Servicing the Forest Industry
Business View Oceania interviews Seru Tabudravu, Managing Director of Baypine Forestry, for our continued Clean and Green focus throughout New Zealand.
Baypine Forestry has been servicing New Zealand’s forests since 1998. Over the last 23 years, the company has evolved from a small team of six to a multi-crew operation of almost 40; today, Baypine Forestry is proud to be the silviculture provider of choice for major clients across the East Coast (Gisborne) and Central North regions of New Zealand’s North Island. With an inclusive open-door policy and a system that supports forestry operations from planting through thinning to waste, Baypine Forestry is certainly a space the wider industry should continue to watch.
Baypine Forestry provides for their clients across two service spheres: Forestry services and Arborist services. Forestry services include planting of both pine and native species, pruning from standard to ultra-high sizes, thinning to waste, spot spraying, and plantation/ land regeneration. Arborist services include asset removal, maintenance, and site clearing.
Seru Tabudravu, Managing Director of Baypine Forestry, built his business from scratch and is incredibly proud of its evolution to date. “The dream started in the early 1990’s. I found myself living in the bush that I love and decided I wanted to make a name for myself in a way that would let me stay there and care for the land. It took me seven years to really get started, but it was all uphill from there. There was a massive demand from forest owners who were looking for the best contractor, because the level of quality that they could see in the industry was pretty low in some areas. I had a few guys working for me at that point, and we started winning contracts through our hard work and attention to detail. I saw the opportunity and ran with it, and because I already had years of experience, the owners of those forests and those contracts really appreciated the quality of our work.”
Tabudravu has invested heavily in his own business knowledge and the skills of his employees. In 2001, he entered multiple business management courses, and saw even more success following the completion of his certifications. Regularly attending leadership and client relationship seminars is an important part of continuous improvement, Tabudravu says. “Education is the cornerstone of any business. It was the key to our growth in the beginning and I really think all business owners in any industry need to continue learning to remain successful. I help my employees to learn every chance they get as well. We are a team, and the more skill and experience the team has, the better we do on the job. It’s about knowing what you don’t know, and always refining work methods in areas you can improve.”
Baypine Forestry has a clear mission, Tabudravu explains. “It’s really important to know where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Our mission is: Through dedication, commitment, and productivity in our team, we aim to provide safe, efficient, cost effective, and timely service to our client and the international market in which they operate. It is a very clear and positive path that the whole team is able to follow every day. We keep it close in everything we do, and it will lead us to great things.” Baypine Forestry identifies their vision for the future as aiming to be the company of choice, meeting the challenges of the future through teamwork and setting the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, and quality customer services. They recognise that the success of their company depends on their employees and that people are the basis of their strength. They seek to build lasting and faithful business relationships with clients, providing services of unequalled value.
Alongside clear-cut objectives for the present day, Baypine Forestry also recognises that success is built on a foundation of continued evolution. Current projects include expansion plans into other sectors that will benefit New Zealand’s forests and forest owners, such as security, asset maintenance, and land preparation. Tabudravu notes that providing additional services will also assist the company as it expands its reach to other areas of New Zealand.
In differentiating themselves from their competition, Baypine Forestry works to maintain consistent communication with their clients, is open to taking on any and all requests, and invests time and training in all of their employees to better their participation in the industry. What really makes Baypine Forestry unique is their trust in good, old-fashioned manpower to get the job done. In an industry that is largely mechanised, Baypine Forestry sticks to traditional means of completing their work, which encourages clients to focus on the human element of their business. As Tabudravu states, people are the basis of the company’s strength, so recognising them is of the upmost importance. Supporting migrant workers from the neighbouring Pacific Islands is also a huge part of company culture at Baypine Forestry, especially given that 90% of employees have migrated to New Zealand or come to the nation seasonally for work. Other community outreach projects include school working-bees, charity work, and sponsorships such as Greenlea Rescue Helicopters NZ. They have received great recognition for their work across the North Island, including New Zealand’s Company Trainer of the Year (2007).
Looking towards the future, Tabudravu explains that Baypine Forestry has its sights set on expansion. “I would love to see the business continue to grow into something bigger. Instead of being just a private company for the North Island, I would love to see us evolve into an enterprise that really works across the country, and eventually broaden that scope even further to the international market. In saying that, it’s important that we remain true to our original values no matter how much we grow. I really want to hold on to the uniqueness of what we do and keep supporting our employees as we do now.”
Tabudravu concludes with his thanks to major partners that have helped drive Baypine Forestry to succeed. “We have a lot of gratitude for those people that have helped us grow over the last 20 plus years. Obviously all of the forest managers that we work with have been great partners. Kohntrol Forest Services, PF Olsen, Ernslaw One Forme Consultant Limited and New Zealand Forest Managers are a great help to us. Some of the other big names I would like to mention are Toyota (Hawkes Bay), Levin Sawmakers, Terraine, Baytrade, Chevelle Motors, Kevin Hollis Glass, Blackburne Group, Marac/Heartland Bank, and Luscombe Legal. So thanks to all of them, and to everybody that have been a part of our work.”
AT A GLANCE
What: Provider of forestry and silviculture services throughout New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Where: Baypine Forestry is headquartered in Taupo, New Zealand.