Issue 11

SS Mehta & Sons

Building a reputation on Quality engineering in Kenya SS Mehta and Sons are leading the way in the civil engineering market Writer Matt Bone Project manager Arron Rampling Established in 1959, SS Mehta and Sons are one of the leading civil engineering contractors headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. They operate as the principal contractor for projects, both in the private and public sector. With an extensive client base ranging from international donor organisations, city councils, local authorities, developers and national and international airports, SS Mehta are well placed in the industry. "With over 50 years of experience in the industry, we have seasoned and dedicated staff and management that endeavour to complete our projects on time." reasons Gurmeet Mehta, one of the company Directors. The late SS Mehta, founder of the company would be very proud to know his sons and now his grandsons are following in his footsteps and becoming grounded in the ways of the company. The company has undertaken projects of varying contract values that extend up to and in excess of 10 Billion Kenyan Shillings ($120 Million). Additionally, SS Mehta and Sons has the capacity and capabilities to operate several concurrent projects simultaneously, even if sites are geographically located far apart from the next. It is the logistical and geographical awareness that makes SS Mehta such a reliable engineer, in a climate where trust and reliability have become overnight watchwords. Mehta Milestones 2013 was a milestone year for the company. They were awarded one of their largest projects to date, valued at over

Coast Millers

Sorting the wheat from the chaff By focusing on customer service and top quality products, Coast Millers is confident it can conquer the whole of Tanzania and beyond Writer Chris Farnell Project manager James Mitchell Established in 1989, Coast Millers started off as a small family business, milling around 30-40 tonnes of wheat flour every day. However, over time this grew to 100 tonnes as demand and capacity increased. Today, Coast Millers produces and distributes 350 tonnes per day across Tanzania and neighbouring regions including Zanzibar and Pemba Island. For Rahul Aggarwal, General Manager, Business Development and Director at Coast Millers, this journey from humble beginnings to nationwide prosperity has been possible thanks to the company's focus on quality. "The key to our success is the quality of the products that we offer," he reveals. "We do not let anything leave our factory or premises until it is quality assured." This dedication to the end product has seen Coast Millers recognised by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards for distributing and manufacturing quality products. Customer Relationships and Service Delivery However, it is not just product quality that has secured Coast Millers' market position, as customer relationships also play a massive part in the company's service driven strategy. "We ensure we give a personalised service to all of our customers," notes Aggarwal. "We manage these relationships on a one-to-one basis and are always available when they need us. "We have taken a lot of time to really understand what our clients require, whether it is a bakery, biscuit

Mobus Property Holdings

Moving up the ladder Mobus Property Developments CEO Richard Jonah talks about the company plans to combat the housing deficit, and their award winning developments across Ghana Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Arron Rampling Mobus Property Developments is a property development firm founded in 2010 by the current CEO Richard Kojo Jonah. It is a privately owned company, mainly focused on commercial property development, offices and retail centres. On an opportunistic basis the company has also embarked on a number of residential developments aimed at the middle to upper market segment. Richard Jonah, spoke to Africa Outlook about some of the company's challenges and the need for residential housing in Ghana given increasing urbanization. Biggest Challenge Like most property developers in Sub- Saharan Africa, Jonah outlined that it is access to long term capital that is the company's biggest challenge: "Property development is a long term game, therefore it helps if you can secure cheaper sources of long term capital," which Mr Jonah adds is quite difficult to do in local markets given the volatility of currency and the limited balance sheets of many local banks. Jonah's second challenge when assessing various opportunities is to do with land tenure. "Most lands in Ghana are privately owned as opposed to owned by the Government. One of the biggest issues our local courts have to deal with issues of land litigation, tenure and the subsequent fighting over land title. Being able to secure a good piece of land with a clean title and with no claims can prove

Kenafric Industries

Taking a bite out of the competition Employing over 1500 people and touching the lives of more than 75000 customers Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project manager James Mitchell Candy, shoes, stationery....try as you might, it's impossible to pin a manufacturing company like Kenafric Industries down. Founded in 1988, Kenafric started life solely as a footwear manufacturer but soon diversified into food, confectionary and school exercise books. Indeed, such is the company's growth that it now distributes its product lines to 14 African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Sudan. as millions of Africans know, whether you're seasoning with oyo Chicken mchuzi, relaxing in your Chappa Dollar flip-fl ops or buying a fresh stack of Super Star notebooks, you're buying into a little of what makes Kenafric Industries so unique. Despite Kenafric's focus on diversification, the core of its business lies in footwear and confectionary. With an infrastructure that processes over 36,000 tonnes of sugar a year, Kenafric is the largest African sweet manufacturer and in October 2012 it launched a Kshs 1 billion confectionary machine, commissioned by Henry Kosgei, the Kenyan Minister for Industrialisation. With the increased production capability afforded by the new equipment, it's clear that Kenafric is focused on increasing its markets, although the company has exhibited a firm commitment to its roots. In a characteristic move, company vice chairman Bharat Shah told reporters that the firm planned to invest up to KSh 4billion in the region over the next two years. A child of Indian immigrants who moved to Kenya


Shop 'til you drop Pareto has developed and nurtured a reputation for being the go-to investor in South Africa's blue chip malls Writer Matt Bone Project manager Arron Rampling Since its formation in 1998, Pareto have quickly grown to become one of the most highly respected property loan stock companies in South Africa. Their strong focus on acquiring and enhancing super-regional and regional shopping centres in South Africa, as well as mixed developments, has seen their market cap rise. Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto said: "We own and invest in shopping centres and ensure that the buildings are everything that a customer and a rental business could need, we pride ourselves on this level of service." Muller has been with the company for four years, and has watched a constantly changing and volatile market rise and fall every day, "The market is ever changing, if your tenants cannot pay the rent due to rising costs and lack of company growth, then you are left with a problem as an investor. Companies have to re-evaluate their needs and wants. I have seen many companies reinvent themselves to become bigger and more successful because they looked inwardly and saw where they could grow." This mentality of inward focus has played a major role in the restructuring of Pareto. As of 1st April 2014, the company will internally manage all of its 100% owned assets: "This has been a big positive step for us. We anticipate that our property values will rise countrywide due to us being able to

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital

Gertie's new adventure The devoted CEO of Gertrude's Children's Hospital talks about how they put patients at the forefront of what they do. Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Eddie Clinton Gertrude's Children's Hospital was founded in 1947, with the donation of land by Colonel Ewart Grogan, pioneer extraordinaire, in memory of his beloved wife, Gertrude Edith. Now fronted by CEO Gordon Odundo, the hospital continues to expand its services. As the years have passed, Gertrude's Children's Hospital has become more and more of a 'giving' hospital. it has won prestigious awards for its Corporate social responsibility (CSR). Gertrude's from the beginning was and will always be a simple hospital: it now has completed the full circle by becoming a place of hope for sick children who have no expectations elsewhere. Mr Odundo explains: "People all over the world find it difficult to find a model that can sustain children's health because children are dependent on adults to pay for their upkeep, they don't have an income, so the health system doesn't readily support children's hospitals as financial and viable projects." Gertrude's use reliable local suppliers from Kenya of the all important hospital equipment, who deal with reputable brands, as Odundo justifies: "By using suppliers that have the distributorship and the sole rights to their equipment and medicines, we are able to find maintenance contracts and equipment to ensure our supplies will be on time. We avoid difficulties with passing things through the port, meaning our items are delivered to us on site accordingly." The Benefits of

Filcon Projects

Building for the future South Africa's phoenix in the construction industry Writer Matt Bone Project manager James Mitchell Filcon Projects is a construction and engineering firm based in South Africa, who implement passionate ideas and excellence through a team of driven professionals who have acquired invaluable experience and skills over many years in the business. It was only three years ago that the company was on the brink of failure. Uncertainty and market forces had pushed the company to the edge and it was only Saul Loggenberg, the new Executive Chairman, whose timely intervention and recapitalisation program, turned the company around and set it on the path to becoming the force it is today. A new democratic management system, an emphasis on hiring the best staff, and a heavy emphasis on training and development has made the company a very different place to work. Progression Mr Loggenberg mentions that although the company is now on more solid foundation, it will still be a while before it is where he wants it to be: "We continue to transform and implement new strategies in order to make Filcon the type of company that we want it to be. It will be at least another 2-3 years before I feel we are near that stage." Moving into its 18th year, the company has expanded into all sectors of construction, including residential, commercial and industrial projects. Filcon is also growing geographically with plans to move beyond the borders of South Africa into the sub- Saharan region of Africa as well

SEMS Exploration

Passion and Profession in the Mining IndustrySimon Meadows-Smith shares his knowledge of the mining industry and passion for his business in Ghana. Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project manager James Mitchell Managing Director and geologist Simon Meadows-Smith has been running SEMS Exploration in Ghana for over 15 years and his passion for his business and the African landscape is clear. Africa is renowned for the rich bounty of geological resources contained within its soil and despite a general recent downturn in the fortunes of the African mining industry, it has an irresistible draw for those that want to invest in precious metals. Meadows-Smith has a long history of specialisation within his adopted country, as he explains: "I came to Ghana in the mid 1990s and stayed for a couple of years as a contract geologist. I then went to work in Australia and decided to come back to Ghana and start a small exploration company with Australian funding. Off the back of that, we found a gold mine and sold it. In 2000 when the Gulf crisis hit – I chose to stay on in Ghana and converted my company into a consultancy and that's how we've been operating since 2001." A lot of what makes SEMS Exploration unique is that it operates under a shared risk model which allows investors a level of support and security, afforded by SEMS' professional and regional expertise. Meadows-Smith explains: "A lot of investors from around the world are not particularly familiar with working in Africa, particularly West Africa. They don't fully

Roko Construction

From the ground up Family-run ROKO Construction is at the forefront of business developments across the East of Africa, looking to expand into new markets Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Arron Rampling With the effects of the recession still being felt across Africa, none more so than in the construction industry, rising costs, stronger regulations many companies are keeping a close eye on the bottom line. UK losses three years ago had a ripple effect on construction projects, but ROKO has groomed into a self sufficient company in the majority of construction disciplines and provides employment for an average of 1,800 people, placing great emphasis on training its technicians and craftsmen to produce an exceptionally high standard of workmanship. Materials are produced locally and from the Preferential Trade Area wherever possible, and imports are facilitated by ROKO's association with the SAI Trading Company in Europe. Boasting of a legacy spanning forty five years in the construction arena, ROKO has from inception, nurtured the brand into one of exceptional construction benchmarked on the quality of their works that speaks for itself. The co founders, Rohrer and Koehler, with a vision to set up in Africa and use Uganda as the spring board for further growth, proceeded to register ROKO in 1969. ROKO Construction Limited, as it is known now has become a household name synonymous with quality in construction with branches in Rwanda and south Sudan. For efficiency and timely delivery, materials are manufactured locally and from the PTA area where ever possible. Mark Koehler, Managing Director

African Minerals

Ore inspiring Africa Outlook takes a closer look at iron ore miner African Minerals Ltd's flagship Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Ben Weaver Ore owners have described West Africa as the new frontier and the quest for its iron-ore resources has driven a railway and mining boom worth an estimated $25 billion. So many discoveries have been made in the region that it has been described as the new Pilbara, after the massive iron ore fields in Western Australia. AIM-listed African Minerals Ltd's (AML) Tonkolili mine in the Sula Mountain range in Sierra Leone sits on top of one of West Africa's largest iron ore deposits. The firm, founded by entrepreneur Frank Timis as Sierra Leone Diamond Company, spent seven years exploring the deposit before confirming the presence of a world-class magnetite iron ore deposit in 2009. The London based company signed a 99-year lease with the government of Sierra Leone to rehabilitate the 74km 1067mmgauge railway from the port of Pepel to the old mine at Marampa and build a 126km extension to a new iron-ore mine at Tonkolili. It began production just 14 months after the mining permit was issued and the fi rst ore trains ran in November 2011. The second phase "will entail the development of a new purpose built port at Tagrin Point. The new port will have the ability to load Cape Size vessels alongside the quay and avoid the costs of using transhipment vessels. At the mine a new major concentrator will be built,

Imperial Logistics

Imperial Targets African Growth Imperial Logistics has been reinvented and is targeting African growth. Chief Integration Office Cobus Rossouw talks to Ian Armitage Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Supply chain and logistics group Imperial Logistics has reinvented itself and, says chief integration officer Cobus Rossouw, is now better able to offer clients "customised solutions that boost their competitiveness". "We decided we wanted to take a step forward and that is by focusing on what we can do for our clients," he explains. "Imperial Logistics offers more than just logistics and our capabilities extend into things procurement and brand activation." Rossouw sees Imperial as a growth enabler. "We are an extension of our own customers' business, building their brands alongside our own business. Our own differentiators lie in a combination of an extensive resource base and world class integrative processes and technology. We apply our supply chain management skills to manage operational processes across end-to-end value chains on behalf of our clients." To make sure it delivers on this promise Imperial has been streamlining and simplifying its business, honing in on its capabilities. One such consolidation merged group companies BROCO and Cargo Africa into Imperial Managed Logistics. "We also created Imperial Retail Logistics, previously known as TFD Network Africa, by incorporating contracts from other Imperial businesses," Rossouw adds. These businesses specialise in enhancing customers' logistics and supply chain network capabilities. "We can take your product from manufacturing to the point of purchase – that is what we can do," says Rossouw. "We are the only

Camel Fuels

Liquid Logistics As a result of strong client relationships, employee empowerment and forward planning, Camel Fuels is on course to becoming one of Southern Africa's leading energy trading companies Writer Chris Davies Project manager Sheridan Halls Established just over five years ago in 2009, Camel Fuels is an oil and gas trading company that focuses on East Africa and the 15 member states of SADC (Southern African Development Community). In addition to sourcing and trading these commodities, Camel Fuels also physically distributes products throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The company concentrates its efforts on niche markets such as wholesalers within the region, independent power producers and large consumers of petroleum such as mines. All the while, Camel Fuels remains committed to unwavering integrity, service excellence, open communication and solution orientation when it comes to dealing with clients and suppliers alike. Competitive Advantage Camel Fuels' Director Matthew Costello has a clear and concise vision of how the company intends to achieve its target of becoming a recognised and leading petroleum trading brand in Africa. "We understand the particular challenges that the region brings from a logistics and supplier point of view," he states. "We listen to and understand client requirements clearly and build up long term relationships." This is in addition to "a high level of service combined with ever-competitive rates," according to Costello. This assured and assertive approach has been boosted by various developments that have taken place over the course of 2013, including new business relationships and various capital investments. "We are involved in the development of

Drake & Gorham

A breath of fresh air German efficiency is propelling Zambian air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration specialist Drake & Gorham to new heights. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Tom Cullum Zambia is booming and to capitalise on its potential the Government has announced a robust development agenda anchored on critical sectors of the economy, namely agriculture, construction, tourism, manufacturing and mining. It is a fantastic time to be in business. "The last year has been good, we must say," says Mark Lüring, the Managing Director of local air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration specialist Drake & Gorham. "We exceeded our initial expectations and targets for 2013 and managed to penetrate into the mining sector which is a very key industry here in Zambia and ever growing. That is very pleasing. As a local company to get your foot in the door there is encouraging because these are all international firms playing in the mining space and they usually bring in their own suppliers from outside of the country. We have managed to get our foot in the door there and that industry has great potential for us, with good growth potential." Lusaka-based Drake & Gorham is ahead of the game and is certainly a leader in its markets. Chief Executive Arne Lüring and his son, Mark, are determined to build on its authority. "We've a great reputation," Arne says. "Our main areas of work are in air-conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration, where we are number one here in Zambia." The firm isn't a newcomer by any means. It has

Afric Oil

Home Grown distribution for South Africa's Petroleum Despite an ever-changing and price-driven market, one company looks to ensure customers always come first Writer Matt Bone Project manager Sheridan Halls Afric Oil was founded in 1995 by The Pembani Group, whose founders were a group of entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the petroleum sector in which a "black owned-company" could operate and flourish. Afric Oil was South Africa's first empowered Oil Company, operating in the highly competitive fuel retail and wholesale markets. The company now operates as a truly independent oil distribution company, seeking opportunities for growth and supporting smaller fuel distributors in expanding its business as well. Tseke Nkadimeng, Managing Director of Afric Oil, is very proud of how far the company has come in such a short space of time: "We are still an emerging company in the African petroleum market, at just 20 years old, but in South Africa, we are a much better known and are a trusted distributor of Petroleum, despite our business being young in comparison to other industry suppliers." Infrastructure and Inflation Afric Oil have indeed become a trusted name for distribution, as shown by their close relationship with mining and other industrial companies in South Africa. Bulk consumers of refined petroleum products rely on Afric Oil to deliver the quantities needed on time and for the right price. One of the key problems faced by Nkadimeng and Afric Oil is the South African Infrastructure, or in this case lack of. Below par rail performances to and from the

Brollo Kenya : Men of Steel

Brollo Kenya have built their success on a solid foundation of steel and meticulous workmanship with an Italian flair.

ICEA Lion Group

A reputation for professionalism Considered unmatched in their claims settlement record, underwriting expertise and quality of customer service, ICEA LION Group's Steven Oluoch tells Africa Outlook about their biggest challenges and company developments Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Sheridan Halls As it exists today, the ICEA Lion General Insurance Company is an outcome of a merger between ICEA Lion Limited and Lion of Kenya Insurance Company in 2011, which came into effect from 1st January 2012. Prior to the merger, the two companies were both fairly well known and significant players in the East Africa insurance market. The ICEA LION Group's business consists of four distinct units namely General Insurance, Life Assurance & Pensions, Investment & Asset Management and Trustee services & Pension scheme Administration. The company is currently in operation across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Africa Outlook spoke to the CEO of ICEA LION General Insurance Company Ltd, Steven Oluoch, to gain further understanding of the company profile. "The reason for the merger was to consolidate the companies to create a bigger force whilst also establishing separate life and non life companies for reasons of specialised focus on core business, enhanced internal efficiencies, improved customer service and greater competitiveness in the market place. The two companies were owned largely by the same shareholder, so it did not make sense for the companies to be in direct competition with each other," Oluoch explains. Merging the two disparate entities have created an outfit that would be better able to compete within both the Life and General spheres

Crown Paints Kenya

A Splash of Colour in the Manufacturing world Impressive paint manufacturer reports a 15% increase in profitability Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project manager Tom Cullum If there's one lesson to be derived from the Crown Paints business model, it's that even when you're at the top of your industry, it's not the time to rest of your laurels. The Kenya-based paint manufacturer has an impressive pedigree: number one in Kenya, with an annual turnover of over 4.4 billion Kenyan shillings and, in May 2013, the company was pleased to report a 15% increase in profitability. This increase was attributed to an overall increase in operations efficiency and a burgeoning interest in Crown's premium product line. Its little wonder that the Crown brand is so respected - the company which was grown out of the UK-based Crown Paints' worldwide expansion, has been synonymous with high quality paint products for over 200 years and holds a royal warrant. The knowledge that even the Queen of England uses your product might cause some manufacturers to relax, but as Crown Kenya CEO Rakesh Rao knows, staying at the top involves a sustained commitment to both quality and innovation. In addition, paint manufacturing in Kenya involves challenges specific to the African economic landscape. However, as Rao explains, there's been a significant upturn in the business: "I think that there have been a lot of concessions made in our industry, especially considering the economy and political situation. But it's moving in the right direction which is why the industry has been able to

Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank Launches Agent Banking Sterling Bank's Agent Banking underscores the need to provide access to affordable financial services and products for every Nigerian. Writer Robert Michaels Project manager Sheridan Halls Nigeria's banking sector imploded after the 2008 global financial crisis but has since recovered and is in good stead. Nobody illustrates that better than Sterling Bank, one of Nigeria's fastest growing banks by revenue and profit in 2013. Its third quarter unaudited results revealed its nine month pre-tax profit rose to N6 billion, up 26 percent from the same period last year. Gross earnings at the lender grew 31.4 percent year-on-year to N65.1 billion up to September 30, compared with N49.6 billion in the same period a year earlier, the Bank said in a statement. "I am pleased with the steady progress that our bank has made in the first nine months despite regulatory headwinds arising from tighter monetary policy measures," said Yemi Adeola, Sterling Bank's CEO. "Top-line revenues remained strong having increased by 31 percent year-on-year to N65.1 billion. In line with our targets, we grew deposits by 29 percent, net loans by 36 percent, while reducing the proportion of non-performing loans to two percent. In the quarter just ended, we successfully launched a N12.5 billion equity issue by way of rights for which we are currently awaiting final regulatory approval. We are also in the process of concluding a private placement of $120 million to further strengthen our capital position. In the final quarter of the year, we will continue our rollout of

Quality Products

Scrubbing up nicely Living up to its name in every respect, this prominent South African manufacturer has consistently delivered high quality soap, toiletries and cosmetics to both clients and consumers for over fifty years Writer Christopher Davies Project manager Ben Wigger Established in the 1940s, Quality Products has been a prominent manufacturer of home and personal care goods in Southern Africa for several years. At first, the company produced candles before moving on to soap and other toiletries. In fact, such pioneering development of soap products caught the attention of global consumer goods giant unilever, who went on to buy Quality Products in the mid-1960s. But this period of ownership came to an end in 2005, when Beige Holdings acquired the company's shares and assets in partnership with Thebe Health Care. Since then Quality Products, which is listed on the JSE's alternative Exchange (altX), has continued to successfully deliver a strong portfolio of products throughout the region. As the leading third party toiletries manufacturer in the region, quality Products is able to produce goods such as soap, home and personal care products as well as hotel guest amenities to the client's individual specifications. Customers include multinational blue chip corporations such as Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Tiger Brands, Unicef, Unilever, Woolworths and the World Health Organisation. Unique Selling Point When asked what gives Quality Products an edge over its competitors, marketing manager Struan Robinson was quick to respond: "Our unique selling point is that we are able to manufacturer products even more efficiently and much cheaper than

Broadcom Communication Networks

Broadening their horizons With a model of excellence in delivering superior and complete ICT solutions, Broadcom strives for a fast response time whilst maintaining a high level of skill and expertise Writer Matt Bone Project manager Donovan Smith Broadband Communication Networks Limited (Broadcom) are a telecommunication solution provider who supply telecommunication network solutions for mobile network operators, fixed network operators and large business customers in Africa. The company is now 13 years old having opened its doors in June 2001. Over these years, Broadcom have seen a strong and steady growth in revenue. This growth has been fuelled by the liberalisation of the mobile industry in Kenya and the East African region, with the rise in mobile communication customers and infrastructure. In order to provide the required solutions, the company work with several reputable manufacturers, providing specific areas of expertise and technology transfer. this has enabled Broadcom to develop capacity to meet the dynamic increase in mobile operators' requirements. The company have three main sectors that they focus on: New telecommunication network installations services, network maintenance services and network testing products. Within these broad sectors are more disciplined and bespoke services including; design, implementation and commissioning of various types of both wireless and wire-line telecommunication products. Broadcom are highly experienced with mobile networks covering all network elements including the infrastructure, radio frequency (RF) systems and transmission network. Missions and Vision Broadcom have a company mission statement that underlines their company ethos, they strive to be the "preferred provider of innovative and superior ICT solutions and managed

Nampak Bevcan

Drinks on us Where others have fallen, Nampak Bevcan has continued to flourish. This is thanks to an unrelenting commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction, in spite of economic constraints and a lack of infrastructure across Africa Writer Chris Davies Project manager Ben Wigger Since its inception over fifty years ago, Nampak Bevcan has successfully been manufacturing and supplying beverage cans across South Africa. Throughout this prosperous existence, the company's footprint has gradually grown to include surrounding markets such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The packaging company reported an 11 per cent increase in group revenue to R18.3 billion for the year ending September 2013. Operating profit from continuing operations increased eight percent to R1.9 billion and the group reported headline earnings per share of 217.5c, up from 201.0c a year ago. Nampak said trading income from Africa rose 60 percent to R506 million largely thanks to strong performance in its Angola-based beverage can manufacturing facility, which operated at above design capacity for the majority of the year, as well as its Kenyan food can operation, which benefitted from a good pineapple crop. In November 2013, Nampak announced that it was set to buy Alucan Packaging, a Nigerian beverage can manufacturer, in a deal worth $301 million. In a statement Nampak said the Alucan factory is equipped with "a brand new, state-of-the-art aluminium beverage can line" capable of producing up to "one billion cans per annum". It has also been designed and constructed to "accommodate a second line once demand exceeds the current capacity".

Channel IT Group

Bringing mobile innovation to African communications In this modern era of ever evolving communications and smart phones, one company is helping to bring innovation and value added service to the people of Africa Writer Matt Bone Project manager Donovan Smith The Channel IT Group are a diverse group of companies that plays a major role in bringing infrastructure, technologies and services to emerging markets that shape the way people live, work learn and socialize. From their inception in 2003, Channel Group have grown considerably over the last decade, adding various sectors to their business portfolio including, telecommunications, IT, mobile communications and infrastructure, which has seen them become one of the leading global vendors for communications in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Bassim Haidar, Founder and CEO of the Channel IT Group said of the company "I wanted the company to address the key challenges and issues that other companies had in the Nigerian telecom industry. We combined the best suppliers and operators under one umbrella in order to effectively deliver our services and financial guarantees to the consumer." It is no surprise that the company has seen its service user's rise to an estimated 94 Million in Africa and continuing to rise. The Value Added Service offered by Channel IT to its customers has become a revelation in countries where mobile communication and accessibility is one of the fastest growing markets and a quintessential necessity for the population. The Key to Success Delving into new technological avenues is something that Haidar is keen to embrace


Dynamic Tariffing™ Systems An insight into Digitata and their Dynamic Tariffing™ System success Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Nick Norris Digitata Limited boasts a strong mobile telecommunications and revenue management background. Set up in 2008 with the specific purpose of implementing a Dynamic Tariffing™ System (DTS), Digitata has seen revenue double in the past three years. The business is made up of a team dispersed across South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and their headquarters in Mauritius. Africa Outlook spoke to CEO Ted Bartlett and his CTO Tim Fourie to gain a better grasp of the company's ethos. Since its inception, Digitata has worked closely with African mobile giant MTN. Digitata was also selected by Ericsson AB, a leading provider of telecommunications solutions globally, to provide core technology for Ericsson's Dynamic Discount Solution (DDS). Mr Bartlett states: "We continue to work closely with Ericsson, to extend our customer reach, but increasingly operators are sourcing from the company directly, rather than going through partner channels or larger organisations." Remarkably, Digitata has only 28 members of staff across all countries of operation. "Our core business is to understand operators and their revenue, how consumers respond to pricing, and what needs to be done to apply a yield optimisation tool to the telecoms markets. with our expertise focussed on these factors, we do very little in the way of administration." Digitata outsources other services including second and third line support, software development and code level fixes to their partner company, Rorotika technologies. Mr. Bartlett stresses: "Our business is

Tecno Group

Smart phones, smarter business Tecno Telecom Limited are bridging the gap between affordability and quality Writer Matt Bone Project manager Donovan Smith Tecno Telecom Limited, established in July 2006 in Hong Kong, is a comprehensive mobile phone manufacturer specializing in R&D and Smartphone manufacturing. In 2008, Tecno decided to focus on Africa as its key market and accordingly launched Tecno Brand Strategy. Through three years of efforts, Tecno has achieved initial success with its outstanding and unique marketing strategy, and has now become one of the most popular mobile phone brands in many countries within Africa. As of 2010, Tecno has become one of the top three mobile phone brands in Africa. Arif Chowdhury, Vice President, believes the key to becoming a top three provider in such a fiercely competitive market is due to Tecno understanding customer needs: "The key reason we are successful is because of our close focus on Africa's market; we may be a global company, but we act locally. In the Africa market, we try to provide what they are looking for, what they wanted and need rather than keep pushing the only models we had. It's more about understanding the need of the market and providing a product that makes customers feel like it is made for them." Long Term Approach With Smartphones becoming the industry standard, more and more people who previously would not have opted to buy one, have begun to see them as not only a must have, but a communication medium that is currently unrivalled. Chowdhury has

Airtel Kenya : Kenya’s Champion for Communications Coverage

Airtel Kenya aims to connect communities across Kenya by providing affordable, relevant and innovative mobile solutions to all.

Vanguard Properties

Building Ghana Ghana's property shortfall means a potentially lucrative time for developers – but customers need a name they can trust, which is good news for Vanguard Properties. Africa outlook talks to Managing Director, Mr. Kwabena Dapaah-Siakwan Writer Jon Bruford Project manager Arron Rampling Vanguard Properties was initially formed as a shell company, by the three other companies of the Vanguard group; Vanguard Assurance, City Investments, and Vanguard Life. In 2011, the Directors decided they wanted to use the company to take advantage of the booming property market due to the housing deficit in Ghana. Mr. Dapaah-Siakwan joined the property development company in late 2011, recruiting the first employees and established the new company policies. Now a fully functional property development business, Vanguard Properties was born. "The name of every company, the institutions and employees behind them are all key to a Company's success", Dapaah-Siakwan explains. In the case of Vanguard Properties, it is the presence of the household name that makes it appealing to customers. "The property market in Ghana thrives on trust; people pay advances to real estate companies who are building properties. Who clients pay their money to should be very important to them. Should it be a company with no address, no corporate governance structure and so on?" these are some of the questions which will no doubt come to the minds of those entering the property ladder. "Vanguard Assurance was the first indigenous insurance company in Ghana, having been set up in the 1970s. We have a name that people can