SA­MANI CON­STRUC­TION LTD

A 20-Year Con­struct

Africa Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Matthew Staff

Ex­ceed­ing client ex­pec­ta­tions

The 2017 Kenyan pres­i­den­tial elec­tion casted a shadow over much of na­tional in­dus­try last year, with com­pa­nies’ at­ten­tions be­ing forced towards con­sol­i­da­tion and safe­guard­ing rather than proac­tive in­vest­ment and project ex­pan­sion. How­ever, hav­ing ne­go­ti­ated the chal­lenge ef­fec­tively over the course of the 12 months, Sa­mani Con­struc­tion is now in a po­si­tion to push on in 2018; in ac­cor­dance with mar­ket sta­bil­i­sa­tion, and in cel­e­bra­tion of its 20th an­niver­sary.

“Over 2016 and 2017 we had a few in­ter­est­ing projects and all jobs were com­pleted to our clients’ sat­is­fac­tion. Our main goal over this pe­riod was to make sure that the qual­ity of our work was al­ways op­ti­mum,” Project Man­ager, Nikhil Sacha­nia looks back. “2017 was a lit­tle hard on us though as it was for the whole of Kenya. With the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, a lot of in­vestors have shied away due to past his­tory, but things have started to pick up again and we can now hope for a pro­duc­tive year look­ing for­ward.”

In­evitably, a tu­mul­tuous end to a year can of­ten trans­late into an equally dif­fi­cult be­gin­ning to the next 12 months, but Sa­mani Con­struc­tion has truly seen this flip­ping of the cal­en­dar as an op­por­tu­nity to seek out new rev­enue prospects and to be proac­tive in defin­ing its own growth po­ten­tial mov­ing for­ward.

Sacha­nia con­tin­ues: “We have sev­eral projects that we have ten­dered for with both new and old clients. We have man­aged to se­cure a few projects that will keep us busy for the bet­ter half of the year, while we try and re­main in our ca­pac­ity so that we can man­age the projects well and en­sure the qual­ity will be well above the clients’ ex­pec­ta­tions.”

And such qual­ity will hope­fully have been as­sured virtue of the Com­pany’s abil­ity to re­main at least sus­tain­able over the course of 2017; in­evitably los­ing out to a mar­ket-ex­pected ex­tent from a rev­enue per­spec­tive, but main­tain­ing in­ter­nal pro­cesses, fa­cil­i­ties and - most im­por­tantly peo­ple to en­sure that the busi­ness was in a prime po­si­tion to strike once the in­dus­try showed signs of re­cov­ery.

Ma­jor projects

For the best part of 18 years, Sa­mani Con­struc­tion has built a strong rep­u­ta­tion in Kenya for its sus­tain­able projects and eth­i­cal workmanship, and the fo­cus prior to 2017 had been on repli­cat­ing this suc­cess across a wider foot­print. Now that the situation is im­prov­ing, such am­bi­tions are be­ing reignited.

Ul­ti­mately, the rep­u­ta­tion that has man­i­fested as a con­se­quence of a gen­er­ally proac­tive mind­set 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.

“We have about five ma­jor projects on­go­ing at the mo­ment,” Sacha­nia af­firms: “City Lodge Nairobi lo­cated at the Two rivers mall; City Lodge Dar es Salaam, Tan­za­nia;

AAA Grow­ers Head­quar­ters’ fit-out project; SAJ Ce­ram­ics’ new show­room head­quar­ters on the out­skirts of Nairobi; and a soft re­fur­bish­ment of the Sankara Ho­tel in Nairobi.

“We also still have a few projects from last year across ar­eas of re­fur­bish­ments, such as Sarova White Sands.”

Pri­mar­ily spe­cial­is­ing in the fitouts of of­fices, ho­tels and homes,

the Com­pany’s bread and but­ter has tra­di­tion­ally stemmed from its abil­i­ties in cus­tomer join­ery, dry wall par­ti­tion­ing and ceil­ings.

How­ever, com­plet­ing this ilk of project to such high stan­dards has opened the door to some of these more lu­cra­tive afore­men­tioned op­por­tu­ni­ties; also in­cor­po­rat­ing more cor­po­rate fa­cil­i­ties and works in na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant build­ings like air­ports.

To fa­cil­i­tate this more al­len­com­pass­ing range of clien­tele and con­tracts, Sa­mani has sub­se­quently had to in­stil a se­ries of en­hanced in­ter­nal pro­ce­dures to en­sure it re­mains ahead of the in­dus­try curve and up to the very lat­est codes and stan­dards.

“Over the years we have brought in sev­eral pieces of au­to­mated ma­chin­ery to help cope with the in­crease in high qual­ity goods and uni­for­mity. So far our in­vest­ments have paid off,” Sacha­nia ex­plained back in 2015. “We have al­ways tried to build up our work stan­dards with the cur­rent trends.”

Three years on, the phi­los­o­phy of rein­vest­ment and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment is as alive as ever, with more re­cent ex­pen­di­tures be­ing tar­geted towards an up­grade of the Com­pany’s work­shop and an in­creased floor area to ac­com­mo­date new ma­chin­ery and work­ing space.

Con­trol­ling wastage

Im­prove­ment doesn’t al­ways mean ex­pan­sion though. As men­tioned, Sa­mani Con­struc­tion’s work­force was an area of fo­cus for the busi­ness in 2017 but not nec­es­sar­ily from a broad­en­ing per­spec­tive; rather an ef­fi­ciency point of view.

Last year’s tribu­la­tions have high­lighted a need among the busi­ness to op­er­ate more smartly on an in­ter­nal ba­sis, and this has been dis­played most con­cert­edly so far across ar­eas of hu­man re­sources; Sa­mani Con­struc­tion mak­ing sure that while the busi­ness is

still grow­ing, it is also be­com­ing more stream­lined, ef­fi­cient and sus­tain­able in each area.

“From a per­son­nel per­spec­tive, at the mo­ment we are look­ing at op­ti­mis­ing our work­force; con­trol­ling wastage and im­prov­ing the knowl­edge bases of our skilled work­ers,” Sacha­nia con­firms.

What we do best

With Kenya known as a gate­way for East African busi­ness across the full range of in­dus­try sec­tors, con­struc­tion is cer­tainly no dif­fer­ent, and Sa­mani had been able to lever­age its early suc­cesses to breach the sur­round­ing re­gion.

Op­er­at­ing as far into the con­ti­nent as Uganda, Tan­za­nia and Rwanda, there isn’t much of East Africa that Sa­mani Con­struc­tion con­sid­ers off lim­its, and this strat­egy has only come to fruition as a re­sult of its equally promi­nent commitment to lo­cal con­sid­er­a­tions and sus­tain­able growth; a strat­egy that has helped to forego re­cent chal­lenges and that will now serve as a plat­form for fresh glo­ries ahead.

“Open­ing in 1997 as a small join­ery work­shop, a se­ries of ex­pan­sions, in­vest­ments and or­ganic growth op­por­tu­ni­ties has led the busi­ness to where it is to­day, and as a fam­i­lyrun busi­ness, the Com­pany’s growth con­tin­ues to be fa­cil­i­tated by an in­ter­nal flex­i­bil­ity and en­tre­pre­neur­ial flair,” Sacha­nia con­cludes. “Hon­estly, 20 years have passed so quickly since then, I can’t believe it.

“It feels like only yes­ter­day my dad ven­tured into open­ing Sa­mani Con­struc­tion Ltd. I’m re­ally glad to be part of what he cre­ated and I hope to carry on what we do best in the fu­ture.”

Sev­eral projects have been awarded to Sa­mani in re­cent times, via both old and new clients

A per­son­able, cus­tomised approach

SA­MANI CON­STRUC­TION LTD

“...as a fam­ily-run busi­ness, the Com­pany’s growth con­tin­ues to be fa­cil­i­tated by an in­ter­nal flex­i­bil­ity and en­tre­pre­neur­ial flair.”

“Over the years we have brought in sev­eral pieces of au­to­mated ma­chin­ery to help cope with the in­crease in high qual­ity goods and uni­for­mity.”

“From a per­son­nel per­spec­tive, at the mo­ment we are look­ing at op­ti­mis­ing our work­force; con­trol­ling wastage and im­prov­ing the knowl­edge bases of our skilled work­ers.”

“...things have started to pick up again and we can now hope for a pro­duc­tive year look­ing for­ward.”

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