Latest 28 Corporate Stories

Flame Group Of Companies

Taking Pride in ProjectsWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker After enjoying unprecedented success in Zambia throughout its first four years of operation, Flame has spent the subsequent six diversifying, innovating and expanding as it looks to cement its status as one of the country’s leading market players.Incepted in the country in 2006, the aim of the Group of Companies was to replicate its reputed Egyptian operations to a relatively traditional and slow-moving market; a plan which came to fruition far quicker than the organisation, and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mohamed Salama could have anticipated.“The opportunity in Zambia arose from the idea that we could transfer skills capacity from Egyptian artisans to local labour here, and in 2006 we completed our first building, Finsbury Park,” he recalls. “Before then, everyone was building to very traditional brick and mortar methods without much concept of aesthetics or new building materials that were available internationally.“We saw this as an advantage in setting up a construction company in Zambia, and after one project, everyone was really amazed by the quality of our workmanship.”Placing concerted emphasis on the design and build approach in the early days, Flame’s reputation quickly grew in the country; being earmarked for 13 new contracts by the time it had finished its first project.The double-edged sword of success even became too much by 2010 as demand exceeded resources, but following a subsequent stabilisation since 2012, the Company can now look back at an initial nine years of operations which has seen the business rise from zero to $180

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Spencon Holdings Ltd

Constructing Flexibility Across BordersWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker Spencon has defied numerous regional and industrial challenges since its inception in 1979 to expand its extensive portfolio of infrastructure projects to the majority of East Africa.Specialised in the construction of water supply and sewage systems, as well as civil works and power lines across the region, the Company now comprises four regional offices as evidence of its rapid growth over the decades.Headquartered in Nairobi, its 200-plus projects have bridged not only Kenya, but also Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Sudan; making the business one of the most widespread in the local sector.This isn’t to say that the business has been spread too thinly, however, with Spencon growing methodically and proactively over the years alongside carefully selected strategic partners; all of which has led to the most expansive decade in its history since the turn of the century, which has incorporated the majority of its East African migration through the delivery of exciting infrastructure projects.“Our focus has always been significant infrastructure projects, not only because of the scale of opportunity available but also to fulfil our mission of providing innovative engineering solutions that enhance the quality of life in East Africa,” says the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrew Ross. “We are incredibly proud of our track record in implementing successful infrastructure projects and continuously strive to build upon this.”Decades of experienceTo compound this adherence to continuous improvement, much of Spencon’s recent development has surrounded the refinement of its employment structure, from the top down.Initially, this

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Betts Townsend

Investing from the Ground-UpWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit and results-orientated family culture, Betts Townsend has spent a significant amount of time working on how it is perceived as a business; while allowing its experience level and portfolio of large scale projects to speak for itself.Incepted by Howard Betts 20 years ago, a merger was actualised as a result of joint interests between Betts Projects and well regarded project management guru, John Townsend. “Betts Townsend was subsequently formed with a concerted focus on strengthening the initial backbone of the company by investing in training both our general staff and project managers to be the best they can be,” highlights Michael Taylor, Managing Director of Betts Townsends’ African Interest.Growing from a simple installation company over the course of the first decade of business, Betts Townsend quickly progressed into a substantial construction business looking to take advantage of South Africa’s infrastructure trends, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors. Post 2010 - since the World Cup infrastructure growth injection - the South African-based Company has been looking beyond the borders as part of its latest business development strategy: to capitalise on economic growth in East Africa after weathering the storm of time and capitalising on the emerging middle class movement.“Depreciation of the rand had been a concern. However, Africa as a continent remains one of the world’s biggest growth markets; even after the recent GDP drop in South Africa. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are still exhibiting some of the highest GDP rates globally

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Motheo Construction Group

Promoting Economic Empowerment through Low-Income HousingWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Motheo Construction began as one woman’s ambition to empower South African people through the provision of better living conditions; providing ordinary people with a means to escape poverty. Now with an order book of more than 1.3 billion rand and around 80,000 houses in its portfolio, the Group hopes to maintain growth levels with blue-sky thinking and a keen focus on black economic empowerment targets; placing gender equality at the forefront of its activities. What began as a hobby on the side while running a private medical practice in Johannesburg in 1996, Motheo Construction Group CEO, Dr Thandi Ndlovu identified that with better living conditions came a better standard of healthcare for South Africans. When the South African government instated the Housing Act of 1996, shortly followed by the establishment of South Africa’s Housing Development Board, Dr Ndlovu was able to facilitate sustainable housing development to fulfil the basic human need for housing. “The Act gave the funding required for low income housing in the Mpumalanga province, and what started as six projects began to grow new wings and we were able to construct residences of higher quality and consistent standard over a wider geography,” says Tim Potter, part-Owner and Director of Motheo Construction Group.In 1998, Chris Cudmore and Tim Potter entered into a joint venture with Dr Ndlovu and, given the joint interest in social housing, she sold her medical practice to her partner and Motheo Construction Group was subsequently formed in 2007. “Chris Cudmore and

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Airtel Seychelles

Driving innovation, Affordability and ServiceWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith Airtel’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,”

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Konkola Copper Mines

Zambia’s Copperbelt LeadersWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Copper mining has been a significant contributor to Zambia’s GDP for close to a century, with experts estimating at that the sector is responsible for at least 12 percent of the country’s business; therefore the sector is of historical importance for the country. Since privatisation of parastatal companies in March 2000, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has been able to grow its already substantial mining assets, with the help of foreign direct investment (FDI) and support from government shareholders ZCCM-IH and ZCI.In 2004, Vendanta Resources, a UK based Company, bought a 51 percent share in KCM, further increasing this to 79.4 percent in 2008. “Not only did this increase our confidence, but we were able to grow our operations with new found vigour, investing over US$2.9 billion in upgrading equipment, building new facilities and expanding capacities,” says David Paterson, Vice President of Local Economic Development at Konkola Copper Mines.“These investments increased the life of the mines by more than 25 years, allowing us to retain our position as one of the largest, fully integrated mining bodies on the continent,” he adds.Economic circumstanceFrom its three mines – Konkola, Nchanga and Nampundwe – KCM currently produces 140,000 tonnes of copper per annum. “At Konkola, we are targeting 3.5 percent growth this year and we are putting all our energies into achieving a higher standard of operational efficiency and more stringent safety practices across these three mining operations,” states Paterson.Since the economic highs of 2010 - where Zambia saw a 50 percent rise

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