Synergy shows small local companies can achieve international success
Synergy Property Solutions - established in Port Elizabeth in 2006, may be small, but it has quietly been changing perceptions globally about businesses from the Eastern Cape.
Led by Grant Hechter, the owner, and his Senior Associate, Bruce McNicol, the company has to date delivered several high-profile multi-million dollar property developments locally and as far off as the Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, St Helena and the United Arab Emirates.
Grant previously ran a specialised Quantity Surveying business, before starting Synergy, which now includes project management and property development services - tailor made for each client's specific requirements.
“The Seychelles has been a huge opportunity for us where we have just finished with the US$150 million Kempinski Seychelles Resort. We recently became involved with a residential apartment block that has just been launched as well as a residence for a private client,” describes Hechter.
In fact, entering the Seychelles market was what helped them survive the 2009 Global Economic Recession.
“We were very fortunate that year because our clients were heavily-invested in property developments across the Eastern Cape and when the recession hit, all the lights went out,” Hechter says.
While Mantis Group founder, Adrian Gardiner, opened a way for them to bid for the Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Hechter says they still had to prove themselves.
“During the course of that project, several contractors were changed but I am happy that at no point was our work questioned – we continued to perform to high standards.”
“Bruce is currently looking after our St Helena projects. There is a huge demand for hospitality over there and we are again working with the Mantis Group, who are exploring opportunities there.
“We are busy negotiating with Basil Read [currently building St Helena’s first-ever airport for over R4.6 billion] on a proposal for a hotel, which we hope will start next year,” said Hechter.
“Then we have a lodge that we are working on deep in the Serengeti in Tanzania.”
He says plying the global market has shielded them from the cyclical down-turns in the local economy.
“There are many opportunities out there – and local businesses need to take that gamble and go out there,” Hechter advises.
Locally, Synergy is involved with the development of a hotel on the award-winning Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, in the Western Cape. Synergy has also been involved with the development of the new Waterfront Business Park in Port Elizabeth’s Humewood and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) R57 million Life and Physical Sciences building.
“For a small company, we are handling a diverse range of projects and competing internationally.”
Photo caption: Bruce McNicol (left) and Grant Hechter (right)
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