SME Corner – Meet the Tenderers in the Market [interview]

Onduuli Investments cc is one of the many new upcoming companies with high aspirations to become one of the successful construction tenderers in the country. New Era’s Tender Reporter, Steven Klukowski, spoke to one of the two shareholders of the company, Chris van Turah, on why he believes Onduuli Investments would be able to survive in this highly competitive field of business.

How long has Onduuli Investments been in existence and how big is the company’s workforce? If possible, please tell us about the gender composition of your workforce. Chris van Turah

We are now in the business for three months and as a relatively small company we employ eight people at this stage on a 5050 gender basis, but we envisage to employ more people in the future.

Tell us about the shareholding or ownership of the business?

We are two Namibian partners, each owning 50 percent shares in the company.

What business is your company involved in?

We are into construction, as well as import and export, because it is essential to meet the existing demand in supply and delivery. But we are well equipped and skilled in the construction industry.

Being only three months old, what challenges are you experiencing when applying for standard mandatory, good standing certificates at Inland Revenue, Social Security, Trade and Industry, etc.?

Onduuli Investments is the holder of an SME certificate, good standing certificates with the Social Security Commission and Inland Revenue, as well as letters from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Company Registration) and Office of the Employment Equity Commissioner.

What is your view with regard to the frequent reporting about ‘tenderpreneurship’ and the association of the phrase with corruption in the tender process and what can be done to address it?

I believe in order to eradicate this present evil – corruption in the tender process, it is important to appoint a task team that carries out regular visits to offices of potential tenderers in order to ascertain for themselves the status and legitimacy of these companies. The playing field should furthermore be made even so that we, the tenderers, could all share the cake fairly.

Some Namibian companies are increasingly entering into joint ventures with foreign companies. How, in your view, can Namibians benefit out of these joint ventures in terms of employment opportunities and the sharing of wealth?

It is imperative for a Namibian company to have the majority shareholding (51 percent) in these joint ventures in order to create more employment for Namibians and also retain more money in Namibia.

What programmes are in place in terms of skills development and capacity building of employees at your company?

Drafts are currently in progress in terms of skills development and capacity building. Furthermore in-house training and human resources development are fundamental and therefore very definite in our future plans.

What is your company’s view on giving back to the community?

Our company’s record in terms of social responsibility includes quarterly visits with donations to our elderly, orphanages, as well as vulnerable children.

What is the rate of success of your company’s output with regard to tenders being awarded to you?

Onduuli Investments cc. has just registered to participate in all tender contracts (yearly tender contracts) in Namibia.

Do your employees belong to a Pension Fund and Medical Aid Scheme, and if not in which way are they assisted in this regard?

Our employees are all registered with the Social Security Commission, but we are in the process of registering them with a Pension Scheme and Medical Aid.

How well equipped are your employees when it comes to Occupational Health and Safety at the workplace?

As a Human Resources Officer for nine years I am well informed about Occupational Health and Safety issues and also possess a Safety Management Certificate.

Source : New Era