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Board of Directors

John Carter - Chairman

Zambian born and schooled in Zimbabwe, John has degrees in agronomy (Natal) and in business (UCT), and then qualified as a stockbroker on the JSE. Over the years he has worked in a wide range of agricultural, commercial and financial organisations in many roles up to MD and chairman across Southern and East Africa.

His first contact with Hydraform was in 1992, by 1996 he had agreed to join the board of directors. As such, his influence over the years has contributed significantly to the integrity, value and importance of Hydraform and its low environmental impact building process with high value and aesthetically pleasing finishes, designed especially for the developing world. He is justifiably proud of his contribution to building the company and is highly optimistic on future prospects for the company both in terms of further expansion and gaining access to new earning streams to enhance Hydraform’s growth and success.

Robert Plattner - Managing Director

Born in Salzburg, Austria, and educated at its technical college, Robert also completed his compulsory military training there before deciding it was time to explore and travel. He arrived in South Africa in 1982 for a holiday and decided to stay. His first business in his new country was a car workshop with a petrol station, which he opened in 1984.

Three years later he met Jochen Kofahl and a mere 12 months later joined him to sell and market the machines that Jochen and Hydraform built. That role took Robert to many countries in Africa for the purpose of introducing the Hydraform building technology. That his efforts – and those of his successor in sales and marketing – have been successful is well illustrated by the numerous, but far from comprehensive list of case studies. Over the years he has furthered his business education, and in 2012 Robert took on the role of group managing director.

Christopher Alabi - Non-executive Director

A renowned entrepreneur with more than 50 years’ business experience, Chris is co-founder and one of the promoters of CAKASA Nigeria Company Limited, the foremost provider of engineering, procurement, and construction services to the oil & gas sector in that West African country. Chris was the initial MD of the firm and has also fulfilled the role of vice-chairman.

He is a co-founder and director of Intercontinental Bank PLC and has engaged in numerous other business activities across the banking, maritime, agriculture and education sectors, among others. Chris has been a member of the Hydraform board since 2008 and together with his business experience brings further insight to discussions by virtue of his degree in Sociology (Ibadan). He is an alumni of the Lagos Business School and has completed executive management courses at the Irish Institute of Management, Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

Linda Kempster - Executive Director

Joining Hydraform in 1995 and tasked with setting up and implementing administration, finance and HR processes, Linda was promoted to financial director in 2001 and to group operations and finance director in 2012. Linda holds a CIS qualification and is an associate member of the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Secretaries. Over the years she has been instrumental in establishing a solid corporate governance framework for Hydraform and has overseen, monitored and ensured compliance at every step along the way.

Linda has a passion for the principle of continuous improvement and is clear in her objective to establish quality, safety and financial operational standards to produce a positive impact on the overall performance of the organisation. She is responsible for improving Hydraform’s performance by enhancing business operation systems, organisational procedures, flow of information inside and outside the company, management strategy/planning and business processes. She manages and oversees daily operations in finance and HR, ensuring streamlined operations, reduced operating costs and improved profitability.

Nazlie Dickson - Executive Director

With nearly a decade and a half of service, Nazlie is a relative latecomer to Hydraform who brought a much-needed marketing viewpoint to what can sometimes be the rather staid business of engineering and construction. Holding a BA degree in communication and diplomas in management, international trade and exports, her value was appreciated and she was appointed director of the main trading company, Hydraform International, in 2009 and subsequently became a director of the holding company in 2011, taking on the Sales and Marketing portfolio.

Nazlie has worked with clients from all over Africa, extending from Sudan to Zimbabwe, in the process learning that no two clients have the same set of problems or needs. The experience has also underscored the company belief that future success is contingent upon listening to the needs of customers because that leads to development of products customers actually want. Another part of the philosophy espoused by Hydraform’s marketing team relates to the importance of always remaining available to support customers, wherever they may be on the continent or planet.

Bronwen de Fin - Non-executive Director

A practising attorney, notary and managing director of her own practice, Bronwen brings more than a decade of post-admission experience to the board and her speciality of Commercial Law and Civil Litigation has proven extremely valuable on occasion. Importantly, she also has a strong grasp of business by virtue of her BB (Rhodes) and MBL (Unisa) degrees, which complement her LLB (Rhodes) and results in pragmatic and holistic legal advice.

Bronwen has served as a non-executive director on the board of Hydraform since 2011. Her association with this international organisation and its transcontinental dynamics is one that generates immense pride and a sense of shared accomplishment. This is particularly true of the unique manner in which the company delivers on its objective to be a force in building the African continent while simultaneously empowering its people.

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