ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK: A well built cargo container can be anything – Kyellenge

By Albert Nyawawa

 Mr. Kelvin Kyellenge is the Director, Container Works Africa.

Briefly introduce yourself to us. Who is Mr. Kelvin Kyellenge?

My name is Kelvin, I’d describe myself as a very enterprising and energetic person, focused on my goals and giving my absolute best to achieve them. Of course I’ve tasted failure but I didn’t let that define me. I’ve risen more times than I’ve fallen. I’ve also learnt and relearnt the value of customer service and satisfaction as well as the importance of quality delivery. A repeat buyer is the best client. Lastly networking is what has gotten us where we are. Our biggest win has been creation of very valuable and reliable networks. We try to expand and grow that every day.

Tell us about Container Works Africa – what you do in general?

Container Works Africa Ltd was a brainchild of the need to provide exciting and alternative form of housing, be it commercial or for family or personal use. We offer very exciting yet affordable units, which are normally informed by our client’s needs, budgets and tastes. We basically have something for everyone.

A container can be fabricated into pretty much anything you want it to be for housing purposes, you just need to be creative and open minded enough.

The most popular container units are commercial stalls/shops, offices, houses, storage units, clinics, classrooms etc. We also make cold rooms as well refrigerated container units.

Our value addition process starts from designing based on the clients’ needs, taste and budget, then fabrication, delivery and installation. We are a one stop shop, offering turnkey housing solutions.

How flexible is a cargo container? Away from cargo, what else can a container do?

A cargo container being a metal box is very flexible in usage, you just need to be creative enough, anything you can build in stone and mortar can also be achieved from a cargo box as we prefer to call them, from houses to offices, shops, schools, churches, mosques, clinics etc.

Who are your customers?

Anyone can be our customer really. Our client base ranges from individuals, to corporates, NGO’s, parastatals, churches, schools, mosques, investment groups, charity organizations etc.

How has Covid-19 impacted the container modification industry in Kenya?

Like every other industry, COVID-19 slowed us down a bit across the board, from getting supplies in time, mobilizing workforce, delivery of our products, our client’s purchasing power etc. On the flipside, it has opened our potential clients ‘eyes to alternative channels of investment and job creation hence to some extent driving up our output and reach, especially on the commercial front where our commercial stalls/shops output has gone up significantly. We continue to urge our client’s and all the other stakeholders to continue observing all the government directives as we continue to battle this pandemic.

Why should customers choose Container Works Africa?

 As earlier stated, we really emphasize on customer satisfaction, unparalleled workmanship and attention to detail, very competitive prices and value for money solutions to our clients.

Our design and engineering team is also very focused on churning out new ideas and free advisory to our clients so as to maximize on the earlier stated value for money and satisfaction. This cannot be over-emphasized.

Any memorable projects you have accomplished lately?

Every single day before a unit leaves our yard for the client’s destination we make sure that it will change the client’s live and impact them very positive way. That is to say every unit is memorable for us in the way it changes their lives. We have so many success stories and that is what fuels us, it is also always a learning experience for us.

Which are some of the challenges you face in the sector as an entrepreneur away from Covid-19?

The biggest challenge especially in our field has been convincing the masses that we can safely and comfortably move from stone and mortar housing to container housing which is cheaper and equally functional. Luckily we seem to be gaining some ground on that end if the orders we are receiving and processing everyday is anything to go by,but we are not resting on our laurels.

Corporate growth is most often driven by teams of dedicated staff. How do you make sure your company workers are pursuing shared goals and objectives for success? 

Out team totally understands our aim of getting into this space of alternative housing, from the sales people to the engineers and the fabrication team, once they buy into the bigger picture it’s been very easy to create the synergy that allows us to get to higher levels of service delivery and customer satisfaction.

 As the Director, what is your preferred style of management?

In our office you will be surprised that we regard each other as colleagues,top to bottom.I believe in giving everyone a chance to make a difference by creating for them a relaxed environment, and trusting them to make sound decisions with regards to customer projects. But the biggest win for us I would say is promoting a culture of teamwork and putting our client’s needs first,this has served us perfectly over the years.

Who has been your business role model as an individual?

Having been one of the pioneers in Container Fabrication and Conversions,in this market,you can imagine how tasking and lonely the journey has been. That being said,I’ve also had the benefit of meeting thousands of people over the course,the realization has been that you will always learn something from everyone that crosses your path,the trick is to pay attention to what they are saying and what they are doing,therein lies very valuable lessons.

I’ve also followed very keenly the Barack Obama story keenly and his resilience,hardwork and determination to get things done differently has struck a cord with me.

What message do you have for Nairobians & Kenyans seeking to benefit from services of Container Works Africa?

We welcome all and sundry to pay us a visit and allow us to change your life. They can also check out our website: www.containerworkersafrica.co.ke

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