Latest 30 Corporate Stories

Razorbill Holdings (Pty) Ltd

End-to-End Building InnovationWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Razorbill Holdings has grown into a multi-faceted building solution Company, comprised of four subsidiaries that when combined, provide an end-to-end building solution that focuses on bringing innovative green building techniques to South Africa’s commercial, residential and social housing sectors.At the core of its business remains Razorbill Properties 127 (Pty) Ltd, the first of its subsidiaries to enter the lightweight steel frame (LWSF) construction sector via the social housing market in 2007. The Company quickly established itself as a reputable supplier of total roofing solutions, initiating and promoting the new South African energy efficient building regulation changes; which saw the industry move from the standard cranked IBR roofing sheets on purlins, into energy efficient roofing solutions consisting of cement roof tiles on trusses and later, the inclusion of ceilings with insulation.“At the time, we designed our roofs in such a way that they could be retro-fitted with ceiling insulation materials to upgrade the houses over time, bringing them in line with the expected legislation. Given that the market continues to constantly change, it is important to think ahead in order to provide the right innovative roofing solution in the long-term,” explains Chris Smith, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Razorbill Holdings.As the roofing market became further saturated, Smith identified that there was a gap in the market for a total solution provider who could take on an active project management role. In 2010, this prompted the decision to split the Company into the aforementioned four subsidiaries under one holding Company, namely:

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Kenya Ports Authority

The Region’s Trading HubWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Tom Cullum Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has been responsible for the Port of Mombasa since 1978, overseeing the country’s transformation into the ‘hub of Africa’ that it is often considered as today. With a mandate to maintain, operate, improve and regulate all scheduled sea ports situated along Kenya’s coastline, KPA has the challenging task of balancing stable operating profits with the right level of investment in modernisation of the port’s facilities in order to better handle the increased traffic in the present day trade environment.“Located in the Northern Corridor, the Port of Mombasa is the biggest asset in Mombasa County and is of great historical importance, with roots tracing back to the 19th century; to a time when dhows called at the Old Port on the north side of Mombasa Island. It offers essential international maritime linkage for Kenya and the landlocked East and Central African countries of Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.In addition to Mombasa, the largest port in the region, KPA also operates other ports including Lamu, Malindi, Kilifi, Mtwapa, Kiunga, Shimoni, Funzi and Vanga.“As a result, it is important that we implement the right development programmes with the ultimate aim of making the Port of Mombasa among the best ports in the world,” explained the Company on its website.Over the past 10 years, the Port has recorded significant growth in traffic volumes, which has put a strain on existing port infrastructure; necessitating costly investment to improve operations and service delivery. Between 2002 and 2006, the

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Afroteq Advisory (Pty) Ltd

Informing the Right Business ChoicesWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Established in 2000, Afroteq Advisory (Afroteq) quickly grew into the professional consulting and facilities management (FM) environment, developing the technical capabilities and industry expertise to bring value-add, informed decision making to South African businesses.Commenting on its initial service offering, Andre Michau – one of the founders of Afroteq and currently the Executive Manager – says: “Afroteq specialised in office space planning and design, staff training in facilities management and everything in-between that assists a client with any requirement in the facilities or built environment.”Michau highlights: “We began to explore ways in which we could extend our offering to become an end-to-end integrated facilities management service provider. For example, if a client is looking to consolidate its operations into one warehouse, often this decision is born and bred from a strategic focus within the organisation itself, but underpinning and informing that decision is a facilities management aspect including cost of the consolidation and how well the facilities support the core function of the business.“In order for a company, such as a distribution company, to make the decision whether to operate their business from one centralised warehouse or several decentralised ones, they need to understand the full facilities implication of that decision and the cost (both capital and operational) implications thereof. This is where we come in; facilitating informed strategic decisions based on proper short and long-term facility scenarios, we help the client ensure that their decision is the right one for their business.”Another key consideration is space, which

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Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers

Flexible Risk SolutionsWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Callum Philp Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers is looking forward to a series of technological advancements to usher in the latest phase of a 20-year evolution to the top of the country’s financial domain.Initiating in 1985 as ZimRe, the business became the largest reinsurance Company in the country, and has subsequently developed to become one of the leading lights in the insurance brokerage sector under the primary ownership of ZimRe Holdings Limited.With offices spread strategically across the business hubs of urban Zimbabwe, the growth and diversification that the business has implemented over the past two decades has been a result of concerted innovation and creativity, choosing this route over mergers and takeovers to form the smoothest route possible for both the Company and its loyal clients.“Since formation, the Company has experienced phenomenal growth through adopting competitive strategies which has made it one of the largest locally-owned insurance brokers and a pace setter in the market,” Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers (ZIB) says. “In 1994, ZIB was converted into a Public Company through a secondary listing conducted via the Post Office and in 1995, ZIB set up Reinsurance Brokers International (RBI).”Arguably its most significant selling point was cemented more than a decade later in 2006 when it became the first and only ISO certified broker in Zimbabwe; a status still held proudly to this day.Looking forward, this same commitment to business flexibility and offering something unique stands firm, and will be epitomised by a series of technological introductions in years to come; including an extension of

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STAG African

International Expansion given the Green LightWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart ParkerSTAG AFRICAN is well on its way to achieving its goal of being the most innovative green Company on the continent as it looks to build upon a business model that has taken the property development market by storm over the past six years.Progressing as an established traditional construction business throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Company’s gateway to the reputation and market prominence synonymous with today’s STAG can be traced back to 2009, and the strategic decision to challenge what the Group perceived as an outdated and costly student accommodation market.Catering to a sector where affordability is of the essence, the idea was to overhaul the niche market by introducing the most modern international design and build techniques, using more green and sustainable products, with the lowest end cost possible as a result.“We wanted to come up with an optimal concept to reduce the costs of providing accommodation to students, and it was architectural design and product innovation that achieved this,” recalls STAG AFRICAN’s Managing Director (MD), John Schooling. “We looked around the world for the best facility building system and came across one known as lightweight steel framing which we began using, and really pioneering, on accommodation in South Africa.”Subsequently branching out across the surrounding region from its South African headquarters, STAG went on to complement this acknowledgement of the 21st century construct with six guiding principles which have formed the basis for the overall business model ever since: sustainability, flexibility, technology, innovation, affordability

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First Reinsurance Botswana

First-Class ReinsurersWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Callum Philp Established in 2009, First Reinsurance Botswana (First Re Botswana) is the latest arm of the wider Emeritus International Reinsurance Group (Emeritus Re), created to capitalise on the growing demand for financial service expertise in the country. As first-movers in Botswana, First Re is working hard to strengthen the market’s understanding of reinsurance products and the benefits they bring to insurers.“The law in Botswana was favourable for reinsurance services, and we were the first reinsurers to take advantage of this regulatory environment, starting with Emeritus Re becoming a registered International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) accredited holding Company,” highlights Leo Huvaya, Group Managing Director of Emeritus Re.The Group has significant sub-Saharan presence in a selection of rapidly growing financial markets via its operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia; benefitting from a strong pedigree and successful track record of utilising its expertise to help insurers find capital for risk transfer.“Quick turnaround time especially on claims settlement is critical in our business. We always want to show our customers that we offer a professional and efficient service, and we are constantly looking for ways to become more relevant and get closer to our clients. Our aim is to give our shareholders a better return on investment and improve our credit ratings. All these components have resulted in local investors who are keen to partner with us. Our major competitive advantage is that we are always first to pay all our obligations on time; an element which all players in the market

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Athena Properties

Africa’s Lifestyle Developer of ChoiceWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Stuart ParkerThe East African real estate market is currently thriving, with the likes of leading property developer and urban management services firm, Athena Properties at the forefront of this change. Established in 2013 with a concerted focus on large mixed-use developments, the Company has been answering East Africa’s call for an end-to-end construction service that allows for a seamless and comprehensive offering including; land acquisition, master planning, urban planning, project management, construction management, development management and project finance right through to asset management.Athena Properties is one of seven wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Centum Investment Group, the leading investment Company in East Africa cross-listed in both Kenya Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange. With a Group goal to become sub-Saharan Africa’s lifestyle developer of choice, Athena Properties has quickly established itself as the preferred development partner in East African real estate through its multi-million mixed-use development projects. Kenya in particular has been an area of substantial interest as the country is currently working hard on achieving a significantly decentralised public sector by embracing the urban management concept; encouraging the spread of the population across areas outside the city which is then managed by pro-active local authorities.“In line with the Group’s strategy to participate in the development process from start to finish, Athena Properties involves itself in mixed use developments and the creation of urban nodes, providing a complete end-to-end solution that addresses East Africa’s compelling need for infrastructure development and urban management; targets which are currently unmet,” explains Chris Ochieng, Managing

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Danakali Ltd

Supporting the Growth Markets of the FutureWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Arron RamplingDanakali, in conjunction with its joint venture partner, the Eritrean National Mining Company, is laying the foundations for what promises to be one of country’s most significant mining operations to date, as the Australian organisation looks towards creating a sustainable and successful presence on the continent.Making the decision to enter the country back in 2009, the Company formally known as South Boulder Mines has spent the subsequent six years securing tenements and preparing the groundwork for the business’ first foray onto African soil; eventually identifying a tangible JORC  compliant, high quality, potassium bearing resource, to the tune of 1.2 billion tonnes, in 2012.Previously successful in the Australian nickel and gold exploration domain, this move was a strategic decision built around the longevity that potash products comprise moving forward, and the potential that the Colluli project in Eritrea seemed to hold in this area from the outset.“After sharpening our focus on potash, it was Eritrea that came up as one of those areas with high potential and that’s why the South Boulder team went after those tenements at the time,” affirms Danakali’s Managing Director (MD), Paul Donaldson. “At 1.2 billion tonnes, a massive resource has been realised and, having completed a pre-feasibility study in early 2015, and then commencing a definitive feasibility study straight after that, South Boulder wanted to symbolise this focus on potash.”The subsequent rebranding and renaming to Danakali is indicative of this transition from an exploration company to a bona fide producer, setting

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Stefanutti Stocks (Pty) Ltd

Bridging your ExpectationsWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron RamplingWith both the expertise and capacity to deliver a range of construction projects of any scale across a diverse range of industry and to a multitude of clients, the Stefanutti Stocks Group is among South Africa’s listed construction Group frontrunners. In January this year, the Group reported R12.7 billion of work in the pipeline, of which 40 percent was generated from outside its South African operations. Five decades of perfecting infrastructure projects and demonstrating a confident set of skills and understanding in the field, the Group now strives to entice more customers towards its end-to-end construction solutions, along with a concerted focus on projects in the mining industry in recent times.“The Group as you see it today is a product of long-standing business relationships and the coming together of key business minds in a bid to combine their business knowhow and decades of continuous improvement, to develop a local understanding representative of Africa’s construction, mining and infrastructural needs,” highlights Steve Van der Walt, Contracts Director for Stefanutti Stocks Roads and Earthworks, a division of Stefanutti Stocks (Pty) Ltd.Bressan ConstructionFrom humble beginnings, starting with one truck, a concrete mixer and two dumpers, the Company began its life in 1971 under the name  I. Bressan Construction; securing the Phala Rail Grade Separation contract near Amamzintoti two years later, for the then Natal Provincial Administration (NPA). In the early years, as a privately owned and under-capitalised Company, Bressan leveraged its relationship with the NPA, along with the founding trio’s enthusiasm to succeed, and this secured business in

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Open Food : Keeping its Options Open

OPEN Food is exploring new horizons, new sectors and new territories as it stays true to an entrepreneurial ethos which continues to keep the catering specialist ahead of the industry curve and market competition year after year.

Editorial TeamJosh Hyland By Editorial Team Josh Hyland