Bit-by-bit buyout pays off

2012-07-12 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG resident Kevin Palframan is a prime example of how savings and investments acquired with patience and perseverance can lead to rich rewards.

One of the most defining moments in this businessman’s life was a decision he took a few years ago to invest a financial windfall he received while working at Battery Centre.

Palframan was an ordinary employee of the business at the time, having begun as a sales representative with the city business in 1997.

Now Palframan (40) owns the business in its entirety after years of steadily investing dividends back into buying small stakes in the business.

While he lacked a tertiary qualification, Palframan had a solid determination to one day own his own business.

His initial goal of owning Battery Centre — which was established more than 25 years ago by Ken Curr, a well-known city triathlete — is now a reality after he recently bought the remaining shares.

“After working here for a few years, I asked Ken if I could buy shares in the business,” Palframan told The Witness.

“Initially I bought 25%. Then, over the years I upped the stake and eventually owned 49%.”

When asked how he achieved his goal, Palframan said: “I always had a goal to own my own business, but I knew it wouldn’t fall into my lap.

“I kept buying small stakes in the business over the years since then. I lived within my means and used the dividends every year to buy more shares. I was thinking about my long-term future.”

Palframan joined Battery Centre possessing a great love for people and service.

“When I started here I had no tertiary education. I learnt from scratch from Ken and from experiences. Service to my customers has always been paramount. I said to myself, ‘If you’re ever going to get anywhere in business, you have to go the extra mile.’ If you don’t do that in business nowadays, you’ll fail.”

Palframan would often put in extra hours on weekends, ensuring that his customers were well served.

He has steadily built up a large client base as a result.

“I have a passion for delivering great service to people and for building relationships,” Palframan said.

His ambitions are closely aligned to the needs of his family.

“There are two ways to make it — either through education or hard work. I want to support my children through school and give them better educational opportunities.”

The business employs nine people and recently acquired a broad-based black economic empowerment rating.

Palframan concedes that the battery trade is a highly competitive industry, but he believes that his passion for service excellence will ensure that the business thrives.

The business stocks a wide range of batteries for different industries, servicing retail and trade.

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