In this week’s edition of Africa’s Most Innovative Companies, Hannah Kirkpatrick introduces the work of Syntek Global, a company providing an innovative new fuel treatment for engines to Africa and empowering local individuals to become entrepreneurs.
Syntek Global is responsible for the exciting new engine treatment product known as Xtreme Fuel Treatment (XFT). XFT extends engine life and reduces maintenance costs, lowers fuel spending by stabilising the fuel to increase its life, and reduces emissions thus supporting the environment.
Available for petrol and diesel cars and trucks, boats, scooters, generators and other combustible engines, the product helps users cut their overall costs significantly, hence its increasing uptake on the African continent.
Kirkpatrick notes: “In the gas savings alone, not even figuring lower maintenance bills and an engine that will live longer, it’s much like finding an ATM Machine at the gas station. Every time you fill up, you put $4 (the cost of one dose of XFT, on average) into the ATM, and it kicks back a $10 gas card to use right then and there, or at any gas station you choose.”
She adds: “that $6 earnings at each fill-up really adds up, especially when you start looking at commercial uses.”
However, Syntek also boasts another innovation, by way of its business model. Syntek empowers local individuals to get on board and become representatives of the company on the ground, making XFT available to consumers across Africa.
“The company believes in the power of offering global opportunity to succeed, and therefore will only sell through individuals, which is pretty amazing. The testimonials are really what’s causing the XFT fire to spread all through Africa and beyond!” Kirkpatrick says.
It is this element of enabling people to take hold of the business reins which makes Syntek so special, says Kirkpatrick.
“We all know that entrepreneurship is one of the few ways to become independently wealthy, yet it remains out of reach of the average African (or American, or European, for that matter). Many simply don’t have the thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars in capital to get started, nor do they have the business training, acumen, or necessary skills to beat the odds…. to become and remain successful,” she explains.
“Syntek gives the average person a chance to be an entrepreneur, but within a huge framework of support, leaders like myself who really care and are dedicated to their success, and via a product that virtually sells itself, for very little investment,” she continues.
It is the necessity of the product to the lives of users, combined with the empowerment of individuals which contribute to the success of Syntek, says Kirkpatrick, while also helping to build stronger economies in Africa.
“I’m constantly teaching about economic freedom and empowerment to women, men, families, communities throughout Africa….it’s about improving lives of Africans through Trade, Not Aid.”
With such a strong model and product, Syntek is experiencing incredible growth – recording 400 per cent growth last year alone. Kirkpatrick reveals a new country opens operations every six months at the current rate, with Syntek targeting one million distributors globally by 2018.
Most recently, Kirkpatrick launched a team in Uganda only this week, showing the rapid expansion of Syntak in an African context.
So, are there any challenges to operating in an African context?
“… there are cultural differences, of course, with internet and phone access, banking system and automation, security of shipping and product delivery,” notes Kirkpatrick, adding: “but the pros of working with people who live with such big, open hearts, who laugh and love so heartily and readily, and are so hungry for an opportunity, and are willing to go to any lengths to make this dream a reality for them, far outweighs any growing pains!”
As to what Kirkpatrick thinks she might have done differently given the opportunity to start again, she reveals her passion for empowering the women in Africa, in particular.
“I would instil more women with the confidence that they can, in fact, be successful at running their own businesses – even in the male-dominated fuel industry, yes!”
Kirkpatrick has a few departing words for hopeful entrepreneurs working to build their own business revolution.
“I would say, follow your heart. Do good, be deeply grateful, operate from your highest place of integrity and selflessness, focus on helping others succeed, and you will reap great rewards in business, and the business of life.”