Creating opportunities in the face of adversity

Winner of the Job Creator of the Year award 2011

Pierre Conradie

Pierre Conradie, founder and director of the Alpha Group, was the recipient of the prestigious 2011 Job Creator of the Year Award at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year® awards ceremony. Creating employment for 1 200 people in the rural area of Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal, no one was more deserving of the title.

Pierre Conradie had a dream – he envisioned a multi-faceted company 25 years ago, the Alpha Group, which encompasses Alpha Security and Patrols as the group’s core, since this was his longest-standing business having been operational for more than 11 years. Alpha is the first letter of the alphabet and, according to Pierre, no other name signified a better beginning for the group.

But the Alpha Group is not where Pierre’s entrepreneurial skills set in. He was always business-minded with his first experience in entrepreneurship starting when he was just 8-years-old selling fruit at school. “Never give up!” Pierre emphasises. “Never lose sight of the fact that you are as good as the people that work for you, therefore surround yourself with people that are willing to go beyond the call.

“I have a diploma in Agriculture, completely unrelated to the security industry, but I will quote Sun Szu author of The Art of War when I say – leadership is a matter of intelligence.”

Servicing all clients

Many companies claim to be a one-stop shop but none rings more true than with Alpha Group. The company is a one-stop shop in its own right, servicing everyone in the security arena ranging from household security to business security concepts, security solutions, monitoring, response and installations, and nationwide offsite video monitoring tracking services. The organisation prides itself on also being an intelligence collection company that provides Intel to various stakeholders. And if that isn’t enough, the group has the following on offer under its umbrella:

  • Hluhluwe Arms & Ammo: a retail business
  • Wetlands Engineering: a vibrant business that provides various engineering solutions, mainly specialising in the sale of fleet and other vehicles
  • CIS Investigation and Security Services: providing security solutions and services including cash-in-transit Intrax Investments: property development in and around the Hluhluwe area
  • Hluhluwe Properties: deals solely with the sale and rental of properties in and around the Hluhluwe area

“Over and above everything, what makes us unique is that we source the right personnel, and we offer tailor-made solutions,” Pierre explains. “And we are able to do this because everything our clients’ need is housed under one group.”

Apart from been a successful businessman, Pierre is also successful in his personal life, especially to have his wife, Sanet, support him in his entrepreneurial venture from the get-go. “I sold my wife’s car and used the proceeds to start my first business,” he recalls. “What other wife would be that understanding?

“I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and kids, Pierre Junior and Dawie. We support the kids in all aspects they undertake and always ensure that both of us or either one of us is present when they participate in any event.” Dad is also happy to mention that Pierre Junior made the family proud when he won the 2009 SA National Off-Road Motorcycle Senior 85cc Championship.

When asked how it felt to win the first-time ever Job Creator of Year Award, Pierre modestly replied: “It is humbling to see how many people’s lives are impacted by this group of companies. I think that is what entrepreneurship is all about – not just helping yourself but also helping other people.”