Amongst 213 entries for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, one of the highest number of entries recorded to date, two of the 15 finalists were players in the architectural space.
The 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, sponsored by Sanlam and Business/Partners, is the ultimate acknowledgement entrepreneurs should aspire to. The annual competition honours, benefits and uplifts South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by celebrating entrepreneurial excellence and making heroes of those who are truly successful.
This year saw 213 entries, one of the highest number of entries recorded to date, and a steep increase of 40% from last year. Impressively, two of the 15 finalists operate in the architectural space.
Lucas van Wyk and Eben Rootman, Advance Fenestration
Advance Fenestration is a local aluminium systems supplier in the Gauteng region, a business that was spontaneously created only three weeks after an opportunity presented itself in the form of the business’ first order. The fact that they were able to deliver good quality goods within the limited timeframe, lead to subsequent orders.
Now, 20 months later, the business designs, manufactures and installs traditional aluminium fenestration (windows and doors), to the more energy-efficient performance aluminium products to suit residential and commercial applications.
Looking back over the business’ amazing growth and turnover, Lucas and Eben agree that a lot can be achieved in just 20 months. “We believe this is due to following achievable strategies and setting short-term goals. As a result of our quick turnaround time and excellent product quality, we have formed strong relationships with our suppliers and clients. These relationships, coupled with efficient operations management, keep the business moving forward.”
Barry Gould, CAPCO
CAPCO is a stockist and manufacturer of ceiling and partition systems and components, founded in 1989. Having made it through the 2008/2009 recession without a bump, the business believes that it is largely unaffected by economic slowdowns and is confident that its future outlook remains positive.
“Our ability to translate the design specifications of architects, designers and customers into functional products that meet these design criteria has assisted in CAPCO creating a unique niche in the market,” Barry states.
When it comes to sales and marketing, he believes that relationships matter. “When I started the business, I would make a point of going out to each customer myself. When we began to expand, I hired additional sales personnel, but ensured that I personally trained each employee as the industry is quite technical. I’ve learnt that in order to get the best results and ensure repeat business, a personal visit and an established relationship are necessary with each client.”
Success breeds success
“The large number of entries has certainly raised the overall standard of the competition and is testament to the thriving level of entrepreneurial talent and success present in the country. We would like to congratulate and commend all entrants, as these are the individuals who bring about positive change and fuel job growth – helping the South African economy and communities to grow,” Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, commented.
For more information on the competition, visit www.eoy.co.za.
Caption: CAPCO’s Barry Gould made it to the top 15 of the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition.