As it celebrates its 40th anniversary Zenith Steel Fabricators Limited is leading the way towards a new future defined by safer and more productive practice
Established in 1977, leading steel fabrication firm Zenith Steel Fabricators has grown to become the biggest specialist in multi-storey building in Africa.
An ISO 9001:2008 certified company, Zenith Steel fabricators limited specialises in the design, fabrication and assembly of all types of structural steelwork. The firm has especially distinguished itself from the crowd by full service from start to finish. It is the cohesion of service throughout that the Company continues to provide which has made it thrive in this ever-evolving market.
Raheem Biviji the managing director of Zenith Steel fabricators Limited best understands the history of the company. “The company was started by Abbas T Biviji and Jayantilal Gohil as a small fabrication workshop in Kenya to serve the then nascent construction industry,” he says.
“Over the last forty years, the company has grown in leaps and bounds undertaking mega projects that we have been able to complete successfully,” he adds.
Among its growing portfolio is a multi-steel storey commercial building in Nairobi dubbed Sifa towers. As Managing director Raheem Biviji explains, the firm was the first to introduce multistory steel building East Africa.
“We wanted to bring something new into the market. We identified the need to complete projects in a timely manner with minimum wastage and steel building has proved worth it,” shares Biviji.
The Architectural wonder of Sifa towers is based on the shape of Hyperbolic Parabolic Curve. The building appears shaped despite the use of multi-storey steel system in its construction. The iconic structure is an ultra-modern commercial complex with 11 floors.
Another project that Zenith Steel has been able to deliver successfully is Kithiki towers in Mombasa. The project is one of the sturdiest buildings in Kenya today. The Quality Centre in Tanzania was also Zenith Steel’s project.
Zenith Steel understands that to continue being ahead in the market, production is a major factor. The company recently launched a brand new fully-integrated steel fabrication plant allowing it to boost its output from 50,000 tonnes to 75,000; making it one of the largest of its kind in Africa.
But it is not just the volume of successful contracts that makes it stand out. “ I think it comes down to three things, first is our ability to stay true to our core business and constantly learning new global trends. The trends in the market are constantly changing as such innovation is a major factor to us. This has helped us remain a head in the curve and satisfy our clients,” explains Biviji.
“Secondly we offer a broad and innovative service. We have an absolutely unique set of design and project delivery skills. “We are experts in steel work including a full knowledge of compliance with all steel building regulations and guidelines.
On top of this we bring a complete and leading understanding of the structural design and world class skills in construction of a wide array of construction projects, which allows us to deliver top notch projects.”
“The final facet giving us a competitive edge is our in-house staff. We have invested considerable amount of resources training our staff on emerging steel technology so that we continue evolving as the market demands.” Says Biviji adding that steel construction is quickly gaining traction in Africa.
As the only Company in Kenya which designs, fabricates and erects multi-storey buildings, its all encompassing approach to the market is making Zenith Steel quite the innovator in its field.
Zenith Steel is seeing great levels of success in the sector, tapping into the trend that is fast breaking the dominance of conventional brick and mortar buildings that have dominated some of the world’s constructs for decades.
Biviji shares: “While it is a recent adoption in Africa, the buildings have been used extensively in developed countries since the 1940s. With today’s advanced technology and innovations, the use of structural steel and concrete composition design is being applied in the construction of multi-storey buildings.
Contrary to using reinforced cement concrete, in multi-storey steel buildings the structure is designed and assembled in the workshop.
The good thing about offsite construction brings huge advantages over traditional forms of construction. It is cheaper, quicker to build on site, less weather dependent and requires fewer systems on site making it inherently safer.
This in-house, offsite construction competence at Zenith Steel means that the company is not only a leader in terms of quality and range of offerings, but is also one of the fastest constructors available in Kenya and Africa at large.
Health and safety is a critical part of Zenith Steel continued success in the market and its focus on both its employees and the public is exemplary. This starts at the very beginning, when the design is integrated with safe methods and sequencing of construction.
As Raheen points out: “When you are constantly constructing the same type of building you get pretty good at it, yet we understand how important it is not to become complacent so we approach each project individually.”
The company has also built up strong subcontractor relationships, bringing together a family of trusted and expert teams that have been absorbed into its own safety culture. This is supported by the encouragement of safety reporting and regular onsite briefings
Zenith Steel is always seeking to be innovative and at the cutting edge of construction, always developing new products and practices,” he continues, and the future of the company is very much brought into focus by this attitude to lead the industry towards becoming safer and more productive.
Now using Building Information Modelling (BIM) software such as TEKLA and Steel Projects, Zenith Steel is able to deliver excellent work thereby winning the confidence of its customers.
With so much development based around its technology, the Company recognises the importance of making significant capital investments in state-of-the-art equipment.
Biviji explains: “Installation of modern machinery is essential for efficient and effective work such as CNC Machinery, saw, drill, shot blasters and plant processing.”
Looking into the future, technology will continue to play a major role for Zenith Steel. Biviji explains that as a company they will constantly be changing as times demand. Key to their success will also depend on their in-house staff capability he notes.
“We pride ourselves in the fact that 90 percent of Zenith Steel’s staff are local. Well trained staff with hands on experience in the field is the key to a successful company. Training for our existing staff enables us to expand their roles and duties within the Company, enabling growth on all steps of the ladder,” adds Biviji.
“We know what we are good at. We know we are leaders in our field but we also understand that maintaining that position is a new ball game all together. We will be banking on our experienced staff and the element of customer satisfaction to thrive going foward,” ends Biviji.