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Lee Austin: South Africa to the UK

  • 2 min read

We sat down with Lee Austin to get an insight on her life back in South Africa and the African pumping market!

Your role back at Tsurumi Pumps Africa was 'Technical Co-Ordinator'. How did you get into this role?

"Before Tsurumi Manufacturing entered Africa independently, I worked for the Group that had the licence to sell Tsurumi in Africa. I had been working closely with the Tsurumi Africa team for a few years when a vacancy came up and was fortunate enough to be offered the role after applying."


How did you learn to select and specify Tsurumi Pumps?

"The MD of Tsurumi Pumps Africa, George Bath is a great teacher and has a passion for teaching people about submersible pumps. I had a few technical training sessions and then learnt every day on the job. I am also in a fortunate position that Obart has a great teaching culture and I can continue to learn here."


What markets and for what application did you sell Tsurumi in Africa?

"Construction and Mining (open-pit, quarrying and underground) as well as Wastewater and Sewage."


What were your largest markets and what models did you sell into it?

"The mining market is the biggest market. The dewatering KTZ series was always a winner in this tough market as well as the heavy duty slurry GPN series. Submersible pumps are often abused on site, both by people and the application itself but Tsurumi’s are really tough products for these harsh applications."


What do you hope to bring to your new role as Internal Sales Manager?  

"A tenacious, yet calm African spirit. I am joining an established team that is extremely dedicated to their roles and I believe that I fit right in. As a leader I have a responsibility to ensure that the team I am gifted with has the opportunity to grow and learn; and Obart has already set the foundation for this culture."


What did you know about Obart Pumps while working with Tsurumi Pumps Africa?

"Leading Tsurumi Single Phase supplier… globally. I think this is well known within the Tsurumi family. The leaders at Tsurumi are always speaking well of another, so the feedback given to team members regarding other Tsurumi branches is always really good."


Are there any notable differences in the market supplied in the UK vs. South Africa?

"As you can imagine, Africa is a lot drier than the UK so their focus is not on drainage. Africa is rich with natural resources and so the mining sector is a big part of the market for any submersible pump supplier."


What will you miss about life in South Africa?

"My family! I come from a close knit family and this has been the biggest sacrifice thus far. Oh, and definitely South African sunsets, especially after a summer thunderstorm, nothing quite compares."


Other than the climate and the accents, are there any other notable differences about living in the UK compared to South Africa?

Well, it’s a lot less wild."


On a more personal note, what are you most excited about living in the UK?

"For the next couple of years I get to be a tourist in my new home. I love nature and even in the cold, it is really beautiful to explore."

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