The South African compressed-air industry celebrated the launch of its first 100% black-owned company, Enza Air, a division of industrial holdings company Asani Group, in Johannesburg earlier this month.
“This is a very important day for us and signals the birth of a new player in the compressed-air industry,” Enza Air MD Chris Mazume told Engineering News at the launch.
He added that, despite the high number of competitors, Enza Air was confident that it would break into the market as a mainstream compressed-air equipment supplier to the mining, manufacturing and construction industries.
Mazume pointed out that partnerships would be key to the success of Enza Air, particularly its partnership with CompAir South Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of international compressor manufacturer Gardner Denver. CompAir has provided the company with maintenance and sales support from a leading original-equipment manufacturer in the compressed-air industry.
CompAir South Africa business director Marc Wilmers explained that the compnay was using some resources, such as marketing and finance, to help give Enza Air a footing in a very competitive industry. “[Our support] is not about technical assistance, as these guys know what they are doing, but more about starting up an organisation and making it sustainable.”
Further, Enza Air has partnered with energy consultancy BBEnergy to include energy efficiency and air audits in its service offering.
“The flexibility of Enza Air comes from being able to offer all these services to customers who are looking for a complete solution with a limited budget,” Mazume said.
The company’s product offering includes lubricated and oil-free rotary screw compressors, portable diesel compressors, hydrovanes, vacuums, air-treatment equipment, such as desiccant and refrigeration dryers, and inline filters.
Meanwhile, Asani Group CEO Zweli Dladla explained that the group was looking to establish a mainstream black-owned equipment supplier focusing on industrial and mining clients, and found an opportunity to break into the market with the establishment of a compressor company.
“We saw a gap in that there was no formidable black-owned company operating in the compressed-air market; hence, Asani Group’s deciding to form a partnership with CompAir to enable us to launch our dream,” he asserted.
Wilmers pointed out that the company had been in discussions with Asani Group since 2015 about the establishment of Enza Air. “Enza represents a very good and clear commercial objective within the organisation and also in industry. “Our experience of industry now is that our customers are looking to find products we offer, from a good, suitably qualified vendor that operates in a way that satisfies [their] . . . objectives,” he said. Enza Air will distribute Gardner Denver products in addition to receiving business support from CompAir South Africa. “Enza brings a tremendous amount of experience through [Mazume], who heads up the organisation, and the sales team have as much, if not more, direct experience as us, in the industry,” Wilmers highlighted. Gardner Denver regional director Colin Mander, who came from the UK to attend the launch, noted that Enza Air represented a “ fabulous opportunity” to help the company increase its market share in South Africa. “We are a business, so our job as a manufacturer is to look at how we can increase market share and we think Enza can fill a spot for us to achieve that, particularly in the mining industry,” he said. Enza Air is 60%-owned by Asani Group and 40%-owned by CompAir South Africa.