Issue 32

Sudatel Telecom Group

20-Year Telecom TriumphWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Donovan Smith Sudatel Group (STG) has now thrived in Sudan for more than 20 years as the only telecom Company to offer end-to-end portfolios serving both consumer and business segments, and is now looking to further leverage this reputation and market standing to bring even further innovation not just to its own country of origin, but wider into Africa also.Since 1993, the Company has fulfilled consumer demand by adapting continuously to the very latest market requirements and to the future industry trends emanating their way from other international markets. This not only stands true for its core voice services, but across data, digital, cloud and fibre solutions with Sudatel’s turnkey offering central to its ongoing success.“Since 2006, STG has made steady investments into West Africa, finding great synergies across our four operations outside of Sudan; Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Senegal and Ghana,” explains the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eng. Tariq Hamzah Zein Elabdein. “We have a combination of CDMA and GSM networks and have adopted a transformational strategy moving from a traditional mobile telecom operator towards an integrated ICT services and solutions enabler across all markets; serving businesses, consumer segments and other operators.”Strategically focused on enhancing performance through the maximisation of operational efficiency, it is the 7.5 million customers in Sudan alone who benefit most from STG’s commitment to development, leading the Company towards a unique position through its superior international connectivity, large national backbone network, a state-of-the-art Tier 4 data centre, and a host of frequencies including 800 MHz digital dividend bands. Revamped

Icecold Bodies (Pty) Ltd

Best-in-Class ManufacturerWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Tom Cullum Refrigerated vehicle body and trailer manufacturer, Icecold Bodies has reacted to South Africa’s recent economic slowdown by overhauling its market strategy to better serve South Africa’s transport industry, becoming one of the major trend-setters within a highly competitive industry.After recognising the need to compliment its manufacturing capabilities with value-add services, such as repair facilities and extended product warranties, Icecold Bodies increased its facility capacity by more than 50 percent in 2013; forming an integral part of a five-year expansion plan to future-proof the Company.“The decision to transform the Company into a more respectable, reliable organisation that builds on personal relationships became evident when we listened to the voice of the customer. Customer interaction is essential for our brand and product development as this allows us to set new trends based on customer needs and demands,” said Icecold Bodies in a press release.Two years later and this plan has been successful in creating new business partnerships, while reinforcing longstanding ones. The Company has come a long way in the industry since establishing in 1993, becoming a well-respected, proudly South African body and trailer manufacturer, with a renewed flexible and responsive business model and comprehensive product rang; comprising trailers, insulated bodies and rigid truck bodies that are all adaptable to customer needs.Serving a growing demographic of customers in South Africa and Namibia, Icecold Bodies strives to be a one-stop shop provider of innovative products and value-add services including trailer and truck production, repair and finishing.“Setting new trends in production and supply chain will allow

IPSOS Africa

Game Changing New ServiceWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith Proudly celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, Ipsos continues to maintain its status as a leading force in market research; drawing on both its local understanding and wider international Group expertise to provide new and innovative accurate research services for some of Africa’s biggest brands. With a presence in 14 countries on the continent; including Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in the north; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Rwanda in the east; Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Cost in the west; and South Africa, Ipsos teams work in collaboration in order to meet client needs in the most effective way.After identifying Africa in the late 2000s to join its already successful international expansion strategy initiated in the 1990s, the Ipsos Group continued on its growth path by combining with Synovate in 2011.“Synovate had previously acquired the market leader in sub-Saharan Africa, the Steadman Group, so the combination marked a real acceleration in the creation of the Ipsos global network, strengthening the Group’s African footprint significantly,” comments David Somers, CEO of Ipsos Pan-Africa.The African continent represents a rapid growth market for Ipsos, and in addition to the economic changes dictating an emerging middle-class and growth of indigenous companies, an increasing number of international organisations are also looking to invest in the relevant market research required so as to better understand African consumers.“Given that South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are still emerging as hubs for international business, our research experts on the ground can help businesses and individuals looking to enter the market

Castrol SA

Second to NoneWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Ben Weaver Castrol South Africa (SA) continues to leverage a brand name which stands head and shoulders above the majority of the global market competition, as its adherence to operational excellence and partnerships with some of the most renowned organisations drives the Company forward.As a world-leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of premium lubricating oils, greases and related services to the automotive, industrial, marine, aviation, exploration and production sectors, Castrol’s influence and recognition stretches far beyond the bounds of its UK headquarters with a presence in more than 40 countries as of 2015.Employing more than 7,000 people in the process, and also supported by a series of third party distributors ensuring that its products breach every corner of the globe, Castrol is one of a select few Groups who can truly claim to enjoy worldwide success.This is not to say that it adopts a one-size-fits-all approach, however, with the Company quickly realising that a commitment to local regulations and trends would be pivotal to its longevity.While these trends often catch up on an international scale in time, the ability to strike while the iron is hot, especially in the emerging market of Africa, is key, and Castrol is currently honing two vital areas in its South African operations to that end.Health and safety is clearly a key performance indicator in most manufacturing operations but in South Africa, there is still room for improvement, and Castrol continues to lead the way in introducing innovative approaches for the safety of its employees.On a more all-encompassing, external

Vodacom Lesotho : Beyond Telephony

Since launching in 1996 Vodacom Lesotho has emerged the market leader in mobile communication services, with an 80 percent market share.

Dukes Petroleum Company : Setting the Pace in Ghanaian Oil Marketing

For more than a decade, Dukes Petroleum Company has been making its mark in the Ghanaian oil & gas sector as one of the leading lifting, marketing, distributing and retailing operators in the space.

Eqstra Fleet Management

A Single Point of Access to the Full Range of SolutionsWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Eddie Clinton Following a comprehensive, complex and challenging six years of diversification, Eqstra Fleet Management (EFM) is on the verge of seeing the fruits of its hard labours across Africa.Initially beginning operations back in 1984 in South Africa’s prime car leasing space, the global economic crisis of 2008 presented the Company with both an unprecedented challenge to stay afloat, and adversely, an opportunity - through necessity - to reinvent itself.The subsequent overhaul of its previous business model and structure has been a long, and sometimes painstaking, process but with the balance of the organisation now more evenly distributed across the full plethora of car fleet management services than ever before, and with a new automated system set to swing the market in Eqstra’s favour even further, the business is now basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.“In 2008, through the global financial crisis, there was a lot of pressure on us and how we were going to be a sustainable Company, so we sat down and changed our business model in response to it,” recalls Eqstra Fleet Management’s Managing Director (MD), Murray Price. “Since then we’ve grown from being primarily a leasing Company with only a bit of background services and managed maintenance included, to pretty much a 50-50 split between leasing and service divisions.“We’ve done very well to get that balance in six years, following the example of partners we saw elsewhere in the world who walked the financial crisis as

Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital

Continued Devotion to East African HealthcareWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Eddie ClintonAs the largest private hospital in East and Central Africa dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital is continuing on its quest to provide award-winning, world-class healthcare to Kenya’s children by increasing its geographical coverage in order to have a greater physical presence outside Nairobi; which started with the opening of its first outpatient clinic in Mombasa last year.Rapid urbanisation and decentralisation are dictating the Hospital’s expansion plans in line with the changing needs of Kenya’s growing economy. Having successfully maintained its position as one of the biggest contributors to child wellbeing in the country for more than 65 years, Gertrude’s was declared debt-free at the end of the last financial year which has allowed the organisation to free-up more cash to buy new equipment and continue modernising its facilities to provide even better patient care.“We have been able to pay off all of our financial commitments, so we can now allocate more spending to the expansion of our clinics, improve the medical training available and provide essential medical equipment in the hospital,” comments Gordon Otieno Odundo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gertrude’s.Healthy occupancyTending to more than 300,000 patients each year, Odundo is acutely aware of the number of people in more rural areas of Kenya who are unable to get to the Hospital in their time of need. He explains: “In a country where the population stands at 44 million, we can only reach so many with one facility. Therefore, we are now developing

Maersk Sierra Leone

Delivering on its Shipping PromiseWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Tom Cullum For almost two decades, Maersk Sierra Leone (SL) has been a crucial part of Maersk Group’s African operations, overseeing the carriage of cargo to and from Sierra Leone. In order to continue aligning its service offering with the high level demands and needs of the country, the Company has focused its recent investments on improving customer experience, while moving towards a standardised use of technology throughout its essential processes to align with the wider Group.Despite the apparent 20 percent contraction in the Sierra Leonean economy in 2015 (according to the World Bank), Maersk SL has registered volume growth above five percent for the past few years, with 10 percent recorded in 2015, due in part to the growth of capital goods and fuel imports into the country.Managing Director (MD), Lee Brough recalls: “This is a far cry from where we were when we first moved into the country; initially managed by a third party agent, Star Marine in 1996 and eventually establishing our own local office here in 2003 in line with the growth of the country’s economy; becoming more accessible to the growing number of customers in the market.”Sierra Leone has limited finished goods production, which makes the country and its industries heavily reliant on the importation of goods. Maersk SL plays a leading role in the provision of international sea transportation of containerised cargo, where it carries at least three out of five containers to and from the country; including cargo ranging from basic foodstuffs and construction

Villa Crop Protection

Firmly Rooted in African SoilWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Callum PhilpFor the past 21 years, Villa Crop Protection (Villa CP) has significantly contributed to South Africa’s agricultural industry via its unique and innovative approach to crop protection. Through massive investment in the development of its product portfolio, targeting products mainly towards “permanent crops”, or “export crops” – such as citrus fruits, table grapes, apples, pears - the Company is helping to protect the seeds of continued growth of the country’s strong agriculture exports. Agriculture remains a critically important industry in South Africa, and indeed many other African nations, not only as a provider of job opportunities but also from a food security perspective. Nearly 80 percent of arable land in South Africa is used for agricultural production, which amounts to more than 97.6 million hectares.With the sector contributing around 2.5 percent (US$8.7 billion) to South Africa’s GDP, Villa CP is keen to capitalise on this market segment, investing heavily in product development in order to provide a total solutions approach to crop protection, as opposed to providing standalone products to the market.After growing its turnover by 23 percent in the 2013-2014 financial year, Villa CP is now more confident than ever in its ability to invest its profits back into the business for the purpose of market share gain. “Based on the size of the local crop protection market at wholesale level, it is estimated that we currently hold a market share of just over 20 percent,” details Andre Schreuder, Managing Director (MD) of Villa CP.Further bolstering its aspirational growth

Jumia : Africa’s Leading Ecommerce Platform

Founded in May 2012 as an ecommerce platform designed to bring unrivalled, quality commodity choices to the emerging middle-class African consumer, Jumia has combined blue-sky thinking with considerable market research in order to bring better convenience and reliability to the African retail scene.

Hyspec Mining Services

Seizing Opportunity in AfricaWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Growing from a single container Company in Ghana in 1996 into one that operates more than 65 hydraulic hose workshops on mines across 15 countries, Hyspec Mining Services (Hyspec) is considered the premier supplier of hydraulic parts and service equipment to the mining industry in Africa. Incorporated in Perth, Western Australia, Hyspec is part of the Fluiconnecto by Manuli Group, a division of Manuli Rubber Industries, known as a world leader in the manufacture of steel reinforced hydraulic hoses and fittings.With more than 250 employees distributed across registered offices in nine African countries – namely Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, DRC, Zambia, Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire; as well as Botswana and South Africa if Fluiconnecto by Manuli’s operations are included – Hyspec is contributing to the sustained development of the continent’s mining industry, supporting local mines in spite of the substantial price decrease of commodities that has hit the resources sector in the past two years.“As a result of this, mines had to find ways of reducing their operating costs, and this is where Hyspec’s value proposition comes in. By providing best-in-class quality products and implementing a number of preventative maintenance solutions that minimise the mining equipment’s downtime caused by hydraulic failures, we have been able to help mines increase production and also reduce total cost of ownership of machinery,” says Alan Wood, Managing Director of Hyspec Mining Services.Designed to withstandWorking hand-in-hand with Manuli Hydraulics’ research and development teams, Hyspec has benefitted from an enhanced product range which

Redpath Mining SA Pty Ltd

Committed to Mechanical EfficiencyWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Redpath Mining remains led by its Founder’s philosophy to rise up in the face of challenge in order to succeed in a competitive mining environment. In line with these guiding words, the Company recently made the fundamental decision to move away from traditional handheld drilling and blasting methods, embracing world-class industry practices, in a move towards mechanising all projects within its portfolio to create the desire in the industry for its continued and valuable service offering.“Substantial capital investment has been put towards trackless mobile machinery to safely execute projects within a faster time frame and reduce total cost of ownership commitments,” highlights Bennie Burger, General Manager of Mining for Redpath Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd.Established in 1962 by Jim Redpath, the Company has a rich history focused on calculated growth in order to maintain a high calibre reputation of executing mining projects all over the globe. The Group’s steadfast footprint around the world comprises operations on six continents in 19 countries with eight different spoken languages; spanning some of the most remote and extreme environments including arctic, high altitudes, deserts and tropical conditions.Determined to provide an unrivalled level of service to the mining industry which exceeds accepted standards, Redpath Mining has a controlled growth plan involving both internal and external improvement initiatives to embrace industry trends while staying at the cutting-edge of innovation, safety and mining practices.“Jim Redpath’s vision for the Company is much the same as it was in the beginning; offering a high level of service to the

M Cubed Group

Retirement Supported by Tomorrow’s TechnologyWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Callum Philp According to Statistics South Africa, there are currently more than 4.15 million South Africans aged over 60 in the country, and with quality of life tipped to improve in line with the growing middle-class trend, more and more young people are turning to life-assurance companies to take out a pension.As a 13B administrator operating in South Africa, M Cubed, also known as M3, is at the forefront of implementing employee benefit solutions to improve the retirement planning landscape, including the implementation of efficient, effective and relevant pensions and specialised retirement solutions. Through its innovative administration system, M Cubed is a prominent frontrunner in this niche – but growing – market segment of small to medium enterprises, exacting its proven ability to provide highly flexible, comprehensive and cost-effective benefits for the client.Comprising several key business areas including M Cubed Employee Benefits, Risk Solutions, Asset Solutions, Payroll and its foray into the cleaning services industry via M Cubed Hygiene, the M Cubed Group is able to provide value-enhancing products by maintaining open communication and trust with its partners and members.  Given the rapid evolution of technology and the importance of its utilisation in the average business today, M Cubed’s administrative system allows clients to access an online services platform that provides customised financial solutions tailored to individual client needs. “We promote total independence through the quality, depth and diverse nature of our services. Our focus is to leave a legacy through our value-enhancing products by maintaining open communication and trust with

EY Namibia

Responding to the Needs of the MarketWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Callum Philp After benefitting from a successful global rebrand in 2013, EY Namibia is aligning with the wider, internationally renowned financial Group’s Vision 2020 in a bid to become the most integrated assurance and advisory Company in the world.Starting business in Namibia in 1956 and adopting a variety of names in the past seven decades - most recently known as Ernst & Young - EY has grown from a small practice offering limited assurance services, into a fully-fledged division of EY Group; with more than 80 employees and five partners. The first to introduce a dedicated tax service line in the country in 1996, EY Namibia quickly expanded its service offering in line with the increasing demand for tax advisory and compliance services.“Namibia’s economic growth began to dictate the need to address more sub-service focus areas, so we created several value-add offerings to add to our repertoire, including fraud investigation and dispute services (FIDS), internal auditing and transaction advisory services,” comments Cameron Kotze, Managing Partner of EY Namibia.Global alignmentWith a newly rejuvenated brand and Vision 2020 approach, EY Namibia has ambitious growth plans to develop its people and better position itself to replicate the same high standards offered by EY globally; partially driven by a series of recent acquisitions in the local market along with other continuous improvement goals.“One of our distinguishing factors is our ability to align with the multinational companies (MNCs) that operate in various markets around the world, strategically setting up our operations in the best


Unprecedented InsuranceWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Callum Philp MicroEnsure has enjoyed an unprecedented rise in registered customers over the past 12 months as a result of its innovative product and distribution approaches, and is already setting its stall for the next 12 months in the low-income insurance bracket across the continent.The increase to seven million customers served in Africa, from the one million accounted for at the beginning of 2014, provides the answer to a question the Company asked itself prior to inception in 2002: “Is it possible to insure the low-income mass market?”A resounding “yes” has been the response from Ghana and Kenya initially, and now from a further eight markets across Africa, through its partner Group model comprising telecoms, banks and other aggregators.With a global headquarters in the UK, MicroEnsure provides a turnkey solution portfolio from its regional headquarters in Nairobi - in partnership with its distributors - for brands looking to use insurance to drive their business: its offering including innovative product design; customised, customer-facing mobile technology; back-office operations; risk management; policy and claims administration; customer engagement; and ongoing product performance management. Marketing Director, Peter Gross adds: “Low-income customers can’t afford to pay the same premium as typical insurance customers, and yet they face greater risk. We found that we could serve this market sustainably by lowering administrative costs, reaching scale quickly, building great products, and preserving trust through fast claims payment. “In the process we uncovered dozens of new ways to provide insurance and we’ve become the fastest-growing provider in Africa by outreach.”An additional four million customers around

Laurus Development Partners

West Africa’s Sustainable PioneerWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker Laurus Development Partners is realising its ambitions of introducing international standard, sustainable projects to Ghana and Nigeria, just five years into its exciting tenure in the region.The property development Company is a brainchild of private equity Group, Actis and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Carlo Matta, set up in 2009 to address the lack of execution capabilities on the ground, as well as to support the former’s investment strategy across the two countries.Less than six years on and Laurus is already close to managing $400 million developments on Actis’ behalf, having completed its first office project, and beginning work on a further two moving into late 2015 and beyond.Matta recalls: “Laurus is the result of a meeting of minds and alignment of goals and vision between Actis, me and a handful of property professionals who are part of my team.“I was fascinated by the changes and transformations West Africa had been going through since 2000; urbanisation, the emergence of middle-class, political stability and growth. I wanted to be part of it. I thought that the partnership with a strong player like Actis would give us the opportunity to make a difference and to work on exceptional projects, and this has been the case. In 2010 I moved to Ghana and started building the team.” Pulling together repatriates and expatriates among both local and overseas markets, the “exciting ride” that has subsequently ensued has proved every bit as successful as Matta hoped, not only in creating a diverse and extensive service proposition, but

Samani Construction

Quality and Ethical WorkmanshipWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker For the best part of 18 years, Samani Construction has built a strong reputation in Kenya for its sustainable projects and ethical workmanship, as the focus now turns towards replicating its success across a wider footprint.Opening in 1997 as a small joinery workshop, a series of expansions, investments and organic growth opportunities has led the business towards a more turnkey approach in recent years, encompassing fit-outs and small construction works.As a family run business, the Company’s growth has been facilitated by an internal flexibility and entrepreneurial flair which, in turn, has a direct knock-on effect on the quality of work carried out by each employee.Ultimately, the reputation that has manifested as a consequence has been the pulling factor for a series of significant contracts attained over Samani’s tenure in the Kenyan market, and beyond.The picturesque Sirai House in Nanyuki is just one example of the Company’s ability not only to produce state-of-the-art constructs, but to do so in-keeping with different environments, terrains and sceneries to best complement the area.Capital Club in Nairobi is further proof of this ability, with ‘East Africa’s Premier Private Business Club’ indicative of Samani’s customised approach to catering for a range of clients’ needs.A synonymous high quality finish was also applied to the entrance of Sankara Hotel in Nairobi, setting the scene for similarly high profile projects being constructed by the Company at present.Managing Director, Dinesh Sachania notes: “At the moment, we are involved in refurbishing the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Windsor Golf Resort Hotel and the

Vijay Construction

Working Together to Deliver QualityWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Established in 1979, Vijay Construction has grown from a small family-owned Company handling just two hotel projects, into a multi-disciplinary organisation offering in-house construction capabilities through a team of more than 50 trained professionals and close-to 1,500 skilled tradesmen.   Chief Executive Officer, V.J Patel reminisces: “I started the Company as 90 percent shareholder, with my wife and brother taking a five percent share each. To this day, I hold 80 percent shareholding and the rest is distributed among the longstanding senior members of staff and close family.“From the beginning, our clients showed confidence in the business and, given my background working as a civil engineer - and eventually a Company Director - for the famous Laxmanbhai Construction, Vijay Construction started with its best foot forward.”Despite the challenging reverse business climate in the early 1980s due to the political unrest in Seychelles, Vijay Construction weathered the storm and emerged more motivated than ever before; leveraging the reliable local team gathered over this decade to take part in the construction boom which followed in the late 1990s.“In the past 10 years alone, business has grown beyond expectation; something that is hard to imagine for a Company that started with just two employees in the late 1970s. In the last financial year, we achieved a turnover of $50 million, thanks in part to the government’s opening of the construction market to foreign investment,” he adds.However, a recent change in government ruling has called for the construction of new hotels in Seychelles to

MTN Rwanda : All Smiles at MTN

All Smiles at MTN RwandaWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Donovan Smith MTN Rwanda has overcome strong market competition in recent years to once again solidify its positioning at the top of the country’s telecom market, with a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) keen to maintain the strong momentum achieved over the past 12 months especially.Having been a part of the wider MTN Group on the continent since 2002, the new incumbent, Gunter Engling is all too familiar with the facets that have made the brand name so successful in Africa and the Middle East. With an infrastructure - both internal and external - full of potential, he is honing in on the few remaining areas in need of improvement.“When I joined in July, 2015, I found an operation that was well run and well on its way to revenue diversification,” Engling says. “When Airtel and Tigo arrived in the market a few years ago, we had to get used to having competition, but my predecessor did a wonderful job in making MTN Rwanda a lot more agile and a lot more efficient.“However, one thing that I did notice, especially among our younger staff, was that people weren’t coming to work with smiles on their faces, so we have worked hard on creating an engaged and smiling workforce.”Engraining a more positive and productive culture doesn’t require a lot of investment, rather a change of philosophy, and this has been achieved subtly and methodically since the new CEO’s arrival; subsequently having a positive knock-on effect on employee efficiency and overall productivity which