Bridging the gap to success

30 December 2019 | Business

Starting a business requires one to be determined, motivated, focused and ambitious, because it is not easy to get an enterprise off the ground.

This according to entrepreneur, whose construction business Epatululo Trading Enterprises held a year-end party for employees and their families recently. The company specialises in bridge construction.

The get together with nearly 100 employees and their families coincided with the 10th birthday of the company. They were treated to awards and Christmas hampers, depending on their years of service and contributions to the firm.

Shimana, an employee of Nexus, started the construction company in 2009 and today they specialise in bridge construction and concrete making.

The company is named after his home village.

“It was not an easy beginning because we could spend up to six months tendering without getting any tender. After I attended Roads Authority (RA) construction training and got certified, we got our first tender as a subcontractor for the Oshakati-Ompundja road to construct bridges,” Shimana said. “The challenging part was that due to the nature of the work I was supposed to resign and focus on the company work, but since it was just few month works, I decided not to resign and put all the day to day responsibilities on my wife. After knocking off from my Nexus work, I used to work extra hours assisting my wife, who had no experience in the construction industry.”

Shimana said his wife was willing to do the work and it only took her few months to start working on her own, without his involvement.

He said they recruited a few people with experience in the construction industry and they helped grow the firm from strength to strength.

Shimana's wife Emilia said that from their very first tender, she had to work hard to make sure that they complied with the tender specifications and deliver quality work.

“John Shapumba is our first experienced construction employee, while Salomon Angula was our engineer. Angula told me Shapumba was doing a good job and from there I decided not to let him go,” Emilia said.

Today Shapumba is Epatululo's site foreman.

“Today we have been in operation for 10 years and we are still getting recommendations to build bridges and we have constructed many bridges across the country.

Shimana said even after 10 years, they are still operating as a subcontractor and are trying to tap into more experience, before taking on major construction projects as a main contractor.

Epatululo has done subcontractor work at the Omafo railway bridge, flood repairs and multi-care protection at Omwandi and at the Oniipa railway bridge.

They have also worked on the Oshigambo bridge near Oshigambo High School and constructed returning walls at the crocodile farm at Kongola in the Zambezi Region.

The company is currently constructing bridges along the Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road, which are expected to be completed next year.

Staff Reporter

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