Aiming to become the most successful service provider

Agility, flexibility, and the willingness to succeed are three key drivers at SECO. The company is underpinned by an ethos of sheer determination to offer a wide variety of services, all at a high standard, and industry demands what path the company follows next.

“The simple fact is that we have always been renowned for our capabilities within the marine sector,” said Cohen. “But over the last two to three years we have recognized a need to develop our on-shore expertise as well. As a company we have had to adjust our approach to sales and marketing in order to engage this new market.

“We have developed different systems internally to gain the experience and the know-how to penetrate new markets, with the aim of becoming the most successful service provider in the region. We have done a lot of work recently trying to understand where we add value and how we can offer advantages to the markets we serve.” “We believe this is a shift in global business and are keen to embrace the trend.”

For SECO, flexibility, versatility and group capability is critical. The company takes great pride in saying, ‘there is hardly anything we cannot assist our clients with,’ and there are very few companies – on a global scale – that can say that. “We are solution based,” said Cohen. “We offer solutions for our customers’ problems and challenges, allowing them to conduct business faster and more effectively.”

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SECO was also responsible for the construction of accommodation units supporting Africa's largest wind-power project in Marsabit County, Kenya. The Lake Turkana Wind Project, as it is formally known, cost €623 million to develop and will produce 310MW of electricity when it comes fully online in 2017.

Furthermore, the sheer scale and notoriety of the project gained the attention of Kenya’s sitting president, Uhuru Kenyatta, who toured the facilities, broke ground at one of SECO’s accommodation units, and spoke with a number of the company’s on-site employees. The president made a call for businesses across the world to turn their attention to Kenya’s outstanding capacity for renewable energy generation.

Cohen said: “We hosted the president and his ministers in the SECO village that we built; he laid the first stone in a house we were building, operated one of our machines and spoke with our employees about the project.”

“This is a great case study for future projects, the Kenyan Government has been so supportive. Kenya is one of the leading countries for green energy. We are one of two Kenyan companies taking part in this project and have been the first contractor to start the project, we are proud of it!”

Breaking into new markets

While much of the company’s expertise has been centered on manufacturing and technical solutions, SECO has been developing its capability within civil construction, building camps in remote areas that can support in excess of 500 people.

“We can manufacture, design, fit and manage the camps with our group-wide expertise. The camp division is a new one for us as a company; however we have been developing the area for quite some time. We have started managing them because we would rather manage them ourselves than go to a third party supplier. Alpha Group has a long history in the food industry, but also in the areas of cold chain management, construction, logistics and more – it just makes perfect business sense for us to offer an end-to-end solution. We are faster and undoubtedly more efficient as a standalone unit,” said Cohen.

Building a world-class team

With such a huge emphasis placed on in-house capability, it will come as no surprise that people management and training is very important to the business. “We offer all our employees external training, allowing them to gain important qualifications and insight. We also have a robust internal training structure and put a lot of emphasis on the importance of local knowledge. We want our employees to feel part of the solution for customers, and that entrepreneurial spirit drives growth and innovation at the business. We are also dedicated to employing local people and helping the areas in which we do business thrive,” said Cohen.

Passion, a thirst for growth, and the willingness to learn as an organization will keep SECO afloat for many more years to come. The company has put processes in place meaning it will never have its feet stuck in concrete. “We are agile, we will grow with the trends of the market, and we will always offer a world-class service no matter what we turn our hands to,” said Cohen. With promises like that, it’s hard to envisage anything but success for the company. 

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