Etienne commenced his career in irrigation during 1981 as an irrigation designer at the original Agriplas (Pty) Ltd. When they closed their design services in 1982, he joined Boeresake Co-op as a designer until 1985 when he moved to the wholesale side of the irrigation business by pursuing his career at Gili Irrigation. During 1994 Etienne moved back to Agriplas and took the position as Sales Manager until he was promoted to Managing Director in 2003.
He was appointed as President of the South African Irrigation Institute (SABI) in 2004 and was awarded the SABI Gold Medal for Outstanding Service to the Institute in 2007.
Etienne joined Netafim as Managing Director in 2006, which has offered him increasingly significant opportunities. He has a deep respect for the company, its products and its people.
Under the leadership of Etienne and his management team, Netafim South Africa won the Netafim International Award for Business Performance in 2010. He was also a finalist for the Outstanding Performance Awards at Netafim Limited in 2017.
As the market segment leader, Netafim South Africa has a huge responsibility towards its customers and end-users. This requires a competent team that is happy, trustworthy and loyal. The real empowerment of Netafim’s employees lies in the company’s investment in its people, so they can reach their full potential. His interest and passion, therefore, rest with the employees to build the company as their own.
Etienne believes that we will experience the impact of the digital revolution in the irrigation landscape during the next five years. This will bring about dramatic changes from how we survey, to how we design, buy and sell. Digital tools will take over irrigation control and will be able to monitor levels beyond our imagination. The irrigation computer equipment on its own will outperform a farmer without this equipment.