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The Habla Team

Gilbert Habla



Gilbert Habla has more than 50 years’ experience in the brick industry including as Chairman of Habla Zig-Zag Kilns International.

This has involved owning, constructing, and commercially operating the Habla Zig-Zag Kiln technology, and includes working with his father Alois Habla, the inventor of the original arch-less Zig-Zag Kiln.

Gilbert is internationally acknowledged for his expertise within the brick industry with a focused interest in South Asia. He was appointed as an independent consultant to UNIDO for the international brick industry. He has been regularly consulted by a range of international agencies and NGO’s on brick industry issues globally and has a deep understanding of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the industry in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and emerging economies.

His technical expertise has been built through 50 years’ experience in kiln design, kiln construction, mechanical installation, commissioning of technology, modification, operation, and maintenance of brick plants. Gilbert has expertise in construction and operation across kiln designs including Hoffman and Tunnel kilns, as well as being the world expert in the environmentally, socially, and commercially effective Habla Zig-Zag Kiln and its application.

Gilbert is also a Master Builder.

Charles R Thompson
Charles Thompson

Commercial Advisor


AICD, B.LLB (Hons.) / B.Econ, Monash University, Melbourne Australia
Charles is a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer and management consultant. He has worked as a CEO, senior executive and leader with several leading listed and unlisted corporates, in both M&A and Strategy functions as well as a P&L line manager in substantial international e-commerce operations.

He has extensive experience working with Boards in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors and now runs his own strategy and investment advisory business, as well an ecotourism operation. He is a current Board member and former Chair of Guide Dogs Victoria.

anil bhatta
Anil Bhatta

Technology Transfer Consultant & Advisor

Anil Bhatta is a leading expert in carbon markets and the founder of Carbon & Clean Energy Solutions (CCES). Before founding CCES, he managed the carbon project portfolio of a London-based international bank.

Anil has a formal engineering background with over a decade of experience in carbon markets and climate change mitigation projects, including climate-friendly brick technology projects. He has advised inter-governmental international development organizations, country governments, NGOs, financial institutions, and multinational companies on climate mitigation projects in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Anil has previously worked as International Head of Carbon Projects and Head of Carbon Advisory roles in a number of firms in Australia. Anil has dual Masters Degrees in Engineering in Sustainable Energy and Engineering Management.

Darrell Reeve
Darrell Reeve

Environment Consultant and Advisor

Darrell has had over 45 years industrial experience in environmental consultancy, technology assessment and transfer and has supported Habla Kilns for 23 years.

He has been contracted to UNEP and UNIDO for projects in developing countries and is now a Board Advisor to Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production. He is an experienced educator and trainer working with several universities in Masters programs and PhD supervision. He consults globally to the Surface Finishing Industry and is International Editor for the Surface Finishing Journal in China.

Darrell has tertiary qualifications in Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Production Management and Surface Finishing and worked directly in the chemical/engineering fields in technical positions for many years in addition to five years with the Environmental Protection Agency in Victoria.

Chris Bulford
Chris Bulford

Strategy & Marketing


Chris Bulford is the Managing Director of Circ Consulting, a Melbourne-based strategy consultancy.  Chris is a leading strategist and marketer, with outstanding experience in both client and consultancy businesses.

Chris’s background includes being Marketing Director of Mars Australia, Managing Director of part of Heinz Australia, and General Manager of Marketing for the National Australia Bank.

Chris has an MA from the University of Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Peter Habla
Peter Habla


Peter has a background in Project Management and Project Delivery. Prior to joining the team at HZZKI, Peter worked for an international construction company.

Peter successfully directed, delivered and commissioned the HZZK technology Transfer Project in South Africa, as part of the Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project in conjunction with the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-Operation (SDC).

Peter is focused on promoting further advancement of HZZK technology. Peter ensures the company’s energies and resources are targeted toward improving environmental, social, and economic outcomes for brick kiln owners, operators, and workers in developing countries around the world.

Janie Habla


Janie is an experienced Senior Allied Health Professional, she has had a lifelong involvement in Europe and developing countries. She has travelled extensively throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia and maintains her 30-year association with the brick industry by regular visits to brick kilns, most recently to Nepal, Bangladesh, and South Africa.

Janie has worked in remote indigenous communities and in educational, hospital, and rehabilitation settings. Her experience provides a strong background when advocating for significant workplace change in the current lives of children and brick kiln workers in developing countries.