New ITR Africa MD buoyant despite tough market conditions
New managing director of ITR Africa, Brian van Buuren is very optimistic about the prospects of growth, even in the face of the struggling mining sector.
Under new directorship, ITR Africa, a leading manufacturer of undercarriage for all types of crawler equipment, a comprehensive range of ground engaging tools (GET) and engine repair parts and components for earthmoving machinery across the sub Saharan Africa market, is moving into a new era, says new managing director Brian Van Buuren.
Despite challenging economic times, Van Buuren refuses to adopt a recessionary mind-set, but rather believes it is in times like these where growth opportunity abounds. “It’s really a new era for ITR Africa under the new directorship. There have been some wholesome changes in the management structures and we are very excited about the future. We are ready to tackle new challenges, continue gaining additional market share and constantly introduce new products,” says Van Buuren.
He is very optimistic about the prospects of growth, even in the face of struggling sectors which the company operates in. ITR Africa is a subsidiary of Italy-based USCO (Union Spares Company. It is actively involved in mining, agriculture, plant-hire, construction and roads sectors, to mention a few. A large part of its business is supplied into the component rebuild sector.
However, undercarriage remains the biggest component of the company’s business. “We manufacture undercarriage for all crawler type of equipment, from small plant right up to the bigger sized mining equipment,” says Van Buuren.
The company manufactures undercarriage for a wide range of OEMs, both international and local. “We also do a lot of business at end user level. We supply many open cast mines, both in South Africa and across borders into sub-Saharan Africa. We also do business with a lot of construction companies, plant hire companies and the agricultural sector. However, mining still remains our dominant sector,” says Van Buuren.
He alludes that the mining sector is in dire straits, but he believes there is still a lot of potential growth. “It’s definitely a supressed market considering that mineral pricing is down. For example, in the DRC we deal with mostly copper miners and they have suspended some of their operations at this point in time. However, we feel a level of buoyancy creeping in from Africa and we are feeling the effects already. We are fortunate that some of our local mining customers have just clinched some mining contracts with major mining operations, and we are feeling the benefits of these contracts as well,” adds Van Buuren.
“We see that there is so much capacity for growth in the markets we operate in, both locally and across borders. We do not adopt a recessionary mind-set in this business. It is in times like these that we see opportunity to grow and present that competitive edge we know we have,” says Van Buuren.
He believes that ITR Africa’s competitive edge is the fact that it is a manufacturer of its own product, unlike most of its competition, who are dealers, and this not only gives it a competitive pricing edge, but it has total control over its product from a quality point of view, research and development (R&D) and development of new products.
“We have a dedicated R&D department that presents new product lines on a monthly basis across all product ranges. We have a very aggressive outlook on capturing more market share, both locally and across our borders. There is still plenty capacity for us to grow in this market. This will be fuelled by the fact that we are a one-stop shop. We carry repair parts, GET, undercarriage, crawler systems and many other related products. We have got the whole solution for our targeted customer base under one roof.”
Equipment Africa says: As ITR Africa continues to grow in the face of challenging market conditions the company also continues to bolster its footprint across the sub Saharan region. It seeks to increase its footprint across the continent by partnering with fitting distributors in various countries north of South Africa’s borders.