New Bridgestone appointment aims to accelerate shift to services focus in mining sector
Carl Martins, Executive manager mining services at Bridgestone Southern Africa

Bridgestone Southern Africa has appointed Carl Martins as Executive Manager: Mining Services with effect from 01 July. Carl has fulfilled various roles in a thirteen-year career at the company, most recently as Commercial Sales Operations Manager. “Carl has earned his spurs at Bridgestone, and now takes on the challenge of expanding Bridgestone’s positioning as a mobility solutions provider to the mining industry, not just a tyre vendor,” says Jacques Fourie, Bridgestone Southern Africa CEO.

Carl says his priority is to ensure that Bridgestone delivers value to its customers in the mining sector, as well as the surrounding communities. “Mining is a foundational industry in many African economies, including South Africa, and we are determined to play our role in helping the industry overcome its challenges, build sustainability and grow in profitability,” he says. “We will do this by developing and rolling out a portfolio of services that will deliver greater value to our mining clients.”

At the core of this strategy is the concept of mobility solutions, through which Bridgestone will leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver services that will positively impact clients operations. For example, giving mines the ability to monitor various aspects of tyre performance, mines can manage their tyre estate proactively. In the process, a powerful reservoir of data is created which can be interrogated to improve productivity, reduce total cost of ownership, and ultimately reduce the mine’s environmental impact while enhancing profitability. A key element of Carls’ strategy will be to work closely with clients to co-create solutions that meet their unique needs.

“Safety, sustainability and increased productivity are important drivers in today’s mining sector, and Bridgestone is determined to play a growing role in helping mines to meet these challenges through thoroughly understanding what they need, and then bringing the fruits of our massive research and development (R&D) programme to bear,” he says.

A specific issue he intends to address in time is the recycling of the heavy tyres widely in use across the mining industry.

Carl believes that people are ultimately a company’s biggest asset, and he intends to make self-development a major component of his leadership strategy. He says that a fulfilled and highly skilled staff is essential in any services business, particularly when it comes to understanding and servicing a complex and capital-intensive sector like mining.

“When it comes to genuine transformation, Bridgestone went beyond fine words to reality, becoming a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor late in 2021,” he says. “Diversity, inclusion and belonging are strategic for us, a key lever for our transition into a solutions rather than a product provider. It’s our people who will ultimately enable us to become a solutions company that the mining sector relies on.”