Dentistry and the supply of dental equipment and consumables may not be the first industry you think of when you hear the words Black Economic Empowerment. However, as with any other industry in South Africa, the development of the previously disadvantaged in dentistry is key to providing holistic health services across the country.
And one man has made it mission to spread the word and level the dental playing field so that all practices are given fair and equal treatment, no matter where they are placed geographically or even economically.
This man is Joseph Shai, the MOH Sales Specialist at Dentsply Sirona, SA’s leading supplier of dental equipment and consumables. One of the mandates the company has set itself to invest in growth, boosting market share and thereby contributing to the national objectives for poverty and inequality reduction through job creation, specifically in dentistry.
Joseph points out some differences between dental practices in previously disadvantaged areas and those in more affluent areas. The most marked difference is that in the former, most dentists have two to three practices and no appointments – they run around from one practice to another providing the best, but hurried service to their patients. Meanwhile in the latter, there are group partnerships, with fixed appointments, better equipment and more managed practices.
In addition Joseph believes that dentists in the former areas are sorely in need of more business skills, and so is intent on upskilling them and sharing his knowledge with them.
“Firstly I must be a consultant to the dentists,” explains Joseph, “I must help them market their business and they must invest in marketing themselves and their services, provide quality services and also skill themselves and use quality and reputable products.
“Denstply Sirona, who themselves are focused on empowering dental professionals to provide better, safer and faster dental care, are well placed to assist me with this. I am proud to be part of an organisation such as this – Dentsply Sirona is focussed on helping dental professionals deliver the best possible dental care, for the benefit of their patients and practices today and for years to come.”
Joseph is a family man who knows how important it is to set aside time for oneself, one’s family and to have people in your life that can provide inspiration. For Joseph, these people are the ones who, while in a position of authority, instilled him with a sense of pride because they believed in him, trusted his judgement and provided him with skills and responsibilities to fulfil his dream.
Following his first foray into the working class as a bar tender, Joseph quickly showed an aptitude for hard work, tenacity and a desire to constantly improve himself. From bar tendering, Joseph joined a dental supply company in the delivery section; he quickly moved through the ranks and joined another dental supply company.
In 1989, Joseph started working at Dentsply Sirona in warehousing and distribution. He was promoted to a Sales position where he was mandated to develop and create product awareness of the brand and the company and then he was tasked with developing business in untapped markets such as public clinics, the military and in townships.
“I personally feel that there is so much that can be done in terms of promotion of partnerships to grow Oral Health IQ in south Africa to create a pulling effect for dental services and that will in its own right grow the industry. I also believe that as Dentsply Sirona is committed to innovation and education, moving procedures forward, ensuring the benefits of their innovations are realised, they will play an important role in this growth, and I am proud to be part of the team,” says Joseph in closing.
About Dentsply Sirona
Dentsply Sirona South Africa focuses on empowering dental professionals to provide better, safer, and more efficient dental care. We work with dental professionals to envision what could be possible, then provide innovative solutions to achieve it. Education and support helps us move each innovation forward, ensuring that the benefits are realised by everyone. Everything we do is about helping dental professionals deliver the best possible dental care, for the benefit of their patients and their practices, today and for years to come. Dentsply Sirona South Africa offers a 3600 solution to dental professionals for all their equipment and consumable requirements.
More Info on Joseph Shai leveling the dental playing field here: https://www.dentsplysirona.com/en-za