RACA Journal Shamus Rennie 60years - Page 7

Shamus Rennie 60 years later By Malcom Rennie M y introduction to the 50-year celebration magazine was titled ‘The History of Shamus Rennie (Pty) Ltd’. Ryan, our MD at the time, was quoted as saying that he was going to take a great company to a really great one in less than 50 years. This he has achieved in less than 10 but is not yet satisfied, so stand by… (my sons) had started part-time with the company. When this branch began outstripping the head office in turnover, the decision was made to relocate Shamus Rennie (Pty) Ltd to Johannesburg, and 1993 marked the big move. The rest, as they say, is history. IN THE BEGINNING Coming back to work from January 2016 to the end of March 2018 was not planned but it did give me insight into the ”business family” rather than the family business. It’s now been 26 years since the big move to Johannesburg and the business has continued to grow with the life contributions of Carla, Ryan, Kyle and many others such as Michelle, Bobby, Lenny, and Trevor. It also made me realise how doing business now is far more complicated, primarily from a human being perspective. In general, people are far less disciplined, less honest, and have less integrity now than 10 years ago. Even a handshake has gone out of business: it’s lost its credibility completely and now has to be delivered in some arb format of hand movement, sometimes just a closed fist or a high five. Don’t do a deal on it! Fortunately, Ryan has developed a style of management that takes into consideration the human deficiencies and continues to deliver and improve the Shamus Rennie standards of doing business with the help of his business family and similar-minded suppliers, most of whose businesses have been around for at least three decades. I wonder how Shamus would feel if he could see what happened to his one-man-band? He’d probably be even more overwhelmed than I feel at this stage of my life. Just remember that there is a whole lot more in this fourth generation family with the opportunity to join the business family, including a Kaden Shamus Rennie! Shamus Arthur Rennie (after whom the company was named) was born on 27 September 1912. He left Benoni in 1956 and moved to Port Shepstone where he was employed by a company called Combined Engineering. He was joined by his then apprentice, Aubrey Thompson, and in 1958 they established a company called Rennie Thompson. CHANGES COME Shamus passed away suddenly at the end of 1968 and I (Malcolm), with the help of my mother Constance, took over the business. As a tribute to Shamus, the business was renamed Shamus Rennie (Pty) Ltd. The focus was then mainly on refrigeration but in 1973, the first consignment of Daikin window units came into the country and Shamus Rennie (Pty) Ltd established a strong dealership with the company Centurator who were the importers of the brand. Constance retired in 1974 and I continued to run the business as Managing Director, Fridge Mechanic, Salesman and LPG Technician! By 1987 the company was well-established, owning both its Port Shepstone and Marburg properties and controlling 80% of the air- conditioning and refrigeration business in the Port Shepstone area. Shamus Rennie (Pty) Ltd was also the biggest domestic distributor of Mobil gas in South Africa at that stage. BROADENING THE BUSINESS During 1985, I realised the potential of providing air-conditioning solutions for the banking institutions and refocused on this market, starting to work countrywide at the request of these institutions. Carla and Michael (my daughter and son-in-law) settled in Johannesburg in 1991 with Michael establishing a Johannesburg branch of the company. By 1992, Carla, along with Ryan and Kyle www.shamusrennie.co.za • 0860 SHAMUS THE NEW ERA Malcolm Rennie SHAMUS RENNIE • 60 YEARS • A THIRD GENERATION FAMILY BUSINESS • 5