Innovation, Quality and Customer Care
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager:Kane Weller
With the exciting launch of its brand new fully-integrated steel fabrication plant, Zenith Steel is entering its 40th year in style. Just 10 kilometres from its existing site, the Company’s new plant will allow Zenith Steel to up its output from 50,000 tonnes to 75,000; making it one of the largest of its kind in Africa.
Zenith Steel is leading the way in steel fabrication, with its ISO 9001:2008 certification and reputable history of success to support the Company. It specialises in the design, fabrication and assembly of all types of structural steelwork, remaining one of the only companies of its type to provide the full service from start to finish. It is the cohesion of service throughout that the Company continues to provide which has made it thrive in this ever-evolving market.
Founded by Abbas T Biviji and Jayantilal Gohil as a small fabrication workshop in Kenya, Zenith Steel started up its operations in 1977. In the years that have followed, the Company has expanded progressively; combining its services as an experienced and well organised drawing office with its successful and highly organised workshop.
“Over the years, the workshop has grown to become a magnificent Company that is taking the fabrication industry by storm, in managing to undertake several large scale jobs to place us firmly on the map,” explains Raheem Biviji, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenith Steel.
Recognising the importance of growing and evolving with the times, Zenith introduced ‘new generation’ intellectuals Raheem Biviji and Kamlesh Gohil to the operation. Since their introduction the Company has expanded its business across Africa and can currently be found in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.
Zenith Steel now specialises in the creation of warehouses, factories, multi-storey steel buildings, stadia, petrol stations, churches, water tanks, towers and bridges. Despite its success in such a wide variety of buildings, Zenith is still looking to extend its portfolio to undertake an even wider range. Operating in 14 African countries and possessing such a diverse product range is making it easy for Zenith to move into markets that are currently untapped.
“Zenith is committed to excellence in quality. To support that statement that we are a provider of quality steel products in Kenya, Zenith has effectively joined an elite group of global firms that have embraced best practices for business efficiency and customer satisfaction,” affirms Biviji.
Alongside this, Zenith Steel has successfully implemented a quality management system in accordance with the standards set by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO); with future hopes to obtain CE marking, the Company’s prospects are looking very exciting as it moves forward.
As the only Company in Kenya which designs, fabricates and erects multi-storey buildings, its all encompassing approach to the market is making Zenith Steel quite the innovator in its field.
Zenith Steel is seeing great levels of success in the sector, tapping into the trend that is fast breaking the dominance of conventional brick and mortar buildings that have dominated some of the world’s constructs for decades.
Biviji elaborates: “While it is a recent adoption in Africa, the buildings have been used extensively in developed countries since the 1940s. With today’s advanced technology and innovations, the use of structural steel and concrete composition design is being applied in the construction of multi-storey buildings.
“Contrary to using reinforced cement concrete, in multi-storey steel buildings the structure is designed and assembled in the workshop. Later on, while on site, the steel is fixed to produce the desired building.”
Buildings made of steel frame are traditionally known to take a shorter construction period. Therefore with minimum onsite labour being required and a shorter time period taken to assemble, Zenith is seeing more success translating into lower costs of construction.
Monitoring industry trends is vital to any company’s success in the field and Zenith Steel is constantly evolving in order to make sure that it remains ahead of the curve and keeps its status as an innovator.
“We are constantly making sure we are ahead by studying trends worldwide that can be incorporated into the markets that we operate in to improve our Company,” adds Biviji.
The addition of the Company’s brand new fully-integrated steel fabrication plant is a prime example of Zenith Steel’s dedication to remain a pioneer in its field, and with the adoption of multi-storey steel construction it has opened itself up to rapid growth within the industry.
Looking at the bigger picture, the Company is working hard to lower its environmental impact. For example, in branching into the multi-storey steel market, Zenith Steel is reducing the use of timber during its construction process. Inevitably it ensures that the environment is protected not only in the immediate future but also for future generations.
The Company remit has also branched out from its industry focused starting point; with Zenith involving itself heavily in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Unlike some companies who just work in their immediate area, Zenith Steel is working hard to supply water tanks and toilet facilities to various schools all over the country.
In order for the Company to stay relevant in its ever-changing environment, it must keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and the most contemporary technologies helping to drive these trends.
Biviji claims: “We invest heavily in the latest technologies and try to keep fully up-to-date with our machinery in the field.”
With the introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM) software such as TEKLA and Steel Projects, Zenith Steel is joining the rising number of companies now able to operate more productively while also producing higher quality work which will inevitably win the Company new business in the long run. The implementation of the 3D model-based software is the perfect partner in enabling engineering and construction professionals to efficiently plan, design, construct and run its building process.
With so much development based around its technology, the Company recognises the importance of making significant capital investments in state-of-the-art equipment.
Biviji explains: “Installation of modern machinery is essential for efficient and effective work such as CNC Machinery, saw, drill, shot blasters and plant processing.”
In order to maintain its ISO 9001:2008 status and make full use of the Company’s investments in technology, Zenith Steel appreciates the need for full training of its staff on all software in order to provide the top end service associated with the Company.
“We pride ourselves in the fact that 90 percent of Zenith Steel’s staff are local. Well trained staff with hands on experience in the field is the key to a successful company. Training for our existing staff enables us to expand their roles and duties within the Company, enabling growth on all steps of the ladder,” continues Biviji.
In support of the Company ethos, looking to the future it hopes to expand on the training Zenith offers in-house. With plans to open a training centre which is in partnership with the Engineer’s Board of Kenya and the Institute of Engineers of Kenya, Zenith Steel plans to carry out steel industry-specific continuous professional development training to its local players in the market.
Innovation, quality and customer care add to this core success of the Company and is only made possible by the awareness Zenith Steel displays both internally and externally on every rung of the ladder.