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Nampak put product quality and customer satisfaction at the heart of their business

ICEA LION

ROKO CONSTRUCTION P76 ROKO are paving the way for success in the Ugandan construction industry

P150

Taming the insurance market across the Sub-Saharan region

IMPERIAL LOGISTICS P68 Imperial Logistics says that the right solutions and services are meaningless without the right people to adopt and implement them.

INVESTMENT PROFILE BOTSWANA

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Africa Outlook takes an inside look at Botswana’s business and investment potential

AFRICA OUTOOK ISSUE 11 A L S O T H I S I S S U E : C A M E L F U E L S | K E N A F R I C I N D U S T R I E S | C R O W N P A I N T S | D I G I T A T A


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W E L C O M E The Times Are a-Changing

EDITORIAL

2014 promises to be a year of growth and prosperity for Africa. Companies across the continent have seen steady and encouraging growth after a year of economic uncertainty. This issue of Africa Outlook will feature prominent companies from a variety of sectors and explore just how they have become the continent’s leaders in industries such as technology, construction, manufacturing and resources. Our front cover interview with Erik Smuts, Managing Director of Nampak Bevcan, a company who have become Africa’s preferred beverage can supplier, will embody the very growth 2014 promises. They have ensured their dedication to quality and customer service, despite rising costs and an infrastructure that hasn’t moved with the times, is a clear message that where there is a will, there is a way. Other notable companies we are featuring this month include Roko Construction, Uganda’s shining light in the construction industry and South Africa’s driving force in supply chain integration, Imperial Logistics. Both companies offering two very different services but are united by their desire to succeed. Also in this issue we get an insight into the interesting subject of Africa’s leading ladies. The Finance Trust Group, a financial company showing that in a male dominated industry, women can lead the way. You can find out more on page 18. Finally, this New Year brings with it a new editorial team to Outlook Publishing. I proudly step into the editorial hot seat and I am accompanied by Emily, my Sub-Editor and Daniel, the new Production Manager. We hope you enjoy this edition and look forward to the forthcoming issues and the year ahead. “The beginning is the most Matt Bone important part of the work.” Editor, Outlook Publishing -Plato

Editor: Matt Bone matthew.bone@outlookpublishing.com Sub-editor: Emily Jarvis emily.jarvis@outlookpublishing.com

PRODUCTION Production Manager: Daniel George daniel.george@outlookpublishing.com MAGAZINE DESIGN: Optic Juice Ltd Martin Mitchell, Alex Cole, Nick Bond, Katherine Robinson

BUSINESS Sales Director: Nick Norris nick.norris@outlookpublishing.com Sales: Eddie Clinton eddie.clinton@outlookpublishing.com Sales: Donovan Smith donovan.smith@outlookpublishing.com Projects Director: James Mitchell james.mitchell@outlookpublishing.com Project Managers: Sheridan Halls sheridan.halls@outlookpublishing.com Stuart Shirra stuart.shirra@outlookpublishing.com Tom Cullum tom.cullum@outlookpublishing.com Ben Wigger ben.wigger@outlookpublishing.com Arron Rampling arron.rampling@outlookpublishing.com

ACCOUNTS Finance Manager: Suzanne Welsh suzanne.welsh@outlookpublishing.co Office Administrator: Donna Redpath donna.redpath@outlookpublishing.com IMAGES: Getty DIGITAL & IT: Hamit Saka HELPDESK: James LeMay

OUTLOOK PUBLISHING Managing Director: Ben Weaver ben.weaver@outlookpublishing.com Chairman: Mark Weaver CONTACT Africa Outlook / UK 22 Wensum Street, Norwich, UK, NR3 1HY Sales: +44 (0) 1603 559 551 Editorial: +44 (0) 1603 559 144 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 559 553 Africa Outlook / SA The Colosseum, First Floor, Century Way, Century City, Cape Town, 7441 Tel: +27 (0) 21 527 0053 Subscriptions Tel: +44 (0)1603 559 152 matt.bone@outlookpublishing.com

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NEWS All the latest news from across Africa

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TECHNOLOGY

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Tech Roundup – Top 5 Tech News

Cybercrime, new plans for ASUS, Smartphone sales, Microsoft and new advances

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World Cup, Wickets and Winter BUSINESS

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FINANCE

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Investment Profile – Botswana

Africa Outlook takes an inside look at Botswana’s business and investment potential SHOWCASING L E A D I N G C O M PA N I E S

us your story and we’ll tell 24 Tell the world

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MANUFACTURING FOCUS

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DRINKS ARE ON US Nampak Bevcan put product quality and customer satisfaction at the heart of their business

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S C R U B B I N G U P N I C E LY Africa Outlook talks to Quality Products, leading manufacturer of soaps and other home care products

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A SPLASH OF COLOUR IN THE MANUFACTURING WORLD Crown Paints and their extraordinary successful enterprise MEN OF STEEL Brollo Celebrates 40 years of consistent high quality workmanship A S PA R K I N T H E DA R K Drake and Gorham, one of the oldest electrical and mechanical contracting companies in Zambia

M U LT I FA C E T E D M I N D S E T Imperial Logistics says that the right solutions and services are meaningless without the right people to adopt and implement them

CONSTRUCTION FOCUS

Africa’s Leading Ladies Uganda’s Finance Trust Bank tackles inequality in the workplace head on

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Sports Roundup

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FROM THE GROUND UP ROKO are paving the way for success in the Ugandan construction industry BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Filcon’s strategy through the recession has been to diversify its business SHOP ‘TILL YOU DROP One of the leading retail property industry investors, Pareto, talks to our editor MOVING UP THE LADDER Mobus talks about its plans to tackle the housing deficit in Ghana B U I L D I N G A R E P U TAT I O N O N QUALITY ENGINEERING IN KENYA Africa Outlook speaks to one of Kenya’s leading civil engineering contractors, SS Mehta and Sons


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BUILDING GHANA A stagnant property market hasn’t stopped Vanguard Properties becoming a name people can trust

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS

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K E N YA’ S C H A M P I O N F O R C O M M U N I C AT I O N S C O V E R A G E Airtel strive to be innovation kings of Kenya’s communications industry SMART PHONES, SMARTER BUSINESS Tecno Group: The long term answer for African technology D Y N A M I C TA R I F F I N G TM S Y S T E M S As a leader in Dynamic TariffingTM, Digitata look to secure customer growth for mobile operators B R I N G I N G M O B I L E I N N O VAT I O N TO A F R I C A N C O M M U N I C AT I O N It’s all about the Value Added Service: Channel IT Group T E L E C O M M U N I C AT I O N S O LU T I O N S AT T H E I R B E S T Broadcom: Dedicated to adding value to your communication needs

FINANCE FOCUS

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BANKING ON A GOOD INVESTMENT Nigerian bank shows that their work is as sterling as their name A R E P U TAT I O N F O R PROFESSIONALISM ICEA Lion Group: Taming the insurance market across the Sub-Saharan region

RESOURCES FOCUS HOME GROWN DISTRIBUTION FOR S O U T H A F R I C A’ S PETROLEUM Afric Oil: distrusting South Africa’s petroleum for the last 20 years

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LIQUID LOGISTICS Camel Fuels’ plan to carry South Africa’s logistics burden ORE INSPIRING Breaking rock with African Minerals

PA S S I O N A N D PROFESSION IN THE MINING INDUSTRY SEMS Exploration: Your feet on the ground in Africa

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HEALTHCARE FOCUS

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GERTIES NEW ADVENTURE Gertrude’s offers a safe environment for families and children in their time

of need

FOOD & DRINK FOCUS

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TA K I N G A B I T E O U T O F THE COMPETITION Kenafric is the result of 25 years of dedication to the industry S O R T I N G T H E W H E AT FROM THE CHAFF Tanzania’s Superior Wheat Flour Specialists, Coast Millers EVENTS Outlook highlights upcoming events on the continent

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said it will be fining Shell $5 billion for the oil spill cleanup. NIMASA took immediate assistance after the 2011 spillage by providing communities with materials in an attempt to prevent long term damages. Mr Akpobolokermi said that Shell had attempted to block their relief efforts: “When spills like this occur, the first thing is remuneration, attention to the affected communities and finding ways of reducing the suffering of the people and restoring the eco-system, but Shell fell short of

all these criteria....the people of Nigeria and the environment are to be protected.” Shell Nigeria Chair Mutiu Snumonu issued the following statement in response to the Bonga incident: “I am very sorry the leak from Bonga happened in the first place, but am now happy to confirm the oil has dispersed. This could not have been done without the support of local and national government officials who enabled our teams to mobilise quickly and start to tackle the oil almost immediately.” He added “I also want to thank the teams that worked day and night to clean up the oil for their tireless efforts, and the communities along the Western Delta shoreline for their support and understanding over recent days.” NIMADA urges Shell to take responsibility for its actions to ensure spillages like this do not happen again.

With 30 years in the trade, Ndekezi was taught to make cheese by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Masisi. Although conditions are basic, there are hundreds of small dairy farms lined up on the hills of Masisi, where the cool climate and abundant cattle offer ideal conditions for dairy production. At the time he was training, all sorts of cheeses were produced in eastern Congo. “I know how to make camembert and mozzarella, but we no longer have the necessary equipment or products to make those cheeses. During the war, everything was looted or destroyed.” Today, cheese from Masisi is the only local dairy product to be sold across the Democratic Republic.

Perhaps with devoted workers like Ndekezi, the cheese economy will grow. Cheese is not usually a part of traditional food in Africa, as much of the cheese on the continent is imported from Europe.

$11.5 BILLION FINE FOR SHELL AFTER BONGA OIL SPILL Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) have been urged to pay an $11.5 billion fine as compensation for the 2011 Bonga oil spill incident. The order came from Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and the National Oil Spill Response and Emergency Agency (NOSREA) at the end of January. This is not the first time SNEPCO has been issued a fine or indeed had a serious oil spill. Speaking at the House of Representatives Committee on Environment hearing, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi (NIMASA) said the maritime agency calculated a total of $6.5 billion as compensation to be paid to the communities directly affected by the spill. In addition, Director General of NOSREA Peter Idabo LO CAL BUSINESS

CARRYING ON THE CHEESE LEGACY 52 year old Andre Ndekezi carries on cheese production legacy in a bathtub. The Democratic of Congo seems an unlikely place for this diary venture. It is here that in a hillside village, Started by Belgian Priests in the small hillside village of Masisi in 1975, cheese is made with Ndekezi’s bare hands. The workshop is a small, wooden cabin, where curd spends a month on a shelf in a dark room, eventually becoming a refined cheese known to locals as ‘Goma cheese’. Named after the largest town in the area, it has a mild taste and can be compared to French gruyere.

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BUSINESS

7TH ANNUAL TRADE FAIR GAMBIA TO BE HELD IN MARCH Trade Fair Gambia (TFG) serves as a platform where both businesses and industrial innovators can showcase their products and services, collaborating with one another to explore opportunities for economic growth. The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in collaboration with Fatima Enterprise and the Gambia Import and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), are working towards the organisation of the 7th edition of Gambia’s annual trade fair. This year’s theme is “Inclusive Growth through Partnerships,” according to Mrs Beatrice Prom, the Corporate and Services Manager of GCCI. “Rapid and sustained poverty reduction requires inclusive growth that allows people to contribute to, ENTERTAINMENT

‘THE BOSS’ PAYS TRIBUTE TO MANDELA US rock legend Bruce Springsteen is currently playing his first tour in South Africa, where he paid tribute to the recent passing of Nelson Mandela with a rendition of protest song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’. The tribute was incredibly wellreceived by the audience at Cape Town on the opening night. The singer spoke of his admiration for South Africa’s first democratically elected president, saying how honoured he felt to have just “been alive on this Earth at the same time”. Springsteen told Sky News that although he never met the African-

and benefit from, economic growth.” Mrs Prom added that the rapid pace of growth is unquestionably necessary for substantial poverty reduction, but for this growth to be sustainable in the long run, “it should be broad-based across sectors and inclusive of the larger part of the country’s labour force. This definition of inclusive growth implies a direct link between the macro and micro determinants of growth.” Mrs Prom also explained that the GCCI believes that competitive and environmentally sustainable industries

have a crucial role to play in accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty and achieving development goals. In this age of globalisation, gaining access to expert markets at events like this is extremely important for small and middlesized businesses. Exporting is often complicated, involving high risk and difficulty integrating into local, national and global markets. “As the majority of exportable goods come from the country’s agricultural sector, the whole business chain must be exposed and understood. As a result, modernisation of agricultural equipment and practices can be implemented by the business community, so they can organise their labour force along the chain,” Prom cites. The hope is that the event will take a review of supportive measures in relation to capacity building to help yield improved outcomes and understanding for these small and medium-sized business ventures. legend, but he was inspired by Mandela’s ability to forgive those who jailed him for 27 years. The artist has always fought against South Africa’s apartheid laws, participating in the recording of the song ‘Sun City’ in 1985 to highlight the injustice of the whites-only resort. This raised tens of thousands of US dollars for anti-apartheid projects, in addition to increase awareness of the issue among Americans. The singer emphasised that both Africa and America have their own economic challenges and inequalities to overcome. He said “these issues have to be resolved. Otherwise societies fall apart. It’s very critical in the States and very critical here (South Africa) to keep societies intact.”

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ROLLOUT OF RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE ELECTRICITY FOR RWANDA Approximately 70 per cent of households, industries and small to medium-sized businesses could access more affordable and reliable electricity by 2018. A $40 million injection loan from a new financing agreement between the Government and African Development Bank was signed in early February in Kagali. This will fund the construction of 119 kilometres of transmission line from Rusumo Power Plant, to Birembo Substation in Kinyinya, Gasabo District, through the proposed Bugesera International Airport substation. The initiative is part of a plan to support Rwanda’s electricity access programme which stands at a mere 17 per cent of households having access. They hope to boost this to 70 per POLITICS

EGYPT ARM CHIEF ABDEL FATTAH AL-SISI RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been given approval from Egypt’s top military body to run for presidency. The official news agency MENA reports that Defence Minister Sisi could officially announce his candidacy within the next few hours. In order to stand he will have to resign from his current job within the military. “The people’s trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people” said Supreme Council of Armed Forces. In July 2013, Sisi made himself known as he assisted Islamist

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cent by 2018. “Increased electricity access will create employment opportunities, increase off farm jobs, contribute to industrial development and reduce production costs through decrease electricity tariffs,” Amb. Claver Gatete, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning stated. The idea is that the loan is repaid over the next forty years, with an interest rate of 1 per cent for the first ten years, and 3 per cent in subsequent years. Gatete added: The loan comes at a time

when the government is scaling up efforts to address the challenge of electricity. We are very much aware that we can’t have economic and rural transformation without electricity.” Negatu Makonnen, a representative from the African Development Bank, said that the bank’s support will directly contribute to Rwanda’s objective of sustained rapid economic growth, facilitating the process of economic transformation as stated in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) programme. “This support will help increase the country’s renewable [hydro] electricity supply, addressing the power deficit and allowing for expansion of energy access rates. It will also provide the opportunity to replace high cost thermal plants from the power systems, thereby lowering the cost of power generation.”

president Mohamed Morsi after mass street protests. The 59-year-old was moved to the position of Field Marshal by the country’s interim president Adly Mansour on Monday; a move seen as “paving the way for a presidential bid”. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces had met to “discuss developments on the security front...[and] the peoples’ demand for the defence minister to run for the presidency”. The election is due to be held by mid-April and will be followed by parliamentary elections. If Sisi wins, he is expected to influence the outcome of those elections by forming a party that will attract candidates.

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NEWS

TECHNOLO GY

BLACK RHINO NUMBERS DWINDLE

AIRTEL KENYA SET TO LAUNCH MOBILE LOANS

In 1970, Kenya had over 20,000 rhino’s in the Mara Region and almost a third of the Africa population of black rhinos was in Kenya. The population has gone down to less than 400 over the last five decades, this is one of the most dramatic declines of any large mammal in the last century. “If we lose this species, it means we are losing our heritage and we therefore as Kenyan’s must come together and conserve the black rhinos that we have remaining,” Species Manager Robert Nedeti of WWF Kenya emphasised. After tranquilising the great beasts, a team of researchers, vets and technicians drill a tiny hole in the horn and insert a microchip. Another is implanted into the body and a unique pattern is drawn on the ears, to help the WWF to identify their species. From the information they collect they can assess how each rhino is doing, in what conservationists say is an essential operation to protect this endangered species. “Doing this microchipping will help very much. When a horn can be traced back, we may be able to prosecute anyone hunting the rhino,” states Emmanuel Kinayia, Warden for the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The procedure is harmless and the result of a team effort involving researchers, veterinarians, aircraft personnel, technicians and helicopter pilots. Senior Scientist Raj Amin-Zsl is hopeful that the efforts of the team will be successful: “The dedication of the Kenya Wildlife Service and the support organisations are putting enormous efforts in to conserve this charismatic umbrella species. I am fully confident with the team and the efforts being put in to conserve the rhino will be successful.”

After partnering with Mauritiusbased consumer credit firm AFB in July last year, Airtel Kenya is set to launch a mobile loans service. Recently, subscribers have been sent an SMS saying: “Need a cash loan? You may soon qualify for an instant loan of up to $57. Another first from Airtel Money to loyal customers.” The company originally partnered with microfinance firm Faulu Kenya in May 2012 to launch ‘Kopa Chapaa’, TECHNOLO GY

NEW DIRECTORS NAMED IN AIRTEL RWANDA RESTRUCTURE The parent company of Airtel Rwanda has restructured its management team, appointing top executives to drive the company’s growth across the continent. As the largest telecoms service provider present in 17 African countries, Airtel reportedly finished 2013 with approximately 68.3 million customers. All countries that Airtel operates in have been clustered into four strategic business sectors under the managing director and chief executive officer for Africa. This will come into effect on 1st April this year. With previous employment history including acting CEO of Millicom, Christophe Soulet has been appointed executive operations director of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Ghana. V.G Somasekhar has been appointed executive operations director

aimed at advancing loan facilities via mobile phones. Details of interest rates and repayment terms are yet to be made public in a press release, nor is it clear how the new product with be different from ‘Kopa Chapaa’. With competitor Safaricom’s ‘M-Shwari’ having been a success, Airtel’s new service will no doubt have a guaranteed market for mobile loans ahead.

of Zambia, Congo, Malawi, Burkina, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles. Since 2010, he was the managing director of Airtel Uganda and has been credited for growing the business in such a way that the Ugandan operation is now one of Airtel’s most profitable in Africa. Both Somasekhar and Soulet will be based in Nairobi for their new roles. Christian de Faria, CEO for Airtel Africa is pleased with the restructure: “These two business leaders have distinguished themselves with their exceptional understanding of the African telecoms landscape. We will leverage their experience, leadership and understanding of the African market to accelerate our market leadership opportunities and develop team capabilities as we seek to take our brand to the next level.” The two other CEO’s of Airtel Nigeria and DR Congo, Segun Ogunsanya and Louis Lubala, will continue in their current positions. As further largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base in the world, this is an exciting move that will affect the future of this industry giant.

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DONATION LAYS FOUNDATION FOR CENTRE’S FUTURE GROWTH Toshiba Corporation has donated 12 Toshiba AT300 tablets to the Language Centre at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, expanding the centre’s capacity to teach foreign languages to its students, with a focus on its Japanese language course run in association with Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. “The Toshiba tablets are the first and single most important use of technology for teaching at the Language Centre,” said Dr Sande Ngalande, acting assistant Dean of the university’s School of Humanities and Natural Sciences, and its Department of Literature and Languages. “We are using the tablets as teaching and learning tools, as well as for identifying online resources to further assist us in our work,” he adds. “This has allowed us to use our

BUSINESS

DANGOTE CEMENT MEETS INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS Dangote Cement Plc released a statement in February confirming that all products coming from their three cement plants across Africa, match the international standard and quality benchmark of a 42.5 grade minimum across the board. The company’s CEO, Mr DVG Edwin, said that Dangote Cement’s compliance to global best practices informed the decision for the production of a minimum of 42.5 grade cement at all its factories,

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time more efficiently and, importantly, to attract more young people to our language programme.” In addition to seven local Zambian languages, the Centre teaches Japanese, English, American Sign Language, Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, Swahili and Spanish to the university’s students, and to government and foreign ministry officials who engage with foreign nationals in the course of their working day. “Our donation of the 12 Toshiba AT300 tablets, facilitated by up from their previous 32.5 grade standard for local building within the country. The choice was in reaction to the threat in early February by a coalition of civil society groups and professional bodies in the construction industry, who protested against manufacturers and importers of 32.5 grade cement. Higher grade cement means a higher strength and it will set at a faster rate. 42.5 grade is the preferred standard among block makers, builders and construction workers for these reasons. “Prior to the nation attaining selfsufficiency in cement production, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) stipulated the 42.5 grade as

Hokkaido University and the Japanese Embassy in Lusaka, is part of Toshiba Corporation’s commitment to skills development in Africa,” says Chika Yamada, of the Toshiba Corporation in Johannesburg, who co-ordinated the donation of the tablets. “We were happy to support the University of Zambia’s language programme, as it will surely foster more positive working relationships by bridging communication gaps through the learning of languages.” The ultra-thin, ultra-tough Toshiba AT300 is one of the thinnest tablets in the world, and offers HDMI, USB, Bluetooth and SD card connectivity. A powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad Core processor, Ultra Low Power GeForce Graphics with 1GB of RAM will run the most demanding Android apps – and the tablet comes loaded with Toshiba Media Player, File Manager, and a host of exclusive apps on Toshiba Places. the accepted quality to be imported into the country and all importers had complied,” Edwin explained. Previously, SON allowed for a lower grade for local cement production to that of the international. Edwin stated that the best way to ensure safety in the construction industry was to insist on the international standard of 42.5 to be produced and used in Nigeria.

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ENTERTAINMENT

CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL IN ITS 15TH YEAR Since its founding in the year 2000, the Cape Town International Jazz festival has grown considerably, doubling in numbers over almost two decades. Known as Africa’s Grandest Gathering, the festival now attracts international appeal with bands and performances from UK, US, Australian, Dutch and local artists. These include English pop rock and jazz funk band Level 42 and global chart-topper Jimmy Nevis. Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile supports the event: “Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a great reflection of how far we have come

as a nation. It showcases our brilliant local talent, while also attracting leading jazz artists from all over the world. This has allowed the festival to help grow a larger skills base within our creative sector, which in turn helps strengthen and celebrate our cultural diversity.” The coming together of international and local artists is a “winning formula... over two days and five stages has

earned it the status of being the most prestigious event on the Africa content”, the JazzFest website states. The gathering promises to thrill festival returners and newcomers alike with world class musical talents. With multiple stages, some acts will appear on stage simultaneously, festival goers will be spoilt for choice. Founder and CEO Rashid Lombard stated: “This year’s line-up is set to speak and ignite an even grander and more energetic experience than ever before and perfectly sets the tone for the next 15 years of JazzFest.” The event takes place on Friday and Saturday 28th-29th March at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. See more at www.capetownjazzfest.com

www.ipcspower.sl S A L E S • R E N T A L • R E P A I R S • S E R V I C E S

IPCS MEETING YOUR POWER NEEDS 10E Murray Town Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone. For more information please contact us: Email: info@ipcspower.sl OR ahmed_dakik1@yahoo.co.uk Telephone: 00232 76 618 619 / 00232 88 618 619 / 00232 33 618 619

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Africa Outlook takes a look at the top five technology stories in the continent

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13 Million Smartphones Sold in 2013

Another milestone was reached in the mobile technologies market, with over one billion smartphone devices shipped in a single year. The International Data Corporation (IDC) recorded that vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, up 38.4 per cent from the 725.3 million units in the previous year. Smartphones were responsible for 55.1 per cent of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, which was up by 13.4 per cent on last year. Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC Mobile released the following statement: “The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013. The total Smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.” Globally, vendors have shipped 1,821.8 million of these handsets, up 4.8 per cent from 2012. “Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost,” explained Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where smartphones to the value of less than $150 are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”

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Financial Sector Sees Rise in Cyber Crime

Multiple African media sources are claiming that several banking institutions are being investigated for cybercrime cases. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria has issued a report stating that it has confirmed its investigation of certain banks for cybercrime complicity. “Several banks, which allegedly had ‘insiders’ conspiring with the suspects, are being directly investigated and cautioned on the issue,” the Chairman of the EFCC Ibrahim Lamorde stated in the publication. These cybercrime investigations are said to include inquiries about illegal online transfer of funds according to a CIO East Africa report. The matter has also had an impact on Zambia. It is said that authorities are concerned over, what the report describes as “the sudden rise in cybercrime that has hit the financial sector.” Police officials are said to be aware of this financial cybercrime and have cited that illegal online transfers and conspiracy between bank officials and outside parties is a growing problem, plaguing Africa’s banking sector.

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Sudden rise in cybercrime that has hit the financial sector”

ASUS Building Factory in Nigeria

SUSTek Computer Inc, commonly known as ASUS, have announced that they may soon establish a factory in Nigeria, provided the company gains more market share in Africa’s market. So far, they have achieved a 7 per cent share in the Middle East and Africa. Word came from Shawn Chang, the company’s Regional Director for Turkey, Israel and Africa System Business Group. The factory will complement Nigeria’s efforts to generate jobs in a country populated by over 170 million people. Although based in Taiwan, the company has just spent three years assessing the market in the country, Chang said the firm is hopeful that it will get its own share of the market, with the aim of launching a range of mobile phones this quarter. The global PC manufacturing company are looking at long term strategies where opportunities are in abundance. “On building a plant in Nigeria, it is feasible in the long term. Nigeria is a great country with great opportunities...it is still premature to state categorically when an ASUS factory will be sited in Nigeria but I am not ruling out that possibility in the long run.” African consumers have given an overwhelming indication of acceptance as the company has projected a $14.6 billion balance sheet for the last fiscal year. Additionally, the IT Company recently increased their product warranty to 24 months, replacing the 12 month warranty to encourage users to trust in their products.


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In the last month, IBM announced perplexing results of a new study entitled Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies, which found that while nearly 87 per cent of leading African IT companies rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being crucial to business success, only 53 per cent are implementing these changes. The findings also confirmed that 36 per cent of African businesses who embrace emerging technologies could be considered trend setters amongst their peers as they retain a focus on prioritising and rapidly adopting technologies. The survey was based on 180 African IT leaders across 29 industry sectors in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco. With a prediction of high level economic growth over the next decade across multiple sectors, the enormity of opportunity for African businesses is there for those who are prepared to seize it. Contrasting this, the study also found that the lack of technology adoption is actually preventing the development and growth of many African businesses. IBM South Africa General Manager Abraham Thomas states: “ The primary reasons for not moving on adoption were a need for technology leaders to play a greater role in strategic business leadership, information security concerns and particularly a lack of IT skills development in the South African context.”

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Thomas goes on to say that Africa is characterized by an innovative mindset, and a billion-strong market ready for innovative products and solutions, “Regardless of individual realities, the opportunity for business growth through IT adoption cannot be denied. The pacesetters in Africa’s business community have seen the potential and taken action to help them realize it. With the right strategy, their peers can follow suit.”

The primary reasons for not moving on adoption were a need for technology leaders to play a greater role in strategic business leadership, information security concerns and particularly a lack of IT skills development in the South African context”

5 African Start-ups Receive Funding from Microsoft

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced grants for five African start-ups through the 4Afrika Initiative. One aim of this is to invest in highperforming, African entrepreneurs. Africa118, Kytabu, Gamsole, Save & Buy and Access Mobile will not only receive funding, but also technical support and mentoring direct from Microsoft. The selection process was made using key considerations, pinpointing uniqueness, scalability and local relevance. Africa188 is a mobile directory service established in 2010 in Kenya. Kyatabu, meaning ‘book’ in Swahili, is a textbook encryption and subscription service in Kenya. Gamsole are a mobile game production company, selling 1 million downloads in the first 11 weeks since their inception. The company are now Nigeria’s highest paid Windows game developer. Only founded 7 months ago in Nigeria, Save & Buy is an application that helps users create a savings plan for products they buy online. Lastly, Access Mobile Uganda provides high-quality, customised mobile technology solutions to a wide range of enterprises. “As part of the 4Afrika initiative, we are excited to be supporting pioneers that have developed innovative solutions that address key issues in Africa,” said Amrote Abdella, Director of start-up engagement and Partnerships for 4Afrika. “Our support is aimed at showcasing the importance of local innovation, but more importantly, it highlights the great potential that African innovators have in competing with world-class developers and entrepreneurs.”

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Sports

Round Up

Africa Outlook take a closer look at the latest sports news Writer Matt Bone

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World Cup Wishes and Ghanaian Despair

With the FIFA World Cup only a few months away, Africa’s teams are hoping to represent the continent all the way to the final. Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria have all progressed through the group stages, with Cameroon and Ghana having been drawn in some of the tougher groups in the opening stages. However, this is the World Cup, where in order to be the best, you have to beat the best and there have been some impressive results for African teams in the 2010 tournament that will give them strong belief they can reach the knockout stages.

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South Africa’s 2-1 win over former champions France and Algeria’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with England, giving food for thought. Whatever the outcome of the 2014 World Cup, Africa can be safe in the knowledge that their teams will give everything for their fans and their country. Ghana, however will have more to prove than the others after tasting bitter defeat recently in their African Nations Championship 4-3 penalty shoot-out loss to Libya in Cape Town. Odds on favourites Ghana were held by the defence of Libya for 120 minutes before the match was settled by Ghana’s Joshua Tijani blasting his penalty wide of the post, sending the Libyan fans and team into a frenzy.


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From Southern Africa to the Snow-capped Peaks

When it comes to the Winter Olympics, Africa is not usually the first continent that springs to mind. Due to a lack of snow and training facilities, African countries have struggled to make any impact at all in the games, having never won any medal since the Winter Olympics began. Although Algeria, Morocco, Togo and Zimbabwe sent over competitors, none of them placed in the medals but gave everything in their respective events. One medal hopeful was Luke Steyn, a 20-year-old born in Zimbabwe, who competed in both the slalom and giant slalom. Despite his country not having seen snow in 50 years, he was the first athlete from Zimbabwe to ever take part in the Olympic Winter Games. He trained in both the USA and in Europe and even drove himself 3000km in 20 days through several European countries to compete in registered competitions, in order to gain enough qualifying points to make the cut off for inclusion in Sochi. Despite his tenacity and dedication to the sport, he was unfortunate and did not place in the medals.

Howzat Mate?

South Africa are due to start their T20 International series against Australia, with the opening match taking place on 9th March in AXXESS St George’s Cricket Stadium in Port Elizabeth. As the 2014 T20 World Cup is just around the corner, South Africa are stepping up their preparations before their first game against 2012 runners up Sri Lanka. This will be a strong test of character for South Africa as Sri Lanka are riding high on the back of some solid performances in recent months. Zimbabwe, who are also taking part this year, have an emerging team and are confident that the T20 format stands them in good stead to better their previous best of the first round. Whatever the outcome, Zimbabwe will look to press onwards and upwards and restore their fans belief in the national cricket.

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LEADI NG L ADI ES How one bank is predominantly managed by women

The Finance Trust Group is a shining example of Ugandan women setting up in business Writer Emily Jarvis

here is a long standing and well-known history in Africa for inequality in the work place, leaning towards a predominantly male workforce. The husband had the right to monitor accounts, denying women the right of confidentiality. Women had no land or assets worth staking and so it was nearly impossible for women to access commercial bank loans. Now in 2014, one bank is operated almost in its entirety by women and has a full commercial bank license. The Finance Trust Group is driven by the dream of financial freedom, they carry the hopes of other women and those on a low income in Uganda. The first and oldest Microfinance Deposit Taking Institution (MDI) has decades of

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experience and has survived through the wars that rocked the country in 1970, cultural prejudices and staff on relatively low incomes.

In a Time When Things Were Different

The International Women’s Conference in Mexico in 1975 was dedicated to the empowerment of women, but very little changed over the next decade. In 1984, single women were unable to open personal bank accounts in most commercial banks. However, married women could open a savings account, but only upon agreement with their spouse. Women that had secured employment in business were only

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given unskilled labour jobs such as sewing table cloths, making mats and brewing traditional beers. They made such a small amount and at irregular intervals, this made it difficult for them to bank their earnings, isolating them from the financial services sector. Without commercial banking, women had very little they were able to contribute to the economy. So when a group of women professionals started the Uganda Women’s Finance and Credit Trust Limited (UWFCT) in August of 1984, they sought to make a difference to marginalised women. As a Non-Governmental Organisation, these professionals knew that whilst the small independent earnings alone were insignificant, as a collective the money needed to be invested.


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Addressing Wider Issues

It is important that we remember that for those in the ‘bottom billion’ (those who live on a dollar a day or less) had been otherwise neglected from financial inclusion. The UWFCT addressed this global issue significantly earlier than the UN did so. Following the 2007 research by Oxford professor Paul Collier, the UN now recognises that when 2.5 million low income earners save $58 annually, $145 billion is made available each year to fight poverty. The toughest job was to counsel and educate women on the benefits of saving money and utilising credit appropriately. By teaching simple business management techniques to women, such as record keeping, enabled them in enterprise. However, no formal bank had the skills or staff to effectively ‘hold the hands’ of customers who were considered to be a risk with their lack of financial knowledge. This caused a never ending circle where the UWFCT had the desire to help women, but not the capacity to make it a full reality.

Treading New Ground

In July 1997, the UWFCT became the Uganda Women’s Finance Trust (UWFT) after acquiring a microfinance license to lend to small businesses, specifically those of women. Over time higher profit margins, new skills and better credit from the Finance Trust meant a growth in women needing to save their money in a secure environment. Seven years later, the Finance Trust now held a microfinance deposit tasking institution license and began to widen their public reach, changing their name accordingly to Uganda Finance Trust Limited. “When it became clear that the poor, even in Uganda can save, more microfinance institutions emerged,” the Governor bank of Uganda, Emanuel

Mubebile, spoke at the opening of the Finance Trusts headquarters in Katwe. “Having been the pioneer microfinance institution...Uganda Women Finance Trust remained outstanding for its focus on reaching poor women, both in the rural and urban areas. The Uganda Women Finance Trust opened a number of braches countrywide, gaining national recognition as well as outreach and experience,” he explained. In Uganda, there are in excess of 100 micro finance institutions and many other community-based organisations in Uganda. After almost 30 years, the Finance Trust was granted a commercial bank license in November last year. Formed as a share based for-profit company, their vision is to “be the preferred and affordable Microfinance Bank”.

Equal Opportunities

Although they don’t own the majority share and the bank only operates in Uganda, it has seen investment come in from other countries, who believe this bank to be a pioneer bank, paving the way for future promise. “We believe everyone, especially women, deserve the opportunity to access affordable financing to build

and maximise their value creation activities,” Finance Trust bank marketing manager Claire Turnwesigye continues: “This is what gives meaning and value to our business, and to the working lives of our employees. Close to 60% of all births are female, indicating that women empowerment is a long term goal. Though the bank has retained its focus on women entrepreneurs, it receives deposits from everybody.” Currently, the Finance Trust Bank has 31 branches countrywide, 70% of these branches are located in rural or hard to reach areas. The business has 230,000 customers, 14,000 savers and 20,000 borrowers involved in various sectors including agriculture, trading, manufacturing and service industries. They promise integrity, friendliness, equity and responsiveness alongside the following mission statement: “To provide customised financial services to low and medium income people especially women, for poverty reduction with a focus on excellent customer experience and accessibility”. With two new branches planned in early 2014 and testing of mobile banking bodes promising growth for the predominantly femaleoperated bank.

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INVESTMENT

Botswana Africa Outlook takes a closer look at Botswana’s business and investment potential Writer Matt Bone

PROFILE 20

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ince its inception as a democratic country in 1966, Botswana has become an African tale of success and prosperity. It was once considered one of the poorest countries in the world, with 30.3% of the population classed as below the poverty line, putting it 67th in the national estimates. The main reason for this impressive turn around in the country’s fortune is down to one of the world’s most precious commodity: Diamonds.

Diamonds are a Country’s Best Friend

Three of the world’s richest diamondbearing formations were discovered within its borders. Today, the country enjoys a high standard of economic stability, education and health care, which, with the exception of South Africa, is unequalled elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. At independence, Botswana was among the ten poorest nations in the world. Just one year later, in 1967, diamonds were discovered within its borders and over the next three decades, the country became the world’s fastest-growing economy. Since 1970, Botswana is one of only three countries (along with Cape Verde and the Maldives) to have risen out of the United Nations group of Least Developed Countries. Botswana’s economy is growing between 5% and 6% a year, with diamonds accounting for threequarters of its foreign earnings. Botswana currently supplies over a fifth of the world’s rough diamonds. However, at the current rate of mining, diamond deposits are expected to run out in the next three decades. The country therefore needs to diversify its economy. Nickel and copper are also mined, as are mineral

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resources such as salt and soda ash. This will not be sufficient to plug the gap in the GDP that the diamonds would leave when they run out, so the Botswanan Government has looked to secure its long term future by way of tourism, international investment and agriculture.

As with all precious stones and materials, the global need and market for them will always be strong�

The Tourism Trail

The second richest commodities the country has are its National Parks. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Chobe, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Parks have migrations of wildebeests, zebras yearly in search of rich lands and water supplies. Most of the country lies in a nearly level sand-filled basin predominantly made up of scrub-covered savannah. At around the same size as Kenya or France, Botswana’s Kalahari Desert covers nearly 85% of the country, including the entire central and south-western regions. To the North of the country, the Okavango River flows in from Namibia providing a year-round water supply. This pastoral and somewhat nomadic landscape is undisturbed by modern hands and offers the intrepid traveller a chance to see the country as nature intended. Botswana expects tourism to take on an increasingly important role in its future economy of the country. Visitors are particularly drawn by the country’s nature reserves and rich wildlife. However, the government recognises a balance must be struck between increasing visitor numbers and the preservation of the natural environment.

International Companies Success

Scania Botswana has been a big success story for international companies opening offices and plants in Bostwana. Scania has been operating in Botswana since 1981, with Scania Botswana (Pty) Ltd being the authorised distributor

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for Scania products in Botswana. The company is owned by Scania South Africa (Pty) Ltd which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scania CV in Sweden. Scania Botswana offers a complete transport solution for its consumers. This includes vehicles, parts and service related products, finance and insurance in the heavy transport industry for vehicles above 16500kg, such including trucks, busses and luxury coaches. Scania Botswana also supply and deliver engines that are being used for power generating, pumps and general infrastructure projects. With two additional depots located in Gaborone and Francistown, the

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company offers a wide range of products and services, all of which are delivered in a professional and customer driven approach. Extra services include repair and maintenance work, vehicle finance and insurance, as well as driver and operator training.

Agriculture and Beef

To promote alternative and renewable sources of revenue other than diamonds, the government has encouraged investment in commercial farming. With limited rain and irrigation for most of the country however, this mainly takes the form of livestock, particularly cattle-rearing.


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Agriculture provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population but supplies around 50% of food needs and accounts for only 3% of GDP. With high costs for power and water and a small domestic market, manufacturing is limited in Botswana and consists mainly of meat and food processing plants. That said, Botswana’s top-earning agricultural export is still beef products.

Running out of Diamonds

Botswana’s economy is growing between 5% and 6% a year, with diamonds accounting for three-quarters of its foreign earnings”

As with all precious stones and materials, the global need and market for them will always be strong. Botswana’s diamond rich environment, investment from external companies and the Government, tax breaks and favourable rates and a resolute political security are expected to continue to make Botswana a profitable and flourishing country. Debswana (a 50-50 joint partnership of De Beers Centenary AG and the Government) accounted for all diamond production in Botswana. Botswana’s Government and De Beers have agreed that some of De Beer’s Diamond Trading Company’s operations would move from London, United Kingdom, to Gaborone, Botswana. By being able to sell some of the gemstones in the local market, it is hoped that this will help local diamond cutting and polishing companies and increase the country’s revenue. This boost in internal revenue is shown on the Botswana Stock Exchange. It is a small but thriving stock exchange located in Gaborone, Botswana. The Botswana share market was established in 1989 and became the Botswana Stock Exchange in 1995. It is governed by the Botswana Stock Exchange Act. Although very small in comparison to other African exchanges, it has continuously shown to be a very good guide to how profitable the country is.

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L e a d i n g C o m p a n i e s frica outlook is a leading business to business publication that promotes and showcases the leading companies on the Continent. The digital and print publications are aimed at boardroom and hands on decision-makers in a wide range of industries, reaching over 135,000 business executives every month. With over 11,000 unique visitors to our website on a weekly basis africa outlook is the platform to promote your business success. each month we feature leading companies and business executives by profiling their operations in their own words. Covering all aspects from supply chain, investments and developments, best practice, innovation, growth plans and future project and products we aim to promote all that is good about industry, economy and business. producing business profiles across all sectors and regions of africa we give companies the opportunity to tell their story to our readers.

Emily Jarvis Sub-Editor

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If you want to enjoy the exposure and coverage we can offer please feel free to contact me and we can discuss the opportunity at length. Tell us your story and we’ll tell the world.

emily.jarvis@outlookpublishing.com

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Drinks are Where others have fallen, Nampak Bevcan has continued to flourish. This is thanks to an unrelenting commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction, in spite of economic constraints and a lack of infrastructure across Africa Writer Chris Davies Project Manager Ben Wigger

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ince its inception over fifty years ago, Nampak Bevcan has successfully been manufacturing and supplying beverage cans across South Africa. Throughout this prosperous existence, the company’s footprint has gradually grown to include surrounding markets such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The packaging company reported an 11 per cent increase in group revenue to R18.3 billion for the year ending September 2013. Operating profit from continuing operations increased eight percent to R1.9 billion and the group reported headline earnings per share of 217.5c, up from 201.0c a year ago. Nampak said trading income from Africa rose 60 percent to R506 million largely thanks to strong performance in its Angolabased beverage can manufacturing facility, which operated at abovedesign capacity for the majority of the year, as well as its Kenyan food can operation, which benefitted from a good pineapple crop. In November 2013, Nampak announced that it was set to buy Alucan Packaging, a Nigerian beverage can manufacturer, in a deal worth $301 million. In a statement Nampak said the Alucan factory is equipped with “a brand new, state-of-the-art aluminium beverage can line” capable of producing up to “one billion cans per annum”. It has also been designed and constructed to “accommodate a second line once demand exceeds the current capacity”. Nampak’s CEO, Andrew Marshall said, ”This acquisition will significantly increase Nampak’s presence in Nigeria which is Africa’s second largest economy and where we already manufacture food and general cans in our factory in Lagos and cigarette cartons, food cartons and labels at our factory in Ibadan, 120 kilometres

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north of lagos.” alucan Packaging is situated in the agbara industrial area which Nampak said was “an ideal location” close to lagos and to major beverage producing customers as well as having “a reliable source of gas which will be used for heating and power generation”. “Beverage can manufacturing is one of Nampak’s core businesses with factories in South africa and angola,” said marshall. “Nigeria with a population of over 150 million people has experienced good growth in demand for beverage cans and this is expected to continue. Plastic packaging is also a core business with factories throughout the african continent and the united kingdom. “this acquisition and the potential to acquire the plastics company will further contribute to our stated growth strategy in the rest of africa, where we currently operate in 12 countries generating R2.5 billion in annual revenue and almost 30 percent of our trading profit.”

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The packing company reported an 11 per cent increase in group revenue to R18.3 billion for the year ending September 2013”


PPG

Industries, the largest Coatings Company worldwide, is a leader in its markets, a streamlined and efficient manufacturer and operates on the leading edge of new technologies and solutions. With more than 125 years of existence, PPG is today a global coatings and specialty products manufacturer with over 80% of our $15,1billion sales in 2013 generated by our coatings activity. Strengthening the commitment to this sector, PPG went through multiple acquisitions in recent years, the most significant in EMEA being the Ameron acquisition in 2006, Sigma Kalon in 2008, Dyrup in 2012 and Akzo’s North American Architectural business in 2013. They provided access to new market sectors in EMEA in Architectural, Marine and Protective coatings and increased our presence in Automotive, Refinish, Industrial, Aerospace and Packaging coatings businesses. It is our vision to continue being the world’s leading coatings and specialty products and services company, serving customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. PPG has manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 60 countries around the globe.

Not only that, PPG is one of the world’s leading producers of packaging coatings. We supply innovative, highperformance products for virtually every end-use. The metal packaging industry is becoming increasingly innovative. New shapes, novelty printing and distinctive decoration help brand-owners’ products stand out on the shelves. To make this happen, PPG Packaging Coatings is constantly adapting and developing coatings to be versatile, easy to apply, reliable and to achieve outstanding appearance. PPG Packaging Coatings operates in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and on the American continent. Our corporate R&D centre is located in Alison Park, Pennsylvania where chemists dedicated to the Packaging business focus on long-term projects. Our development laboratories are located around the world to respond to local market needs. PPG Packaging Coatings’ products and services offer a complete range of solutions for the Beer & Beverage cans and easy-open-ends, food cans, aerosols cans, tubes, general line cans and drums, caps and closures and peel-ends markets. Our product portfolio comprises technologies for both aluminium and steel substrates,

encompassing both internal & external coatings with products that combine superior performance at value-added costs. Also included are coatings designed for plastic tubes made for thermal and UV curing, combined with all the relevant application processes. Since PPG Coatings South Africa has a unique manufacturing facility in Alrode, Johannesburg, we are well positioned for local value-add to PPG’s global cutting edge technologies. Our local access to PPG’s global research network and quality approach coupled with our local infrastructure and support makes PPG an essential business partner. PPG Coatings South Africa has successfully supplied Bevcan with external decorations for the 2PC Beer and Beverage can for more than the past decade. We are well positioned to support the Beverage market with all their internal and external coating and Ink requirements. With PPG’s highly skilled technical teams PPG supports their customers with quality systems, inventory management and enhancing the overall integrity of their cans. Tel +27 11 389 4600 / +27 82 880 9029 Fax +27 11 389 4755 Email russellels@ppg.com www.ppg.com

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Nigeria with a population of over 150 million people has experienced good growth in demand for beverage cans and this is expected to continue”

Not content with this regional dominance, Nampak Bevcan continued to expand further up the continent. Today, the business aspires to be “the preferred supplier of beverage packaging in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Erik Smuts, Managing Director of Nampak Bevcan. Although this might sound like an ambitious statement, recent developments mean this target might become a reality. “We have built a plant in Angola, which has been operating for just over two years,” Smuts continues. “We are also busy installing a second production line here, which will happen during this year. We have also acquired a business in Nigeria, which is not concluded yet, but should go ahead in the first quarter of 2014. As there will be a lot of focus getting this business up and running, it is an exciting time ahead for my team.”

HULAMIN LIMITED

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ulamin Limited is a leading mid- stream aluminium semifabricator and fabricator located in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and Midrand, Gauteng supported by Sales offices in South Africa, Europe and the United States. Hulamin with its state of the art modern facilities has established a reputation globally and a track record for supplying quality products backed by excellent service. Hulamin also partners with customers for unique product and technical solutions. Hulamin’s partnership with Nampak/ Bevcan allows for the establishment of an efficient end-to-end supply chain through continuous improvement projects and waste elimination. Hulamin’s supply of industry leading and unique specifications allows for maximum light-weighting of cans and efficient can manufacture. The Can maker’s process scrap and Used Beverage Cans (UBCs) will be recycled back into cans, deriving the full environmental benefit from the aluminium can. Firmly rooted in Africa, Hulamin values the potential regional socioeconomic benefits of this change to aluminium cans. Hulamin looks forward to a long term role alongside Nampak/Bevcan in the regional supply of aluminium can stock in Africa. Physical Address: Moses Mabhida Road, (previously Edendale Road), Pietermaritzburg Postal Address: PO Box 74, Pietermaritzburg, 3200, South Africa Tel +27 (0)33 395 6911 Fax: +27 (0)33 394 6335

www.hulamin.co.za

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F E A T U R E

Nature’s answer to efficient engineering When it comes to packaging your product, as in nature, efficient engineering is not just a nice-to-have. It’s an essential. Nobody knows this better than Hulamin. Offering every kind of aluminium solution, we’ve devoted decades to harnessing aluminium’s incredible properties. Lightweight, 100% recyclable and remarkable at keeping contents fresh over extensive periods without the use of refrigeration, there’s no better packaging partner than Hulamin aluminium. With our wide range of aluminium packaging solutions (from flexible foils to beverage cans and bottle closures), let us fit around your needs and product (whatever they may be) to create the ideal packaging solution. hulamin.co.za

Think Future. Think Aluminium. Think Hulamin.

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QUAKER CHEMICAL CORPORATION Committed to Can: Quaker Chemical, a leading global provider of process fluids, chemical specialties, services, and technical expertise is a valuable partner in not only reducing costs but also improving your operations at a local level, for everything from cupping and bodymaking to cleaning and necking. Whether it is aluminum or tinplate, Quaker has innovative, integrated process solutions and superior service to optimize your operations, increase profitability and realize further success. Innovative Offerings for: Alkaline or Acid Cleaning of Aluminum and Steel Cans – Unique QUAKLEEN® and QUAKLEEN TURBO® cleaners, Washtreat conversion coatings and Washflow mobility enhancers Aluminum and Steel Cupping and Bodymaking – High performance QUAKEROL® lubricants, biostable coolants and coil prelubes Bottle Can Necking – Quality Food Grade lubricants like QUAKEROL® BCL-4 and BCL-9 Tab Forming – Lubricants such as low VOC TAB LUBE™ 2000 H1 compliance for food contact - Low and high viscosity pin chain lubes such as QUAKEROL® PCL-FG Key Benefits Application Support Reduce Tear-Off and Spoilage Rates – Improve efficiency for less rework and rejects

We have built a plant in Angola, which has been operating for just over two years”

Reduce Usage, Maintenance and Applied Costs Minimize Environmental Impact with 100% biostable coolants and formulated biodegradable cleaners Quaker Chemical Corporation 901 E Hector St. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 19428 Key Personnel: Global Can Industry Manager John Booker Email: bookerj@quakerchem.com Tel: +44.7785.350751 www.quakerchem.com

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F E A T U R E

INNOVATIVE CAN MANUFACTURING FLUID SOLUTIONS FROM QUAKER Can manufacturing means more than a simple production line. There are lubricants, cleaners, coolants, and that is just the beginning. You’ve got to constantly monitor and maintain your machinery, processes and workforce. So you need a partner with the products and expertise to get things running and keep them running at their best – front to back, with you at each step. That’s why you need Quaker. No challenge is too big for relentless innovation, hard work and a sincere desire to help you maximize your productivity and improve your bottom line. It’s our obsession and inside everything we do. Because at the heart of the can manufacturing industry, you’ll find us. It’s what’s inside that counts.® quakerchem.com

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Gaining an Upper Hand

Although continued growth across Africa will undoubtedly give Nampak Bevcan a distinct competitive advantage over manufacturing alternatives, the company has several other strengths to call upon. “We have proved in South Africa, where we do not always have ideal conditions to operate, that we manage to work with what is available,” explains Smuts. “Despite our successes, we have huge respect for the other global can makers, and we know that we will have to be at our best in order to defend our position.” This resolute and determined trait has put Nampak Bevcan in good stead for its Angolan operation as Smuts explains: “We operate in a place where there is very little infrastructure. We generate our own electricity and tanker in all of the water we require. But we are used to operating in areas where it is tough and you can’t always rely on external service providers other facilities or suppliers. “That is key to our competitive nature and we intend to drive this further to make sure we become even more successful in these areas.”

PROLINE ENGINEERING LTD

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roline Engineering Ltd Offer complete product handling systems. We design, build and install conveying systems to optimize productivity and exceed our customers’ expectations.

We have proved in South Africa, where we do not always have ideal conditions to operate, that we manage to work with what is available”

Our team of 50+ employees operate worldwide to ensure quality of service and backup and our design team employ proven technical knowledge and experience that we have developed over 20 years. We are experienced in the logistics of working in over 60 countries around the globe. We have manufacturing partners and suppliers around the world that enable us to react quickly to customers’ needs. In 2011 Proline supplied and installed conveying equipment for Nampak Bevcan’s Luanda, Angola steel beverage can line capable of producing 750 million cans a year. Since 2012 Proline has again been working with Nampak Bevcan to manufacturer and install three aluminium beverage can lines at their Springs Nuffield plant in South Africa capable of producing nine different can sizes at speeds of up to 3000 cans per minute. February 2014 Proline will relocate to new premises in Manchester England. The 8500m2 site will enable us to bring our departments under one roof, expand our team, improve efficiency and better serve our customers.

Proline Engineering Ltd 29 Shield Drive Wardley Business Park Worsley Manchester M28 2QB United Kingdom Tel +44 (0) 161 7942738 Email mail@proline-eng.co.uk www.proline-eng.co.uk

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NOVELIS MEA LTD

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ovelis is the world’s premier producer of rolled aluminum and the global leader in aluminum recycling. Our unique combination of advanced technology, superior expertise and global footprint allows us to reliably meet the needs of our customers wherever they operate. Novelis is the largest single producer of aluminum rolled products with an estimated 14% of the world’s supply. We focus our expertise on the most demanding segments of the rolled aluminum market – can, automotive, consumer electronics and architecture – which uniquely positions Novelis as the partner of choice for new product innovation. In response to the growing demand for rolled aluminum in our premium markets, Novelis has invested more than $1.7 billion in global expansions in the past three years.

But what makes us different is our strong relationships with customers, good service and a competitive offering”

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Despite the operational difficulties in Africa, Smuts believes that Nampak Bevcan has managed to position itself in line with some of the industry’s biggest beverage can manufacturers. “In South Africa we are more competitive in our pricing than Europe and many other developed countries in the world,” he reveals. “But what makes us different is our strong relationships with customers, good service and a competitive offering. Our adventurous nature and an aggressive cost reduction attitude are also strong characteristics.”

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As the leading low-carbon aluminum maker, we offer our customers the ability to make products with a smaller environmental footprint. Our objective to reach 80% recycled metal input across our products by the year 2020 is a key component of our strategy. Based in Dubai, Novelis MEA Ltd delivers premium material solutions and technical services to our customers in the Middle East, Africa and India. Tel +971 (4) 3760 700 Fax +971 (4) 3760 701 Email helio.lima@novelis.com

www.novelis.com


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Not just aluminum, Novelis Aluminum.

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Novelis is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world's largest recycler of aluminum. We operate in nine countries, have approximately 11,000 employees. Drawing on our expertise, commitment to innovation and world-leading technology, we deliver sustainable solutions for the most demanding applications, including automobiles, architecture, beverage cans and consumer electronics.

novelis.com

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Staying Ahead of the Game

Regardless of its current market position, there is no time to stand still at Nampak Bevcan, as the company continually looks to improve and enhance day-to-day activities. “In South Africa, we used to exclusively produce tinplate beverage cans, but have started a conversion to aluminium in the last year,” cites Smuts. “The first part was to install a new high speed aluminium line at our Springs facility. We have also converted a steel line to aluminium, with another line to follow.”

we used to exclusively produce tinplate beverage cans, but have started a conversion to aluminium in the last year”

TRANSNATIONAL FREIGHTLINK SERVICE EXCELLENCE - Customer expectations are met by a trained team of operation experts based at various Bevcan sites throughout the country as well as Head Office. INNOVATION - Vehicle design is specific to Bevcan’s application. COMMITMENT - The Directors and staff drive the business with passion; so as to ensure customer needs are met at all levels. STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES - Most productive and efficient operations on offer. FOOT PRINT – Nationally and within the SADC region. STAFF DEVELOPMENT – On going training is key to our success and sustainability. Tel +(011)646 1965

www.freightlink.co.za

UTI WORLDWIDE

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Ti Worldwide Inc. is an international, non-assetbased supply chain services and solutions company providing air and ocean freight forwarding, contract logistics, customs brokerage, distribution, inbound logistics, truckload brokerage and other supply chain management and consulting services. UTi’s purpose is to deliver competitive advantage to each of its clients’ supply chains and aims to be the market leader in client centricity. This is achieved through the long-term relationships their expert logistics teams build with clients, and the passion and dedication with which they configure end-to-end supply chain solutions for industries such as Automotive, Banking, Hi-Tech, Mining, Retail and Pharmaceutical. Tel 0861 462884

www.go2uti.com

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FIND OUT MORE ON OUR WEBSITE

www.freightlink.co.za “We are proud of our history and association with Nampak Bevcan, since 1991” TRANSNATIONAL FREIGHTLINK (PTY) LTD. P.O.BOX 84415, GREENSIDE,2034 TEL:+27(0)11646-1965 FAX: +27(0)11646-0831. 98 GREENWAY ROAD, GREENSIDE, 2146 DIRECTORS: R M INGRAM. M ROERING. COMPANY REG NO: 1991/05721/07 VAT REGISTRATION NO: 4690121605

Platinum Logistics Achiever Award Winner 2009, 2010, 2013 Gold Logistics Achiever Award Winner 2013 Silver Logistics Achiever Award Winner 2012, 2012, 2013

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The overall carbon footprint of the business is coming down rapidly and we have very aggressive targets going forward to reduce this even further”

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In addition to keeping up with global trends, there were three main reasons behind this move – technological advances, customer demand and the environmental benefits. “The cans in the international market are mostly made from aluminium and our customers also required us to move over to aluminium can-making and, therefore, our whole move is really customer driven,” notes Corrie Botha, General Manager at Nampak Bevcan. For Smuts, this latest move will go a long way to improving the recycling rate of beverage cans across South Africa. In fact, Smuts believes that South Africa can achieve levels similar to that of Brazil, which currently has a collection rate of over 98 per cent. “We have a sister company called CollectA-Can, which is a partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nampak, who we are using to facilitate the collection of cans,” he says. “The recycling rate we have achieved in South Africa for

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MB LOGISTICS MB Logistics, Imperial Group, seeks to establish collaborative partnerships in pursuit of innovative supply chain strategies that can keep abreast of changes to the client’s specific operating landscape It starts with in depth needs analyses and once requirements understood, business priorities are clarified with the commonly identified solutions accepted, and documented in SLA’s The Operating Procedures developed are backed up with ISO process flows Continuous process improvements are created through the strict management of KPI’s and SOP’s This business process is supported by EDI, dedicated Professionals and Advanced Admin Systems Economy of scale is delivered through a worldwide representation network Tel +(27) 31 274 9200 Email Graham.Howard@mblogistics.co.za


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used beverage cans is over 72 per cent, which is the highest collection level for any beverage packaging format in Southern Africa, so we are very proud of this achievement. But with the introduction of aluminium beverage cans, which have a higher intrinsic value, we expect that collection rate to increase.”

CARNAUD METAL BOX

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ith CMB Engineering, you can be confident that our combination of long-standing expertise spanning almost a century, highly innovative technologies, and insight into the modern challenges of canmaking will result in a machine or line that meets your exact specifications. From our bestselling die sets to our bodymaker, trimmers, decorators, inside spray machines, neckers, and seamers, CMB Engineering harnesses the latest technology to meet our customers’ needs. Whether you need a single machine or an entire line, we can help. Our belief in partnership and collaboration runs through everything that we do, and our in-depth understanding of canmakers’ needs, today and in the future, means that we can provide tailored canmaking solutions. Because CMB Engineering’s machines are designed for seamless integration, they can interface with other machinery at any point of the canmaking process and enhance the overall efficiency of your line. “At CMB Engineering, we don’t just sell machines, we partner with our customers, supporting them through quality, engineering excellence, innovation and advanced services. Our aim is to ensure that we continue meeting and anticipating our customers’ demands, supporting them with excellent spares and services, throughout the lifecycle of the machines.” Andrew Truelove, General Manager.

www.cmbecanmaking.com

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GREENBANK TECHNOLOGY Innovation in Thermal Process Engineering Greenbank Technology is the market leader in the design, development and manufacture of “Two Piece Can Making Ovens” to the industry worldwide, with over 300 Ovens in 31 countries manufactured and supplied in the last 12 years alone. The comprehensive range of IBO’s – Pin Ovens, Washer Dryer Ovens have revolutionised industry standards and has stepped “outside the ordinary” in manufacturing quality standard. Greenbank has been a major supplier of ovens to Nampak South Africa over many years and has formed an excellent working relationship with the group. Tel +44(0) 1254 690 555 Fax +44(0) 1254 690 666

www.greenbanktechnology.co.uk Furthermore, Nampak Bevcan remains committed to sustainability in other areas of the business and has gone through quite a large capital reinvestment programme to become more environmentally friendly. “The introduction of new equipment has enabled us to significantly cut down on energy consumption,” Smuts asserts. “The overall carbon footprint of the business is coming down rapidly and we have very aggressive targets going forward to reduce this even further.”

Ongoing Challenges and Future Aspirations

“There are always many challenges,” concedes Smuts. But while the volatility of exchange rates with the US Dollar and Euro remain out of the company’s control, Nampak Bevcan has strong policies and procedures in place to manage this. “You have

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similar problems in the rest of Africa with local currencies, but one of the strengths of our company is operating successfully in challenging environments like these,” he says. Looking forward, Nampak Bevcan is looking to expand its footprint in Africa even further and will consider wider opportunities too, as long as they make good business sense for both their customers and shareholders. “At this stage, we do not look beyond the continent, but any opportunities that do come up will be evaluated and considered,” notes Smuts. Whatever the future has in store for Nampak Bevcan, you can be sure that product quality and customer satisfaction will remain key concerns. “We have strong relationships with our customer base and pride ourselves on the quality of our products and services,” Smuts signs off.

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Scrubbing UP NICELY Living up to its name in every respect, this prominent South African manufacturer has consistently delivered high quality soap, toiletries and cosmetics to both clients and consumers for over fifty years Writer Christopher Davies Project Manager Ben Wigger

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stablished in the 1940s, Quality Products has been a prominent manufacturer of home and personal care goods in Southern Africa for several years. At first, the company produced candles before moving on to soap and other toiletries. In fact, such pioneering development of soap products caught the attention of global consumer goods giant Unilever, who went on to buy Quality Products in the mid-1960s. But this period of ownership came to an end in 2005, when Beige Holdings acquired the company’s shares and assets in partnership with Thebe Health Care. Since then Quality Products, which is listed on the JSE’s Alternative Exchange (AltX), has continued to successfully deliver a strong portfolio of products throughout the region. As the leading third party toiletries manufacturer in the region, Quality Products is able to produce goods such as soap, home and personal care products as well as hotel guest amenities to the client’s individual specifications. Customers include multinational blue chip corporations such as Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Tiger Brands, Unicef, Unilever, Woolworths and the World Health Organisation.

Unique Selling Point

When asked what gives Quality Products an edge over its competitors, Marketing Manager Struan Robinson was quick to respond: “Our unique selling point is that we are able to manufacturer products even more efficiently and much cheaper than the client’s current set-up,” he says. “We are able to provide a solution that is not available to our customers in-house. If they can’t do it, nine times out of ten we will have the solution at one of our plants.”

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This is thanks to, as Robinson puts it, a “strongly experienced management team” working at research and development facilities in Johannesburg and Durban. These locations, measuring 28,000sqm and 16,500sqm respectively, are part of Beige Holdings’ comprehensive contract manufacturing portfolio, which also includes the companies Crystal Pack Ltd and Rap Products International.

Quality Products doesn’t shy away from necessary capital investments. As Quality Products explains: “We have invested in highly competitive technology and expertise, meaning that we have up-to-date soap and toiletry manufacturing facilities, and comprehensive quality assurance capabilities. Short and long productionline facilities, as well as a variety of packing machines are on offer.” Even though the number of personnel depends on demand and Accreditation and volume, Quality Products recognises Empowerment the importance of empowering employees, especially in South Africa. In order to operate safely and “In terms of strategy and competitive successfully, Quality Products analysis, we are B-BBEE accredited at focuses on achieving internationally level three, which is very important recognised standards and has received accreditation from numerous in Southern Africa and critical to development,” notes Robinson. industry and trade associations. The company has received the Quality and Safety Assurances five star rating regulations from NOSA, the world’s leading supplier With such a wide range of products, of occupational risk management from mass market soaps to roll-on services and solutions. Furthermore, deodorants and dishwashing liquid, Quality Products’ main facility is you could be forgiven for thinking 9001:2000 compliant while two other that speed and quantity are the most sites have received MCC accreditation. important considerations for Quality Keeping up to date with the latest Products. On the contrary, as the industry standards in addition to company’s name suggests, satisfying constant customer requests often the quality expectations of consumers requires significant expenditure, but and customers is paramount.

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Q U A L I T Y

P R O D U C T S

To achieve such exacting standards, Quality Products strives to ensure that there are systems in place to supply acceptable quality products, train employees to carry out quality responsibilities, investigate and resolve consumer or customer complaints and encourage a culture of continuous improvement. All the while, manufacturing facilities utilise good manufacturing practices, operate in line with internationally recognised standards and receive regular audits. On top of this, all products must be safe to use for the end user. “We are committed to continually satisfying our consumer and customer expectations by designing safety and quality into all our products and processes,” notes the company. This includes operating a compulsory toxicological clearance system for all ingredients and processes, complying with local and legal requirements, preventing chemical and physical contamination, providing necessary product information to clients and consumers, recalling any products that could potentially cause harm and successfully managing the outbound supply chain.

Looking Forward

Quality Products believes that “the contract manufacturing market continues to consolidate and will require a much smaller number of world-class suppliers to remain competitive.” However, since its takeover just under ten years ago, the company is looking forward with optimism and confidence. “Beige has the intent and capacity to continue to expand aggressively but responsibly,” notes Robinson. “The underlying value of the Beige business has only recently become visible, as the strategy implemented over the last few years has taken effect. Beige is confident that its current strategy and dominant position will continue to unlock further value for all stakeholders.”

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SENSORY FX

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n 1999, after more than 30 years experience in the Fragrance Industry (both Fine and Industrial Usage Fragrances), Johan Du Plessis (M.Sc.) decided to start his own business SENSORY FX was born! Since its inception, this truly South African Company has firmly established itself in the Fragrance and Flavour Industry as a trusted and reliable supplier of fragrances and flavours.

We are committed to continually satisfying our consumer and customer expectations by designing safety and quality into all our products and processes”

SFX products are created and developed locally by a team of highly skilled, talented and well trained flavorists and perfumers. All products comply with both IFRA and FEMA regulations as amended from time to time. SFX products are manufactured at our semi-automated computerised facilities in Centurion. Utilising sophisticated instrumentation, highly trained skilled quality assurance personnel ensure that all products conform to stipulated standards before despatched to customers. Flavours are submitted for Halaal and Kosher certification as required by customers. SFX is an ISO 9001 accredited company For a great many producers and marketers of confectionery products, beverages, cleaning aids and cosmetics throughout AFRICA, SensoryFX has rapidly become the preferred supplier of flavours and fragrances. For further information, please visit our website or contact us on the details given below. Tel +27 12 653 2346 Email info@sensoryfx.co.za

www.sensoryfx.co.za


F E A T U R E

Flavours

Fragrances

SensoryFX is one of the leading manufacturers of fragrances in Africa. We develop and create fragrances to the requirements of our African consumers...

Tel: 0861 999 782 International Tel: +27 12 653 2346 E-Mail: info@sensoryfx.co.za Physical Address: 154 Edward Avenue Hennopspark, Centurion, South Africa

SensoryFX is one of the leading manufacturers of flavours in Africa. Our flavours have been developed to provide and enhance the taste of countless products in daily use...

Fax: 086 505 6742 International Fax: +27 12 653 2410 Website: www.sensoryfx.co.za Postal Address: Postnet Suite 224, Private Bag X132, Centurion, 0046, RSA WWW.AFRICAOUTLOOKMAG.COM

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Impressive paint manufacturer reports a 15% increase in profitability Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project Manager Tom Cullum

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f there’s one lesson to be derived from the Crown Paints business model, it’s that even when you’re at the top of your industry, it’s not the time to rest of your laurels. The Kenya-based paint manufacturer has an impressive pedigree: number one in Kenya, with an annual turnover of over 4.4 billion Kenyan shillings and, in May 2013, the company was pleased to report a 15% increase in profitability. This increase was attributed to an overall increase in operations efficiency and a burgeoning interest in Crown’s premium product line. It’s little wonder that the Crown brand is so respected - the company which was grown out of the UK-based Crown Paints’ worldwide expansion, has been synonymous with high quality paint products for over 200 years and holds a royal warrant. The knowledge that even the Queen of England uses your product might cause some manufacturers to relax, but as Crown Kenya CEO Rakesh Rao knows, staying at the top involves a sustained commitment to both quality and innovation. In addition, paint manufacturing in Kenya involves challenges specific to the African economic landscape. However, as Rao explains, there’s been a significant upturn in the business: “I think that there have been a lot of concessions made in our industry, especially considering the economy and political situation. But it’s moving in the right direction which is why the industry has been able to grow with great speed.” It is this level of business acumen that led to Crown Paints being named the winner of the 2012 COYA Financial Management Award.

Catering for Businesses and the Consumer

Crown’s great selling point is in the range of paint products it offers for

both retail and industry customers. Alongside a staggering array of silk and matte emulsions and varnishes, Crown also sources partnerships with international brands that are innovating in their respective fields. These partnerships, which include Plascon, Autocolour and Hempel allow Crown to offer their customers access to the latest advances in paint production. As Rao proudly states: “We are the only company that has colour varnishes and Teflon Surface Protector.” Crown’s partnership with Dupont, the manufacturer of the surface protector means that it is able to offer a paint product that allows for the easy removal of stains and dirt. The Teflon product is especially popular with young families who particularly suffer from the threat of sticky fingers on walls and other unexpected staining. With their slogan: “If you like it, Crown it!” Crown is firmly positioning itself as a lifestyle brand as well as an industrial supplier. The company operates a lively social media presence, offers an interior design service in Kenya and runs a range of colourful, well-placed show rooms which illustrate decorative possibilities to the consumer. The industrial side of the paint business is also proving increasingly profitable as Eastern Africa begins to renovate its infrastructure. Kenya’s roadways are also rapidly expanding and this is another area where Crown dominate, says Rao: “We have the exclusive monopoly on road marking...there aren’t any competitors that can match us.” It is a similar story when it comes to flooring solutions; Crown’s resin floor finishes provide a contemporary sheen to countless African retailers, warehouses and showrooms. The partnership with Danish paint manufacturer Hempel allows Crown

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SYNRESINS LTD

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ynresins Ltd is East and Central Africa’s leading manufacturer of synthetic resins. We are proud to be the supplier of choice and industry partner for the most recognized paint company in Kenya and the East African Region – Crown Paints. Synresins has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing a wide range of solvent and waterbased resins that are used across the paint, coating, ink, textile, automotive and adhesive industries. We pride ourselves on our focus on manufacturing and operational excellence and our leading and specialised customer and technical service, which make us the preferred supplier of resins in the region. Tel +254 20 2100825/6 Email synresins@iconnect.co.ke

www.synresins.com to offer protective marine coatings for sea vessels involved in heavyduty gas and oil exploration. This is not to say that the company never faces a challenge; for instance, the aforementioned success of Crown’s road marking paint is testament to the company’s foresight but also exemplifies some of the difficulties it faces. The development of a new transport infrastructure and the amount of traffic that this causes, means that travelling can be an issue and it is occasionally difficult to meet the needs of every customer and supplier. It can also be difficult to keep production numbers in line with demand as Kenya’s labour laws make it prohibitively expensive to implement a night shift. Rao also expresses some frustration at how difficult it is to hire and retain employees with extremely high-level skill sets. The current number of employees, 450, the majority of which

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We have the exclusive monopoly on road marking...there aren’t any competitors that can match us”

are based in Nairobi, is set to increase, as two new depots have been opened in Tanzania. There are future plans to build similar spaces in Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. Despite its challenges, Crown Paints is still an extraordinarily successful enterprise and with that success comes a commitment to giving back to the community. “We’ve been very focused on charitable activities... working with children’s homes, donating textbooks and desks and providing free paint for schools that have not been decorated in many years.” Crown also lends its name to sponsorship for community events, and supported the Trendz Kenya Fashion Festival in 2012.

Painting Life Green

As a paint manufacturer, Crown Paints knows that it is paramount to provide an unimpeachable green policy. The company is widely known


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and respected for their environmental policies, which are governed by careful risk management to ensure that the impact of their manufacturing process is minimal: “it’s something that we take very seriously,” says Rao. Crown is justly proud of its qualified ISO 14001 protection, which ensures the safety of everyone from staff to end consumers. As for the future, Rao is confident that Crown will continue to diversify and offer the expert service for which they have become famous. Equally, geographic expansion is very much at the forefront of their future business strategy: “We would like to be a big retail player in this market. We’re in Kenya and Uganda but we’d like to expand our operations to all other East African countries. We’re aiming to be a Kshs.5 billion company within the next five years.” With this level of expansion and ambition, Crown Paints Kenya looks well on the way to achieving its goals.

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MEN STEEL OF

Brollo Kenya have built their success on a solid foundation of steel and meticulous workmanship with an Italian flair Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project Manager Ben Wigger

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rollo Kenya is one of the oldest cold rolling steel manufacturing companies in East & Central Africa and something of unique operator in the industry. When asked why Brollo is so unique, Operations Director Pritesh Doshi was quick to highlight the company’s rich heritage: “Brollo is a very old company and the level of our workmanship is just as good as it was 40 years ago.” Part of this commitment to the manufacturing process means that the quality of steel product produced at Brollo is extremely high. Doshi is obviously proud of Brollo’s legacy: “The only way we have become the premier manufacturers of steel hollow sections and profiles is because of what we offer to our customers. Our commitment to customers goes beyond providing the best quality, best delivery and best service together with this we also provide innovative solutions’’. We also have technical support by a network of Engineers and Technical personnel who are able to supply design assistance and product support to help get the best advantage from our products. The international pedigree alluded to here is very much at the heart of the Brollo brand and is one of the reasons that the company achieves consistently excellent results. The business chiefly manufactures steel plates, sheets and strips, cold formed profiles such as angles, channels, Zed Purlins, circular, square and rectangular structural hollow sections. They also manufacture furniture tubing , galvanized and Black Steel pipes, guardrails and safety barriers for the various industries such as engineering, construction & body building industries. Brollo commenced operation in 1972 under the ownership of an Italian steel entrepreneur who gave ‘Brollo’ its distinctive name. Brollo Kenya was bought out in the early ninety’s by the Doshi family who then

became the sole owners and manage Brollo as a family business to this day.

Facing up to the Challenges

Running a complex multi-faceted enterprise and balancing the traditional and modern methodologies of steel manufacture can be challenging, but this is something that Pritesh takes in stride: “We face challenges every single day just as any other business would do.” One of the chief issues facing Brollo is not having constant supply of water & electricity from the government, which disrupts the production process and in turn leads to production costs going up “Another challenge that we are faced with is stiff competition in the market between steel manufacturers who tend to undercut one another who in return sell at a cheaper price than market value.” It is clear though that Brollo are simply not willing to compromise on quality and Pritesh is especially proud of the “Italian methodology that has been put in place in the plant.” This is not to preclude modernisation however, as the factory is in the process of being wholly computerised and there are two more modern Indian machines currently operating on the factory floor. As Pritesh points out “We now have a mixture of Indian and Italian machinery on the floor, however there is no denying our Italian influence, our technique remains the same.” Another challenge that faces Brollo is the expense and difficulties inherent in Kenyan import and export practices as Pritesh explains: “A lot of the politics surrounding exports from Kenya sometimes affect our ability to send out materials. The currency fluctuation is also difficult because all of our raw material imports are valued in US Dollars and we have to convert everything into Kenyan Shillings in order to sell the final manufactured goods on.” Pritesh also recognises the ways in which the landscape

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of the steel industry is changing. “Demand for steel will never die out in a developing country, considering the boom in the construction industry and many entrepreneurs are looking at diversifying and opening new still mills, causing a scenario with excess competition in the market.’ However that said, the power of Brollo’s name and reputation means the company is surviving, and moving with the times. Shearing

Entrance to plant

Finished goods

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Legacy and Evolution

The company’s commitment to evolution and change is clear to see. Pritesh’s background is in banking and finance but he has worked in the family business for the past five years and the fresh eye and keen analysis of the steel industry means that he is in a unique position to respond to change: “Every day is a learning process for me, I would plan my working day with objectives to meet by the end of each day.” The last five years at Brollo have seen a changing of the guard as the next generation of the Doshi family take the helm, with Pritesh and his elder brother Ketan Doshi, the Company’s C.E.O who is also his mentor and the brains behind the success, combining the wisdom of their seniors with a fresh and modern business sense. Brollo’s name and legacy also inspires strong loyalty from its employees. “We have a couple of workers who have been with the company since its beginnings in 1972,” explains Pritesh. “These older gentleman came in as young boys on internship and we are very proud to still have them as our senior staff. Even though these men don’t have any formal education, the wealth of experience that they’ve accrued on the manufacturing floor means that they truly know the tricks of the trade.” In recognition of the veteran workers’ loyalty, Brollo is focused on ongoing workplace development. With a key focus on computer training


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Pritesh Doshi

and several management programs such as team building to develop each individual to be responsible in their own respective departments. This ensures all Brollo employees are well-versed in traditional techniques and also equipped to handle the challenges of 21st century steel manufacturing industry. Brollo is committed to its proud history and to attaining new professional heights, employing both university-qualified professionals and highly experienced engineers to head up its various manufacturing departments with the senior-level managers working in the sales, marketing and accounting departments. When hiring new staff, Pritesh stresses that the number one quality he looks for is existing experience within the steel industry. He is keen to attract highly qualified applicants who have the right attitude and “the ability to fit into [Brollo’s] organisational structure.”

2014: The Year of Brollo?

Our commitment to customers goes beyond providing the best quality, best delivery and best service together with this we also provide innovative solutions”

When talking about the company’s plans for the next year , Pritesh focuses mainly on Brollo’s ambitious production targets: “In the next year, we’re looking at double production – making double the amount of product in the same amount of hours because of the new machinery that we’ve installed. We’re also looking at more investments of different machinery for different products to increase our product range in the market” In addition, there will be an increased focus on other African markets: “We have a self-assigned monthly sales and production target that we have to meet – that involves me working with the rest of the team to focus on the Kenyan market and working towards engaging the markets in East & Central Africa. With everything that we have planned, 2014 is going to be a very successful year for Brollo.”

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Spark

IN THE DARK German efficiency is propelling Zambian air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration specialist Drake & Gorham to new heights Writer Ian Armitage Project Manager Tom Cullum

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ambia is booming and to capitalise on its potential the Government has announced a robust development agenda anchored on critical sectors of the economy, namely agriculture, construction, tourism, manufacturing and mining. It is a fantastic time to be in business. “The last year has been good, we must say,” says Mark Lüring, the Managing Director of local air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration specialist Drake & Gorham. “We exceeded our initial expectations and targets for 2013 and managed to penetrate into the mining sector which is a very key industry here in Zambia and ever growing. That is very pleasing. As a local company to get your foot in the door there is encouraging because these

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are all international firms playing in the mining space and they usually bring in their own suppliers from outside of the country. We have managed to get our foot in the door there and that industry has great potential for us, with good growth potential.” Lusaka-based Drake & Gorham is ahead of the game and is certainly a leader in its markets. Chief Executive Arne Lüring and his son, Mark, are determined to build on its authority. “We’ve a great reputation,” Arne says. “Our main areas of work are in air-conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration, where we are number one here in Zambia.” The firm isn’t a newcomer by any means. It has a heritage that stretches back over 55 years. The Lüring Family acquired Drake & Gorham through an MBO several years ago.

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We brought Daikin on board in order to offer a complete portfolio, a full product range of Air Conditioning Solutions”


F E A T U R E

Hard to beat VRV IV sets the standaRd … agaIn

VRV configurator software for simplified commissioning, configuration and customisation

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DAIKIN VRV IV sets the standard with revolutionary technologies, such as variable refrigerant temperature control. Its advanced VRV configurator software is a time-saver that simplifies commissioning, configuration and customisation. This is backed up by automatic refrigerant charging and remote refrigerant containment check allowing quick and easy installation. For more information visit www.daikin.co.za or contact one of our branches for a dealer near you. Cape town 021 528 3500 • Durban 031 263 2992 • Johannesburg 011 997 4400

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“We are well experienced in all works regarding air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, chillers, cold storage facilities and equipment, including the supply and installation of all required or client requested materials and equipment,” says Mark. “We provide full back up and after sales service on all supplied equipment and installation work.” In a significant move, Drake & Gorham added Daikin to its portfolio. Daikin is an international leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly air conditioning equipment for all domestic, commercial and industrial applications. “We are very excited by that,” Mark says. “We brought Daikin on board in order to offer a complete portfolio, a full product range of air conditioning solutions. Daikin fills in the gaps in our offering and it is one of the most renowned air conditioning brands worldwide. We have managed to get a partnership with them in Zambia and there is great growth potential for our business in that. It is a premium brand and sits alongside Samsung which we’ve had for almost 15 years as a valued partner.” It is this that makes Drake & Gorham different. It is a pioneer in the local industry. “Just because we are in Africa or the developing world doesn’t mean we can’t be at the cutting edge,” Arne admits. It is its relationship with electronics giant Samsung that enhances their goal to continuously be at the forefront of the newest latest technology. An incentive for Samsung’s Triple Protection technology in air conditioners, for example, came from inside Zambia. “We have a historic relationship with them and were in fact the first company to introduce Samsung air conditioning into Zambia,” says Mark. “Samsung is a world leader

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in air conditioning technology and when we first got in contact with them we were convinced it was a good product, decided to promote it and use it as our core brand. We have done a lot of collaboration with Samsung in the past, providing them with important information on the particular challenges we face in our market to improve their equipment with our feedback on challenges we were facing and played a role in the development of their Triple Protection technology. We wrote to them on several occasions to say we had trouble with power in Africa, particularly Zambia, and 12 months later it led to the development of this technology. We have a fantastic relationship and over the years it has grown from strength to strength – if you come to Zambia and speak about Samsung people will automatically associate that with Drake & Gorham.” The Lüring’s are, as the name suggests, of German descent. Of course, one of the main stereotypes associated with Germans is efficiency and a certain determination to achieve the highest standards, without compromise. This is true of the culture instilled throughout the business. “My dad is the CEO of the company and from Germany. He believes in quality of the highest standard without any excuses or compromise,” Mark explains. “We have never seen the fact we are in Africa as an excuse. We were one of the first companies to introduce multi-split systems into Zambia over 15 years ago for example. It is not an excuse just because you are in a developing country to say we can’t apply or use the most modern technology. It just isn’t. Obviously there is the challenge of having enough capital – not everyone is as rich or developed

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Dunham-Bush For more than a century, since 1906, Dunham-Bush has been providing innovative solutions in the HVAC needs of its customers. Today as one of the World’s largest manufacturers of HVAC equipment, we remain at the forefront of design and technology, while creating comfort environments for Millions of People Worldwide. With many manufacturing facilities, offices and representation globally we are able to meet and exceed the needs of our customers in all aspects of service, reliability, spares back-up, stock holding and cost effectiveness. We assure you of our positive investment in Africa and loyal efficient support of all our equipment entering the market. Tel 27-12-345 4202 Email info@dunham-bush.co.za

www.dunham-bush.com

Just because we are in Africa or the developing world doesn’t mean we can’t be at the cutting edge”


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The subsequent months under the new Government, has restored the confidence in the Zambian economy and after a good 2013, we see a bright 2014 ahead... new investment coming in has certainly been a fantastic push for the country and it is still coming in”

as in the industrialised world – but our experience has shown the African market wants cutting-edge technology, quality and is also prepared to carry the cost of such technology, if within in reasonable means. The Zambian market is still very price sensitive but with the right approach and patience it is open for all good technologies.” And demand is growing as Zambia grows, its economy attracting considerable international investment. “There was a change of Government here in 2011 and we did notice a slight slowdown in business for a short period thereafter. But I assume that after 20 consecutive years with one governing party, investors were holding back to see what route the new Government would take,” Mark says. “But the subsequent months under the new Government, has restored the confidence in the Zambian economy and after a good 2013, we see a bright 2014 ahead... new investment coming in has certainly been a fantastic push for the country and it is still coming in. Zambia seems to be a really great investment destination in Africa and we feel very fortunate to be here and be part of it.”

Arne adds that the company’s focus has been on infrastructure, construction and mining: “We have been focusing on the construction sector, a number of our projects are carrying into 2014, and we have got several new projects lined up too specially in infrastructure and mining for the coming year,” he says. “If we are as successful in 2014 as we have been in 2013 and the years before that, our growth rate will continue with the help of all of our staff, management and employees.” Drake & Gorham is not the only one benefitting. The country is too and Drake & Gorham has helped to boost Zambia’s reputation, while investing vast amounts in the quality and development of its employees. “Training is essential,” Arne concludes. “You have to train in accordance with the latest technologies. We send our staff to South Africa and Asia, in particular South Korea, for annual training and we also have trainers coming into Zambia to train our technical staff. With that we are making continued contributions to Zambia.” To learn more visit www.drakeandgorham.com

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MINDSET

Imperial Logistics has been reinvented and is targeting African growth. Chief Integration Office Cobus Rossouw talks to Ian Armitage Writer Ian Armitage Project Manager Stuart Shirra

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upply chain and logistics group Imperial Logistics has reinvented itself and, says chief integration officer Cobus Rossouw, is now better able to offer clients “customised solutions that boost their competitiveness”. “We decided we wanted to take a step forward and that is by focusing on what we can do for our clients,” he explains. “Imperial Logistics offers more than just logistics and our capabilities extend into things procurement and brand activation.” Rossouw sees Imperial as a growth enabler. “We are an extension of our own customers’ business, building their brands alongside our own business. Our own differentiators lie in a combination of an extensive resource base and world class integrative processes and technology. We apply our supply chain management skills to manage operational processes across end-to-end value chains on behalf of our clients.” To make sure it delivers on this promise Imperial has been streamlining and simplifying its business, honing in on its capabilities. One such consolidation merged group companies BROCO and Cargo Africa into Imperial Managed Logistics. “We also created Imperial Retail Logistics, previously known as TFD Network Africa, by incorporating contracts from other Imperial businesses,” Rossouw adds. These businesses specialise in enhancing customers’ logistics and supply chain network capabilities. “We can take your product from manufacturing to the point of purchase – that is what we can do,” says Rossouw. “We are the only company that can do it. “The three dimensions of our growth strategy are new geographies, new industries and new capabilities.”

Where required this will be achieved through acquisition and Imperial has never been afraid to buy the right businesses. In May, for example, it acquired a 49 percent stake in MDS, a leading logistics provider in Nigeria, for S$26 million. The acquisition saw it enter Nigeria’s fast growing FMCG, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries. “It has strengthened our footprint in the continent and is consistent with our strategy of focusing on these consumer opportunities and following our customer base into Africa,” says Rossouw. Another acquisition – that of RTT Medial - has seen Imperial Logistics enter the pharmaceutical space and the group is also playing a growing role in Africa’s mining, construction and petrochemical industries, Rossouw says. “I think we are positioned well.” Of course, Africa is where everybody wants to be – with companies increasingly setting their sights on the continent’s growing middle classes and increasing affluence. Understanding the markets is central to success. Imperial offers that. “The opportunity in Africa exists in becoming part of Africa to which we are expanding as the Nigeria acquisition shows,” Rossouw says. “No continent will grow more or faster than Africa in the coming years and the opportunities are there if you have the right approach. Africa is the fastest growing and youngest population in the world and its consumer-facing industries are expected to boom in the years to 2020. Through our approach we can help our clients grow in the continent.” Imperial has launched an extensive expansion drive into Africa which will see the company invest heavily in developing corridors while more local partnerships are being forged to

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We apply our supply chain management skills to manage operational processes across end-to-end value chains on behalf of our clients�

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SERCO Road test reveals impressive results for Serco A trailer fitted with Serco’s aerodynamic accessories achieved an impressive fuel saving of between 2.9 and 5.5 percent during a road tests conducted over two days. A standard trailer was compared against one fitted with trailer side skirts and a roof diffuser. The trailer side skirts redirect air past the running gear and the underside of the trailer, while the recessed roof diffuser reduces back pressure and wind drag behind the vehicle. ‘The tests have shown clearly that the accessories DO save fuel. We are excited about the outcome and the potential benefits it creates for our customers’. Tel +27 31 508100 Email info@serco.co.za

www.serco.co.za

help clients benefit from the mass consumerisation of Africa. “Our strategy into Africa is all about the continent’s mass consumerisation,” Rossouw says. “We have very aggressive plans in the pipeline. We are actively working on further expansion in Africa and we are also actively working on filling some of the other gaps in our South African business in either industries we don’t have a presence or capabilities we don’t have. In South Africa the challenge is that growth is not that aggressive. The economy is quite flat. But we see growth because we are growing by capability into new markets we weren’t present before. So, I think we are going to have a very exciting 2014.” If validation of the work Imperial has done was needed, it came in the form of a first place finish at the

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The three dimensions of our growth strategy are new geographies, new industries and new capabilities”

Cobus Rossouw


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Durban: 031 508 1000 I JHB: 011 397 8993 I Cape Town:prestigious 021 959 7660 Annual African Access Email: info@serco.co.za I Website: www.serco.co.za National Business Awards. It was the second consecutive year Imperial won the Logistics Category - ahead of other finalists including Bidvest Panalpina Logistics and DHL. The award reflected the group’s success in offering customised solutions to drive clients’ competitiveness. “We are proud of the recognition that we have achieved,” Rossouw concludes. “The challenge – which is also our purpose and will shape everything we do going forward – is to improve our clients’ competiveness by customising our experience in outsourced value chain management. We have no designs on being seen as the biggest but we definitely want to be seen as the best.” To learn more visit www.imperiallogistics.co.za.

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ground up FROM THE

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Family-run ROKO Construction is at the forefront of business developments across the East of Africa, looking to expand into new markets Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Arron Rampling

ith the effects of the recession still being felt across Africa, none more so than in the construction industry, rising costs, stronger regulations many companies are keeping a close eye on the bottom line. UK losses three years ago had a ripple effect on construction projects, but ROKO has groomed into a selfsufficient company in the majority of construction disciplines and provides employment for an average of 1,800 people, placing great emphasis on training its technicians and craftsmen to produce an exceptionally high standard of workmanship. Materials are produced locally and from the Preferential Trade Area wherever possible, and imports are facilitated by ROKO’s association with the SAI Trading Company in Europe. Boasting of a legacy spanning forty five years in the construction arena, ROKO has from inception, nurtured the brand into one of exceptional construction benchmarked on the quality of their works that speaks for itself. The co founders, Rohrer and Koehler, with a vision to set up in Africa and use Uganda as the spring board for further growth, proceeded to register ROKO in 1969. ROKO Construction Limited, as it is known now has become a household name synonymous with quality in construction with branches in Rwanda and south Sudan. For efficiency and timely delivery, materials are manfactured locally and from the PTA area where ever possible. Mark Koehler, Managing Director of ROKO, said that the company is in a fortunate situation and has not been adversely affected by industry pressures. Together with technical and commercial managers and fifty five qualified civil and site engineers, Rohrer and Kohler have led ROKO to the forefront of the construction

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industry to emerge as the principal contractor in Uganda. Uganda has now developed to be a hub for activities in neighbouring countries and ROKO has since 2001 and 2005, now heavily invested respectively in Rwanda and South Sudan. One of their first major constructions in 1973, the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine at Namugongo, attracts between 500,000 and 1 million pilgrims from all over the world once a year, has been inspected by the Pope and is becoming a temporary focal point for Uganda. This masterpiece in design encompasses both Modern Architecture blended with African Traditional Architecture and Form; utilizing the circular space African design and poles to enhance beauty and identity of the building. “We are very proud to have built such a culturally-important structure. This monumental construction built the foundations for securing a multitude of further business development projects for the company.” With construction projects ranging from Bank headquarters to Airports, Hotels to Ministry Renovations, Shopping malls to Industrial Buildings and Infrastructure civil works, this

industry giant has completed over 100 major projects to date. Koehler emphasised: “When you see the skyline of Kampala, most of the high-rise buildings have been built or renovated by us.” “We have constructed Bank of Uganda Headquarters, Centenary Rural Development Bank Headquarters and the recently completed DFCU Bank building in Kampala. We are currently constructing the Juba International and Domestic Airport Terminal Building in South Sudan and expansion of the International Airport in Rwanda.” Amongst the notable Hotel projects ROKO has constructed is Serena Kigali and Lake Kivu resort; Nyungwe ecological lodge at the Nyungwe National park, Rwanda. With the realization of diminishing world ecological endowments, it has become necessary to conserve existing resources for current and future generations. The design and construction of new tourist facilities has embraced the use of environmentally friendly, biodegradable materials, whilst maintaining high standards and causing as little disruption to the environment as possible. ROKO was the best evaluated bidder in terms

MANTRAC UGANDA

M

antrac Uganda is the sole authorized dealer for Caterpillar Products in Uganda. We distribute and support the full range of CAT construction equipment including Wheel Loaders, Skid Steer Loaders, Dump Articulated Trucks, Backhoe Loaders, Excavators, Motor Graders, TrackTypeTractors, BCP products. The Power Systems Department provides: Power Audit & Power systems advisory services EP Installations & Synchronizing solutions Automation, Real Time MonitoringVision-link & Systems integration Turnkey Project Management Offer rental power Offer hybrid solutions Offer specific training on power equipment

www.mantracuganda.com

DELTA

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elta is the authorized dealer for SEM, one of China’s leading wheel loader manufacturers that uses World Class Technology. Owing to the fact that it provides contractors with alternative, costeffective solutions for medium duty earth moving applications, Delta has chosen to partner with SEM, and it is through this fruitful partnership that we have been able to provide a range of medium-size wheel loaders suited for a variety of tasks in the fields of construction, mining, and quarrying. Delta also distributes a comprehensive range of Metso mobile crushing and screening equipment for construction and mining in Egypt, Russia, Iraq, Libya and East and West Africa.

www.metso.com www.semmachinery.cn

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UGASA COATINGS

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ur inception in 1995 saw the start of a philosophy based on uncompromising quality, service excellence and dedication to clients’ needs. Our on-going commitment to meeting our clients’ needs is reflected in the fact that an impressive 80% of our work in Uganda comes to us via repeat business or referrals. This has been achieved by: Offering honest, professional expertise and advice Providing wall coatings solutions that are both long term and cost effective Excellent workmanship Providing an applicator training facility and product up-grading basics Careful attention to detail and quality-from small residential units to large multi-purpose projects Meeting stringent delivery deadlines Tel 414 231 307 Email jrmugamba@ugasacoatings.com

www.ugasacoatings.com

YMR PARTNERSHIP YMR Partnership is an East African Based Professional Quantity Surveying firm and has operated in the region since 1985.

of cost, and methodology to achieve the set parameters. The external works including road works and the swimming pool had to be executed by hand together with hand operated equipment to cause as little disturbance to nature as possible. “It therefore came as no surprise to us when this project won the International Hotels Awards in Association with Bloomberg Television – Best International new small Hotel Construction & Design for the year 2011.” “We have undertaken several new office block construction contracts as well as renovations, remodelling of existing buildings to give them a modern aesthetic look. Among these is

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Rwenzori courts building renovations and modernization of Crested Towers building in Kampala, renovations to Ministries buildings in Juba, for the Government of South Sudan.” Among the Shopping Malls, ROKO has constructed the following in Kampala – Shoprite, Game stores the shopping mall at Lugogo; Bugolobi village Mall at Bugolobi; the ultra-modern Acacia Mall at Kisimenti. “In the Industrial Buildings category we have built The Century Bottling Coca-Cola factory in Namanve and Mbarara; Nalukolongo Railways locomotive workshop.” ROKO constructed the bases and installed the first and only earth satellite station linking Uganda to

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As one of the largest independent construction consultancy practice, YMR Partnership provides construction consultancy services in the fields of urban and rural development, building construction and civil engineering projects with core services comprising project cost estimating and cost planning, specification writing, quantity surveying and building economics, construction cost management and administration, construction claims management and services in connection with arbitration or litigation and dispute management/resolution services to a wide range of public and private sector clients. Tel +256 772642167 Email ymrug@starcom.co.ug / eridadnyanzi@gmail.com

www.ymr.co.ke


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the world in the telecommunication field at Mpooma, in the seventies. The company have undertaken and completed other infrastructural and civil projects like the Jinja National Fuel Reserve Bank in Uganda; Runway for the Goma Airport in Democratic Republic of Congo; Aeroplane parking Apron at Entebbe International Airport with associated drainage, landscaping and road works. “We have what it takes to undertake construction projects of any magnitude and complexity within the region.” When I asked Koehler what the key to the company’s success was, he answered: “Quality and timely delivery - res ipsa loquitur - The facts speak for themselves.” Furthermore he stated that “In the past there were very few construction companies, and very few specialist sub contractors in our field. By providing an all-encompassing service, we greatly controlled the overhead of sub-contractors, as well as maintaining uniform professional standards which our clients can trust in. Currently, our sub contractors on our projects

are measured against the quality of work performance and delivery and strict water tight measures and high penalties put in place for non – conformance to the set standards that we at ROKO subscribe to.” ROKO is the first construction company in Uganda and amongst the first in East Africa to receive the internationally recognised ISO 9001:2008 certification. “This solution gives clients assurance of quality workmanship.” He adds: “We are the number one contractor in the building sector. That is the norm and no one argues that.” The company has a range of projects that have been successful as a result of this method. One of the most notable mentions is the Kigali Serena Hotel renovation in 2008 - 2009. The sheer volume of materials and fabric required to complete the project within a record one year, presented a challenge which ROKO took in their stride as they have an in-house logistics department that liaises with the suppliers, shippers and customs to facilitate smooth delivery of their requirements on a timely basis.

AHI CARRIER AHI Carrier is one of the largest sales, marketing and distribution entity of Carrier offering complete range Carrier & Toshiba HVAC products & solutions. AHI Carrier offers complete system solution including complementary products like Cooling Towers (BAC), Precision Units (Denco) and BMS Controls (ALC). Carrier is world leader in high technology heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration solutions. Carrier is one of the USGBC’s largest global partner for LEED® education. Carrier provides sustainable & integrated energy efficient products and solutions. Carrier product range includes high efficiency screw, centrifugal, scroll and reciprocating chillers, air handling units, chilled water fan coil & DX split units. TOSHIBA offers high efficiency Variable Refrigerant Flow systems with All Inverter units operating on DC Twin rotary compressors.

Tel +9716 557 2707 Email ahi@ahi-carrier.com

www.ahi-carrier.com

IRON ART LTD. Iron Art is your one-stop-shop for all types of wrought iron and metal fabrications, including: Windows and window grills Doors & handrails Wrought iron furniture We also offer a Stained Glass Art service, including: Sandblasting Acid etching Tudki work Glass furniture Fusing & Bending Vanity sets Ceiling and wall fixtures Trophies Workshop Tel 0722 509297 / 0786 601249 Email info@ironart.co.ke Showroom Tel 0789 601249 Email sga@ironart.co.ke

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At the successful completion of the project while others marvel at the beauty of the building, the ROKO team look at a review of the process and discuss the lessons learnt to enable them execute the next project successfully by building on their strengths and navigating around their weak points to make them strong points. In addition to awards, the company employs 98% of its staff locally which not only benefits the community but also the economy as ROKO offer long term employment. “We try and keep our staff, we employ them and train them – some have been with us for the 35 years we have been in operation,” he added: “It’s working out and we try to promote the local component with much success.” I asked Mr Koehler if he had seen a shift in the areas he is working in and why. He said: “Whereas we continue to grow in Uganda, due to our reputation and impressive track record, we have been approached by neighbouring governments and clients. This not only presented new opportunities but also new markets for us to venture into. The fact that these new markets are usually less competitive, they offer room for us to grow our brand internationally.” With the advent of increased competition, one area that ROKO have consistently placed emphasis on is the training of our human resource and creating a friendly and rewarding working atmosphere for our staff, in order to maintain their number one spot as a company that provides quality finishes. Competition leads

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to a lot of movement in construction artisan staff in search of better employment conditions. “To this end, we have been able to maintain our staff by being ahead of the competition in regard to staff welfare.” “We have to adapt to new changes in construction methods and materials to provide the quality to the ever changing demand and taste of the developers, these come with necessity to train our personnel.” As for company growth, the business has seen an average increase of 15% per year and, coupled with many new projects in the pipeline, things look good. “We are always open to expanding into new markets. We are always welcoming new projects around the region.” During his interview, Mr Koehler discussed one of the biggest challenges his company faces. “The biggest challenge is always to have enough work and be able to maintain your staff. If you have no work, you cannot operate in construction. We have to monitor our costs, it is a constant

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We have to adapt to new changes in construction methods and materials to provide the quality to the ever changing demand and taste of the developers”

challenge.” Further challenges include delay in payments for work done, the high cost of funding and the fluctuation in prices and exchange rates although the latter seems to have stabilized in the last year. When it comes to expansion, Mr Koehler is optimistic about the future: “Part of our expansion policy is investing; we want to stay as the number one contractor. Not only is the company playing the market smart, they are investing in new places to manufacture materials. “We are investing a lot into a new plant in Rwanda; $750,000 is going towards a new batching (concrete) plant.” Mr Koehler has an open approach to future projects, emphasising that ROKO’s philosophy of a perfect balance of quality over price: “Nobody chooses us because we are the lowest in price; our pricing is competitive for the quality.” Koehler concluded the interview with us by surmising what the long term future holds: “We will continue to look at new markets where the competition may be lower.”


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Distributor of KONE elevators and escalators in Uganda and East Africa www.marryatandscott.com KONE in other countries www.kone.com

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BUILDING FUTURE FOR THE

South Africa’s phoenix in the construction industry Writer Matt Bone Project Manager James Mitchell

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ilcon Projects is a construction and engineering firm based in South Africa, who implement passionate ideas and excellence through a team of driven professionals who have acquired invaluable experience and skills over many years in the business. It was only three years ago that the company was on the brink of failure. Uncertainty and market forces had pushed the company to the edge and it was only Saul Loggenberg, the new Executive Chairman, whose timely intervention and recapitalisation program, turned the company around and set it on the path to becoming the force it is today. A new democratic management system, an emphasis on hiring the best staff, and a heavy emphasis on training and development has made the company a very different place to work.

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We continue to transform and implement new strategies in order to make Filcon the type of company that we want it to be”

Mr Loggenberg mentions that although the company is now on more solid foundation, it will still be a while before it is where he wants it to be: “We continue to transform and implement new strategies in order to make Filcon the type of company that we want it to be. It will be at least another 2-3 years before I feel we are near that stage.” Moving into its 18th year, the company has expanded into all sectors of construction, including residential, commercial and industrial projects. Filcon is also growing geographically with plans to move beyond the borders of South Africa into the subSaharan region of Africa as well as the Middle East. Filcon offers its clients a range of services encompassing all aspects of construction. It has in its employ the services of contract managers, site agents, office personnel, quantity surveyors and buyers. The team strives for the best results with excellent workmanship and comprehensive customer care. Having this integration within a company affords clients to enjoy piece of mind that all problems and queries will be dealt with in a centralised way.

Expansion and Growth Filcon has grown in both stature and reputation over the last 3 years and have seen the size and range of their projects expand. The company’s contract services include housing and apartment development, commercial developments, luxury homes, hotels and retirement villages. Loggenberg sees this upward trend as a big step in the right direction and is pleased with the current level of activity his company is seeing: “We are heading towards the end of our current projects, our aim is to finish these projects successfully this year on time

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and on budget. We have three new tenders that we have won, which we are finalising adjudication on and then we will be moving into the right space. The big thing is that we have managed to negotiate two new projects this year based on our previous work and that is a big step forward for us.” Filcon’s sights are set firmly on using this strong growth as a springboard for wider expansion. The company is committed to expanding its projects and foothold into more of SubSaharan Africa. This growth would not have been possible without Filcon’s dedicated approach to ensuring its workers and professional teams are happy throughout the projects. Unrest amongst workers has been something of a talking point amongst South Africa’s labour unions. Labour unrest has plagued the construction and several other manual labour industries in recent years. Walkouts and standoffs cost companies millions of Rand in lost revenue and potential setbacks and Mr Loggenberg is doing all he can to ensure his workforce continues to work: “Fostering a good relationship with our teams from the outset is the most important thing we can do in this industry. Without happy workers you have no projects and as you know this will have a huge knock on effect.” Achieving this is no mean feat as Filcon directly and indirectly employ over 3000 people in the western cape, but with an Executive Chairman who understands the needs and wants of his workforce, those contractors can be safe in the knowledge they will be valued and rewarded for their loyalty.

BBBEE and Filcon

Filcon’s BBBEE status is well on its way to exceeding the requirements set out by the Government. The Verification Report indicates that Filcon have met most of the

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following elements of BBBEE at the qualifying levels on the obligatory scorecard: Equity Ownership, Management Control, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Enterprise Development, Preferential Procurement and Social Development. Loggenberg is pleased that Filcon has met and improved on Government standards: “We are always looking to hire from our local area workforce. They have local knowledge and a good understanding of procedures that enable us to confidently and proudly show off our workforce. We are a national company with a strong local standing.”

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Fostering a good relationship with our teams from the outset is the most important thing we can do in this industry”


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Future Plans All of Filcon’s current projects have been helped by improvements to the industry and local markets in South Africa. Mr Loggenberg explains how this is both a positive and negative change: “Africa is still booming, in the last four months there has been a huge capital outflow, which has enabled us to push forward in the market. However with all these increased services, change has comes at a price; expansion and market forces have pushed the price of the fuel inputs to a record high. Coupled with an average 13 per cent pay increase in worker wages, our margins have become tighter and thus our need to make every cent count has doubled.”

Africa is still booming, in the last four months there has been a huge capital outflow, which has enabled us to push forward in the market”

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Filcon have begun to move into the housing construction market in the last 18 months and have seen a positive response from this. Although this market is very different from construction of structures as Loggenberg discusses: “We are moving more and more into the housing space market, but this is not as simple as just saying yes we will start to build houses. We need to get the production and manufacturing of the actual building right, it is very difficult to just start building away. It is not the same as building a structure, it is much more akin to a manufacturing environment and we need to explore this area carefully and allow ourselves time to properly understand and develop our practices for this unique market.”

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Pareto has developed and nurtured a reputation for being the go-to investor in South Africa’s blue chip malls Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Arron Rampling

ince its formation in 1998, Pareto have quickly grown to become one of the most highly respected property loan stock companies in South Africa. Their strong focus on acquiring and enhancing super-regional and regional shopping centres in South Africa, as well as mixed developments, has seen their market cap rise. Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto said: “We own and invest in shopping centres and ensure that the buildings are everything that a customer and a rental business could need, we pride ourselves on this level of service.” Muller has been with the company for four years, and has watched a constantly changing and volatile market rise and fall every day, “The market is ever changing, if your tenants cannot pay the rent due to rising costs and

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BIGEN AFRICA Bigen Africa is a leading infrastructure development company with 15 offices in South Africa. Bigen Africa also has offices in Ghana, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and a strong presence in other Africa countries. Bigen Africa integrates engineering, management consulting and development finance services through in-house capabilities and strategic partnerships. Bigen Africa operates in the health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, property, energy, road, rail and mining sectors. Bigen Africa’s development impact in Africa is through project implementation, fund mobilisation, job creation, poverty alleviation, skills transfer and partnerships. Bigen Africa’s Intuthuko Foundation coordinates social upliftment initiatives in line with its creed, “doing good while doing business”. Tel +27 (0) 12 8428700 Email Pretoria@bigenafrica.com www.bigenafrica.com

lack of company growth, then you are left with a problem as an investor. Companies have to re-evaluate their needs and wants. I have seen many companies reinvent themselves to become bigger and more successful because they looked inwardly and saw where they could grow.” This mentality of inward focus has played a major role in the restructuring of Pareto. As of 1st April 2014, the company will internally manage all of its 100% owned assets: “This has been a big positive step for us. We anticipate that our property values will rise countrywide due to us being able to offer a much more focussed quality of property management service and ensuring that our meticulous standards and best practices are met.”

Building the Future

Pareto have put their expansive investment knowledge into some

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We have one eye on the building and one eye on the markets”

exciting new projects including, revamping, reconstruction and expansion of Pretoria’s Menlyn Park and Durban’s Pavilion Shopping Centre. It does not stop there, Muller is always on the lookout for a new investment opportunity for Pareto, with which they can invest time, money and above all else, a service that is of the highest calibre. However, there are always obstacles with any big profile work. Disproportionate rises in both municipal taxes and electricity costs have forced Pareto to look at each project in very close detail, to ensure there are no financial oversights. “It is going to be a lot more challenging with interest rates on the up, our mortgages have gone up and the market is anticipating at least three more increases this year. The cost of borrowing is more expensive and we will review the projects thoroughly


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again before making a final commitment. We have one eye on the building and one eye on the markets,” cites Muller who prefers to be cautious and is always aware of market forces. National electricity providers have raised the prices mainly due to the knock on effect of infrastructure improvements and expansion. This has been the biggest financial strain on Pareto’s portfolio and something Muller insists, needs to be looked at: “In the 4 years that I have been with the company, our outgoing cost for electricity has doubled. That is a massive hike from what it was. For me, it is because the growth in the economy has outstripped the historic energy supply and the power companies have not been able to handle the growth. This becomes a problem for us when we cannot guarantee electricity for our buildings or alternatively, have to provide it at an unsustainable cost.”

Property Management

“If you are an owner with a significant property portfolio, the management services you are currently utilising may not provide a good enough level of service for your needs,” said Muller. Landlords with a smaller portfolio have had to outsource their management due to lack of funds, time and manpower. This can cause a problem as they then suffer from below par services for their tenants. Muller muses on this point: “This is the big challenge in our industry. How to enhance the value of the property you have, without compromising your bottom line. There is a fine line between

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being profitable and offering your clients solutions to suit their needs. We understand this and always ensure that our management is fully aware of the situation and can strike a good balance between landlords and managers.” Pareto’s strong customer focus and competitive nature offers its shareholder an investment that can only benefit their long term goals. Mr Muller agrees this long term vision is a key focus for Pareto: “From our point of view, if we use the money that we have saved by having our portfolio managers in house, pump it back into our projects and the people, in terms of services and management services, the property can only increase in value. We are going to spend money on our properties, so why not also spend this saved money to help the people who have invested with us. In the end, if you can only see short term profit, then you will miss the long term investment.”

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Not Just a Job

I have the chance to really change the face of the building investment market for the better in South Africa”

Marius Muller is a CEO who implements a hands-on approach to his work. For him, it is not just a job it is a passion: “I wake up every morning looking forward to going to work. I am excited to be in my dream job. I have the chance to really change the face of the building investment market for the better in South Africa. If I can contribute in any way possible to give previously disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to contribute positively to improving the economy of our country, whether in terms of working within the company, or offering them services and giving them a previously unobtainable opportunity, then that is what I will do.” With a CEO at the helm with a long term vision and strategic goals, which he fully intends to meet and exceed, Pareto is very well placed to maintain its reputation as a dominant force in the investment market.


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EXPERTISE YOU CAN COUNT ON

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M OVI NG UP TH E

ladder Mobus Property Developments CEO Richard Jonah talks about the company plans to combat the housing deficit, and their award winning developments across Ghana Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Arron Rampling

obus Property Developments is a property development firm founded in 2010 by the current CEO Richard Kojo Jonah. It is a privately owned company, mainly focused on commercial property development, offices and retail centres. On an opportunistic basis the company has also embarked on a number of residential developments aimed at the middle to upper market segment. Richard Jonah, spoke to Africa Outlook about some of the company’s challenges and the need for residential housing in Ghana given increasing urbanization.

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Biggest Challenge

Like most property developers in SubSaharan Africa, Jonah outlined that it is access to long term capital that is the company’s biggest challenge: “Property development is a long term game, therefore it helps if you can secure cheaper sources of long term capital,” which Mr Jonah adds is quite difficult to do in local markets given the volatility of currency and the limited balance sheets of many local banks. Jonah’s second challenge when assessing various opportunities is to do with land tenure. “Most lands in Ghana are privately owned as opposed to owned by the Government. One of the biggest issues our local courts have

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to deal with issues of land litigation, tenure and the subsequent fighting over land title. Being able to secure a good piece of land with a clean title and with no claims can prove difficult and add significant lead times to project development.” That said, with challenges come opportunity. There is currently a housing deficit of approximately two million homes in Ghana, and a significant deficit in formal commercial retail and office space to support the growing economy. Consequently, the number of individuals and institutions that are investing in the property sector is on the rise. Although Government is trying to support and


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encourage investment in this sector, issues of infrastructure, access to capital, land tenure and security are part of what are causing this “bottle neck” in delivery of housing and commercial real estate. This being said, there are huge opportunities present in the Ghanian construction industry, and with the Government supporting new road networks and electricity supplies, fresh areas are being opened up for development.

The Meridian City Project

Jonah told me about two exciting projects that Mobus have on the horizon. Most notably, the $120million mixed-use commercial

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development called Meridian City, located in Ghana’s main port city, Tema. It is the first of its kind; a privately developed commercial centre with a 20,000Sqm retail component, a 10,000Sqm A Grade office block and a hospitality component in the form of a three star business hotel. Jonah further explains: “Tema has a population of about a million people, what’s exciting for us is that it is the main port city, and is Ghana’s main commercial and manufacturing hub. Independent market research supported the need for a large modern retail centre and an internationally branded hotel.”

With construction starting in June of this year and a target completion February 2016 the retail component of the building has gained the support of two major international food anchors as well as a host of other big name fashion and general goods stores. The hotel will have 120 rooms, helping to support the infrastructure that Tema offers as a centralised location for the shipping industry. Although the project has yet to break ground, the proposed development was entered into, and subsequently won, the best mixed-use development in the African and Middle Eastern Property Development Awards, in December 2013.

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Winner of an Array of Construction Awards

Mr Jonah proudly talked about the company’s other recent progress: “We are currently constructing a commercial office block called Capital Place in Accra. It won best office development in Ghana. The design is quite unique to the local market in the sense that it is Ghana’s first commercial office park. It will have a ‘campus-like feel’ with multiple buildings that offer the same modern design and amenities.” Mobus Property also boasts two further International Property awards in the residential sector for best development of multiple units in Ghana: Knight Court, a 20 unit apartment complex in the capital Accra, and Phoenix Villas, a secure cluster development offering a leisure centre, 30 semidetached houses and 50 apartments. “These two developments are in the construction stages. As a young company we are very humbled to have been nominated and also won these awards, in addition to the aforementioned Meridian City award,” Jonah emphasised.

Securing the Land to Build on

In terms of securing their investments and future, Mobus have been quite aggressive regarding securing a proprietary land portfolio. Jonah cites: “Our business is conducted through an investment holding company and a property developments arm. The investment holding company holds completed assets through SPV’s and our developments arm refers to lands in development,” he continued “our current project pipeline is on land that we were able to secure quite early on in the development of the company. We then went as far as South Africa and the UK to try to secure funding for these projects, to work in

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partnership with others who were looking at working within this space. These partners consist of professional teams of architects, engineers and funding partners.” The business has been able to move quite quickly as a result of this system, with supportive partners assisting in a smooth progression to the building stage. The company target is to have 80% of their assets in income-generative investments to help them strengthen their balance sheet.

Business Model

Africa Outlook asked Mr Jonah to talk about the company’s business model, he explains: “Mobus has a team of skilled and experienced professionals that handle the entire development process of our projects. Our skills cut across the whole development cycle from land acquisition, permitting, market research, fund raising, to execution where we manage professional teams and contractors. We believe in long term partnerships and even when it comes with third party land owners, we work jointly with the land owners to help meet both our investment goals.” The company try to work collaboratively with these land owners in to determine what the best use of the land is by doing extensive market research supported by on-site

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CBH GRUP

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hana based CBH GRUP provides innovative architectural design and turnkey services from proposal through planning and design to project construction and management. CBH GRUP has a wide portfolio of projects and clients including MOBUS Properties, Anglogold Ashanti, Goldfields and Tullow Oil Ghana. Under lead architect, Charles BlanksonHemans, CBH GRUP has the capacity to associate with local and foreign consultants in providing quality services. The company has successfully completed projects in various African countries including Senegal and is the local representative for a South African consulting firm on major projects in Ghana. CBH GRUP – Building on the African dream. Tel +233 244 357506 Email info@cbhgrup.com

www.cbhgrup.com

Strategic partnerships have been a key factor in our success”


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engineering. Jonah adds: “Strategic partnerships have been a key factor in our success.”

New Markets

Mobus are always working on ways to help bridge the housing deficit”

As for company expansion, Mobus Property are currently researching property in Nigeria and Liberia. Jonah proclaims: “We see these two areas as huge growth opportunities both in the commercial space and in residential development. We believe the long term regional exposure provides us with a good edge against geographic concentration and exchange rate risk. Our ambition is to be a regional player in West Africa, growing into Nigeria and Liberia focusing mainly on commercial property developments. The issue of shortage in housing is a regional problem and wherever we identify an opportunity, Mobus are always working on ways to help bridge the housing deficit.” The late Richard Jonah sadly passed away recently. Before his untimely passing, we spoke to him about the company Mobus Property. We were honoured to have had the opportunity to interview such an enigmatic man.

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BUILDING A REPUTATION ON QUALITY ENGINEERING IN

K E NYA SS Mehta and Sons are leading the way in the civil engineering market Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Arron Rampling

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stablished in 1959, SS Mehta and Sons are one of the leading civil engineering contractors headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. They operate as the principal contractor for projects, both in the private and public sector. With an extensive client base ranging from international donor organisations, city councils, local authorities, developers and national and international airports, SS Mehta are well placed in the industry. “With over 50 years of experience in the industry, we have seasoned and dedicated staff and management that endeavor to complete our projects on time.” reasons Gurmeet Mehta, one of the company Directors. The late SS Mehta, founder of the company would be very proud to know his sons and now his grandsons are following in his footsteps and becoming grounded in the ways of the company. The company has undertaken projects of varying contract values that extend up to and in excess of 10 Billion Kenyan Shillings ($120 Million). Additionally, SS Mehta and Sons has the capacity and capabilities to operate several concurrent projects simultaneously, even if sites are geographically located far apart from the next. It is the logistical and geographical awareness that makes SS Mehta such a reliable engineer, in a climate where trust and reliability have become overnight watchwords.

Mehta Milestones

2013 was a milestone year for the company. They were awarded one of their largest projects to date, valued at over $50 Million. With such high value projects becoming more frequent for SS Mehta, investing in new facilities and equipment was tantamount. “Increasing our output and services was our biggest priority this year, which we heavily invested

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VIVO ENERGY KENYA

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ivo Energy Kenya operates 123 Shell-branded service stations spread across the country.

Our products and services Shell service stations in Kenya offer a full portfolio of Shell differentiated fuels: Shell V-Power | Unleaded Extra Shell Diesel Extra | Shell Helix Shell Fuel Card We also have a full range of Shell commercial fuels: Jet A1Avgas | LPG (Afrigas) Rimula engine oils | Tellus hydraulic oils | Omala gear box oils With an expanding Kenyan middle class and an increase in the number of carowners driving growth in demand for retail fuels and lubricant products, Vivo Energy Kenya is well-placed to cater to these demands, furthering our standing as the preferred fill-up destination for Kenya’s motorists. Tel +254 70 307 5555

www.vivoenergy.com in throughout the last 12 months. We brought in new equipment and plant facilities to cope with our growth. Also our workforce increased substantially and we opened an executive branch office in Nairobi.” cites Mehta. It is this expansion that will be the springboard from which SS Mehta intends to launch their latest projects from.

Infrastructure and Competition

Roads, rail links and Infrastructure development are the backbone of all economies and they are quintessential for the future of economic development in Africa. SS Mehta are acutely aware of just how important it is to their business and the need for constant improvements to many aspects of African infrastructure, or run the risk of the industry becoming stagnant. “We rely on it for 90% of all our work and without improvements, our company and other businesses would suffer greatly. We also have

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With over 50 years of experience in the industry, we have seasoned and dedicated staff and management that endeavor to complete our projects on time”

projects both previously and ongoing which see us working on the roads in question, so in a way we are helping ourselves as well as other companies.” remarks Mehta. Competition is healthy in any market and none more so than in engineering and construction. “The local capacity has been experiencing a massive influx of international contractors, who are supported by their respective Governments; this causes the market to become extremely competitive. However, the adverse side to this influx is these new companies are muscling out the very capable local capacity.” Gurmeet Mehta sees this as not just a negative trend, but the potential to be positive trend. He believes it will give the company a chance to become the best in a tight margin market, showing that they are accomplished and deserving of being at the forefront of civil engineering contractors.


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Not all challenges that a company faces is by way of new competition and market forces. There are times when restrictions are placed that companies have no control over. One such is the Government’s budgetary restraints in 2013. “They had imposed financial restraints on local contractors and hindered progress of government funded projects, though 2014 looks brighter with the introduction of PPP’s (Public, Private Partnerships) in Kenya which we will be looking at closely this year.” explains Mehta, who is constantly looking at the bigger picture. With every cloud there can indeed be a silver lining. Demand for Kenya’s real estate market multiplied exponentially in the same period as the Governments restrictions, so SS Mehta and Sons chose to diversify, partnering with major developers to become their principal contractor for infrastructure works. Mr Mehta is looking forward

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to this burgeoning partnership: “This has allowed the company to remain profitable and continue to provide the high quality works that we have built our reputation on.”

Supplies and Success

Every top company is supported by a strong supply chain, and SS Mehta is no exception. “We tend to support the local suppliers and the world class talent that Kenyan’s have to offer,” Mehta remarks and is clearly proud to proclaim Kenya’s workforce can rival the best. However a substantial amount of goods are not available locally and have to be imported at a high cost from around the world, which will always be problematic for a company’s margin. SS Mehta has become one of the top civil engineering contractors in Kenya because of the high standard finish of their work, but there are always other factors that make the

best exactly that: the best. Gurmeet Mehta has a dry answer to this question, “Well, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore if I told you now would it, but on a serious note, our sites are managed by seasoned handson engineers and implemented by a motivated and loyal workforce. Every site operates on the same motto: deliver on time and within budget. We also believe in constantly making positive changes that enhance our performance and are continually evolving by keeping up with the latest methodology and equipment to provide optimum results.” With good leadership at the helm who understand what makes a successful company continue to be successful and a company ethos that is not just words, but standard practices, SS Metha can only go from strength to strength and continue to offer quality engineering that they can be proud of.

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Ghana’s property shortfall means a potentially lucrative time for developers – but customers need a name they can trust, which is good news for Vanguard Properties. Africa Outlook talks to Managing Director, Mr Kwabena Dapaah-Siakwan Writer Jon Bruford Project Manager Arron Rampling

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anguard Properties was initially formed as a shell company, by the three other companies of the Vanguard group; Vanguard Assurance, City Investments, and Vanguard Life. In 2011, the Directors decided they wanted to use the company to take advantage of the booming property market due to the housing deficit in Ghana. Mr Dapaah-Siakwan joined the property development company in late 2011, recruiting the first employees and established the new company policies. Now a fullyfunctional property development business, Vanguard Properties was born. “The name of every company, the institutions and employees behind them are all key to a Company’s success”, Dapaah-Siakwan explains. In the case of Vanguard Properties, it is the presence of the household name that makes it appealing to customers. “The property market in Ghana thrives on trust; people pay advances to real estate companies who are building properties. Who clients pay their money to should be very important to them. Should it be a company with no address, no corporate governance structure and so on?” These are some of the questions which will no doubt come to the minds of those entering the property ladder. “Vanguard Assurance was the first indigenous insurance company in Ghana, having been set up in the 1970s. We have a name that people can trust, and this is a very important factor in driving our sales.” The Ghana property boom that Vanguard Properties and other brokers are taking advantage of is due to a combination of factors, DapaahSiakwan explains: “There is a housing shortage and a lot of young graduates and middle management who want to

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have their own abode. The oil boom has also had a major positive impact as it means a lot of expatriates have come in to Ghana. These people want good addresses, they want gated flats and townhouses; these expatriate companies bring their own staff. They want to live in secure areas that are close to amenities, this creates extra demand especially in the higher end of the market.” Another factor is the recent maturity of the mortgage market. In previous years, banks simply did not lend to home-buyers, which is a staple of economic growth. DapaahSiakwan remarked: “People needed funds to help them buy houses but an undeveloped mortgage market meant the funding for buying property was cut off. When I was working at the bank, mortgages were only given to a very few people, for example members of staff at the bank. This was not enough to drive growth, but over the years we have realised most of the banks have responded to the needs of the people. Mortgages and home loans are now much more widely available. There are even 100

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The oil boom has also had a major positive impact as it means a lot of expatriates have come in to Ghana”

per cent mortgages for houses up to a value of $100,000.” Vanguard has faced its own unique obstacles, but has been able to turn them around, which have helped with Vanguard’s publicity and profile. Dapaah-Siakwan is candid about such an occurrence in the company’s early days. “One of our flagship developments, Vanguard Heights, which gave us much-needed publicity when we started, also became our downfall. As a penetration strategy we bought a property that was about 50 per cent complete. The bank had foreclosed on the property, so we went to buy it, change the name, and use it as an entry to the market. It looked good but there were many hidden challenges. It cost us a lot of money and cut deeply into our profit margin. In the end, it was good for us and our image and showed that we are dedicated to keeping things professional.” As with most things in business, producing quality properties and maintaining customer relationships while making profit is not always easy.


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Vanguard are always learning and improving their business model. “Another refinement is in the design department”, says Dapaah-Siakwan: “As developers we have our own architects. When a property is designed, they become almost redundant, so instead of that designer resting when they have designed the property, they now act as project managers and oversee projects.” Vanguard now has consistency in the look and feel of its projects. 2014 promises to be a big year for the company, with three projects closing and two more potentially breaking ground. Vanguard Villas is a US $10million venture, with 10 million-dollar houses in a gated community. Vanguard Oasis is a $4million development, and Enclave is around $6-$7million, with prices ranging from $42,000 up to $150,000. This forward-thinking, adaptable company with a solid foundation and a strong customer base have shown that they are equally adept at developing properties at opposite ends of the housing spectrum.

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Kenya’s Champion FOR C O M M U N I C AT I O N S COVERAGE

Airtel aims to connect communities across Kenya by providing affordable, relevant and innovative mobile solutions to all Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Donovan Smith

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ince 2010, Airtel Kenya have gone from strength to strength while maintaining and evolving it strong customer values and competitive services. Airtel Kenya has shown their ambition and drive with a 17% share of the highly competitive and lucrative telecommunications market in Kenya. Shivan Bhargava, the Managing Director of Airtel Kenya since 2012, puts this growth down to two key factors: highly trained staff and competitive products. “We pride ourselves on training our staff to be all that they can be and to give our customers the perfect experience of our products and services. Secondly we offer consumers competitive services and products that will enable them achieve more in their daily lives”

Airtel Kenya Managing Director Shivan Bhargava (right) and afb Managing Director for Mobile, Johan Bosini (left) signing the partnership at The Norfolk hotel.

High Speed Coverage

Airtel Kenya’s network coverage currently stands at more than 85% of the population and they are targeting a 95% reach in the next 12-15 months. The company have invested over Kes8.5 billion in support of network expansion, infrastructure and access in urban and rural Kenya for voice, internet services and mobile commerce, including the launch of Airtel Money and the super fast 3.75G data network. Airtel is making mobile communications available and affordable for all and giving people the freedom to achieve their goals; “Our customers will experience the same familiar brand and enjoy the same quality of service, reliability, innovation and affordability wherever they live, work or travel.” explains Bhargava. With the launch of its 3.75G platform in February 2012, Airtel introduced the fastest mobile internet in Kenya, offering its customers the latest global High

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Commercial Director Mr. Neil Suares (right) and the Managing Director of Nakumatt holdings Mr. Atul Shah (left) during the launch of Nakumatt agent launch at Nakumatt Mega branch.

Head of Corporate Communications and Brand Dick Omondi and DStv Mobile General Manager Felix Kyengo display the DStv Drifta during the partnership launch.


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Official flag off ceremony of Airtel Kenya’s Road safety initiative.

Speed Packet Access (HSPA) plus technology. Speeds of 21 mbps, the same speeds as in Europe and the USA, were available in all the major towns in Kenya. It is the fastest 3G available and has been enormously beneficial for a variety of internet and data users including large Corporations, local business and social media conscious youth. Bhargava says this can soon become the standard for the entire country. “The 3.75G will soon become the standard data speed for consumers, as we look to ensure that it is fully accessible to all customers through the extension of its availability from the core business centres in the key cities to residential areas and social locations for use by families and friends to connect on social media with ease.” The company will continue to roll out its quality data network across all of Kenya with the objective of building the

fastest and largest 3G network across the country coupled with offering innovative and convenient services in response to customer motivations.

Not Just Mobile Communications

Airtel have partnered with several banks in Kenya in order to offer convenience through innovative mobile banking solutions to its customers through its Airtel Money M-commerce solution. In the partnership, customers on Airtel Money are able to transfer money from their bank accounts to their phones and use it for payments to other individuals, purchases and bill payments. They are also able to deposit and send cash from the Airtel Money agents available throughout the country.

Success of Xpress

Last year, Airtel Kenya rolled out new state of the art Airtel Xpress

shops. The shops offer a wide range of convenient walk in face-to-face customer service including Airtel data settings, Airtel Money, postpaid and prepaid activations, bill payments, selling of airtime, modems and handset sales. “It is all part of our customer excellence journey that has been well received by our customers; we want to make sure our customers are able to access our personalized service and care in order to find solutions to any issues they may face in their experience with our products and services.” remarked Bhargava on the success of the Airtel Xpress shops.

The Rise of P2P and the Fall of SMS

With every rising trend, another one becomes less popular. This has been the case with SMS in Kenya. Airtel Kenya have seen a huge rise in the number of

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people now conversing by way of Peer to Peer (P2P) sites and programs such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Mr Bhargava thinks this is down to the instant messaging services provided by the sites “With the rise in data traffic we have seen and the fall in SMS traffic, driving us to tailor our services to meet the needs of the new instant messaging era” Accessing the internet has become universal and essential for all people and Airtel Kenya have embraced this by offering affordable and quality internet access. Data tariffs offered by the company include unlimited daily, weekly and monthly data bundles, which enable its customers utilise smart phone features and high speed access to email and internet sites such as education materials, social media or entertainment sites including music and movie downloads.

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“Customer experience is at the heart of what we do”

Airtel Kenya have seen its customer base grow to just under 5.8 million users throughout Kenya and expects that figure to rise further in the next 12 months. Mr Bhargava is keen to point out that customer satisfaction is the company’s number one priority “We are always looking for new and exciting ways to expand on our customer base. Whether this is by offering a new and innovative service or by listening to customer feedback and implementing new strategies to ensure our customers are always satisfied with our service. In short, customer experience is always at the heart of what we do.” With the customer’s best interest always at the fore front of Airtel Kenya’s plans, consumers can look forward to products and services that will benefit their lives and change the way business and personal communication is conducted.

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Riffat Manji of African Retail Shop (ART) leads in the opening of an Ultra- new Express shop on Commerce House Moi Avenue opposite Kenya Cinema. Looking on is Airtel Kenya Commercial Director Neil Suares.


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Smart Smarter PHONES

BUSINESS Tecno Telecom Limited are bridging the gap between affordability and quality Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Donovan Smith

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ecno Telecom Limited, established in July 2006 in Hong Kong, is a comprehensive mobile phone manufacturer specializing in R&D and Smartphone manufacturing. In 2008, Tecno decided to focus on Africa as its key market and accordingly launched Tecno Brand Strategy. Through three years of efforts, Tecno has achieved initial success with its outstanding and unique marketing strategy, and has now become one of the most popular mobile phone brands in many countries within Africa. As of 2010, Tecno has become one of the top three mobile phone brands in Africa. Arif Chowdhury, Vice President, believes the key to becoming a top three provider in such a fiercely competitive market is due to Tecno understanding customer needs: “The key reason we are successful is because of our close focus on Africa’s market; we may be a global company, but we act locally. In the Africa market, we try to provide what they are looking for, what they wanted and need rather than keep pushing the only models we had. It’s more about understanding the need of the market and providing a product that makes customers feel like it is made for them.”

Long Term Approach

With Smartphones becoming the industry standard, more and more people who previously would not have opted to buy one, have begun to see them as not only a must have, but a communication medium that is currently unrivalled. Chowdhury has made sure that Tecno are doing everything to ensure that consumers who are looking at a Smartphone purchase is within their financial means: “ Most of the African communication markets have been rapidly moving

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towards the Smartphone era, especially markets in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya,” he remarks. Tecno take great pride in having their R&D divisions working constantly on new ways to produce handsets where affordability meets the quality and vice versa. Chowdhury continues: “Even if consumers have less money than others, we strive to be competitive so that even those people can afford and enjoy a Smartphone.” This is a positive approach to long term customer retention and will only serve to further benefit the end user in this emerging market. With the business becoming stronger in the African countries, Tecno have taken the decision to begin working on a permanent base in Nigeria. “In Nigeria, we already have a new building for Tecno, which we see as a long term investment. We are spending a lot of money in marketing, and we are looking for strong investment which will enable us to stay in the continent,” cites Chowdhury, who is personally overseeing the project.

Counterfeit Challenges

With every big selling product, cheaper counterfeit versions are inevitably going to spring up. This can cause several problems for a company like Tecno. Mr Chowdhury commented on this rising trend: “We have had a lot of issues with counterfeit Tecno phones. This has been a big problem for us as we are losing business. Customers may not know the phone is a counterfeit product; these people just want to make short term profits, offering a downgrade with poor quality internal components. Unfortunately, the end user will blame Tecno for the problem, even though it is not a genuine product and this affects our reputation as being a trusted provider of top quality devices.”

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Most of the African communication markets have been rapidly moving towards the Smartphone era, especially markets in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya”

It is not just the handsets that have been hit with counterfeit version, but also the range of accessories that Tecno offer. Tecno have constantly offered the highest quality batteries in their products. These batteries are supplied by a brand in China who supplies some of the biggest companies in the world. However, this is another area where sub-par fakes have become as commonplace as the originals and this can become a potential hazard to the user. There have been reported cases of these batteries catching fire and burning the user while they are in a pocket or being used.

Growth

Tecno have seen their yearly profits grow by over 100 per cent last year, due to the success of their own


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Smartphones and tablets being offered. “In 2013, we launched our own Android phones and tablet. The key achievement for us was just how quickly our Android phones took off. We are expecting even better sales in 2014 and we will continue our big push in the Smartphones market. I predicted Tecno will see a steady growth over the next 2-3 years,” Chowdhury explains. The facts behind this prediction are plain to see. Smartphone handsets only account for 30 per cent of the communications market in most African countries, with some countries this is below 10 per cent. This means that there is a big gap in the market for the right company to come along and fill the void. By 2017 research suggests that 70 per cent of phones in the world will be

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Even if consumers have less money than others, we strive to be competitive so that even those people can afford and enjoy a Smartphone”

a Smartphone. Chowdhury agrees with the research recently reported: “In 3 years, you can expect the Smartphone numbers in Africa to become much higher, at least 70 per cent and Tecno will be ready to help the consumers with a range of handsets designed for both ends of the market.” Tecno are not worried about the potential companies who may wish to take advantage of the gap in the market. The Influx of international and local entrepreneurs looking to enjoy a slice of the market will be good for both Tecno and the markets. “A healthy competition breeds innovation and forces us to try and keep ahead of the curve. This will only serve to benefit the end user as they will have access to the latest technology,” asserted Chowdhury.

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Together, We Can

We are spending a lot of money in marketing, and we are looking for strong investment which will enable us to stay in the continent”

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Tecno have become one of the top three providers of Smartphones in the African Market, and this is not by chance. It has been down to hard work; listening to and implementing consumer feedback and constantly looking for ways to improve their services and products. Mr Chowdhury has always spoken of long term projects and visions: “We didn’t try to just make some money. We really wanted to have a dream that all African consumers would be happy that Tecno has helped people change their lives. We have the largest number of after sales service centres in Africa which explains how serious we are to provide the best after sales care for our consumers. If a problem were to arise with your device, we will solve the issue for you; we try to instil the belief that when the consumers buy a phone from us, they are buying trust.” Arif Chowdhury believes that Tecno’s Motto Together, We Can is not just a motto, it is the very philosophy of the company. “Together, We Can is not just a motto or a flashy slogan; it is how we do business. We don’t just churn out the same phone with a different name and colour, we listen to our customers and act on what they say. They are our biggest critic and our

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MIZBEACH

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izbeach is a mobile phone reseller driven by the desire to deliver an outstanding experience to every client we have the privilege of serving. After ten years of operation (since February 2004) and currently selling over a million devices per annum, we are more committed and strive harder than ever to offer the best mobile phone purchase experience possible. We serve a wide range of wholesale clients, from large telecom operators (Etisalat Nigeria & Airtel) to the smallest of resellers. Every client is given a firstclass experience. A number of clients request delivery because they are outof-town or unable to pick up their order and we make sure it gets to them in a timely manner, even if we have to drive it over ourselves. In addition to wholesale, we serve retail clients through our website and outlets across the country, offering an excellent experience through various programs we run. The most appreciated is the ‘client callback’, where we call a couple of days after the purchase to ensure our client is pleased with the device and quality of service they received. Mizbeach is “ the best place to buy phones” – try us, be amazed! Tel 01-791-7705

www.mizbeach.com


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SLOT SYSTEMS LIMITED

Together, We Can is not just a motto or a flashy slogan; it is how we do business. We don’t just churn out the same phone with a different name and colour, we listen to our customers and act on what they say. They are our biggest critic and our greatest asset”

greatest asset. together with their help and voice, tecno can provide Smartphones that the end user will be proud to own.”

“as good as the west”

with africa’s communications market growing every day, there have been comparisons drawn between the growth in Europe and the west and africa’s own market. Chowdhury believes that africa deserves more attention from external investors and companies as “it is a very good market, lots of things are happening in africa, and investment from outside will help

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us expand the industry even further until we have a market that is as good as the west’s.” with companies like tecno helping to ensure africa can enjoy mobile communications at affordable levels, the consumer can be confident that the Smartphone era will not pass them by. “In 2014, I hope that consumers will be able to enjoy the many features that smart devices have to offer, from music apps, mobile gaming and Instant messaging and tecno will be helping to make that possible. after all africa deserves everything the rest of the world has to offer.”

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lot Systems limited is a household name for affordable and durable mobile phones for everyone. we consider it necessary to fill up this need in the global information technology with emphasis in Nigeria market. as an indigenous company, we don’t just sell phones, we provide first class after sales support that is incomparable in any western african information technology sector. over the years, we have been the first to announce new phones, new functions, features, and upgrades in the Nigerian society. Incorporated since 1998 and started importation of computer accessories the same year, Slot Systems made a priceless contribution in providing personal computer (PCs) in virtually every house and office in the late 90s.with the ability of our dynamic leadership in 2001 we switched over to mobile telecommunication services and since then we have kept the flag flying high. we will continue to provide high quality services at cost effective rate in a manner that will make us the most valued and best reliable player in mobile cellular services. our philosophy is that every Nigerian must have a phone, a laptop and access to the internet. Tel + 0803 462 0000 Email info@slotlimited.com

www.slotlimited.com


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Dynamic Tariffing™Systems An insight into Digitata and their Dynamic Tariffing™ System success Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Nick Norris

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igitata Limited boasts a strong mobile telecommunications and revenue management background. Set up in 2008 with the specific purpose of implementing a Dynamic Tariffing™ System (DTS), Digitata has seen revenue double in the past three years. The business is made up of a team dispersed across South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and their headquarters in Mauritius. Africa Outlook spoke to CEO Ted Bartlett and his CTO Tim Fourie to gain a better grasp of the company’s ethos. Since its inception, Digitata has worked closely with African mobile giant MTN. Digitata was also selected by Ericsson AB, a leading provider of telecommunications solutions globally, to provide core technology for Ericsson’s Dynamic Discount Solution (DDS). Mr Bartlett states: “We continue to work closely with Ericsson, to extend our customer reach, but increasingly operators are sourcing from the company directly, rather than going through partner channels or larger organisations.” Remarkably, Digitata has only 28 members of staff across all countries of operation. “Our core business is to understand operators and their revenue, how consumers respond to pricing, and what needs to be done to apply a yield optimisation tool to the telecoms markets. With our expertise focussed on these factors, we do very little in the way of administration.” Digitata outsources other services including second and third line support, software development and code level fixes to their partner company, Rorotika Technologies. Mr Bartlett stresses: “Our business is knowing, understanding, consulting, setting up, managing and launching DTS and Yield Optimisation.” Having a small

team has its internal benefits, and makes managing a global team and meeting up regularly throughout the year much more achievable.

What is Dynamic Tariffing™?

An explanation on the inner workings of the Dynamic Tariffing™ System provided insight into how Digitata grows their business. “The concept is incredibly simple. The price that you pay for a commodity is largely determined by the availability of said commodity, and also the willingness of the consumer to pay a price for it”, explains Bartlett. For example, the price of train tickets can vary enormously depending on the time of the year, and on peak or off-peak travel; in other words, it varies depending on the demand for travel. “If it’s not constant, then we have to match demand in order to achieve what we call the greatest ‘yield’.” Using this method, the Dynamic Tariffing™ System measures the response of customers and acts to change customers’ calling patterns in order to maximise the usage of the network. “We are able to look at the subscriber spend on the operator’s network, and offer the subscriber value, while giving the operator the best return.” Extracting network and revenue data from the network, the Dynamic Tariffing™ System analyses that data and uses it to calculate an optimum price-per-cell-per-hour for the network, which is published. What’s more, anyone on the network can view this information.

Introducing New Concepts

The biggest challenge is introducing a new concept into the market. The idea that reducing prices when spare capacity exists will not automatically erode operator revenue often meets resistance. In reality, subscribers call

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romote your brand with innovative mobile gaming for emerging markets supported by Rorotika’s Mobile Gaming Platform. “Gamify” marketing with fun, exciting games. Increase brand engagement and generate quality leads. Extend your reach and access consumers in remote areas - anywhere with GSM coverage. Leave no phone behind - Rorotika Mobile Gaming works on over 99% of mobile phones. Rorotika Mobile Gaming makes use of under-utilised bearers, such as USSD and Cell Broadcast, to provide an interactive gaming experience. Single-player games as well as multiplayer interactive games are available. Advertisers can sponsor mobile gaming, or make use of in-game advertising.

for longer making up the difference and even exceeding it, as they are getting better value for their money. However, persuading operators that managing their commodity in a more sophisticated manner can lead to more value is not easy, as Bartlett explains: “You have to convince everybody involved. Educating the market on the outcome, possibilities and options of taking this up is difficult.” CTO of Digitata, Tim Fourie, brought a second challenge to light: “The biggest challenge for me has been product acceptance. There are multiple stakeholders who you have to satisfy simultaneously in order to get to the point where we can provide DTS. We aren’t just talking to one customer; it’s a solution that touches every aspect of the network.” Africa has been the company’s strong point, testament to

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where their service-education began. Both Bartlett and Fourie believe that as the product gains more and more acceptance in the market, they can grow their offerings.

Red Herring Award

One of the three mentionable awards that the company has won is the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award. Although it seems abundantly obvious that Digitata’s base of operations is not in this continent, a decision was made that their HQ in Mauritius was close enough to Asia to be included. As a result, they are the first and possibly only African company that will ever receive this award. Mr Bartlett says the company is extremely proud of this achievement: “Further to this, we were also invited to the global awards, where we received the Red Herring Top 100 Global Award, an even greater accolade.”

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CONCURRENT SYSTEMS Providers of mobile telecommunications software products and services to operators across the globe, since 2005 We believe that our products enable operators to become a recognized brand, which will generate new streams of income and enable subscriber loyalty Digitata CEO Ted Bartlett on a charity bicycle ride with Richard Branson

Products we provide: Signalling Gateway: A carrier-grade high performance messaging gateway that enables operators to deploy USSD, SMS, and Location-Based Services; and manage routing of these services Promotion Creation Centre: Enables mobile operators to introduce new services and campaigns rapidly, such as data, voice and messaging bundles, loyalty schemes, and discounted community subscriptions Let Concurrent Systems help you move ahead! Tel +27 (0)11 253 3660 (South Africa) Email info@concurrent.co.za

www.concurrent.co.za

Exhibitions Digitata Exhibition At Mobile World Conference Barcelona 013

Our business is knowing, understanding, consulting, setting up, managing and launching DTS and Yield Optimisation� Digitata team in Bali

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also seen the competitive landscape changing dramatically.” The company has seen their As a business, Digitata is most systems being deployed in around interested in customer satisfaction, 24 countries globally and the DT which is at the forefront of their subscriber numbers have increased services. Reporting a constant to around 75 million. Digitata’s compounded growth of 25 per cent objective is to take that number a year, and an average growth of to 100 million subscribers during 12 million subscribers per year, the the course of this year. “In terms company has plenty to boast about. of subscriber numbers, we are “We will be moving into new countries pushing more aggressively on that and have a new product lined up for front, because this means we can this quarter. Additionally, we anticipate grow our own subscriber base as moving into further countries by the well.” Exciting things are in the middle of the year.” They hope to offing for this company as they also increase their direct customer base revealed the upcoming release of and networks, as the number of a completely new but symbiotic operators in Digitata’s market reach is product, being introduced into the also on the rise. “We believe that the market this quarter. “At the moment, market education is reaching a tipping our intention is to put ourselves point. We are seeing change, with above the parapet of Mobile World companies now seeking solutions from Congress.” They will be making a full us, which is hugely positive. We have announcement soon.

Customer Satisfaction and Projected Growth

A Wealth of New Opportunities

Fourie explains that new opportunities are coming through to Digitata’s portfolio, accompanied by the ambitious 100 million subscriber target: “We are significantly ahead of our nearest competitors. We have a trust relationship with our network operators, this is imperative.” Bartlett interjected with a concluding statement: “When an operator offers you the opportunity to price their commodity effectively, when control and revenue is deriving from their assets, it is imperative that we maintain a track record of integrity and performance.” The main reason for the company’s success is this underlying trust in Digitata as a company. This trust is central to the company’s daily functioning, and makes them a strong contender in the Mobile Solutions marketplace.

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mobile BRINGING

innovation TO AFRICAN COMMUNICATIONS

In this modern era of ever evolving communications and smart phones, one company is helping to bring innovation and value added service to the people of Africa Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Donovan Smith

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he Channel IT Group are a diverse group of companies that plays a major role in bringing infrastructure, technologies and services to emerging markets that shape the way people live, work learn and socialize. From their inception in 2003, Channel Group have grown considerably over the last decade, adding various sectors to their business portfolio including, telecommunications, IT, mobile communications and infrastructure, which has seen them become one of the leading global vendors for communications in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Bassim Haidar, Founder and CEO of the Channel IT Group said of the company “I wanted the company to address the key challenges and issues that other companies had in the Nigerian telecom industry. We combined the best suppliers and operators under one umbrella in order to effectively deliver our services and financial guarantees to the consumer.” It is no surprise that the company has seen its service user’s rise to an estimated 94 Million in Africa and continuing to rise. The Value Added Service offered by Channel IT to its customers has become a revelation in countries where mobile communication and accessibility is one of the fastest growing markets and a quintessential necessity for the population.

The Key to Success

Delving into new technological avenues is something that Haidar is keen to embrace and so far has been true to his word “We try to innovate, try to offer services and products that the subscribers require. We never copy anything that another company has done, that is not how we work. We are always looking for new technically challenging projects

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which will benefit the consumer in everyday life.” One of the most successful ventures of Channel IT Group is its Value Added Services (VAS). One such service is the ability to be notified that you are running low on credit and be offered the chance to borrow additional credit of up to $2 instantaneously. This allows the consumer to continue their conversation without the inconvenience of finding a place to top up. “This service has been so successful for us that we are now looking at offering potentially larger amounts of money, up to $100, in a form of micro finance, to our customers. This will be a short term loan which can be used to buy anything they require” said Haidar. With the success of the VAS, research and development has become an integral part of Channel IT Group’s future plans. One such project is the advancements in sodium batteries, in which one of the unique features is that it does not degrade over its 5 year lifetime. Currently cell towers in Africa are powered by both battery and generator. As standard batteries degrade over their lifespan by about 20% per annum, Channel IT is now in partnership with FIAMM to sell and support FIAMM’s new technologies and batteries in Africa. When the battery is not running, the generators have to be used, forcing companies to spend greater amounts each year on running their cell towers. The solution has been a joint project between FIAMM, an energy solutions company based in Italy, and Channel IT Group. The new battery, with its greater running time and non-degrading cells, can operate in temperatures of up to 80°C, whereas the current batteries used have a much lower tolerance

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of 40°C. This new design will allow countries such as Nigeria and the Sudan, whose temperatures reach in excess of 50°C regularly, to also benefit from this technology and bring down the rising cost of cell tower operation.

What Lies in the Future for this Industry Pioneer?

The Group is currently exploring a unique approach when it comes to rewarding their growing customer base. Mr Haidar states that by asking the customer to subscribe for free to adverts that replace the ringing tone, “more money will come into the wallet of the individual.” This benefits both the provider and media agency, providing free, tailored advertisements to the customer which they may otherwise be unaware of, and giving the media agency an audience that would be more receptive to the advert. He cites: “If, for example, an advert for test driving a Nissan car plays, the customer would simply ‘press 1’ on their handset if they wanted to take up the offer. They would then receive a call back instantly from a Nissan operator asking when they would like to book this.” This form of direct marketing puts advertisers in touch with consumers directly and will be designed as an impulse selling tool. When we asked Mr Haidar for his opinion on providing a service like this over in Europe, he expressed that the EU has a lot more regulation around this kind of thing “The rules are less liberal in Europe and with very strict privacy regulations in the industry, such products will never grow out of early test stages.”

Voice or VAS?

The 94 million currently using the service make an average of

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TRICOM STRUCTURES

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ricom Structures (Pty) Ltd (TRICOM) is an internationally established comprehensive solutions provider for engineering manufacturing services in the power and telecommunications industries. Our services include telecommunications steel structures, power transmission and distribution, reinforcing steel supply and foundation design services, renewable energy solutions, project management and specialised laser cutting. Founded in 1999 and originally operating exclusively in South Africa, TRICOM has since grown apace and diversified into our current comprehensive manufacturing portfolio. We have developed a truly global nature and have a presence throughout the African continent and beyond. Tel +27(0) 12 803 0041 Email Info@ticom1.co.za

www.tricom1.co.za

We try to innovate, try to offer services and products that the subscribers require. We never copy anything that another company has done, that is not how we work”


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Telecoms Towers | Transmission and Distribution | Renewable Energy | Special Projects

Tel: +27(0) 12 803 - 0041 | Email: info@tricom1.co.za | www.tricom1.co.za

4.4 calls a day. With this form of advertisement in place, customers receive up to 15 minutes of free talk time a month by signing up with the advertising media agency. This is huge when we consider that the average spend per user is on average $2-$4, meaning customers will really feel the benefit if they sign up to this optional subscription. With the number of users on the rise, Haidar poses an interesting thought on current trends in this sector: “Voice subscriptions have reached their peak because of coverage. However, as the consumers are becoming more sophisticated and spending more money, new growth will be coming into with value added services. Africa is only at 7% of its potential services and operators are all seeing a steady growth. My prediction is that the end of 2014-start of 2015 will be the peak of expansion.”

This way, users can keep in touch with their social media wherever they are in the continent.”

Users can keep in touch with their social media wherever they are in the continent”

“Innovation drives us forward”

Channel IT Group have developed a platform that allows customers to use their SMS to update their social media and receive updates via ordinary mobile messaging services. This innovation took off immediately with 75,000 subscribers on launch day and a further 10,000 joining every single day. “Customers are invited to take part in this service for a minimum of 3 cents a day, or a more cost-effective long term monthly fee of 50 cents for unlimited usage. The cheapest plan in Africa today is $10 on average” explains Haidar. “People often have the Internet at work, but not at home.

Mr Haidar encouraged any prospective entrepreneurs considering a potential venture in Africa to get in contact: “We would like our company to be positioned in a way that if anyone has a brilliant idea to come forward and talk with us, we are always open to new ideas and potential benefits to the user and the company. We pride ourselves on the foundation that most actions are indirectly a financial reward for both the customer and the company” With the continued growth seen in African communications, coupled with the innovative projects and services provided, there is little doubt Channel IT Group are paving the way for a brighter communications future for Africa.

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B R O A D C O M

BROADENING THEIR

With a model of excellence in delivering superior and complete ICT solutions, Broadcom strives for a fast response time whilst maintaining a high level of skill and expertise Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Donovan Smith

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roadband Communication Networks Limited (Broadcom) are a telecommunication solution provider who supply telecommunication network solutions for mobile network operators, fixed network operators and large business customers in Africa. The company is now 13 years old having opened its doors in June 2001. Over these years, Broadcom have seen a strong and steady growth in revenue. This growth has been fuelled by the liberalisation of the mobile industry in Kenya and the East African region, with the rise in mobile communication customers and infrastructure. In order to provide the required solutions, the company work with several reputable manufacturers, providing specific areas of expertise and technology transfer. This has enabled Broadcom to develop capacity to meet the dynamic increase in mobile operators’ requirements. The company have three main sectors that they focus on: New telecommunication network installations services, network maintenance services and network testing products. Within these broad sectors are more disciplined and bespoke services including; design, implementation and commissioning of various types of both wireless and wire-line telecommunication products. Broadcom are highly experienced with mobile networks covering all network elements including the infrastructure, radio frequency (RF) systems and transmission network.

Missions and Vision

Broadcom have a company mission statement that underlines their company ethos, they strive to be the “preferred provider of innovative and superior ICT solutions and managed services in East Africa.� However it

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does not stop there, Broadcom have that long term vision that all high profile and successful companies have, a vision that allows them to prosper in the solutions market: “We want to be the model of excellence in delivering superior and complete ICT solutions and managed services in Africa.” The company believes in a set of core values that are at the heart of every project they undertake. Honesty, Integrity Sincerity, Superior Quality are just a few of these values, which have allowed Broadcom to become a recognised and trusted name in the telecommunications field of East Africa.

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Integrated Service Providers

We want to be the model of excellence in delivering superior and complete ICT solutions and managed services in Africa”

As demand for more integrated services has arisen in the multi-vendor environment over the last 5 years, Broadcom have embraced this need by offering a complete planning, installation and commissioning of virtually all leading GSM, UMTS and CDMA products in the industry. This allencompassing approach to the market has allowed Broadcom to broaden their horizons. Their engineers have implemented wireless projects in Zimbabwe, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Mali and Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Malawi, Uganda and several in


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KENWAN SERVICES LTD Considering some of the areas needed to get to can be in remote locations. Broadcom have implemented procedures for deployment and site equipment recoveries in case of major failure to minimize the down time�

Kenya. In addition to this, they have also provided telecommunication testing solutions across the African Region. The maintenance division within Broadcom provides complete maintenance solution for the mobile industry. These services include the Base Station Transceiver Site (BTS), maintenance and corrective (Event) maintenance to ensure system serviceability is guaranteed. Broadcom always adhere to maintenance schedules with the required quality control check list in every activity, meeting specific key performance indicators and industry standards of practice. This has ensured that the network operates within set parameters and has improved network availability for customers.

Kenwan Services Ltd was registered in the year 1997 to serve the agricultural, telecommunication and industrial sectors of the economy. Our main business activity is supply of generators and water pumps, supply of spare parts repairs and maintenance to the same. We also undertake supply contracts. Our key business pillars are integrity, efficiency and reliability. We are distributors of various generator spares and water pumps for various manufacturers, and we are distributors of Powerpro range of generators in Kenya. These are companies that are BSI & UKAS registered and certified companies therefore ensuring that our products are of very high quality. Our service department is especially useful whenever our customers` are experiencing technical difficulties be it on generators or water pumps. Our customers not only enjoy quality service but genuine parts that are reasonably priced. We intend in the long term to become a regional company that meets the power and agricultural needs of this East African region. Teak House | Kweria Road | Nairobi |Kenya Phone: +254 202242779 | +254 202244789 Workshop at Airport | North Rd | Next to Kabansora Millers Godown No.25 Mobile: 0733 725409 | 0722 266973

Always Available

Things can and inevitably do go wrong. So when this happens and an entire network goes down due to such a problem, Broadcom will visit to the sites for urgent equipment repair after a breakdown that might affect network availability. Their teams are strategically located to ensure they have a minimum response time and mean time repair of 3 hours maximum. Considering some of the areas needed to get to can be in remote locations. Broadcom have implemented procedures for deployment and site equipment recoveries in case of major failure to minimize the down time. All this is done with a high level of skill, accuracy and expertise to ensure that the network provider is always satisfied with the level of service they receive and the end user is not affected for longer than necessary.

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Sterling Bank’s Agent Banking underscores the need to provide access to affordable financial services and products for every Nigerian Writer Robert Michaels Project Manager Sheridan Halls

igeria’s banking sector imploded after the 2008 global financial crisis but has since recovered and is in good stead. Nobody illustrates that better than Sterling Bank, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing banks by revenue and profit in 2013. Its third quarter unaudited results revealed its nine month pre-tax profit rose to N6 billion, up 26 percent from the same period last year. Gross earnings at the lender grew 31.4 percent year-on-year to N65.1 billion up to September 30, compared with N49.6 billion in the same period a year earlier, the Bank said in a statement. “I am pleased with the steady progress that our bank has made in the first nine months despite regulatory headwinds arising from tighter monetary policy measures,” said Yemi Adeola, Sterling Bank’s CEO. “Top-line revenues remained strong having increased by 31 percent year-on-year to N65.1 billion. In line with our targets, we grew deposits by 29 percent, net loans by 36 percent, while reducing the proportion of non-performing loans to two percent. In the quarter just ended, we successfully launched a N12.5 billion equity issue by way of rights for which we are currently awaiting final regulatory approval. We are also in the process of concluding a private placement of $120 million to further strengthen our capital position. In the final quarter of the year, we will continue our rollout of conventional and alternative delivery channels to bring our products and services nearer to our target markets and further diversify our income streams. Our capital plan remains on track and we expect to close 2013 with record customer numbers arising from gains made year-to-date in this respect” he added.

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BOVAS GROUP Company Profile The Bovasgroup was established with the initial establishment of BOVAS & Company Limited in 1980. The company started operations as an Independent Petroleum Marketing Company dealing under Texaco Nigeria Limited (now Chevron Texaco Plc.). As a dealer under Texaco, the Company and her Managing Director Mrs. V. A. Samson distinguished herself by winning the most priced Texaco Plc Best Dealer Award in Sales, Marketing innovativeness amongst others for Latin American/West African Region. The Bovasgroup currently consists of: BOVAS & Company Limited BOVAS Gas

Boost for Nigeria

In November, that rollout of “conventional and alternative channels” saw Sterling Bank inaugurate its agent banking service which is expected to boost the financial inclusion strategy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2012. It is a major milestone and, as Sterling Bank’s website puts it, agent banking “aims at taking banking to the unbanked/underbanked via an array of products that will appeal to all adult Nigerians in a cost efficient manner”. Services on offer include accountopening, deposits, withdrawals, bill payments, funds transfer and airtime top-up services. “CBN as a matter of policy hopes that the whole unbanked Adult population of our society is financially included by 2020; especially by relaxing the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for certain small/medium businesses,” Sterling Bank’s website adds.

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BOVAS Bulk Storage Facilities BOVAS Mart Bovas Service Stations Our Vision

I am pleased with the steady progress that our bank has made in the first nine months despite regulatory headwinds arising from tighter monetary policy measures”

To be the foremost provider of one stop quality service in the oil and gas sector through petroleum service stations throughout Nigeria and the West African Sub region, Africa and Worldwide. Our Mission To create an effective and efficient distribution network of service stations, operating with integrity, honesty, reliability and excellence. Tel + 234 01 7618829 / +234 01 8101944 Email admin@bovasgroup.com

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EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT DISTRIBUTION NETWORK THE GROUP OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES: • Retail marketing of petroleum products • Wholesales marketing of petroleum products • Importing of petroleum products • Supply of LPG to direct home users • Supply of LPG to major domestic users • Haulage and Logistic services for petroleum products

Tel: +234 01 7618829 / +234 01 8101944 | Fax: + 234 02 8101944 Email: admin@bovasgroup.com

www.bovasgroup.com Plot 99/100 Kongi Layout, U.I-Secretariat Road, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

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The CBN’s guidelines have been developed to ensure increased agent activity in the delivery of banking services outside the traditional brick and mortar bank branches, through additional financial access points such as existing retail stores, petrol stations or post offices or via technology e.g. mobile phones. Sterling Bank’s agent banking underscores the need to provide access to affordable financial

services and products for every Nigerian and will lead to economic development as well as better life for all Nigerians. The Governor of the CBN Lamido Sanusi has publicly stated that the financial inclusion strategy was aimed at reducing the number of adult Nigerians, who are excluded from formal financial services from 46.3 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2020, with specific targets for payments, savings, credit and insurance.

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ounded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Since 1999, the company has been serving Africa’s top telecoms operators via its Carrier Network business group, and more recently, Huawei launched its Consumer and Enterprise business groups. Africa is a fast growing region for Huawei, where core business areas include solutions for operators, Global Services, consumers, and enterprises. First Africa office in 1999 in Cairo, Egypt 15% growth year-over-year More than 5,800 employees across 18 offices 1 R&D centre (South Africa); 7 training centres (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa) Partner with customers in nearly every African country Tel 0086 755 28780808 Email media.affairs@huawei.com

www.huawei.com/en

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As a bank, we owe it as a duty to play a role in creating wealth across the board. It is not enough to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility or charity initiatives”

According to Sanusi, sustaining the country’s development hinges on ensuring that at least 80 percent of all adult Nigerians have access to affordable financial services. Speaking at the inauguration held at the Makoko Fish Market in Lagos, Sterling Bank’s CEO said the decision to launch the initiative came a few days after the Bank’s management ended a strategic retreat that was meant to redefine its reason for being - enriching lives. “Today, there are more than 70 million Nigerians who are living below the poverty line,” Mr Adeola said. “As a bank, we have a role to play in creating wealth across board. It is not enough to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility or charity initiatives. We must remember that progress in the poorest parts of the country will benefit all of us in the long run.” “Every now and then, plans to eradicate poverty and bring financial services to the unbanked are discussed with much hype and promise; but in reality, no real action is taken. But this time around, I am pleased to announce that this is

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a reality initiated by the CBN and propelled by Sterling Bank. Sterling Bank is taking action,” he added. Sterling Bank decided to launch the scheme at Asejere Market in Makoko, a predominantly fishing community in Lagos because of the market’s significance in the society. “We are strategically targeting our financial inclusion initiatives at communities where our efforts will have the greatest impact. We shall continue to provide creative ways to bank the unbanked,” he explained. Customers are encouraged to learn more about the bank by visiting www.sterlingbankng.com. Sterling Bank Plc is a leading commercial bank in Nigeria with total assets of over N700 billion and one of the country’s fastest growing banks. Originally incorporated in 1960 as NAL Bank (the country’s first investment banking franchise), it acquired the operations of the erstwhile Equitorial Trust Bank in November 2011 in pursuit of its growth and expansion plans. The bank currently operates out of 165 branches, about 4,648 POS and 241 ATMs across Nigeria.

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A Reputation for Professionalism

Considered unmatched in their claims settlement record, underwriting expertise and quality of customer service, ICEA LION Group’s Steven Oluoch tells Africa Outlook about their biggest challenges and company developments Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Sheridan Halls

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s it exists today, the ICEA Lion General Insurance Company is an outcome of a merger between ICEA Lion Limited and Lion of Kenya Insurance Company in 2011, which came into effect from 1st January 2012. Prior to the merger, the two companies were both fairly well known and significant players in the East Africa insurance market. The ICEA LION Group’s business consists of four distinct units namely General Insurance, Life Assurance & Pensions, Investment & Asset Management and Trustee Services & Pension Scheme Administration. The company is currently in operation across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Africa Outlook spoke to the CEO of ICEA LION General Insurance Company Ltd, Steven Oluoch, to gain further understanding of the company profile. “The reason for the merger was to consolidate the companies to create a bigger force whilst also establishing separate life and non life companies for reasons of specialised focus on core business, enhanced internal efficiencies, improved customer service and greater competitiveness in the market place. The two companies were owned largely by the same shareholder, so it did not make sense for the companies to be in direct competition with each other,” Oluoch explains. Merging the two disparate entities have created an outfit that would be better able to compete within both the Life and General spheres of the highly competitive Kenyan insurance market. With premium incomes of Kshs 6.45 billion ($ 74.9 million) and Kshs 4.5 billion ($52.3 million), both the Life and the General company currently stand in the Kenyan top five in terms of their size. Although the law has not yet specifically required composite insurance companies to segregate their businesses, ICEA LION have been

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proactive, meaning they have already embraced the Government’s stated intention. The General Insurance company deals in Motor, Property, Engineering, Aviation, Marine, Personal Accident covers, Domestic or Home packages, Liability, Employee, Bonds, Agricultural risks and Travel among other non life classes. The Life Assurer on the other hand offers Ordinary Life, Group Life, Group Pensions and Unit Trusts products.

Competition in a Tough Market

After attaining 15 per cent growth on last year, the general underwriter, and indeed also the life assurer, communicates a professional outfit that does not compete on price. Oluoch explains: “There is a cut-throat culture in this market, but we are driven more by the bottom line. With 37 non life underwriters battling for a piece of pie that is limited in both size and growth, we are especially keen to show a clean sheet to our shareholders at the end of each day, even at the cost of rapid top line growth and market share. Profit before tax and optimal return to the shareholder, driven by a technically prudent but economically sustainable underwriting philosophy is our key concern.” Mr Oluoch highlighted three specific challenges that ICEA Lion’s General Insurance department tackle on a daily basis. Firstly, that the market is over saturated: “our market grows at an average rate of about 15 per cent and there is a lot of unhealthy competition that emerges, inevitably resulting in over capacity and price wars.” Secondly, he outlined Kenya’s low penetration rate into this saturated market: “We haven’t made the breakthrough in the minds of insurable Kenyans that we think we should have. Kenya still has a relatively paltry penetration rate of 3 per cent for general business, in comparison to 12 per cent in South Africa.” This

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There is a cut-throat culture in this market, but we are driven more by the bottom line”

challenge is however, is felt right across Africa as the rise in the cost of living means that significant amounts of the population are below the poverty line. “Obviously, the income that people have available to spend is assigned to more urgent needs, insurance is understandably not a priority for most.” Lastly, insurance companies tend to have a negative reputation in the mind of the general public; some are known for taking your money but are never there to pay your claim when it happens. Mr Oluoch believes that with the right public education on the benefits of insurance and more professional conduct by insurance companies, the third challenge can be tackled efficiently: “There is still a need for public awareness and education of our services, and African Governments should have a role in enforcing this.”


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and public safety as an integral part art of this sponsorship as Mr Oluoch reasons: “Our business objectives are appropriately intertwined with our Corporate Social Responsibility.” Furthermore, Oluoch takes great pride on the quality of his company and Group’s workforce, stating: “Staff are definitely our greatest resource, we do not take their coming to work for us for granted. We are deeply committed to furthering their skills and nurturing their talents because the better skills and qualifications they have, the higher the chances that it will lead to good things for the company.” Committed to developing his workforce, Oluoch also offers a range of graduate internships for promising young entrepreneurs seeking potential employment. “These fresh graduates are the ones who will hold the reins of the company in the future. We want to be the employer of choice for them, and not only that, in offering these internships we want to attract the best brains out there.”

“The medical insurance market is still very much unstructured”

Giving Back to the Public and Employees Even with these challenges in mind, ICEA LION feel there is also a need to give back to those who make their company operations possible. “It is not enough that we should only take your money and live by our contractual obligations when these arise, we also strongly feel that we owe society a bit more than providing cover.” In recent years, the Group has sought to become more engaged with communities by supporting multiple charities. Among them, those championing cancer, epilepsy and child education causes, in an act of moral obligation to improve people’s situations. Additionally, for the last two years they have partnered with KCB Safari Rally to showcase their “sporting side,” while also creating awareness for road

There is still a need for public awareness and education of our services, and African Governments should have a role in enforcing this”

ICEA LION is always looking into new possibilities for expansion, and whilst their medical business is currently limited, this is an area they consider to come with a level of risk. “We offer medical cover mainly for corporate clients who have been on our books for a long time, but this is purely on accommodation basis. However, it should be noted that we presently provide medical cover for the members of Parliament and the Senate, which is a high profile and sensitive account, and one that clearly demonstrates our technical competence to write medical business even at this stage.” Oluoch elaborates further: “To us, the market is still very much unstructured, with high risks of fraud and difficult to control medical processes and related expenses.

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We do not think that the administrative systems currently in place will ultimately help the running and administration of our company. Once we establish that the dynamics have positively changed in this market and the costs are controllable, then we will be able to venture into it in a significant way. We are as passionate about growth as anyone else would be, so it is something we are seriously considering in the future.”

A “One-Stop-Shop” for Quality

Following the recent merger, ICEA LION aspires to emerge as the undisputed leading provider of insurance and related financial services in the region based on the company’s reputation for professionalism, probity and reliability. Oluoch clarifies: “Everything that we do is tied to this vision. This will entail extending our footprint from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and providing further services to other regions. This is a way of guaranteeing growth beyond

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It is not enough that we should only take your money and live by our contractual obligations when these arise, we also strongly feel that we owe society a bit more than providing cover”

our traditional boarders and raising our profile.” In order to achieve this, the Group is currently strengthening its internal resources, which includes the implementation of state-of-theart-IT systems, a crucial innovation for any emerging company. “We have spared no expense to put these new systems in place. Plus, we are working on expanding our product distribution channels and have also recently set up a research department to work with our business development teams, in order to come up with tailored products for clients, among other objectives.” ICEA LION is highly reputed for professionalism in the Kenyan market. They have arguably the biggest bank of insurance professionals in any one company, through hiring suitably qualified staff with diplomas in insurance. Well-known for integrity and probity, Oluoch proudly proclaims: “Our Group’s claims settlement record is unmatched.”


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Home Grown DISTRIBUTION FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S PETROLEUM

Despite an ever-changing and price-driven market, one company looks to ensure customers always come first Writer Matt Bone Project Manager Sheridan Halls

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fric Oil was founded in 1995 by The Pembani Group, whose founders were a group of entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the petroleum sector in which a “black owned-company” could operate and flourish. Afric Oil was South Africa’s first empowered Oil Company, operating in the highly competitive fuel retail and wholesale markets. The company now operates as a truly independent oil distribution company, seeking opportunities for growth and supporting smaller fuel distributors in expanding its business as well. Tseke Nkadimeng, Managing Director of Afric Oil, is very proud of how far the company has come in such a short space of time: “We are still an emerging company in the African petroleum market, at just 20 years old, but in South Africa, we are a much better known and are a trusted distributor of Petroleum, despite our business being young in comparison to other industry suppliers.”

Infrastructure and Inflation

Afric Oil have indeed become a trusted name for distribution, as shown by their close relationship with mining and other industrial companies in South Africa. Bulk consumers of refined petroleum products rely on Afric Oil to deliver the quantities needed on time and for the right price. One of the key problems faced by Nkadimeng and Afric Oil is the South African Infrastructure, or in this case lack of. Below par rail performances to and from the industrial depots to their consumers are a constant stumbling block, which can interrupt distribution schedules and this has a huge knock on effect: “If we do not deliver the product on time, then our reputation is tarnished and this affects our profits. How can you trust a company that does not deliver on time?”

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We will not be turning our attention to anything other than distribution, I do not want to over reach and lose our customer focus. Afric Oil prides itself on being accessible by the consumer at all times”

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However this is not the only obstacle facing the industry, rising crude oil prices and exchange rates are as big a problem, if not the biggest problem that faces Afric Oil. Nkadimeng explains how the current tapering of bond purchases in the US and has seen a knock on effect in Africa. “With flight for safety by bond holders and emerging currencies taking a knock we have seen an accelerated increase in fuel prices without compensation as the prices in South Africa are adjusted once a month but oil companies make purchases almost every day. It is the ripple effect. Due to this, our prices become higher than the average consumer is willing to pay, and we are left in a very sticky situation; do we drop our prices and risk accruing debt? Or do we risk consumers cutting back their usage and cutting our profit margin? This is where we need the Government to step in with potential subsidies that would benefit local businesses.”

Bucking the Trend

Despite these obstacles, Nkadimeng has seen positive growth over the last two years to the point now where the company is looking at potentially hiring a new senior management team to help oversee the expansion plans: “We hope to hire 3-4 new senior managers and assistants, in order to help us oversee future growth plans, which will take us past the boundaries of South Africa and into Southern Africa.” However Nkadimeng is quick to point out that he is not about to over reach with the company: “We will not be turning our attention to anything other than distribution, I do not want to over reach and lose our customer focus. Afric Oil prides itself on being accessible by the consumer at all times.” This is not just a sentiment from Mr Nkadimeng but an ethos. He wants consumers to be able to email him or


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the senior managers and be able to talk about problems they are facing and being offered genuine advice which Nkadimeng would “put to the company with a view to discussing our operating procedures in the light of consumer feedback.” It is this kind consumer focus that builds loyalty and trust between Afric Oil and it’s customers. “With fuel products standardised our focus is on service and the customer, and Afric Oil offers exactly that.”

“Embracing Western Ideals but Remaining True to African Roots”

Afric Oil have a clear company vision: “We want to be the benchmark for emerging oil companies by creating and maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage through service excellence.” Tseke Nkadimeng believes that Africa and

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the South African market in general is moving along at a swifter pace now and is turning a corner and becoming more Westernised. “We have seen a change in the way we do business in South Africa; there is less corruption in the market and the country in general. I believe Afric Oil are embracing Western ideals but remaining true to our African roots. We will always remember where we have come from and what we started out as, but we can learn a lot from business models and ideologies from the US and UK. Our motto is always to import what works in other parts of the world but keep the good Ubuntu values which defines Africa, we believe we can profit from Ubuntu as well.” “Here in South Africa, it is easier to speak to an official than it would be say in London or New York. This way, the people who can make things happen will be able to sit down directly and

discuss matters. That is the African culture for me, always open and willing to talk.”

The Next Twelve Months

Afric Oil will continue to play a key role in South Africa’s petroleum distribution and infrastructure and hopefully by the end of 2014, Nkadimeng will have seen his vision of the company expanding across the borders into neighbouring companies become a reality: “I want to offer them the same customer driven and down-to-earth approach to petroleum supply that we have been giving our customers here in South Africa. In the end it comes down to one thing for me, long term planning with customers at the forefront of what we do, which is much better than short term planning with higher profits. In short, if you look after your customers and clients, then they will come back and use us again and again.”

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Liquid

As a result of strong client relationships, employee empowerment and forward planning, Camel Fuels is on course to becoming one of Southern Africa’s leading energy trading companies Writer Chris Davis Project Manager Sheridan Halls

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stablished just over five years ago in 2009, Camel Fuels is an oil and gas trading company that focuses on East Africa and the 15 member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community). In addition to sourcing and trading these commodities, Camel Fuels also physically distributes products throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The company concentrates its efforts on niche markets such as wholesalers within the region, independent power producers and large consumers of petroleum such as mines. All the while, Camel Fuels remains committed to unwavering integrity, service excellence, open communication and solution orientation when it comes to dealing with clients and suppliers alike.

Competitive Advantage

Camel Fuels’ Director Matthew Costello has a clear and concise vision of how the company intends to achieve its target of becoming a recognised and leading petroleum trading brand in Africa. “We understand the particular challenges that the region brings from a logistics and supplier point of view,” he states. “We listen to and understand client requirements clearly and build up long term relationships.” This is in addition to “a high level of service combined with ever-competitive rates,” according to Costello. This assured and assertive approach has been boosted by various developments that have taken place over the course of 2013, including new business relationships and various capital investments. “We are involved in the development of storage assets in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe,” reveals Costello. “These are strategic for us in order to get closer to our clients and broaden our reach, specifically in LPG. “We have also established a number of key

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supplier and client relationships with major oil companies in South Africa as well as large international suppliers. These relationships will fuel our growth and prospects for 2014.”

Moving with the Times

Although it is fair to say there are a number of industries that constantly change and evolve, the oil and gas industry has to continually deal with legislation relating to fuel, its environmental impact and future shortages. However, Camel Fuels acknowledges these obstacles and intends to be fully prepared for whatever lies ahead. “The upcoming challenge we are going to see, from a fuel point of view, is looking forward to 2016, where we will see the Euro V specification of fuel coming to South Africa,” cites Costello. “This is an ultra-low sulphur product, which is an environmentally friendlier advancement. “There are a lot of rules and regulations surrounding this, but we are busy positioning ourselves with clients and storage facilities to be ahead of the curve as a market leader adapting to these changes.” From a sustainability point of view, one of the most promising developments has been the uptake of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), another product that Camel Fuels has been busy accommodating recently. “The biggest thing we have seen around environmentally friendly use of energy is the increase of LPG within the SADC region,” notes Costello. “With the price of electricity putting pressure on the consumer, not just in South Africa but the whole SADC region, we are seeing more people move from traditional forms of energy to LPG for things like cooking, hot water and heating. This is encouraging because it is safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly too. “In anticipation of the continued increase in consumption, we have

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formed strategic relationships with international traders of LPG as well as storage facility owners and operators to be prepared for large-scale imports in Southern Africa.”

The upcoming challenge we are going to see, from a fuel point of view, is looking forward to 2016, where we will see the Euro V specification of fuel coming to South Africa”

The Importance of People

Even though Camel Fuels employs a lean workforce, Costello acknowledges just how crucial people are to the organisation. “We are firmly committed to developing our people,” he notes. “We streamline the business to develop internal employees and give them the skills to trade.” When it comes to recruiting new personnel, Camel Fuels will be operating in accordance with its B-BBEE accreditation. Thankfully, this empowerment initiative corresponds with Camel Fuels’ own principals according to Costello. He explains: “We are looking to develop middle-level traders as well as other positions in logistics and


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clearing. All of these candidates will be black females, which is in line with the newly published B-BBEE codes of good practice. “We are very committed to B-BBEE, which is bridging a gap between the formerly disadvantaged to meaningfully participate in our economy. As a company, we are completely aligned with these principals. When we bring people in, we empower and develop them as much as we can.”

The Year Ahead

Following on from a busy 2013, Costello is confident of another successful year for Camel Fuels thanks to numerous projects and activities on the horizon. “For us, 2014 is going to be an exciting year,” he says. “We have a number of new clients we will start supplying in East Africa, along the wholesale route as well as direct to mines and independent power producers, which is very exciting for us.”

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We streamline the business to develop internal employees and give them the skills to trade”

Although Camel Fuels has traditionally focused its attention on oil and gas trading, the company is continuing to expand its physical product portfolio, which will be made possible by new storage facilities. “We are focused on petroleum storage in South Africa, with projects starting in the first quarter of this year and coming to fruition at the end of 2015,” Costello asserts. “We will then have our own storage capabilities to bring goods directly into this market and have an impact on the SA fuel landscape. Looking beyond 2014, Camel Fuels’ long-term targets remain the same. “In five years time, I think we will see a very strong and robust importer and trader of petroleum products as well as speciality solvents. I think we will achieve our goal as a leading African brand and also reach the level where we are respected on a global stage,” Costello concludes.

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Ore Ins Africa Outlook takes a closer look at iron ore miner African Minerals Ltd’s flagship Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Ben Weaver

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nspiring re owners have described West Africa as the new frontier and the quest for its iron-ore resources has driven a railway and mining boom worth an estimated $25 billion. So many discoveries have been made in the region that it has been described as the new Pilbara, after the massive iron ore fields in Western Australia. Aim-listed African Minerals Ltd’s (AML) Tonkolili mine in the Sula Mountain range in Sierra Leone sits on top of one of West Africa’s largest iron ore deposits. The firm, founded by entrepreneur Frank Timis as Sierra Leone Diamond Company, spent seven years exploring the deposit before confirming the presence of a world-class magnetite

iron ore deposit in 2009. The London based company signed a 99-year lease with the government of Sierra Leone to rehabilitate the 74km 1067mmgauge railway from the port of Pepel to the old mine at Marampa and build a 126km extension to a new iron-ore mine at Tonkolili. It began production just 14 months after the mining permit was issued and the first ore trains ran in November 2011. The second phase “will entail the development of a new purpose built port at Tagrin Point. The new port will have the ability to load Cape Size vessels alongside the quay and avoid the costs of using transhipment vessels. At the mine a new major concentrator will be built, producing 30Mtpa of high grade hematite concentrate. This phase will be

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capable of supporting this expanded production for around 15 years, at a cash cost estimated to be around $21/t,” AML’s website says, adding, “The flagship project comprises the Tonkolili iron ore deposit and additional associated 200km rail and port infrastructure in central Sierra Leone. Tonkolili currently hasa JORC compliant ore resource of 12.8Bnt which extends over a combined strike length of 30km, and includes a substantial Direct Shipping Ore and Saprolite mineral resource overlying a very large magnetite orebody.” AML announced recently plans to produce the equivalent of 20Mt of iron ore a year by the end of Q2 2013. It said it expected a surge in output this year as it continued to ramp up production and forecast production of 15Mt to 18Mt at Tonkolili in 2013. The mine produced 5.1Mt last year. “While significant progress was made in 2012, delays in construction and commissioning of the wet process plant, and the prolonged and severe 2012 wet season, impacted operations resulting in the exporting of 4.3Mt of material, below our revised 5Mt target,” AML said in a statement, adding that adjusted operating loss narrowed to $27.9 million in 2012 from $35.6 million a year earlier.

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2012 has been an important year for AML, a year which has been characterised by the strengthening of the team, a major investment from SISG, the continued ramp up of production and a significant de-risking of the next phase of the project”

“2012 has been an important year for AML, a year which has been characterised by the strengthening of the team, a major investment from SISG, the continued ramp up of production and a significant de-risking of the next phase of the project, now with the brownfield development at Pepel, which will result in a material reduction in capital expenditure,” said CEO Keith Calder, the former chief executive of Western Coal who replaced Alan Watling who unexpectedly quit the miner last May. “The progress we have made in 2012 and early 2013, in installing physical production capacity and strengthening our leadership capability, position us well to achieve our sustainable production target of 20Mtpa during Q2 2013. “We have made good progress with value engineering and optimisation in our Tonkolili mine expansion strategy. While our strategy regarding the mine and plant is mostly unchanged, we have now decided to leverage our existing rail and port infrastructure at Pepel to achieve the expanded export tonnage. This will significantly reduce capital costs, and de-risk the project’s delivery, whilst at the same time reducing social and environmental impacts. This approach will provide a


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significantly better value, capital efficiency and risk proposition for all of our stakeholders.” African Minerals, which faced a short-term funding crunch late last year and reworked its finances to meet working capital needs at that time, said it expected to be cashflow positive on a sustainable basis during the second quarter. “After a tough 2012, where shares were changing hands for as much as 590p in February, but by November they had dropped to 225p, things are looking up AML,” a London-based analyst told Africa Outlook. In February, the miner announced that it had secured potential funds for the next stage of its expansion plans at Tonkolili. It announced two new financing deals with the Standard Bank of South Africa. The firm announced a $250 million secured loan facility, structured to be able to be increased to fund further expansion to 35mtpa. It also unveiled a corporate revolving facility of $100 million for general corporate purposes, replacing a $100 million amortising standby facility of which $80 million is currently outstanding, providing $20 million of additional liquidity. “I am delighted to report that the facilities that we outlined in December have now been approved, and am especially pleased that Standard Bank continues to be a cornerstone lender,” said Miguel Perry, CFO of African Minerals. “These facilities provide us with incremental financial flexibility through the project ramp up period, as well as a potential source of funding for the next phase of our expansion to 35mtpa.” African Minerals’ $1.2 billion refurbishment of the former Marampa mining railway and port in Sierra Leone was completed at light-speed, which indicates the pressure miners are under to get their ore to market. Last year African Minerals sold 25 percent of the Tonkolili project to Shandong Iron & Steel Group for $1.5 billion. Shandong has the rights to take 9.8 million tonnes of African Minerals’ iron ore production and the deal underlines China’s continuing appetite for African commodities. “The Chinese government are going to announce their infrastructure going forward in the next few months and I’m comfortable that there’s strong demand,” the company told the Financial Times. AML’s new CEO has certainly made an impact. He has brought a new spirit of dynamism and management expertise as the company repositions itself to restore shareholder confidence and boost its iron operations in Sierra Leone – a country the company is helping to transform. The Tonkolili project has a mine life of over 60 years.

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Providing Global Consultancy Services to the Mining and Metals Sector

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Passion and Profession in the Mining Industry

Simon Meadows-Smith shares his knowledge of the mining industry and passion for his business in Ghana Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project Manager James Mitchell

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anaging Director and geologist Simon Meadows-Smith has been running SEMS Exploration in Ghana for over 15 years and his passion for his business and the African landscape is clear. Africa is renowned for the rich bounty of geological resources contained within its soil and despite a general recent downturn in the fortunes of the African mining industry, it has an irresistible draw for those that want to invest in precious metals. Meadows-Smith has a long history of specialisation within his adopted country, as he explains: “I came to Ghana in the mid 1990s and stayed for a couple of years as a contract geologist. I then went to work in Australia and decided to come back to Ghana and start a small exploration company with Australian funding. Off the back of that, we found a gold mine and sold it. In 2000 when the Gulf crisis hit – I chose to stay on in Ghana and converted my company into a consultancy and that’s how we’ve been operating since 2001.” A lot of what makes SEMS Exploration unique is that it operates under a shared risk model which allows investors a level of support and security, afforded by SEMS’ professional and regional expertise. Meadows-Smith explains: “A lot of investors from around the world are not particularly familiar with working in Africa, particularly West Africa. They don’t fully understand regulations, mining codes and practical things like the geology. What we have done is to re-invest our profits back into a whole infrastructure in West Africa. This means we have offices established in five countries, a large, trained staff and a large investment in equipment. All of this allows us to offer a complete service to any enterprise

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which is based in Europe, America or Australia and wants to invest in West Africa. It means they can undertake the work they want to do without having to take on liability by building their own infrastructure and hiring staff. That’s the sharing of the risk – the risk for us is that we carry heavy overheads and the investor can, of course, if the project’s not successful, exit the country without any liabilities behind them.” Meadows-Smith is quick to acknowledge that there are many excellent mining and geology consultancies within Ghana: “we haven’t made the commitment that we have to building an infrastructure and a residential technical base here in Africa.” Running such a specialised business means that there are unique operational challenges. One such difficulty is hiring and retaining quality staff. “It’s very difficult for us to compete with other companies,” explains Meadows-Smith. “Certainly since the global economic downturn in 2008/09, there’s been a boom in the mining industry and companies – particularly exploration companies have raised large sums of money and have been able to afford to pay what I would consider inflated salaries. It’s difficult for us to compete with that.” However, it’s this very economic climate that has meant SEMS has ended up with the passionate and committed staff of expatriate and residential staff, all of whom are committed to SEMS for the long term. When quizzed about why it is that the SEMS staff are so fiercely loyal, Meadows-Smith suggests it is because they both enjoy the variation of the work and respond to the structure of the company “Our employees take the responsibility for their work but don’t have to take on the pressures of corporate reporting, which they’d be forced to undertake at a larger company.”

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Our employees take the responsibility for their work but don’t have to take on the pressures of corporate reporting, which they’d be forced to undertake at a larger company”


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The last twelve months have been tough for the mining industry but there is a cautious sense of optimism at SEMS: “Everybody knows that the industry is somewhat depressed now. But we are surviving and picking up enough work to meet our obligations and keep the company afloat.” SEMS has undertaken a series of exciting projects in the past year, some of which are still underway and there is a sense of buoyant optimism in their possibilities: “We’ve been involved in a very exciting manganese exploration project in Burkina Faso for a UK-based company. In Ghana, we’re working on a manganese project in Tarkwa and looking at the gold exploration possibilities – it’s been a real technical challenge for us but very rewarding.” SEMS is also involved in a number of projects in Liberia, including some iron ore and early-stage gold exploration projects. In his capacity as chief geologist, Meadows-Smith is proud of the varied geographic range and scope of the projects undertaken by SEMS. “I try to be involved as much as I can, which involves quite a lot of travel. From a technical point of view, the most stimulating project for me is the gold exploration of the Manganese mine in Ghana. It’s been a thrill for me and very rewarding.” As for the future, SEMS has its sights set on expansion beyond West Africa. “Previously, we wanted to focus on the area that we knew and where we could offer the best quality service but as our expertise and range of skills available in-house has increased, we’ve spread our wings somewhat.” Recently, SEMS set up a company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, offering the range of services and skills that had previously only been available in West Africa. “Our plan for the next couple of years is to grow the business model and bring it into Central Africa: Gabon, Congo, DRC and Uganda are our focus countries.” To that end, SEMS has invested heavily in up-to-date tools and equipment, with an eye to diversifying its service and offering a wider range of geophysical surveys as the business expands across Africa. In addition, they’ve just begun offering air-based surveys, utilising the latest in drone technology. “The technology’s good enough now to offer some really detailed photographic and topographic surveys. It’s an opportunity to offer a cost effective and really useful service to companies in remote parts of Africa.”

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Adventure GERTIE’S NEW

The devoted CEO of Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital talks about how they put patients at the forefront of what they do Writer Emily Jarvis Project Manager Eddie Clinton

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ertrude’s Children’s Hospital was founded in 1947, with the donation of land by Colonel Ewart Grogan, pioneer extraordinaire, in memory of his beloved wife, Gertrude Edith. Now fronted by CEO Gordon Odundo, the hospital continues to expand its services. As the years have passed, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital has become more and more of a ‘giving’ hospital. It has won prestigious awards for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Gertrude’s from the beginning was and will always be a simple hospital: it now has completed the full circle by becoming a place of hope for sick children who have no expectations elsewhere. Mr Odundo explains: “People all over the world find it difficult to find a model that can sustain children’s health because children are dependent on adults to pay for their upkeep, they don’t have an income, so the health system doesn’t readily support children’s hospitals as financial and viable projects.” Gertrude’s use reliable local suppliers from Kenya of the allimportant hospital equipment, who deal with reputable brands, as Odundo justifies: “By using suppliers that have the distributorship and the sole rights to their equipment and medicines, we are able to find maintenance contracts and equipment to ensure our supplies will be on time. We avoid difficulties with passing things through the port, meaning our items are delivered to us on site accordingly.”

The Benefits of Being a Charitable Trust

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital is a charitable Trust, meaning that all profits are ploughed back into the hospital. It is overseen by a Board of Trustees who offer their services voluntarily in the dayto-day running of the hospital, since they

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are responsible for all policy decisions. Nor do they receive any rewards or emoluments for the charitable work they do. Odundo clarifies this: “First and foremost we are a Trust, meaning we are in the private sector charging fees for our services, but we don’t have shareholders. By doing this, any surplus we generate gets reinvested into the facilities, allowing us to buy more equipment and expand our services. That’s a model we have adopted and works successfully for us.” Paying patients provide the main monetary income for the hospital’s routine management, Gertrude’s is often reliant on donors for the purchase of the expensive paediatric equipment it requires to remain an up-to-date organisation. Any appeals for funds are almost always for the charitable work to which the hospital is committed. In October 2013, the hospital received a generous donation of KSh 50 million from I&M Bank and Bhagwanji Raja Foundation, so were able to install state of the art equipment in both the Intensive Care Unit and Radiology department units. The hospital also hosts charitable events to give even more back to patients, as Mr Odundo articulated: “Every year, we host a Golf tournament where we raise money for the children. We also have a separate Trust we have registered called ‘Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation’, which works with other partners to help others access healthcare.” This is a really active part of raising the funds to invest in hospital improvements.

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Medical camps

Children’s hospitals are unique, the main fact that we concentrate on children alone is a strategic advantage. We are different because we have 21 specialist clinics, with patients we see on referral”

The Chandaria Medical Centre

It is interesting to note that for the previous building extensions, Gertrude’s shouldered the entire expense out of its own investments. The recent 4 storey building expansion at Chandaria Medical Centre was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta in November 2013, “the essence of the building

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H.E president Uhuru Kenyatta signs a visitors book at the official opening of the Chandaria medical center


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Leading importers, distributors and marketeers of Pharmaceutical, Surgical, Medical Devices and Diagnostic products

Tel: +254 20 3569500 | Mobile: +254 733 612000 Email: info@phillipsafrica.com Phillips Business Park, Mombasa Road, P. O. Box 46662 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Philips Ingenuity 128 Slice CT Scanner

was to have a state of the art paediatric unit, surgical ward, additional specialist units and a radiology centre.� The Chandaria Foundation contributed Ksh 100 million towards its construction and equipping in what is the most substantial and generous donation ever made to the hospital. For an organisation that began sixty years ago with a small staff and only sixteen beds, this was a significant occasion, as Gertrude’s is now able to offer a genuine allencompassing paediatric centre that can provide almost every available treatment that a child might need. It was indeed a fitting time to remember with thanks all those who have used the facility in the past, and those who continue to do so into the future, to create this unique centre of paediatric excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now with 100 beds, 10 outpatient centres within Nairobi and urban-Nairobi, the hospital admits roughly 6000

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patients and 300,000 outpatients a year. Mr Odundo explains “Children’s hospitals are unique, the main fact that we concentrate on children alone is a strategic advantage. We are different because we have 21 specialist clinics, with patients we see on referral.”

Professional Training College

Gertrude’s offer a variety of attractive and challenging career opportunities at the Nairobi-based paediatric hospital and is now extending this into Mombasa. Mr Odundo proclaimed: “We plan to open a clinic in Mombassa next month as an outpatient clinic. Paediatrics is widely practiced so we realised that we needed to support training of skilled health workers who can actually treat and attend to children; not only for Kenya but for the region. So some of our courses are international such as the paediatrics programme, we offer short courses as well.” The latest course is due to start soon focussing on critical care nursing for children. The bulk of these courses are targeted at health care workers who are already trained, Mr Odundo cited: You could be a registered nurse or doctor, but you will need specific training to treat children.” The training extends to as many people as the college can reach, meaning that there is a variety of applicants: “We train for the national government, for people in Rwanda as far as Zambia and locally as well. The whole idea being that as a Trust, we make a contribution to healthcare in the region.”

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CAPITAL COLOURS

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital believes in creating environments for families and children, where great healthcare can be provided: “That’s how we work in our design and everything else that we do”

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apital Colours began operations in 1995. From the outset, the company was involved in several design disciplines amongst them being interior design and exhibition services. Today we are a renowned design company on Mombasa Road, Nairobi. Our involvement with Gertrude’s spans back over a decade when they were contracted by GlaxoSmithKline to design and furnish one of the wards using the Ribena brand. The project’s success continues eliciting more work and partnerships with several corporates, partnering to carry out CSR interiors at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital. The most recent project was being involved in the design and fit out of the teen ward and prestigious executive day clinic. Tel +254 20 3009990

www.capitalcolours.com

“Our biggest challenge”

What’s interesting is that the hospital’s biggest challenge is not medicallyorientated, but politically charged: “Elections in this country tend to cause a slow-down in business. At that particular time in 2013, we were completing our new building. So here you have a decrease in business as well as a new investment coming on stream.

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Paediatric nurse training


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I think we were able to do quite well in maintaining our business and in terms of the new services we have.”

“We believe in creating safe environments for families and children”

MDGS trust fund award, for contributing towards reducing child mortality

Mr Odundo sees the coming year as a new adventure, with the intention of establishing further children’s services in Nairobi and Mombasa 500km away from Gertrude’s main hospital. “We are very sure we will get it right and that this will open up to similar ventures within the country. We are also looking at achieving a Joint Commission International Accreditation which we are planning for September this year.” Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital believes in creating environments for families and children, where great healthcare can be provided: “That’s how we work in our design and everything else that we do”.

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TA K I N G A B I T E O U T O F THE

competition

Employing over 1500 people and touching the lives of more than 75000 customers Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project Manager James Mitchell

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andy, shoes, stationery....try as you might, it’s impossible to pin a manufacturing company like Kenafric Industries down. Founded in 1988, Kenafric started life solely as a footwear manufacturer but soon diversified into food, confectionary and school exercise books. Indeed, such is the company’s growth that it now distributes its product lines to 14 African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Sudan. As millions of Africans know, whether you’re seasoning with Oyo Chicken Mchuzi, relaxing in your Chappa Dollar flip-flops or buying a fresh stack of Super Star notebooks, you’re buying into a little of what makes Kenafric Industries so unique.

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ROQUETTE RIDDHI SIDDHI

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oquette Riddhi Siddhi Pvt. Ltd. is the successor of Riddhi Siddhi Glucobiols Ltd. which was incorporated in 1990. We are a subsidiary of French multinational Roquette Frères which has 21 production units, 6 application labs, more than 30 sales offices, over 700 products. With an international network of more than 100 countries RF has achieved the turnover of 3.1 billion Euros in 2012.

Despite Kenafric’s focus on diversification, the core of its business lies in footwear and confectionary. With an infrastructure that processes over 36,000 tonnes of sugar a year, Kenafric is the largest African sweet manufacturer and in October 2012 it launched a Kshs 1 billion confectionary machine, commissioned by Henry Kosgei, the Kenyan Minister for Industrialisation. With the increased production capability afforded by the new equipment, it’s clear that Kenafric is focused on increasing its markets, although the company has exhibited a firm commitment to its roots. In a characteristic move, company vice chairman Bharat Shah told reporters that the firm planned to invest up to KSh 4billion in the region over the next two years. A child of Indian immigrants who moved to Kenya in the 1920s, Shah is obviously deeply tied to the community that enabled his fledgling family business to grow into a well-known brand. He has often been quoted in the press encouraging businesses to grow their markets in East Africa, citing the rise in middle class consumers, significant

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new gas and oil findings and the 40% urbanisation rates. Kenafric is certainly proof that expansion is possible: the company started with around 75 employees and now employs 1,250 workers. Sohin B. Shah, Kenafric’s Financial Controller attributes the company’s success to its aggressive expansion plans and insistence on state-of-the-art machinery and technology development.

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With an infrastructure that processes over 36,000 tonnes of sugar a year, Kenafric is the largest African sweet manufacturer”

RRS invested in gross block every single year of its existence through inorganic and organic means and today is the largest Indian starch and starch derivatives company with a workforce of more than 1200 employees. Our product profile comprises of Maize starch powder, Liquid glucose, Dextrose Monohydrate, Maltodextrin, High maltose corn syrup, Dextrose syrup and many more. We have five sales & marketing offices in India. Our export is spread over 30 different countries and are one of the biggest players of the African market. We support our customers by providing superior products and services of exceptional quality that help them gain competitive edge in their market segments. We as a company aspire to become a leading global player in identified markets for biorefinery-based solutions and products and wish to develop diversified markets for the same. Tel +91-79-71021000 Email info@rrspl.in

www.rrspl.in


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That said, all this expansion and equipment would be useless if Kenafric didn’t have a sound business and efficiency policy underpinning its operations. 2007 was a breakthrough year as it marked the point at which Kenafric was recognised as a ISO and HACCP certified company, heralding the company’s determination to elevate standards and employee food health and safety to a new levels. This was also the year that Kenafric adopted the Kaizen business philosophy to improve standardised activities and drastically reduce waste with lean management techniques. This commitment to waste management and energy conservation has meant that he Kenyan Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has awarded Kenafric with the prestigious energy management award for three years running, a feat that no other Kenyan business has yet accomplished. Recently, Kenafric has

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also adopted SAP business software in order to manage its business operations and customer relations. The implementation of this sophisticated software allows senior management the flexibility of travel whilst still being able to oversee operations, automate work-flow approvals and increase human resource efficiency. Since 2004, Kenafric has made an enormous effort to diversify its product line. The philosophy behind this move is that it allows the business some economic resilience: if one sector is performing poorly, the popularity of another vertical allows the business to remain afloat. Footwear was the first business focus when the business started in the late 1980s because plastic flip-flops were in high demand. But when oil prices made that side of manufacturer particularly expensive, candy became Kenafric’s new focus. In 2009, the company acquired a beloved African brand from CGB Foods Ltd

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FRUTAROM

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nique and dedicated, Frutarom owes a large part of its success to the enormous range of opportunities we can offer to both our customers and employees. Many purposefully chosen acquisitions have enabled us to benefit from rare ingredients, new technologies, and enhanced knowledge and from the addition of many bright and creative minds from all corners of the globe. Our ambition lies in creating a crossorganizational network enabling us to recognize opportunities and share ideas on developing the methodologies and competencies that make innovation happen. “Innovation isn’t what innovators do - it is what customers and clients adopt” (Michael Schrage, MIT) Our approach to innovation is guided by our motto “Passion for Taste & Health”. We are committed to developing concepts and solutions that combine great taste and good health. Tel +972 4 8462 462 Email info@frutarom.com

www.frutarom.com


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The human partner in a world of paper to Kenafric Industries Ltd.

Flow and/or shrink packaging for all industries

www.esswell.se

I n t e r n a t i o n a l

www.hugobeck.com Mr. J端rgen Kermer Phone: +49 7123 / 7208 - 47 Email: kermer@hugobeck.de

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GUM BASE CO. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OUR KEY FOR YOUR SUCCESS Established in 1967, Gum Base Co. has always focused on R&D and will invest even more into this area in the coming years. More than 200 gum base formulations are available and we are still committed to the development of innovative gum bases. Technological assistance to customers to develop their final recipes is granted. We’re investing amongst other areas in:

and became the chief manufacturers of OYO, a household staple stock powder that adds thickness and depth to home-made curries, creating yet another successful revenue stream. No matter what the product, Kenafric is known for its intense consumer focus and marketing drive. The company invest significant time and energy in analysing consumer trends and responding to the tide of popular opinion. An example of this is the Obama bubblegum released in 2009, which capitalises on the African love affair with US President Barack Obama. This is not to say that every marketing strategy is a success – in late 2013, Cartoon Network sued Kenafric for its unauthorised use of characters from “Ben 10” on confectionary packaging. The suit, which is ongoing, will form real test of the implementation of Kenyan copyright and intellectual property laws. Despite this setback, Kenafric is still focused on implementing the guiding principles of its business strategy and this includes a great deal of community engagement. As one might expect from a manufacturer that distributes both candy and exercise books, Kenafric is deeply enmeshed in the development and support of Kenya’s youth. Kenafric supports the Kenafric Charitable

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School, a pre-school in central Kenya, as well as the Kenafric College of Professional Studies in Nairobi. This support has involved the construction of new classrooms, laboratories and providing sponsorship for sports grounds and youth clubs. Kenafric is also looking into supporting a number of children’s homes as part of its ongoing community support strategy and also has a thriving internship program which allows university students in their final year of study a chance to accrue invaluable business experience. The future looks promising for Kenafric. At present, this familyrun business is focused on further professionalising its operations so that it can obtain an IPO listing. Profits are a huge focus this year and the company’s aim is to double its output and triple its turnover by drilling down into target markets and establishing all Kenafric products as household names. The challenge then will be to make sure that Kenafric has the infrastructure to allow it to the capacity to meet the increased demand for its products. It’s an exciting time to grow a business in Africa and it will be fascinating to see which direction this entrepreneurial firm will take next.

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Rheological studies to aim scientific measurements of the masticatory and gum bases process behavior Research of new ingredients delivering revolutionary benefits to the new generation of chewing gums. Tel +39-02-931721 Email gumbase@gumbase.com

www.gumbase.com

MILTSAM

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or over 65 years MILTSAM has been providing the highest quality ingredients and the most technologically advanced machinery to the confectionery and food industry worldwide. And through MILTSAM Chemical we also offer a complete range of products for industrial applications. As global distributors & representatives in the diverse markets we serve, MILTSAM is focused on delivering technology-based solutions to meet the needs of our customers. Having recently established a licensed trading company in Shanghai, China we can fully assist with material distribution, import/export & logistics services as well as quality control support for the China market. Learn more at www.miltsam.com Email miltsam@miltsam.com Tel (203) 834-0002


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S OR T I N G T H E W H E AT FROM

THE CHAFF By focusing on customer service and top quality products, Coast Millers is confident it can conquer the whole of Tanzania and beyond Writer Chris Farnell Project Manager James Mitchell stablished in 1989, Coast Millers started off as a small family business, milling around 30-40 tonnes of wheat flour every day. However, over time this grew to 100 tonnes as demand and capacity increased. Today, Coast Millers produces and distributes 350 tonnes per day across Tanzania and neighbouring regions including Zanzibar and Pemba Island. For Rahul Aggarwal, General Manager, Business Development and Director at Coast Millers, this journey from humble beginnings to nationwide prosperity has been possible thanks to the company’s focus on quality. “The key to our success is the quality of the products that we offer,” he reveals. “We do not let anything

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leave our factory or premises until it is quality assured.” This dedication to the end product has seen Coast Millers recognised by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards for distributing and manufacturing quality products.

Customer Relationships and Service Delivery However, it is not just product quality that has secured Coast Millers’ market position, as customer relationships also play a massive part in the company’s service driven strategy. “We ensure we give a personalised service to all of our customers,” notes Aggarwal. “We manage these relationships on a one-to-one basis and are always available when they need us.

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“We have taken a lot of time to really understand what our clients require, whether it is a bakery, biscuit manufacturer or end user. We really try to cater for all our designated customers and provide the right product to them.” As Aggarwal alludes to, Coast Millers has a wide range of different clients it provides products for. But rather than just passively producing and distributing wheat flour, the company goes the extra mile to understand what kind of business its clients are involved with. Aggarwal explains: “We are continuing to find ways of servicing the customer to ensure deliveries are made on time. If an industrial user does not have sufficient material, their production is going to stop. If


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we bear this in mind, we know we cannot let our customers suffer. They remember we are working hard for them and their success ensures our success.”

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can call the manager of Coast Millers. We ensure the customers have result orientated solutions to their problems or requirements.” Early last year in partnership with Helen Keller International, Coast Family Values and Social Millers started to fortify wheat flour with essential nutrients including Responsibility Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc and Folic As opposed to certain multinational Acid. “This is a long-term initiative organisations, Coast Millers keeps to improve nutritional deficiency in family values close to its heart. As such, Tanzania,” notes Aggarwal. if a customer needs help or assistance, Reaching out and helping the a senior member of staff will be on local community is of the upmost hand to provide the solution. importance to Coast Millers at all “When companies get too big, times. In recent years, the company they lose direction and the ability to has donated wheat flour to charitable understand and communicate with causes in Tanzania and continues to their customers,” says Aggarwal. “At work closely alongside local farmers, least with us, whenever a customer as the country’s economy is very has issues or problems, they know they agricultural based.

Investing in Logistics and Technology Over the past year, Coast Millers has completed various exciting projects and invested in the necessary equipment. In addition to increasing its silo storage base by 16,000 metric tonnes and commissioning a new plant capable of producing 120 tonnes of wheat flour per day, Coast Millers has also been paying close attention to its supply chain. “We continue to invest in logistics to always ensure we have enough trucks and vehicles to move cargo,” says Aggarwal. “But our main goal with the projects we initiated in 2013 is to increase production and turnover so we can be a lot stronger in the market.”

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Spending capital on technology is another “very important” part of Coast Millers strategy going forward according to Aggarwal. Not just when it comes to the production side of things, but also on an administration level too. “We are very much a company that tries to go with the times,” he cites. “A lot of the machinery we have invested in is fully automated, so one computer controls the entire process flow of the plant. “We are trying to go more paperless as well. We are looking at managing everything through the Internet and systems we have online.”

Future Growth

While Aggarwal admits that certain challenges will always exist, including time constraints associated with regulatory bodies as well as clearing both imported and exported goods through customs, he sees no reason why Coast Millers cannot continue to expand despite its modest size. “Although we might not be very big, we still believe in growth,” he reveals. “We are not the type of company that stops once a certain level has been reached. We want to keep on growing and improving while staying strong in the market through different marketing strategies and an ongoing presence.” Looking even further ahead, Aggarwal clearly believes that Coast Millers has great potential to succeed in the future. “In five years I think we will see Coast Millers with better technology, greater efficiency, improved logistical infrastructure and a larger turnover. But more so than anything, our main goal is to be everywhere in Tanzania and have a strong footprint in neighbouring markets as well,” he confidently finishes.

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HOLBUD LIMITED

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olbud Limited has for many years been active in trading food supplies and agricultural products to Africa, the Middle and Far East. African countries Holbud trade with include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Origins of goods are principally South and East Africa, South America, Canada, Europe, Australia and the Far East. Main commodities traded include Maize, Wheat, Barley, Sugar, Soya, Pulses, oilcakes, sesame seeds, cottonseeds, Rice, Sorghum and spices. We can be contacted on the numbers below. Tel 0039 051 798107 Email info@framespa.it

www.framespa.it

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ne of Europe’s largest manufacturers of flat & hopper bottom silos, has recently introduced a new design of vertical stiffener, manufactured on a new robotic production facility, which has resulted in a significant saving in total weight, & therefore overall cost, on a number of models of larger capacity FRAME silos. Recent contracts completed include a number of 32.0 metre diameter silos shipped to Ukraine, as well as a 120,000 tonne project in Oman, & a further 60,000 tonne extension to an existing FRAME project in Bangladesh, a number of both FP & FC silos are currently being manufactured for new installations in India, Pakistan, Burundi, & Rwanda as well as Romania & Russia among others. FRAME Via Bertella, 2, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO) Italy Tel 0039 051 798107 Email info@framespa.it

www.framespa.it


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My Business Expo Gauteng Midrand Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa

13 MARCH 2014

http://10times.com/business-expogauteng

Power-Gen Africa 2014 International Convention Centre Convention Square 1 Lower Long Street Cape Town South Africa

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Business in Africa Pays: Ghana

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair 2014

Norton Folgate House 4-12 Norton Folgate London

International Exhibition Centre Zimbabwe

25 MARCH 2014

http://www.tradeshowz.com/

http://businessinafricapays.com/

Nano Africa 2014 International Conference Vaal University Vanderbijlpark South Africa

17-19 MARCH 2014

http://www.powergenafrica.com/

30 MARCH – 2 APRIL 2014

Africa Trade Finance Week 2014

11th Annual AVCA Conference

International Convention Centre Convention Square 1 Lower Long Street Cape Town South Africa

17-19 MARCH

http://www.exportagroup.com/ events/conferences/

Kofo Abayomi Street Lagos Nigeria

31 MARCH – 2 APRIL 2014 http://www.avcaconference.com/

Entrepreneurs Convention Retail World Africa 2014 Sandton Convention Centre Johannesburg South Africa

18-19 MARCH 2014 http://www.events-africa.com/

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Venue to be announced Johannesburg

5 APRIL 2014

International Convention Centre Cape Town

12 APRIL 2014

http://www.entrepreneursconvention. co.za/

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22-26 APRIL 2014

Africa Utility Week International Convention Centre Convention Square 1 Lower Long Street Cape Town South Africa

13-14 MAY 2014

www.african-utility-week.com

ILTM Africa International Convention Centre Convention Square 1 Lower Long Street Cape Town South Africa

28-30 MAY 2014 www.iltm.com

Roofing Africa International Conference Centre Harambee Ave Nairobi Kenya

26-27 JUNE 2014 www.roofingafricaexpo.com

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Africa Outlook Issue 11  

Essential reading for those who want to keep up to date with African business

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