Latest 30 Corporate Stories

Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd

Delivering Excellence Across Three GenerationsWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Stuart ParkerFor more than 60 years, Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd has built and engrained its reputation into the East African construction industry, diversifying its offering and its customer demographic to fulfil its initial dream of “creating an industry-leading firm dedicated to making the world a better place”.This was the vision of Founder, Laxmanbhai Bhimji K. Raghwani who, six decades ago, embarked on the Company’s adventure through grit and values that are still strongly evident in the business to this day.Expanding geographically and internally, at a rapid rate, Laxmanbhai developed to cater across not only the core construction domain, but also across contracting, sales, machinery maintenance and property development; based on four guiding principles of care, entrepreneurship, collaboration and integrity.“Mr Laxmanbhai started from a registered capital of KES100,000 and 30 members of staff in 1953,” says Laxmanbhai Construction’s Managing Director (MD), Dhanji Raghwani. “By 1972, Laxmanbhai Construction Ltd was expanding very rapidly in India, UK, Seychelles and Mauritius as well as gaining a well-earned recognition in the construction industry, as a customer with punctuality, a collaborative approach and high quality standards.“The rapid growth continued through the late 1980s and well into the 1990s despite the worldwide recession and, today, the Laxmanbhai Group has more than 13 shareholders and is among the top construction companies in the country; setting the standard of quality over three generations with the aim to continue building clients’ visions by delivering excellence.”Superior qualityLaxmanbhai Construction’s recognition incorporates not only the Company’s competency in carrying out state-of-the-art projects, but also

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Sakata Seed Southern Africa

Quality Reliability and ServiceWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Josh Hyland Sakata Southern Africa has grown tremendously over the past few years in making the horticultural seed market its own in the region in recent years, as it leverages more than 100 years of global experience while ensuring that it modernises to remain the most innovative regional player in the years to come.As one of the largest horticultural seed Groups in the world, Sakata’s history  is extensive to say the least, but its 1999 acquisition of MayFord Seeds has arguably been the turning point in Southern Africa for a business which has gone from strength to strength. Supply Chain Director, Susan Allen explains: “Founded in 1931, MayFord Seeds was one of the oldest vegetable seed suppliers in South Africa. As a four generation family business, the Company developed a diverse portfolio including seed production, hobby packet seed, professional vegetable, turf and flower seed, vegetable breeding programmes and specialised products for the home garden industry. “In the late 1960s MayFord became the sole distributor of Sakata’s products in South Africa and in December, 1999, Sakata acquired MayFord Seeds.”The subsequent combination has been a formidable one within the sector, amalgamating Sakata’s reputation for its commercial vegetable and flower seed with MayFord’s prowess in the hobby market, as well as the business’s professional turf and rehabilitation grasses.The growth of the business that has been enjoyed in the ensuing years has been so extensive that a new state-of-the art warehouse is just around the corner, symbolising the potential that Sakata Seed Southern Africa has looking

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Sigma Supplies

Ruling the RoostWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Josh Hyland Sigma Supplies has ascended from humble beginnings to become one of the country’s largest fully integrated poultry companies, diversifying and expanding in line with the country’s most pressing industry trends.Established in 1984, the Company was initially producing just 2,000 day-old chicks each week, but a patient - yet proactive - approach to internal development is now epitomised by a varied product range comprising day-old chicks, table eggs, animal feed, processed meat and poultry equipment.The Founder and Managing Director, Dipak Shah is the man responsible for identifying this opportunity and potential over the past two decades, and with the help of a good management structure, extensive investments and refined processes, Sigma is now in a fantastic position to target even further growth in the years to come.Darshi Shah, the Company’s Head of Operations, says: “Growth in Sigma Supplies has been a step-by-step process and a challenging journey which has been completely organically generated.“We have seen various industry trends over the years but the biggest has been the rise of the middle class in Kenya, meaning that more people are able to afford white meat products, as well as eggs, taking the shift away from the traditional maize meal and vegetables diet.”This close monitoring of evolving trends in Kenya, coupled with the aligning knowledge and expertise being fostered in the wider agricultural industry, has also led to Sigma adapting the way it sells, markets and packages its products over the years; all of which being supported by extensive investments which are

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Howden Africa

Bringing World-Class Manufacturing to AfricaWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Howden Africa has played a significant role in the engineering developments that have taken place on the African continent over the past 65-plus years. Backed by the strength of Howden Group’s global reputation and presence, the African arm of the business has been consistently improving its already comprehensive product and service offering in a sustainable manner.Largely led by continuous improvement strategies including training, product innovation and turnkey service offering, Howden Africa has been investing in its internal processes in order to enhance the business in a modern day Africa. As a consequence of this injection, the Company has witnessed phenomenal growth particularly across the power generation, mining, oil & gas and environmental control markets.“Leveraging Group expertise and our strong financial position, we are working on ways to strengthen our capacities to deliver on any challenge we may face going forward in a developing market. The resulting success is a product of long-term relationships and repeat business across a wide range of applications over the course of Africa’s industrial and infrastructural development,” explains Kudzai Nyangoni, Managing Director of James Howden Holdings Limited.Consisting of four major business units that manufacture a wide range of engineered plant and products for the power, water, mining, construction and oil & gas industries, Howden Africa comprises Howden Power, Howden Fan Equipment, Howden Projects and Donkin Fans; all of which are produced from two world-class facilities in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.“In a nutshell, we have a plethora of technical capabilities across the design, manufacture,

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Dunlop Industrial Products (Pty) Ltd

Pursuing Operational ExcellenceWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling The effects of globalisation, rapid technological advancement, a 24-seven culture and the introduction of millennials to the work place (to mention a few paradigm shifts), have had noticeable consequences to the business landscape we find ourselves in. The ability to navigate and thrive in an environment that is volatile requires a different set of leadership skills and an innovative approach to strategy formulation and implementation. Dunlop believes that its people are its greatest competitive advantage and the development of a culture that inspires, retains and attracts the right talent is a top priority for the Company.Following a series of mergers and acquisitions since the 1990s, Dunlop Industrial Products (Dunlop) has made concerted efforts to strengthen and expand its product portfolio and manufacturing operations in order to optimise future growth prospects.Since joining the Company, Managing Director, Trevor Howard-Tripp has played a key part in driving growth within the Dunlop operation. He explains: “Dunlop Industrial Products is now owned by REMA TIP TOP, a German-based organisation with a significant global footprint. REMA TIP TOP is present in 117 countries and has 13 manufacturing facilities globally. We are able to leverage synergies from the Group to help the Dunlop brand globalise its operations in the face of an economy that has slowed down.“We are no longer just a South African Company; our supply now extends to South America, Europe, Australia and Africa. Achieving operational excellence in our manufacturing operations requires skilled and engaged employees, an ideal company structure, clearly communicated supporting systems

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Vodacom Congo : Connecting People and Changing Lives

Connecting People and Changing LivesWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Donovan Smith Since launching its activities in Congo 13 years ago, Vodacom has gradually and increasingly realised its promise of saturating the entire country with its market-leading telecoms services, combining its unparalleled technological expertise with an arguably even more significant social influence on a national scale.Following its inception in May, 2002 the Vodacom Pty subsidiary has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in order to fulfil its aim of galvanising the levels of communication in the country, with the primary goal of making its full range of internationally-acclaimed products accessible to the entire Congolese population.Built upon its “connecting people, creating opportunities and changing lives” ethos, Vodacom’s network in the country now envelops 1,000 cities and 500 villages, comprising a total of more than 12 million subscribers.The person entrusted with overseeing such an extensive influence is the newly appointed Managing Director (MD), Murielle Lorilloux, who has already signalled her intent to expand the Company’s network infrastructure on a business level, while continuing the positive influence that has been established nationwide.“Vodacom has heavily invested in telecommunication infrastructures and has positioned itself as a data-leading company by providing to all Congolese the possibility to communicate and experiment the great power of 3G internet via the undersea cable,” the new MD explains. “Vodacom Congo is a socially responsible corporate that is involved in social welfare, health and education throughout Congo. It also has a privileged partnership with the Congolese Government.“That’s why the company is committed to assisting the government to achieve its objectives.”Currently

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Airtel Niger

Innovation without BordersWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Donovan SmithAs one of the leading telecoms companies on the continent, it should be expected that a business of Airtel’s size would look to keep ahead of the industry curve and innovate across its core service provision year-on-year.However, few competitors can boast the scope and geographic footprint that the Bharti Airtel subsidiary does in Africa, with each operating region benefiting from both Group-wide initiatives, and individual developments in each nation.Bridging 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the saturation of not only its core voice and mobile services, but also its continent-wide GSM services - embracing 2G, 3G and even 4G - has led the Company to be one of the most reputable and renowned across all industries, and this is certainly the case in Niger too.With a majority 68 percent market share, Airtel’s dedication to customers, both in the consumer and enterprise space, has evolved with Nigerien trends and demands in mind, all the while maintaining the wider Group’s ethos of being a borderless entity.Established in the country in 2011 via an acquisition of Celtel, and later Zain, Airtel now comprises more than four million subscribers to reach its dominant market share figures; capitalising on what is an equally progressive tech market in the country.The ability to now employ local, skilled staff within its workforce has brought a touch of sustainability to operations, while its capital expenditures and collaborative projects look set to cement the business’s position in Niger for the years to come.Airtel MoneyAs recently as December 2014, 3G+ was

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Cable & Wireless Seychelles : Island Quad-Play Revolution

Island Quad-Play RevolutionWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith Cable & Wireless Seychelles (CWS) is of historical and cultural importance in Seychelles. Commencing operations in the country 122 years ago, CWS is intrinsic to the very history of the country having connected Seychelles to the outside world by deploying the first submarine cable in 1893 for the technological marvel that was the telegraph system.Given the size the Company has grown to and its longstanding presence in the country, CWS is deeply rooted within the community, comprising a 97 percent Seychellois workforce. “Almost everyone in Seychelles knows someone who has worked for us, or indeed someone who is currently working for us. We are highly regarded as a substantial organisation that is known for bringing Seychelles closer to being a fully digital Island, in partnership with the Seychelles Government,” comments Charles Hammond, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cable & Wireless Seychelles.The Company has evolved in a relatively short period of time to one that utilises all of the relevant technologies that are in demand today including FTTH, FTTC, LTE, 3G and MPLS L3; to deliver voice and the fastest 3G and LTE data in the country, corporate solutions, radio services, fixed line and most recently, television services to its valued customers.  All of CWS’ services, including entertainment, can be enjoyed on the move or at a fixed location. According to its own statistics, CWS commands a 72 percent market share of internet data users; however, Google’s estimates are much higher than this, claiming that 80-85 percent of internet traffic in

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Internet Solutions Ghana

A Ghanaian Telco with a Global FlavourWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith Specialising in agnostic technology, specifically connectivity that is individually tailored to the demands of organisations across the enterprise, public sector and SMEs, Internet Solutions Ghana has made significant strides since formation in the country in 2008, with a concerted focus on bringing connectivity, communications and cloud solutions to the local market.Internet Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dimension Data MEA, headquartered in South Africa, and the NTT Group based in Japan. The multinational structure enables Internet Solutions Ghana to leverage some of the world’s most innovative end-to-end telecoms solutions and related services and bring them straight to the Ghanaian market.“In the past year, we have witnessed a huge shift not just in connectivity usage, but also in terms of the number of carriers here and the increasing desire for cloud solutions. In reaction to this, Internet Solutions Ghana deployed a number of cloud solutions two years ago and has been experiencing growth ever since. Last year, we reaped the fruits of our thought leadership and were subsequently nominated and awarded the ‘Cloud Service Provider of the Year’ at the Ghana Telecoms Awards in 2014,” says Yvette Adounvo Atekpe, Regional Managing Director (MD) of Internet Solutions Ghana.Since establishment 21 years ago, the Internet Solutions brand has built a presence in South Africa, the UK, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, with 56 PoPs (points of presence) across the continent. West Africa, in particular Ghana, was identified by the Group as an attractive market due to

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Airtel Madagascar

Customers for LifeWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith Airtel Madagascar has been one of the key beneficiaries of the Airtel Group’s 2014 continent-wide investment programme to contribute more than US$1 billion dollars into Africa’s network infrastructure. As a result of a concerted focus to boost Airtel’s brand presence in the country, along with investments to bring improved 2G and 3G services to the market - with 4G in the future pipeline - the Madagascan arm began to gain subscribers and obtain the leading telco position in a bid to win “customers for life”; achieving profitability for the first time in the financial year 2015/2016.“Madagascar is a country where teledensity, a measurement of how many phones are available per capita, stands at 35 percent. When compared to the African average of 55-60 percent, this figure is among the lowest on the continent and so part of our long-term vision is to raise this number and continue to gain more customers for life as per our Company goals,” affirms Maixent Bekangba, Managing Director (MD) of Airtel Madagascar.Having been Managing Director for almost two years, Bekangba continues to work hard and improve the most loved brand in the country through the extension of the Airtel Group’s SMART network, skilled employees, innovative value-add products and community-orientated presence.“Everything we do is centred around our slogan, Madagascar my Country, Airtel my Network. And in line with this, we are now working on increasing access to telecommunications services, specifically through addressing the voice demand with different packages for different target demographics and increasing the

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