Latest 27 Corporate Stories

Airtel Seychelles

Driving innovation, Affordability and ServiceWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Donovan SmithAirtel’s operations in Seychelles represent a significant number of Airtel and industry firsts. As the first venture into Africa 16 years ago, the Company has experienced double-digit growth year-on-year even through tough economic times. Witnessing vast technological improvements and an ever-increasing mobile penetration rate - which currently stands at well over 150 percent - Airtel Seychelles has taken advantage of industry trends and quickly adopted 4G, becoming both the first 4G African venture for Bharti Airtel Group, and the first commercial LTE network in the country. “The service is a state-of-the-art network based on FDD-LTE, making Seychelles among the first countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to commercially deploy this cutting-edge technology,” reasons Managing Director, Amadou Mahamat Dina.Phase one of the 4G network rollout covered 10,000 LTE subscribers and this month the second phase was completed; Amadou Dina further details: “Initially, 4G coverage was available in urbanised and key areas of the country; available in corporate offices and the airport for example. As of May 2015, we have added 15 additional sites in phase two of the project.”By the end of the year, Airtel Seychelles hopes to provide 70-80 percent of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue with high-speed 4G technology. “The 4G network was launched by the Vice President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, which demonstrates just how deeply rooted and valued the Airtel brand is in Seychelles. Mobile data usage has currently only reached 25 percent in the country therefore, the market holds amply opportunity for Airtel to grow,” he adds.Similarly,

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West Africa’s Exploration GiantsWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Nick NorrisThe West Africa region is rich with resources and an area where mining activity is guaranteed to have a bright future. In line with this, exploration and production companies operating here, such as the indigenous South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) have witnessed an increase in oil & gas activity in recent years.Since establishing in 1995, the Company has been taking some of the biggest risks in the industry in searching for new oil fields, while seeking to create value in the pursuit of rewarding exploration throughout the value chain.With a balanced portfolio of six assets in five countries spanning the full cycle of exploration and production, the privately held Nigerian oil & gas company, SAPETRO is rapidly growing its operations in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Madagascar and the French Overseas territories.“With a net acreage position in excess of 74,890 square kilometres, SAPETRO is currently the second largest operated acreage holder in offshore East and Southern Africa and is well placed to play a leading role in one of the world’s major emerging hydrocarbon provinces,” said the Company, who added that its focus remains on continued strategic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa while building lasting and beneficial partnerships along the way.Partnering for successBack in 1998 during Nigeria’s first bid round, SAPETRO was awarded the deepwater frontier acreage OPL 246. The Company entered into a partnership with Total and Petrobras to undertake a very successful exploration programme leading to the discovery of the 500mmbbl (million oil barrel) Akpo field, and the similar size

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Computer Warehouse Group : Starting a Business Revolution

Starting a Business RevolutionWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Donovan SmithSince unveiling its 2.0 model three years ago, Computer Warehouse Group has continued to adapt and innovate as it strives to infiltrate as much of West, East and South Africa as possible with its business revolution.With the initial aim of embarking on a new adventure in 2010 with its more dynamic and profitable strategy for delivering cloud services and solutions to SMEs in Nigeria, the Company’s subsequent success has not always been achieved with a tailwind, but has been consistent and flexible enough to make it the dominant player across a range of sectors in the region.Over the course of the past 12 months, this ongoing success has been carried out in the face of a significant oil price drop in its historically oil-dependent home nation; a trend which has proven catastrophic for many significant enterprises in Nigeria, but one that has opened up a new opportunity for the entrepreneurial Computer Warehouse Group.“We believe that only the flexible survive and that has been our strength from five years ago when we decided we needed to become the dominant player in the cloud computing market,” recalls Austin Okere, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “We knew that our previous model would not carry on being successful into the future, so in 2010 we looked at what we can provide in the cloud at a better value proposition to our customers, and to create better profit for ourselves.”This flexibility, coupled with its commitment to empowering SMEs with technology in Nigeria has been

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Knight Frank Kenya

The Best Buildings in TownWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Stuart ParkerKnight Frank’s 50-year tenure in Africa has seen the region become one of the linchpins in the global property consultancy’s international progression, with the east of the continent leading the way from its Kenyan hub.Nairobi is recognised not only as the country’s capital, but the capital of East Africa as a whole, forming an axis across the continent alongside Johannesburg in the south, Lagos in the west, and formerly Cairo in the north.With a presence in the region now spanning two decades, Knight Frank’s influence in this prosperous East African nation – offering the letting, sale, management and valuation of commercial and residential property – has reached new highs in recent years, with a sustainable long-term plan in place to cement its strong market position in the future.Knight Frank Kenya Managing Director (MD), Ben Woodhams explains: “With 160 employees and a significant turnover, Kenya is the company’s biggest operation in Africa, currently letting more retail space than the UK operation.“As the lead letting agent for numerous 50,000 square metre-plus malls in the region, we have around four million square feet of retail space either in the market now or about to come on to the market, with the company replicating its global business model as a multi-practice real estate consultancy, including carrying out market and feasibility studies across both residential and commercial development.”Being the largest property manager in the region with more than five million square feet of commercial space under management, Knight Frank Kenya has recently safeguarded its

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Strengthening the Fibre Backbone of Sierra LeoneWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Donovan Smith Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel) was Sierra Leone’s first and sole telecoms operator in the country to offer landline telephony services in the capital and provincial cities. Since the advent of mobile telephony services, the Company has spent the past few years focusing on reinstating its position as the go-to telecoms provider in the country, leveraging its unique market position which it still retains as the sole provider of fixed line, mobile data and voice services. “The rapid uptake of mobile telephony and associated services dramatically impacted our landline business and made us realise the importance of diversifying our portfolio to include these new mobile and data services,” explains Sierratel Managing Director (MD), Adel Taher.Through its enhanced offering of voice and data products aimed at both the corporate and consumer segments, including bundled voice and data packages tailored to meet the need of these different segments, Sierratel has been successful in strengthening its subscriber numbers, particularly those using data services at the corporate and SME levels.“In addition to our varied bouquet of fixed and mobile products and their available combinations, we feel on our way to answering Sierra Leone’s demand for reliable services. Given the ever-increasing demand for reliable data services and the completion of the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) fibre cable, we have been able to re-launch our landline service as a combination package that offers ADSL internet and broadband via fibre. This is available in all the key provincial cities now,” highlights Taher. One-stop solutionsThe

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Lithon Project Consultants

One-Stop Shop on the MoveWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:James MitchellLithon Project Consultants is strengthening its reputation on a continental scale as the early stages of international expansion pick up pace in South Africa.The proudly Namibian company has long been one of the major industry players spanning the project management, multi-disciplinary engineering and mining services offered to its vast array of clients over the years. And now, with an extensive portfolio of projects having been completed in the country, and a comprehensive selection of suppliers and business partners to rely on, Lithon is eager to replicate its success in South Africa.“What we’ve done is opened up an office in South Africa, in which we have invested quite a lot, with the purpose of fully establishing a multi-discipline presence in the country as well,” explains the Company’s Managing Director (MD), Frikkie Holtzhausen. The aim of this natural expansion is not only to duplicate the business model and project success that Lithon has enjoyed in Namibia over the years, but to combine the regional advantages of both for the good of the business as a whole.While South Africa boasts a healthier complement of skills, Namibia’s general consulting sector across the relevant industries suggests a far more positive forecast for the coming years.“What we would like to see in our South African office over the next 12 months is a fully established presence in the country and our multi-disciplinary office up and running.“We want this operation to be independent from Namibia, but also supportive of our Namibian operations, so that both can act

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Airtel Malawi

Financial Inclusion Drives Rural CoverageWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Donovan SmithLast year, Airtel Malawi reached one of its main objectives to establish its presence as an internet data provider in what Managing Director (MD), Heiko Schlittke says is part of a “strategy involving continuous expansion of its distribution network in order to increase market reach across rural areas”, to the point where the network has now increased its data penetration rate by around 100 percent.“As the general mobile penetration rate in Malawi continues to increase, there is plenty of headroom for growth and our Airtel Money platform will be the driver of this growth as we roll out a variety of financial inclusion services,” the MD says.Given the fluctuating GDP and its affect on disposable income and economic growth, Airtel Malawi continues to face challenges affecting the entire value chain; however, Schlittke is confident that with the right level of investment and market research, the Company will come out on top with its affordable, accessible products and high quality customer care.Financial inclusionAfter re-establishing the Airtel Money brand to include a whole host of financial inclusion services - with a concerted focus on wireless payments and an availability of insurance products – the Company has created phone packages that can be used to support individual industry sectors.“This will allow Airtel to significantly grow both its offering and provide a welcome contribution to the country’s GDP. For example, we provide tailor-made data packages for the agriculture sector which provides access to information on the sector online,” says Schlittke.“The goal is to

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Rail2Rail (Pty) Ltd

Connecting People Through Indigenous EngineeringWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Ben WiggerEstablished in 2007 as a home-grown, all-African solution designed to provide much needed upgrades to South Africa’s rail network, Rail2Rail (Pty) Ltd has provided more than three quarters of a million sleepers to Transnet Freight Rail in the country to date; proudly working with the reputable Company to maintain South Africa’s freight railways, consisting of a network which has 22,000 kilometres of track. In total, Rail2Rail has the capacity to produce approximately 350,000 sleepers a year.After searching the world for the right sleeper production methods, the Company eventually struck a lucrative licence agreement with Rail One GmbH, one of the largest sleeper producers in Germany and Europe. Comprising nine production plants all over the world, Rail2Rail was able to leverage European industry expertise and went on to establish a high-tech state-of-the-art production facility in Kimberley, South Africa two years later.One of the most impoverished provinces in South Africa, Kimberley’s location in the Northern Cape was strategically selected due to its central geographic location relative to the rest of the country; facilitating easier distribution of sleepers. But perhaps most vitally, Rail2Rail’s location means it can provide much-needed employment opportunities locally. The province has the highest unemployment rate in the country, which Rail2Rail is trying to overturn, now employing more than 80 employees while also contributing to local economic development via its corporate social responsibility activities spanning key impactful community improvement areas.“It is important that we adopt a localisation strategy where possible and as such, around 60 percent of our monthly

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Aveng Manufacturing

A Leading Example in SafetyWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Tom CullumAveng Manufacturing, part of the wider Aveng Group, has had a presence in Africa for more than 125 years. This South African consortium continues to make its mark across the globe as a renowned manufacturer and supplier of a diverse range of steel and concrete products, valves, services and engineered solutions in the mining, water, oil & gas, construction and infrastructure sectors. The Company also undertakes rail construction and maintenance projects in South Africa’s surrounding countries, including activities in Australia.The Group consists of six business units, namely Aveng Automation and Control Solutions (ACS); Aveng Infraset; Avent Duraset; Aveng DFC; Aveng Rail; and Aveng Facades. Throughout each division, quality and safety are the watchwords, which are supported by ISO9001 2008 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations. The safety of Aveng’s staff is of paramount importance and is just one of the vital aspects of the business that has led to its continued success and high level of industry respect.Aveng RailPreviously known as Aveng Manufacturing Lennings Rail Services up to 2013, Aveng Rail is southern Africa’s leading rail track construction and maintenance contractor. Boasting more than 50 years of experience, combined with a skilled team and state-of-the-art equipment, the Company is driven to providing world-class solutions for every project.Based just east of Johannesburg, Aveng Rail has been a major contributor to the railroad network, as a critical supporter of transport infrastructure across South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.The division’s highly motivated team is led by specialist railway engineers who have

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Kansai Plascon

Forward-Thinking ManufacturingWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Tom CullumKansai Plascon can look to the future assured by the strength of its past. Since 1889, Plascon has been the force behind the production of top quality coatings with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, making it southern Africa’s leading coatings manufacturer.Given the rapid company growth over the years, in 2012, the company formerly known as Plascon South Africa was renamed Kansai Plascon, after a merger with Japanese company Kansai Paint, the world’s sixth largest coatings company.Boasting over a century of manufacturing firsts, in November 2014, the Company received three prestigious awards for its forward-thinking point of sales executions at the annual Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) awards in South Africa; nominated as finalists in three separate categories and going on to win gold, silver and bronze.Moreover, Plascon is known in the market for its memorable advertising campaigns including the iconic 40-year old Double Velvet brand, which is one of the longest advertised brands on South African television today.“These innovations show the brand’s commitment to providing customers with the very best service and top quality products. As such, Plascon has once again been recognised for marketing excellence by the greater industry,” said the Company.Today, Kansai Plascon continues to champion the Plascon brand as it expands into Africa as the continent’s number one coatings company; incorporating the best of Kansai’s 90-year international reputation for innovation, with Plascon’s 125-year reputation for South African brand leadership. The Company continues to drive innovation and excellence in the retail, trade, industrial and furniture coatings markets in southern Africa

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