The Rwandan Heavy Construction (primarily roads and bridges) industry consists of three tiers with international firms leading the largest projects, a small group of mid-sized locally-owned companies competing for remaining large urban center and national projects, and a larger group of small local firms vying for more rural and feeder road projects. Those mid-sized firms best positioned to develop into competitors against international firms have historically found themselves severely cash flow and capital constrained as well as lacking in management capacity so they have invariably competed on price against one another for smaller and less profitable projects.
Karisimbi Partners earned a role as trusted advisor throughout five years of partnering with one of the leading locally-owned Rwandan Heavy Construction companies. Immersing itself in every aspect of the business and developing deep relationships at all levels, Karisimbi Partners not only created Horizon Construction’s performance review process but was invited to participate in actual performance reviews of the senior executives of the company. Karisimbi Partners served as the shadow-finance team for an extended period during budgeting season, built and facilitated implementation of project management tools and developed and assessed operational metrics as minute as the electricity usage per square meter of asphalt produced and stone crushed. When faced with the reality of significant financial challenges, the Board of Directors asked Karisimbi Partners to present them with hard-hitting analysis regarding the financial viability and future prospects for the company. Within three years, the company had implemented many needed changes and had transformed to the point where it required additional support from Karisimbi Partners in casting its expanded vision.
Horizon Construction has now grown to a level where it is competing independently and winning some of the largest projects in the country that were previously only the purview of leading global firms. In 2015, the company will have achieved revenue reflecting four years of over 40% annualized growth.