Holtan East Africa has come a long way in the industry, now a name synonymous with top-tier construction and superior service in Tanzania
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Kane Weller
When Africa Outlook last spoke to Holtan East Africa, the relatively young construction Company was going from strength to strength in the industry, working on numerous large-scale projects and cementing itself as the go-to in Tanzania.
At the time – in 2015 – the Company was working on making its way into more infrastructural projects and components that had the option to be commercially marketable, through which it was hoped an awareness of its capabilities would become accentuated.
“At the time our partnerships with other international contractors, on three of the highest projects in Tanzania proved to be exactly what we needed,” explains Henry Sisye, Commercial Manager at Holtan East Africa. “These exciting projects involved the Rapid Transit system in Dar es Salaam, engagement in the refurbishment of the Kilimanjaro International Airport, alongside the construction of the terminal building at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.”
In a similarly exciting turn of events, in 2015 the Company had been awarded a tender to build up the high-end South African high commission building.
Sisye continues: “We are so pleased to be able to report back on the success of this project, which was completed effectively and is now a landmark attraction in Dar es Salaam architecture in its own right.”
The Company has built upon successes such as these and constantly drives for new levels of achievement in the industry, a prime example of this being the initiation of the measures needed to lead to ISO certification. Actions such as these have caused the revitalisation of the Company brand, predominantly as part of a bigger plan to gain East African and perhaps in the near future, national recognition.
Of course in order to be able to successfully achieve this Holtan is having to build upon and develop the skills and professionalism of its existing work force, with the aim of using them to drive the Company’s successes forward.
Similarly, with an increased amount of employees – now sitting at 500 – Holtan has already been able to charter new territories, moving into Rwanda and securing its place as one of the top three construction companies currently operating in Tanzania.
For the success of any company, it is pivotal to continuously take on new projects, and the aforementioned refurbishment of Kilimanjaro International Airport Terminal Building opened up a whole new sector for Holtan to branch into when looking for contracts.
“This year has also seen the continuation of the Zuri Zanzibar Resort, however, in order to facilitate these larger scale projects, similarly large investments have needed to be made in the company,” adds Sisye. “We have made large investments in project cost management software such as Buildsmart and CCS Candy, which are incredibly helpful as tools in estimation and cost control.
“Alongside the technology, the acquisition of the latest manufacturing equipment for the Factory will provide us with an unparalleled edge over all of the other construction companies operating in the East and Central Africa; as well as the refurbishment of our factory and office facility which now hold incredibly contemporary standards, having used products from our own factory.”
The Company holds stringent core values which hold Holtan up above the rest of the competition, in terms of the flawless service that it produces at all times.
“We particularly focus on respect, and within that our commitment to serving our people first which is woven throughout our organisation,” describes Sisye. “We never allow ourselves to forget that our business decisions will have a huge impact on people’s lives, therefore we are sure to infuse fairness and professionalism throughout everything that we do.”
Naturally, partnerships are a key factor in a successful company, whether that partnership is with those working in the Company, or the clients, or partners of Holtan. The Company believes that the best work is carried out side by side and encourages striving for shared goals, treating business relationships as true partnerships.
“We are constantly planning as well as using innovation as a way to improve and deliver on the services that we had previously, as today’s innovation is used for tomorrow’s success,” explains Sisye. “We ensure we invest and reinvest in order to ensure the health and longevity of our company and the employees that work with us.”
It is ingrained within Holtan that providing professional and reliable quality buildings and construction is the way to securing success.
“Within our Company we have a well of experience to tap into when it comes to building world-class structures for both residential and commercial clients,” affirms Sisye. “Part of the long list of successful projects we can now proudly profess are hotels, banks, offices, commercial properties, new builds and industrial buildings, all of which we are sure to deliver with first-class service.”
A constant for Holtan has always been its belief in building relationships that are based on honesty and respect, which is essential to achieving perfection in working practices, taking ownership and accountability from the top down.
“Management in the Company is always closely involved in all aspects of the projects, meaning that we can monitor progress and address any issues should they arise,” continues Sisye. “We have found this to make for a smooth operation at all times, cutting off any issues before they magnify.”
Changes in the market
Moving forward, the Company is being faced with increased competition and therefore a need to constantly have an edge over its key competitors, as well as any that are emerging.
“We have found that recently client trends and more specifically design briefs are changing quite dramatically, meaning we have to embrace new technology and perhaps more intricate designs,” describes Sisye. “This compiled by the emergence of new potential markets to tap into, means that we have to adapt some of the fundamentals in Holtan.”
At present the Company has instilled frameworks that will allow for these changes, as well as the strategic identification of the right pool of responsive potential employees; calling for in-house mentoring programmes and training opportunities to be cemented within Holtan.
“Retaining employees is a challenge experienced the world over and our approach to this is to ensure that our staff enjoy a good working balance, emphasising the importance of family spirit within the workplace,” concludes Sisye. “We hope that we are retaining our reputation as the first choice in East African Construction, through adhering to employee skill development, health, safety and a full commitment to employee and customer satisfaction. To work with Holtan is the sensible choice.”