Anka has been active in the industry for 10 years having been established in 2007. The Company was initially registered as a partnership before it was incorporated as a limited company in 2009.
Since then, the company has engaged itself in various assignments involving several institutions including state corporations such as the Kenya National Highways Authority, which was one of their first major clients, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company and private entities for who the Company has executed projects such as the Gelian Hotel in Machakos, Java restaurants all over the country and the Caxton House in the city centre.
Anka has also spread its wings to Rwanda where they have also been involved in some significant projects including Technical and Vocational Training Schools throughout the country, in addition to training local technical staff.
According to Qs. Allan Abwunza, the Technical Director of the Company, living up to their mission of giving the client their best service, while working towards their vision of being the premier consulting firm in the Region has been key to the success they have experienced these 10 years of practice. “Quantity Surveyors deal with a very sensitive aspect of the project which is money; whatever else that is done on the project revolves around money. It is therefore very important for the developer to get a quantity surveyor with a reputation for maintaining high integrity standards,” he affirms.
“In other words, a good quantity surveyor helps the developer to not only determine the cost of a project, but also control that cost because determining the cost without control mechanisms is a recipe for failure; it is just like planning then failing to manage that plan. Most importantly, a good quantity surveyor also helps the developer to ensure he avoids instances that are likely to result in disputes by identifying potential claim sources so that they are dealt with before they escalate. For instance, if a contractor may require a certain detail from an architect for a particular activity on the programme. If that detail is issued in good time for the activity to be executed, it means that the activity is likely to delay. If this occurs, the contractor will most likely ask for an extension of time and associated additional cost, depending on how the activity impacts on the overall project programme,” he adds.
As Mr. Abwunza further explains, Anka has not only excelled due to the fact that they service a contract with due diligence while keeping the client appraised of the financial implications of changes made to the initial design; they also have value additions which include: advising the architects properly on the time and cost implications of the various design alternative solutions. In this regard, they ensure that cost guides the design not the other way round; and they also get actively involved in cost engineering of projects during the design and implementation stages.
“As part of our growth over the 10 years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of employees to attend to the increasing demand for our services. In addition, we regularly recruit intern and graduate quantity surveyors and take them through our rigorous training programme, which is an important aspect of our professional development,” says Qs. Abwunza.
The company has further invested in technology in terms of professional software that help in preparing documents and managing contracts. This strategy, according to Qs. Abwunza, has significantly enhanced our operational efficiency.
Despite these successes, Mr. Abwunza observes that the company has faced its fair share of challenges. “The main challenge is the fluctuation in construction output, especially in Kenya. This fluctuation is mainly attributed to the election cycle and the strong link between the country’s construction performance and external shocks caused by political activities. The construction industry is the first casualty of these shocks. Unfortunately, it is also the last sector to recover from the same shocks. As a result, most developers develop a wait and see attitude several months to the election. After the election, they also take time to monitor the performance of the various economic indicators before they make their final decision to proceed with the process of implementing their projects. However, we look forward to future where such external shocks shall have minimal or no impact on the economic stability,” notes Qs. Abwunza.
“Another challenge we face in the construction industry is the perennial delay in receiving payments for work done. Any vendor who has done some work for or made supplies to any government department is undoubtedly aware of this problem. Delays experienced by vendors in receiving payment from the government adversely affect us in the construction industry either directly or indirectly. Our operations are directly affected by delayed remittances owed to us by government agencies. However, we are also affected indirectly by delayed payments by some of our clients when their payments are delayed by the same government. The multiplier effect of this delay on the entire supply chain negatively affects the effective delivery of many projects,” he adds.
Apart from quantity surveying, Anka Consultants Limited is also involved in Project Management and Contract Administration in the construction industry. Regarding project management, they are involved in the strategic management of the design and construction stages of construction projects while in the contract administration part of the business they are involved in arbitration and dispute management, forensic audit, commercial management and general contract administration.