KZN’s top enterpises honoured

2012-11-10 00:00

WHILE it has been a tough year, a number of Pietermaritzburg businesses operating across a range of sectors have illustrated the ability to survive, and indeed thrive, in the current economic climate.

Businesses involved in healthcare, stationery, toilet and shower cubicles, as well as an office automation enterprise and a bookkeeping concern, were honoured at the annual banquet of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) last night.

Private hospital Midlands Medical Centre — a business that has invested millions of rands in its operations in recent years — won the Business of the Year 2012 award at the Nedbank PCB Business Awards.

Said PCB CEO Melanie Veness: “In making the award, the PCB recognised the company’s exceptional financial performance, innovative business model and the leaderships’ sound application of management principles.

Not only was there an impressive growth in turnover and profitability, but the hospital managed to employ an additional 138 people over the last three years.”

The black-owned business, which has been in operation for about 24 years, now employs more than 450 people.

Sue Hadcroft of Cubicle Solutions was crowned Champion Entrepreneur for 2012. Cubicle Solutions doubled its 2011 net profit in 2012 — an impressive feat for a business that was only established in 2008.

Cubicle Solutions has won two major business awards in one year. Earlier this year, the company won the prestigious Best New Business 2012 Award at the Africagrowth Institute’s annual 2012 Africa Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) awards in Stellenbosch.

“Sue attributes their success to the development of a successful market penetration strategy, innovative marketing and a strong focus on service and customer care,” said Veness.

“The company’s staff complement has increased from six in 2010 to 14 currently. Sue’s energy, passion for her products and ability to open up new markets locally and in other African countries are commendable and exemplify true entrepreneurial spirit. She is considered a worthy winner in this category.”

Hadcroft and her husband Alan have been the driving force behind Cubicle Solutions, winning major contracts, including deals linked to the 2010 Fifa World Cup and contracts from Vodacom and Sun International.

Speciality Papers — which is the brainchild of Ronel Stevens and has experienced notable growth in recent years — won the Small Business of the Year award for the second time, having won it in 2009.

“The business award assessors were very impressed with the growth of Speciality Papers, not only in terms of turnover, but in terms of expansion, [with] the acquisition of additional premises and the development of innovative new product offerings.

“Ronel Stevens’ dedication, drive and passion are commendable and her commitment to strong family values can be clearly seen in her business practices and in the attitude of her staff,” Veness said.

Nandi Dladla of Nelisa Primary Health Clinic — which has has bridged the gap between public and private healthcare — was awarded the Emergent Black Business Person of the Year award.

“Nandi Dladla’s passion for nursing is clear and her determination to offer practical and meaningful workplace based healthcare to those infected and affected by HIV and Aids is admirable,” said Veness.

“She offers a service that is both compassionate and practical.

“She has, through her approach and treatment, been able to reduce absenteeism in various local businesses.

“She runs awareness workshops and training and has developed a manual on HIV and Aids management. She is an inspiration.”

Office automation business Nashua Maritzburg, headed by MD Nad Naidoo, is a supporter of many local events. It was the runner-up in the Business of the Year category.

Assured Bookkeeping, headed by Ian and Bronwyn Blackburn, was the runner-up in the Small Business of the Year category.

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