SMME focus: Debar Ceramics

Debar is the only Black owned company providing the service of manufacturing and providing wear-resistant lining products to the mining, power generation, construction and cement manufacturing industries.

Tell us about the early days of your business?

Debar Ceramics was established in 2009, but started operations in 2014 as an enterprise development initiative of Kram Engineering, which as part of its contractual obligation to Exxaro Grootegeluk Mine was supposed to empower a black owned company into the Wear Resistant Lining market.

What were the challenges you experienced in starting your business?

We didn’t experience many challenges as I was experienced in this market and our team of installation personnel were transferred from Kram to Debar. A bigger challenge from the very few was in trying to extend our services beyond the Lephalale area as all the competition, at the time, was situated in Gauteng Province.

What was your inspiration for starting your business?

What was inspirational about it was the knowledge and reality of Debar Ceramics being the only Black owned and experienced company within its niche market of providing services of sale and installation of wear resistant lining products to mining, power generation, construction and cement manufacturing industries.

What has been the key to the success of your business?

Having had meaningful partnerships, such as Black Umbrellas, wear linings industry mentors, apart from all our employees’ dedication, commitment and determination to see this brand flying high.

What are your company’s competitive advantages?

Customer focus, quality workmanship, integrity and our BEE status.

What’s the best business advice you’ve received?

Dream big and always think outside the box!

What have been the keys to creating a sustainable business?

Employee and customer satisfaction, and discipline.

What have been the big trends you have noticed in the building industry?

Building designs have evolved and have become an interesting sight.

How have you managed each new step of your company’s growth?

By forming new partnerships, being involved and leading by example.

How much of your client base is repeat business?

We’re on long-term contracts with all our current customers.

What has been the best business advice anyone has shared with you?

To not set boundaries for my business and to perfect the services offered.

Why is it important for clients to pay a fair price?

So that they can also supply their clients fair prices and in turn attract more business.

What motto inspires you in your life and your work?

“Never look at challenges as negatives or impossibilities – Challenges are there to learn from them and to perfect them.”

What are the challenges facing the future expansion of your business?

Slow economic growth, lesser capital expansion projects What is the best advice you’ve been given? To never be afraid of taking risks.

What are your goals for the future?

Doing anything possible to growing the economy of our surrounding operation’s communities and developing their socio inequalities.

(Interview courtesy SMME Handbook)