Australia, C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

Cranecorp reveals new direction

Joy Krige has been announced as the new CEO of Cranecorp.

WA-based crane services provider, Cranecorp, has appointed Joy Krige as its new CEO. In an exclusive interview with Cranes and Lifting, Joy discusses her career in cranes and her strategy for Cranecorp.

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Joy’s interest in cranes is longstanding,  beginning during her childhood in the workshop of her brother-in-law’s crane sales business helping to change tyres and repair the engines and electrics of cranes. 

After university, Joy qualified as a Chartered Accountant, beginning her career with global accounting firm Arthur Andersen.  However, the crane business beckoned again, and in 2004, Joy’s founded Cedar Cranes in Cape Town, South Africa. Joy grew Cedar from a single crane into a 20-strong fleet before selling the business in early 2013.

Joy then moved to Perth and continued her involvement in the crane industry working for the Freo Group. She then moved to Fenner Conveyors where she held the position of Executive General Manager.   However, again, cranes reemerged in her career – in late 2023 she was approached by the owners of leading WA crane services provider Cranecorp, and early this year she commenced as CEO.

Joy felt the decision to join Cranecorp was an easy one to make. Cranecorp has a similar history and reflects the values of the business she built in South Africa. Cranecorp was established in 1997 by Rick Musarra who also started out with just a single crane. Cranecorp has since grown into a major Western Australian business servicing mining and industrial projects across the state. 

“What I love about Cranecorp is that it was a family-owned business that has grown, but it still retains those original customer focused values and team spirit, which is something that really resonates with me,” she says.


Joy sees an exciting future for Cranecorp and has strong views on how this growth might be achieved. She sees having a reputation as both a supplier of choice and an employer of choice as being central to Cranecorp’s growth strategy. 

Joy believes that Cranecorp can provide clients and staff with the efficiencies, sophistication, systems and confidence of a large business, together with the flexibility and customer focus of a small family business. She sees the Company as already being well positioned in many ways to achieve this goal.

In her first few weeks with Cranecorp Joy was struck by how often mining companies and other service firms call Cranecorp when they get stuck. Cranecorp has a reputation for responsiveness, safety, open communications, and transparency. 

“These are attributes of the business we need to continue to focus on in the future and are a testament to the team within the business,” Joy says.

Joy Krige has been announced as the new CEO of Cranecorp.
Cranecorp is looking to expand its operations to cover the entirety of Western Australia. Image: Cranecorp

Cranecorp is backed by a highly respected Western Australian based investment management firm: the company’s largest shareholder is Viburnum Funds, who have specialised in growing private mining industrial companies for almost 20 years.  Viburnum is actively involved in Cranecorp, and since Viburnum invested in Cranecorp in mid-2020, Cranecorp has expanded its crane fleet to around 100 cranes and now employs more than 200 people. Cranecorp also has strategic partnerships in place that can deliver benefits for customers. For example, Cranecorp has a joint venture with Tutt Bryant, which allows it to combine the resources of the two companies to provide an “all-in-one” solution for heavy lift and shift projects. 

The customer is front and centre in Joy’s plans. Her goal is to further enhance the customer focus ethos that has long been part of Cranecorp’s approach, and she wants Cranecorp to be recognised as having an undisputed and an unwavering focus on customer service. 

“Our absolute focus on the highest level of customer service, operational excellence and problem-solving skills as a key part of our strategy for differentiation in the market,” Joy says. “I want our people to feel highly motivated to go the extra mile to surpass our customers’ expectations”.

To ensure that staff feel that they are part of the business and are aligned to the goals within the business, Cranecorp has recently implemented an employee ownership program that allows all permanent staff to become a shareholder in the company. Cranecorp is also keen to attract new people to the Cranecorp business. As part of its strategy to do this, Cranecorp is developing an internal training school for operators and riggers. This initiative will not only allow Cranecorp to grow the number of crane operators and riggers but will also be good for the wider industry. A focus within this training school will be a broad-based inclusion and mentoring program to attract more females into the industry. Female representation amongst crane and hoist operators currently stands at just four per cent, according to Jobs and Skills Australia. Increasing this rate will bolster the ranks of qualified riggers and operators in the industry.

 For Joy, as a working mother of two, ensuring a positive, welcoming culture is key; however, as she also notes, staff should earn their position because of their capability, not through tokenistic gestures. 

“The female crane mechanics, operators and riggers currently working at Cranecorp,” says Joy, “are all there because they are the right person for the job.”

Joy Krige has been announced as the new CEO of Cranecorp.
Cranecorp’s goal is to attract more female participation into the industry, akin to Supervisor Colleen. Image: Cranecorp.

In addition to having the right people, another key element of Cranecorp’s strategy for Cranecorp is ensuring the right mix and location of cranes, and on introducing innovations to improve the efficiency of lifts. Joy sees innovation as key to maintaining high standards of safety and increasing productivity and efficiency both for crane companies and their clients. 

As part of Cranecorp’s overall focus on customer service, Joy is also identifying efficiencies and working towards a seamless backroom service for clients. Joy wants Cranecorp to be recognised in the mining industry as one of the easiest and most transparent companies to deal with. 

Cranecorp’s focus is on shut down and maintenance work, primarily in the mining industry in Western Australia. Joy sees long-term growth opportunities within this market. Joy expects the industry will see changes in Cranecorp’s operating fleet and geographic focus as the company continues to enhance its service offering.  

In somewhat of a ‘full-circle’ moment, given Joy’s long-time involvement in the crane industry, Joy is now driving Cranecorp’s next phase of growth and innovation, with a strategy aimed at benefiting customers and staff alike. 

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