Home' InDaily : June 4th 2010 Contents Richard Sykes has his eye on
Seeing the just released
iPad for sale last week in Malaysia,
he snapped it up and within 24
hours had seamlessly introduced it
into his business life.
Sitting in SCF Group s Mile End
boardroom he enthuses about the
iPad -- and about the next three
years for this South Australian
container equipment success story.
His co-director Lindsay Carthew
says Sykes "loves his toys".
Sykes and Carthew are a perfect
The money man and the ideas
man; together they have taken
a good idea based on impending
change in a traditional industry
and turned it into a $40 million
business with more than 50 staff.
SCF Group designs, builds, sells
and leases containers.
A breakthrough deal in March
to supply Woolworth s has placed
them in a strong national position.
"With the Woolies contract we
are dealing with an end user, not
a transport company, so it opens
up business opportunities with
another entire industry sector,"
It s another step on an interesting
road for two locals who appear to
have changed little since the SCF
At the beginning of the 1990s
Sykes was working in the transport
business when he noticed the
impact of containerisation and how
some industries had not embraced
its potential to make substantial
"The furniture removal business
was an example of an industry that
could dramatically change through
the use of containers," he said.
"As it stood, furniture was
loaded onto semi trailers, driven
interstate and then stored in a
warehouse until the client was
ready, then re-loaded, delivered and
"By putting the furniture into
a container and then onto rail,
you take out the need for a truck
and driver and the freight simply
sits in the container until the
client is ready; it takes out double
Sykes s idea was matched with
Carthew s financial background
at Adelaide Bank. Together with
another partner, Sykes and Carthew
put in a modest investment amount
and SCF was up and running.
"We d actually first met at our
local APEX club, APEX Unley
which had quite a few people with
business successes," Carthew
"It was a good incubator for
people with a desire to move
The company started with the
purchase of around 60 containers
and a business plan based on find-
ing solutions to people s problems
by designing better containers.
SCF -- The Odd Couple
SCF Group directors Lindsay Carthew and Richard Sykes, who first met at an Apex club in 1983, have built their container business on friendship and shared enthusiasm.
Continued Page 14
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