Richard Bicker Caarten, the new managing director of Interact Media Defined.
Richard Bicker Caarten, the new managing director of Interact Media Defined.

Richard Bicker Caarten has joined the well-established publishing and events company Interact Media Defined (IMD) as managing director (MD), effective as of 1 October 2017. This forms part of the company’s strategy to take the business to the next level.

About IMD
IMD was established in March 1995 as Pipe Trade Publishing and has been growing its presence and reach quite aggressively since then, positioning it as one of South Africa’s leading multimedia trade and technical magazine publishers.

Today, the company boasts 14 publication titles in its stable, complete with complementary multimedia platforms, to ensure its core goals of disseminating information and educating its industries are reached. The company also specialises in events organising and exhibitions, and owns the popular Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE) brand, which has a fast-growing African footprint as travelling exhibitions company.

Growing the business
Despite its ongoing successes, the company decided to expand its leadership team to further its growth prospects and strategic agility. As such, the directors started looking for a suitable candidate to not only take up the vital role of MD, but also to buy into the business and invest as a shareholder.

“It was important for us that the new managing director would have ‘skin in the game’ and acquire a stake in the business,” says Sean Macnamara, who has been the managing director of IMD for the past nine years. Macnamara has since taken up the role of operations director with the added responsibility for finance and projects, to focus his energy where his strengths lie. “We felt that the new MD position needed to be more strategic, as we believe that our product offering and the industries we serve could benefit from this,” says Macnamara.

After an in-depth process interviewing various potential candidates, Richard Bicker Caarten was offered the position.

According to Macnamara, “Richard has extensive experience in managing an organisation and fulfilled the key requirements of IMD for having the ability to build relationships, grow our offering, and strategically position IMD to remain a leading publisher and exhibitions organiser.”

About the new MD
Richard Bicker Caarten hails from a financial background initially, having qualified as a chartered accountant with EY back in the day. He started off his career at a telecommunications and electronics group listed on the JSE, doing mergers and acquisition work for them. He seized opportunities as they arose within the company, moving from the financial side of things to a general management role relatively quickly.

Bicker Caarten boasts an extensive and colourful career in the telecommunications industry, venturing into management consulting six years ago. Here he was involved in several different industries, helping large corporate players to improve the efficiencies of their operations.

Yet, he had been searching for an opportunity to buy into a business, investing in diverse options over the past year or so. As such, when he heard about IMD’s search for a new managing director through his network, he got in touch with the company’s directors to get the ball rolling. It was a good fit for both parties, and the rest is history.

“I’m looking forward to being involved in a more entrepreneurial business where I can be more hands-on and see the business grow,” explains Bicker Caarten. “The IMD opportunity has been a great one from the point of view that it’s a well-run existing business with a lot of room to grow and develop. I look forward to contributing ideas and being part of this process.”

A good fit
Although Bicker Caarten does not have a publishing background, he possesses good strategic ability, which carried more weight with the directors in terms of identifying opportunities and executing against these in an effective manner.

“We weren’t looking for media skills necessarily, but rather broad-based business skills,” Macnamara explains. “We have always placed very high regard on relationships and attribute a great deal of our company’s success to this. That is why it was important that the person coming in would share our values and could help grow the company, particularly from a relationship point of view.”

“What I saw in IMD, was a well-run business that has a good culture, a great team, stability, and a proven track record, and that is ready to go on a growth journey. From that perspective, I felt that I could make an impact,” says Bicker Caarten.

The future
Together, the ‘new’ team of directors is developing the blueprint for the future with their eye on taking the business to the next level.

“I think with the combination of organic and acquisitive growth, we are going to see a real transformation in the IMD business over the next five to seven years,” says Bicker Caarten. “I look forward to getting to know the people, the industries, and the communities — whether it be our advertisers or our readers.”

“IMD is very excited and fortunate to have a new MD who meets all our key requirements,” says Macnamara. “This appointment will ultimately benefit our valued customers through an improved service offering and better value add, ensuring that we take a sustainable IMD into the future.”

You can contact Sean Macnamara with any queries on +27 (0) 11 579 4940 or at 

Interact Media Defined (IMD) has purchased Trademax Publications’ three titles, effective as of 1 August 2016. This means that Timber iQ, SA Roofing and SA Affordable Housing will now form part of the IMD media offering.

The Trademax management team has been strategising ways to adapt to the current challenging market conditions while accommodating evolving client needs in today’s fast-paced marketing arena. “The acquisition of the titles by IMD offers an ideal way forward for the publications to grow while capitalising on their established market position and reach,” explains Billy Perrin, founder and outgoing publisher of Trademax Publications.

Trademax’s operations will be integrated within IMD and the existing office, along with the sales and operational staff complement in Cape Town, will be retained. This will ensure uninterrupted service and ‘business as usual’ for all existing Trademax clients. In fact, they will soon be able to avail themselves to a broader service offering that includes more advertising choices to fit every promotional budget and promotional strategy. “This is a unique opportunity for our clients to sit back and enjoy a broader service offering without any sacrifice or compromise on quality or delivery,” says Perrin. “The wide scope of additional options that IMD brings to the table will positively benefit every one of our clients, and thereby the industries served.”

For IMD, this new venture provides the perfect opportunity to branch out its existing media offering by growing its reach within the building sector. “The three new titles suitably complement our present stable of products and is further testament to the synergies between the two companies,” says Sean Macnamara, managing director of IMD. “This acquisition will also expand IMD’s national footprint, giving us a significant presence in Cape Town for all our titles.”

While Billy and Celéste Perrin will be pursuing other interests, the professional and knowledgeable publication managers behind the titles (Jacqui Marsh for SA Roofing, Kylin Perrin for SA Affordable Housing, and Angeline Martin for Timber iQ), will remain unchanged. IMD’s Ilana Koegelenberg (RACA Journal editor) will step in as the new editor on the titles, ensuring that the publications go from strength to strength.

“Over the past few months, I’ve become more familiar, and impressed, with the capabilities of IMD. I am very pleased that such a top-class publisher will be taking these respected and established publications to a new level in the B2B marketplace,” says Perrin. The Trademax staff, too, will benefit from being part of a bigger team backed by management philosophies that are not dissimilar to those of Trademax. “I’m looking forward to, in due course, seeing the results of all the exciting initiatives being put into place at this time.”

IMD proudly takes a face-to-face approach to business and would like to meet with all key players in the Trademax sphere to build this relationship. Anyone who would like to arrange a meeting, is invited to get in touch as soon as possible.

For more information or to arrange a meeting, contact: Sean Macnamara (managing director) on 0027 (0)82 929 1948 or

To contribute to the editorial calendars of any of the titles, contact Ilana Koegelenberg (editor) on 0027 (0)71 216 814 or

Interact Media Defined (IMD) has acquired the business of Brooke Pattrick, effective as of 1 October 2015, strengthening both brands in the B2B environment they operate in.

Brooke Pattrick Publications will be incorporated into IMD with the intention of maximising efficiencies and capitalising on the synergies between the companies to offer enhanced infrastructure and support for all our customers.

The consolidation will allow the new business to thrive in these difficult times, with the benefits of its combined forces far outweighing either business’ individual reach. Brooke Pattrick and IMD are positive about the merger.

“This exciting new deal will allow us to pool our resources and work together to add value for both companies’ clients,” said Sean Macnamara, managing director of IMD. “The various service and product offerings will complement and enhance each other, adding value for readers and advertisers alike.”

The main benefit of this transaction is a bigger balance sheet for both companies.

“If a company is financially strong, it has more room to experiment and innovate, offering customers more,” said Neil Pattrick, managing director of Brooke Pattrick. “This is a win-win situation as we can now offer the readers more information and the advertisers a bigger reach.”

Although the businesses are joining forces, the intention is for both IMD and Brooke Pattrick’s brands, and the majority of the staff supporting these brands, to continue as is for the foreseeable future. Both will continue to offer their multiple platforms for disseminating useful information to the relevant industries.

“This forms part of the complete strategy for a paid-for media company that has the potential to offer more than just supplier-based magazines,” said Pattrick. “The industry is progressing towards data-driven journalism and the production of reports and research material. The company that gets this right has the potential to own Africa’s B2B market. And IMD has the potential to do just that. They’ve got the private equity backing, the skillset and the experience; they already have many of the pieces of the puzzle.”

The Brooke Pattrick operation will be relocating from its current offices in Woodmead to IMD’s premises in Bedfordview. The merger should be finalised by the end of October.

For more information, contact Sean Macnamara on +27 (0)82 929 1948 or

The use of circulating fluidised bed combustion technology for power generation does not only suggest cleaner coal generation, it also opens up opportunities for coal mining, writes Nicola Theunissen in the August issue of African Energy Journal.

The Department of Energy estimates that the coal-mining industry produces about 60-million tonnes of discard coal per annum (mtpa) with an estimated accumulated total of 1-billion tonnes. Not all of this discard is waste, there always being some organic matter to extract. Technology has developed to the point where today, one can do just that. What might have been considered waste 10 years ago, is now a critical component of the value chain.

Read more at Cleaning up the black sheep.

An alternate monthly print, digital and app resource, as well as fortnightly email bulletin published 25 times a year, the African Energy Journal is a trusted filter, identifying the “right” new information, surfacing stories of significance, and making relevant connections to existing knowledge based on the needs of you, the reader.

If you’re serious about doing business in the power and energy sector, be sure to subscribe now!

Craig Burnie, Managing Director for Vermeer Equipment Suppliers, who so tragically died in a recent car accident, was a man on a mission. His ambition, entrepreneurship and dedication impressed; an enlightened, positive, motivated and hardworking man.

Craig Burnie, Managing Director for Vermeer Equipment Suppliers

Craig’s professional attitude permeated Vermeer’s DNA, where a sense of never being satisfied with the status quo shone through.

René Albert, Global Product Manager, Trenchless Pipeline, Vermeer Corporation has lauded Craig’s work with Vermeer in South Africa, stating that “the South African organisation, under Craig Burnie, is an example, a template, for what we look for in the rest of the African continent, as he covers not only South Africa, but all the way up to the Sahara, supported by very skilled workers.”

Craig’s vision and ambition saw Vermeer Equipment Suppliers ride the(local) fibre boom, becoming a major player in both long haul (backbone) work and fibre to the home (FTHH), as well as in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector (solar, wind and biofuel projects) in southern Africa.
“I’ll always remember Craig Burnie for the invaluable role he played in easing me into Plant Equipment & Hire and The Civil Engineering Contractor. I was always welcome to give him a call and use him as a sounding board. Likewise, he returned the favour by always sharing information on the ground. He was well-known for giving us contentious leads that were ‘worth investigating’. And they usually turned out be very accurate.

Craig was probably one of the most passionate members of the industry I have had the pleasure to meet while at Brooke Pattrick. This, inevitably, led to him being regarded as the doyen of ‘trenchless technologies’ in South Africa. I merely had to drop his name at international events to be given free roam at Vermeer’s exhibition stand. They all knew Craig. He was the drive behind Vermeer’s 80% dominance of the southern African HDD market.

As Craig would often espouse, “When everything is properly understood and properly considered, what seems initially like a more expensive option (trenchless) is actually extremely cost-effective. It shouldn’t even be compared to open trenching from a price perspective.”

The industry has lost a champion, a man who was never afraid to doing things differently.”

David Poggiolini – Editor The Civil Engineering Contractor
“I remember one of my first assignments when I started at Brooke Pattrick was to interview Craig on Vermeer’s new HDD launch. I recall his knowledge, experience and desire to drive the trenchless solutions industry in South Africa and beyond.

He was a true proponent of no-dig solutions who dedicated much of his professional career to the development and implementation of these technologies in an environment that is notorious for its detrimental cut-and-fill ways.

He strived to provide knowledge and practical technologies for no-dig pipe installations and repair of underground infrastructure systems.

Over the years, he fought tooth and nail to educate the industry on the benefits of these technologies. They say death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but his has left a true legacy that will forever change the face of the no-dig industry in Africa.”

Munesu Shoko – Editor Plant Equipment & Hire
Brooke Pattrick sends its heartfelt condolences to Craig’s family and work colleagues.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday 1 August at 10h00.
Fourways Memorial Park
1 Memorial Lane (off Campbell/Inchanga)
South Africa, 2055
Office: 011 465 1715
Cell: 081 426 7531

If considering flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to the organisation below.

Green Dogs Conservation
First National Bank
Branch Code:250655
Account number: 62450100145
Cheque Account
Reference: Burnie Memorial

Contact person:
Rox Brummer
Website: Green Dogs Conservation


Vermeer Equipment Suppliers

In 2004, Craig officially started business as Vermeer Equipment Suppliers (Pty) Ltd, after Vermeer Corporation awarded it dealership rights for South Africa and the Sub Saharan Africa region.

Craig’s intention was to establish Vermeer’s position as a market leader within the environmental sector, while continuing to promote the 'track' and 'trenchless' range of underground equipment. There was little knowledge, training or support available for the installation of product using trenchless techniques at the time, and as Vermeer began to target this sector aggressively, rapid growth ensued.

By 2015 had the company had moved into its own, purpose built, premises.

Face to face with Craig Burnie: Treading lightly Plant Equipment & Hire June 2015