The winners of the 2016 KZN Exporter of the Year Awards were announced at a high profile industry event recently where SBS Water Systems took top honours in the Medium Exporter Category, coming first ahead of Bata South Africa. You can view photos from the event on our Facebook Page.
A partnership between Transnet Port Terminals and the Durban Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Awards showcase emerging and established businesses exporting a wide range of products and services and serve to drive exports and promote economic growth in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.
According to Transnet Port Terminals’ Chief Executive, Karl Socikwa, ”The Port of Durban handles about 60 percent of the country’s imports and exports and is regarded as the busiest port in Sub-Saharan Africa,” so, for SBS Water Systems, achieving an accolade of this magnitude when competing against the likes of Toyota South Africa, Sappi and more is proof of their tenacity and vision.
Having first entered the Awards in 2014 when the company enjoyed success in the Small Exporter Category, 2015 saw SBS Water Systems compete in the Emerging Exporter Category, where they took third place, so it was no surprise after three years of exponential growth, that the company should triumph as Exporter of the Year in 2016.
“For us, winning Exporter of the Year demonstrates recognition of the growth of a proudly South Africa, homegrown business into an internationally competitive player,” says Martin Barnard, Sales and Marketing Manager for SBS Water Systems, speaking of their expansion into the U.S.A this year.
Initial U.S. market research took place at the end of 2015 and the findings pointed to a highly receptive market with huge potential for SBS Tanks in Texas and heightened levels of excitement throughout the southern United States as a whole, as well as the rest of Central and South America.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, it was only a matter of months before SBS Water Systems had established SBS U.S.A. in Texas in the middle of 2016. “Since then international interest has been such that we’ve enjoyed a number of delegations from other countries, such as Mexico and Brazil, to see how we operate and to discuss export opportunities,” says Barnard.
On track to becoming a solid international player, Barnard says, “The road to growing the company has not been without it’s challenges but if there’s one thing this journey has taught us it’s that our product is globally competitive and our expertise globally valuable.”
Operating from a world-class facility based in Maxmead, an industrial area on the outskirts of Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, SBS Tanks has proved its local competitiveness time and time again, and now is proving its ability to deliver on an international scale too.
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