With more than 30 years of experience within the industry, Dar es Salaam Glass Works continues to transform ideas into inspirational reality
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Since Africa Outlook last spoke to Dar es Salaam Glass Works the Company has gone from strength to strength in the industry. Compounding more than 30 years of experience as leaders, it remains as innovative as ever.
The Company is renowned for turning glazing ideas into an inspiring reality, gaining the trust of clients from a variety of different industries that range from construction to architecture, commercial property development, and renovation.
“As we have progressed over the years, we have ensured that our focus has remained on providing workmanship that is unmatched within the industry,” explains Sadiq Datoo, Chief Executive Officer at Dar es Salaam Glass Works. “Excellence and reliability are some of the fundamentals that go into ensuring that our clients are repeatedly happy and engaged with their service.”
The environment in which the Company is operating continues to evolve, and with that it consults with the correct parties to ensure that it can provide a leading example within the market. For example, Dar es Salaam Glass Works serves as ambassadors for environmental, social and economic sustainability within the region and educates its staff, informs clients and engages with communities in order to achieve its new goals.
“Due to the new policies brought in by Government in recent years, developments have been quite interesting for us,” adds Datoo. “We have continued on with our plans for innovation, as well as introducing a selection of new product lines while also maintaining our initial direction and ensuring our customers have options.
“At present I would say that our goals are leaning more towards increasing the quality of the materials available, while also doing more for education on the subject by working together with architects and developers on the differences in materials available to them.”
The Company’s position within the industry remains consistently prominent, which is quite the achievement when you take into account the current market fluctuations and changes in Government that have occurred within that time.
“Currently we are dealing with a vast outcry for industrial developments, as well as a huge drive on interior work,” continues Datoo. “We have noticed that there is less of a focus on the overall construction side of our work and more on the renovation and interior aspect.”
Dar es Salaam Glass Works has closely studied the materials available to offer the interiors private sector in order to work towards meeting with these new requirements, while on the industrial side it is looking at options for work ranging from commercial towers to industrial warehouses.
“We have recently taken on a few tower projects and have started on Vodacom’s new office project in Dar es Salaam as a part of a drive for the new capital,” Datoo states. “We have also introduced a range of decorative panels that are used quite widely in the Middle East. These panels were something that the previous generations had used but had been forgotten about for many years.
“We have worked hard to revive these products and recently started manufacturing them locally, ensuring that there were no lead-times or long-import times for these materials.”
Alongside the reintroduction of these products to the market, the Company has also increased and added a range of security products for customers looking for high-quality grills. Now those people have an option available to them that wasn’t there locally before.
Datoo describes: “We have a few new products coming up this year and are looking specifically at work on green walls as an alternative material for cladding, and subsequently looking for projects in which we can implement that.”
In order to keep up with the ever changing industry and its developments, the Company has kept up with its training schemes. This includes the aforementioned materials training, while also increasing the workshops on offer for architects and engineers.
“We are working with the local university with the hopes of making a difference to the new engineers and architects when they finish their studies,” explains Datoo. “This way they will have a solid knowledge base to work from that leads perfectly into the in-house training that we provide our staff with.”
In terms of its current manpower, the Company has been able to retain a lot of its skilled workers over the years, some of which have been with Dar es Salaam Glass Works since inception.
Datoo adds: “This does mean that some of our employees are coming up for retirement, and with that in mind we are carrying out training to ensure that the knowledge they have is passed down to the next generation coming through.”
Alongside its work for the betterment of the industry, the Company also takes a serious interest in corporate social responsibility initiatives in the local area.
“We recently handed over the windows for a local school as part of our support for them, as well as providing the glazing,” explains Datoo. “Our work with the Tanzania Women’s Architects for Humanity team is also a real point of pride for the Company, working on projects with them and helping with various fundraising activities.”
This is one of the many factors that sets Dar es Salaam Glass Works apart from its competitors and is an area that it continues to work on establishing as part of the Company’s foundations.
“During the next five years I want to see much more of a focused emphasis on projects such as those mentioned previously, as well as working on the sustainability of our structures,” concludes Datoo. “We are placing a lot of emphasis on green and sustainable buildings, especially when it comes to heat energy, and that is something we are looking into as part of the total cost of ownership.
“As previously mentioned, we see a lot of buzz around the cost of construction and the costs encountered during that time, and we are trying to create something of high-quality that will dramatically reduce the maintenance costs while also ensuring a long life-span.
“We are doing a lot of work in this area with entities such as the Green Council, and hope that moving forward we will change the direction of the industry for the better.”