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Abeco Tanks is an innovative South African water storage company that still stands strong post lockdown, having weathered the storm of the pandemic.
SA as a nation is known for its resilience and ability to rise up above hardship, and the water storage manufacturer definitely displays this characteristic, combined with strong business foresight.
Abeco Tanks in which Investec Private Capital has an equity stake and is a funding partner, is a leading water storage tank company in Africa and is in an excellent position as an established and well-known company.
With a nearly 40-year history, the company and its high quality steel water tanks are used by top companies such as Sasol, Investec, FNB, Rand Merchant Bank, Unilever, Shell, BP, Chevron as well as at many municipalities, government departments, schools and hospitals throughout the continent.
2020 is a year that will be remembered in the history books as a time akin to the great depression or World War II. A company’s ability to withstand the impact of the global pandemic is a testament to its business model and leadership.
According to Mannie Ramos Jnr, Chief Operating Officer of Abeco Tanks, “The situation we all faced this year was unprecedented with many businesses not able to withstand the impact of a forced economic shutdown.”
“As a company that has lived through many recessions, we know the importance of proper business planning to allow for a crisis like the one we just faced,” he says. “While we could not predict the global pandemic, as leaders we must always ensure that Abeco is always in a financial position to weather a downturn.”
While Abeco banks finances for a rainy day, so too do their water tanks. The company views water tanks as ‘banks’ for water, a positioning that has resonated well with its customers.
Leading the charge to view water as the most important currency in Africa, Abeco helps put a continuity plan in place by banking water.
“Our water banks - that is our tanks – act like a savings account so that industry, municipalities and commercial organisations have the water they need to keep running, even in times of water scarcity,” Ramos says.
Abeco’s business model has always been to create a sustainable business and therefore reinvests profits back in the business consistently. This has allowed the company to stay ahead by investing in technology and manufacturing, as well as the resources to remain competitive.
While smaller water tank companies compete on price, the problem is they are not always able to sustain the business. “We have seen some smaller companies fail to fulfil their contracts due to the current economic climate,” Ramos explains. “This is very unfortunate as it leaves customers out of pocket with no product to show for it.”
The lesson for other leaders who find themselves building a business that can withstand a crisis: “Always prepare for tough times; build your business with a long-term view and resist the temptation to draw out profits even when the going is good,” he concludes.