Fri, 24/11/2017 - 05:54
Current Issue 59
Glass that spells Class
Impala Glass Industries possesses both the industry experience and skill to retain a leading position in the industry across East and Central Africa, developing a reputation that has made it a household name
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki
From a geographical standpoint, Impala Glass Industries Ltd has fostered a wide reach across East and Central Africa, and by working with professionals in the architectural construction sector - such as architects, consultants, interior designers and fabricators - the Company is ensuring an even more broadened footprint in the future.
Due to the Company’s strong network of industry professionals, its respected status continues to manifest in new business opportunities on the solid references of existing customers.
“We ensure that all of our activities in these various regions are in keeping with what we are trying to achieve with Impala brand awareness,” explains Hussein. S. Hebatullah, Managing Director at Impala Glass Industries Ltd. “In order to achieve that, we will often participate in exhibitions and events for professionals in our industry such as Architects Meet and many similar both locally and regionally.
“These events are interactive and include seminars based on marketing through a training approach, as well as trying to connect through social media with our target audience which has been quite successful for us over the past couple of years.”
The Company began humbly in 1958, opening with a small mirror manufacturing plant and facilities for glass processing. In 1967 there was a major installation for Impala Glass of toughening glass and automatic mirror manufacturing plants. The two plants were the first in Kenya, as well as East and Central Africa and aided the developments which would eventually lead to it becoming a household name.
“Once we were firmly established in the market place, it was all about looking ahead to build on our Kenyan industrial base,” adds Hebatullah.
“We moved into the realm of automotive products manufacturing in 1974 and by the turn of the century, the Company was ready and waiting with the latest technology and skills needed to be the leading glass processor in Kenya.”
Impala Glass’ growth has largely been made possible through a well-trained and sincere workforce over the years, committed to the production of quality products to meet customers’ needs.
“Alongside our exceptional employees, our success is intertwined with the support we receive from our dedicated dealers and customers,” affirms Hebatullah. “Combining that with our exceptional new product introduction skills over the years, we have proudly become one of the leading Kenyan brand in the region.”
As a family-owned Company, Impala Glass still retains its family-run feel and is managed by a strong team of professionals that operate under the leadership of Chairman, Mr. Saifuddin Hebatullah.
“We have developed ourselves over the years to provide a range of architectural glass offerings, spanning across laminated, acoustic, energy efficient and bullet-resistant options,” continues Hebatullah. “Our team works closely with architects, consultants and contractors in order to ensure that supplies are in line with the specifications and quality requirements required for each project we undertake.”
“The aforementioned product range is created through the support of our specialist professional services, including application design support and installation,” adds Hebatullah. “Most recently we are very lucky to have obtained a complete solution from design to production and installation of art glass, all found in our Estillo range.
Its ability to meet complex specifications and quality is well-renowned, with the Impala automotive manufacturing plant producing windscreens for anything from small cars to huge trucks. Currently its ranges cover more than 700 different windscreens, alongside products that include emergency door and side glasses.
“In order to achieve the best for our brand, we have a continuous improvement process for upgrading our machines and production processes. This is all as well as the addition of new products to our portfolio, such as shower cubicles and a range of office and residential glass furniture.”
Such continuous improvement strategies have been pivotal to the success of Impala Glass during its many years operating within the industry.
“We ensure that our teams are completely up-to-date with the latest technological advancements that we should be aware of,” describes Hebatullah. “Intertwined with our improvement strategies is the need to monitor the ‘learning and development’ of both management and workforce teams, all of which adds to the culture of excellence that we have successfully developed at Impala Glass.”
When it comes to successful overall Company development, Impala’s experience over the years has ensured the creation of a competent and efficient team to carry forward its renowned reputation. In order to select the correct talent and subsequently retain these members of staff, there are a number of processes in place in its HR department.
“At our Company, we believe that knowledge is at the centre of everything we do, and because of that we train our management team to derive knowledge from data and market-specific information that they can implement into their work,” affirms Hebatullah. “They know how to then create plans that will be both sustainable and cost-effective within our markets of operation, meeting budget targets and at the same time encouraging innovation within our Company.”
The innate ability of the Company to consistently better itself and its products comes from a policy to invest as much as possible in order to be both, competitive and relevant in the industry.
“Within Impala Glass, we have a well-established supply chain management process,” states Hebatullah. “This has immensely assisted us in the successful running of our operations and allowing us to adhere to the promises made to our customer base in both Kenya and regionally.
“Without a successful supply chain, our processes could easily halt at ground level and ultimately bring down our performance when it comes to meeting our customers’ needs.”
The Company is incredibly proud of its internally developed supply chain management processes, having gone through a journey of continuous improvement from its early days with a pencil and paper based system, to an ever-evolving data driven approach.
Hebatullah adds: “It is important to remember that none of these processes would work without the teamwork that holds us together, a factor that I believe also differentiates us in the market.”
The team at Impala Glass demonstrates competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, quality, value for money and perhaps most importantly, responsiveness to market needs.
“We have instilled these values into each of our employees and this is how we like to do business,” concludes Hebatullah. “Our vision for the future is to continue with our employee-driven process, introducing the best technology and creating quality products for many years to come.”