2022 marks 50 years of SDI, Australia's largest manufacturer of dental products. It's very rare and certainly unique in Australia for a dental company to record a 50-year milestone, yet SDI Limited, continues to go from strength to strength. To coincide with ADX Sydney, the company, headquartered in Melbourne, kicked off a year of celebrations with a cocktail reception at the Sydney Opera House. We caught up with CEO, Managing Director and daughter of the founder, Samantha Cheetham for a chat.
"SDI has survived because our founder and Chairman, Jeffery Cheetham, never gives up," Ms Cheetham said. "He has the determination and can-do attitude that means no challenge is impossible. Our products have gotten better and better and now deliver brilliant results with universities and evaluators globally. Our Riva glass ionomers, Luna and Aura composites and Pola tooth whitening products are recognised by many as the best in the world."
Ms Cheetham said that the key to the company's success was the early realisation that the world was their oyster.
"To expand, we had to start exporting," she said. "From Australia, that has not always been easy. We now export to over 100 countries on all continents. We're very fortunate to have long standing partnerships with many of our distributors.
"One of our first distributors, for example, was in Greece and they're still our exclusive distributor. That's a 45-year relationship. We're loyal to our customers and our teams. We have many long standing employees, several who have worked with us for over 40 years and many who have worked for more than 10, 20 and 30+ years. We value teamwork, respect, accountability, passion and innovation with all our stakeholders.
"We have 50 years of innovation, particularly with research and development of our products. Very few dental manufacturers have achieved this. We are passionate about researching and developing our own products and we're proud to say that all of our research team is in Australia and most of the manufacturing is also completed at our Melbourne HQ.
"Achieving all of this has only come with a team that is passionate about global success and proud that we are Australian."
Further celebrations will continue throughout 2022 and culminate at IDS 2023 in Cologne, Germany, where SDI is a long standing exhibitor.