H2O International SA turns 20!

H2O International, South Africa’s leader in water and air purification, celebrates twenty years of healthy living. Established in 1994, by entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Marchesini, H2O International has become a household name in water and air purification systems, improving the quality of life for South Africans.

tonyTony had always dreamed of owning and running his own business. Having spent eight particularly successful years as the Marketing Executive Director for the Italtile Group, he knew he was ready to venture out on his own and he took the entrepreneurial plunge.

The story of H2O

In 1992, Tony began his search for a unique business concept that would allow him to merge his commercial acumen with his passion for helping people. The health industry was about to boom and, with a keen interest in healthy living, he was exploring this space for opportunities.

“A friend of mine knew I was looking for an opportunity and introduced me to a water purification supplier,” says Tony. “after personally experiencing the significant difference it made to the taste and colour of regular tap water, and studying the potential health benefits from removing chemicals from tap water I realised that a business that promoted clean, great-tasting drinking water in South Africa would do well and do good. This was my opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of millions.”

From humble beginnings

Image of the very first H2O Water Bar
Emmanuel Clifford, Rondebosch H2O Franchisee, in the very first H2O International SA outlet.

It was in October 1994 that Tony launched his first H2O International retail outlet at the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch, Cape Town. The concept proved immediately successful as people loved being able to pop in to buy their water, view the small range of water purifiers on display and learn about the various health benefits of filtered water.

Twenty years on and the concept has been strategically grown and franchised, with over 70 stores conveniently located in various parts of Southern Africa, including Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Angola and Nigeria.

We have 25 staff members at the H2O Support office, that are dedicated at serving and supporting the Franchisees . Ken Lister the Financial and operations director takes care of the staff and ensures that excellent support is delivered daily to our customers and Franchisees.

Since start-up, the H2O International core product range has grown from 14 to over 450 today. Their services include sales, support, rentals and repairs.

H2O International SA has not only become the leading national supplier of water filtration solutions – they also carry an extensive range of air purifiers, hot and cold water dispensers, coolers, coffee machines, ice machines and food-waste disposers, with products for home, office, industrial, hospitality and agricultural use. See our range of products here.

An image of a range of H2O International SA products


A range of products supplied by H2O International South Africa


On a mission

H2O International’s mission: “To improve the health and well-being of all South Africans,’’ is upheld throughout the Company. Every highly-trained team member is committed and focussed on educating all South African’s on the benefits of drinking clean, pure water. The Company’s ultimate aim is to improve the health, well-being and quality of the lives of all who are touched by H2O’s quality products.

Education is key, explains Tony. “H2O International has invested millions in educating the public on the need to drink clean water every day. Correct hydration is essential to healthy living and can make such a big difference, but to lead a quality life, you really do need quality water.”

Reaching out

H2O International directors Tony Marchesini and Ken Lister founded the African branch of the non-profit organisation Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF) in 2012. With over 25 years of water treatment industry experience between them, they are using their expertise and extensive distribution network to deploy Biosand water filters into developing areas in Southern Africa, where there is a dire need for water that is safe to drink, without risk of causing illness.

Image of wishing well international Foundation in action

Wishing Well International Foundation in action!


Enter the H2O International online competition before 30 November 2014 and stand a chance to win two water coolers.

Or, from the 25th Oct 2014, pop into any of the franchise outlets, where you can see and experience the quality of their products for yourself. Lucky visitors can win discounts and prizes in their Pop-a-Balloon promotion, which is being held until 30 November 2014, in celebration of their 20 years of success.

Where to get more information

Try browsing through our easy-to-use website, with a great deal of health-related information and product specifications. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are available to enhance your browsing experience via live chat (during office hours) or phone.

Or call (021) 702 3262 for more information.

H2O International wish to thank their loyal customers, Franchisees and suppliers for the support that they have shown the company over the past 20 years.

Here’s to the next 20 years! Here’s to Life!

[ You’re welcome to send us birthday messages in the comments below! 😉 ]



This Post Has One Comment

  1. E mmanuel & Maria Clifford

    In 1995 i witnessed the H2O WAVE grow out of a Neap tide to the present Spring tide.Will the next 20 years produce a TSUNAMI (of the non-destructive kind) ??

    Congratulation Tony (my captain, my captain) & Rosa for 20 years of pure dedication & belief in the water purifing industry.The H2O Slogan ” HERE’ S TO LIFE ” is truly an appropriat one!!

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