Looking at the situation in the world such as financial challenges in Europe and the US as well as the political instability in the Middle East, all signs show that Africa could be the next destination for investments. What is your point of view about Africa as an investment destination, and how do you see The Gambia in the region?
The Gambia is a very good place with lots of opportunities that are very worthy. The only challenge is financial capabilities & technology. In order to make the best use of the potential, you need capital to invest.
If I were to give a simple example, mangoes & oranges market is a good one. During the season, the country is growing a huge amount mangoes & oranges. The farmers waste a huge amount of these fruits every year due to lack of financial and technological support. The agriculture industry requires more investment and better technology to make optimum utilization of resources available in the country.
Swami India is an international company. Can you tell us the reasons that led the company to choose The Gambia as an Investment destination?
Apart from The Gambia, our sister companies are operating in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Ghana & India. We have significant Housing estate developments in India as well.
We came to The Gambia because we are experts in Construction & Engineering, Real Estate Development & rehabilitation works. We were incorporated in 2004 as a Private Limited company and started full operation in 2005. We have recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary this year in July 2014.
The Gambia is a country of less than 2 million people and the market is not growing as fast as it is in other African countries such as Dakar-Senegal or Accra-Ghana - where population growth is much higher than Gambia. But The Gambia is very peaceful; this is one of the main reason investors can enjoy and benefit. The people in this country are very hardworking, friendly & cooperative. The other countries are congested, in terms of traffic, population, stress and so on. Although you can grow your capital faster in those countries, you are very likely to face the challenge, which is that they are not as peaceful and stable as The Gambia.
What about the fierce competition in the market, what are your strategies to stand out to retain your customer base and attract new customers?
Based on my experience, when it comes to the intangible assets of a company, we can say Swami India is a hardworking company with high quality staff. The company specializes in building new houses of good quality and standard.
Our staff is working very hard and has committed a lot of time and passion in their job without being forced, to grow the company and increase the capital and revenue for everybody’s financial benefit.
Can you tell us about your future projects?
We have started a 2 story hotel at Bakau Cliff which is almost 25meter above sea level. We are constructing a retaining wall at sea to protect the hotel from soil erosion.
Swami India International has been operating in The Gambia since 2004. Can you tell us your position in the market and your annual turnover?
We started full operation in 2005 with a turnover of D5 million and in 2010 it became over D100 million and last year we have grown up to D130 million (approximately €8.5 million). We are currently having about 650 staffs. Actually we are doing better here; there is no need for partnership.
What have you personally learnt throughout your career in Kenya and other places for more than twenty years that you are implementing today as the CEO of Swami India International Company?
First of all I would say morality and the second thing is time. Time is precious, so you waste no time to acquire and use the knowledge that helps you to get success.