Leading player in SA’s animal health industry named as Innovator of the Year®


Having noticed a gap in the local market to offer innovative services to clients who required customised health options for their animals, Lorimer Gowar, founder of Larrem (Pty) Ltd, a leading player in South Africa’s Animal Health industry, has been named Innovator of the Year® in the 2014 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, which was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 3 September 2014.

Established in 1999, Larrem (Pty) Ltd specialises in the manufacturing of veterinary nutriceuticals, pharmaceuticals, feed additives and supplements, as well as raw material commodity sourcing. Its mission is to implement quality, niche products required to enhance health, production and efficiency in animals, as well as to guarantee product safety to its customers, their livestock, consumers and the environment.

According to Kobus Engelbrecht, a member of the 2014 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® judging panel, Larrem’s ability to create new, profitable products to solve the problems of his customers contributed towards the business being recognised as Innovator of the Year®.

“Gowar has the ability to innovate his product offering to solve the needs of his clients in such a way that he has been able to profit from them. His ability to get to the core of the problem and to apply his knowledge and skill to solve the problem stands out. His innovations also have a positive social impact.”

He adds that Larrem is one of a few veterinary manufacturing companies in South Africa with an innovative Food and Health Management System and the only one with ISO 22000 accreditation.

Gowar, who has extensive experience in the South African farming arena, says that innovation goes hand-in-hand with market research. He believes that the secret to being a successful entrepreneur is the ability to change according to industry needs, and that this is one of the strongest attributes of Larrem, and what has led to the business’ success.

He explains that through its unique structure, the business has the advantage of continuously evolving its product lines to suit the needs of the industry and its clients – something that many corporate companies are not able to do. “To stay on top of market trends, genetic modification and climate change, I am equipped to develop and manufacture products in a relatively short turn-around time. My innovative range of products illustrates this aspect comprehensively – Larrem is known for its adaptability to change,” says Gowar.

All products developed and manufactured by Larrem aim to increase an animal’s genetic potential and the company has also recently expanded its product offering to include natural (Ayurvedic) medication as an alternative to antibiotics and chemicals. Following the popularity of its products, Larrem now also distributes its products throughout Africa, including countries such as Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Gowar says that this award recognises the many years of dedicated work to all the processes and standards that Larrem has strived to achieve and present to its customers over the years. “It is also recognition for all the years of hard work to get to this stage. The experts in the different industries, from whom I have been learning for many years, will be delighted that their hours of patience in mentoring and aiding in all facets of my company’s divisions, has paid off.”

He adds that to be a part of such a prestigious award competition is the ultimate reward and motivation to his hard-working, dedicated staff. “With such a prestigious award, Larrem and its staff can grow taller, together,” concludes Gowar.

Visit www.larrem.co.za for more information on Larrem (Pty) Ltd.

SA’s best entrepreneurs recognised at 2014 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year®

The winners of the 2014 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition were announced at an awards ceremony held on 3 September in Johannesburg.

Following a stringent judging process, the 14 finalists were narrowed down to five winners. The overall 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year® winner was Adri Kruger, owner of Tzaneen Country Lodge, a country style hotel situated on a 170 hectare working mango farm just outside Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province. Starting with an old and dilapidated farmstead in 2000, Kruger managed to successfully develop what was intended to be a four-bedroomed guest house into a full service 60 bedroom hotel.

According to Christo Botes, spokesperson of the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® competition, Kruger was awarded the overall title due to the resilience she showed in the current economic climate and her ability to adapt her business model to attract a different market from the ones she typically served – both traits inherent in a true entrepreneur.

The 26 year old competition, widely considered to be the pre-eminent of its kind in South Africa, celebrates excellence in entrepreneurship and aims to honour, benefit and uplift South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their achievements and elevate their profile, as well as their profits.

Other 2014 category winners include:

  1. 2014 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year®: Johan Eksteen, owner of Agricon (Pty) Ltd, a worldwide supplier of pelletizing machinery and equipment as well as agri–processing factories. www.agricon-pelleting.co.za
  2. 2014 Medium Business Entrepreneur of the Year®: Marthie Jansen Van Rensburg, founder of Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre (Pty) Ltd. Based in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The centre focuses on training unemployed individuals as artisans. www.eastc.co.za
  3. 2014 Job Creator of the Year®: Theresa J Cupido, CEO and owner of ATN Group (Pty) Ltd, which has over a 100 years of combined expertise and skills in the Roadmarking and Civil engineering field. The group employs between 250 and 300 individuals, and has grown its employment rate by 100% in the last year. www.atngroup.co.za
  4. 2014 Innovator of the Year®: Lorimer Gowar, founder of Larrem (Pty) Ltd, is a leading player in South Africa’s Animal Health industry and specialises in the manufacturing of veterinary nutriceuticals, pharmaceuticals, feed additives and supplements, as well as raw material commodity sourcing. www.larrem.co.za

The competition provides prizes worth R1 340 000, which includes a cash prize of R100 000 for the overall winner and R50 000 for each of the other category winners. Each winner will also receive valuable mentorship support, networking opportunities and associated marketing and national media exposure to further drive their business’ success.

An additional award that was handed out this year was the 2014 Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® Judges Prize, which was awarded to joint owners of Legaci Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services, Dudu and Leema Mofokeng. With branches based in Pretoria and a head office in Silver Lakes, the company currently has three retail outlets and an industrial plant specialising in high-end dry cleaning services for the hospitality and commercial industries, as well as individual clients.

Botes says that this prize was awarded to Legaci Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services as the business made the biggest impression on the judges. “While the business is not yet at the level of the other entrepreneurs awarded this year, in terms of size and turnover, Dudu and Leema Mofokeng have managed to grow the business organically from nothing when they first established the business in 2008. We have no doubt that this business will continue to grow and succeed.

“The competition is committed to playing a crucial role of creating awareness for local entrepreneurs, the heroes of South Africa’s economy, and in so doing contributing towards elevating the level of entrepreneurial activity in the country. We have seen first-hand how the competition has assisted past winners to grow their businesses and inspire fellow entrepreneurs in the process. We wish all of our 2014 winners continued success and will monitor the evolution of their businesses with keen interest,” concludes Botes.