It started with 2 machines. And 44 years later we are at 200 machines. It’s hard to imagine what they were doing in 1975 if 2 machines is the minimum that goes into our fabrication process now!
We’ve been reading some of the stories that our customers have been sending in about their experience with us over the years and it has been humbling to see a recurring theme where our desire to solve a problem appropriately to completion has been recognised. Tarpo was founded on the ethics of doing things right and in our 5th decade we are still ruled by that principle.
I think what fascinates me given the times we live in with all the technology and information around us is that at the end of the day a human must still conceptualise the products we make and a team of multi-skilled people will come together to fabricate that product. Machines are still tools in our industry – they haven’t taken away jobs.
Even more fascinating is that more than 20 of our team have been with us for over 10 years and some of those have been with the company since the 1980’s!
So, as I’m writing this, I’m contemplating that perhaps Tarpo is actually a people company with a tent problem. These people are obsessed with consistently redefining quality, of facing challenges, of exploring new ways of doing things and having fun, together.
Anyone who gets to a certain age and can look back at a long list of accolades and achievements knows that it has taken hard work to get there. There is unspoken sacrifice, heartbreak, moments where giving up looks like the best option but there is also a heritage or legacy to protect and a dream to strive towards.
- Tarpo’s legacy has been to pioneer tented camps across East Africa to allow these countries to position themselves as premium safari tourism destinations – the safari industry is now in the list of top foreign exchange earners for all the East African countries.
- Tarpo’s legacy has also been to respond quickly to the needs of humanitarian relief agencies who react to emergencies like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa or the famine in East Africa – our ability to respond quickly and consistently has been the difference between life and death for thousands of people who are affected by disaster.
- Tarpo’s legacy has been to introduce premium fabrics that align with our philosophy of quality and durability in everything we do – we proudly partner with the world’s best fabric manufacturers whether they are from Germany, France, South Africa or India – allowing us to offer new and exciting products.
- Tarpo’s legacy is also about the things that our customers don’t see. For example, we’ve used computers in our business since the beginning – Tarpo had a Commodore 64 for bookkeeping in 1982!
We’ve been through thick and thin to ensure we do the right thing. We’ve had an impact on an entire industry and entire populations. We’re pioneers and we dare to do things different.
Happy Birthday to us!
Here's a snapshot of our journey so far- we hope it inspires you!