The use of aluminium in coming up with beautiful houses and offices is taking the world by storm. Many people, individuals and corporates included, are choosing the aluminium route, be it for windows, doors, shop fittings and partitions.
zwnews24.com’s Brian Kazungu had an interview with Solomon Muzenza from Aluconsult, a business that specialises in Aluminium Consultancy, Aluminium Fabrication Estimation, Aluminium Fabrication Training, Project Management as well as Fabrication and Installation Drawings in order for them to share their story with home owners and businesses concerning aluminium products and services.
Solomon is a Mechanical Engineer with vast experience in the Aluminium industry, specialising in designing and producing handbooks and manuals on the usage of aluminium, new product design, die and engineering drawings, estimation of quantities of metal and accessories on window & door frames and interpretation of all engineering drawings.
zwnews24: Would you briefly describe the background, nature and business mandate of AluConsult?
Aluconsult: Having noticed the rise of aluminium usage in most modern buildings and structures as well as the lack of knowledge on the proper application of aluminium products, we therefore saw a gap that needed to be filled, hence the formation of Aluconsult, in 2019. Aluconsult is a registered enterprise in Zimbabwe.
Our mandate is to equip existing artisans with the appropriate knowledge which enables them to fabricate and install structurally sound and visually appealing aluminium structures for their clients. Our target also extends to existing and aspiring shop fitters. We offer training which enables them to eventually start their own businesses and thus potentially reducing the unemployment rate in our country. We also have property owners in mind, because after saving for many years to build their dream properties, they would definitely need the best products and services possible especially where aluminium is concerned. We are there to advise them on the best processes, products and systems to use in managing their project up to completion.
zwnews24: What is the main motivation and major push for you to engage in this infrastructure related, especially the aluminium centric type of business that you are involved in?
Aluconsult: Having worked in the aluminium industry for many years, the team behind Aluconsult takes pride in having been technically involved in so many big projects that brings out the beauty of buildings and which guarantees value to property owners. Sharing and utilising the knowledge that we have acquired for the good of others and in the best interest of our stakeholders gives us utmost pleasure and energy to pursue this dream.
zwnews24: What are the different products and services that you are offering? Would you describe what each of these products and services is all about and the intended benefit of each of these to your targeted and actual clients?
Aluconsult: Basically, we offer Consultancy, Aluminium Fabrication Estimation, Aluminium Fabrication Training, Project Management as well as Fabrication and Installation Drawings.
The increased use of aluminum in all modern buildings and structures should be coupled with increased knowledge on proper application and handling aluminum products as well. As such, we extend our consultancy services to Property owners, Architects, Quantity Surveyors and Shop Fitters etc.
- Aluminum Fabrication Estimation
We do Quotations, Cutting Lists, Project Costing and Bills of Materials (BOM) etc. for your projects. You don’t have to make a loss first before you call us. Just do it right the first time and let us help you all the way.
- Aluminum Fabrication Training
All existing shop fitters are welcome to upgrade their knowledge of aluminum usage with us. We also train aspiring shop fitters who want to start their own businesses or who would like to look for employment somewhere.
- Project Management
We effectively manage projects from site survey, fabrication and installation, up to commissioning.
- Fabrication and Installation Drawings
All work has to be reduced to working drawings for a project to be professionally executed. As such, the good news is that, such is our specialty. You can have a good night’s sleep, while we take care of business.
zwnews24: How has the market responded to your products and services so far since inception and what can you attribute to such kind of a response?
Aluconsult: The market is very excited with our products and services: It’s like they have been waiting for us for a long time.
zwnews24: What is it that is unique about yourself, your team and your services, that set you apart, and which helps you to stand out among various service providers who are in the same category with you?
Aluconsult: We are not competing with anyone at the moment, because we are the best there is in the market. Our experience speaks for itself, our works can testify on our behalf.
zwnews24: What do you believe and understand are the main advantages to your clients when they engage Aluconsult in addressing their needs and wants in the development of their properties?
Aluconsult: Our existing and potential clients benefit from access to first class information, advice, and guidance when they engage us. More so, all property owners will have their properties done the way they like it, while architects will also have the opportunity to tap into our knowledge in order for them to satisfy their customer needs.
zwnews24: What can you look back at and say that so far, this has been the major achievements of Aluconsult and what do you believe has greatly contributed towards such achievements?
Aluconsult: In the short space of time that we have existed, we have helped many people and businesses to realize their dream and achieve their targets. We have helped individuals and corporates to achieve the same goal of building their homes and businesses with the shiny metal called aluminum.
zwnews24: In a world where most people, especially the youth are failing to start and run their own enterprises because of lack of capital, how have you managed to launch and operate the Aluconsult initiative?
Aluconsult: Creativity is what keeps us afloat. If one waits until they have enough capital, they may never start. And so, as for us, we work with what we have, growing slowly, until such a time when we become the biggest players in this field.
zwnews24: It is a fact that the current economic situation in Zimbabwe is challenging. What is it that has helped you as a business to start or even continue operating under such an environment?
Aluconsult: We believe that when there are economic challenges, it also simply means there are economic opportunities as well, that is if you choose to have a positive mindset in a tough environment. We always look for the opportunities and then fill the gaps. This is what is keeping us in the game.
zwnews24: What are and what has been some of the operational challenges that you have encountered so far in the pursuit of the AluConsult vision?
Aluconsult: Capital is the major challenge as you have already mentioned in questions above. More so, standardizing things in an environment where people were getting used to accepting sub-standard things has been a challenge as well, but we are happy that we are being understood and accepted as we change people’s view and appreciation of professional aluminum application in their homes and businesses.
zwnews24: What advice can you give to unemployed youths and many other job seekers concerning entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment for themselves and others?
Aluconsult: The law of sowing and reaping is one of the many universal laws there is. It is the law of cause and effect. Whatever you sow and plant in the garden will produce a crop. For every cause, there is a corresponding effect. Let everyone who is unemployed find a seed and plant.
zwnews24: What are the current challenges happening in your industry or country which are affecting the viability of your business and what are the strategies that you are putting in place for you to achieve your goals?
Aluconsult: Legislation that regulates operations of players in the aluminum industry in Zimbabwe is almost non-existent. There are no standards that are clearly spelt out. This affects the quality of work and products being churned out every day. Because of these problems, Aluconsult was born and we are addressing them as we speak. We are in the process of forming a national association for all aluminum fabricators, and lobbying SAZ, for the creation of standards.
zwnews24: Where do you see Aluconsult in the future and what legacy do you want it to leave on earth?
Aluconsult: We aspire to deliver high quality products and professional services to our partners in our area of specialization. We plan and look forward to become the leading aluminum consultancy and technical services provider in the built environment within our boarders and beyond. We are destined to be the best and biggest in our field.
zwnews24: How do clients and other stakeholders engage your business? How do they get in touch with you?
Phone: +263 77 563 5990
#. The questions in this interview are adapted from the book, The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu.