Current Issue 52
No-one carries water like we do
Flo-Tek is led by a group of professional specialists, who each bring a set of specific industry skills and experience to the company
Writer Emily Jarvis
Project Manager James Smith
Radical Investments (Pty) Ltd, trading as Flo-Tek Pipes & Irrigation, was established in Botswana in 1998 with the sole purpose of manufacturing PVC pipes. Since this time the company has grown in terms of both production capacity and facility size in order to cater for a wider array of customer needs.
Flo-Tek’s core business specialises in the manufacture and distribution of HDPE, PVC-U, PVC-M pressure and sewer pipes and rotomoulded products. Backed by the ISO 9001:2008 certification in their Botswana and Johannesburg factories, the company is fully equipped to handle a distribution network throughout these two regions and other SADC countries.
In July 2003 and June 2004, Flo- Tek commenced the manufacture of rotational moulded products and HDPE pipes respectively. The company expanded into South Africa in 2005 and have continued to increase production with the addition of a HDPE pipe factory in Clayville, Johannesburg, in August 2007. Since this time, Flo-Tek has opened subsidiary companies in Dundee, Port Elizabeth, East London and Angola, further enhancing their reach on the continent. “Our factories have fully equipped laboratories which ensure Flo-Tek manufactures to SANS, ISO and SAPPMA specifications. This is accompanied by a set of knowledgeable and well experienced staff in the pipe manufacturing industry. They bring with them a wealth of industry experience which helps ensure customers receive the best quality product and timely delivery. Our staff compliment of 50 people and the strategic locations of our factories are the two key selling points of our business,” says Chakrapani Banduru, Flow-Tek’s Chief Operating Officer for the Clayville operation. Collectively, through its management and specialist staff, Flo- Tek offers its clients more than 150 years’ experience in the pipe manufacturing industry.
Building a Profile in South Africa
Flo-Tek have successfully built up their profile in South Africa through various association exhibitions related to their manufactured products and have also made the conscious choice to source their supplies locally. “We do this predominantly because there are huge supplies locally that we can take advantage of. In doing so we show our direct support to economic development in South Africa,” Banduru emphasises. Basic raw materials and additives for the manufacture of PVC-U pipes, HDPE pipes and tanks are supplied to Flo-Tek from local sources. These materials from trusted suppliers are checked and verified, and given a compulsory test certificate.
Corporate Social Investment
As a responsible and progressive corporate citizen, Flo-Tek has adopted an integrated and balanced approach to CSI, as a coordinated and aligned component of its broad-based economic empowerment programme. “We recognise that no successful and sound business can survive in isolation from the community within which it operates,” says Banduru. Flo-Tek strives to add value to the community through its involvement in the process of establishing the needs of Compass Community Centre. “We are looking to provide the community with the funding and the support of groceries, furniture and the necessary equipment they might require on an on-going basis. Furthermore, we work with a charity called Roundabout in order to provide water for school children. This organisation has developed a device that pumps water from a borehole facility via the perpetual motion a roundabout creates when children play on it. The more children play, the more water these schools have, which is a wonderful idea,” he describes.
Further Developing the Business
Over the last twelve months, Flo- Tek have been focussed on internal restructuring and building on their current investments, adding yet another subsidiary company in East London as well as establishing additional lines in their HDPE factory. “Developing our staff is a key factor in order to build the profile of the business. Our aim is to maintain the momentum we have established this year, making the best of each and every opportunity available to us at this time,” cites Banduru. “We are proud to announce the opening of our East London operation, which will be fronted by the Director of our Port Elizabeth company, Mr Colin Murphy,” he adds.
Banduru further highlighted that Flo-Tek’s greatest advantage is their knowledgeable staff: “Our stable product line is backed by a team who understand our products. Subsequently, we have established a reputation in the industry and are recognised throughout Southern Africa, which gives us the edge over the competition.”
Huge structural changes within Flo-Tek have cemented the company’s position in the market and with constant improvements made to their product range, these adjustments promise to be for the better.