New Impulses for South African Entrepreneurs

Germany welcomed the first group of South African MP participants in October 2019. A varied programme gave executives from middle and upper management opportunities to get to know manufacturing companies in the SME sector, attend trade fairs related to their industries, and advance their business ideas with German partners. During their four-week stay in Germany, the 20 participants intensively explored innovation and international project management and took a look behind the scenes at a number of German companies.

With BDS Maschinen GmbH, the South African MP participants got to know a global player in the field of core drilling technology.

MP participants involved in metalworking were particularly interested in a visit to BDS Maschinen GmbH. The Mönchengladbach-based company produces magnetic core drilling machines and core drilling tools. During a guided tour, the South African guests learned about how they operate and areas of application, and the quality control criteria that have to be met before the products can be sent to the customer, safely packaged and ready for use. “The machines we design and make are used worldwide in many areas of the metalworking industry and construction,” Essaid Hadjali, Export Director at BDS, explained. “From the simple models with just a few features to the complex and quite expensive models, each machine represents our exceptional quality. To maintain our high quality standards, BDS does not offer a wide range of products; we focus instead on a small selection of machines we constantly improve and redesign,” Hadjali said.

“The visit was particularly fruitful for the engineers in our group. BDS offered a unique experience. The company not only manufactures magnetic core drills; it is also a research pioneer in the technology of the machines. The company is trusted worldwide and the machines are even sold as far away as India", said Mnoneleli Maynard Gesha, Managing Director of Laser Mould and Die from South Africa after the visit. Export Director Hadjali summed up: “Our goal is to provide a wide range of information about how our company is developing while stimulating dialogue at the same time. So, we are happy to host any delegation from abroad interested in taking a closer look at the “Made in Germany” quality we produce at BDS Maschinen GmbH.” This concept seemed to bear fruit, and some MP participants expressed an interested in marketing BDS products in South Africa.

The Capreo company, which imports and sells quality South African wines, also opened its doors to MP participants. Lukas Jetter, Director of Business Development and Global Sales, explained why: “Personal relationships and trust play a major role in South Africa and are very important to business people there. We are delighted to host this group, which is a great opportunity to expand our network as well. We are looking to further broaden and deepen our cooperation with South African business people.”

Pilot group members are the first entrepreneurs from South Africa to take part in the Manager Training Programme. Participants came from the metal and electrical industries, chemicals, shipbuilding, waste management and other sectors. They left Germany with the first key business contracts and some MP participants are already planning initial joint ventures with German partners.

Photos: Andreas Dobslaff