Elegant Line Chemicals has been crowned the recipient of Frost & Sullivan's 2013 South African Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award in the commodity chemicals space.
Elegant Line Chemicals has grown rapidly both within and outside its domestic market on the strength of a robust business model that focuses on high product quality with innovative solutions, excellent customer service and imparting training to an industry with an acute skills shortage.
The company has staved off challenges from imports, large multinationals, and the scepticism among customers about using commodity chemicals from a local small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) by gaining a keen understanding of the market in South Africa and Southern Africa.
Elegant Line Chemicals creatively tailored its market entry approach to expand its footprint in Southern Africa. It partnered with existing market participants in foreign markets to make the most of the latter's expertise about market dynamics and customer needs. Elegant Line Chemicals also expanded its client pool in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region by marketing directly to the end-users and associating with local suppliers.
"Elegant Line Chemicals is run by a group of skilled, experienced professionals who are continuously developing innovative products as well as improving existing products, service offerings and skills to impart to their customers," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Dilshaad Booley. "This not only gives the company a competitive advantage over other SMMEs, but also demonstrates its ability to compete with international products."
The company established on-the-ground relationships with distributors and customers, post sales. The sales cycle involves continuous interaction and after-sales service to further improve delivery to customers and educate them on existing and future product offerings.
The company's SABS ISO9001 accreditation in 2009 not only further enhanced its reputation but also enabled it to export its chemicals to other Southern African regions. As the costs of operation in South Africa have increased over the past two to three years, due to an increase in electricity and wage costs, chemicals suppliers have considered targeting other regional markets that are not as mature as the South African market.
Elegant Line Chemicals' well-established partnerships with distributors and agents have allowed it to create successful distribution channels, which, in turn, provide it with valuable feedback from its clients. The company is also moving to an e-commerce platform to lower transactional costs and achieve a faster response time.
"Elegant Line Chemicals is able to manufacture top-quality commodity chemicals cost competitively and customers are therefore showing a preference for its products to imports, which have longer lead times," noted Dilshaad Booley. "Elegant Line Chemicals is also enhancing local competitiveness by up-skilling the local labour force through mentorships or in-service training, where the company's skilled employees transfer valuable knowledge and skills to students."
In support of the "spirit of ubuntu", Elegant Line Chemicals has also been fully engaged in a number of socio-economic projects over the past few years. "We are proud sponsors of various social initiatives," said Miss Nelly Shezi, Managing Director at Elegant Line Chemicals.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in devising a strong growth strategy and robustly implementing it. The recipient has shown strength in terms of innovation in products and technologies, leadership in customer value as well as speed in response to market needs. In short, the award looks at the emerging market players in the industry and recognizes their best practices that are positioned for future growth excellence.
Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Elegant Line Chemicals
Elegant Line Chemicals (elegantlinechemicals.co.za) is a fast growing South African Registered Company (SMME) run by qualified African female professionals with skills and experience believed to make a difference in the chemical sector.
The company is a level 1 BBBEE contributor and has been in existence since January 2007.
Elegant Line Chemicals manufactures and distributes, within the SADC region, a variety of chemical products which include domestic and industrial commodity chemicals; lubricants, personal care products and water treatment solutions. We also provide mentorship (in-service training) to students during which valuable skills are transferred.
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Contact: Siyabonga Khumbuza, Durban Office Manager
T: +27 31 700 6463 - E: siyabonga[.]elegantlinechemicals.co.za.