Fri, 27/10/2017 - 06:45
Current Issue 55
With the rapid expansion of Greater Nairobi and the phenomenal pace of construction within Kenya, Dunhill Consulting is ready to capitalise, with its imminent Dunhill Towers project an innovative and green sign of things to come
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Kane Weller
Encompassing values of professional, cost-effective and hassle-free real estate services, Dunhill Consulting continues to expand its simple but lucrative offering across East Africa; showcasing the soon-to-be unveiled Dunhill Towers as an epitome of the Company’s expertise.
Described as a “major step forward in commercial green buildings in Kenya”, Dunhill Towers is the culmination of almost 15 years of growth and diversification for a business that can now boast the full spectrum of real estate services across an ever-broadening footprint.
“Our practice areas include sales, letting, management, development and advisory services,” introduces the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Nipool Shah. “We serve all sectors of the industry, including residential, commercial, retail and warehousing developments; while our sister Company, Dunhill Africa Valuations Ltd provides valuation and survey services and is on the panel of several banks in Kenya.”
With a staff compliment of more than 125 valuers, estate agents, accountants and sales personnel, Dunhill is able to serve individual unit and mixed-use development clients alike; driven by professional expertise that emanates down from its four department Executive Directors - all of whom have shares in the business.
Shah continues: “At least one director is responsible for excellence in delivery within each silo of Sales and Letting, Facilities Management, Projects, and Single Properties. Our professional expertise is then engaged with by a broad range of organisations, including multinational corporations, local developers, high net-worth individuals, quasi government offices, and not-for-profit institutions.”
Testament to its philosophy, the rise of Dunhill speaks for itself, and in 2016 alone Dunhill Consulting achieved more than Ksh7 billion in properties sold, while also affirming its status as a leader in warehousing with more than 2.5 million square feet under its management.
“We also provide building management services to more than 30 commercial buildings and large apartment complexes - managing collections of more than Ksh100 million a month - while we’re also the go-to company for residential sales of apartments and houses across Nairobi,” Shah enthuses.
The right place at the right time
Incorporated initially in 2003 by Shah, he has ensured that Dunhill has evolved as a brand reputed for selling quality developments from solid developers; staying true to its tagline of “professional, cost-effective and hassle-free”, while continuously investing in cutting-edge technologies in order to improve it services.
“Being in the right place at the right time and providing unmatched services has allowed Dunhill to grow by 25 percent in turnover, year-on-year, since inception,” the CEO states. “To achieve this, in our facility management services, we have introduced a comprehensive software for our property and facilities managers in our retail, office, industrial, residential and body corporate portfolios, with integrated accounting and real-time financial reporting.
“This is a first of its kind software introduced in Kenya. Designed around industry best practices and business processes, it is used every day by leading property owners and managers around the world. This software covers the full spectrum, from day-to-day administration to portfolio performance reporting and analysis.”
Always striving for a new competitive advantage and enhanced internal procedures, this latest innovation allows Dunhill to provide a comprehensive accounts payable system with stronger security controls, making the process faster and more efficient. It also allows for improved storage of documents; an increase in scope and capacity; enhanced accountability; and it ensures a single point access to pertinent credit control processes through the use of automated statistic generation.
“Finally it allows us to manage jobs emanating from either tenants or our own maintenance department, whether reactive or planned. In other words, it allows for full integration from issuing an order to the payment of invoices,” Shah completes.
In perfecting its internal structure, Dunhill can then launch from the perfect footing into what it is best known for: its project portfolio. Described as the Company’s unique selling proposal, “our estate agency strengths allow us to focus on creating projects that are appropriate for the market where the development is planned”, Shah affirms. “Our experience from our in-house projects allows us to guide other developers in best practices, cost optimisation and project management. And over the years, we have developed apartments, townhouses, luxury homes, warehousing and commercial offices.”
Renowned for its work on the Thika Road Mall especially - the largest mall in East Africa at the time - this project has really set the tone for Dunhill’s progression ever since the undertaking back in 2010.
Shah recalls: “The location was identified as a prime location since the Government had just commenced construction of the Thika superhighway. This 50,000 square metre mall was delivered three months ahead of schedule, within budget and achieved a 75 percent occupancy rate at the time of opening. It has since achieved an occupancy rate of more than 90 percent year-on-year and retailer, Carrefour has recently announced the opening at TRM of the first Hypermarket in an existing mall in Kenya.”
Embedding consumer trends and requirements across safety, security, technology, digital marketing and social media, Dunhill has never been one to shy away from modern nuances and foreseeable trends; the latest being the industry’s commitment to green practices and eco-friendliness.
And nothing epitomises this ethos more than its soon-to-be completed flagship project, Dunhill Towers.
Shah details: “Dunhill Towers will be completed by October, 2017 and is a classical yet modern design that provides warmth and character to its immediate environment with a high level of finish both on the interior and the exterior. The design of the building will enhance the cityscape, providing Tier 1 office spaces with stunning views towards the main highway and the general Westlands area. The project has been designed considering user comfort for effective working space.
“The project also holds significant importance to the future of green buildings in Kenya and by extension the East Africa region in that it is also the pilot project for the South Africa Green Star-Kenya Office V1.1 rating system.”
Working alongside WEB Limited who was tasked with ensuring that these environmental principles were adhered to, Dunhill has subsequently fostered a 30,000 square metre building designed with two towers, a connecting lobby, six high-speed efficient lifts, and a host of simple yet effective considerations.
Shah continues: “These include adequate natural lighting; effective natural ventilation; solar glass to reduce heat gain within the building; solar shading ledges; low water consumption sanitary fittings; low power usage LED light fittings; and energy modelling to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.”
As such, Dunhill Towers is set to become an innovative pioneer within the local industry, as the first Green Star Office V1.1 project in the region and outside of South Africa. Actually exceeding Green Star benchmarks across its VOC compliancy and its building tuning, the building owner has also assured a commitment to ensuring that the building performs as designed and will be monitored as such via a biannual productivity study.
“Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED(r) Fellow, and author of 13 full-length professional and trade books on green buildings, integrated design, green homes, water conservation, building performance and sustainable development has commended Dunhill Towers as a “major step forward in Commercial Green Buildings in Kenya”, during his recent visit to the project,” Shah notes.
Inevitably addressing areas of sustainability as a consequence, Dunhill has made it a concerted focus since day one to have a positive impact on Kenya and the wider region; whether that’s from a green building perspective, a human resource point of view, or even from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) angle.
“Investing in human resources is a critical success factor,” Shah says to this end. “Our staff are among the best paid within the industry and subjected to continuous training both in-house and outsourced.
“Meanwhile, we have decided to focus on three main areas for our CSR activities: food, water and education. Led by our Projects Director, Bharat Doshi at present we participate in a programme to feed more than 1,500 school children a hot meal daily in different schools in slums. This programme is being expanded to continue the work and feed more. The result has been healthier children who now attend more regularly.
“Secondly, we have a programme to dig bore-wells in remote areas for the local communities that allow more children to go to school and to ensure that health standards rise through the provision of clean water. To date the programme has completed 280 such bore-wells in the dry areas of Kenya and has now moved to solar-run water pumps that are far more efficient and more effective.”
A further example saw Doshi adopt a unit for 22 children with cerebral palsy, providing them with food, care and necessary equipment; and such initiatives are testament not only to the Company’s compassionate nature, but also to its understanding of the surroundings it operates in. This particular initiative started with 22 children with cerebral palsy and has now grown to 120 children providing for all their needs. The plan is to now increase the reach to 250 children by establishing a world class centre in Kenya.
“Dunhill is proud to do such CSR activities to ensure we take care of the needy in society, and country expertise is therefore one of the four key differentiators we have identified to engaging in a relationship with Dunhill Consulting,” Shah concludes.”The other three are technology, focus, and delivery, and our results speak for themselves.
“We tailor-make the plan to suit the product and our unique approach is founded on the co-development of expectations for service and value, as well as a “value scorecard” which enables clients to continuously measure our performance, converting the relationship from a cost into an outstanding investment.
“With the rapid expansion of Greater Nairobi and the phenomenal pace of construction within Kenya, we are now embarking on developing a solid footprint, especially for the estate agency business that will allow us, if all goes well, to cover all of Nairobi within the next two years, key towns in Kenya over the next four years, and the region by 2025.”