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Irish contractor sets shop in Kenya

By Milliam Murigi
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
West End Tower, the headoffice of Tullow Oil Kenya, where Designer Group carried out electrical services installation liaison services. PD/ COURTESY

Despite the tough economic conditions currently facing enterprises in Kenya, an Irish engineering solutions company, Designer Group, has opened a new office in Nairobi seeking to cash in on the booming infrastructure sector.

The fully-owned subsidiary will oversee on-going projects worth Sh1.46 billion set for completion by year-end, as well as the execution of new ones worth Sh2.8 billion starting next year in Kenya and Uganda.

The company joins a growing list of international firms that are setting up shops in Nairobi to meet the rising demand for skilled contractors in the regional construction sector. 

“Opening of the new office will give us a platform to deliver upcoming projects in the region,” said the company in a statement.

The firm has  partnered with several East African companies to engineer, procure and construct projects ranging from the utility, infrastructure, industrial and sustainable energy

Speaking during the recently concluded Irish Government trade mission to Kenya, Irish Minister for business, enterprise and innovation, Heather Humphreys said the group will be working with the local supply chain while engaging in knowledge transfer and upskilling for the coming 12 months.

“Kenya is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and there are great partnership opportunities for Kenyan and Irish companies, which is reflected in the significant deals announced today,” he added. 

The minister said Irish firms are known the world over as innovative and trusted partners “and we hope to bring this Irish advantage to Kenya, seeing more Irish companies invest, grow and partner here.”

As a result of the partnerships, Designer Kenya turnover is expected to reach €13 million (Sh1.46 billion) in 2019 and €25 million (Sh2.8 billion)  in 2020 of which 80 per cent is already secured.  

Designer Group is a leading international engineering solutions Group, with operations in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Africa, and the US. It uses cutting edge building information modeling technology to enhance the management of construction through simulation within a 3D virtual environment.