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Latest 76 Corporate Stories

Tayanna Mozambique

Building a Brighter Future Tayanna Mozambique, one of the country’s leading civil contracting and mining companies, is championing industry collaboration, upholding community development and capitalising on opportunity.  Matt Davis, Operations Director, explains how   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith Africa. Home to 30 percent of global mineral reserves, producing around 483 tonnes of gold and operating four of the five biggest diamond mines outside of Russia, it is a continent unrivalled in the way of natural wealth.  The sheer number of facts which support this claim are unrelenting. Approximately two thirds of the world’s cobalt is produced in the DRC, while South Africa is home to an unsurpassed platinum resource base.  Yet, despite such mammoth deposits, the continent’s worldly riches have remained relatively untapped in the past – something that has only begun to change in recent times.  Take Mozambique, for example. Recognised as possessing the world’s largest coal resource base and similarly gargantuan gold mines, certain regions including the Niassa, Tete and Manica provinces have begun to attract substantial domestic and international investment of late.  Meanwhile, ilmenite and graphite are beginning to play a growing role in the national economy, upheld by mining companies such as Australia’s Syrah Resources.  The business behind the world-renowned Balama project which launched in northern Mozambique in early 2019, the firm produces 350,000 tonnes of graphite per annum from this site alone, equating to a 40 percent share in the global graphite market.  “Whether its graphite, rubies, coal or gold, the diverse landscape of opportunities that Mozambique has to offer makes working in this country extremely exciting,” states Tayanna Mozambique’s Operations Director Matt Davis, a business closely involved with Syrah Resources.  “It’s a

Editor Donovan Smith By Editor Donovan Smith

Simbisa Brands Kenya

Quintessential QSR Simbisa Brands’ Kenyan operation is an embodiment of the entire group, providing quality food retail for the benefit of customers, employees and shareholders alike   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Josh Hyland  There’s much in store for Sub-Saharan Africa’s retail scene.  A region characterised by quick development and unrivalled economic growth, the sub-continent’s consumer sector has witnessed surging investor interest in recent years, a trend that has dictated the economic diversification of many countries away from primary industries and towards the demands of a growing consumer class.  Such a shift is owed to a number of factors.  According to the World Bank, for example, Africa is well on the way to becoming the home of nearly 226 million people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old by 2050, a demographic that is expected to drive consumerism for years to come.  Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that the continent’s urban population will increase to 56 percent in 2050, up from the 35 percent recorded in 2010, simultaneously making it the most rapidly urbanising region in the world.  Against this backdrop, quick service retail (QSR) businesses are thriving, successfully capitalising on the abundant array of opportunities available. Simbisa Brands Kenya Limited stands as one such enterprise.  “Simbisa means to strength and to empower,” the company states on its website.  “It is a Shona word... The name represents what the business and its people stand for; the endeavour to create and sustain a strong and empowered brand that is recognised across all regions.”  Maintaining quality  A group portfolio comprising a multitude of major food retail brands, including Pizza Inn, Chicken Inn, Galito’s, The Grill Shack,

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SAP Africa

Ensuring Profit Benefits People and Purpose In the eyes of SAP Africa and its Managing Director Cathy Smith, the sky is the limit when it comes to social upliftment, technological innovation and enterprise transformation on the continent  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki  Why am I so optimistic about technology in Africa? The answer is simple – look at how far we have come and look at how fast we are moving forward.  “By 2050, it is estimated that Africa will boast a $29 trillion economy. It will have the largest youth labour market in the world that, if empowered with the right education and skills development initiatives, could become the engine that propels the future global economy.   “The continent is also modernising at an unmatched rate. Its tremendous mobile device adoption and immense innovation capabilities prove this fact.   “While other countries wonder about delivering packages with quadcopters, we are already pioneering intelligent drone systems sophisticated enough to track poachers. Meanwhile, an African student just developed a new rocket fuel – in his mother’s rural kitchen!”  For Cathy Smith, technology has always had a firm grip on the key to unlocking Africa’s true potential.  Having immersed herself in the industry for over 30 years, including a 23-year stint at IBM, she has led an enviable career, moving to Cisco in 2015 to head up the company’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for Sub-Saharan Africa. When the opportunity arose to join SAP Africa last year, however, she grasped it with both hands.  “Working for a global organisation committed to empowering women in leadership and dedicated

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Pride Milling

Counting on Consistency Pride Milling has emerged as a go-to, reliable supplier of milled maize products thanks to its bold investment in technology and continuous improvement   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  Each year on average between 2.5 and 2.75 million hectares, some two thirds of South African commercial farming land, is utilised for maize.   In the 2017/2018 season, approximately 12.9 million tonnes were produced, a far cry from the 328,000 tonnes farmed in 1904.   Converting maize into value-added products is therefore big business in South Africa, something that Centurion-based Pride Milling knows all too well under the leadership of CEO Jorrie Jordaan, who acquired a controlling share in the company in 2001.   “We took our chance to create a brand and it has been going from strength to strength ever since, thanks to our focus on continuous improvement through innovation and investing in new processes and technology,” he explains.   “Today we are not the small company that we were in 2001 – we are one of the biggest maize millers in the country looking at a turnover of R2.8 billion once we complete our expansion work.”  Jordaan is a seasoned industry professional, much of his early career being spent working in a one-channel marketing system operated through government-owned boards, the industry moving to a free market setup in 1995.   Today the sector is, by Jordaan’s own admission, a competitive one with numerous small and large players. However, he is quick to explain what he sees as Pride Milling’s point of difference.   “Pride Milling differentiates itself, I believe, because we see maize milling beyond simply making maize meal for consumers,”

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Inchcape Shipping Services : Global, Local, Transparent

By adding a global, technology-enabled layer of transparency to shipping agency operations, Inchcape Shipping Services continues to gain the trust of clients to manage their vessels and cargo the world over.

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FPT Group

SA’s Port of Call FPT Group continues to provide efficient landside and port logistical services at its hubs in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, recent investments allowing it to handle more goods for more customers  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager:Josh Mann  South Africa is a busy importer and exporter of goods.   According to South Africa’s Revenue Service (SARS), the month of June 2019 saw more than R108 billion of exports and over R103 billion of imports pass in and out of the country, goods which came come from and travelled to many countries around the world.   China, for example, is the nation’s leading partner on both fronts, responsible for 11.3 percent of June exports and 17 percent of imports, while the likes of Germany and the United States are also vital trading partners, respectively ranking second and third in both categories.   A large proportion of this activity will at some stage involve passing through one of South Africa’s many busy ports.   Hives of activity, these important transit hubs are vital to the functioning of commercial activity in and out of the country, and for Paulo Franco, the nation’s shipping industry has reached an important juncture in its ongoing journey.   “The shipping industry has arrived at a major crossroads, with very low efficiencies being achieved in the majority of South African ports as a result of very low productivity and escalating costs,” he says.  “The country needs to remain competitive, not only in cost, but also in efficiency to remain relevant.”  This said, Franco is a self-proclaimed optimist and believes in a bright future for the sector.  As Managing Director of FPT

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Elmacast Engineering

Casting Light on SA  Owed to quality-driven values and an innovative ethos, Elmacast Engineering is helping to forge a bright future for South Africa’s casting industry   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith  Competition is central to the success of any market or economy.  It’s become an inevitable aspect of business, owed to the imitations and expansions brought about by lucrative opportunities. And while competition undoubtedly creates more challenging business environments, it also provides the perfect conditions for proactive companies to successfully navigate them and thrive.  Encouraging enterprises to think outside the box and diversify their investments, the endless search for a competitive advantage is crucial in powering innovation, productivity improvements and growth across industries.  For Marius Vermeulen and Elmacast Engineering, competition in this sense is a somewhat doubled-edged sword.  “The South African foundry industry has faced many challenges in the past decade, with one of them being a rise in competition from international suppliers,” Vermeulen, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager, explains. “And we’ve had to strengthen our operational performance in the face of this.   “There is certainly an exciting aspect of competition, powering the exploration of new ideas and innovative technologies. You have to remain in front of the curve, in this respect, to ensure your survival in the industry.”  Focused on quality  Specialising in the development of high precision chrome alloy castings, Elmacast serves various customers in a number of industries renowned for rapid progression and agility.  This in mind, the firm’s recognition of the importance of innovation has proven invaluable to the long-term success of the business, an ethos most recently emphasised by a new series of major investments

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Devmark Property Group

Property with Purpose Devmark Property Group continues to enjoy an upward trajectory of work thanks to its track record of project delivery and ability to read the market    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton  Starting your own business is never straightforward.   Around the world it is estimated that 50 million new companies are launched every year, and approximately nine in 10 of these enterprises fail within 12 months.   Running out of cash, uncontrollable market forces, or simply an ill-conceived idea – there are many reasons why so many startups do not make it into their second year of trading.   For Hein Ehlers, setting up Devmark Property Group in 1989 represented a shift away from a stable and successful career in retail.   Involved with one of South Africa’s leading retail organisations at the time, he identified a gap in the market and never looked back, much of his subsequent success grounded in paying meticulous attention to detail when it comes to researching new opportunities.   “I developed quite an affinity for the property side of the retail business, which ultimately inspired me to get into the property industry itself,” Ehlers recalls. “When we started the business in 1989 my objective was to develop retail projects, and so my first five developments were convenience shopping centres before we moved into residential.   “We also established our own construction company approximately 10 years ago and this entity’s growth has come predominantly from the group’s residential developments. Prior to 1994, we followed a strategy of being positive about the situation in South Africa and acquired land on good terms because many players were hesitant about

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DAR Automotive

The Parts Purveyor  By offering a full suite of products and services which is underpinned by a commitment to quality, DAR Automotive has made a name for itself as a reliable partner for OEMs and service and repair companies in South Africa  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann  The automotive industry is big business in South Africa.   Contributing $38.1 billion to the country’s GDP in 2018, the sector accounts for 6.8 percent of national income and 14.3 percent of exports.   As the largest manufacturing sector in the South African economy, vehicle and component production accounted for nearly 30 percent of manufacturing output in 2018, and the growth trend is set to continue.   According to the latest figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, the value of the automotive industry is set to increase to $39.2 billion in 2019 and $39.35 billion in 2020, when the amount of vehicles produced is set to pass 612,000.   It is one of the most mature and well-established sectors operating in the country, in no small part because of the extensive presence of parts and components suppliers which ensure manufacturing and repair operations run smoothly.   Take DAR Automotive, for example.   Established in 1997, the company services the automotive sector across South Africa through its network of 10 warehouses, another two being based in Botswana and Namibia. Its mission is a simple one – to supply quality components and competitive prices to the OEM, service and repair industries.   A Level 1 BBBEE firm, DAR is under the directorship of Deon Roy and Filum Ho and headquartered in Port Elizabeth.   Its

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Crown Paints PLC

Kenya’s Prince of Paints  Crown Paints PLC has been producing quality paint products for more than 60 years, establishing itself as the go-to supplier for the full spectrum of consumer and commercial customers   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller  The demand for paints and coatings around the world is showing no signs of slowing down.   According to research firm Statista, 2017 saw the industry generate more than $160 billion in sales, this figure set to rise to almost $210 billion in 2022 and over $232 billion by 2027.   And it is easy to see why, given the wide range of use cases. From automotive paints and architectural coatings to solutions for industrial premises and the individual DIY enthusiast, the need for quality, durable and sustainable products in this chemicals subcategory is more important than ever.   In Kenya, national mainstay Crown Paints PLC is growing alongside the global industry curve.   According to its latest annual report, the year 2018 saw revenues increase by 13 percent to 8.3 billion Kenyan shillings (approximately $80 million).   Citing promising GDP growth in his Chairman’s Statement, Mhamud Charania explained how last year provided an optimistic backdrop from which the company was able to grow its activities.   “The business environment improved as political stability and business confidence returned, thus leading to a better output from the real estate and manufacturing sectors,” he wrote. “The exchange rate during 2018 showed better stability than in 2017 which was of benefit to our company, taking into consideration that up to 65 percent of our raw materials are imported.”  Six decades of servitude   Although the Chairman admits 2018 was a mixed year, with its

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