The piece “Shayona launches new cement brand” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 33 that is circulating this January 2016.
The full edition is available for download here. This monthly publication is edited by Marcel Chimwala.
Shayona launches new cement brand
‘Thanthwe’ the ultimate cement 42.5R hits Malawi market
By Chiku Jere
The country’s leading cement manufacturer Shayona Cement Corporation has launched a new cement brand, ‘Thanthwe,’ which it has touted as revolutionary saying its attributes are more superior than any other cement available on the market.
The introduction of the new product which also marked the re-launch of another Shayona product, Buildplast, took place on December 7, 2015 at Capital Hotel and was dignified by the presence of top level guests from the government and private sector.
Presiding over the event characterised by pomp and flair was Minister of Industry and Trade, Joseph Mwanamveka who described Shayona’s ‘Thanthwe’ and ‘Buildplast’ cement brands as products of innovate minds.
The Minister went ahead to express bemusement as to how Shayona continues to post successes in a competitive and challenging environment.
But it seemed the industry and trade political leader had the answer himself to Shayona’s apparent success.
I believe Shayona is able to do that because the people behind this company put serious thoughts and efforts on product development, innovation, product packaging and creative marketing, something which is required in the modern world for success to flourish,
Mwanamvekha pointed out that there are no shortcuts to success applauding the team behind Shayona for endurance, hard work and perseverance whose results are the achievements that have been attained so far.
We at the Ministry are quite pleased that there is a company like Shayona in the country that strives for innovation and produces competitive products that thrive on the market,
Mwanamvekha also said his government is delighted with Shayona Cement Corporation’s continued huge investment in the expansion of its factory in Kasungu, which will see Malawi becoming self-sufficient on clinker and cement by the end of 2016.
This will have a massive contribution towards government efforts to cut on huge import bill that has been suffocating the country’s economic endeavours for long
said the minister.
He pledged to provide all the necessary support not only to Shayona but also to other companies that are contributing positively towards economic transformation of the country.
In his remarks, Shayona Cement Corporation founder and MD, Jitendra Patel, said the launch of ‘Thanthwe’ and the re-launch of ‘Buildplast’ was an event worth celebrating as it represents a significant step of the journey he embarked on 20 years ago.
He said the 20 years reflect a journey of millions of experiences from which he and his dedicated team will not rest until the ultimate dream, which is to have the new state of the art cement plant under construction working at full throttle, is accomplished.
In the first place, it was not easy to get into the Malawian market that had already established brands, for a product like cement in particular. I cannot forget, and shall never forget the bad old days when we failed to convince our customers to offload even 10 bags from a 600 bag truck capacity. However, as days passed by, with support from our customers and many Malawians at large, things started picking up till today,
The Indian trained qualified mechanical engineer said this experience has brought confidence for the company to continue to invest big in Malawi, his country of birth.
He and his father, Shri Narshibhai H Patel who is Shayona Cement Corporation chairman, were all born in Mulanje District.
The reason to continue investing in this country is due to the fact that we are very sure that the Malawi Government will do everything possible to support private firms like Shayona Cement Corporation,
Patel said that his company is facing two main big challenges that need urgent address by government, which include importation of cement from surrounding countries when local manufacturers can satisfactorily supply the market and delays to upgrade the 29km Mwimila Turn-off to Shayona Factory Road, which in addition to the factory serves many farming communities.
Let me put it on record here that the imports of cement from surrounding countries are killing our business but I am pleased to say that the ministry responsible has assured us that everything shall be done to address the situation,
He said he was also pleased to receive an assurance from the Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure that the road would be treated as a priority and that government was in the process of sending a technical team to survey and quantify the rehabilitation process.
The dignitaries at the function included the High Commissioner of India to Malawi, His Excellency Shri Van Lal Huma and the Governor of Reserve Bank Charles Chuka.
Several top government officials from Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as Ministry Natural Resources, Energy and Mining were also in attendance.
Shayona substantially contributes to the Government’s coffers with an annual remittance of MK2.5billion in both royalties and taxes and its Akshar Cement caters for over 25% of the market share for cement in the country expected to shoot to 80% when phase II construction of the clinker plant is completed next year.
Shayona has a workforce 1200 mostly locals, which is expected to substantially increase when the expansion works at the factory are completed and production is increased further.
When the expansion project is completed, the factory will cover an area of over 500 acres of land creating a ‘mini city’ with all essential requirements to support basic human life such as potable water, education and health facilities, shops and a standard market.