Vortex – drawing in customers

By Rory Macnamara

When a group of highly experienced members of the industry join forces to create a new company in the plumbing sector and name the company Vortex, one can expect a mass of activity that will make the industry spin.

The purpose of Vortex Sanitaryware is “to deliver water to consumers in the most sustainable way and to create the highest enjoyment of their bathroom purchasing experience.”

As with any start-up business, one needs to look at the people behind such a company to formulate a good idea as to its success.

 Brett SolomonBrett Solomon MM

Solomon is the founder and a shareholder of Vortex. He enters the business with 21 years of senior executive experience in the R&D, manufacture, supply, sales, and marketing of plumbing products to the sub-Saharan Africa market. 

Solomon is a mechanical engineer by trade, and started off his career as a design engineer at Isca. Closely mentored by Avi Shachar (founder and former owner of Isca and an engineer), Solomon moved through the ranks of the Isca factory and business to the position of operations director, where he controlled the overall supply chain of the factory, from R&D and procurement to production and outbound distribution. 

In 2008, Solomon was appointed as the managing director of Isca, where he and his team significantly increased the size of the business during their tenure. Solomon is enthusiastic about plumbing products, the industry’s innovation, and building successful businesses through the design and implementation of a functional team and business. 

Solomon strongly believes in surrounding himself with the best minds in the industry who have the same value system as the business he develops. He believes people buy from people, and delivering the correct value proposition, both for the customer and the consumer, will be key to developing a successful Vortex business through the years.

 Caryn KornerCaryn Korner MM

Korner has worked in sales and marketing management for over 25 years. Starting her career at Isca in 1991, her focus and speciality were on the marketing and project specification side of the business. Her evolution into the plumbing world was coached and mentored by Yigal Jaretzkey (founder and former owner of Isca). 

Through the years, Korner has shown her passion for the industry and, most importantly, she is passionate about her customers and the service they receive. Most recently, she was in charge of sales in Gauteng for a brand in the Grohe Dawn group, and had a large team of sales staff reporting into her. 

Korner’s passion for the plumbing industry and her customer-centric approach to doing business fits well with the culture that Vortex wishes to instill in the business — these attributes are some of its key pillars of success. 

Korner is a shareholder and has been appointed as the project sales and marketing director of the Vortex business.

Jason WolffJason Wolff MM

Wolff has worked in sales management for the past 17 years. Starting his career in 2000, his focus was on the retail and wholesale markets. Wolff has developed long-standing relationships with the market around trust and exceptional service delivery. 

In 2008, Wolff was appointed as the sales director of Isca and he contributed significantly to the exceptional growth in the business during his tenure. He has managed large mass-merchant and wholesaler relationships in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and continues to add value in these areas. 

Most recently, Wolff was responsible for the DIY/retail market for all the Grohe Dawn brands and has an excellent understanding of the DIY retail, showroom retail, and wholesale markets. He has a passion for the retail and wholesale market segments and plans to integrate his knowledge and experience in leading a sales force in a customer-centric organisation. 

Wolff joins Vortex in June 2017 and is a shareholder and a director of the business.

More on Vortex

Vortex will be a non-exclusive wholesaler for the Grohe Dawn sanitaryware brands of Cobra, Grohe, Isca, Vaal, and Libra, and exclusive sanitaryware brand Blu tide, which is currently being tested by SABS and Jaswic approved, as well as seeking the SANS 1480 mark.

Will it stop there? “No ways,” says Solomon, “but we will move steadily within our objectives to provide the most efficient service both before and after the sale, and this will contribute to growing a sustainable offering to our customers.”

“Our customer is our main focus and we will do what it takes to ensure they get the best possible service from the organisation.”

He concludes, “The Vortex business is built on our people, as well as on our relationships and trust we have developed over the years with our customers. A culture of customer centricity will ensure we offer a smart and quick service to our entire client base. Our customer is our main focus and we will do what it takes to ensure they get the best possible service from the organisation.” 


Click below to read the June 2017 issue of Plumbing Africa.

PA June2017