I’m very happy to say that 2021 has been a successful year for the Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group of Companies. We exceeded growth targets for the year and are on track to close with positive earnings – something that very few entities within our industry will achieve in the current economic climate.
The amazing performance and customer focus of the staff at Bosch Rexroth South Africa enabled us to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19 and other factors impacting our sector and the country. Long-term projections for growth and profit are favourable in spite of these. I extend special thanks to the tenacious sales team, who remained undeterred by the very difficult circumstances.
The collaboration among the various companies within the Group has never been better. The way we aligned to address the COVID-19 regulations and keep each other safe, is both an individual and a collective achievement. It allowed us to continue focusing on our customers, demonstrating agility and flexibility. An example of this is that we now use virtual commissioning services for our customers.
In 2021 we celebrated a number of world-firsts. Firstly, when Tectra Automation engineered a unique automated production system for the production of roof tiles. Secondly, when Hytec SA (in collaboration with Bosch Rexroth Germany) developed a hydraulic solution for tracked carriers for Bell Equipment. And last, but not least, when Bosch Rexroth engineered an award winning new electric actuator that negates the need for hydraulic pipes & power units – even at undersea depths of up to 4 000 m.
The digitisation of our business over the last 2 years has reshaped Bosch Rexroth South Africa from a traditional, paper-based organisation to one which is flexible, digitally enabled, open minded and collaborative. IT is supporting our trajectory with new tools such as business intelligence for sales. We also celebrated the development of Hytec’s Smart Inspection App, which revolutionises hydraulic inspection and servicing. Our HR and finance departments continue to streamline their processes with smart technologies.
In embracing digitisation, we have better engaged with key stakeholders and our customers. Our online presence has become more dynamic with the addition of live chat facilities and Tech Talks, supported by improved engagement on our social media platforms.
While we stretched our wings, we did not forget those less fortunate. Our social responsibility initiatives – which I am immensely proud of – celebrated positive achievements this year. Among these, the continued support of Primavera projects is a highlight. Pure Hope Primary School, which provides education to 350 children from disadvantaged families who would otherwise miss out on education, is one of their beneficiaries.
Bosch Rexroth Ghana’s project with an orphanage is another noteworthy initiative. We provided school bags and clothing to the children, as well as much needed renovations to their playground. Primavera has enabled the orphanage to complete the building of a new home for children in need.
There are exciting developments underfoot for Bosch Rexroth South Africa, too. I have been appointed to a new post, that of Senior Vice President of the Mobile Components Business Unit in Germany, as of 1 January 2022. My successor is Chris Riley (current GM of Tectra Automation) who will assume the role of CEO and Leader of Sales Unit Africa. In his experienced hands, no doubt, Bosch Rexroth South Africa will continue to accelerate its growth.
I encourage my peers and colleagues at Bosch Rexroth South Africa to keep pushing the sales and services that will set us up for success in 2022. Remember the values embodied by our company’s vision: Move now, drive tomorrow, shape Africa.
I will carry South Africa – my home for the last 4 years – close to my heart. It will be difficult to leave the sunny skies, delicious food and superb wines, and most of all, this country’s incredible people.
Thank you all for being a part of this extraordinary company, your trust and for making my tenure so fulfilling! I wish you all a safe and peaceful festive season and a prosperous, exciting new year.