Sheet metal SME grows
“I do not want money, I want projects because I want to give trainees from vocational training institutes such as NIMT the opportunity to learn the skills and give them job attachments,” he said. Speaking to The Economist at the recent Arandis Investment Conference and Mineral, Mining and Energy Expo, Amaambo said he started his company, Namibia Sheet Metal Manufacturers in 1997 after he was retrenched and never imagined it would be as big as it is today. “When I was still employed, companies such as Namibia Dairies and Namibia Breweries where interested in the work I do, so I decided after I got retrenched in 1997 to start my own company. Why work for someone else and enrich them, I bought a vehicle with my pension pay-out and travelled to sites and do my jobs,” he said.
He said he chose to open his business in Arandis because he does not have competition in the town and there was great opportunity for growth with all the mines that were established during that time.
“I had a vision that I should open my business here in Arandis. So I relocated and moved to Arandis, opened my business because I do not have competition here and there is a lot of support from the mines,” he said
According to Amaambo, he has reached his goal and his company is where he envisaged it to be. “I marketed my company to mines and now they know me. I have won a lot of awards. In the next five years my company is going to be one of the SMEs in the country with a big number of employees, between 50 and 100 employees, I think.” He also appealed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to look into the availability of appeal consultants specially for SMEs to do tendering for them.
“Because it is very difficult for us, you get a tender and you go to the bank and they say they need collateral, we do not have collateral and that is the problem most of the SMEs face,” he said. Namibia Sheet Metal Manufacturers has won various awards which include JCC Innovative Entrepreneurs Awards as well as the Best SME award at the Erongo Business and Tourism Expo last year and also the Governor’s Platinum Award.