This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pyrotec, a privately-owned and managed business that was established in 1966 and continues to offer products and services founded on a dedication to quality, operational reliability and service excellence.
‘We have come a long way since trading in the 60s and 70s,’ says Rowan Beattie, Pyrotec’s Managing Director. ‘Our business has seen the rise and fall of the economy, the turn-around of our country’s political position, the introduction and explosion of technology, and massive shifts in consumer expectations. Through it all, we believe that we have remained steady in our approach to change, and have delivered on our promise of quality, trust, and
innovation,’ he adds.
In 1964 Rowan’s father, Joseph Beattie, purchased Label Processes, a supplier of self- adhesive roll-label material, hot-stamping foil, and label printing machinery. Joseph, a land-surveyor by profession, continued in his occupation to ensure a steady income for his family while Evan, Rowan’s elder brother, was entrusted with the day-to-day management of Label Processes.
Straight from school, Evan joined the company and began selling self-adhesive roll material
imported from 3M, and small hot-foil printing and die-cutting machines from Milford-Astor for making self-adhesive labels in roll form. In these early days, self-adhesive materials were not made locally and this label technology was hardly known. Until then, labels were used for price marking and were written on by hand.
In 1966 with almost no demand for roll materials and label printing/die-cutting machines, Evan recognised that for the company to survive he needed to broaden its customer base and began looking around for possibilities to manufacture labels on the machines he was trying to sell. Noting stationery labels made by a local company, Pirie Appleton, he decided to produce a competitive brand. In the evenings at the family’s dining room table, he designed the box to hold and dispense the labels. This was the birth of the Tower brand.
Rowan’s story begins in 1967 when, straight from school like Evan, he joined Label Processes. He recalls that during those humble beginnings he was involved in virtually all of the business’s production processes. Today he fondly remembers this initiation into the world of business in general and self-adhesive printing in particular. He is committed to lifelong learning and throughout his career he has always tried to learn from his contact with customers and suppliers.
During the 1970s, Label Processes and Tower Label were incorporated under the umbrella name of Synchron. However, in 1989 after Joseph’s death, the company was divided into two businesses – with Rowan retaining Pyrotec (formerly Label Processes) and the Tower brand, and Evan taking over Synchron.
Today, Tower is Africa’s leading supplier of self-adhesive products and accessories for the office, hardware and kids’ markets. A driving force behind this success are the relationships we’ve developed over the last 50 years between staff, suppliers and customers.
‘With sound relationships, based on shared values, you can build a successful business and
survive. We’re proud of our achievements, our experience and our history, as well as our ability to remain focused on innovation and provide service and product excellence well into
the future,’ adds Rowan.