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This issue of looks at high-tech mobile providers, hugely profitable mining companies, vital component and service firms and high-flying defence contractors. We also look at the importance of branding and presence for businesses. In our look at South African defence giant Denel we explore how it’s navigating a difficult market position to continue generating profits and securing new clients. In addition, we look at Cell C, the South African mobile service provider at the forefront of the continent’s mobile data revolution. Elsewhere we’ve interviewed the director of Powermite for an insight into the component manufacturers who keep Africa’s industries running. One of those industries is Randgold, a west African gold mining firm with solid profits and sustainable growth. In our lead feature we’ve interviewed the CEO of the Ethiopia Group, the combined group supporting the flag-carrier Ethiopia Airlines. Another issue full of the leading players in African business – we hope you enjoy it.
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Contents Learning from the best
Brand SA have announced a list of the top 50 most influential South African brands. What can we learn from them?
Building Kenya 10 The Kenya Association of Manufacturers keeps Kenya driving forward as a globally competitive nation. finds out more.
News round-up 14
Mobile data continues to transform African societies, and mobile services providers are becoming major industries. finds out more.
The latest energy, politics, trade and commodities news from across Africa.
West Africa is seeing dividends and international investment from its vast mineral wealth. speaks to one of the major gold mining firms.
One of Africaâ€™s largest and most successful domestic airlines shares secrets to its success and comments on the state of the industry.
Powermite manufacture specialist components and systems that have kept the lights on in South Africaâ€™s factories and industrial plants for decades.
profiles the struggling South African defence contractor and assesses its recent efforts to streamline and cut costs.
covers Liebherr Africa, the heavy equipment giant keeping mines and construction sites running across the continent.
he South African marketing entity Brand South Africa announced its top 50 South African brands for 2017 in June, part of a wider initiative to shape the world’s image of South African businesses. Brand SA’s picks this year ranged from telecoms companies to retailers to major banks, and encompassed a total value of more than R384 billion.
Brand SA’s top 50 South African Brands includes telecoms giants, banks, retailers and household name products. looks at the spread of winners and its implications for South African markets, and African business as a whole.
are a key component of a strong nation brand and how this is experienced by both domestic and international audiences. As such, commercial brands are key messengers in positioning the country competitively.”
Of the top 10 brands in 2017, three (including the top two) were telecoms/internet focussed, with MTN claiming the top spot, Vodacom coming second and Multichoice coming in 9th. Five are banks or financial firms, while the remaining two are the oil and energy giant Sasol and the retailer Woolworths. EBM spoke to Robert Grace, one of the founding partners of M&C Saatchi Abel, on the numbers behind these winners and their positions in the economy as a result.
The competition is an exercise in marketing and image analysis rather than a measure of actual business success. Brand SA’s list is calculated by estimating the likely future sales attributable to a brand name a nd reputation, then working out what royalty rate would hypothetically be charged to use it. That means The top this award is a 10 brands: measurement of a brand’s profitability 1. MTN and reputation. On the Brand SA website, the company’s CEO Kingsley Makhuleba explained the advantages of a strong branding culture within South Africa: “South African commercial brands
2. Vodacom 3. Sasol 4. Standard Bank 5. Woolworths 6. FNB 7. Absa 8. Nedbank 9. Investec 10. Mediclinic.
“Many of the brands listed are those that typically invest the most and have done so for many years, so their traction and position on a list like this is to be expected. What is more interesting is the rise of brands that are challenging the value equation in their categories and punching above their weight.
“Brands like Capitec, the biggest gainer this year and now the 2nd biggest bank in SA by number of customers, and Woolworths, whose advertising budgets are less than a fifth of its competitors, shows the power of understanding and delivering a compelling value equation to consumers in these recessionary times.” South African brands have to thrive on more than just spending or exploiting monopolies. They also get ahead on trust, and by providing good service for an affordable price. In other economies, particularly the US, banks and telecoms companies are often reviled for their poor service and the inconvenience it brings, and are heavily susceptible to bad press online and on social media.
“Brand SA’s picks this year ranged from telecoms companies to retailers to major banks, and encompassed a total value of more than R384 billion
The African branding landscape
While it is no longer the largest African economy, South Africa still represents a sizeable chunk of the continent’s total GDP and is one of the biggest and most established players in its economic landscape. In addition, South Africa’s longstanding position as one of themost developed economies in Africa means that it can be seen as a potential model for other, faster-growing economies up and down the continent. South Africa’s position is also changing as a result of the improved state of intra-African trade and the subsequent expansion of various brands into new and alternative markets. The development of a true intraAfrican economy might hold the potential for previously niche brands to grow to prominence, but it does come with risks, as Grace explains: “As the SA economy deals with low growth, many brands will look beyond the borders for opportunities. However, we’ve seen the failures of many brands attempting to establish themselves in Africa. The brands that win are those that both have the ability to navigate and deliver in an unusual way – often departing from what are at times old established models – but more importantly understanding that like any market you want to enter, you need a compelling proposition that consumers need
“What is more interesting is the rise of brands that are challenging the value equation in their categories and punching above their weight or want. Brands like Heineken are doing a brilliant job of achieving this through a powerful mix of international, aspirational brands and locally relevant brands in the multiple countries they operate in across the continent.”
Regardless of how they alter themselves to get involved in a new African market, the branding landscape in South Africa is still changing. There’s the potential for a number of surprise successes, especially if the South African economy picks up and reverses its existing downturn, and new avenues of exploration in the fast-moving tech and online sectors have the potential to repeat the meteoric rises of western giants like Amazon in the rapidly digitising pan-African space. Mr Grace had a few predictions of companies to watch for next year’s competitions: “As always in these times the brands that truly define the meaningful role they play in a
“As always in these times the brands that truly define the meaningful role they play in a consumer’s life and deliver on it brilliantly and consistently will win
consumer’s life and deliver on it brilliantly and consistently will win. At a mass consumer level I expect to see a brand like Takealot coming to the fore as the convenience and ease of online shopping reaches more South Africans. “And then brands that demonstrate that they
understand their consumers a whole lot better than their competitors will shine, youth fashion retailer Superbalist comes to mind with their authentic stance on youth culture and fashion, as well as the human and relatable personality of a brand like Hollard that kicks-out against the all too often generic and clichéd category of insurance.”
The rest of the brands in the Top 50, from 11 to 50 are:
Multichoice, Shoprite, Castle, Mondi, Spar, Carling Black Label, Telkom, Old Mutual, Pick n Pay, Netcare, Sanlam, Discovery, Hansa Pilsner, MrP, Sappi, WesBank, Media 24, Liberty Holdings, Truworths, Bidvest, Country Road, Capitec, SABMiller, Steinhoff, Clicks, Huletts, Momentum, Makro, Checkers, Rainbow, Rand Merchant Bank, Santam, SAA, Life Healthcare, Imperial, Foschini, Cell C, Game, Nampak, and Growthpoint Properties.
List courtesy of Brand South Africa
i ng Kenya Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)’s chief executive, Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, discusses the organisation’s services and long term goals, and some of the unique things offered by the manufacturing industry in Kenya.
To start with, take us through the history of KAM– when was it founded, and why?
Kenya Association of Manufacturers was established in 1959 as a private sector body, formed by a small group of likeminded manufacturers. For the last 58 years, the Association has evolved into a dynamic, vibrant, credible and respected representative organisation for manufacturing value-add industries in Kenya.
What sort of services does KAM provide to its members? KAM is at the forefront of championing for an inclusive and broad based economic growth in Kenya that can only be achieved through industrialization. In order to achieve this, KAM offers a variety of services to drive the industrialization agenda, but its core mandate focuses on:
Policy advocacy encouraging the formulation, enactment and administration of sound policies that facilitate a competitive business environment & reduce the cost of doing business. KAM is working with national and county governments to promote trade and investment in the country. We are also engaging the EAC region
through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in handling Non-Tariff and Trade Barriers within the EAC region. ďż˝
KAM, through its Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC), provides Energy, Water and Waste Audits.
How has the manufacturing sector in Kenya changed since you took charge of KAM?
A conducive business environment is key for any the manufacturing industry to thrive. We have continued to dialogue with government on different aspects to create a better environment for manufacturers. Some major milestones we have achieved include a reliable power supply, successfully fighting illicit trade and counterfeits, and gaining valuable government support.
â€œFor the last 58 years, the Association has evolved into a dynamic, vibrant, credible and respected representative organisation for manufacturing value-add industries in Kenya Phyllis Wakiaga, chief executive, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)
How is KAM expanding? What new industries do you want to cover, or new members do you wish to attract?
Currently, KAM has 7 Chapters: Nairobi, Machakos, Nyanza/Western, Uasin Gishu, Central Kenya, Nakuru and Coast. In addition, we have a satellite off ice in Gongoni, in Kilifi Kenya. We have engaged our members through 14 sectors, 12 of which are in processing and value addition while the other two offer essential services to enhance formal industry. We are keen to have all manufacturers in the country under our membership. Our capacity to advocate for manufacturers is built on the number of members we have. When we come together we have a powerful voice that government cannot ignore.
What do you think Kenya offers, in terms of manufacturing, that sets it aside from other countries in the region?
Through the Kenya Industrial Transformation Programme (KITP) the government of Kenya has demonstrated high level commitment towards revitalization of the manufacturing sector. We take this time to acknowledge and appreciate the commitment by government to support the manufacturing sector. Through this programme, the government is looking towards increasing manufacturing to over 15% of GDP, create 1 million jobs, increase FDI by 5 times and improve Kenya’s ranking in the ease of doing business to top 50 by 2020. In addition to the ease of doing business, increased supply of reliable and affordable energy, Kenya’s advantages to countries in the region include: Agreements and Market Access: With partnerships in regional, world trade bodies like EAC, COMESA and WTO and protection agreements like AGOA, manufacturers have easy access to a wider market. Advancements in infrastructure: Good roads allow for manufacturers to transport goods easily
“Kenya has everything it needs to achieve the vision of industrial transformation
via road. The MombasaUganda railway and the newly constructed SGR are all beneficial to manufacturers in transporting their good to the market. Kenya is therefore a transport hub. Majority of the population is educated: With free education now available, the larger population of Kenya in the age gap 15-60 years, is educated and can provide labour in diverse sectors. Aggressive Private sector: The sector is well established, and is able to advocate for manufacturers, to have a suitable environment to conduct business. Political stability is also favourable for business.
Can you take us through the Policy Agenda for Industrialization? What are the key aspects and goals, and how has the reception for the plan been so far?
Our vision is to nationalise the narrative of industrialisation, making it a central facet of the political and social structure of our country. Kenya has everything it needs to achieve the vision of industrial transformation. The logic of the 10-point manufacturing agenda is the kind of guide and intervention needed to call attention to the potential that lies in this sector. The aim is to sharpen the economic agenda of this country in political manifestos. The ten-point agenda addresses issues including: creating a massive export push, raising productivity to world class standards, promoting and leveraging “Buy Kenya Build Kenya”, tackling uncustomed goods and counterfeits, and developing a stable policy environment. The reception of the 10-point manufacturing agenda was great. We engaged political leaders during the pre-election period, on centralizing the economic agenda of this country in their party manifestos and a lot was adopted in those manifestos.
Kenya has cut its 2017 Economic Growth Forecast to 5.5% from 5.9%, citing drought and political difficulties according to a statement made on the 15th of September. With agriculture making up more than 30% of the country’s output and the recent nullification of the results of the presidential election following accusations of voter fraud, the country’s stability remains in question. The current government, however, continues to predict 6.5% growth in the long term. Egypt will issue more than €1.5 billion in bonds by the end of November 2017, with a new $10 billion Eurobond programme next year, according to the Boursa newspaper. Cairo reportedly plans to sell $3 billion in bonds in the first quarter of 2018, following sales of $7 billion worth this year. This sale demonstrates the country’s continued efforts to return to international markets following the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring of 2011.
Bureau of Statistics has announced a slow down in annual inflation, marking seven consecutive months of slowdown and bringing inflation rates down to 16.01%. Separate food price indexes show inflation at 20.25% in August, compared with 20.28% in July. Despite the slowdown, Nigeria has remained clear of recession, expanding 0.55% annually after its 2016 contraction.
KPMG has fired a number of South African executives over the recent Gupta scandal, according to multiple sources. The firings follow an internal investigation into work performed by the company for friends of President Zuma which reportedly “fell short of KPMG’s standards”, although no evidence of crime or corruption was reported.
Togo continues to see
political violence and street protests, with thousands on the streets marching to force President Faure Gnassingbe to reintroduce the two-term limit on his office. President Gnassingbe, now on his third term after inheriting his post from his father, has reportedly killed more than 500 people since taking power in a disputed election in 2005. The UN and several African leaders have demanded reforms, but ECOWAS has been silent – partly because Mr Gnassingbe is its chairman.
News E N E R G Y
Tanzania and Uganda have ratified an intergovernmental agreement to build the Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline together, with a signing ceremony on the 13th of September attended by dignitaries from both sides. The project will employ local Tanzanians and will build 1,450km of pipe through the country connecting the Ugandan oil fields to the Tanga port on the Indian ocean (which will almost sextuple its capacity as a result).
Elsewhere, Ghana is expected to sign a gas deal with Equatorial Guinea for five years of LNG supply while South Africa and Russia have signed a deal via PetroSA and Rosgeo to form a strategic partnership, with Rosgeo planning $400 million (R5 billion) of investment to develop oil and gas blocks off the coast of the Cape, in the Block 9 area. Total extraction is planned to be around four million cubic metres of gas daily, delivered to the Mossgas refinery, which has been low on feedstock for several years.
F I N A N C E & T R A D E
Reports from the Kenya/Ethiopia border suggest that the peace accords following the clashes in 2013 have led to an explosion of trade and cross-border business. Towns like Moyale have seen bilateral trade and booming local export industries, with open markets and peaceful resource-sharing organised by local leaders proving beneficial for everyone. While tribal conflict was endemic to the region, locals from both sides appear to have found ways to work together and the outlook for the region is exemplary and positive. The multilateral trade financier AFreximbank (African Export/Import Bank) is looking to mobilise up to $1 billion from investors to provide equity for trade deals across the continent. A further $90 billion is planned to help African countries industrialise, boosting inter-African trade and productivity above its current position as 15% of the continentâ€™s total trading. The drive for investment has begun in Nigeria and Kenya, and will be listed on the Mauritius Securities Exchange.
S h a r e
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thiopian Airlines’ name is one of the bestknown in Africa’s aviation industry, something that CEO Tewolde GebreMariam puts down to something more important than planes or technologies: its employees. “Ethiopian Airlines currently serves more than 100 international passenger and cargo networks, operated using the youngest and most modern fleet the industry has to offer. However, in today’s hypercompetitive airline industry, our seasoned management and strong employees have provided the resilient competitive edge,
For almost 70 years Ethiopian Airlines has been the country’s national flag carrier. The airline flies to 113 passenger destinations, 19 of them domestic, and more African destinations than any other flag spoke to Tewolde carrier. GebreMariam, the Ethiopia Group’s CEO.
allowing Ethiopian Airlines to continue flying at the heights of success.” African aviation is a growth area, but many airlines have struggled to reach a truly international audience, especially in subSaharan countries. GebreMariam acknowledges that there’s still a way to go.
“African aviation has a very strong future with the vigorous fundamentals in place for aviation to thrive in the continent, but the conditions are not there. That is why over 80% of the African travel market is dominated by non-African carriers, leaving a 20% share for home-grown indigenous African airlines. “Consequently, governments need to understand that aviation is not a luxury business, and they must ensure aviation in this region is supported. If it flourishes it will push other sectors to grow as well, because aviation is an enabler for tourism, trade, investment and economic integration.”
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â€œAfrican aviation is a growth area, but many airlines have struggled to reach a truly international audience
African aviation obstacles
GebreMariam identifies four areas holding African aviation back: IT, Open Skies Agreements (or lack thereof), high taxes and charges, and limited market access within the continent. African countries often lack international infrastructure standards, and the potential for ICT enhancement of this infrastructure has not yet been fully harnessed. This restrains domestic productivity and presents a critical bottleneck in the growth of regional integration. Open Sky Agreements have been a bugbear for pan-African legislature for decades, with liberalising requiring political commitment and cooperation from dozens of leaders. Itâ€™s a key component of the African Union Agenda 2063, and thereâ€™s a long way to go before the African Union Commission can meet its goal of creating a single African air space. Once this is done, however, domestic carriers like Ethiopian Airlines will have a vast potential market to grow into.
Part of the problem with the current system is the extremely high charges levied against African airlines and the high taxation placed on assets as basic as jet fuel. This forces airlines to charge high prices: not exactly a world-beating way to attract customers. It also makes competition unfair against international carriers, particularly Gulf-based airlines which dominate the African markets with the help of cheap, government-subsidised fuel. Itâ€™s for this reason that many African carriers find it difficult to get access to African airports, as airport operators and governments prefer a more convenient service even if itâ€™s a foreign corporation.
â€œPreparations are also well underway to commence construction of the second phase, Terminal III, which upon completion adds 600,000 tonnes annual uplift capacity
E t h i o p i a n
“Now that most of the conditions have been met, there’s a new, more ambitious plan in the works Some of these factors have been improving. GebreMariam specifically mentions the new cargo terminal planned at Bole, which is being built to exploit the rising profitability and demand for air cargo in Africa: “The new Cargo Terminal II combined with the existing Terminal I will scale up the total tonnage capacity to around 1 million per annum, which is the largest trans-shipment terminal in Africa. Preparations are also well underway to commence construction of the second phase, Terminal III, which upon completion adds 600,000 tonnes annual uplift capacity. By then, Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services will have one of the world’s largest cargo terminals.”
Vision 2010 plan
Ethiopian Airlines’ drive and strategic development has been driven by its Vision 2010 plan. Now that most of the conditions have been met, there’s a new, more ambitious plan in the works, as GebreMariam explains: “Back in 2011, after the successful completion of Vision 2010, we came up with Vision 2025, an even more aggressive plan
Follow us: @flyethiopian @Ethiopianairlines fly.ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
A i r l i n e s
designed to transform the airline into a leading aviation group in Africa, with seven strategic business units operating as autonomous profit centres under one umbrella. We have structured a consolidated group of companies, the Ethiopian Group, with a view to ensure seamless customer service on board our flight and the provisions at our main hub, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. “Through Vision 2025, we envision to see Ethiopian become a world class African airline with fl eet size of more than 140, fl ying 22 million passengers, uplifting 820,000 tons of cargo fl ying to more than 146 destinations, generating $10 billion in revenue and $1 billion dollars in profi t.” Despite the intrinsic difficulties of working within the African aviation market, it seems likely that Ethiopian Airlines’ ambition will be rewarded.
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Denel Aeronautics w w w . d e n e l a v i a t i o n . c o . z a
T With the general decline of the South African National Defence Force’s demand for equipment, Denel Aeronautics’ has found itself in a difficult position compared to other defence contractors. However, a recent restructuring and the promise of further overseas business offers considerable hope.
he May merger between Denel Aerostructures and Denel Aviation makes perfect sense on paper. The two departments often worked on the same projects Aerostructures make the drop tanks for the Rooivalk attack helicopter, which Aviation designed and built, and both worked together on projects before like the Small African Regional Aircraft (SARA), a light 24-seat transport designed to be affordable, reliable and rugged enough to be perfect for the growing short-haul aviation market on the continent. Now, Aeronautics has a laundry list of projects - The Rooivalk, which is flown by the SAAF’s 16 Squadron, the continued manufacture of components for the Air Force’s Hawk jet trainers and A109 helicopters and for civilian aircraft and transport planes, among many others.
“Denel Aeronautics ‘One Denel’ initiative aims to turn the various sub-units of the company into a single, streamlined and more efficient business
Practicality is not the only driver for this merger though - Denel Aerostructures was sufficiently unprofitable that it was a notable event in 2016 when it made its first profit of R7 million after years of sometimes heavy losses. Despite lucrative deals with Airbus, it took a major turnaround strategy to reduce rental footprint, outsource activities, restructure numerous operations and reduce the workforce to keep Aerostructures going, even before this merger.
D e n e l
A e r o n a u t i c s ’
Denel has been under pressure since 1994 thanks to a heavily reduced SANDF budget putting it in an unusual position compared to other state-owned arms contractors. Most defence companies primarily supply their national military or its close allies, with a combination of demand and restrictions meaning that they don’t export much more than 14-15% of their products. Denel, on the other hand, exports 63%, primarily to customers in the Middle East and Asia/the Pacific. Given the difficulties of state-level arms exports to begin with, this puts Denel at a disadvantage and has led to poor performance of many of its high profile projects. The Rooivalk is one of the most notable - despite a high profile only twelve of the aircraft are currently in service with the SANDF, although it has driven technological development in the industry. The South African government and military are not the supporters of the company that they once were - South Africa spends only 1% of its GDP on defence, and only gave out a one year loan guarantee to Denel this year despite the company asking for five. Denel’s total revenue has been falling, with 2016/7 amounting to just R8.057bn, down from R8.228bn the year before, with net profi t at just R333m compared to R395m in 2015/16. The company has
“Denel Aeronautics has a laundry list of projects - The Rooivalk, which is flown by the SAAF’s 16 Squadron, the continued manufacture of components for the Air Force’s Hawk jet trainers and A109 helicopters and for civilian aircraft and transport planes, among many others cut employees slightly, down to 4,900, and several divisions making net losses. One of the reasons for low cashflow has been contracting conditions. Many of Denel’s contracts across their fields have been paid on completion, leaving nothing but the dividends of previous projects to pay their high operating costs. The Denel Group’s CFO, Odwa Mhlwana, said in an interview with Defenceweb that “We
have major contracts that are straining us because of contract terms’, pointing out that many of these projects require extensive support from subcontractors which can pose difficulties. This is especially problematic for expensive scratch designs built from the ground up, which frequently overrun their deadlines and budgets. The company also has endemic problems with the high costs of supplies and materials.
D e n e l
Turning it around
The merger which resulted in Denel Aeronautics is part of the company’s much larger ‘One Denel’ initiative, which aims to turn the various sub-units of the company into a single, streamlined and more efficient business once again. The company aims to leverage synergies to reduce costs, provide a better and cheaper atmosphere for R&D, in which it is currently lagging behind, and to sell off non-core assets to meet their rising debts. Borrowings for the Denel Group in 2017 have already reached R3.265bn, and the company’s debt/equity ratio dropped to 1.2 compared to 1.6 in 2016. The company’s order book has also shrunk this year from R30 billion worth of orders to just R18 billion, although while Mhlwana admitted that this was a cause for concern he noted that this was a short-term issue and not a sign of an underlying larger problem. Denel is stated to have opportunities worth more than R40bn on the way, of which at least 50% are achievable, and the company is well on the way to its target of a sustained R30bn in orders. Part of the sharp drop was a result of the company shifting some orders to production contracts. While the company is looking to sell to more African clients, particularly with the SARA project, it is in the Middle East that Denel is seeing most of its business. The
company has been particularly boosted by a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the South African and Pakistani governments to boost joint defensive capability, which specifically mentioned Denel Aeronautics. The PAF is looking to arm their new fifth-generation JF-17 Multirole fighters, and Denel is interested in their Project Azm programme to develop longrange drones. With new business like this on the horizon and a sustained belt-tightening at home, Denel is adapting fully to the new conditions it finds itself in.
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A e r o n a u t i c s ’
“While the company is looking to sell to more African clients, particularly with the SARA project, it is in the Middle East that Denel is seeing most of its business
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Cell C is a leading South African mobile network operator aiming to transform itself from a traditional network operator to service provider. Founded in 2001, Cell C is now one of the country’s largest providers, boasting more than 15 spoke to million customers. CEO Jose Dos Santos to find out more.
ell C has an impressive list of accomplishments to its name, establishing itself from the ground up as one of South Africa’s major mobile providers and building a strong brand identity in the process. Over that time they’ve seen the South African telecommunications sector changing extremely rapidly. However, Dos Santos believes that there are more changes to come: “There have been many dramatic changes in the telecommunications sector over the last ten years, but the most important ones are yet to happen. These changes will likely not even be led by the telecommunications sector, but by large international
technology companies like Google and Facebook. That is why it is essential for us as telecommunications operators to embrace and partner with these organizations. Cell C has led the way in South Africa in this regard.” Disruptive technologies generally speaking take longer to manifest in Africa than they do elsewhere, but when they do arrive the effect tends to be much more pronounced. Telecommunications providers need to be constantly prepared to change and adapt to new situations. Cell C’s frequent free promotional offers on social media platforms and use of things like Wi-Fi Calling, which allows Wi-Fi hotspots to function as base stations for phone calls, demonstrate good application of this new tech.
C e l l
Growth in adversity
The difficult economic conditions in South Africa continue to present challenges and difficulties for many firms that operate largely within the country, and Cell C is no exception. “The economic environment has presented a challenge to ourselves and our customers. We are definitely seeing the effect of lower levels of expendable income in households. But our own internal drive for efficiencies and our value proposition has put us on a positive track.”
While various economic factors have reduced the growth of mobile demand in South Africa, social and technological factors remain strong in pushing mobile as the data browsing and communication platform of choice throughout the country. “In the South African context, mobile is definitely king and we have noted the massive decline in fixed-line offerings being taken up by consumers. But in the business context, the fixed line offering remains strong. We do see this changing over the next five
“Our own internal drive for efficiencies and our value proposition has put us on a positive track
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C e l l
The next innovation
With the telecommunications sector throwing up new innovations almost daily, it’s impossible to predict what the next big breakthrough will be. At Cell C, the focus is on being ready for it, and preparing the infrastructure for the more notable changes on the horizon.
“Cell C has some exceptionally exciting offerings coming up in the second half of 2017
years, with employees becoming far more mobile to complete daily business tasks, it is inevitable that mobile will become more prominent. Whether or not that means the end of fixed-line remains to be seen.” Indeed, Cell C is beginning to reach the point of becoming concerned about the lack of competition. “There is no such thing as an over competitive market. Competition is essential for a healthy industry and to provide consumers choice. In my opinion, there could be more competition in the market, and Cell C has been very vocal on that front. And we are seeing a growth in competition, with the introduction of exceptionally popular local brands like the banks starting to offer MVNO
services to create stickiness with their own customer bases. “In order for competition to really thrive and see competitive pricing passed onto the consumer, we need to see a proposed national broadband network implemented, or see mobile providers begin infrastructure sharing that will see input costs decline and competitive rates offered to consumers.”
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“Already 5G technologies are being tested internationally and as technology companies like Google and Facebook start dabbling in the sector, many more innovations are likely to come to the fore. Companies like Cell C need to remain agile and we have invested considerable time and money in pursuing multiple innovations that will complement our existing service offerings.” In the meantime, Cell C’s principal focus is improving its existing services and ensuring it expands on its position as a market leader. We asked Dos Santos about his company’s plans for the rest of 2017 and beyond: “Cell C has some exceptionally exciting offerings coming up in the second half of 2017. While we can’t discuss these as yet, suffice to say the company is planning on shaking up the market with its coming offerings. Our real focus going forward is to offer our customers more than simply Megs and Minutes.”
Randgold w w w . r a n d g o l d r e s o u r c e s . c o m
Go l d S ta nda rd
African gold is a longstanding component of the continent’s cornucopia of mineral resources. Mali is the third-largest gold producer in Africa and generates more than 65 tonnes of the precious metal a year. Randgold is one of the largest Mali-focused mining companies, with mines also in Cote d’Ivoire and the DRC.
andgold Resources was founded in 1995 to be “a business unlike any other in the industry, focused on gold and Africa, designed to create value of rall its stakeholders, in bad times as well as good”. The company handles every aspect of the mining process, from prospecting and exploration through development and finally operation and production, ensuring an integrated mining operation that’s coherently managed every step of the way.
The company currently operates fi ve mines across Africa with more in the pipeline, including the Kibali gold mine in the DRC, the Morila and LouloGounkoto mine complexes in Mali, the Tongon Gold Mine in Cote d’Ivoire and the Massawa Feasibility Project in Senegal. These projects contain a total reserve of around 20.9 million oz of gold between them and look set to be joined by many others in the future as Randgold assembles a robust pipeline of explorations and future projects.
Language barriers. 9.8 million injury free man-hours. Minimal infrastructure. Political instability. A 7.2 Mtpa gold plant delivered 3 months ahead of schedule. Impossible? Not for DRA. Kibali Gold in the DRC produces 600 000 oz of gold every year. Acknowledging the community, 4000 homes were saved and relocated. Started in 2012, completed in 2014, three months ahead of schedule with exceptional safety statistics, under budget for our client.
R a n d g o l d
Randgold is committed to working with the governments of its host countries and ensuring that they create sustainable industries and operations that provide longterm benefi ts and improvements to all stakeholders including the local people. They ensure that safety, community grievances and sustainable waste management and energy use are priorities at their gold mines. One reason for the company’s success and stability even while operating in less stable countries and under much less stable commodity prices, has been their forward planning and preparation. The company’s ethos has always been predicated on a
R e s o u r c e s
strict set gold price of $1,000 per ounce, planning and proposing accordingly.
the prices dip below expected levels and prevents them from over-extending.
While gold prices have climbed far above that point and remain consistently high, especially thanks to recent geopolitical shocks that have sent investors worldwide rushing to buy more gold to protect themselves, this deliberately understated planning helps Randgold weather shocks when
The company maintains its focus on gold in order to give it undiluted exposure to the upsides of the rising gold price, and continuous price rises combined with the company’s proven ability to track and exploit multi-million ounce gold deposits have ensured a profitable future going forward.
“The company handles every aspect of the mining process, from prospecting and exploration through development and finally operation and production
A leading EPCM company having delivered mineral beneficiation projects on the African continent for nearly three decades
Committed to Excellence Photograph courtesy of Randgold Resources Limited
Building 12, Greenstone Hill Office Park, Emerald Boulevard, Greenstone, 1609, Modderfontein, Gauteng, RSA Contact us: +27 11 409 1300
R a n d g o l d
R e s o u r c e s
Randgold’s production and profits have risen steadily during the last few years, up 38% to $269.7 million in the first six months of 2017 with revenue up 16% to $635 million. They’re listed on the FTSE 100 with a consistently solid share price in the UK markets, with shares at around £70. Alongside a robust programme of exploration and feasibility studies across western and central Africa, Randgold is also aiming to develop a “super pit” at the Loulo Gounkoto permits it operates in Mali. Exploration in the area has turned up enough gold to replace previously depleted pits and ensured a long production life for the complex, which has a predicted annual output of 600,000oz.
“The secret to surviving these problems is to stay flexible The company’s Morila mine, meanwhile, has begun development of a satellite mine and purchasing of several other permits, which will allow it to fund its eventual closure and postmining cleanup. The eventual intended end result is the conversion of the mine into an agribusiness centre to strengthen the local agricultural economy.
In Mali, Randgold is moving past disputed tax claims and focusing on helping the Malian government prepare for future mining operations. In a post on the Randgold site, the company’s CEO Mark Bristow noted that the industry’s future depends on successful exploration and Mali’s ability to attract investment. “The question is whether the country’s existing mining code and fi scal regime are sufficiently attractive to foreign investors. The industry and the government, led by the minister of mines, have had a very constructive engagement on this and other issues – such as the destructive impact of illegal mining – and we’ve agreed to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions.”
However, Bristow also noted a number of less positive trends in the African resources markets including “resource nationalism”, the attempts by governments to assert control over their natural resources. Acacia, another gold mining company, is currently locked in tax disputes of its own with Tanzania, and other mining organisations are feeling the squeeze. The secret to surviving these problems is to stay flexible. “Resource nationalism is often born out of frustration, and sometimes out of unreal expectations,” Mr Bristow said. “We operate in very complex countries. We spend a lot of time engaged with government. And what we are able to do is demonstrate how much we’ve contributed to the economy. It’s a challenging environment – you’ve got to be on your toes.”
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owermite was established in the late 1960s to serve the increasingly developing South African material handling industry. By the 1980s it had expanded to selling electrical crane materials, flexible cables and other industrial components, opening branches nationwide in South Africa in the 1990s. Rolf Lung, the company’s MD, joined in 2015: “2015 seems just like yesterday, but as we are all aware, a lot has happened in the last 30 months. Being both a product supplier and engineered solutions provider, Powermite has fortunately had a greater edge in the market compared
Powermite is a distributor and supplier providing the country’s rail, construction, mining and heavy industrial sectors with plugs, sockets and specialist spoke to components. MD Rolf Lung about how his company provides a lesson in how to survive and thrive in the African economy.
“Being both a product supplier and engineered solutions provider, Powermite has fortunately had a greater edge in the market compared to other suppliers specialising in only specific product ranges
to other suppliers specialising in only specific product ranges. Fortunately, our extensive product and service range covers many industry sectors and satisfies many application requirements.” The industries serviced by Powermite have become increasingly demanding on service, support, solutions and pricing, naturally posing a challenge to a company who relies considerably on imports subject to volatile exchange fluctuations. Although this problem has been around for some time the pressures remain, with everyone experiencing similar problems – although as Lung will go on explain, Powermite are weathering the storm.
P o w e r m i t e
“We believe that there is always opportunity somewhere. The question would always be where to look
Lung was also challenged in that he had to face the commodities and mining crash that the sector experienced. He explains how his company survived the more strained times:
relief here as we are fortunate to be exposed to sister-company experiences and contacts particularly due to the fact that Hudaco has shifted its focus more toward other industries outside the mining sector.
“Of course, the commodities crash has not only affected the mining sector but this is experienced and felt as a knock-on into all other sectors due to South Africa being so reliant on mining. Again, being part of a larger group of companies provides for some
“As with everyone else, if local business starts to dwindle, we look further afield outside our borders and take advantage of other growing economies. We believe that there is always opportunity somewhere. The question would always be where to look.”
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P o w e r m i t e
A comfortable niche
Powermite has several clear advantages over its competitors. Its collective and extensive experience, ability to deliver engineered solutions, manufacturing facilities for industrial plugs and sockets (its AMPCO brand), mining and flameproof connectors (its PROOF brand), all open doors in a variety of sectors. Being the largest South African manufacturer of industrial plugs and sockets definitely has its benefits. Lung continues the list: “In addition to the above, we are agents, distributors and partners with of the best brands that our industry has to offer. Our secured and nurtured long term and valuable relationships with key suppliers have more than contributed to our success, with some of them being with Powermite for over 20 years.
“The Rand is volatile. Unemployment is running at an all-time high and companies are either downscaling or closing down around us. So how do we feel? We feel positive! “Some of our proud long-term partnerships include Conductix Wampfler, Prysmian as well as Telefonika Cables and EKD Gelenkrohr to name but a few. Despite an influx of many low cost, lesser quality products into our country, it is imperative to have partnerships and quality that sets one worlds apart from any opposition and will ensure much support and success even through the difficult times.”
When asked about the recession and the potentially uncertain future of some of the core areas their business depends on, Mr Lung was optimistic. “We are in a recession. We are experiencing junk status. The Rand is volatile. Unemployment is running at an all-time high and companies are either downscaling or closing down around us. So how do we feel? We feel positive!” Often when there is a negative turn in the economy, industries and businesses adapt, and it seems Powermite are doing the same.
“Some of the projects we have been quoting on have been shelved, yet there are other areas of opportunity because there is always someone gaining from another’s weakness and it’s a matter of fi nding that potential. Where we fall short locally, we look over our borders. “General industry tends to feel rather negative, particularly with potential legislative changes on the horizon for the mining sector. Our view, however, is that there will be a rebound and we will be waiting and ready. Our plans, apart from business as usual, include the retention of staff and reviewing and improving our efficiencies which will provide for us to be more competitive in the market. At the end of the day, relationships count and maintenance of these is crucial to our success.”
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STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP POWERMITE ekd gelenkrohr ekd gelenkrohr is a German-based company with facili�es in Germany and has 45 years’ experience in the manufacture of world-class energy chains. Managing Director Rolf Lung says: "Together with ekd we have a combined knowledge of over 50 years of drag chain applica�on within industries, such as ports, harbours and industrial and water treatment plants that require the protec�on of cable, hose or hydraulic supply on a ﬁxed plane over a required distance at a ﬁxed or variable speed". The comprehensive ekd energy chain range from Powermite includes galvanised steel, stainless steel and carburised (hardened) steel as well as a plas�c range which consists of self-ex�nguishing, ATEX, An�-Sta�c, steel-coated and Robo�c bi-direc�onal chain, extended to chains designed for ultra-long distances known as the Marathon System. These chains use roller sets and are capable of maintaining speeds of up to 8m/s. It is vital that we recommend the best, most op�mum solu�on for our customers. The services ranges from the selec�on and design of suitable energy chains, electrical and hose lines to ﬁnal assembly and commissioning on site. Figure 1 shows the SYSTEM MARATHON energy chain with an overhead travel of 180 m, assembled on site by ekd gelenkrohr. The SYSTEM MARATHON has been the reliable solu�on for long travel distances and high travel speeds for more than 15 years. Whether in crane systems, transfer lines, press systems or in the steel or coal industry, the SYSTEM MARATHON oﬀers a fric�on-free energy chain guide, which is a unique feature in the market due to the reduc�on of the traversing force and wear behaviour. This has been proved by the over ﬁ�een years of use under various extreme condi�ons.
Fig. 1: Energy chain SYSTEM MARATHON in a train wash applica�on, travel 180m
Fig. 2: Energy chain SYSTEM MARATHON in a steel plant, speed 3,5m/s
Fig. 3: Energy chain SYSTEM MARATHON in mining, travel 400m
Liebherr-Africa w w w . l i e b h e r r . c o m
Liebherr Africa has been serving the needs of the local Construction, Civil Engineering and Mining Industries since 1958 and next year will celebrate its 60th Anniversary.
iebherr-Africa (Pty) Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of the international Liebherr Group, which operates from more than 130 Companies in various countries world-wide. In Southern Africa, the Company plays a vital role keeping the regionâ€™s industry and mines moving, where Liebherr equipment is a familiar sight on construction, industrial, port and mining sites. Liebherr-Africa, as a Mixed Sales Company features 8 different divisions, each focused on providing its customers with a uniquely tailored solution for their application in a wide diversity of industries. Liebherr sells mining, earthmoving, construction and material handling equipment; mobile, crawler and maritime cranes and also commercial and domestic fridges and freezers.
S h a r e
Great companies have great tales to tell. With an established global reach, our editorial is read by senior executives, buyers, manufactures and other leading industry professionals. If youâ€™d like to share your strory and bring your business closer to the people that matter, please contact us today. @EssentialBizMag
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L i e b h e r r
A f r i c a
Solutions for Tough times
Like many companies with a strong focus on mining and commodity-based industries, Liebherr has been affected by the recent crash in commodities prices and the aftermath of the global financial crisis. However, Liebherrâ€™s global-minded corporate activities, together with its broadly-diversified product range mean that the Company is not as heavily dependent on the changing situations in individual markets.
Thanks to the Liebherr brandâ€™s reputation for fuel and loading efficiency, many companies have selected its machines as a good long-term investment Particularly in South Africa, faltering commodity prices have forced mining and, to some extent, earthmoving customers to review capital expenditure against return and operational productivity. This has been directly impacting the market over the past few years as customers cut back on purchasing new equipment and postpone expensive overhauls on existing plants.
L i e b h e r r
A f r i c a
Living Promotions ...is a corporate branding agency specialising in promotional gifts, graphic design, print media and custom manufacturing of a wide range of corporate clothing, uniforms and heavy work wear. We are not just another agency in the market, our hard work and commitment to clients has placed Living Promotions as one of the very few top agencies in Southern Africa. Our key focus is to provide clients with a refreshingly quality-driven service, an experience that will evolve into a respectful business relationship for years to come. We offer a tailored, all-in-one service to satisfy the branding and communication needs of our clients.
However, there is a positive to this downturn, as LiebherrAfricaâ€™s rental vehicle fleet has been ideally positioned to become a stopgap to mining and industrial customers unable to afford to purchase equipment directly. Thanks to the Liebherr brandâ€™s reputation for fuel and loading efficiency, many companies have selected its machines as a good long-term investment, especially for those trying to run their operations to the same standard on a tighter budget.
With recovery continuing from the financial crisis and commodity prices beginning to stabilise, key sectors have begun to show cautious optimism. Recent World Bank forecasts suggest that commodity prices will increase by as much as 26% in the energy sector in 2017, with a corresponding shift in the investment backlog which build up during the recession. Liebherr is now looking to benefit from this positivity in the form of both sales and long-overdue machine overhauls.
We supply both local-based promotional gifts and clothing, as well as a direct importing service, allowing us to offer clients an entirely customised product at competitive prices. Our arms are stretched across the globe to the Far East, offering direct importing advantages to our clients. Our aim is always to give your campaign a twist with exciting new product ideas, design or packaging options. Creativity is our fuel that has won us the support of clients. This places us in the top tier of service providers in the marketing and gifting industry. We have gained vast experience in the gifting and clothing industry over 14 years. For more information, go to
L i e b h e r r
A f r i c a
Innovation and design
While Liebherr-Africa is largely focused on sales and operations, the Liebherr Group aims to contribute and shape technological progress in various divisions, investing substantial amounts in research and development, the bulk of which is used for product development. The principle issues which have been the focus of the Group for some time now are increasing energy efficiency, networking, automation and lightweight product design, particularly in industries such as Aviation and Cooling
Despite this broadening of focus, Liebherr’s principle business is still the sale and service of heavy equipment, and it has recently released a number of new products. African customers, of course, often have similar concerns to those elsewhere – fuel efficiency, ease of use and servicing and economical running costs, but at the same time conditions can be particularly challenging. The Liebherr-Africa Earthmoving Division has launched two new products into the South African market to address these needs more fully – the PR776 bulldozer and the R920 excavator. The PR776 is the world’s largest hydrostatic-driven bulldozer. Specially designed to operate under the toughest mining and
quarrying applications, it is powered by a 12-cylinder diesel engine and can be equipped with blades of up to 22m³. The demo unit has recently completed a 12 month on-thejob testing period in which it performed exceptionally well.
The smaller R920 excavator, on the other hand, is aimed at plant hire companies, an entirely different market. It carries a much larger bucket than competitor models which reduces fuel costs and increases productivity. In addition, the excavator’s
Experiencethe theProgress. Progress. Experience
Top Topperformances performance thanks thanks to to cutting-edge cutting-edgetechnology technology Liebherr For decades decadesour ourname namehas Liebherrisisfascinating fascinating technology. technology. For has been synonymous with top in quality in many areas.it is been synonymous with top quality many areas. Whether Whether it is tower cranes or–mobile cranes – or hydrautower cranes or mobile cranes or hydraulic excavators or wheel licloaders excavators or wheel loaders – or crawler and for – or crawler tractors and crawler loaderstractors or machines crawler loaders or machines for concrete technology. concrete technology. With Liebherr you experience progress. In With Liebherr you experience progress. addition to addition to construction conﬆruction machines, Liebherr In develops, designs construction machines, develops, designsfridge and and manufactures cranesLiebherr for port handling, high-quality manufactures cranes for port handling, high-quality fridge
and units,machine machine tools, key components and freezer freezer units, tools, components for aerospacefor and aerospace and as solutions rail transport, as rail well transport, as solutionsas for well mechanical, hydraulicfor and mechanical, and electric drive and control techelectric drivehydraulic and control technology. The portfolio of the Liebherr nology. The includes portfoliosix of hotels the Liebherr Group also Austria Group also in Ireland, Auﬆria andincludes Germany. six hotels42,000 in Ireland, Austria in and Germany. Around 42,000 Around employees over 130 companies worldwide employees over 130 ensure thatinLiebherr will companies also remain worldwide your reliableensure partnerthat in the Liebherr future. will also remain your reliable partner in the future.
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GMA Logistics ...is geared to deliver the goods across the Country… Around the World. A wholly owned South African enterprise, founded on the cornerstones of Service and Integrity and embracing the progressive philosophy of responsible and committed Black Empowerment. Fully operational offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Supported by an International network of agents, partners and associates. Every project consigned to GMA Logistics is handled personally and professionally.
reduced tail swing radius makes it particularly suitable for use in cramped areas like inner cities. On the other hand, the recently introduced R9200 launched by Liebherr-Africa’s Mining Division takes heavy loading to a new level. This world-class truck loading platform available in either backhoe or face shovel configuration was designed to complement the broader Liebherr mining product range and work in tandem with other machines supplied by the Company. This interoperability encourages companies to purchase exclusively from Liebherr and helps improve operational efficiency. The R9200 uses its 12.5m3 bucket (the largest in its class) to perform sustainably with
peak fuel burn efficiency in even the most challenging conditions (another reason why it’s suitable for Africa). It’s designed to match trucks with a capacity of up to 140 tonnes, but can operate with much larger vehicles such as Liebherr’s 383-tonne capacity T282B mining truck. The R9200 is also equipped with Liebherr’s unique patented Litronic Plus power management system, enhancing electrical, mechanical and hydraulic power distribution during operation. Combined with a closed-loop hydraulic swing circuit, this classleading system means the R 9200 cycles faster and consumes less fuel without sacrifice. Efficiency is further enhanced through the use of the on-demand cooling control for both water and oil.
Our services include: • International Forwarding • Export Forwarding • Warehousing • Road Transport • Supply Chain Management • EDI Customs Clearing • Project Cargo • Distribution • Marine Insurance • Consulting We also cater for specialised service needs; Contact us for more information: T: +27 (0)31 337 5506 www.gmalogistics.co.za
Other new developments
As a whole, Liebherr has gained a reputation for consistent technological innovation and advances, and has helped develop a number of new products over the past several years, producing impressive productivity solutions and improvements. The Company focuses on adapting and enhancing product specifications according to customer needs.
L i e b h e r r
The Mixing Technology Division at Liebherr-Africa successfully launched the new DBP 60-M Mobile Dry Batch Plant at the Totally Concrete Expo held in Johannesburg on 23rd and 24th May 2017, allowing the Company to now actively compete in the dry batch market. The DBP 60 – M, mounted on a road-legal trailer, requires only one horse for transport. The plant, which is capable of batching 60m³ per hour, has 2-4 aggregate storage bins, electro-pneumatic discharge gates, and four vibration motors to ensure the free-fl ow of fi ne material.
Another new product comes from the Mobile Crane Division. In 2016, the Company launched the 5-axle LTM 1250-5.1, a massive mobile crane and one of the most powerful of its kind of the market. Appearing for the first time at the Bauma trade fair in Munich, the LTM 1250-5.1 is a single-engine crane, a concept unique to Liebherr, with a multi-functional folding jib (a 50m hydraulically adjustable fixed jib is available as well). This crane also includes specialist power-management and system balancing features such as the Liebherr VarioBase and ECOmode, improving fuel efficiency and safety.
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An automated future
Whatever developments Africa’s economy goes through, it’s impossible to deny that automation will play a major part. This presents a potentially serious problem for the continent’s developing economies, but also a major opportunity for its industrial development. Liebherr is at the forefront of these ongoing developments, working to provide its customers with tailormade and technologically advanced solutions suitable for any environment or operation. Digitalisation, networking and electro-mobility are three additional technological megatrends for which Liebherr is developing innovative solutions in a wide variety of product areas. In June 2016, Liebherr presented a new system for its maritime products at the TOC Europe trade fair: LiDAT smartApp. Customers can use this system to analyse the process and performance data of their equipment in real time. This makes it possible to identify bottlenecks quickly and to make more efficient use of handling equipment. Last year, the Domestic Appliances Division’s research and development department pressed ahead with work on the issues of digitalisation and networking, in particular. At IFA 2016, the leading trade show
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for consumer electronics and home appliances, Liebherr presented an “intelligent fridge”, which uses modularly integrable cameras to recognise the food placed in the fridge for storage. A voice module provides customers with additional useful information about the food such as shelf life, the vitamins and minerals it contains, shopping lists or recipe suggestions.
Technology that pays
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A service focus
High quality products are explicitly not the end of the Company’s services – it also provides support throughout the operational life of the equipment. Each division of the Company provides its clients and potential customers with advisory services to help determine which solutions may be right for their situation. Following a purchase, full after-sales support including inspection, maintenance, training, advice and repairs are also available.
The Company focuses on adapting and enhancing product specifications according to customer needs
This has been acknowledged outside its customer base, too. In March 2017 Liebherr Africa’s Mining Division was awarded with a Service Excellence – Customer Support – 2 star level with a score of 89%.
The Company’s goal remains to deliver exceptional service, while all the time adapting to meet the demands of an evershifting marketplace. Based on its recent performance, it is well placed to succeed.