Labotec: Cultivating An Emerging Export Division For Africa

Labotec Export Division was initiated two years ago in response to the growing African market and the need for a dedicated team to conform to the special needs required beyond the borders of South Africa, not only on the sales-marketing side, but on the service-support side.  Labotec Management recently attended LabAfrica in Kenya, and came back with an overall sunny disposition of East Africa despite the event being flanked by devastation with Jomo Kenyatta airport arrivals destroyed by fire two weeks before arrival, and the Westgate Kenyan mall attack and a week after departure.

Impressions shared by Stefan Harth (MD) from the four day Kenyan experience, “Kenya is growing at 6,2% GDP and is predicted to do so for the next 5 years.  The neighbouring countries are similar – Tanzania topping the basket at 7%. (As a comparison, South African growth rate has been reduced to around 2%!).  New buildings are evident everywhere in Nairobi, the motor-pool, while not as new as in South Africa, is still of a relatively good quality. The people are industrious and friendly, the currency stable and apart from the small political problems during their previous elections, the area seems poised for growth. The spoken English is good and one sees many South African and International companies.  Our hotel and exhibition area was more than adequate and the four days spent in Nairobi gave us all a very buoyant impression”.

This Kenyan African experiences ties in with the positive growth experienced in the Labotec Export Division, which is based in our Head Offices in Midrand, South Africa.  Two capable staff members head up the Export section, and their names are easy to remember; meet Darren and Darin, and this is what they have to say about the work they currently do.

Darren Barr :

“I enjoy working in the exports department. It’s unpredictable, exciting, stressful and enlightening all at the same time. The people I meet on a regular basis have given me the drive to learn more about the many different cultures and places to see throughout Africa. To date my travels have taken me to Namibia, where I was able to experience the incredible contrast between the red sand dunes and the dark blue ocean. I have met some of the friendliest and welcoming people yet in Swaziland, experienced the everlasting summer and strong economic drive of Botswana, visited my home country, Zimbabwe, for the first time in years, and ate lunch on the Zambezi river in Northern Mozambique. Over the next few months I am looking forward to my career taking me to Kenya, Zambia, and Lesotho, to name a few, and am excited to see what new experiences these destinations hold in store for me.”

Darin Leaner :

Working in the Export sales department of Labotec has provided me with the opportunity to interact and connect with different people and the emerging scientific laboratory equipment market on the continent, as well as the islands surrounding the continent.  While there are many parameters that introduce challenges, the opportunity to be exposed to the many different styles of business has made the experience a rich and rewarding one. I find it quite interesting and inspiring contributing to the process of lifting up the continent and contributing to the industry, which in turn plays a fundamental role in increasing the output of the quality of scientific research. I have learned a lot in the process and I continue learning in the position I occupy.