Moving into the Mzansi market

Moving into the Mzansi market

The only constant in life is change, which is great as it keep things fresh and interesting … And, with Intertek Consulting & Training (IC&T), change is a wonderful constant.

South Africa (commonly referred to as Mzansi) is no stranger to change. It is ingrained in our country’s history with its different ethnic groups, cultures, languages and religions … And for IC&T – the latest player in the South African consulting and training market – the same applies to business, as it is constantly changing and as equally diverse as our wonderful land.

The company’s purpose is to provide testing, auditing, training, certification and consulting services across all industries. “But it is all about developing assurance,” says Karin Ovari, IC&T regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa, “giving companies the benefit of knowing that their products, systems and processes are valid.”

The Consulting & Training division aims to improve the culture of safety and operational performance of companies. “We do things like well control, rig mathematics, stuck pipe as well as high-pressure and high-temperature training, which is very relevant to the oil and gas industry,” says Ovari. But IC&T provides so much more, as it services are relevant to all the highly hazardous industries. “Globally we’ve done lots of projects with mining and construction companies,” she points out.

However, IC&T doesn’t just come in and tell companies what to do. “We don’t just give a toolbox and say ‘now go and be happy’ … We’re about working together with companies within their existing systems and framework, to get the best out of what they already have,” explains Ovari. “More often than not companies have invested a substantial amount of resources into their systems and, at the end of the day, they’ve got to use them – we just help them to review the situation.”

IC&T offers its help to companies in five core areas: its people, culture, processes, delivery and sustainability.

In doing so it provides: risk management assessment; a consultancy service; suggestions on how to change the organisation’s culture; leadership development; on-site coaching and skills development. It also works with people to build up their competence and develop their sustainability.

“So everything we do plugs back into the five core areas,” Ovari points out.

But IC&T doesn’t only help companies to adapt their systems, it does some adapting of its own in its current and new markets … . “I’m training local people to work with me,” emphasises Ovari. “It is about building a southern African team, with the core group being from South Africa.”

However, Ovari isn’t only building a local team, but also putting a lekker local South African twist to the services that the company offers. “Our business makeup is changing every day as we’re learning about this market and getting a better feel for it,” she points out. “We’re adding in courses that are very specific to South Africa, which aren’t available anywhere else in the IC&T world, thereby helping to create sustainable workforces.”

She adds: “So we’re deviating from what we traditionally do, looking at how we can make a difference to the skills shortage and the skills development in this country – which I’ve become very passionate about.”

And passion is a powerful driving force, which will help IC&T to make its way into and upwards in the Mzansi market.

Watch this space – it’s going to be interesting.

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