Forbatt SA to distribute and support Tiandy in South Africa

SMART Surveillance 2024 News & Events

The big news in this year’s SMART Surveillance Handbook is that Forbatt SA has added another brand name to its surveillance portfolio, and will now be distributing Tiandy Technologies to the local market.

To find out more about Tiandy and why the company is focusing on South Africa, and why Forbatt SA is adding another leading brand to its surveillance portfolio, SMART Security Solutions spoke to Sean Lee, Overseas Managing Director for Tiandy, Tiffany Terblanche, South Africa’s Sales Manager for Tiandy, and Forbatt SA’s Vaughn Tempelhoff, about the partnership.

Tiandy Technologies was founded in 1994 by Mr Dai Lin, a professor at Tianjin University, the best engineering university in Tianjin and one of the top 10 in China. Today, there are 2600 employees in Tiandy, with over 1000 R&D; engineers among them. With a 30-year development history, Tiandy produces quality products and has established itself as a project solutions provider in many vertical markets. These include smart cities, smart education, smart community and more. Tiandy is now ranked seventh according to the A&S; magazine Top50 Global ranking.

Number seven in the world

Sean Lee adds that Tiandy is the only privately owned company among the top three Chinese video surveillance manufacturers. This guarantees that Tiandy will always be driven to lead in technological advances and focus on its customer-centric strategy. “We can decide our own destiny and grow together with our partners.”

Sean Lee

He continues that about four years ago, Tiandy decided to focus more on the overseas market and invest in localised teams closer to customers and partners, to provide swifter feedback and support. Over the four years, including during the COVID-19 period when others were struggling, Tiandy’s overseas sales revenue, volume, and number of salespeople expanded sevenfold.

Tiandy still has big ambitions. It aims to sell 6 million cameras this year, doubling that to 12 million in 2025. “Tiandy’s healthy relationship with its partners is the key to our success. We respect each other, build mutual trust, and shape a common vision that benefits both sides,” adds Lee.

“Most importantly, Tiandy partners can profit from doing business with the company as Tiandy provides a continuous flow of affordable, high-quality products that are popular with customers. In the last year, we launched a range of products, including the AK (Analogue Killer), Spark, Polar Day, and the latest Wi-Fi series, by promoting them at 13 national exhibitions and 180 roadshows and offering over 300 training days around the world.”

Why South Africa?

South Africa is the largest video surveillance market in Africa. Since 2023, Tiandy has moved heavily into the African market. Lee says that Tiandy started in North Africa and finalised core partners in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt; East Africa followed, centred in Kenya and Tanzania; and Tiandy established a presence in West Africa in Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. “Now, we have come to the most important market, South Africa, and signed an agreement with our selected local partner, Forbatt SA.”

Following Tiandy’s successful model in other countries, it prioritises technical support, after-sales service, and swift customer feedback. Furthermore, Tiandy always focuses on training to allow more installers to know, use and become fans of the brand. “We have online training every week and offline training regularly in our office or our customers’ offices,” notes Lee. The key certification on offer will be the Tiandy Authorised Engineer Certificate Programme.

“Once Tiandy has launched its AK (Analog Killer) in South Africa,” continues Lee, “we will organise more training for analogue installers to offer them a path to the new AI era. We will speed up the industry’s transition from analogue to IP and change the industry.

Controlling quality output

All Tiandy video surveillance products, including cameras, NVRs, servers and software, are designed and manufactured by Tiandy. “Even for entry-level products, Tiandy controls the cost and makes it competitive in price through automatic assembly lines which can increase production up to 6 million units per year with less work while retaining the high quality of the output, instead of opting for lower quality or OEM products from other factories,” Lee explains.

“Tiandy is one of the top video surveillance hardware companies and one of the top 100 software companies in China, so we can provide a total solution, from five channels up to 200 000 channels. Examples of large projects can be seen at the national train station in Cairo, Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Safe Country projects in Ecuador, and the football museum in Morocco, all using Tiandy’s latest all-in-on K2000 server solution.”

Why have a local office?

Tiffany Terblanche has been appointed as the South Africa Sales Manager for Tiandy’s local office. Terblanche says Tiandy has learned over the years that the best support is provided face-to-face; hence, it is expanding its offices globally. “As the country sales manager, my plan for South Africa is to grow Tiandy into a top three CCTV brand in the region. We have already seen that the more knowledge we share about the product, the bigger the brand will grow. We will do this through in-person and online training sessions, road shows and events.”

Tiffany Terblanche

She says she accepted the position with Tiandy because it is a new challenge, both personally and professionally. “With years of experience in the industry, I can pinpoint where the other brands are slacking, and I will ensure we cover these areas as Tiandy.

“I don’t intend to grow the business in the same way as other international brands; rather, I choose to do things differently by being more diverse and flexible. Although change is sometimes scary for customers, change is needed in the market. We will succeed by providing the correct support to all customers, big and small, from beginning to end.”

Given the many surveillance products already established in the country, developing a new brand is challenging. However, Terblanche believes the product, with its features and competitive pricing, will naturally grow into a brand name throughout the market.

“All Tiandy staff will offer the needed support, while our focus will be on educating the market on the brand and product,” she states. “This way, the more knowledge that is shared, the higher the demand for the product will be. I believe SA has had a shortage of knowledge on this brand, hence the lack of growth to date. Education will be key in this exercise.”

Why is Forbatt SA expanding its portfolio?

With the economic pressure felt in every part of South African society, SMART Security Solutions asked Forbatt SA’s Vaughn Tempelhoff why the company decided to add another brand to its surveillance stack. He says Forbatt SA’s decision to partner with Tiandy was “a natural progression based on our meticulous observation of the industry and Tiandy’s impressive international success. Over the years, we have closely monitored Tiandy’s advances and the significant strides they’ have made globally. Given their track record and our adaptable business model, the opportunity to collaborate with Tiandy was a clear choice for us.”

Vaughn Tempelhoff

He continues that Forbatt SA is similar to Tiandy in its drive to always offer the best service to customers. “Forbatt SA’s commitment to exceptional service extends to our partnership with Tiandy. We have invested in establishing a robust customer care department and an in-house testing centre fully equipped to support all our products, including Tiandy’s surveillance solutions. This infrastructure ensures our customers receive prompt and efficient assistance with repairs, warranty issues, and technical concerns. With our dedicated resources, Tiandy customers can rely on us for comprehensive support throughout their ownership experience.”

Just as Tiandy is committed to training, Forbatt SA is also determined to offer both online and in-person training to Tiandy installers and integrators. “To facilitate learning, we have designated Allan Kumm, our dedicated trainer and pre-sales engineer, to conduct comprehensive training sessions,” he explains.

“The training will be divided into two parts, Tiandy Products and Tiandy Advanced, catering to different skill levels and needs. These courses will be offered monthly, providing participants flexibility (online or in-person). We aim to equip our channel partners and end users with the knowledge and expertise they need to leverage Tiandy’s solutions effectively.”

Forbatt SA’s experience in the local market leads Tempelhoff to believe that Tiandy’s stellar reputation and innovative solutions will resonate in the South African market. “With our established presence and proven ability to introduce and grow brands, we are confident in our capacity to replicate Tiandy’s success in South Africa.”


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