With unrivalled global expertise in the commercial and project management of capital programmes, Turner &Townsend has established impressive footprints across Africa with the latest foothold being in Kenya
Since setting foot in South Africa 34 years ago, Turner &Townsend has continued to spread its wings across Africa in its quest to become a truly Pan African entity.
Formerly specialised in quantity surveying, the firm has evolved over the 70 years it has been in business and focuses on the property, infrastructure and natural resource markets in particular. Today, Turner &Townsend’s extend from programme strategy and set-up among others.
International yet localised
A global business yet able to resonate well with local demands, Turner &Townsend has a clear goal in its Africa growth strategy. Originating from the United Kingdom, the firm first entered South Africa in 1982 where it has been operating for several years. The consultancy has eight offices across Southern and Eastern Africa.
Mid 2016, the firm opened its second East Africa office in Nairobi keen to tap the wider East African market further. As country director Daimon Keith explains, the Kenyan office allows the firm to enhance its growth and serve its global client base within Kenya and surrounding countries.
“The decision to set up a base in Kenya was informed by the fact that the country is the largest economy in East Africa and so it is important that we have a base here if we want to grow our presence across the East Africa region,” offers Mr Keith.
At present, Turner and Townsend is involved in over 40 projects in East and West Africa alone and at various development stages depicting its desire to operate Africa wide.
However, the firm will continue to operate in South Africa where its African head office is situated.
“An exciting point at the moment is East Africa, across Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, and we’re really excited about this hub and are putting a lot of time, effort, investment and key staff members into this region.”
In Kenya, Mr Keith says Turner & Townsend will be seeking to not only serve their global clients better but also to introduce new services and develop skill sets in the region.
“The Kenyan market is an interesting area for us considering the massive infrastructure projects going on in the country. We bank on our international expertise and technical know-how to thrive,” says Mr Keith.
Kenya Vision 2030 ambitions
With Kenya’s vision 2030 ambitions to create massive infrastructure projects already in place and a gazetted public private partnership (PPP) framework, Mr Keith is confidence that their strong skill set will come in handy to carry out such projects.
He says the lack of liquidity in certain countries in Africa makes public private partnership an attractive model.
“This is an area we can really add value as we have immense experience playing a technical advisory role PPP projects. Our solid knowledge on the local market, the supply chain and how they procure along with the relevant local and international benchmarks will also allow us to add value to any owner’s team on capital projects.
Giving Turner and Townsend a major advantage is their ability to get involved at any stage of a project lifecycle be it feasibility, project set-up, or project delivery.
Another facet that makes Turner &Townsend stand out from the crowd is quality. “The reason why we have repeat business and strong client relationships globally is that we are noted for the quality and consistency we deliver,” he explains.
As part of the company’s diversification and expansion plan, Turner &Townsend are also engaged in affordable housing in Kenya which as a county has a dire need for housing in the wake of a bursting population fuelled by rural-urban migration. In this front, Keith says that they will be seeking to lift the standards by deploying professionalism and consistency to deliver results.
Keen to continue the excellent work that has defined the global firm’s history, the company has already employed 10, key people over the last few months of operation in Kenya.
“We understand that our strength will mainly lie on the satisfaction of our clients so we are investing in high calibre employees to achieve that.”
Keith understands that to flourish in their work, employing best-in-breed IT solutions is important. This, he says, will not only ensure timely delivery of projects but also within agreed budget.
While Turner &Townsend is a business with commercial interest, Keith says that the firm is also conscious of giving back to society. “We don’t want to be a company that only focuses on financial gain.
We aim to positively impact the society and CSR is part of it.” In this regard, the firm recently has provided support to organizations in Africa that help communities fight Cancer,HIV/AIDS andunemployment, as well as selected organisations that aim to improve child education in impoverished communities.
Commenting on the future, Keith says: “We are confident on the huge potential and opportunities in Africa. In Kenya we will be looking to expand our capabilities to a wider client base, and I see us being involved more and more in commercial projects, will feature more and more alongside great work we are doing in the residential sector in Kenya.”
About Daimon Keith
A chartered surveyor and member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with considerable global experience, Daimon Keith has been responsible for leading the rail sector in the UK for Turner & Townsend. He has delivered major infrastructure programmes for business like Network Rail, Transport for London among others. More recently he has taken up the Country Manager Kenya role where he is accountable for all Turner & Townsend’s activity within Kenya.