Beier Group marks its 90-year pioneering journey
Industrial textile and protective equipment maker connects social impact with financial returns
A corporate anniversary is a significant milestone, especially when the number on that milestone is as high as 90. The Beier Group views this time as an opportunity to reflect on its rich heritage and the firm foundation it provides for what lies ahead.
From humble beginnings in 1929, its manufacturing mix has grown to include environmental filtration products, technical and industrial textiles, medical devices and advanced wound-care, PVC and PU coated materials, as well as personal protective equipment and occupational health and safety services. Its four member companies – BBF Safety Group, Beier Drawtex Healthcare, Beier Envirotec and Neucoat – have become market leaders in their respective fields.
Over the past 90 years, the Beier Group has honed the technical expertise that has underpinned its manufacturing quality and delivered vital lessons on what sustains a pioneering business and drives it into the future.
As a historically forward-looking company, the group recognised early on that black economic empowerment would become a crucial policy instrument. It seized the opportunities inherent in transformation: not to pay lip service to B-BBEE legislation, but to make it an integral part of its business. Today, its black shareholding stands at 51.25%.
The Beier Group has also long made it its mission to challenge the false dilemma that businesses must choose between “doing good and doing well”. Instead, it has shown that it is possible to connect social impact and financial return.
The company’s commitment to local manufacturing is based on the immense potential of this sector to stimulate the kind of economic growth that leads to job creation and shared prosperity.
This is reflected not just in its continual infrastructure investments, but also in its efforts to advance emerging businesses. When small, innovative enterprises flourish, they generate economic activity in turn, helping to address poverty and unemployment.
Multiple components of the Beier Group's operations are therefore outsourced to black-owned small-, medium- and micro-sized enterprises. These partnerships are carefully selected: the group seeks out enterprises that share its innovative thinking and desire to pioneer change in the broader community.
A lot can change in 90 years, but one constant has remained: the company’s belief that investing in people will grow business. With operations in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, the Beier Group now employs almost 2,000 staff, including a number of employees with disabilities.
The group has always counted on its employees for the technical expertise and pioneering innovation that is so essential in the manufacturing sector and believes the future, too, will belong to organisations that understand the importance of developing people.
These efforts must, however, extend beyond the company’s front door to benefit the country’s vast pool of young talent. The Beier Group has invested almost R10m since 2017 in bursary, youth mentorship and skills development programmes. Its corporate social investment initiatives are focused on education and youth development.
As the Beier Group charts the course towards its centennial, the biggest lesson is clear: the legacy of past generations is proven only in the success of future ones. That’s why the group is contributing holistically to building SA’s emerging pioneers – both at Beier and in the communities in which it operates.
Visit the Beier Group website for more information.
This article was paid for by the Beier Group.