Quarry Southern Africa July 2017 - Page 33

profile after our existing market. We've created great relationships over the years. Michael is currently focusing a lot of his attention on growing relationships with different companies in various parts of the world to represent us and to work with us. RG: 2017 was the first year that Caldas Engineering has had a stand at the Institute of Quarrying Southern Africa (IQSA) annual conference. What was the reasoning behind this? RC: Essentially, one of the main reasons we decided to exhibit this year was to introduce Michael and the succession team to the industry and the people who work in it. Michael joined Caldas in April last year, so that’s why we went ahead with it this year. As I said, our business model is very relationship driven, and so it is important for Michael and the team to meet people and build relationships. At the same time, I wanted to make it clear to our customers that we have a succession plan in place. One of the potential dangers of smaller, family-run businesses is that once the founder, or the person driving the business, retires or steps down, customers can lose confidence in the business if they are not familiar with the person who will be taking over. Michael has a qualification in building science, as well as 12 years working in the construction industry both locally and abroad, but we really felt that it was important to get him exposed to our existing and potential customers, so he can continue building relationships within the industry. RG: As someone who has been attending these conferences for over a quarter of a century, what do you see as the most important outcomes of this year’s event? RC: Well, I usually attend these conferences to see friends and the people I’ve met over the years, and while it was really good to reconnect with them, I think one of the biggest positives, for me, was seeing how many younger people are entering the industry. Previously, I didn’t see a lot of young blood coming into the industry, but this year there was Jeremy Hunter-Smith heading up the young delegates programme, and it was great to see how many younger people QUARRY SA | MAY 2017 _ 31