Mr. Kalpesh Hirani of Twiga Construction.
BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION.
Mr. Kalpesh Hirani is a Director at Twiga Construction and a board of director at the National Construction Authority (NCA). Mr. Kalpesh is a qualified structural engineer and Architect, and also a chartered accountant with good knowledge on cash flow systems.
His first degree was at Sheffield University, he pursued structural engineering and architecture which is recognized by both Institute of Structural Engineers and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) level 1.
He also upskilled his financing skills and did chartered accounting for four years, thereafter he ventured into a small firm in UK which did fit-outs where he gained the experience for seven years. He then came back to Kenya and joined the company as a project coordinator, and ones the company was reorganized he became a Director.
Over the last 50 years, the name has been a familiar signature on numerous construction projects in the residential, commercial, health, educational and other categories.
Based in Baba Ndogo, a sprawling suburb of Nairobi teeming with large industries, Twiga Construction Ltd offers a wide range of services including construction, design build and construction management. The company takes pride in its experienced and skilled technical and administrative staff who are key to successful execution of projects to the satisfaction of clients.
The construction industry in Kenya is one where only the most competitive firm survive. Every contractor strives to attain a competitive edge over other players. One of the most critical assets a contractor can have in Kenya today is in-house production facilities. This enables a company to not only save on hiring but also deliver projects at a much faster rate. Conscious of this reality, Twiga Construction has put together several workshops in its expansive complex. These include:
- Aluminium Fabrication Workshop
Here, the company maintains adequate aluminium stock levels and is able to service orders quickly by producing doors, windows and frames quickly. Clients requiring glass curtain walls are also served faster.
- Wood Joinery
In this workshop, the company maintains an extensive range of machinery to design and produce any kind of timber products including doors, frames and bespoke furniture.
- Precast Concrete
Precast concrete products are usually in high demand and practically all projects utilize them. Twiga Construction Limited produces a wide range of concrete products in-house. These include road kerbs, slabs, paving blocks, window sills, hollow pots and related products.
- Steel/Metal Fabrication
In this workshop, mild steel products such as steel casement windows, handrails, steel trusses, columns and others are fabricated. Reinforcement bars are also bent and cut to required sizes.
- Stone Cutting
The company produces a wide range of colour stones for external and internal cladding in this section.
The company is also fully equipped with standard construction machinery, equipment and vehicles to enable it undertake any kind of construction project without subjecting clients to delays.
Residential: 250 houses, 336 flats and civil works for the former Nairobi City Council in Huruma plus 320 houses, 400 flats and civil works in Kariobangi for the same client. Others are Mugumo Villas in Lavington Nairobi; Deerpark luxury houses and 24 apartments for Riverside Mansion Ltd.
Commercial: Sarit Centre Phase 1 and 2; Kalson Towers; Fortis Tower; Geminia Insurance offices and Uchumi Hypermart on Langata Road.
Educational and Health: Daystar University Valley Road; Kenya College of Communications Technology (extensions to classrooms, hostel and civil works); Brookhouse Junior School Karen and MP Shah Hospital Doctor’s Plaza.
Other projects include PCEA Evergreen Church in Runda and Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani (civil works).
TIPS FOR ACHIEVEING BUSINESS GROWTH.
Mr. Kalpesh notes that the construction industry is cyclical and capital intensive. He notes that a company needs to offer quality services and maintain its brand loyalty so that the client can help market their good work as a result of the good reputation. This will lead to business growth. He adds that it is good to manage the cash flow well, especially in times of recession to prevent the company’s collapse.
Twiga Construction Limited has been a major contributor to the built environment in Kenya and continues to do so. In the years ahead, the company hopes to continue doing what it knows bet and let its excellent record speak for itself.
UNIQUE SELLING POINT.
Mr. Kalpesh notes that delivering the client’s expectations has put them on the map and earned them a good reputation in the construction industry.
QUALITY CONTROL MANAGEMENT.
Mr. Kalpesh says that good training on the staff on the site and the offices will ensure good quality of work to minimize expenses through repairs.
He also add the need to document everything they do, which gives confidence to the client or consultant that they can trace anything in the whole construction process.
Being a family business, Mr. Kalpesh states that it would be better to expand slowly and give their clients confidence that they will deliver with the knowledge and expertise they have acquired.
With his broad scope of knowledge and experience, Mr. Kalpesh aims to contribute his knowledge and skills to the general construction industry so that it can be better for the greater good.
Mr. Kalpesh notes that the construction industry has so many stakeholders and different scopes of service levels and people. Marrying the expertise and knowledge from all these people and stakeholders can at times be too difficult or cause disadvantages if the stakeholders are rigid or unknowledgeable.
Mr. Kalpesh identifies the need for use of modern technologies to make the construction process offsite, in that most of the components can be built elsewhere and brought together at the site where they can be put together as a big Lego, as compared to the older ways (onsite construction) which are tedious and time consuming.
When asked if there was any quote that would reflect him or his business, he said ‘Assumption is the mother of all fuckups. Don’t assume.’