In a largely multi-nationally dominated construction company in Africa, MPP Civils Namibia has made its mark as a leading indigenous construction company – combining youthful zest, competence and professionalism. In this interview, one of the founders, Mr. Panashe Daringo, talks about the construction industry in Africa and the effort towards building a world class construction company.
Findings have shown that MPP Civils is clearly a leading Indigenous Construction Company in Namibia; tell us a about the history of the company and how it started?
The organization was founded at the end of 2013 by Michael, Panashe and Piet with the simple desire of being the “preferred contractor”. We founded the organization of ‘delivering conforming products and services’ that exceed our clients expectations. To this end, we adopted and implemented the industry’s leading technologies and systems to assist us in delivering on our commitment. Systems bring consistency and structure to an organization and its processes, so it was paramount that we spent our first year developing and refining all the procedures within the company. Today we have a team of dedicated young Africans that effectively maintain a world class construction company that turns over hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
How has MPP Civils maintained its market share in the largely multinational dominated Construction Industry in the SADC?
The construction industry is arguably the most difficult industry to survive in. Quite often our projects are in remote areas with little or no access to services. We have high turn overs yet our margins are as narrow as 3%. Our clients demand the highest degree of quality in the shortest possible time, at the best price. This all is largely done under the care of a low-educated labour force who are supervised by the clients consulting engineers and architects. To maintain a balance in this project management triple constraint, we built our organization around the customer and his needs. We implemented and maintain an integrated quality management system that revolves around customer focus with several by-products and measuring tools. These include internal audits, satisfaction surveys to monitor feedback and most importantly continual improvement to ensure that the lessons learnt resonate throughout all departments and projects. The ability to manage non-conformances and implement preventative measures also has a sizable contribution on how we maintain our market share. We acknowledge that we are not perfect and may make mistakes at times, but it’s important to be the first to say “I’m wrong, and this is what I’ve done to correct and prevent the same thing from recurring”
Africa is home to the fastest growing young population in the world and MPP Civils is peopled by young and dynamic Africans, has this unique feature helped in advancing your business prospects in anyway?
There is truth in the proverb, “You cannot teach and old dog new tricks”. Young people are a lot more responsive to “new tricks”. The various systems and technologies we implemented in our company are mostly “new tricks”. Learning how to effectively use them required dedication and hard work and the fruits of these are evident in our projects and achievements. Through our BRIDGE internship program, we constantly employ young Africans as we are aware that they are tomorrow’s leaders. When you integrate young hardworking intellects with purpose and vision, the product is something beyond beautiful with infinite potential
MPP Civils Namibia have successfully completed an appreciable number of private and commercial projects in Namibia; which of these projects would you describe as your landmark project(s) – considered as the most impactful?
We are on the verge of commissioning a Specialized dairy in the Kavango West region in Namibia. The project scope involves the construction of cow houses to accommodate over a 1000 milking cows, a cow parlour with a state-of the art 50 point Delaval milking table, a maternity building, a sick, lame and lazy shed and axillary buildings. This multi-million dollar project was builtin 13 months and provided employment during construction for over 200 local residents. Once complete, the project will supply milk to the region and country at large and provide employment to over a hundred Namibians. The Kavango region is the fastest growing region in the country and accommodates the 2nd largest population town in the country – Rundu.
What would you say are some of the Challenges to the growth of indigenous Construction Companies in the SADC?
The biggest challenge with indigenous construction companies in the region is cash flow and financial intelligence. We have thousands of technically competent contractors with little or limited understanding of cash flow and how delicate it is. Although there is extensive literature available, we lack genuine mentorship programs that effectively allow for skill and knowledge transfer from the experienced companies. Business owners are thus left to run a relatively difficult business, in a narrow margined industry on self-intuition and assumption. Needless to say, this is a recipe for disaster and sincere efforts need to be implemented to address this regional dilemma.
How do you feel to be conferred with the Service Excellence Award and Commendation from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus?
MPP Civils Namibia is honored to be conferred with the Service Excellence Award and Commendation from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. The platform allows us to showcase our services and projects, while inspiring other youth owned organizations to dream and achieve those dreams. It allows us to market both Namibia and SADC to the world as the areas of investment opportunity with abundant resources and potential they are.
Source: African Leadership Magazine