Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction (TACON) is prepping for international competition with a six-million Birr structural overhaul that transformed it into a corporate group with six subsidiary companies.
It was a process that took five individual consultants a year and a half, according to Seifu Ambaye, CEO of the newly formed umbrella TAF Corporate Group. It was triggered by the fear that the construction sector was becoming dominated by foreign companies with long experience and technological advantages, he said.
The six subsidiaries are : Edna Hi-Tech (HTS) Plc, an audio-visual, automation and security solutions, and information and communication technology (ICT) systems provider, Yebel Industrial fabricates materials for the construction of modular, pre-engineered system building. Yutaf Aluminium Plc produces and installs aluminium and glazing system for buildings. Edna Mall provides real estate development services and hosts Matti Cinema, recreational and amusement centre. Sekota Mining Plc is a mining company.
“The overhaul was made on TACON as a model institute and this will extend to the others soon,” Seifu told Fortune.
Transforming the company was accomplished in three phases involving six major sectors of the company. The sectors are Engineering and Construction, Construction Equipment, Procurement, Finance, Human Resource Management, and Planning and Monitoring.
Comprising the first phase was an assessment of the existing situation which led to the decision to change the whole system, enhancing its competence both locally and internationally.
During this phase, the company considered national, regional (particularly east African), and international construction development trends. It also included visits to model companies in Ethiopia, including the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), Tsehay Real Estate, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Keangnam Enterprises Ltd., CGC Overseas Construction Plc, Sur Construction, Salini Construction and Trans Ethiopia.
The second phase reviewed the policy framework of the company and the job structure resulting in the formation of an umbrella company and its subsidiaries.
Finally, the company identified what needed to be changed at project and head office level. The outcome vested full project responsibility on project managers, and issues related to greater financial decisions and policy, to the head office.
“Previously there were financial problems at project levels and these will be solved through the integration of the planning with the project – the two will be connected by the plan and the report,” explained Seifu.
Previously the planning and the report were done at the head office level.
For the newly formed TAF Corporate Group, Tekleberhan Ambaye became the president and Getachew Ambaye, the chairman.
“This will create customer satisfaction, quality of work, speed of project implementation, cost reduction and effectiveness of projects,” said Gete Dagne, coordinator of the company’s overhauling project.
TACON was established in 1993 with three employees and an initial capital outlay of 5,000Br. Currently, the company, which has over 2,500 employees, is managing construction projects worth 4.5 billion Br.
The company recently has completed one project outside Ethiopia – the Berbera International Airport terminal construction and fencing, in Somaliland.
“We are seeing foreign companies coming and constructing in Ethiopia with moderate cost and better quality; we have to use this chance by becoming competitive,” said Seifu.
Some employees of the sister companies have been taken to the parent TAF Corporate Group.