Wed, 26/08/2015 - 14:00
Current Issue 59
Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd has grown rapidly from humble beginnings in 1953 to be one of Kenya’s premier construction specialists, operating across the full sector domain, on an international scale
Delivering Excellence Across Three Generations
For more than 60 years, Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd has built and engrained its reputation into the East African construction industry, diversifying its offering and its customer demographic to fulfil its initial dream of “creating an industry-leading firm dedicated to making the world a better place”.
This was the vision of Founder, Laxmanbhai Bhimji K. Raghwani who, six decades ago, embarked on the Company’s adventure through grit and values that are still strongly evident in the business to this day.
Expanding geographically and internally, at a rapid rate, Laxmanbhai developed to cater across not only the core construction domain, but also across contracting, sales, machinery maintenance and property development; based on four guiding principles of care, entrepreneurship, collaboration and integrity.
“Mr Laxmanbhai started from a registered capital of KES100,000 and 30 members of staff in 1953,” says Laxmanbhai Construction’s Managing Director (MD), Dhanji Raghwani. “By 1972, Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd was expanding very rapidly in India, UK, Seychelles and Mauritius as well as gaining a well-earned recognition in the construction industry, as a customer with punctuality, a collaborative approach and high quality standards.
“The rapid growth continued through the late 1980s and well into the 1990s despite the worldwide recession and, today, the Laxmanbhai Group has more than 13 shareholders and is among the top construction companies in the country; setting the standard of quality over three generations with the aim to continue building clients’ visions by delivering excellence.”
Laxmanbhai Construction’s recognition incorporates not only the Company’s competency in carrying out state-of-the-art projects, but also a series of significant internal philosophies, in line with the four aforementioned principles.
Raghwani continues: “Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd quickly became known for its can-do attitude, customer satisfaction, quality, and the ability to safely meet schedules.
“Fuelled by this reputation and an innate passion for building, the Laxmanbhai Group continued to grow and expand its reach and capabilities over six decades to become the industry leader it is today.”
This ethos set the scene for its service diversification, as well as its geographic broadening as the business sought to fulfil its missions not just in Kenya but across the globe.
Professionalism and ethics became words all too synonymous with Laxmanbhai, complemented by a strict and ongoing adherence to the very latest consumer trends in the wider industry.
“Understanding our markets and the construction industry, as well as appreciating the needs of our clients, reinforces our search for value and certainty,” the MD adds. “Our highly skilful project teams can deliver superior knowledge about the latest trends in construction through in-depth reporting and exploration.
“We critically appraise the impact of numerous economic and operational scenarios in the global and local construction market trends, and deliver this to clients and consultants to assist them in controlling building costs and maximising value for their money on projects.”
Combining this client commitment with the inevitable experience that can be refined over six decades in the industry, a winning combination has been formed to make Laxmanbhai a customer of choice in each operating region.
“We are dedicated to the essential integrity of each job, and superior quality has always been at the heart of Laxmanbhai Construction which has set us apart since day one,” Raghwani says. “Today, that culture has not changed. “Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd still takes pride in delivering unparalleled, high-quality workmanship and service, and is determined to consistently exceed the expectations of not only our clients and the industry in everything we do, but also to push the Company’s quality standards higher.”
Perfecting internal principles and philosophies is one thing, but Laxmanbhai has similarly never had any problem in backing up its visions with tangible evidence of its constructing prowess.
With a proven track record to deliver end-to-end construction and property solutions across a broad range of sectors - including high rise towers, banks, schools, hotels, retail outlets, apartments, commercial buildings and industrial outlets - the sustainability achieved through completing projects to bespoke requirements has compounded its commitment to excellence and innovation.
Over the years, Laxmanbhai Construction’s most esteemed completed projects comprise an array of iconic builds across the Nairobi city skyline, including the contemporary English Point Marina complex in Mombasa utilising the very latest eco-friendly methods; the 5 star Kempinski Villa Rose Hotel in Nairobi; the 6 star Hemingways hotel in Karen; a 100 percent green United Nations building in Nairobi; 55 luxurious houses across 43 acres of land to form Kihingo Village in Kitisuru; and two innovative academic institutions in Karen and Mombasa, respectively.
The success of each of these is testament to a Laxmanbhai workforce that has long been proud to be affiliated with the organisation; their loyalty repaid by the Company through its skills development dedication.
“Hiring the right skilled staff and training them for their career development makes sense both for our business and for our people, as we need to invest in the talent which will in turn assist in achieving our ambitious plans for growth in the industry,” Raghwani explains. “It’s our commitment to realising our people’s potential across the Company that helps to make a career with Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd stand out.”
The underpinning theme evident throughout Laxmanbhai builds, both past and present, is one of innovation, with the progression of the construction industry mirrored by the Company’s own ability to adapt its operations over the years.
A fleet of sophisticated plants and modern equipment complements this philosophy, extending from earthworks, concrete, finishing and aiding machinery.
Raghwani emphasises: “To serve our clients effectively and to finish our projects on time, maintaining and investing in new and modern equipment is essential.
“Our fleet includes specialised concrete pumps, concrete batching plants, earthmoving scraper fleets, trucks, excavators, tower cranes, mobile cranes, slip-form equipment, welding machines, hydraulic breakers, air compressors and generators that allow us to offer tailored and continuous on-site service, wherever our customers’ projects may be located across Kenya.”
Once again supported by the requisite expertise across these contemporary technologies, Laxmanbhai Construction also boasts a plethora of modernised facilities to further ensure that internal systems and the Company’s supply chain is set-up with the end result for clients in mind.
Raghwani adds: “Our warehouse facility measuring more than five hectares is used as a parking yard for our heavy equipment, storing various stocks of construction materials, and also consists of a state-of-the-art joinery and steel fabrication workshop equipped with up-to-date machines and equipment.
“We have also built an underground rainwater harvesting tank which collects more than four million litres of water, which is used throughout the warehouse for concrete mixing, block making and general usage throughout the facility.
“This ensures that we have a smooth work-flow which ultimately proves extremely beneficial for our business in several areas due to reduced supply costs, assured material availability, and a centralised material stock that is key in achieving optimal efficiency in successful project performance and completion.”
Based on both domestic and international market research, future capital expenditures are set to comprise a new document control system in order to become a paperless office, the development of an aluminium and glass fabrication arm to venture into curtain walling, and a further acquisition of joinery machinery to prepare for more major fit-out jobs.
A consistent willingness to evolve and expand can be witnessed in everything Laxmanbhai strives towards; whether that’s externally and via its extensive, charitable corporate social responsibility efforts, or from an operational standpoint and its continuous search for better methods of carrying out projects.
“With the increasingly scarce resources within the natural environment, we are participating in collaborative research on eco-designs and coming up with sustainable solutions,” Raghwani offers as an example. “It is our expectation to continue upon our more than six decades of experience in all facets of construction, and in so doing, to provide service excellence for each client in every aspect of our business.
“This is done with a highly motivated team participating in, and developing, a flourishing business into the future. Our goal is thus to build long-term value for our customers, shareholders and employees, and for society at large.”
Two key initiatives laid out for the immediate future will see Laxmanbhai Construction taking strides to reduce on-site accidents via a comprehensive and complex health & safety re-evaluation, and a similar effort to achieve zero environmental incidents, in ensuring that each project is executed in a manner that minimises the Company’s green impact.
Both are indicative of the Company’s adherence to the very latest industrial trends, and the ongoing willingness to not just meet these requirements, but to surpass them.
Raghwani concludes: “We are proud of our achievements to date and we are committed to continually enhancing our capabilities to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry and provide our clientele an optimum world-class service.
“Most importantly though, we are proud to hear when our workers say that Laxmanbhai Construction Limited is a great place to work, or hear our clients say we’re a great company to work with.
“Simply put, we can give you the best people for any projects who will strive for excellence in the ever-increasing challenges of the construction industry. If you have had the opportunity to work with us you will notice that we are great people to work with, known for our collaborative nature, with confidence that you will like having us on the team.”