Kigali in 1994. It is the largest Security provider in Rwanda with offices throughout the country. Customers include the British Embassy, Bralirwa Brewery and several UN Agencies. KK Security (Tanzania) Ltd started operating in the Mwanza area of Tanzania, specialising in Gold & Diamond Mine security in 1997. Since then it has expanded into Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar and Kilombero. Clients include major sugar plantations and the US Embassy and the Container Port KK Security (Uganda) Ltd was registered in 1995 and again specialises in large stand-alone corporate clients requiring a dedicated management and support team. Customers in Uganda include, major hotel chains, Embassies and UN Agencies KK Security (DRC) was registered in 2001 and now has operations in the East and Central Regions of the Country. UN MONUC uses KK extensively in DR Congo. KK Security (Burundi) SPRL was registered in June 2003 and begun full operations in May 2005. The Company offers full Guard and Alarm Response Services in Bujumbura.
Screening - Events Security Management (Safaricom 7s Rugby Tournament - Sept, 2012 Endeavour Magazine â€˘ October 2012 â€˘ 47
New Britain Oils www.newbritainoils.com +44 151 922 4875 Written by Chris Farnell
OILING THE WHEELS Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 49
New Britain Oils
New Britain Oils’ new refineries are turning out to be a crucial tool in bringing sustainable palm oil to the UK market. In the mean time however the company must persuade the food industry why it’s so important that palm oil comes from sustainable sources.
New Britain Oils is the 100% owned refinery arm of New Britain Palm Oil. Its first refinery was announced in 2008 and came into commission in June 2010. Its ambition was clear. “We were going to invest in giving the UK a fully traceable supply chain,” explains Managing Director Andy Worrall. “Our first oil came out of Liverpool in June 2010. Since then our volumes have grown steadily month on month.” Within six months of the refinery beginning operation New Britain Oils was announcing that it would start work on a packing plant for bakery and foodservice products. Earlier this year the company announced it would be increasing the size of its refinery, giving it a production capacity of 300,000 tons a year – double its original capacity. For the sake of comparison, the total UK market for palm based fats in the UK is 550,000 tons. New Britain Oils has never been about setting its sights low. Essential Sustainability The major selling point of New Britain Oils’ produce is that it comes from an entirely traceable and sustainable supply of raw materials. But why should we care if palm oil is sustainable anyway? Worrall is quick to list the reasons. “In principle it comes down to the world’s ability to feed itself both now and in generations to come,” he says sincerely. “The reality is that population growth is what it is. You can argue whether it will be 9 or 10 billion by 2050 but population growth is here to stay and a lot of that growth is in developing countries where diets are changing quickly and consumption patterns are changing as GDP is growing.” Worrall then points out that one of the first things to change in a country’s diet as it becomes more developed is that it becomes richer in oils and proteins. “So not only have we more people on the planet, but those people are consuming more oils and fats,” Worrall continues. “As the yield of palm oil is anything from 8 to 12 times higher than other sources of vegetable oil, palm oil is right now meeting more than half of that growing demand.” However, our growing hunger for palm oil is coming at a cost. Worrall tells us, “You can only cultivate palm oil in a very narrow band around the equator, so our need for palm oil is competing with the need to preserve the rainforests. One of the main purposes behind sustainable palm oil is to produce more of it on more appropriate land.”
“We’re selective about where we plant and where we don’t plant and we’re also passionate about achieving the highest possible yields,” Worrall says. “We’re treating people that work for us fairly and, through our inclusion of smallholders and community initiatives, making sure there’s a real trickle-down benefit to people affected by the palm oil industry around them. What it’s about is striking the right balance between yield, efficiency, treating people fairly and protecting biodiversity. The big challenge today though is convincing the industry at large that there’s a demand for sustainable practices.” It’s an urgent problem, but the good news is things are changing. “The industry has moved immensely,” Worrall reports. “Right now there are six million tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil being produced out of a world production of 51m. But only half of that certified oil is actually being bought. So that’s the real challenge here and around the world. If we’re going to get the industry to adopt more sustainable practices there needs to be a greater take up of the products or else other producers won’t see the point.” Convincing Through Transparency The problem isn’t a lack of demand from the public. Before the refinery went into production New Britain Oils did research among the British public and found that approximately 80% of consumers were in favour of sustainable palm oil – but only if it meant not paying a higher price for their food. It’s an attitude that the food industry also expected, which made
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Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 51
New Britain Oils
many of them reluctant to use sustainable palm oil. “I think our biggest challenge was to convince the UK food industry that sustainable palm oil could be brought to them in a cost effective way,” Worrall admits. “There was a huge amount of nervousness that “sustainable” means huge premiums, high prices that UK consumers couldn’t afford to pay.” This would be a serious problem for New Britain Oils if sustainable palm oils were going to cost more than their less responsible counterparts. Fortunately this wasn’t the case. “The reason we got excited was that we thought we could get products to market that could be tracked to a sustainable plantation at no consumer cost,” Worrall tells us. “Our main challenge has been convincing people it can be trusted, that it’s reliable. We needed businesses to know that going to a single source supply chain like ours could be just as reliable as a refinery ordering oil from places any old plantation all over the world. So we needed to demonstrate we could supply factories reliably and that this wasn’t a short or long term cost concern. I think we’ve proved that.” When asked how they managed to prove it, Worrall is absolutely clear in his answer. “Transparency,” he says. “We set our stall out from day one to be very open and transparent about our supply chain and how we could make it compete. We’re using very large ships and we have an excellent deep water facility here in Liverpool. Furthermore, there are no middlemen involved between plantation and UK refinery. What’s happened with
us here in the UK is actually a reflection of a wider trend in the industry. Across Europe we can see the palm oil refining industry being increasingly dominated by more integrated supply chains. The UK was the one market that didn’t have that until we came along.” Most importantly, New Britain Oils is willing to put its money where its mouth is, entering into long term pricing agreements with its customers so that they see the benefits being offered can be guaranteed for years down the line. A Deep Pool of Talent Of course, none of this would be possible if New Britain Oils didn’t have the right people on board. Fortunately with its Liverpool-based facility the company has quite the well of talent to draw from. “In the Northwest of England we’re fortunate that there is still a substantial manufacturing hub,” Worrall says. “There’s a good network of skilled operators and technicians within the chemical process engineering sector. So even though we’re now employing people whose background isn’t necessarily oil and fats based, they’ve been in similar kinds of areas. We combine that good catchment area for talent with good training. It takes about six months to get an employee trained in all the ways we need.” This is partly because of the unorthodox way New Britain Oils organises its teams. “We have an unusual operational model in that we have multi-skilled shifts,” Worrall says. “Our teams are multi-
skilled across a range of disciplines, so we invest a lot in training them. Meanwhile, on the commercial side of the business we’ve got a lot of people who’ve been in the industry a while. The company’s management has got a combined experience of well over 100 years. We also have a number of graduates who’ve joined us and we’re investing in training them in a number of commercial and financial roles.” It sounds like the company has a wide talent pool, so it’s a little surprising to discover how lean the team actually is, with only around 50 employees throughout the whole company. So what next for New Britain Oils? “We’ve invested heavily in our new bakery plant,” Worrall announces. “A lot of palm oil is consumed in the bakery sector. It’s particularly great oil for things such as pastry products and cakes. Our bakery processing plant came on stream around February and so our next challenge is to get into the market.” Of course, this means once again New Britain Oil is going to have to educate the industry to succeed in it. “A great deal of the bakery industry isn’t even aware they’re using palm oil,” Worrall says. “They may buy their margarine products as a brand or it may just be labelled as a vegetable oil. Customers don’t even know palm oil is a significant ingredient.” It looks like once again New Britain Oils has their work cut out®for them. Fortunately they’re well up to the challenge.
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Endeavour Magazine • October 201214:20 • 53 27.09.12
New Britain Palm Oil www.nbpol.com.pg +65 6227 6247 Written by Daemon Sands
PEOPLE, PLANET AND PROSPERITY Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 55
New Britain Palm Oil
“Sustainability is a journey,” Dr. Simon Lord, Group Sustainability Director begins. “For this generation sustainability is a direction, not a destination and only successive generations can determine whether our actions were truly sustainable. For the present we continue to build the foundation as a legacy for the future.”
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 57
New Britain Palm Oil
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Safeguarding employees and the environment are only two of the impressive pillars that New Britain Palm Oil has built this foundation on. As one of the world’s leading producers of sustainable palm oil they help set the benchmark for the industry with their active role in the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil and their strict adherence to this world’s first ever commodity standard for sustainability. Group Sustainability Director, Executive Board Member for RSPO and Director of Global Sustainability Associates, Dr. Simon Lord speaks with Daemon Sands regarding the future of the industry and where the remarkable strength of the company comes from. Palm oil is a natural vegetable oil from the palm Elaeis guineensis, the laden with fruit tree that produces a richlycoloured, entirely free from cholesterol oil. The palm produces two kinds of oil, crude palm oil from the flesh of the fruit and palm kernel oil from the nut. The versatility of the oils makes it very popular in European and Asian markets where it’s mainly used in food preparation and the confectionery manufacturing industries. As a highly diverse substance palm oil appears in many household products including margarines, shortenings, frying fats, ice cream, domestic and commercial cooking oils, and even perfumed soap products. “Palm oil is in one in ten items on a supermarket shelf ” Simon reveals.
Palm oil competes with other world oils and is often maligned, but a bit of research reveals that oil palm is ten times more productive than soya oil in terms of yields. This means that a hectare planted with oil palm provides the same quantity of oil as ten hectares planted with soya. This saves forests whilest at the same time providing a cheaper commodity to a world requiring more and more food. Add this to the length at which New Britain Palm Oil goes to ensure sustainable production. It’s a fresh edge to what this Papua New Guinea company is doing from a global perspective. NBPOL operates exclusively in the Asia Pacific region. “Our company headquarters are in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, where we have a refinery and the main bulking terminal,” Dr. Simon Lord tells us “and our plantation operations are in five other provinces in Papua New Guinea and also in the Solomon Islands. On each site we have estates and smallholders as well as mills and storage facilities. Whilst at the other end of our supply chain in the UK we have the world’s first palm oil refinery built to deal with 100% sustainable palm oil.” The group’s pre-tax profits rose to US$ 780 million in 2011 on the back of almost a doubling of fruit production since its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2007. NBPOL is also listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, and this allows local people a chance to readily obtain shares. In fact the provincial Government of West New Britain is the
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 59
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second largest shareholder in the company and ensures that the people of this province share in NBPOL’s prosperity. “Despite this drop in oil prices and the turbulent global economic environment we are still on the growth path.” Part of NBPOL’s success can be attributed to the productivity of their own plantations, which cover 78,000 hectares of oil palm, but also to the hard work of its 15,000 smallholders who supply over a quarter of the fruit. The company now operates a total of 11 crude palm oil mills, and employs over 25,000 people in West New Britain, Ramu Valley, Milne Bay, Poliamba and Higaturu in Papua New Guinea and the Guadalcanal Province of the Solomon Islands. “Our main refinery, New Britain Oils, is based in Liverpool, UK,” Simon explains, “where the focus is on delivering segregated, traceable and certified sustainable food ingredients to end customers based in the EU.” It is this vertical integration of operations, from plantation to refinery, that has enabled this Papua New Guinea company to present an unbroken chain of custody for its fully certified sustainable palm right into the heart of Europe Before the onset of the Second World War, an Agricultural officer named Frank Henderson based at Talasea recognised the potential for agricultural development of an area known as the “Mosa block”. This land is on the northern coast of West New Britain Province, an island lying to the east of the Papua New Guinea mainland and situated in the Bismarck Archipelago.
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Following the ravages of war, investment funds were directed to more urgent needs and the north coast of West New Britain remained undisturbed by any formal development. It was not until the 1960’s that Frank Henderson (newly appointed Director of Agriculture) could begin to realise the agricultural potential of this land. In 1967, the House of Assembly in Port Moresby passed the Palm Oil Industry (New Britain Agreement) Ordinance and New Britain Palm Oil Development Ltd came into being with land at the “Mosa block” being made available to the new Company under agricultural leases for a term of 99 years. Then in 1968, NBPOL (as it is now known) planted its first oil palms at two sites – Bebere and Dami within a projected area of just 1300 hectares. This initial operation has since grown to 36,000 hectares but NBPOL’s first venture outside of West New Britain was only in 2006, when the company acquired GPPOL in the Solomon Islands. In 2008, Ramu Agri-industries Limited joined the NBPOL family, adding a significant sugar and beef production to the Group’s activities and in 2010 three further operation in the provinces of Oro, Milne bay and New Ireland joined the NBPOL Group of companies. Now, 44 years later, while still being headquartered in the Mosa block, they have expanded operations to cover over 95, 000 hectares of directly managed plantations including oil palms, sugar and beef cattle, as well as 39 000 hectares of out-grower oil palm blocks.
The list of accolades for this company is extensive but it is the focus on sustainability that makes this company uniquely facetted. “It wasn’t until 2007 that the concept of a sustainability standard for palm oil was officially achieved,” Simon explains. Conceived by The Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), this multi-stakeholder initiative ensures that those seeking certification not only achieve the standard but continuously improve performance year by year. NBPOL has been an active member of the RSPO since its conception in 2002. “We identified 8 pillars which defined sustainability and then strengthened these Principles with a further 39 criteria which gave each Principle a context. Finally we added about 150 indicators to the standard which allowed performance to be measured,” he says adding “it is these Key performance indicators which make the standard so robust and give it depth whist it is the 8 Principles (Transparency, Adherence to legislation, Economic viability, Good Agricultural Practice, Environmental stewardship, Social consideration, Sustainable development and Continuous improvement) that give the standard its breadth.“ In 2008 the West New Britain Operations achieved this prestigious standard with the other units rapidly following. By the end of 2012, all operations, including smallholders, will be fully certified. “It takes about two years from acquisition to ensure an operation is fully compliant” Simon explains.
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Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 63
New Britain Palm Oil
The last principle (Continuous Improvement) mandates that even when NBPOL have achieved their targets for a year they have to have in place a full plan for how to improve upon sustainability in all its facets the following year. It is an authoritative margin to ensure that stagnation does not occur. However the company began the journey towards sustainability some years earlier, implementing a programme to certify its assets with the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management. By 2004 all of its in-house plantations and facilities in West New Britain had achieved full certification. It became one of the first plantation companies in the world to gain ISO 14001. Yet before there were applicable environmental or sustainability standards for the industry, NBPOL had already established their own way of doing things. Simon goes on to explain, “Our early plantation managers were particularly forward thinking and inventive. Land was cleared without the use of fire and to this day NBPOL still maintains this no burn policy. We have gone on to avoid planting on peat and clear primary forests or any other High Conservation Value land and it is these significant early moves that put us well ahead of the game in terms of sustainability and subsequently help reduce our carbon footprint.” The company has since been moving to raise awareness and educate all of its small holders in the same way. It now produces all its oil, whether from plantations or smallholders, to a strict standard where each operation is audited by independent certification bodies who themselves
are approved by a separate accreditation body. It delivers its oil through a similarly audited supply chain. “I think we are industry leaders because of our presence and willingness to move and change,” Simon says, explaining the secret of the company’s approach which became less of a secret when The World Economic Forum identified NBPOL as one of the 16 New Sustainability Champions of 2011 out of a short list of over 1000 companies worldwide. With fully vertically integrated operations, NBPOL is responsible for producing its own seed, planting, cultivating and harvesting its own land and processing and refining oil palm fruits into refined, bleached and deodorized BBD oil and finished packaged products. “Thanks to the refinery in Liverpool, we have an unbroken chain of custody of our product from the seeds to the plantations then to our own refinery in Liverpool to the customers,” Simon points out, “It’s a fully traceable and sustainability segregated supply chain” adding “this assures our customers that they receive only NBPOL sustainable oil from our operations which can be traced directly to its origin.” While Dr. Simon Lords considers NBPOL company with its 25 000 employees a medium-sized company it is one of the largest when it comes to accepting its responsibilities to people, planet and prosperity. Believing in transparency, honesty and accountability the company has been producing two year sustainability reports since 2008 offering an explanation of its targets
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and commitments, These reports adhere to the Global Reporting Initiative (G4 guidelines) and clearly lay out the company’s performance (both positive and negative) in all environmental, social and governance aspects. “A responsible company is accountable to its investors and shareholders for environmental, social and fiscal management in equal measure” says Simon. People and prosperity are just as important as environmental considerations to the company and the work of the NBPOL Foundation is at the forefront of the group’s social initiatives. The new health and education partnership between VSO and NBPOL in Papua New Guinea highlights the approach with VSO and the New Britain Palm Oil Ltd Foundation have entering into an agreement to conduct a baseline assessment of the education and health needs of communities in areas bordering NBPOL’s site offices in Papua New Guinea. The research will inform the Foundation’s strategy for development in Papua New Guinea and will make recommendations on the priority needs of people within each area and on the project proposals to address those needs. VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. This partnership and going the extra mile is what typify NBPOL activities on the ground. “My job is risk management,” Simon explains, “I need to know what ship is coming over the horizon before we can
see the sails. That way we can influence and control issues before they arise.” “For the future we see there being four main areas of concern,” Simon adds. “The first two are almost upon us “ he says “ Carbon accountability and the associated reduction of emissions will play an increasing role in shaping our industry. Responsible companies will also have to face up to the challenge of the UN Millennium Development Goals and deal with poverty, equality and health.” NBPOL have already produced a carbon footprint report earlier this year and have forged ahead with the NBPOL Foundation to determine a community baseline around its plantations to assist in targeted aid. “Three is food security and sovereignty whereby companies realise the gravitational pull they have on local livelihoods; lastly there is water accountability and companies impacts on eco-system services. “People planet and prosperity,” are not just simple words for New Britain Palm Oil but the core of what makes their company successful and what has lain down the path for their future. Companies like NBPOL set standards for their industries and the ripples they create in their industries determine the movement and prosperity of those industries. Creating a better world is possible thanks to these marvels of industry and sustainability and their open and transparent modes of operation. Perhaps it’s time for other companies to start rethinking their strategies and follow suit. NBPOL is clearly setting the standards for the industry.
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SMOOTH RUNNING Bearings International www.bearings.co.za +27 11 899 0000 Written by Don Campbell
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 67
Machinery today can achieve anything we want. It has given man the ability to mine safely and efficiently, made the automotive world exponentially safer and opened the doors to fresh innovations and discoveries in a vast spectrum of industries and sectors. Yet machines are reliant on parts, designed and produced to an exacting degree and the bigger the machine the smaller and more important these parts become. We caught up with Ian Robinson Director of Bearings and Allied Products to shed some light on what makes his company what it is today.
Bearings International is a leading southern African distributor of bearings and power transmission products. Offering a complete range of leading brand imported products through their 53 wholly owned branch outlets they
are the leaders in their industry and some of the largest, most powerful companies in the world would literally grind to a halt without them. Their offering includes: general and specialist bearings and accessories, transmission and conveyor chains, agricultural spare parts, gearboxes and geared motors, electric motors and frequency converter variable speed controls. Couplings, pulleys, vee and wedge belts, oil seals, conveyor belts, industrial hoses, industrial adhesives, hand cleaners and lubricants. “Bearings has been around for forty years but I’ve only been here for 25 years,” Ian points out, “We’ve had a couple of owners over the years but now we’re part of the Hudaco family of companies. “ And, with a quarter of a century under his belt at Bearings International, Ian is a voice to be heard on the current state of the industry: “The mining industry has taken a couple of hits lately,” Ian explains, “For example the strikes and the killings at Lonmin Miles, and Julius
Malema calling for a general strike of the mines have brought about many unneeded hurdles. Additionally platinum is slipping at the moment because one of the primary uses is for the catalytic converters in automobiles and that industry has had a bit of a squeeze too. 40% of Hudaco’s business is manufacturing for the mining industry which has had a major ripple effect on a number of industries in South Africa which all share a consequential dependency to the mining industry,” It sounds like its doom and gloom for the industry however Ian has seen this sort of thing before, “Bearings is upbeat despite the drop in mining and we’re expecting an upturn in 2013,” When asked about being upbeat and how Bearings have achieved this while other companies have fallen victim to the recession, Ian makes it very clear, very quickly how important the employees were to their company: “There is a high degree of involvement and camaraderie existing within the company,” he describes, “This energy is constructively channelled into pursuing new levels of customer service excellence. It is a team effort.” In South Africa, there is a desperate need for people development in the industry. Training, a well-known facet in the Hudaco Group, forms an essential part of their success story to ensure that their personnel are equipped with the necessary skills to fulfil customer expectations. “As far as employees are concerned, South African government legislation brought in for economic empowerment has created a number of shortfalls and liabilities that need to be
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considered. This is why companies like African Rejuvenation are so vitally important,” Ian Robinson highlights, “They are the ones that keep us legal, providing us with significant legal direction and able to offer international guidance.” Their five hundred plus employees receive extensive in-house training. Due to the skill shortage many of their employees are offering schooling to a matriculate level (grade 12) and there is a three year plan that is submitted to the DTI for assessment. Active personnel training programmes, conducted by in-house trainers, assessors and outside institutions, cover product, technical, sales, business management, warehousing and logistics courses, as well as Sector Education and Training Authority-approved learner ships in line with the company’s black economic-empowerment objectives. “Our technical representatives attend on-going product training sessions and overseas suppliers also provide training locally. Customer training in product handling, fitment and maintenance is offered by our National Qualifications Framework-accredited trainers at the Bearings International head office or on site.” It’s clear that Bearing’s International believe that the focus on their employees is a significant contributing factor to their success. However this is not the only ingredient to their prosperity: “Another success factor is ensuring that the market identifies Bearings International as more than just a bearings supplier,” Ian explains, “When we receive an enquiry for the supply of bearings, we take a holistic approach. We
look beyond bearings and ask the right questions to offer a complete solution be it for electric motor, gearbox or coupling and seals,” He points out that the success of a solution is determined by strong technical support. “We offer 24-hour countrywide hotline service support and our regional technical representatives are on standby 24 hours a day.” On the other end of the scale there are the customers, whose loyalty and trust are often the measurement of a
African Rejuvenation South African BBEE Law indicates that a certain criteria and Modus Operandi is required from businesses with regards to sub-contracting and employment to ensure that previously disadvantaged individuals have the opportunity to contribute to the transformation of the South African economy. “This is where we come into it,” Arti Ramgobin, founder of African Rejuvenation explains, “To ensure that the transformation does not develop an environment of dependency but rather acts as a driver for economic and social growth.”
Through facilitating procedures, auditing supplier and sub-contractor routes to ensure BBEE compliancy, collating policies and assisting in enterprise development African Rejuvenation are able to increase Bearings International BBEE rating. “African Rejuvenation began in 2001 and our experience includes working for companies like Nissan South African, Bearings International and through most of the Hudaco Group,” Arti says, “Currently we are actively seeking clients in the international realm to further broaden the spectrum of our offering.”
company’s worth. As with many things Ian has seen a change here as well: “Customer liaising has changed in the last five years, there was a time where you would do the job and that would be it. But now more than even client retention is very important,” Ian says, “Developing and protecting relationships is so important today.” And for the future? What is keeping Ian, who has seen and been involved in so much over the last twenty five years, at the edge of his seat? “Engineering has picked up, especially in the power generation industry with a number of Hudaco’s companies making use of Bearings International and the variation in business offers a diversified progress for them. We’re also doing a lot of work with Toyota. “We are also pushing into export which is something we have only dabbled with in the past but now there is a strong push into Africa. We’re exporting further into the continent having hit all our neighbours and soon we’ll be pushing into the northern parts as well.”
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 71
OJ Construction www.ojcnam.com +264 61 246 021 Written by Jack Slater
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 73
A good success story is dependent on a couple of things. You need something unique and special, you need a powerful message and you need an impressive result. OJ Construction has all of these and to explain the details Jack Slater got in touch with Joint Owner Andre Oosthuizen to have a chat.
Founded in 2006, OJ Construction struck the industry with a resounding boom and since then has increased its turnover from a modest N$12 million annually to over N$100 million in 2012. The boom was clearly the hammer hitting the nail squarely on the head. “This exposure has been obtained from managing construction projects of various sizes, large and small in the residential commercial and industrial sectors,” Andre explains, “The partners of OJ Constructions have a collective understand of over thirty four years of construction industry experience.” “Visionaries precede followers and leave laggards behind,” is a good corporate saying, Andre continues, “Our incentive is to live out our visions and move on to the next challenge. As construction and project managers our first incentive is to replace confrontation and adversarial relationship with a spirit of joint endeavour and accomplishment between planner, designer and constructor, therefor serving the interest of the project owner.” This sounds brilliant, but the question is always how does any company achieve such visions and philosophies? Words only go so far before actions are needed but Andre has this thoroughly worked out:
“Our first priority it to be recognised as an excellent construction company. Secondly, to complete projects to the design standard, within the time schedule and finally within budget,” he says, “Our company is also dedicated to empower Namibian small and medium enterprises SMEs. Our vision is to apply effective management skills to guide construction projects to their successful conclusion and to foster faith of clients in our abilities to be nationally recognized as an excellent construction company.” This is of particular importance to OJ Construction and their primary objective is to improve entrepreneurial and project management skills of SMEs and in that respect empower their own labour force to become service providers to them and other construction companies. Small built environment firms in Namibia need business acumen to succeed and grow their business performance and competitiveness. Therefor OJC encourage growth of these businesses, creating wealth and ultimately generating employment within the construction sector. Furthermore, OJ Construction provides in-house training to its employees to become skilled in managing the construction process. Confidence in the supervision of certain trades on site is thus gained. Employees who show potential are assisted in registering as SMEs and receive preferential treatment on projects that OJ Construction has been awarded. The design and build way of carrying out construction projects is a relatively new concept to Namibia but routinely executed in Northern hemisphere countries. The client
Rex Quip Established: June 1996 Areas covered: construction, road building, civil engineering and mining industry Diversified agency for: Hitachi products, Hamm products, Terex Finlay screens, Wirtgen Road products and Astra articulated and rigid dump trucks Support: we have seven (7) service (LDV’s) and a 7 ton fully equipped crane truck, ten (10) skilled artisans which covers the whole of Namibia Parts supply: our store is stocked with spare parts worth 12 million, ready for resale.
Main dealer and distributor for New Holland Construction and Agricultural Machinery Rex-Quip is a 100% Namibian owned company of repute where service is the key word.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 75
approaches a reputable construction company, who in turn contracts designers, surveyors and engineers that are sufficiently experienced in the design of a required development. “Our senior management is well qualified and experienced and can save time and cost for a client in such a process,” says Andre, “Major investment and property companies in the western cape of south Africa use design and construct as the preferred way in which they carry out developments. It’s our goal to see this method of project inception to become a norm in the Namibian construction industry.”
OJ Construction is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all personnel and visitors to their sites. As a company there is a continual drive to improve the effectiveness of the health and safety systems through the setting and measurement of specific objectives put in place and by conforming to the current, applicable occupational health and safety legislation. Their mission statement is as follows - as an employer we undertake to provide a safe working environment and appropriate tools. We also acknowledge that safety takes precedence over program and cost. The consequence of injuries is a financial loss to both the individual and to the project. “Green Feet at OJC “ is an initiative to promote recycling on construction site level. Why is recycling so important? Every metric ton of paper uses 40% less energy and 50% less water. If all household paper/cardboard was recycled 750 000 cubic metres of landfill space would be saved a year. The energy saved from paper recycling in a year is sufficient to provide electricity to 512 homes for a year. Glass is 100% recyclable but it does not biodegrade. The raw materials for glass- sand, soda and lime- all have to be dug from the earth and melted together at a very high temperatures. Energy is saved by recycling. The energy saved from recycling just one bottle will power a 100watt light bulb for almost an hour. Every tone
of glass recycled also saves 1.2 tones of raw materials. Cans are 100% recyclable. They are melted down to make new steel. This reduces the need to mine new iron ore and saves o the energy used to mine and process it. More than 36, 000 tons of high-grade steel is recovered re-smelting a year. A total of 562 million PET bottles were recovered for recycling in 2007 alone. This removed 19, 000 tones of plastic from landfill but that was only 2.4% of the PET bottles made that year. Recycling a ton of PET containers saved 7.4 cubic meters of landfill space. And 19 x 500ml PET bottles can be recycled into enough fibre filling for a standard pillow. “The shortest distance between two points is under construction,” Leo Aikman. The failure to accomplish tasks correctly, completely, in time and to do them correctly the first time causes continual disruptions, protracts budgets, destroys schedules and can ultimately destroy continuity of a construction company. “Is it the policy of our company to provide the highest quality of construction services. We therefore strive to meet or exceed all stated requirements of every endeavour in which we are involved, with respect to materials, labour and administrative or time components. “
Each subjective, unquantifiable requirement must be made tangible. We must guarantee that every requirement is clearly defined in terms that can be measured and communicated in a manner that those responsible for its execution will clearly understand. If any requirement cannot be met we must cause the requirement to be officially changed.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 77
HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU Allied Publishing Pty Ltd www.alliedpublishers.com +27 11 248 2400 Written by Chris Farnell Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 79
Allied Publishing Pty Ltd
In South Africa Allied Publishing is a news delivery powerhouse. We talked to their Managing Director about the ways they go the extra mile to keep South Africa informed. The story of Allied Publishing Ltd goes way back. It has its roots in the idea of two entrepreneurs, Michael Davis and Albert Lindbergh. In 1896 these two teamed up to start up a paper delivery service throughout Johannesburg. Using teams of newsboys on bicycle and on foot, their company, the Central News Industry delivered The Star, The Standard and Diggers news to people across the city.
preferred media outlet for the whole of South Africa. “Those two companies have a 50/50 shareholding in Allied Publishing,” Paul Peters, Allied Publishing’s Managing Director explains. “Between them they distribute all the English newspaper titles in South Africa. Through us they distribute papers such as the Daily Star and Sunday Times alongside another 18 other titles.” It’s a big job, but Allied Publishing is up to the task thanks to a large fleet of vehicles that serve outlets across the country. “We have 264 vehicles, and we cover all 9 provinces in South Africa,” Peters says proudly. Allied Publishing’s distribution network isn’t just limited to putting out what its shareholders print, however. The company has an impressive reach any many publishers, both of smaller publications or big name imported ones, have chosen to make use of that reach. “With our distribution network we also offer a service to smaller publications such as the Mail & Guardian, Economist, Newsweek, International Express and Daily Telegraph. We have a vast and diverse logistics setup for all these newspapers and magazines,” Peters says.
CNA as it became known grew into the biggest stationary store in South Africa, selling newspapers, records, toys and of course, stationary to the whole country. As the company grew it moved away from the publishing and newspaper distribution end of the business, which split off in 1976 to form the company we now know of as Allied Publishing Ltd. Today the company is owned by two major newspaper houses. One is Independent Newspapers, a subsidiary of Independent News & Media (INM). That company is responsible for 30 national and regional newspapers, including lots of South Africa’s most popular titles. Independent Newspapers’ lists include a huge array of specialist entertainment, motoring, business and personal finance publications put together by an editorial team based throughout South Africa and drawing from the world’s top wire services. Allied Publishing’s other shareholder is Avusa Ltd, a publically listed media and entertainment company on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. This company is made up of Media, Books, Retail Solutions, Entertainment and Digital sectors and it’s aiming for nothing less than becoming the
Powering the Network While “distribution network” can sound like a very grand term, at the end of the day it comes down to two fundamental components. Those components are the people that keep the business turning over, and the fuel that keeps its engines running. These are both components to the business that can be a challenge, Peters admits. “Ensuring we keep our labour force in the best possible shape is our biggest challenge,” he tells us. “The workforce is very unionised here so we’re in a constant state of negotiation with them. In our distribution network we have it under control so there are rarely any big disagreements, but it’s an ongoing challenge to keep our labour and transport costs down.” Newspapers, by their very nature, need to be delivered at the most unsociable hours, so finding people willing and able to work during the hours necessary to get the papers where they need to be is a challenge. Peters believes that work needs to be rewarded. “Due to the hours we work it’s difficult to find labour
at a reasonable price,” Peters says. “So we offer our staff financial incentives based on efficiency targets to ensure we get the best work out of them. We also have a number of training schemes. In South Africa we have an obligation to train our staff so we have several programs partly subsidised by government.” These training courses serve an important purpose, as Allied Publishing Ltd strongly believes in investing in its staff. “Wherever possible we try to promote from within the company,” Peters says. “We find the company benefits from having senior staff that have seen the company at every level.” As well as trying to get the best out of its people, Allied Publishing also has to work hard to keep its vehicles fuelled. “The rising price of fuel, with continuous increasing petrol prices, is a big challenge,” says Peters. “We’ve looked at our total distribution network with a view to seeing which supply outlets have major sales. We’re being careful to make sure we continue supplying outlets that are viable while looking at the whole network and cutting back on unviable areas.” Entering the Digital Age Of course anyone in the publishing industry has become aware of another challenge over the last decade. The paperboy is gradually giving way to the web browser, and while South Africa hasn’t felt the full impact of the Internet yet, everyone is aware that the change is coming. “10 percent of our population has Internet access and six of those percent are accounted for by large institutions and big business. So the general population at this stage has very little access,” Peters says matter-of-factly. “However we’re still recognising the threat from digital news. Each of our newspaper publishers has its own digital edition behind a pay wall. Originally these were given for free but we were losing print copy circulation. People would discontinue their subscription because they could get it on the Internet. We’re seeing the same thing happen all over the world.” Despite this, the system that Allied Publishing has put in place seems to be working. “The digital versions of our papers are offered at half the cover price. There is a slow uptake because not many in the population have easy access to the Internet yet. However we believe that will improve as South Africa develops its online infrastructure, broadening its bandwidth to compete with the rest of the world.” Things are looking bright for Allied Publishing, and we’re not the only ones to think so. In this tough economic climate many companies are turning to the reassuring presence of a big name in the industry to help them through this tough time. Peters says, “Because of the pressures in the economy, worldwide labour costs and fuel prices increasing we’ve got a lot of smaller distribution companies coming in and joining us. So we’re growing. Because we’re so solid and owned by two major industry giants we have lots of the smaller companies and magazines coming along and asking us to do their distribution. We do the legwork for them and charge a distribution fee to offset costs. It’s a growing section of the business.” It looks like Allied Publishing has plenty of good news in store!
SHEVIL’S Spares, accessories and tools for all makes of cars • Excellent service and prices
Founded in 1967 by Tyrone Anthony, a highly respected man in the motor spares industry, Shevil’s remains a family-run business that values the working relationship it has with its customers. Jodan Centre, 249 Johannesburg Road (Cor. Fourth Street), La Rochelle, Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 435 0374/5/6 Fax: +27 11 435 3840 Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 81
Solareff www.solareff.co.za Jaco Bothas +27 82 937 7659 Written by Tiffany Romero
NOW IT ALSO MAKES FINANCIAL SENSE
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 83
A young company started with the specific goal of getting a position and a reputable name in the market before the big rush approached. Now that the big rush is here they are in the perfect position to capitalize on the thrust.
“To start off with I want to state that we are not just talkers,” Jaco, technical director and co-founder of Solareff says, “We are doers.” Founded in May 2010 and based in Johannesburg, Solareff was established as a solar power solutions company that focused on smaller off-grid and grid integrated solar power installations. It has since expanded its services to include wind-power and independent power producer (IPP) consulting. They offer Solar/ Wind power hybrid solutions depending on the location of an installation. “We specialize in the effective design, supply, installation, commissioning and project management of renewable energy systems,” Jaco explains, “Our focus is power generation by means of top of the range renewable energy sources such as mono- and polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic (solar) panels and wind turbines.” This young and energetic company has the technical side covered with Jaco Botha, an electrical engineer by trade who has been tinkering around with renewable energy for years. “It used to just be an interest but with the market as it is at the moment it made good sense to get into it professionally,” Jaco says. As a flexible operator they have the capacity
GENER8 POWER SOLUTIONS is a national franchise in the ALTERNATIVE ENERGY sector. We specialize is all aspects of alternative energy solutions with an expert team of franchisees to service South Africa. As a young energetic company our goal is to have leading franchisee outlets at all major areas offering Reliable, efficient and clean solar energy for your home, business or commercial applications. Saving our valuable planet is very important to us at GENER8 and we are geared and ready to offer solutions that will reduce carbon emissions and thus give earth a better chance. Whether it’s a Solar Water Heater, a Heat Pump or PV panels, we are excited to be a part of the solution. Our team are all Eskom accredited, products offered carry the highest standards of quality, are SABS approved so that you can claim your rebate and cut your expensive energy bills today.
and expertise to handle any size project, whether the need is for a small simple rural or domestic installation, large urban project, grid integrated or larger scale independent power production (IPP) system. Stating that they are doers is a literal statement and counts for a great deal, especially in an industry where other companies are so wrapped up in research, development and proposals. They’ve spent their time installing with the necessary research and development. “We have completed numerous small scale solar-power, wind-power and hybrid installations to date,” Jaco adds, “We have also been involved with various large scale IPP projects with the largest project to date being a 75MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) design.” Listed and recognised as an expert with the Renewable Energy Market Transformation Initiative (REMT) of the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) Solareff is also a member of various industry associations. Solareff has presented at various internationally attended conferences on renewable energy and solar power. A great deal of work has gone into preparing itself for the future and in speaking with Jaco there is clearly a great excitement about what’s coming. The reason for this is quite simple: “The likes of solar energy used to be a choice for people wanting to be green and in the past it used to be a statement of the “eco-conscious” and because it was expensive it built up a reputation of being the eco-choice of those who could afford it,” Jaco admits, “But things have dramatically changed since those days, the technology has had to advance
itself and now it actually makes financial sense. This sort of logic can’t be ignored and we’re feeling the benefits of it now.” South Africa is very well known for its sunshine and an almost lack of a discernible winter when compared to some nations and this may explain some of Solareff’s success but Jaco says it goes even further than that: “It might be because of the sunshine or maybe because South Africa is a nation that has gone through several changes in its past and has become as a result open minded to change,” he says, “But they take on new ideas and concepts with more enthusiasm than some other nations.” Having prepared for the recently arriving energy revolution, Solareff have designed themselves into a full turnkey service provider including engineering design, onand off site project management, installation, commissioning and maintenance. Additionally, all the projects are planned to allow for future expansion according to specific expansion forecasts. So to enhance or improve upon what they’re done for a client today is an easy thing to do tomorrow. “Quality is very important to us and we only use the highest quality renewable energy technology,” Jaco ensures us, explaining some of the principles behind their company, “Including a full range of mono- and poly-crystalline silicon Photo Voltaic panels ( PV panels), wind turbines, inverters and top of the range energy storage devices. The manufacturers of components are constantly measured for quality and reliability.”
GENER8’s five reasons to convert to Solar Water Heating • Reduce your water heating bill by up to 75% and your total electricity bill by up to 40%. • Claim your Eskom rebate and save. • Let nature heat your water without damaging the environment. • Reduce your carbon footprint by 3.15 tons per annum. • Be a pioneer in your neighbourhood and take that first step. It is only when we realize that we only have one Earth to live on, that we will make changes to preserve it. Witbank, Mpumalanga, 1035
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 85
Top Carpets www.topcarpets.co.za +27 87 1500 999 Written by Martin White
FLOORING THE COMPETITION Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 87
In April we spoke with Brian Hoyle about Top Carpets & Floors and featured their success story. Following the immensely popular response we received from our textile industry readers there was no doubt that we would bring them back as soon as we could.
Top Carpets & Floors are a force to be reckoned with in the South African flooring market and have repeatedly demonstrated their complete understanding of the industry. Having developed a keen sense of adaptability they have been always been able to match the fluid and unpredictable nature of the market. With representation at 125 different locations, Top Carpets & Floors has a major footprint in the industry and with its members location placing it within a 50km radius of any potential consumer in the country there just isn’t a group like it anywhere else in South Africa. It has grown from humble beginnings and has had its fair share of obstacles to hurdle. “25 years ago six disillusioned flooring contractors, worried about the state of the market, set up a small buying group with the name ‘Carpet Purchasers’,” Bryan Hoyle details, “Their thoughts were that, by being combined together they should be able to provide some protection against the problems of the day.” Inevitably, as more members joined and eventually they reached the conclusion that ‘Carpet Purchasers’ wasn’t the snappy, memorable name they needed. The problem was that nobody could agree what they should call it instead. “So we put it to a design college in London,” Brian explains. “They ran a competition, there was a prize winner and they came up with the name Top Carpets.” Since then the company has retained the same focus and passion and has changed only in its growth. From six people the company now has more than 125 members using the Top Carpets & Floors buying power. As it’s grown the company has also broadened its cover, providing full marketing and management assistance to its members and expanding from carpets into other flooring markets. Changing Markets This expansion has proven to be crucial for the company, as over the last 20 years the market has been going through some tremendous changes. “Carpeting has declined by up to 50% in volume in the last 20 years,” Brian admits. “There are several reasons for that. Firstly, we have a subtropical / Mediterranean climate. This has led to strong growth in ceramics and porcelain. They’ve been expanding at between 15 and 20% year on year. Meanwhile, unlike other parts of the world, here we’ve also seen the laminate wood market remain strong; as an agricultural country, there’s a strong liking for natural materials. We have got cultural issues too. Since 1994 when the country started off on its new path there’s been a lot of emphasis on homes for everyone, and the vast majority of these are affordable entry-level homes, leading to a high usage of hard flooring, because there’s a perception that they will last longer.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 88
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 •
So laminate wooden flooring has been showing continued growth at quite a pace and so have ceramics, which means carpets have suffered.” Fortunately, Top Carpets & Floors has been able to move with the times. “When we started this was very much a carpet company,” he explains. “Many of our people came from a carpet manufacturing background; most of their businesses were centred around carpeting. So to adapt we’ve had to show some strong horizontal diversification. We’ve moved into other types of flooring, and because of this diversification Top Carpets added “& Floors” to its name in 2008. We have since expanded into blinds and shutters. Top Floors Online will be launched in October as a new direct to consumer website for laminates and rugs. “There is a high demand for rugs due to the use of hard floorings such as laminate/ceramic tiles. For us, it’s a very new and exciting market.” Consumers are growing more concerned with air quality in their homes, and the allergen based health problems, that can occur, especially in warmer climates. “We have a new installation initiative called Healthguard; a specialized process to treat allergens and bacteria on the primary floor. This includes replacement of traditional underfelt with a waterproof underlay called Spillguard. They have also acquired Floor Smart, Springfield Park, Durban which is a company focused primarily on Laminates, but also includes other flooring types, as well as rugs.
New Blood However, the changing markets aren’t the only challenge Top Carpets & Floors faces. While the last few years have been hard on everyone financially, one of Hoyle’s major concern is that there won’t be enough skilled labour to meet demand once the economy improves. “We need to make sure we have enough skilled labour at every level to cope with the growth and demand that will certainly come once this current crisis has died down,” he says. “Here in South Africa it’s a particularly pressing issue because we’re expecting huge growth in the floor coverings industry. With so much of infrastructure being replaced we’re going to see a lot of both commercial and housing projects. We’re blessed with a fantastic opportunity for growth.” While Top Carpets and Floors itself has only a small team of 35 people at its head office, every one of its outlets is individually owned, so it’s important that a new generation is trained up to meet growing demand. It’s a responsibility that’s been spread across the entire South African flooring industry. “We’ve got involved in sponsorship
and training at a post school level at several places around the country,” Brian says. “Our local manufacturers have also put a lot of money and effort into training programmes so that these staff are ready for the future. The industry has a body that looks after wood and laminates, South African Wood & Laminate Flooring Association, who have also put a lot of effort into training people.” However, despite all the effort that’s going into training
“With so much of infrastructure being replaced, we’re going to see a lot of both commercial and housing projects. We’re blessed with a fantastic opportunity for growth” Bryan Hoyle, Top Carpets and Floors
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this new generation, Brian still believes this is just the beginning. But Top Carpets and Floors isn’t sitting on its laurels. Right now the company is undergoing a major overhaul to bring new blood into the firm. “Looking at the benefits of bringing in younger management makes sense when looking to the future,” Hoyle says. “We’re also looking at gender to make sure we have the correct balance and access to the best female opinions on how best to deal with the consumer could be a key differential for the TCF Group. We’re getting new blood into the company at every level, every day.” Brian’s confident about the future of the flooring industry in South Africa. With the market on the up, and the increase in global communications, Hoyle is convinced that South Africa’s industry is a match for any in the world. “If you take our largest carpet manufacturing company, Belgotex, it’s a world class production facility. So to the surprise of many our product offering is just as advanced as it is in, for instance, the UK. If you were to look at ceramics a simple investigation would demonstrate our ceramics industry is a world leader in affordable ceramic tiles,” Brian says, justifiably proud. “There’s a strong European influence but the quality of our product is very good. What’s more, we still have this spirit of adventure. We’re always open to new ideas, and that’s one thing that’s allowed us to keep up with Europe and the States. We’ve realised we can be as good as anyone so long as we look, listen and apply.”
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 2012/09/27 11:00• AM 91
FIT FOR EVERY FUNCTION BlackJack Events www.blackjackevents.co.za +27 11 463 1899 Written by Donnie Rust
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 93
From the left: Dave de Jong, Warren Bryce-Borthwick and Simon Gibson
An event is a statement. Whether itâ€™s a corporate or a private function, a seminar or a concert the design and thought put into your event is crucial to the experience of your guests. In South Africa, one of the most varied and cross-cultured nations in the world, being a success in this industry requires an insight into what customers want tempered with the know-how on how to deliver. Donnie Rust catches up with co-founder and director, Warren Bryce-Borthwick.
“In 1999 I started working as a waiter for a caterer,” Warren describes, “I gained a lot of valuable experience and industry know-how which paved the way to start my own business. In 2004 Dave de Jong, Simon Gibson and myself founded Black Jack Events initially as a staffing company for catering events.” Their offerings have expanded since those early days and now they are a full service eventing, venue management and event consulting company. Based in Bryanston, Johannesburg they pride themselves on the attention to detail and an open approach to any eventing idea. “We offer a full event solution, whereby allowing our clients to sit back and relax at their event knowing they are safe in the hands of professionals,” Warren explains, “Our services and expertise include Event Planning and Design, Décor, Hiring, Event Infrastructure, Catering, Bar Service, Event Service Staff, Technical, Transport and Accommodation,” The niche thrust of BlackJack Events comes from the
experience of the three co-founders and directors who have worked at all levels of the event industry ranging from the grass roots level of catering staff all the way up through to design and implementation. This has made them a one-stop shop for customers seeking a memorable and successful event. “Employee training is very important to us,” Warren points out, “We manage a venue in Morningside, Johannesburg which allows us to train our support staff specifically to our business requirements. Once a week we train our staff to reinforce the relative fundamentals of waitering, bartending and client services.” Their 15 permanent and 150 contract staff have gained extensive experience from serving a wide variety of corporate and private clients and therefore have become accustomed to various cultures and protocol. A strict code of conduct has been developed and is adhered to. Staff hours are captured and signed by the client on timesheets supplied by BlackJack Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 95
Events and these are used as proof of hours worked for both clients and staff. “During the recession customers have become very discerning to what they want at their events,” Warren points out, “They are budget conscious but still need the professional standard and high quality we can provide to them.” With a client list that includes Investec Group and Private Bank, Alexander Forbes, VISA, Ogilvy, Werksmans Attorneys, British American Tobacco, GrowthPoint, BMW and Atlas Copco they are clearly doing something right. BlackJack Events staff have served both International and South African celebrities, captains of industry and numerous VIP local and international guests, additionally, they had the privilege of managing and staffing various hospitality suites at Ellis Park, Loftus and Soccer City for the FIFA 2010 World Cup, supplying Staff for President Jacob Zuma’s Inauguration Banquet as well as traveling with 50 staff members to Bahrain to assist a string of international companies with The Royal Wedding. “South Africa has been behind on the events industry,” Warren reveals, “And now things are catching up very fast. Events are being used as fashion statements and need innovative designs. Making use of the latest technologies, mobile apps and keeping close to styling trends. Customers want innovation they want to feel that they are ahead.” Knowing what trends are moving the industry on an international scale enables BlackJack Events to stay ahead of their competitors and to give them a good scope on how to satisfy customer needs.
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“Trends move in waves. Neons and inflatable tents are popular at the moment, while many clients are moving towards “greener” décor elements” Warren says, “But it’s important to be able to provide whatever is asked for. Whether it’s Bedouin Tents, Inflatable Marquees, Frame Marquees, we offer them all. We also offer Lounge Suites, Cocktail Furniture, Formal Furniture, Cutlery, Crockery and linen.” “Many parts go into a successful event,” Warren says, “You have to get the venue set up just right, then you need the sort of entertainment, be it music or live acts that will engage the guests properly. South Africa is also a food orientated nation.” Top South African caterers work with BlackJack Events. With their expert menu design and creative flare, they compliment any special functions with fantastic fare. From casual spit braais and buffets, to elaborate canapé parties or plated dinners. Taking all the legwork away from their customers BlackJack Events also source and manage entertainment, power, audio and visual technology and sound and lighting requirements. “Like I said a one-stop shop.” The beauty of companies like BlackJack Events is that they remove all the preparation stress from the customer and give them the perfect excuse to enjoy themselves with their guests. And as the corporate environment swings towards live interaction they will be in very high demand due to their professionalism and quality.
Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 97
AN INTERVIEW WITH KATHLEEN WILLIAMSON WRITING WHEN IT’S THERE by Donnie Rust My boss, who is a virtual catalogue of acquired tastes, stepped into my office and handed me a CD to listen to. Not sure what to expect but nevertheless eager for the break from my terribly busy day of sharpening pencils and drawing circles, I slipped it into my laptop and quite frankly fell in love with what was on it. It is a well-known fact that since the internet has made the music industry accessible to everyone it has also made everyone think that they belong there. Usually I’m hesitant to listen to anyone’s mix-cd because, while they’re expecting me to think it rivals Freddy Mercury at his best, it usually doesn’t and I end up adding another name to the list of
people I have to actively avoid. But can I describe how different my response was to this CD? Not a pencil was sharpened and not a circle was drawn for the two solid hours I spent listening to the CD on repeat. Not one. It was a delight to finally catch up with the woman behind the music, Kathleen Williamson and have a chat. “I got into music when I was nine or ten years old,” Kathleen explains, “Starting with learning the clarinet, the saxophone, piano and guitar. The singing training started when I was fourteen but I was singing for as long as I can remember.” A common misconception is that people are born with the ability to sing and this couldn’t be further from the truth
as the ability to sing is a learned talent something that is developed, strengthened and honed over many years of training. Saying that someone is just born with it is a crime as you’re stealing away the joy and triumph of achieving something special. I happen to believe that Kathleen did possess a higher degree of talent when it comes to music and thus forth perhaps had a karmatic responsibility to develop it. “I had vocal training from the age of fourteen to about twenty four,” she says, “It was initially classical training, then contemporary/musical theatre and then jazz singing with a number of different vocal coaches. Like this I had the
opportunity to strength the voice behind my sound instead of focussing on just making a nice sound.” In classical training you learn the science behind how the notes are formed and where the sound comes from inside you. It trains you for singing at both poles of your singing range, the bottom all the way through to the top and getting the most perfect sound possible. The difference between a ‘pop’ or ‘rock’ singer who sings for half an hour and then can’t speak and an Opera singer who sings without microphones to a hall of people for four hours without straining their voice is down to the manner in which they are trained. I asked Kathleen about her influences. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 99
“My parents were into a wide variety of different music so I had a lot of influences on my style,” she recalls, “My dad was into lots of rock and folk so I grew up listening to the Grateful Dead and the Beatles. I’ve always been a fan of the likes of Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Tori Amos and because I’ve had the chance to perform in a lot of different areas I’ve been able to filter my likes through my experiences and the result is what you hear.” She is modest about her sound. Personally, I think it’s the sort of lyrical cleverness combined with music originality that deserves to be on every playlist of every human on the planet. But that is purely my opinion. The songs are so well designed that you can’t help but picture her as someone who just can’t help things bubbling out of her head with the sort of ease that would drive other people to distraction.
“Writing can be the most frustrating thing to do. You can’t force it. If you do what you have is never going to sound right and you’ll never be satisfied with it,” she warns, “When I was working in Dubai on a six month singing contract at the Hyatt Hotels, singing jazz and contemporary I didn’t write anything of my own because I was immersed in the work of other artists. It was a fantastic professional opportunity but it did cloud my inspiration.” Professional opportunities are the punctuation used when the perfectionist can gather inspiration before writing the next sublime line. Or at least that’s what I’ve always thought. “Inspiration comes at the strangest of times,” she smirks, “Luckily my partner is a musician as well with similar patterns because sometimes I get an idea for a song as I’m about to fall asleep. Then I’m up and scribbling it down in a book so that I don’t forget it.”
“Artists don’t sleep,” she adds, “You have to write when it’s there.” I asked her about the method how she puts her songs together because the process of creativity has always interested me. If you believe what you see on television someone gets an idea for a song, there is a quick montage and then they have a song that changes everything… (Mostly Walk The Line). But I’ve always had the feeling there was more to it: “For me, as a vocalist it starts with the words and a sketch of the main melody and the instrumentation comes in later,” she says, “It’s easier to put the music to the vocals after you know what you want to say in the song.” Talent, preparation and seizing opportunities have made Kathleen’s career a surfing ride rather than a climb and there seems to always be something new approaching on
the horizon. “My partner, Leo Altarelli, and I live in Bungay Suffolk, which along with a rich folk heritage is beautiful and peaceful,” she, a person who grew up in Sydney Australia explains, “We’re working on a 1950s inspired close harmony duo called You & The Night. In November we’re going to New York, where we’ll be playing a few gigs and checking out some of the legendary music venues.” Here I have to write a conclusion, something to sum up the article into a revelation that will leave you the reader with some thought that will, in a small way improve your life. Knowing that I am inclined to waffle on a bit when I myself am inspired I will leave you with one bit of advice: seek out Kathleen Williamson and get your hands on her CD “Little While” and, for more information, visit her website: www.kathleenwilliamson.tumblr.com. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 101
MUSICIANS. KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY by Donnie Rust PRS FOR MUSIC With Barney Hooper In a nutshell, PRS for Music (formerly the Performing Right Society) is a UK copyright collection society undertaking collective rights management for musical works. As it stands now, PRS for Music was formed in 1997 as the MCPS-PRS Alliance and brought together the two collection societies: the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and Performing Right Society (PRS). The PRS for Music brand was adopted in 2009. “We manage about 10 million musical works on behalf of our songwriter, composer and publisher members,” Barney says, “PRS for Music licenses its members’ musical works whenever they are played, performed or reproduced both in the UK and globally through its partner network.” One of the biggest challenges young musicians face is the gap between amateur and professional. Ignorance of the systems already in place to protect them mean that they often don’t find themselves in an environment where they can make that necessary step. PRS for Music forms the keystone to the industry. If you don’t have them on your side then you cannot call yourself a professional. “If you’re a songwriter, composer or a publisher who has written a song, even if you don’t perform it, PRS for Music are here to look after you,” Barney explains, “Music rights
are complicated and it’s compartmentalized with different organizations looking after different people. We protect the creators.” Venues are legally obliged to pay for a music licence (PRS for Music ) and this includes clubs, pubs, BBC radio shows, television and online sites such as Youtube and Itunes. As long as you are a member of PRS for Music whenever your songs are played you are entitled to royalties. “Music used in businesses needs to be licensed. PRS for Music makes it easy and has been around for a hundred years,” Barney says, “We’re owned by the members, there is a one off fee to join and we’re the same organization that every musician you see belongs too,” Brilliant, seems easy enough, but music is used on many different levels and the question is how do they know when something you’ve written is being used? “There are different levels depending on where the music is played,” Barney points out, “For example, BBC television and radio are exactly precise and everything is anally recorded in detail. So if a member’s music is played on the radio they’ll get paid for it. The majority of broadcasters are like this. and as the industry has grown thanks to online and digital avenues the ability to collaborate playlists has become easier. Pubs and clubs can be a little less accurate, but our members can keep us up to date and we will connect with the venues to confirm.”
And, I hear you ask dear reader, what about the money? “The pay depends entirely on venues and how it is used,” Barney explains, “This is the most honest way to reflect the level of work you’re putting into it. If you’re making money it’s because you’re being listened to in the right places and the music is being used in the best fashion,” There you go. IFPI Adrian Stain The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a not-forprofit members’ organisation registered in Switzerland and operates a Secretariat based in London, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong and Miami. Donnie Rust caught up with Communications Director Adrian Stain “We promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music,” Adrian says, “Our services to members include legal policy advice, anti-piracy enforcement, litigation and regulatory affairs, market research and communications support.” When I was younger you listened to music on a cassette tape and for years this was all we knew and we loved it; when my father first bought a CD player it was the closest
thing I had experienced to magic and was in awe of it and were convinced this was where the future of music was. However, the internet and computer age has exploded. “The digital revolution started ten years ago and it has been a decade of transformation,” Adrian points out, “Unlike other creative medias music has embraced the digital world and music is now 33% digital. Our priority for the next 12 months is to help the industry adapt to a digital environment while developing a fair and legal environment.” Are things really changing that radically? Is it time for us to start using our CDs as coasters or frisbees? “The CD is by no means dead,” Adrian explains, “CDs still contribute 60% of the industry business. But we like to be ahead of the game and so we’re proactively licensing the online and digital mediums through websites such as Veevo.” Would this licencing affect the websites and the correlating businesses that help promote music in this digital universe? “Third party companies are cooperating and share our desire for the development of an environment of legitimacy,” Adrian reassures us, “All the major credit cards have gotten on board by choosing not to work with piracy companies and we’re pushing a campaign with Google to prioritize legitimate websites on their searches.” Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 103
PPL UK Jonathan Morrish Established in 1934, PPL exists to ensure that those who invest their time, talent and money to make recorded music are fairly paid for their work when it is broadcast and/or used in public. Donnie Rust spoke with Jonathan Morrish. PPL licenses recorded music played in public or broadcast and then distributes the licence fees it collects to its performer and rights holder members. “Two hundred and seventy people work for us here at PPL,” Jonathan details, “Due to the nature of our roles and the people we represent there is a lot of training involved.” And what kind of training goes into it? “Our training provided includes Customer Service Training, Presentation Skills, Negotiation, Influencing, Key Performance Indicators, Management Training, Aspiring to Management Programme, Career Development Academy such as time management, self awareness, personal impact to name a few,” Jonathan reveals, “Then there is networking, Coaching, IT Training (Excel, VBA), Health and Safety, Study Support across IT, HR, Finance, more recently Entertainment Law, Seminars, Online Policy Courses - Bribery Act, Copyright Training and other more specific on-the-job training.” That’s very extensive. What unique and vital services are offered to your members? “The services we provide to our members, which are by definition unique, are many and varied,” Jonathan says, “We
collect a vital revenue stream when their music is used in public and/or broadcast on radio/TV and the internet. PPL’s mission is to manage the rights and maximise the earnings from the broadcast and public use of recorded music and videos, and distribute them in the most efficient manner possible.” And what are the new developments and plans for the immediate-to-long term future? “There are so many to include,” Jonathan says, taking a breath, “To continue to offer a first class service to our members and customers befitting of a performance rights music licensing company in the 21st century, delivering Codes of Conducts for PPL licensees and members, further joint working with PRS for Music, increasing efficiencies and developing further accuracy of PPL’s distributions to members and to continue the upgrade of systems and continue to pioneer the management of sound recording data through further innovation.” History and Activities PPL is the UK-based music licensing company which licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use. Established in 1934, PPL carries out this role on behalf of thousands of record company and performer members. In 2011, PPL collected revenue of £153.5m. PPL’s Broadcast and online licensing covers the use of recorded music on the BBC’s television, radio and iPlayer services and by hundreds of commercial broadcasters.
These include ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, together with services such as Virgin Media and BT Vision. PPL also licenses commercial radio networks such as Capital, Heart and Absolute Radio, online services such as Last FM and community, hospital, student and prison radio stations. Public Performance licences are issued by PPL to hundreds of thousands of businesses and organisations from all sectors across the UK who play recorded music to their staff or customers and who therefore require a licence by law. These can range from bars, nightclubs, shops and hotels to offices, factories, gyms, schools, universities and local authorities. PPL also licenses music service providers to copy recorded music for services such as in-store music systems, jukeboxes, fitness compilations and in-flight entertainment systems. PPL also operates an International service, used by many of its members. Through agreements with over 50 music licensing companies globally, PPL is able to collect licensing revenue from the use of its members’ recorded music around the world. Under these agreements with other music licensing companies, PPL also acts on behalf of its members to license their recordings and pay for their performances in the UK. The international collections market is very competitive, with numerous commercial companies offering similar services, but despite this PPL’s International service continues to grow significantly. After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all revenue
collected is distributed to members based on the music used by licensees and the extensive information contained in the PPL Repertoire Database. PPL does not retain a profit for its services. With over 8,500 members who are record companies or other recorded music rights holders and 51,500 performer members, PPL has a large and diverse membership. Members include major record labels and globally successful performers, as well as many independent labels, sole traders and session musicians ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers – all of whom are entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances. In 2009, PPL and PRS for Music jointly launched ‘MusicWorks’, an independent study aimed at highlighting the financial and emotional benefits music in the workplace can bring to both staff and customers. In 2012 they commissioned further research and found that over three quarters (77%) of small to medium sized businesses said that playing music in the workplace increases staff morale, and creates a better atmosphere and working environment for staff and customers. The research also found that 75% of small to medium businesses believe that background music can help to relieve tension and awkward silences in the workplace. Further findings and more information about the study can be found at www.musicworksforyou.com. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 105
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANAGING AGENTS by Donnie Rust
As competitive and often-times fickle as the modelling industry can be, Biz-Tainment.com wanted to ensure we brought you the best companies to work with. The ones that are responsible for protecting those performers, models and personalities within this sector. Donnie Rust, writer for Biz-Tainment.com, caught up with Jacques Holtzhausen CEO of NAMA the National Association of Managing Agents, to get his scope on the industry. To get started, what is your background in the industry? I have been involved in all aspects of the Model Industry for the past 24 years which includes production, Booking and Manager of a Model Agency for many years. How has the modelling industry in South Africa developed over the past 10 years? Since the late 1980’s early 1990’s South Africa and more so Cape Town started attracting major International Clients specializing in Production of TVC’S, Catalogue and Magazine Editorials. The Industry has grown each year attracting even more foreign investment. Certainly, what transpires in Europe and the States does have a knock on effect into our Market. With many of the major Catalogue companies closing or merging due the Global recession, those numbers have decreased but the market has grown in the areas of attracting a larger number of smaller International clients, more TVC’S and Films are being shot in South Africa than ever before. Cape Town remains a top Production destination for foreign Clients. More Advertising Agencies, Production
Companies and Model / Talent Agencies have opened in both Johannesburg and Cape Town over the past 10 years than ever before. Big Foreign companies have opened offices in South Africa mainly to service the entire African market. This has a direct impact on our Industry as a large percentage of their Advertising budgets are now spent in South Africa. Their Ad campaigns and commercials are shot in South Africa, Produced by South Africans and making use of local Talent. Where Cape Town attracts a larger number of American and European clients, Johannesburg attract more client from the continent. The South African Industry is indeed a global player. Was NAMA’s development a response to a need in the industry that you saw or was it a strategic development? NAMA was established 25 years ago. In order to make an Industry successful, transparent and ethical, it is imperative that all Industry players adhere to guidelines, rules, regulations etc. The Advertising, Production, Stills Producing sectors all have Associations. For the Model and Talent Sector to have an Association was thus a logical step to ensure that the entire Industry is represented. NAMA stands for the National Association of Model Agencies also incorporating Children’s, Character, Talent and Creative Agencies in South Africa. NAMA is a voluntary Business Membership Organization; it has influence but no power over the business choices made by its Members. NAMA undoubtedly exists to protect the interest of its Members; but it also exists to protect and
further the interests of the Industry as a whole. NAMA believes that a self disciplined Industry, with a minimum of State regulations, is a vital component in a free Enterprise Economy. Our main objectives are: • To promote the highest possible standards of Agencies in South Africa. • To discourage dishonest and undesirable practices in Modelling and related fields of activity. • To specify commonly accepted practice in the Industry, so that both Clients and Agencies are aware of their respective rights and obligations. • To encourage fair remuneration for Models, Children, Talent and Artists. • To encourage a recognition of standards amongst Agencies Personnel, Models, Talent and Artists. • To represent the Industry in important negotiations with Government, Media, Representative and marketing related Bodies, Commerce and organizations within our Industry – ACA, CPA, SAASP, PMA, NAMA, SAGA, SASFED and OSCA. The National Association of Model Agencies have therefore committed themselves to promote the best standards, practices and qualifying criteria based on International Model / Artist / Talent Agency norms. We uphold this as an example of “Best Practice Management” for Agencies throughout South Africa. We aim to ensure that the Members of NAMA are operating optimally, are therefore providing the best possible partnership for South African and International clients. We believe that this will ensure the long - term growth and sustainability of the Industry. Our aims and objectives are clear. We must ensure that transparent, highly ethical business standards are
maintained by NAMA and our Members, vigilant in our relationships with Government, Organizations and Clients alike. To strengthen and expand our existing relationships with all parties that makes up the Industry as to ensure unity – one vision, one goal. To educate our Members on the laws, rules, regulations, terms and conditions that governs our Industry. Compared to the rest of the world how do the South African agencies and industry match up? Our top Agencies are on par with the biggest and most successful Agencies in the world. We follow International guidelines, structures etc. It is imperative to be on par because our International clients demand it. Local Agencies place their Models with top Agencies in the States and in Europe. Candice Swanepoel, Damien van Zyl, Shaun de Wet, Candice Boucher have all become major players in the International Model Industry. South Africa is one of the top 10 shooting destinations in the world. Johannesburg and Cape Town are world class cities. We have incredible Locations, Restaurants, Hotels, Production facilities, Model / Talent Agencies, a warm climate, long shooting days etc. What are the plans for the future growth in the industry? Bureaucratic problems must be avoided. Too attract more foreign investment. We endeavour to encourage agencies to come under a covering and join NAMA, thus enabling us to open the way for an educated and aligned industry, with all its players on the same level of unity, knowledge, improved standards and with the aim to eliminate unethical business practices. Endeavour Magazine • October 2012 • 107
Published on Sep 27, 2012