The Rise And Rise of Galvanising Co Ltd

By Darlene Lam Po Tang

Driving shareholders value creation through robust operation and purposeful innovation marks Darlene’s 14 years as MD of Galvanising Co. Ltd. This family-owned company has ensured the long life of galvanised metal structures in Mauritian construction for 46 years. Darlene is not only part of the fast-paced next leadership generation of Mauritius family businesses and through her own enterprising alliances, she also sets foundation for the globalised digital future, as Executive Director of innovation centered and internationally networked companies such as Quadis and Hatchings.

Incorporated on March 3rd, 1975, Galvanising Co. Ltd was founded by Mr. Limberg Lam Po Tang, Mr. LKC Lam Po Tang and Mr. Gary Lam Po Tang, out of a need to service one of its sister companies.

Just as its functional name suggests, the company is simply in the business of providing galvanising services, and selling galvanised bars, tubes and expanded metals.

The company was established based on the knowledge that Lampotang & Co. Ltd, would be able to sustain its operations from the start with a constant flow of bars and tubes to be galvanised for the Mauritian market. The growing development on the Island, and Mauritius obtaining its independence in 1968, inspired the Founder’s foresight that the demand for Galvanising on the island would automatically flow.

The Founders were also confident that Hot Dip galvanising, a well-known superior corrosion protection for steel and much needed for all fabricated metal structures, bars and tubes to ensure a longer lifespan, would also experience a growth in demand.

Galvanising Co. Ltd was not the pioneer in Hot-Dip Galvanising in Mauritius. There were already two existing galvanising plants but they have since closed down. More plants popped up with time but to date, only two remain and Galvanising Co. Ltd remains the oldest plant in operation in Mauritius.

Since its inception, Galvanising Co. Ltd. remained focused on its mandate of providing hot-dip galvanising services and being the lead company to be referred to for galvanising expertise in Mauritius. As Mauritius is a small market, especially within the construction industry where everyone knows everyone, it was important for Galvanising Co. Ltd not to trespass into the business territory of its clients. It did not serve the company to bite the hands that feeds it, au contraire, the company is always keen on collaborating with its clients to see them succeed. Afterall, their success means more opportunities for the company.

46 years of operations has seen the company grow at a steady pace. The company’s first two plants located in Plaine Lauzun, have moved to a better performing plant at La Tour Koenig Industrial Zone, Pointe aux Sables. Not only that, the company is also in the process of upgrading its operations and facilities to better meet the demands of its clients.

Each new plant is a huge investment, but a necessary one if the company is to stay efficient and effective in operations and service to clients and the industry.

In its commitment to be the galvanising reference in Mauritius, Galvanising Co. Ltd ensures that all galvanised items are MS ISO 1461 certified and is a member of both Hot Dip Galvanizers Association of South Africa and Galvanizers Association in United Kingdom.

The company regularly sends its key people abroad to attend fairs and visit other galvanising plants. Over the last few years, Galvanising Co. Ltd has been working in close collaboration with the department of Engineering at the University of Mauritius either in training/presentation or projects with the students of the faculty. In addition, the company offers expert advice and training on pre/post galvanising care and precautions on demand.

The company also takes initiatives to send its experts to the workshops of its clients to give training and advice on how to reduce their waste in time, material and costs when preparing their structures for galvanising.

Galvanising Co. Ltd has also published practical guidelines for Hot-Dip Galvanising on pre and post–galvanised care and precautions, which is already in its second issue.

In other words, Galvanising Co. Ltd sees itself more as a collaborator than a supplier to its clients. This philosophy is evidenced by the fact that the company has engaged itself in two continuous improvement initiatives to ensure a reliable, constant and efficient service to the clients. The first one is GCL’s (Galvanising Co. Ltd) internal Certification Programme which enables every single employee to understand the process of galvanising, how to keep quality and standards, how to work and progress in a safe, healthy and selfdevelopment environment and to be customer-centric.

The second one is GCL’s customer focus initiative, which includes regular feedback and surveys to ensure our clients are receiving the best service available. There is also a dedicated team to implement any changes required following customer feedback. The company has also implemented an impressive response rate of one hour, to any complaints and issues that may arise.

Being in business for 46 years, the company has built a good relationship with its client base, evidenced by the fact that some of the clientele have remained with the company for more than 2 generations! GCL mainly deals in B2B and it understands the needs and constraints of its clients. The company has always ensured its clients meet the deadlines imposed on them and has continuously managed to avoid the clients (mainly the building contractors), from paying monetary fines to their own clients.

Not only that, the company has worked arduously to communicate clearly to its target audience that its services speak for themselves. As the saying “the proof is in the pudding” goes, a happy and satisfied client will automatically be a good advocate for the company and in this type of business, a referral is the best publicity one can get.

The clients’ trust in the services of GCL is the most valuable asset that the company has acquired from its clients, and it is this trust that has built the company’s reputation and made it a leader in its field.

It is an undisputed fact that Galvanising Co. Ltd would not be where it is today, if not for the people behind it. Mr. Gary Lam Po Tang, one of the Founders is still involved in all the technical side of the operations to date. When it comes to employees, Mr. Abass Russoly holds the longest years of service – he has been with the company for 41 years and counting.

GCL does not take the fact that its people are the biggest assets for granted because it knows that they are the best brand ambassadors that the company can have. No one understands the company more than those who are from the inside. Their input is important to any success. In other words, they are the company.

When Galvanising Co. Ltd started its operations, it was geared on its ability to deliver quality service in a timely manner and not much investment was made in the human factor. However, in B2B business, connection with clients is quintessential and connection with one’s own employees is even more so. To remedy this situation and get the buy-in of the employees, a workshop was organised where everyone from the cleaning lady to management worked collaboratively on creating the values of the company. They discussed, moulded and owned what they wanted their company to be.

That very workshop led to the creation of the company’s 7 core values:

  • Honesty and Trust
  • Help and Collaboration
  • Respect and Good Attitude
  • Responsibility and Discipline
  • Self-Development and achievement
  • Efficiency environment
  • Friendly and motivating environment

However, while working together as a united team to establish what would be the core values of GCL is one thing, actualising the values at work is another.

Therefore, every year, the employees at GCL are challenged in a competitive project where they are put in random groups who each need to depict their interpretation of one or more of the 7 values of the company. The first challenge was to stage a mini performance. The second challenge was to use scrap metals from the company to build a metal structure. The third challenge involved designing and creating a metal signage. The fourth challenge was to create a garden. The fifth challenge was a wall painting exercise. The current challenge is for employees to take pictures which represent their take on the 7 values.

The annual ‘Living the values’ challenges have proven to be a success, and most of the groups’ achievements are exhibited in the compound of Galvanising Co. Ltd for all to see. Happy employees make happy customers indeed. Their achievements have empowered them to take more initiatives at work and towards the clients.

Galvanising Co. Ltd is geared to continue evolving and focusing on its strengths and competitive advantages. Maintaining the status quo is not an option. There are challenges ahead as well as opportunities, so GCL will undoubtedly continue to move forward and maintain its leadership role in the industry.

Darlene Lam Po Tang
Darlene Lam Po Tang Managing Director, Galvanising Co. Ltd