DIY and Industrial Trade News - March 2020

Page 64



Building a weatherproof business Robin Coen has recently been appointed as managing director for Matus. This is a new challenge for him to captain the company through the current tough economic times, but he is excited about the opportunities ahead.


obin Coen has spent the last 24 years

business to another level. Market conditions

is not an option

in similar institutions, including

at this time are not favourable, but there’s

because that

Saffer/WHD and Vaal Sanitaryware,

plenty of market opportunity for us. All our

will downsize

to mention a few.

products have been tried, tested and trusted

the business

by users. I accept new brands will continue to

as a whole. If

and qualified employee with the experience to

pop up in this market space. Many of which are

we can steer

keep Matus on its success course and make it

de-engineered, sacrificing quality with the

this business

even greater going forward.

result that they don’t last longer than six to

in the right

12 months before disappearing again. This can

manner, then

be particularly harmful for end users and the

we never have

low pricing is disruptive for solid, quality products.

to revert to

75 years and Matus is a respected partner in the

The market relies on us to bring stability to this

those options.

industry. Matus, indirectly and directly services

segment and we have a big responsibility of how

The industrial,

the industrial, construction, engineering,

we manage this and navigate the circumstances

mining and the

agricultural, retail DIY and mining sectors. It has

we are confronted with to assure quality at a


a rich history of building relationships, building

reasonable price.

sector is under

Years of experience makes him a well-respected

For Robin, taking the reins at Matus was an easy decision. The Matus journey started in 1942. Fast forward

trust and growing the Matus brand.

The local economy as a whole is facing difficulties,

Robin Coen, newly appointed Matus MD.

severe pressure.

Matus is a wonderful company to work for

but this is also nothing new for Robin. “The market

While mining and industrial sectors are fighting

says Coen. “To take it on and be the custodian

conditions at this point are tough and I don’t think

their own battles, agriculture is also under immense

of the kind of legacy and heritage I inherited,

much will change in the near future. We are still

pressure from ongoing droughts.

is a big honour. It is a very powerful brand and

experiencing the snowball effect of the troubles

company. And added to it is the association of

of the past. It is one thing to predict things will be

profitable, the company has a huge responsibility

being proudly Bidvest.”

better this year, but it simply isn’t that easy.”

towards its staff and must attempt to ensure the

Robin Coen says he inherited a stable ship

To weather the difficult times is part of the job but

“It is important for Matus to keep being

employees can look after their families. Matus’

and is sure to build on it. “I think the structures

cutting down on the business is not an option says

success is its focus on quality products. Matus has

in the company are well poised to take the

Robin. “Downsizing business to weather the climate

a perfect balance of its own brands and those for which it has exclusive distribution rights, added to the other local brands that Matus wholesales. Robin says, “Having exclusive distribution rights on products doesn’t mean you can sit on your laurels. It takes constant hard work to ensure the owners of flagship brands, like Hikoki, see you as the right partner for their brand.” Apart from their own and exclusive brands, Matus is of the opinion it has a moral obligation to support local manufacturers wherever possible. Stocking a range of quality local products brings an exciting dynamic to the market. In conclusion, Robin is excited to be in the hot seat at Matus and confident of the future ahead. Matus has structures in place to ensure its ongoing success and plans to create jobs and grow the business further.



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