Issue 39

Airtel Seychelles : Island Nation Innovators

Airtel Seychelles has forged ahead with the completion of its fibre network in a bid to make sure local customers can access the best.

MTN Benin : Driving Innovation

Driving Innovation Innovation as a Cultural ChangeWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Donovan Smith MTN Benin’s pace of expansion has accelerated in the country over the past three years thanks to the Company’s alignment with the wider Group vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world for customers, intertwined with Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stephen Blewett’s endeavour to bring the latest telecom innovations to the people of Benin.Since acquiring the Africa and Middle East operator, Investcom for US$5.5 billion 10 years ago, MTN Benin’s operations have benefitted from significant backbone infrastructure investments and upgrades that have served to strengthen the Company’s local coverage, resulting in a subscriber base of more than four million. Blewett has witnessed the Company more than double its business and evolve in line with the latest technology trends on the continent. He says: “MTN Benin is pushing innovation as a cultural change in recognition of the vital role that the new digital world will play in the continent’s development. Given the influx of smart devices and continued demand for data services, the Company has been responsible for many industry firsts in the country in this regard; becoming the first to have a licence for 3G, 4G, and LTE.“The thing we are most proud of is our unique positioning as one of the most innovative telcos in the MTN Group. Benin is often the first market where new products are tested and developed due to its favourable economic environment and other influential factors,” the CEO adds.Continuous innovation Since taking the reins in 2015, Blewett has been

Sumac Microfinance Bank

Empowering BusinessWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Callum Philp Sumac Microfinance Bank’s wide range of products has made waves in Kenya’s industry due to its bespoke nature and close adherence to the very latest market trends.Varying across fixed and savings accounts, short and long-term loans, the business which originally began as a credit-only financial services provider continues to diversify its offering with the most timely and appropriate solutions available in the sector.“The fixed account offers attractive interests while the savings accounts are flexibly designed to meet the banking aspirations of various customers,” explains the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Njihia. “The savings accounts include the Mapato Account that gives salaried customers more value and flexibility in account transactions; the Jumuiya Account designed for organised and investment groups; and the Jipange Account for customers who want to save regularly for a future project.“In terms of loan products, the Bank offers a wide range of facilities cutting across personal loans (salary advances), group loans and business loans, working capital, LPO financing, asset financing, insurance premium financing, bid bonds, bridging loans, and many others.”Established in 2004 with a seed capital of only $5,000, Sumac Microfinance Bank was able to mobilise the $600,000 share capital required by the Central Bank of Kenya in a span of just a few years to be licensed as a deposit taking microfinance bank.Today the Bank boasts a share capital in excess of $900,000 and continues to innovate and update its service range to align itself with its ambitious growth plan and ultimate goal to transform into a fully-fledged

Abelard Underwriting Agency

Partnering for Strategic GrowthWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Callum Philp Considered market leaders in the provision of liability insurance to South Africa’s growing security industry, Abelard Underwriting Agency (AUA) has spent the past 12 months repositioning the business in close cooperation with local insurers to diversify and enhance its product offerings going forward.Driven by the Company mission - “to uphold an ethos of professionalism, integrity and service excellence in our endeavour to accommodate client needs with a view to building mutually beneficial and longstanding relationships”- Abelard has built-up an extensive history across a whole host of specialist and niche insurance segments since commencing operations in August, 1996. “After becoming a Lloyd’s Coverholder for accident and health products as well as obtaining a local facility for the medical schemes business during the first year of operation, our initial focus was on the provision of reinsurance to medical schemes, closely followed by the provision of personal accident / stated benefits and medical expenses top-up cover,” recalls Managing Director, David Cox.“Further bolstering this business strategy was the wealth of experience gained in 1998 through the leadership of Clive Norrington, and shortly thereafter Craig Diederiks, who joined the ranks of Abelard’s management; bringing with them expert knowledge in liability and motor insurance and consequently extending our portfolio of covers by providing insurance specifically geared to the security industry.”  Specialised segmentsAlthough Abelard occupy a small piece of the market when compared to the sheer size of South Africa’s overall insurance market, the Company has obtained a significant share of more specialised segments, today comprising directors and


A World at your FingertipsWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Callum Philp An historic deal signed in 2015 with renowned finance specialists, Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Limited has ensured that South African short-term insurance experts, QUICKSURE have the perfect foundations for further market growth in the coming years.With offices in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, comprising a workforce of more than 130 employees, the Company’s expertise in the underwriting management domain spans across its two divisions - QUICKSURE (Pty) Ltd and QUICKSURE Commercial (pty) Ltd - thus catering for both personal lines insurance and commercial and business insurance simultaneously.While this has been the core business strategy of the Company since its inception, the backing of Mutual & Federal has given QUICKSURE the scope to now capitalise on the philosophies and experience that have already brought the Group such a positive name in the industry.With a market share exceeding 22 percent, “our mission is to be the preferred partner to both brokers and insurers by creating an environment that is competitive for policyholders, yet sustainable for insurers”, notes Chief Executive Officer, Shaheen Rajab. “QUICKSURE performs all of the functions of an insurer with the backup of our insurance partners, Santam Ltd and Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Limited, and our highly innovative and flexible product range covers almost every aspect of the short-term insurance business.”Ultimately delivering an exemplary service and value to all stakeholders, its personal line portfolio bridges buildings, house contents, risk management, motor, watercraft, personal liability and personal accident; complementing a commercial line remit that ensures that no sector is left

Malplast Industries Ltd

Quality and Efficiency at all timesWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Stuart Parker As a leading manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging (PET & HDPE), Malplast Industries Ltd’s (MIL) influence across a whole host of industry sectors in Kenya has made its bespoke products the go-to range; creating a positive and profitable chain, from manufacture, to consumer, to stakeholder.Serving the pharmaceutical, beverage, edible oil, paint, cosmetics, lubricants, chemicals and power sectors, Malplast’s offering ranges from 60ml to 20 litres in volume, customising each individual product to suit every customer’s unique needs. For the past 12 years, this cachet within a competitive market has led to an unrivalled reputation across product branding, customised moulding, product delivery and innovation, as the Company’s Director, Dhrupun Shah notes: “Our differentiators include a strong focus on bespoke packaging solutions tailored to specific customer needs and preferences, as well as a culture of key supply chain and stakeholder relationships.“MIL is a private limited Company and since inauguration, operations have expanded eightfold, and we are now capable of efficiently managing hundreds of SKUs; providing bespoke solutions to our clients in stretch blow moulding, extrusion blow moulding and alternative injection moulding across various industries.”Expansion and diversificationMIL’s ownership structure is divided among five members, four of which also serve as executive directors of the business with a combined total of more than 110 years’ industry experience.Keeping the management structure simple and flexible subsequently lends itself to enhanced levels of entrepreneurship and quick decision making; attributes that have led to Malplast’s rapid evolution over the past decade.“As part of our expansion and diversification

Eilbeck Cranes

Engineering FlexibilityWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Arron Rampling Eilbeck Cranes has been capitalising on lucrative opportunities across the oil & gas, mining, power, construction and infrastructure sectors, bolstering its reputation among the world’s industry elite as the leading manufacturer in Australia.Responsible for maintaining more than 2,000 cranes of various brands, the Company has spent the past century of operation adjusting to the changing needs of its clients, retaining a flexible attitude towards business opportunities in order to satisfy customer requirement.Peter Heinrichson, the Company’s Operations Director explains: “Our core markets are never set in stone; a century ago it was the forestry industry, then the rail industry some time after. 15 years ago it was manufacturing, for the past decade it was mining and today, the focus is on infrastructure projects. We never leave any market but focus on what is required at the time.“This makes our ability to change very quickly and deliver what client’s want very desirable. A lot of companies back away from projects where the risks are considered too great, whereas Eilbeck takes pride in taking on challenging requests, which at the end of the day makes us a stronger Company.”The Company’s services are propelled by its flexibility; allowing for the design and manufacture of specially tailored cranes on a case-by-case basis. The Operations Director adds: “As the majority of our business is repeat business, garnered from our continually strengthening presence and reputation – also backed by a strong health & safety track record – we spend a significant amount of time and investment in research &

ArcelorMittal South Africa

Transforming South Africa’s EconomyWriter: Emily JarvisProject Manager: Stuart Parker Aligning with the wider ArcelorMittal Group’s globally-renowned industry excellence, ArcelorMittal South Africa has adapted to changing local needs by continuously developing higher grades of steel in line with increasing demand across core industry verticals.With shareholdings in the Company changing hands numerous times over the course of its 88-year history, the Company has taken up additional business in order to answer the current and future market demand for steel products by increasing its production and output of steel plate; despite facing tough competition from foreign imports and an overall weakening economic climate.As Africa’s largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal South Africa has installed capacity to produce six million tonnes of steel per annum across its operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The Vanderbijlpark Works in the former region is one of the world’s largest inland steel mills and the biggest supplier of flat steel products in sub-Saharan Africa.Across its four major facilities, ArcelorMittal South Africa has a sizeable local capacity from which to manufacture products for the heavy engineering, construction, mining, automotive, furniture, cabling, fencing and fertiliser industries. This commonly includes slabs, plates, cold and hot rolled coil (HRC), galvanised, tinplate, Corex, Midrex, billet rebar and other bars and rods.Showcasing its depth of technical and managerial expertise across not only its primary business vertical, the Company also has interests in coking coal and is able to process and beneficiate metallurgical and steel products into coal tar pitch.With domestic sales accounting for 90 percent of its revenue, the Company proudly contributed R43

Transnet Pipelines

Integrity in the PipelineWriter: Matthew StaffProject Manager: Eddie Clinton Transnet Pipelines is celebrating more than 50 years as the custodian of South Africa’s strategic pipeline assets across both petroleum and gas via a series of recent installations that takes its total network to 3,800 kilometres.As one of five operating divisions under the Transnet SOC Limited banner – a state-owned Company of the Government of South Africa – the Durban-based business has fulfilled its strategic role in the supply chain of petroleum products in the country since its inception in 1965, and while the nature of its operations have remained consistent throughout the decades, the Company’s success is epitomised by the dramatic increase in volumes that have occurred.A rise from 1.5 billion litres to more than 17 billion litres is compounded by the transmittance of more than 550 million cubic metres of gas each year; facilitated by an infrastructure conducive to logistical optimisation and continuous improvement.“Our Tarlton storage facility has rail and road load-out facilities with the main focus of facilitating transportation of petroleum products to Botswana as well,” adds the Company’s Manager of Communications and Marketing, Saret Knoetze. “This facility now also has additive dosing capabilities to inject oil Company-branded additives which will allow each client to uplift products and go direct to market.“, the refractionator was constructed to deal with internal intermixture, but will soon be offered as a service to industry.  Furthermore, Transnet Pipelines has aspirations of offering its services to other African countries in the near future.” Continually improving Such services comprise the operation and maintenance of