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Altron marks 50 years in business

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Craig Venter, group executive: Altron TMT /CEO of Altech, has congratulated Altron on the milestone of achieving 50 years in business having first opened its doors in April 1965.

“Successfully staying in business for more than a few years is an achievement in any market but being in business for 50 years is extraordinary and a reflection of how the Altron Group and its businesses have not only weathered competitive, economic and political storms, but have flourished through a strategic focus on growth and development opportunities,” he said.

“According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, the general corporate lifespan is relatively short. Only 50% of businesses survive five years and under 20% survive after 20 years. This highlights the magnitude of the achievement, particularly in light of Altron’s humble beginnings,” he adds.

Regarded as one of the most successful family owned businesses in South African history, Altron opened for business in 1965 when Dr Bill Venter, a then 33-year old telecoms engineer, and several colleagues founded United Electric, which was renamed Allied Electric later in the same year.

Allied Electric started business as a small national manufacturer of electronic components which were then distributed on behalf of leading French, US and UK principals and manufacturers.

Several leading Altron TMT partners joined Venter in paying tribute to Altron on achieving 50 years in business. These include Barclays Africa, Xerox, Nedbank, Motorola and Vodacom.

Maria Ramos, chief executive of Barclays Africa, congratulated Altron on their 50 year anniversary and praised the company on reaching this milestone.

“We have been associated with Altron over the years through multiple subsidiaries in both the Altech and Bytes businesses. Altron is one of the leading converged services businesses in Africa and this is a significant milestone. We congratulate Altron on reaching their 50th anniversary,” Ramos says.

Dr Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Chief Technology Officer and President of the Xerox Innovation Group, said that the relationship with Altron, through its subsidiary Bytes Technology Group, was an important one for the company.

“Xerox has been strongly associated with Altron since the acquisition by FinTech of Rank Xerox South Africa in 1987. As Xerox’s largest authorised distributor in the world, Bytes and Altron are both valuable partners of our organisation and we look forward to continually expanding our long and fruitful relationship,” Vandebroek said.

Vodacom, a partner primarily through the Altech Autopage business, congratulated Altron on its 50th year. The relationship with Vodacom dates back more than 20 years to 1994, when Vodacom began operations in South Africa.

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom, commended Altron on the achievement. “Altron has been a partner of Vodacom since we opened our doors in 1994. Subsequently, our relationship has extended to include collaboration in a variety of businesses and we wish the Altron Group continued success,” Joosub said.

Nedbank CIO, Fred Swanepoel, acknowledged Altron’s 50 year journey of managing a successful and sustainable business in today’s challenging economic environment. “Our strategic partnership with Altron works, because we share an agenda where business interests and the interests of the environment and society intersect. We wish them well for the future,” said Swanepoel.

The Rand Merchant Bank team added their congratulations to Altron with the following message: “We have been associated with Altron for many years. This is a significant milestone and we congratulate Altron on reaching their 50th anniversary.”

Ronald Flockhart, Group IC Sourcing Head at First National Bank, added his best wishes: “Congratulations to the Altron Group in terms of reaching this significant milestone. From humble beginnings as Allied Electric, to where the Group is today, this is a very significant achievement. We look forward to the Group’s sustainable progression, into the future.”

Laurent Tribout, Director of Sales Channels Africa at Motorola Solutions, praised Altron on achieving the 50 year milestone. Motorola has a strong relationship with Altron, primarily through Altech Alcom Radio, one of the leading distributors of Motorola products in Africa. The Motorola/Altron partnership has an illustrious history when – as a result of the fast growing telecommunications market in South Africa – Motorola opened a corporate office in
Johannesburg in 1975, which then evolved into a wholly owned and important subsidiary of Altech in 1985.

“Motorola Solutions started to build a strong business relationship with the Altron Group decades ago and has had a prosperous business relationship since then and we will continue expanding our long and fruitful relationship with the Altron Group in the future,” Tribout said.