African Business Review - February 2016

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El Sewedy Electrometer | February 2016

Banking on Sudan Modernising the nation’s Islamic financial sector


Catalysing continentwide growth The 7 best

African universities

DOING BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA Revealing the opportunities in Africa’s second largest economy


Africa: open for business! H E L L O A N D W E L C O M E T O our February

issue of African Business Review. This month we have an exclusive interview with José Filomeno dos Santos, chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, the FSDA. He discusses the recent successes of one of the world’s top-rated funds, as well as his ambitions to use its capital for a variety of major projects across Angola and the continent. Gianpiero Succi and Gianfranco Veneziano, partners at Italian legal firm BonelliErede, provide us with their insights on doing business in South Africa, including a number of the available incentives. Our Top 7 this month explores the continent’s best universities as the demand for increasingly skilled workers continues to grow. This month also features a spotlight on East African Breweries – a subsidiary of the global beverage giant Diageo – and how it has leveraged its strong position to deliver sustainable operational excellence in the markets it serves. Let us know your thoughts on the magazine via @AfricaBizReview on Twitter.

Enjoy the issue! Nye Longman Editor 3





Angola’s sovereign wealth fund is catalysing continent-wide growth


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Doing business in South Africa

February 2016

African Universities TOP 7


62 00 Company Profiles Department for International Development


Bank of Khartoum



Transtech Logistics

El Sewedy Electrometer


East African Breweries Limited

84 Conserveria Africana Limited


Angola’s sovereign

is catalysing continen

The Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) is investing in pr private sector growth and improve the prospects of millio speaks to JosĂŠ Filomeno dos Santos, Chairman of the Bo Written by: Nye Longman


n wealth fund

nt-wide growth

rojects across Africa in a bid to stimulate ons of people. African Business Review oard of Directors of FSDEA 7

FINANCE ABR: Could you outline the current Angolan investment landscape? Dos Santos: “In 2002 the country reached a peace agreement and returned to the normal democratic process; since then there has been substantial investment in infrastructure to lay the foundation for the country to get back on its feet. The banking sector and the telecoms sector have both boomed but the country has remained reliant on imports; industry is still to take off and agriculture still needs access to energy and water to really start. This is where the infrastructure investment from the

José Filomeno dos Santos, Chairman of the Board of Directors, FSDEA 8

February 2016

government has been directed. The Sovereign Wealth Fund is an institution of the state with the means to create alternative sources of revenue, since Angola’s economy is currently reliant on oil. It therefore has a developmental role in incentivising investments in other sectors where local investors may be rather shy and have not built the right equity to attract international co-investors.” ABR: Could you talk about the recent activities of the Fund? Dos Santos: “As far as the Fund goes, we received initial capital in 2013 and that has gone on until 2014; what we have done since then is deploy this capital initially in securities. We started off with fixed income because this was less volatile and easier to access in terms of financial assets. We are more diversified now - we have quite a substantial investment in listed equities and we have ventured into private equity. We are targeting seven sectors which we believe have interesting opportunities. These are: infrastructure; hotels; agriculture; mining; healthcare; timber and

C A T A L Y S I N G C O N T I N E N T- W I D E G R O W T H

structured capital through a separate mezzanine Fund. Being the first to invest and find the project makes us the market makers but that goes in line with the developmental role of the Fund – we believe that the stimulus will bring us interesting returns because we will be able to create the value from a low point in terms of investment

and we will also be able to benefit the economies where we invest and create opportunities for the private sectors. We are particularly proud of the diversity of our securities portfolio – we have approximately $2 billion invested across the financial markets – we have a substantial allocation in Europe and the United States where we are still mostly allocated to fixed income

FSDEA 2014 AUDITED INVESTMENTS • I nvestment in private equity for infrastructure and hotels, accounted for $1.6 billion, equivalent to 34 percent of the investment portfolio • 37 percent of the investment portfolio was allocated in Europe, 34 percent in SubSaharan Africa, 18 percent in North America and 11 percent in the rest of the world • S ocial development projects supported in the 2014 fiscal year amounted to $22 million 9

FINANCE but we are gradually increasing our location to listed equities and to other regulated alternatives in the developed world. Also, we are hoping to see very interesting returns and this acts as a kind of hedge to the investments that we have locally. We are proud to say that we have a diverse portfolio which has been developed over the past 1-2 years – we haven’t existed for that long – that shows that we have made a significant amount of progress. ABR: What message do you have for investors from across the world looking to invest in Africa? Dos Santos: “Governments in the sub-Saharan African region have made significant infrastructure investments to stimulate the private sector and a lot of these are now ready. A lot of these economies have a developed middle class with disposable income; several depend on importing finished goods. This creates the opportunity to invest in the primary and secondary sectors; the infrastructure and stability are both there for the private sector to develop.”


February 2016

FSDEA 2014 SECTOR INVESTMENT BREAKDOWN INFRASTRUCTURE - $1.1 billion HOTEL - $500 million MINING - $250 million TIMBER - $250 million AGRICULTURE - $250 million HEALTHCARE - $400 million MEZZANINE - $250 million


ABR: Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are being increasingly used across the continent; what view does the Angolan government have on this? Dos Santos: “We are certainly aware of some interesting PPP initiatives. They are certainly becoming more 12

February 2016

and more attractive but I think as far as reforms go, when making a general strategy for them, there are some outlines but what is being done is that the government is trying to understand the formats that do work before forming a strategy. There are initiatives out there and they are doing well – it’s definitely an area we are hoping to venture into.”

C A T A L Y S I N G C O N T I N E N T- W I D E G R O W T H

ABR: What role do you think the private sector (or ‘Africapitalism’) can play in Angola and Africa at large? Dos Santos: “Africa has immense social needs – it’s a continent where many nations are still emerging. There’s still a very important role for the state but as these economies start to become more mature and consume more, the role of the private sector starts to be more prominent – it’s a challenge for the

regulators to adapt to this reality. A lot of African nations are new – a lot are less than 50 years old. It will be a general reform from the track that Africa has followed in previous decades into this new era of capitalism and expansion of the private sector. It’s important to find out what works for Africa and works for both the government and the private sector and that the capital is deployed to those projects that are worthwhile and sustainable in the long term.”

FSDEA SOCIAL PROJECTS KAMBA DYAMI – ‘One Laptop Per Child’ program Future Leaders of Angola - Scholarship program BUNGO INITIATIVE – supporting agriculture


DOING BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA Italian legal firm BonelliErede looks to South Africa with considerable interest; it sees many opportunities and incentives in the continent’s second largest economy Written by: Gianpiero Succi and Gianfranco Veneziano, partners at BonelliErede


February 2016


LEADERSHIP SOUTH AFRICA HAS the best performing economy in the Sub Saharan Africa: it has diversified and productive industries, with a manufacturing sector that accounts for around 12 percent of its GDP; a legal and regulatory system that grants safe conditions for businesses; and, in terms of ease of doing business, ranks 49th in the Doing Business Report 2015 recently published by the World Bank. The country is actually the second largest economy in the continent, with Nigeria at pole position, but it is still number one in terms of income per capita – with a per person GDP of around $7,000 in 2014, growing at an average annual real GDP rate of around 4 percent. This is mainly thanks to its young and growing population, which is currently almost 53 million, widespread infrastructure and stable banking and financial institutions. Such a fertile environment is actually quite welcoming to foreign investors willing to tackle the challenges of doing business there. Since this economic green field is matched with a positive legal framework where, 16

February 2016

Gianpiero Succi


for instance, no local partner or a minimum capital is needed to set up an investment vehicle. Incentives for foreign investors Among the most relevant are the 12i Tax Incentive, which aims to increase the productivity of the South African manufacturing industry by supporting ‘green field’ and ‘brown field’ investments through tax reductions, and the Foreign Investment Grant (FIG), whose main feature consists in reimbursing qualifying foreign investors the costs of shipping new machinery to South Africa. Foreign investors are granted benefits not only in terms of tax reductions, but also in terms of right protection: South Africa also offers an easily accessible judicial system, both when litigating before local courts and when settling disputes through arbitration. Indeed, the length of time to resolve commercial disputes is, on average, reasonably efficient compared to that of almost all other Sub Saharan African countries. Factors to consider Foreign investors should certainly be aware that the policies regarding

Gianfranco Veneziano Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) under the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 (the BBBEE Act), which promote the participation of black people in economic life, may have an effect on their investments, especially insofar as investors may have to deal with government departments, state-owned companies, and ‘parastatals’, as well as companies that require their suppliers/partners to meet minimum BEE scores. Therefore, even though the BBBEE Act does not require that every business operating in South Africa comply with the BEE requirements 17


“The length of time to resolve commercial disputes is, on average, reasonably efficient compared to that of almost all other Sub Saharan African countries�


February 2016


or principles which it espouses, greater compliance with the principles and key elements of BEE allows significant incentives to be granted. A second point investors should consider is that their investments might be subject to the monitoring and authorisation by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). In this case, investors will need to submit sufficient information to enable the SARB to assess whether a given transaction is carried out at fair value and is funded through means approved by the SARB. The same control system can also be applied to the repatriation of the invested capital. A final aspect to consider when structuring a direct or indirect foreign investment in South Africa is that the employment law framework is being reshaped in many industries (e.g.,

that of raw material exploitation), and investors should weigh up the consequences carefully. South Africans recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of both the end of apartheid and the creation of the modern Republic of South Africa. This highlights how far South Africa has come in the past two decades, a time during which the nation’s numerous assets – including a liberalised and internationally competitive economy, a strong and active civil society, a free and diverse media, and a highly functional and democratic government – have contributed to its rise to be one of Africa’s leading economic and diplomatic players. Indeed, if approached with due care, the country seems to be one of the best hubs for direct and indirect foreign investment throughout Sub Saharan Africa.



African universities Written by Nye Longman


African Business Review looks at seven institutions from across the continent that offer students the opportunity to grow, learn and develop key skills for future careers 21

TOP 7 As Africa’s economies and middle class continue to grow, the demand for both education and specialist skills is rising. Many rankings are dominated by the continent’s more established economies – Egypt and South Africa – which is why African Business Review has taken a broader view and included universities from countries which are so often overlooked while taking into account Webometrics, Africa Ranking, and the UK’s Times Higher Education rankings. Our list touches upon all four corners of the continent and features African universities that the continent’s writers, business leaders and presidents have once called home. Also notable is the presence of the three institutions that formerly made up the University of East Africa (which comprised Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda) before it split in 1970, which have gone on to prosper in their own right.



Situated in the capital of Tanzania, the University of Dar es Salaam offers both undergraduates and postgraduates a range of educational opportunities covering agriculture, engineering, ICT, humanities, and natural and social sciences. According to data on its website, the University offers a total of 150 different academic courses. 22

February 2016





Cadi Ayyad University offers learners a full range of educational experiences; its courses cover law, social sciences, management, commerce, and applied sciences. The university is based in three cities in addition to Marrakech Sraghna, Essaouira and Safi - and its astronomy department has also been responsible for the discovery of several major comets.


Nigeria’s Port Harcourt University (or Uniport, as it is commonly known) provides a truly holistic learning environment, providing courses across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from pre-university courses all the way up to postgraduate research opportunities. It also operates through a number of specialist centres which cover everything from malaria research to intellectual property and female empowerment. Learners can choose from a broad range of subjects which includes education, agriculture, humanities, health science, and management studies. Uniport counts former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan among its notable alumni.



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Makerere University Kampala (MUK) offers a very practical set of courses for study, which cover agricultural, environmental, and health sciences, business and management, computing and IT, education and architecture, and engineering design. Notably, MUK offers opportunities to women from disadvantaged backgrounds through financial support via its female Scholarship Foundation. The university has educated a number of African presidents including Uganda’s Milton Obote, the DRC’s Joseph Kabila, and Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki, among others. 24

February 2016


The University of Nairobi is a truly massive institution, with a student population exceeding 84,000 spread across almost 600 different academic programmes and supported by over 2,000 academic staff. Alongside courses in health and agricultural sciences, the university provides the opportunity to study journalism, law, and anthropology. The university is renowned for offering a range of student services which includes work placements, sports facilities, and financial services. It also offers evening and weekend programmes for learners who may not have been able to make the initial admission criteria, in order to extend education to as many people as possible.




The AUC is able to award American university degrees under a mandate from the University of Delaware. It offers its international students the opportunity to learn Arabic while they complete their studies. Alongside its arts, science and music degree programmes, the AUC also offers internationally-accredited MBA opportunities. 25




Located in South Africa’s capital city, UCT is equally well known for its beautiful campus as its intellectual rigour. The institution can attest to hosting just under a third of the country’s A-rated researchers, as well as a host of Nobel Prize winners. It is also the oldest university in South Africa, and the second-oldest on the continent still in operation. In 2012, the Financial Times rated its MBA programme the best in its value for money section. Fully confident and aware of its scope to influence positive change across the continent, UCT spearheads a number of initiatives centred on environmental protection, climate change prevention, and poverty alleviation.


February 2016




Written by Nye Longman

ing on Sudan


Produced by Marianna Lee



The Bank of Khartoum is leveraging its success in the Sudanese market to modernise the nation’s Islamic financial sector while casting its eyes across the growing economies of West Africa


February 2016


ince it was established in 1913 as a Sudanese branch of the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, what is now known as the Bank of Khartoum (BOK) has been no stranger to the disruptive influence of innovation and historical change. Its dominant presence as the largest Islamic bank in the country not only bears strong testament to its successful business model – it is also evidence that the bank is well-positioned to expand and develop its operations way beyond current capacity. BOK’s scope, therefore, covers every section of Sudanese society, from investment bankers all the way down to the hundreds of thousands of people engaged in and reliant on subsistence agriculture who are yet still unbanked. While the economy of


Sudan is perhaps not where it ideally should be, the country is still ranked as ‘lower middle income’ by the World Bank, which also forecasts that it will experience a healthy GDP growth rate averaging out at 4.25 percent in the next two years. It is little wonder, then, that BOK has posted year-on-year growth of 45 percent and is confident that this will at least be maintained if not increased - over the next few years. Not content with being the biggest player in its home market, the bank is looking to expand its offering across West African nations, while simultaneously harnessing the power of technology to further bolster its competitive position and bring yet more unbanked people onto its books. We speak to BOK’s CEO Fadi Salim Al Faqih


Number of employees at the Bank of Khartoum Al Riyadh branch

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Banks | Central Banks | National Switch | Payment Processors | Telecom Operators | Retailers



Digital Commerce Cross Border Remittance Processing Bill Collection Management

Multi Channel Enterprisae Switch

Prepaid Card Management

Internet & Mobile Banking


about how he and his teams across the country are preparing to roll out a new generation of banking, the likes of which West Africa has never seen before. He says: “While most of the [Sudan’s] businesses are based around Khartoum, the business environment and banking sector both have a lot of potential. For example, investment in mineral commodities is still quite low, so there is much potential here. The model we have set up is successful enough to sustain the growth we have experienced.” Operations The bank offers a variety of Sharia-compliant financial services to a range of customers, and this offering is reflected in the international distribution of its ownership. A very high proportion (81 percent) of its shares are held by investors and institutions from GCC countries, including the Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Sharjah Islamic Bank, and global telco Etisalat. The Sudanese government retains a 5 percent share (the bank was nationalised in 1970 and then privatised in 2002) while the remaining 14 percent is held by local investors. BOK’s financial products and services are diverse, covering practically all of the financial needs for the entire country, which consist of personal, corporate, SME, investment and non-resident banking, as well as a range of micro-finance initiatives. Al Faqih explains how

Key Personnel

Fadi Al Faqih CEO Al Faqih is the Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Khartoum (BOK) with nearly 20 years of international and regional banking experience. Awarded as Islamic Banker of 2014 by the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC). Joined BOK in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer and in 2008 was appointed as CEO spearheading BOK’s business development, restructuring and transformation to become the leading Islamic financial services group in the Sudan.

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‘BOK’s scope, therefore, covers every section of Sudanese society, from investment bankers all the way down to the hundreds of thousands of people engaged in and reliant on subsistence xxxxxxxxxxxwho agriculture are yet still unbanked’


February 2016

this offering had affected the bank’s position: “We now have the advantage of having a great reputation, sound credit and the support of our customers. Needless to say that we have a lot of great commissions coming from this.” In 2006 BOK became the first bank in the country to introduce a full package of retail banking, prior to its merger with the Emirates and Sudan Bank in 2008. Perhaps its finest year until now is 2011, when it was delisted from OFAC sanctions and received an AA rating from the Islamic Rating Agency for its stringent work to bring its governance and operations up to internationally recognised standards. Alongside its typical banking activities, BOK is also engaged in a variety of micro-finance


projects, inspired by the spirit of Sharia and its strong commitment to alleviate poverty through education. Al Faqih explains: “Rather than simply discounting money for people and projects, we provide vocational training and technical know-how. This is the model with which we are leading with the IDB as our main partner. We want to expand organically to ensure that poverty alleviation remains part of the core values of Islamic banking and our operations.” “One of the main sectors we work in is agriculture. With one project, we built greenhouses and provided technical expertise; we also built houses and created a whole community while fostering the people involved to operate a self-reliant business. We created

One of BOK’s weekly CEO meetings in full swing

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another community with fully integrated agricultural services, with animal grazing all the way down to marketing and retail. Both projects received global awards and have become a model for Islamic micro-finance and a reference point for future IDB projects of this kind.” Expansion The bank’s expansion has taken place both organically – as the economy of Sudan develops – and also as part of a concerted effort to bring its business to new markets and new levels of service. Al Faqih says: “While part has come from the organic growth, we have also expanded by adding more ATM machines and through building the branch network – we have opened nearly 40 branches on a year on year basis. “We are going to keep expanding our branch

BOK has posted year-onyear growth of


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Key Personnel

Kashif Naeem EVP & Group Head – Retail, SME & Microfinance Kashif Naeem was hired by Dubai Islamic Bank UAE in 2006 and assigned to Bank of Khartoum as part of the transformation team to bring true Retail banking to Sudan. He is responsible for BOK’s market leadership as the first bank in the Sudan to establish a full suite of innovative products and services in retail, private banking, SME and microfinance. Kashif is a seasoned and resultsdriven professional with strong leadership and managerial skills.


February 2016

network and ATM services, plus we’re looking into service rated products such as e-banking and mobile banking. This will complement the retail banking expansion; for corporate banking we’re looking at expanding further into cash management products in relation to large cash corporates. We are looking to further grow our micro-finance activities in 2016.” He explains that the bank has even been able to expand into difficult areas, utilising the latest technology to do so: “Geographically Sudan is a large country but has a relatively small yet dispersed population, so outreach is difficult; we have been able to work past this using mobile technology, supported by local network providers. “We got the licence to go mobile in December


2015 and we will become operational in the first quarter of 2016. We want to become a landmark in areas where banking is not as available as it is in more developed populations. We are also looking at moving into Nigeria, since it only has one small Islamic bank there.” He also highlights the particularly crucial role that mobile banking has played in extending BOK’s reach, he says: “Our outreach is achieved in hard to reach parts of the country using all kinds of solutions such as iPads to actually open the accounts and get the signatures of the customers rather than getting them to a branch to open an account. “Our expansion plans are very aggressive. We have West Africa in mind particularly, because

The launch of BOK International

The Bank Of Khatoum was established in


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if you go into one market there you can then move into others easily since they are all run by one central bank. While it’s going to be easier for us in terms of penetration, we need to focus on getting the right partner - that’s the issue which makes it a bit more complex. We want to employ local people who better to understand the local market and to give them the training to be in line with the business.” To expand business and enhance the level of services, BOK relies on a variety of technological solutions. These include the modern currency recognition and cash processing solutions provided by GRG Banking, a leading player in the global market. Since 2011, a number of ATM machines including the ones with the latest cash recycling capability have been widely deployed in BOK’s nationwide network. In parallel, large deposit machines and sorting machines are also servicing BOK’s customers or cash centers with outstanding performance and convenience. The technologies of today has been continuously adding force to BOK’s expansion, whether in reducing cash management costs, or enhancing efficiency, convenience and security Talent management Banking is a career that naturally attracts the best talent into the varied roles the sector has to offer, which is perhaps a one clue as to why BOK has been able to back up its impressive growth with adequate staffing –

Key Personnel

Khaled M Gökçezadeh Head of Treasury and Investment Banking Zadeh joined BOK in 2007 and has been responsible for developing and enhancing the bank’s services in Treasury and Investment Banking. He is also responsible for the growth and expansion of BOK’s correspondent banking partners and also oversees its subsidiaries - Sanabel Securities and Sudacash.

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“Layers of progression have been created along with the expansion and there are great opportunities to progress. So far it’s doing well - we’ve developed our staffing model and it has proven to be strong and sustainable - we look at it every time we go to open a new branch or expand our network” – Fadi Salim Al Faqih, CEO


February 2016

a number which currently stands at around 1,600 but is certain to rapidly increase in-line with the sustained growth of the bank. Al Faqih says: “Obviously talented people are needed for any organisation to succeed; we make sure to always have an open door policy, so that our staff are always able to communicate at all levels - even at the level of the CEO. We liaise with our staff at all levels to ensure that they are getting the best training possible, both terms of generic skills and on a more specific basis. “Due to the terrain of the country, we require a large sales force - we do a lot of work to maintain these staff. Layers of progression have been created along with the expansion and there are great opportunities to progress.


So far it’s doing well - we’ve developed our staffing model and it has proven to be strong and sustainable - we look at it every time we go to open a new branch or expand our network.” The recent and future activity of BOK has shored up its success in Sudan and has cemented its place as a market leader in modern Islamic finance. Having developed a competitive, forward-thinking business, the bank has grown to a level of sophistication that makes it a standalone in not only its founding country but also the entire region. It is poised to exploit this advantage and grow into Western Africa with much deserved confidence, securing prosperity for the business, its shareholders, and the populations that it will diligently serve.

The opening of BOK international in Bahrain headed by chairman Mohamed Saeed Al Sharif who is also BOK’s international CEO

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A revolution in metering Written by Nell Walker Produced by Daniel Pritchard

solutions 45


How El Sewedy Electrometer Group stays ahead in the competitive metering industry


February 2016


ith 19 million meters running in 46 countries, and as one of the top 10 metering companies in the world, El Sewedy Electrometer Group (EMG) has come a long way from its well-established roots. The company has been established since 1998, and for decades it has slowly but surely built its brand, thriving where similar businesses fell behind. Its rise to prominence has occurred steadily throughout its timeline, as follows: • 1938 – Zaki El Sewedy Holding (ZSG) was founded as a supplier of electrical materials in Egypt • 1962 – ZSG was appointed by the Egyptian government as the main supplier of all electrical materials for the largest hydro power plant in Egypt, the Aswan High Dam • 1980 – ZSG started investing in industry,


starting with the manufacture of power cables, electricity distribution boards, electricity and gas meters, lighting fixtures, and energy-saving lamps in addition to its turn-key electrification projects • 1998 – ZSG established El Sewedy Electrometer (EMG), the first private sector company specialising in the design and manufacture of electricity meters in the Middle East • 2004 – EMG founded Ghana Electrometer Ltd, the first metering factory in West Africa, followed by the successful implementation of the e-Cash pre-payment system • 2007 – EMG ventured with EEPCO in Ethiopia Electrometer to produce prepaid meters in Ethiopia, as well as with ZESCO in Zambia Electrometer • 2008 – EMG partnered with BMG bank in Electrometer do Brazil, in addition to Electrometer de Las Americas in Mexico with CICASA • 2009 – EMG established El Sewedy Electrometer India to supply Asia as well as the rest of the group with quality meters and modules • 2010 – EMG acquired an established meter manufacturer in the Czech Republic to supply Europe and the rest of the world with smart grid solutions EMG is fully-focused on production of meters, network management services, large electrification

El Sewedy Electrometer has 19 million meters running in 46 countries

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EL SEWEDY ELECTROMETER projects, and product aftercare. The business expanded facilities in Africa to cover Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zambia respectively. As its success spread, EMG began to globalise, extending facilities to India, Brazil, and Mexico, before penetrating the European market by acquiring ZPA Smart Energies in the Czech Republic. EMG has attained ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certification during its lifetime, and has become a sought-after partner for many other large businesses. Some of its major recent projects include the North Lebanon Project and the Ghana Ashanti BOT Project, both involving the design, manufacture, supply


and installation of various metering systems. “We have a complete portfolio of products that cover residential, commercial, and industrial market needs,” says Mohammed Shoaib, Head of PMO and Strategic Sourcing at El Sewedy Electrometer. “Our portfolio includes basic meters, advanced meters that provide prepayment features, and smart meters that come with a flexible design to communicate via GPRS, RF or PLC. These smart meters enable utility companies to remotely collect metering data as well as configure meters, which enhances the accuracy and swiftness with which data is transferred between the utility and consumers.” Productivity is optimised by utilising the latest techniques in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. Calibration and testing systems are automated, allowing simultaneous manufacture of multiple products without sacrificing accuracy, and the ability to respond to customer delivery demands without risk of human error. The supply chain is strictly operated and Shoaib demands perfection at every step of the way: “We have a solid supplier-management mechanism where we evaluate our suppliers based on their financial performance, the quality of the product, lead times, and cost. We try to have multiple suppliers for every item to minimise risk and lessen competition. We like to maintain an open relationship with all of them by sharing our production plans and our needs, which keeps them engaged. We have a list of authorised

Mahmoud Shawky Operations Director Mohamed is the director of operations and is a member of the management committee. He is responsible for overseeing Elsewedy Electrometer’s daily operational activities including manufacturing, quality, supply chain, and performance reporting. He plays effective role in the top management committee regarding the firm’s performance, dayto-day operations and overall strategic planning.

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suppliers, and another for preferred suppliers that we always return to. Also we are implementing a very solid tracking mechanism and an ERP system that connects the dots and ensures every point in the business runs smoothly.” All of EMG’s products are heavily tested by world-renowned labs, including OFGEM in the UK, MET Lab in the US, INMETRO in Brazil, LAPEM in Mexico, ERDA in India, and many more to ensure all products are of the highest quality. “We have prestigious R&D houses in Egypt, India, the Czech Republic, and many other countries. Five percent of our annual revenue is invested in R&D; El Sewedy is one of the top five platforms for R&D in the metering industry. We don’t buy ready-made designs and just put our logo on them; we develop every concept ourselves.”

EMG’s smart meters come with a flexible design to communicate via GPRS, RF or PLC

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Mohammed Shoaib Head of PMO and Strategic Sourcing Mohammed heads PMO and Strategic Sourcing at ElSewedy Electrometer. He oversees project execution from customer order all the way through to delivery. He also oversees supplier relationships and evaluation plus BOM costing, lead times, and quality. Prior to that, he worked at Intel managing its R&D outsourcing. He is the recipient of Intel’s prestigious Division Recognition Award. Mohammed holds a recent MBA and is PMP certified


February 2016

Such a large, rapidly-expanding company has a lot to offer an employee, Shoaib says. “We always offer opportunities for growth; it’s a global company and doesn’t have one single focus, so as an employee you would have the luxury of being exposed to the product development every step of the way; employees can grow within one department or expand to the next. We also offer training programs, depending on the position being applied for.” Shoaib says that the economic climate hasn’t affected El Sewedy, as the business is always there. “We are operating in a B2B market. There’s a lot of demand for our products from the utilities and from privately-held companies. Developing countries are connecting more people through metering solutions, and the demand is growing. That’s connected to the economic status and


growth of the country. Besides, the technology itself is evolving from the mechanical meter to the electricity meter, from post-paid to pre-paid meters, and recently to the smart meters. The demand is finding its way in both developed and developing countries.” El Sewedy Electrometer’s slogan is ‘Manage Utilities Better’, which reflects its belief that its responsibilities lie beyond meters themselves and the aftercare thereof. EMG wants to enable its customers to manage their own utilities without difficulty, and offers comprehensive services to tackle that: “EMG is a total solution provider with deep focus on quality and customer service. Our solutions and services include engineering, installation, operation, maintenance, meter management, and billing activities.” Shoaib says. What truly sets El Sewedy apart from other companies in the industry is experience, according to Shoaib: “The leaders of the company have a lot of experience in this industry and have been doing it for many years. EMG now has 10 factories present across five continents, which gives us global market leadership and significant production capacity of more than 5 million meters per annum. We cater to all segments of the meter market, not only focusing on one. We have the power to decide where to produce depending on capacity and market needs.”

Mahmoud Adel Purchasing Manager Mahmoud Adel is the Purchasing Manager at Elsewedy Electrometer. He is responsible for buying the best quality equipment, goods and services for the organisation at the most competitive prices. Mahmoud has 10 years of experience in purchasing and supplier management. Mahmoud is Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) from the American University in Cairo and Certified International Purchasing Manager (CIPM) from IPSCMI.

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The busine

Written by Nye Longman Produced by Da

ess of brewing

aniel Pritchard



East African Breweries is expanding on the directives of its parent company, Diageo, to create a responsible, regionallyrelevant business


February 2016


hile being a subsidiary company of the global beverage company Diageo certainly has countless benefits, East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is determined to guide its own destiny, bringing to bear decades of experience serving its region. Having secured a number of the most popular African beer brands, the company has expanded on Diageo’s global standards and has combined this with its knowledge of local supply chains in order to deliver value for money, reduce waste and champion the countries of East Africa across all of its operations. EABL’s range of brands covers a significant portion of the continent and consist of Kenya, Uganda and Serengeti Breweries, as well as East African Maltings, United Distillers and Vinters, and EABL International. Its brewing companies boast some of the most popular beer brands in their respective markets which include Guinness, Tusker Lager, Serengeti Premium Lager and Bell Lager. These brands cover six East African countries which consist of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In total, these facilities directly employ roughly 1,500 people, mainly consisting of locals with a smattering of expats. Greg Moser, Head of


Logistics and Governance explains: “On any given day EABL ships out between 80,000 and 100,000 cases of beer into our markets. It’s a significant logistics operation –240 trucks a day go through the Nairobi central depot. Production, packaging and storage all take place in one location – we have kegs, spirits, and bottled beer as well non-alcoholic products. “Besides global reporting and KPIs we really created a changed management programme and new way of working for our markets here in Africa which allows us to compete globally with the other markets which is really exciting.” Supply chain strategy Although EABL owns and manages some warehousing assets, most is outsourced using third-party logistics (3PL) partners including global logistics solutions provider DHL. EABL is working very closely with these partners to implement Project MOVE, which will deliver an integrated, streamlined, and agile logistics network, all the way from end of packaging line to the distributor. In-line with more mature markets such as Europe, this will exploit technology to measure how well the changes are performing. Moser explains: “We have really improved the way that we interact metrically with our 3PL partners. We bring them in to our internal standardised improvements processes – they are very much treated like one of the team. The data that we get from them is w w w. e a b l . c o m





Possibility In Every Direction

We transport to the following countries – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Zambia, Malawi & Zimbabwe) Tel: +254 (20) 2211690 Office Mobile: +254 (731) 069 525 Email: Email: Email:


incorporated into our own; we mix their data with our SAP data, for example, to show us the insights so we can track our performance.” EABL has a four step process to ensure best practices are deployed which consists of measuring, monitoring, managing, and subsequently making a difference to its processes. Using 52 KPIs gathered from packaging line all the way down to outlet level, the company is able to make informed decisions (backed up by a set of analytics tools) to create an atmosphere of continuous improvement. This is all reinforced by Diageo’s Logistics Essentials training programme which aims to upskill its logistics teams, allowing them to speak a common language, standardising processes across markets, and delivering ‘best in class’ ways of working. EABL’s MOVE program is delivered through a number of key projects which include: network improvement and warehouse optimisation, as well as optimising its transport, customer services, procurement and by making distribution savings. Last year the program delivered £1.9 million in savings and is on track to make a further £2.9 million saving this year. On top of saving the company a significant amount of money, the program has delivered a remarkable set of operational improvements. Palletisation of the Kenya Central Depot has rocketed from 24 percent to 85 percent in a single year; return bottle pre-sorting has soared w w w. e a b l . c o m



1500 Number of staff at East African Breweries Limited 60

February 2016

from 65 percent to 99.9 percent. OTIFNE (on time, in full; no errors) has increased from 85.7 percent to 95.8 percent. Demurrage has also decreased by 25 percent in the past year and turnaround time at the central depot has been reduced by 33 percent. Having such substantial operations in the region gives EABL the scope to use its scale for good in the communities it works in; this


covers everything from employing, training and rewarding local workforces, investing in its 3PL partners so they can grow into regional players in their own right and also through its support of local sourcing and social programmes. Combined with its detailed business plan, the company is showing that it is possible for an African region to compete on a global scale while making a positive local impact.

“On any given day EABL ships out between 80,000 and 100,000 cases of beer into our markets. It’s a significant logistics operation –240 trucks a day that go through the Nairobi central depot” – Greg Moser, Head of Logistics and Governance

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“Now I want to be a doctor� - Celina Kamanda, a young Ebola survivor

The battle against Ebola

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The UK’s Department for International Development led the response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, committing £427 million to the epidemic and getting the country back on its feet


February 2016


he Ebola crisis of 2014 brought West Africa to its knees and the rest of the world to arms. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) played a major part in containing and fighting the disease, having been tasked by the Prime Minister, David Cameron and Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, to step in and help Sierra Leone’s government. DFID has the ability to respond to up to three international crises at one time, thanks to their partnership with the international development company, Crown Agents and its Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Operations Team – otherwise known as CHASE OT. CHASE OT allows DFID to respond to emergencies exceptionally quickly. For example, when a natural disaster occurs – such as the April 2015 Nepal earthquake – a CHASE OT team will be assembled


in a tactics room, a plan laid out, and within a 24-hour period there are boots on the ground. The goods follow later; that’s where the supply chain comes into the equation. DFID steps in John McGhie, Supply Chain Demand Manager for DFID, is a busy man. When the World Health Organisation declared the Ebola crisis an international emergency, it was soon realised that the international supply chain was unable to cope with the depth of goods and flexibility required, and so the British government put into place its own end-to-end supply chain to handle operations on location in Sierra Leone. “Although you can acquire some information from initial reports, it’s only when you actually have people on the ground that you can truly assess what is needed,” McGhie says. “We unfortunately don’t have the time to sit and discuss things; we need to actually get people there. It’s peoples’ lives at risk.” Before the supply chain

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‘It’s only when you actually have people on the ground that you can truly assess what is needed’ – John McGhie, Supply Chain Demand Manager for DFID

Yusuf Kabba - an Ebola survivor and campaigner

“No one company could physically tackle what we were facing” – John McGhie, Supply Chain Demand Manager for DFID


‘Working with world experts, we worked out what an Ebola treatment centre looked like and what supplies were needed’


February 2016

could begin moving, DFID had to work out not only what was needed, but how it would slot together. “Essentially back in Whitehall we looked at it and said ‘what is a treatment centre?’ Working with world experts who had dealt with Ebola on a smaller scale, we worked out what an Ebola treatment centre looked like and what supplies were needed.” Acquiring supplies At this point, the basic items could be gathered: “At the beginning we had to think about patient numbers and consumption rates. We needed treatment centres, with 100 beds, able to operate for at least a six month period. Medical staff would be changing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) every shift, taking blood samples from patients, conducting physical checks and prescribing essential medicines. How many nurses are required, how many doctors, how many cleaners would be going in and out of the red zone?” The centres needed an isolation area, triage, labs, separate wards for suspected and confirmed cases, facilities for decontamination and a mortuary. Air conditioners were required, as temperatures within the tents could reach 44 Celsius, plus all manner of PPE – something that would need to be removed and replaced every time a medical worker entered or left a red zone – and, of course, medical supplies. “All these things were ongoing during the August/


September period and being mobilized from October through to the opening of the first fully-formed treatment centre in November. It all had to work in sequence so that we could get on top of it, and this constantly evolved with the pattern of the outbreak.” At its height, the outbreak was bringing 500 people a week into the doors of 15 emergency treatment centres across the country, 6 of which were UK built, and CHASE OT could no longer tie up so much of its services in one place. “It became clear that the Ebola response was absorbing the majority of CHASE OT’s operations, so it meant that if there was another global disaster – and in the time CHASE OT

Yusuf Kabba - The President of the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors, reaching out to Ebola survivors in Magazine Wharf, Freetown

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Equipping the Ebola fight in Sierra Leone November 7, 2015 was a remarkable day for Crown Agents and International Procurement Agency (IPA) – but also a day like any other. It was remarkable because it was the day that Sierra Leone was officially declared free of Ebola. It was the Holy Grail that we had been working towards for more than a year. But then it was just like any other day because we still had plenty of work to do – on the Ebola response and on much more. At both companies we did take a moment, however, to reflect on the magnitude of the achievement, which had seemed so distant and so desperate when work first began. A year previously, the work being done was on a scale and with an urgency that few, if any, had seen before. The outbreak was rising to its peak. Rates of infection in Sierra Leone topped 500 in one week in November 2014. The international

response was surging into action and Crown Agents and IPA were at the heart of things. Our core procurement and supply chain contingent was swelled with anyone who could be of assistance – director-level staff were rolling up their sleeves, getting on the phone and calling suppliers. Procurement, supply chain, logistics, health, IT, finance and HR staff – people from all over the companies – all had vital and urgent roles to do. At that point Crown Agents had sourced, procured and shipped everything needed to equip the first of the Ebola treatment centres funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Sierra Leone. We had also been given our orders to do it all again for six more centres.

The award-winning CAIPA partnership, between Crown Agents and IPA, was also being formed, to establish the supply chains for the resupply and continued operation of the ETCs. The pressure of the situation was unlike anything we’d seen before because of the simple fact that it was literally a matter of life and death for the people in Sierra Leone. Between September 2014 and September 2015, CAIPA procured more than 10 million individual items from over 240 suppliers. 2,118,548 kilogrammes of products were shipped by air and sea freight from all over the world to Sierra Leone. When an all-consuming incident like the Ebola outbreak happens, it’s easy to forget that the rest of the world keeps spinning. During 2015 Vanuatu was stricken by Cyclone Pam, the earthquake in Nepal required a huge humanitarian

response and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean called upon international humanitarian assistance. Throughout the Ebola work Crown Agents and IPA’s expertise has also been needed elsewhere so, on November 7, no-one took their foot off the pedal, work continued, supply chains for medical supplies and solar panels and infrastructure and technical assistance and more, kept moving. Work also continued on the Ebola response, moving into decommissioning, donation and making sure that all the positive medical advances made in Sierra Leone during the outbreak are leveraged for future health systems strengthening.

What is CAIPA? CAIPA was formed in November 2014 as a partnership between Crown Agents and International Procurement Agency (IPA) to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone. IPA holds the DFID procurement contract for Sierra Leone and Crown Agents was able to offer additional supply chain capacity and experience in the region, so the decision to join forces was an easy one to make.

The Ebola response captured the best of what a partnership like CAIPA could offer: • More than 215 combined years of history in international procurement and supply • Strong and productive relationships with governments, donors and suppliers • Multi-disciplinary expertise spanning supply chain, logistics, consultancy & financial services • Agile international staff accustomed to getting things done in the most extreme environments CAIPA’s job is not over yet. The reporting of one new case of Ebola in Sierra Leone on January 15, reflects the ongoing risk of new flare-ups of the virus in the Ebolaaffected countries. CAIPA must still maintain the supply chains

and facilities to isolate and treat any such flare-ups and to scale up and down as necessary. Looking to the future, those supply chains and systems will also be used for wider health systems strengthening work, including for distribution under the Free Health Care programme run by DFID, the Government of Sierra Leone and UNICEF. We’re also supporting Public Health England in running four labs in Sierra Leone that were initially set up within the ETCs, but have now been relocated within Sierra Leone to take on a bigger role in general medical testing. Further afield, CAIPA has also begun working in South Sudan to provide emergency medical health supplies – including pharmaceuticals and medical consumables – country wide in support of the work being carried out by the national Ministry of Health and DFID.

For more information please visit: Crown Agents International Procurement Agents BV

Crown Agents was involved in the UK government’s Ebola response from the outset: its embedded Operations Team (OT) within DFID’s Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department worked on the initial setting up of the seven British ETCs in Sierra Leone. Crown Agents is an international development company that takes on clients’ fundamental challenges and makes lasting change to the systems and organisations that are vital for people’s well-being and prosperity. Headquartered in London, it has more than 180 years of experience in international procurement and has international offices, project operations and agents across the world. IPA is one of the leading organisations in providing superior supply, procurement, consultancy services and emergency response to principals in all parts of the developing world on a strictly independent basis. It was founded in 1981 and is based in Bussum in The Netherlands. The partnership’s work with DFID on the Ebola was recognised with two awards at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards, taking the honours for International Operations and for the Public and Third Sectors. It has also been shortlisted for the Outstanding International Collaboration Award at the British Expertise International Awards 2016.

D E PA R T M E N T F O R I N T E R N AT I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T “There will be life after Ebola” - John Sesay


February 2016


have had to deal with the Nepal earthquake, the outbreak of hostilities in Yemen, the migrant crisis in Europe and through Syria, the issues around the border of Turkey – as bad as the Ebola crisis was, they couldn’t have one operation tie up what we have been tasked by the government to tackle,” McGhie says. CAIPA offers aid A normal response for CHASE OT would last between one and three months, but Ebola had the potential from the beginning to stay longer and spread wider: “No one company could keep up with the demand for PPE, so DFID’s procurement unit ordered from several companies. No one company could physically tackle what we were facing.” The procurement unit decided that supply chain needed help to cope with this enormous drain, leading to a partnership between Crown Agents and IPA, known as CAIPA. Crown Agents is a large, long-standing organisation and IPA is smaller and proactive; “This provided us with the kind of platform we required, because what is needed today is not what’s going to be needed next week, and this was a constant evolving pattern where we were assessing what was necessary.” This extra support from external contractors contributed towards the development of over 70 community care centres which were located around the country to help quickly isolate and treat

1000 The number of Department for International Development employees

Celina Kamanda - an Ebola survivor


British Army Sergeant Sulaiman Kamara meets Ebola survivors in Magazine Wharf, Freetown


February 2016

cases. What remains now is DFID’s legacy. “The reason I was brought out here was to maintain the supply chain for DFID, but also manage the transition of what happens once this is over. Moving from active treatment to surveillance, through to recovery, through to development… All to help and support the Government of Sierra Leone to get back to normal.” Pre-Ebola crisis, Sierra Leone had one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This dropped to growth of only 1% in 2015. “It was a country that was ready to step ahead and make significant increases which then


got cut off at the knees. We want to leave a legacy of capability within the government.” Sierra Leone today Sierra Leone reached zero cases of Ebola in November 2015, but as the new flare up in January of this year demonstrates, the virus will emerge in clusters every so often. Ebola has also delayed immunization programmes and led to many people feeling afraid of hospitals – increasing Sierra Leone’s exposure to other diseases such as malaria and cholera. However, DFID is developing a programme of support for a free healthcare service for pregnant woman, lactating mothers and children under five (as Sierra Leone has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, with 8.7 percent of babies dying under the age of one), and the elderly. This is all in the name of allowing the people of Sierra Leone to continue to live healthily and without fear. DFID has gone above and beyond during the operation in Sierra Leone, working with the national government and its partners including the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ministry of Defence, Public Health England, the National Health Service and the Australian Government-funded Aspen Medical. In the fight against Ebola, the international aid has proven invaluable, and will continue to allow a damaged nation to get back onto its feet as it recovers from one its weakest points in history.

‘It was a country that was ready to step ahead and make significant increases, which then got cut off at the knees. We want to leave a legacy of capability within the government’

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CONNECTING THE AFRICAN CONTINENT Written by: Lucy Dixon Produced by: Richard Deane

We don’t look at ourselves as simply a transporter or a logistics firm, we are a complete service provider,” said Transtech Logistics’ business manager, Chokani Mhango, describing the company’s philosophy and one of the biggest factors behind its success. Founded in 1997 in Malawi, Transtech

Logistics is a freight specialist, offering comprehensive and integrated solutions throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and, of course, Malawi. The company operates a fleet of just under 100 Freightliner trucks, employing the same number of drivers and 40 additional staff at its offices 77

T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

Transtech Logistics explains why its strategy of offering clients a complete freight solution sets it apart from the rest

130 Number of staff employed by Transtech Logistics 78

February 2016

in Lilongwe (Malawi), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The South African office, which is now also the head office, is a relatively recent addition, opening in 2013. He explained: “I am an economics scholar and started my career in banking. But after six years I was ready for a new challenge and Transtech’s Managing Director approached me with his plans to open an independent office in South Africa. The rest, as they say, is history.” Transtech’s vision is to facilitate its customers’ entire supply chain, meeting the demand for both manufactured products from South Africa and beyond and various raw materials and agricultural products from southern Africa. Mhango said: “We are positioning ourselves in this very exciting space, being able to connect our southern African clientèle, with both SA and international manufacturers, and at the same time connecting agricultural exporters in Malawi, Zimbabwe and so on with our international customers. That’s why our slogan is ‘Connecting the African Continent’.” And as the South African office starts its third year, it’s an exciting time for the company. “While the business as a whole has been operating for 18 years, this office is the ‘newbie’, so the first three years have been very important in the getting the right personnel in, getting the right structures in place and getting the right client base - building


a structure for business,” said Mhango. Attracting the right personnel is a key element of the company’s strategy, particularly as the logistics industry is very labour intensive. People are the heart and soul of Transtech and all our personnel are critical to the vision of the organisation in order to cohesively run the fleet on a daily basis. “As management, we strive to create a corporate work environment that is second to none. Our recruitment policy endeavours to attract highly qualified individuals with a passion for this industry and we, in turn, strive to provide our personnel with a very exciting and challenging corporate environment that promotes free thinking, career growth and self-improvement.” Transtech understands the importance

Transtech’s vision is to facilitate its customers’ entire supply chain

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T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

Hyperclass Investments T/ A Asante Sana Freight Services is a locally registered company according to Zimbabwe regulations, specializing in other if not all aspects of shipping based on client’s requirements. These are, but not limited to Customs clearing, forwarding, transport, tracking, monitoring etc. Raleity freight services cc is our sister company registered in South Africa. We have got high calibre staff well and sufficient trained to meet the ever demanding challenges and deadlines associated with the freight industry. Management and staff – boast a combined twenty-five years experience in the sector having worked for customs, Allen Wack & Shepherd and the world’s top two shipping lines (Maersk Sea land and MSC)we maintain an excellent working relationship with Customs, local regulating bodies , transporters , shipping lines, brokers and fellow Agents as we interact on day to day operations. Our staff’s high regard of clients and readiness to always assist maintain our integrity and reputation as the best service provider of choice.

Services Customs Clearing • Forwarding Air Freight • Expertise Advise

Asante-Sana Freight Stand No: 540 Pound Road, Near Peters Road P.O Box 104, Beitbridge, Zimbabwe Tel: +263 22217/23210 Email:

Raleity Freight Services Protect It Truck Park P.O Box 1596, Mussina 0900 Tel/Fax: +27155300040 Fax to Email: Farai Mukuya, Tel: 0799085449


of training and education for its staff, with some of the office team taking part in postgraduate programmes and regular training for all employees. Mhango said: “As a very wise person once told me, a person who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after. And in the global economy that we’re in today, we’re faced with new ways of conducting business on a daily basis and it is therefore critical that our teams are up-to-date with latest systems, the new procedures, the different regulations and all the new opportunities that business of today demands.” This policy really helps when it comes to retaining great staff too, as they recognise Transtech as an employer that can satisfy their needs beyond a salary. In addition to a professional and dedicated staff, Mhango also believes that technology is crucial to Transtech’s success as he believes that, in the transportation industry, technology can set you aside from everyone else. An example is how the company makes use of tracking technology. “One of the premier needs of our clients is tracking; they want to know where their cargo is at any time,” he said. “There is an automated tracking alert that goes out to clients twice a day, at 7am and 4pm. In addition to this, our operations team provide our clients with a more comprehensive report detailing all the events occurring on the date in question.” Transtech Logistics also has a new website in development that will allow its clients to log in at any time of day

“While the business as a whole has been operating for 18 years, this office is the ‘newbie’, so the first three years have been very important in the getting the right personnel in, getting the right structures in place and getting the right client base - building a structure for business” – Chokani Mhango, Business Manager

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T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

“In the global economy that we’re in today, we’re faced with new ways of conducting business on a daily basis and it is therefore critical that our teams are up-todate with latest systems, the new procedures, the different regulations and all the new opportunities that business of today demands.” – Chokani Mhango, Business Manager


February 2016

Transtech understands the importance of training and education for its staff

and track the cargo themselves, making use of the state-of-the-art tracking units. Furthermore this software can also asses the performances of the trucks, including fuel consumption, which then allows the workshop team to identify any concerns and defects as the trucks are coming in and thus turn them around very quickly. Road transport is a critical component for any sort of business in southern Africa and this is reflected in the type of projects Transtech is currently working on, which include a coal mine in Mozambique and a new railway connecting Malawi and Mozambique. It is also working on a road construction project in Malawi, transporting raw materials such as bitumen. A diverse range of projects and clients again points back to Transtech’s determination to provide a holistic solution for anyone who has cargo to move,


incorporating every aspect of the supply chain. Mhango added: “Transportation is just the first step of what we do here at Transtech. We strive to provide our clientele with a more comprehensive solution. All cargo transported on our trucks is considered bonded which then allows our clients to defer duty payments until the consignment arrives at its final destination.” This means that cargo doesn’t get delayed by customs officials which may in turn incur storage costs. So, with its 20th anniversary approaching in 2017, what does the future hold for Transtech? As well as growing its fleet in the next few months, the company is also focusing on other markets, including domestic routes and consolidated work. A new department focusing on consolidation has been opened, as Mhango explained: “We have started to target private clients who may only have five or 10 tonnes of cargo to move. We have a warehouse on our premises and can consolidate all their products and once we secure enough cargo to make a full truck load we are good to go. We are currently dispatching two consolidated trucks a week but we are looking to improve that statistic to at least five a week by 2016.” In a difficult economic environment, it seems that Transtech is rising to the challenge. Mhango concluded: “We are a growing organisation but we cannot just be a single-solution firm, we have to stand out from the rest, that is the only way we can achieve growth.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


Johannesburg, SA FOUNDED




Air Cargo, Logistics

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Recipe for succes Written by: Lucy Dixon Produced by: Matthew Pepper

ss 85


A real understanding of Africa is at the heart of Conserveria Africana’s growth

President Mahama taking a tour of CAL Ghana’s facilities


February 2016


onserveria Africana is manufacturer and distributor of branded food products in West Africa. The company has a license to pack goods for Watanmal Group, a renowned FMCG company founded 107 years ago in Hong Kong, a favourite brand with African consumers. Conserveria Africana Limited (CAL) launched its operation in 2004 in Nigeria and then in 2011 in Ghana, producing a premium range of food products under several prominent brands including Gino and Pomo. Mr. Rajib Chattopadhyay, the Managing Director of CAL Ghana, says: “Under those brands we produce tomato paste and allied products, which is a major commodity in


packaged foods in western and central Africa.” Gino and Pomo are both very strong brands, favourites with local consumers, which Chattopadhyay believes is largely due to the high quality. “They believe in the brand name and have confidence in it,” he says. The company also engages in various community activities, working with schools and on environmental initiatives that help to keep the brands at the forefront of local customers’ minds. “We are continuously engaging with society and giving back wherever we can,” says Chattopadhyay. Chattopadhyay had been at Watanmal Group in a previous role before joining Conserveria as Chief Operating Officer in Nigeria and then Managing Director of Ghana. He has been in his current role for five years. He says: “During my stint in China for five years, I was looking after back-end operations including third-party sourcing operations for Watanmal group. It gave me enormous exposure to products and taught me about choices and African consumers before I actually came to Africa. After that I spent some time in Singapore before I landed into Africa.” He heads up the manufacturing unit, looking after the operations of three factories and overseeing their individual General Managers. The second phase of new state-of theart factory opened in 2015 in Tema, Ghana – inaugurated by Ghana’s President, John D Mahama – which Chattopadhyay hopes will become the base for exports to neighbouring

“We have every factory installed with a video conferencing system and a CCTV monitoring system. With this technology we can see what is going on in each factory from one office or anywhere in the world”

400 Number of staff employed by Conserveria Africana 87


Inauguration plaque CAL Ghana

Our Products


February 2016

countries. The company has been investing heavily in its production facilities, as Chattopadhyay explains: “All of our machinery is of European origin, even necessary spare parts are of European origin, to ensure a high standard is achieved. Conserveria Africana also has factories in Lagos, Nigeria. We do not want to have massive scale manufacturing in one location, but we can plan to


have these factories across the region because we can then deliver easily to the access point we want.” And connectivity is very important in each of these factories. “We have every factory installed with a video conferencing system and a CCTV monitoring system. With this technology we can see what is going on in each factory from one office or anywhere in the world.” Technology also plays a part in Conserveria Africana’s supply chain management.


CONSERVERIA AFRICANA Chattopadhyay explains: “We have our distribution partner companies. Those distribution vehicles have been set up with GPS so we can locate where the vehicles are and link up with our ordering and delivery systems. Our in-house software tracks ordering from the distribution hub or the storage hub and from there to the cluster distribution network. It tracks everything live and really helps us to make our operations successful.” The market for Conserveria Africana’s products is on the rise, says Chattopadhyay: “Captive demand in western Africa is huge and it is continuously growing because of both organic and inorganic growth. Organic growth because the population is increasing; and we have emerging economies from other countries in west Africa, with Nigeria and Ghana particularly strong,” he adds. The company is also keenly looking at the markets in West and Central Africa. Although the demand for Conserveria Africana’s products is strong, there are certain difficulties in operating across Africa, says Chattopadhyay. “Africa is not like other developed countries - there are a lot of challenges in the production in 90

February 2016

Onsite holding warehouse at CAL Ghana

terms of accessibility of resources including services for machinery and spare parts. However, we are building up our own in house service facilities in small scale wherever possible”. That said, Conserveria Africana is committed to Africa and recognises that each African country has its own quirks and personality. “Each country is different with its own culture so you cannot say there is just one Africa. So we study Africa, we mingle with the culture to see how the people behave, how they work and what business practices they follow,” says Chattopadhyay. “Our kind of structure is very, very important to be successful in Africa. There is no language barrier because most are 91


2004 The year that Conserveria Africana was founded “We are committed to the R&D and product development but also marketing development programmes and packaging development programmes. We are really optimistic for the future”


February 2016

Anglophone countries but understanding the different cultures is very, very important.” Chattopadhyay is sure that Africa is where the best opportunities for growth can be found, and not just because the populations and economies are both rising. He says: “We can see not only the organic growth, which may be about five to six percent but also major opportunities coming from extending our product profiles, which means we might be seeing ten percent or higher double digit growth, possible down the line in two or three years.” The product innovation won’t just be in terms of new products, he says: “We are committed to the R&D and product development but also marketing development programmes and packaging development programmes. We are really optimistic for the future.” He goes on to explain that packaged products in Africa have largely consisted of canned and bottled food, but Conserveria Africana has really unlocked new methods of packaging its products. Chattopadhyay says: “We have introduced a tomato paste in a flexible pouch and consumers accepted it and that drive a change in buying behaviour. This will really create some excitement, not only in cost efficiencies but also the right delivery of the product to the consumer.” Ensuring the company has the right people in place to maximise this growth is key for Chattopadhyay, who has a multinational team


around him. “We’re a mixture – African and expat Indian, throughout the various division of manufacturing units. Now, retaining talent in an African environment could be very difficult but our staff turnover is very low and this is because we have an excited work culture that bonds various department together. We recruit through world-renowned recruitment agencies with a presence in Africa, ensuring our people are among the best resources available; then we make sure they can adapt to our work culture, with a balance to their life and the family.”

Tomato paste in flexible pack


The benchmark in agricultural machinery conveyance.

AGRITRANS Serving the Southern African Agricultural Industry T: +27 58 813 1303 • F: +27 86 689 7623