Carpet company CEO: “We are at a fascinating point in history”

by Ofentse Sefolo
Carpet company CEO: “We are at a fascinating point in history”

Liezel van der Merwe, Media in Africa’s Chairperson, attended the launch of Belgotex’s new Grafica range, along with architects, interior designers, developers and other esteemed partners. The launch took place at the company’s showroom in Johannesburg where Belgotex CEO, Edward Colle, introduced the new modular tufted tile and gave attendees an overview of changes in the industry as well as the company.

“Belgotex has realised that we can’t rely on product alone to take our brand into the future. Our products are what we do, but it’s not why we do it. As everyone in the local built environment knows, we are experiencing challenging and uncertain times, but we are also at a fascinating point in history. We are at a point where companies who are able to adapt will continue to outperform their competitors,” said Edward.

Scalability vs flexibility
As a sizeable player in the market, Belgotex is a capital-intensive business. While the company’s assets enable them to scale quickly, they have had to focus on becoming more agile and flexible to respond to changing market needs.

“When carpet manufacturers invest in a machine, they make this investment for the next 15 years. Needless to say, it’s not a decision that is taken lightly. What is required in 2019 compared to what was required in 2015 is tremendously different, which is why we need to move past focusing on scale. We are of the opinion that being flexible means more to a company’s bottom line than scalability. This requires a big mind shift,” says Edward.

He adds that Belgotex has undergone much transformation over the past three years and the conversations they are having with partners, clients and suppliers are different.

“We have a vision of the future that we want for our business. As our partners, whether you are trading or specifying our products, we are in this together. We want to create a brand and continue to create products that will leave a legacy,” says Edward.

Belgotex has a physical presence in South Africa, Brazil, Dubai, India and Saudi Arabia. The company is also seeing great potential in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and a number of other African countries. Edward says that while many South Africans have become discouraged, it’s important to remember that we are not alone.

“As South Africans, we are so hard on ourselves. Politics are playing a massive role in business across the globe and global political shifts also have an impact on our businesses. There are still great opportunities in South Africa and there is great inspiration to be found on local shores as well. Why look to Europe and America for trends and inspiration when there is so much to see, explore and experience here?”

For more information, visit www.belgotex.co.za.

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