Issue 31

Barclays Bank of Kenya

Kenya’s ‘Go-To’ BankBarclays Bank of Kenya is on the verge of celebrating its 100th birthday, commemorating  the occasion with a host of new services and digital upgrades to bring prosperity to an ever-growing customer baseWriter: Matthew Staff | Project Manager: Callum PhilpAs Barclays edges towards its centenary in the Kenyan banking domain, the globally renowned business continues to innovate, expand and upgrade as it retains its concerted focus on enriching as much of the country as possible.As a major global financial services provider, the Barclays name is a household one in the majority of the developed world; spreading its engagement in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, and wealth management to more than 50 countries around the globe.With the vision and purpose of helping “people reach their ambitions”, the culmination of 300 years’ expertise and history continues to generate largely unrivalled levels of service offering and customer satisfaction as the Company continues to “move, lend, invest and protect” money for customers and clients worldwide.The 140,000-strong global workforce is further testament to the prominence that Barclays has in the industry at large and, for countries like Kenya - which can still be classed in some cases as an emerging market - the benefits that stem from housing such an internationally powerful business is clear for all to see.With 122 branches at present, and 300 supporting ATMs, Barclays Kenya boasts the biggest network in the country among its peers, with much of its expansion occurring in the past eight years; a 50 percent increase taking place

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Botswana Railways

Seamless Logistics SolutionsWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Tom Cullum Created in 1987 as the result of the Botswana Railways Act instated by parliament in the previous year, Botswana Railways became the first state-owned railway to transport bulk freight, parcels and passengers via its growing network of track.Initially buying out the Botswana-based sections of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), who had been responsible for operating the rail system from Bakaranga to Ramatlabama since Botswana gained independence in 1966, Botswana Railways is now responsible for the connection with the NRZ in the north and Transnet Freight Rail in the south.  Over the years, Botswana Railways has been marred by a number of economic and internal challenges, which in 2006, resulted in the deployment of a seven point turnaround strategy designed to transform the Company and refocus it in order to improve its performance and profitability through a total re-engineering process.Today, Botswana Railways’ freight service is heralded as “the most convenient, reliable and cost-effective mode of transport to use for moving bulk commodities in Botswana”. Targeting bulk commodities that would otherwise be operationally challenging to transport via road, the Railway regularly transports commodities for the country’s burgeoning coal industry in a promising bid to help develop Botswana’s economy by attracting mining Companies that want to improve transport efficiencies.Trans-Kalahari RailExpanding rail connectivity has been a focal point in the Company’s continuous improvement strategy in recent years, marked by the Trans-Kalahari Rail project, which is set to benefit the mining industries and encourage cross-border trade and transport from Botswana’s rich coal fields

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Tigo Chad

At the Centre of Chad’s Digital TransformationTigo Chad is to capitalise on the growing stability of Chadian infrastructure to bring the latest data, voice, SMS, financial services and fibre optic cable to a country with big digital aspirationsWriter: Emily Jarvis | Project Manager: Donovan Smith In recent years, Chad’s economy has been supported by revenue from oil exports and though this revenue has been affected by the global declining oil price, this income has enabled the government to propose a number of infrastructural projects designed to improve the country’s telecom infrastructure. Tigo Chad is one such Company that has reaped the benefits of this, leveraging its considerable experience in African markets to contribute to a better connected future for Chadians.Since launching in 2005, Tigo Chad has become the largest mobile network in the country to offer mobile voice, financial services and 2G, 3G and LTE connectivity; reaching more than 24 percent of the population with this figure predicted to rise sharply given the Company’s extensive investment plans.“We are committed to investing in Chad’s digital transformation with network coverage from 570 sites that covers more than 87 percent of the population,” highlighted the telecoms Company.Part of the Millicom Group of Companies - which cover 15 countries and has a customer base of 53 million people across Africa and Latin America - Tigo Chad became the second cellular network to operate in Chad and was the first telco to bring 4G LTE internet connectivity into the region, resulting in a 75 percent market share for its broadband and data

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United Pharmaceutical Distributors

Delivering Healthcare on a Broadening ScaleWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Eddie Clinton As a thriving member of the Clicks Group in South Africa, United Pharmaceutical Distributors has upgraded and diversified its offering in the SADC region since 1989 to hold significant market shares across a range of domains, but refuses to rest on its laurels as it looks to new international climes and an even broader market presence.In the years leading up to 2015, the Company was experiencing one of the most lucrative periods in its 21-year history, across its numerous business arms, with capacities and subsequently revenues hitting new heights.A double-edged sword occurred however with the Company’s infrastructure coming under increasing pressure to meet the ever-evolving demands. Now though, with a new Head of Commercial in place since mid-2014, the business has worked hard on improving internal efficiencies in order to not only meet the aforementioned expectations, but to also now look ahead to even further development moving forward.“When I came aboard, the Company was going through an extremely rapid growth phase but wasn’t building on the infrastructure as much as it could,” Naidoo recalls. “We were taking on new clients and new business but the infrastructure wasn’t in place to handle the exposure. Since then, I’ve tried to ensure that the growth is in line with the capabilities.”The subsequent honing and refining of efficiencies and systems that has occurred over the past 12 months has therefore not increased capacity, but has overhauled the infrastructure in a way that will set UPD up for the next phase

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Lesedi Nuclear Services : Powering & Empowering South Africa

Restructuring and diversification at Lesedi Nuclear Services over 14-years culminates in the globally-significant market position.

Staff Writer Eddie Clinton By Staff Writer Eddie Clinton

Solewant Nigeria Limited

Commitment to QualityWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Eddie Clinton Solewant Nigeria Limited has excelled in the provision of pipe, metal and field joints coating services for 15 years and is now entering the next phase of its extensive development through a series of investments and expansionsSupporting the oil & gas, water, chemical processing, mining, refining, electricity, transportation and marine industries, the US-based Solewant Group subsidiary has refined its business model in the economically strong West African country over this time, in protecting all metal and concrete services through its range of services.By blocking environmental attacks where aggressive chemical solutions and gases are present, or where mechanical forces and high temperatures are a danger, Solewant has become a significant component of the country’s wider sector, and is subsequently laying out clear plans for even more comprehensive support in the future.“Our vision is to be the first rate world-class coating service provider for the oil & gas industry in Nigeria and the sub-Saharan African region,” the Company emphasises. “Our mission is to provide excellent industrial coating services, manpower training and research; using well-trained coating experts and best modern technology to satisfy our clients.”Through this all-encompassing philosophy, Solewant is able to stay true - even more fruitfully after 15 years - to its overriding aims to enhance employment opportunities in coating application services; to encourage local knowledge transfer and technological skills; to increase participation in servicing oil & gas industries; to save time of project delivery as well as the cost of its projects; and to provide efficient service to project

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Kenya Pipeline Company

International Expansion in the PipelineWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Eddie Clinton Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has set lofty ambitions for its future prominence in both the country and wider region, as a rebranding and fresh vision sets its stall to become one of the first state-owned Kenyan organisation to operate on an international scale.Formed by the Government of Kenya in 1973, the 100 percent state-owned corporation has a rare double-faceted organisational structure in that it also funds itself, making it one of the most pivotal business arms in the country’s energy sector.Subsequently, KPC has been involved in all major oil & gas pipeline constructions since 1978, upon the completion of the still-significant Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline, linking the country’s two biggest cities.For the duration of this tenure, and throughout all projects completed since that opening gambit, the mandate has simply comprised two facets; to transport petroleum products and to offer operational storage of products, both internal and imported.While the success in adhering to these mandates is undoubted, this isn’t to say that KPC is the finished article, however, and the Company has now put stringent policies and ambitions in place, in order to not only produce more innovative and larger-scale pipelines, but to do so across a broadened geographic footprint, using more efficient techniques and systems, and with a stronger commitment to the wider population at large engrained into its philosophy.Serving the regionSignificant upgrades to nationally significant pipelines, a complete rebranding under the banner ‘Vision 2025’ and a more concerted focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives all fall under this vision

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GPM Services

Building Relationships with Honesty and IntegrityWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker GPM Services’ refined balance of operating as a large Company with SME values has helped the construction and engineering specialists to form unrivalled sector relationships over the past 17 years and is staying true to this ethos as it plans the next phase of its extensive expansion and diversification within the SADC region.Reputed and hailed as one of the leading businesses in the industrial mining domain, the Company’s expertise across site construction, fabrication and mechanical maintenance services have fostered vital, successful partnerships over the years, but it is arguably GPM’s manner and approach that can be attributed as its main differentiator.“Integrity, responsibility and trust are the cornerstones of GPM Services,” the Company affirms. “We place as much emphasis on our human relationships as we do on turnaround times, product quality and service delivery.“Established in 1998 by Joe Coetser, the Company has built its reputation on experience, integrity and trust, and focuses on cultivating client relationships by providing excellent service levels and quality products.”Coetser remains at the helm to this day, having formed a vision and mission which is just as applicable and evident across GPM’s operations today as they were 17 years’ ago.“At GPM Services our goal is to provide services and facilities equal to that of large firms, yet back them up with the relationship found in smaller firms,” the Company continues. “We strive to be a leading service provider in the design, procurement, fabrication and installation of civil, structural steel, mechanical, piping and light

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CMM Property Group

Total Service Solution in Property ConsultancyWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart ParkerCMM Property Group (CMM) has remained a core part of Zambia’s real estate sector since 1985, proudly existing through the market liberalisation of 1991 and reshaping itself alongside changing industry trends and cultural changes.Founder and Group CEO, Chris Mwenya Mulenga, remains at the helm of the real estate firm today and has lofty aspirations for his Company beyond the borders of Zambia.“When we first started out, property valuation companies were not able to practice real estate; only the government could do this until the market was liberalised in 1991,” he says.“Although we were the third property Company to set up in Zambia, within a short period of time we excelled as a property valuation firm, becoming the leaders in the sector and opening up branches in Livingstone and Ndola to complement our central head office location in Lusaka.”The change of government allowed CMM to practice estate agency and add a further string to its bow, with the full repertoire of value-add services across property development and consultancy opened up to the private sector.As the market has grown, so has the scale of infrastructure projects being undertaken in Zambia, and CMM is now looking at undertaking these larger projects in accordance with changing market demand.“An emerging middle-class is coming through, which means all the relevant districts require infrastructure such as shopping malls, hotels, lodges, offices and housing. Business is really booming and by leveraging our years of expertise within the country, we are able to offer a

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Bentel Associates International (BAI)

Landmark Architecture in Africa and BeyondWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Responsible for some of Africa’s landmark developments, leading architectural firm, Bentel Associates International (BAI) is now looking to showcase its portfolio of construction excellence beyond the continent, leveraging its extensive experience of emerging markets to explore opportunities across Asia and the Middle East.Founded in 1960  the Company quickly gained traction in its native market of South Africa, learning how to capitalise on the infrastructural growth being witnessed over the course of the past 55 years. To reflect this gradual evolution, the Company changed its name to Bentel Associates International and now stands tall as one of Africa’s largest architectural firms known for landmark developments in South Africa and other key stable markets across the continent.“Throughout our history, we have been involved in all types of commercial-orientated projects, but while we don’t want to only be recognised for being a specialist in one sector, there has been a recent development focus in the past 10 years on mixed-use developments and we are currently capitalising on this market trend,” comments Tim Harlech-Jones, Business Development Director (BDD) of Bentel Associates International.“The Company is a pioneer of shopping centre design in South Africa, and retail has since mushroomed into a significant part of our business today across the continent. We have influenced a significant number of landmark and award-winning retail and mixed-use project designs through our complete service offering: architecture, master planning, store planning, interior design and graphic design,” he adds.New capitalThe proliferation of new capital combined with a strong

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MRE South Africa

Tip of the IcebergWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Tom CullumMRE has remained loyal to a continuous improvement strategy that has proven successful for two decades in 2015, as a new branch, new personnel, extensive capital investments and strong turnover growth sets the Company up perfectly for the next phase of its growth.The specialist industrial refrigeration Company has been a market leader across both design and installation since its inception in 1995, complemented by its service and maintenance arm catering for industrial plants, and remaining flexible enough to serve a range of customer needs.As the second largest refrigeration contracting and compressor packager across South Africa, MRE has built a largely unrivalled reputation for its bespoke capabilities, designing customised products through the leveraging of its experienced and highly qualified local workforce.“We have excellent installation and service crews who are based locally,” said Managing Director, Dennis van der Westhuizen. “Additionally we manufacture and assemble locally as well so that we can make our products as affordable as possible.“The Company has gone to great lengths to ensure it adopts the very latest technologies and control systems to achieve efficient operation of refrigeration plants.”Since beginning operations in Cape Town all those years ago - complemented by additional offices opened in Johannesburg and Durban - the business has gone from strength to strength as a consequence of this local focus; leading to one of the most successful years in MRE’s history in 2013-2014, where clients’ expectations were consistently exceeded.Now, with an even more successful 2015 being enjoyed, and a fourth plant unveiled in

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Aliboats

Enjoying Life on the WaterWriter: Matthew Staff Project Manager: Ben WiggerAliboats has expanded exponentially over the past two decades, from a domestic manufacturer of aluminium boats in the late 1980s, to become one of the leading market players in the region now exporting to countries on an intercontinental scale.Incepted in 1986, in Maun, Botswana, the Company’s initial remit was to manufacture and supply its products to lodges across the Okavango Delta, but the attainment of a Yamaha dealership one year later to supply the internationally-renowned manufacturer with outboard motors set the tone for a concerted international expansion that has occurred in the years following.Managing Director, Rod Bateman says: “Since then the Company has grown substantially and now employs 68 Motswana staff and manufactures approximately 300 boats a year.“Approximately 80 percent of our annual production is now exported; the main destinations being Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo, Uganda and the UK.”Internal developments have helped facilitate such business development, with not only a domestic branch in Kasane in place, but also complemented by three branches in Zambia and two in Namibia to further emphasise how far the business has come since its foundation. Still an authorised Yamaha South Africa dealer, and active across most sub-Saharan nations, Aliboats is now in a better position than ever before to fulfil its core vision.“The Aliboats team strives to match the perfect hull to your application,” the Company affirms on its website. “Whether it be fishing in one of our high speed, top of the line bass boats or just having family

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Fuchs Southern Africa

Lubricants. Technology. People.Writer:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Eddie ClintonAs the world’s largest independent lubricant manufacturer, the influence and positioning within the global market has never been a problem for a company like Fuchs, but the ability to maintain such standards while adhering to local regulations and trends in each country of operation  requires both strategically-tailored processes, and internationally-relevant products.This is a balancing act honed and perfected over the years by Fuchs Southern Africa, establishing the same reputation for outstanding performance and product quality that has become synonymous with the wider Group in its native Europe.A subsidiary of Fuchs Petrolub SE, Fuchs Southern Africa is not only the largest independent manufacturer and supplier of specialist lubricants in the world, but achieves this through a continuous refinement of the highest quality technologies, personnel training, manufacturing techniques and materials; all of which combine to adhere to the Company’s motto of ‘Lubricants. Technology. People’.Stemming from a family-run ethos, the ability to remain flexible and entrepreneurial is even more pivotal considering the continuously evolving nature of the industry it operates within and, even more critically, the diverse range of sectors its products are geared towards.“The Company’s entire focus is in establishing ourselves as the foremost supplier of ultra-high quality and specialised lubricants to the automotive, mining and industrial sectors, backed up by highly trained lubrication specialists,” its website explains. “Lubricants. Technology. People. is our new global motto and as technology advances, Fuchs remains at the forefront of developing lubricants in cooperation with the world’s most innovative automotive and industrial OEM’s that provide the enhanced

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Pienaar Bros

Hands-on Approach to SafetyWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Established in 1987, Pienaar Bros has grown a significant presence in Africa beyond its initial South African venture; extending into neighbouring Southern countries via a strategic branch of four locations across Botswana, and two in Mozambique to complement its 21 domestic offices in South Africa.Offering the latest internationally approved and most recognised brands of safety equipment and work wear in Africa, Pienaar Bros continues to uphold its quality promise while providing a product which is cost competitive and always in stock at local branches.“We have the largest stock of 3M, Ansell, and a whole host of other international personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers that are well known in industry around the world,” explains Brian Pienaar, Company Managing Director.This comprehensive safety product offering is backed by a team of competent staff and a customer-centric focus to drive the best industry practices and to secure the best service levels through continuous investment back into the business.Local serviceComplementing its array of brands is the Company’s own manufacturing arm and, as an owner-managed business, Pienaar works closely with its customers and distributors across the mining, pharmaceutical, food, engineering and other industries where PPE equipment is paramount to safety. In support of this for example, the Company has more than 20 on-site stores for the convenience of the local mine operators it supplies, so that there is always a seamless supply of equipment and a customer will never have to compromise the safety of its staff.“Our focus remains on maintaining our world-class proposition

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Habot Oil (Pty) Ltd

Keeping the Cogs TurningWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Nick Norris Habot was incepted in 1983 by a professional mining engineer who identified a gap in the South African market for fully synthetic lubricants. Given the demand for lubricants from the burgeoning gold mining industry in the Johannesburg and Gauteng area, Habot’s initial offering centred around reaching out to the local mining houses and educating them on the long-term cost savings that a fully synthetic lubricant could offer versus the mineral oil alternative. After a warm reception from some of the big industry players in the country at the time, in 1989, the Company decided to build its own production plant in Krugersdorp to cater for growing demand. The first of its kind in SA, the plant was dedicated to blending fully synthetic lubricants and offered an adequate stock of a wide range of fully synthetic lubricants. In addition to serving the mining industry, Habot bolstered on lubricants for the automotive, aviation, industrial, motorcycle, food grade and a speciality range for niche applications.Shortly after the plant was completed, Habot was appointed distributor for NYCO, Europe’s leading manufacturer of synthetic base oils, industrial, aviation and military lubricants. In January 2015, Habot was appointed ‘Authorised Distributor for ExxonMobil Aviation’, covering the general and commercial aviation sectors in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa; marking another crucial milestone in enhancing its footprint on the continent with the support of global lubricant leaders.Following decades of continuous growth and consistently high quality products, the Company was acquired in January, 2013 by the current shareholders, and the

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Aon Kenya : Knowledge without Borders

As the world’s leading provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, Aon’s presence in Africa has been inevitably successful

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