Gorilla Star Limited has introduced new generation of water tanks that have a 35 year life span designed for residential and commercial use.
The New Times Joseph Mudingu had an interview one on one with the Director of the company Rakesh Vikram Singh about the new innovations that they are bringing on the market
How long have you been in Rwanda and when did the company open its doors?
For many years now since 2009, I have lived and worked in Rwanda. I first worked for a company here as the Managing Director until last year when I and my wife Aparna Patil Singh who is MD of Gorilla Star limited decided to leave and start our own company
The Director of the company Rakesh Vikram Singh (pictures by Mudingu Joseph)
Though our company started in 2018, production started three months ago. We have 15 permanent employees and other 10 casual workers that we employ according to the demand.
How much do you know about the market for your products in Rwanda?
Having been here for a decade now, I know that Rwanda has a ready market for our products because every day new buildings are mushrooming.
The market for water tanks is there and what we need is to provide the best.
Why did you choose to call your company Gorilla Star
We chose the name Gorilla Star because of the way it relates to Rwanda.
It reflects something strong and the rationale about our company is to provide strong and durable water tanks.
What makes your product unique on the market?
Quality is something we don’t want to compromise at Gorilla Star. We realized that most companies are using sub-standard materials which are not good for water tanks.
So we decided to come up with a product that is of high quality yet affordable.
Using recycled materials in water tanks is not good because this water is used for many things as well as cooking.
One thing I know about the Gorilla Star Tanks is that they are the best on the market that’s why it is only our company that gives ten years guarantee in Rwanda.
How much have you invested in the company so far?
We started with an investment of Rwf400 million and now we are planning to invest another one million dollars and our focus is to manufacture products that are imported into the country like PVC ceilings and partitioning materials.
What plans does your company have for the future?
Our next step is to promote the Made in Rwanda initiative by manufacturing instead of importing. Most of these PVC materials are on demand here in Rwanda yet it’s imported from China.
The second thing we want is to do develop local entrepreneurs to produce spare parts to manufacturing companies here in Rwanda and neighboring countries.
There products that can be manufactured here like the gear motor. There is no company in Rwanda that is assembling these motors yet they are on demand and are used in all industries in the country.
If we manufacture these products in Rwanda, it means that there will be availability of these products on the market plus it will benefit the manufacturing sector and save foreign exchange.
What exactly are you planning to manufacture locally here in Rwanda?
We want to start manufacturing the water tank-making machines here in Rwanda and also export them to other neighboring countries.
I would also want to add that we as manufacturers are happy that there is enough electricity that is never interrupted.
This has helped us to carry on working without any power shortage which is good for business.
What do you have to say about the availability of skills and what are you doing about it
We are focusing more on skills development because most of the people lack the required skills in this industry yet they can easily be trained. We don’t intend to bring people from outside Rwanda to work in our company.
What we are going to do is to partner with the TVET schools and see how we can work together to help young people to acquire skills
We are offering on-job training to local young people in the industry. The TVET schools can send us students and we can train them to have hands on skills that are required on the market.
These young people here in Rwanda are very sharp and learn fast. A good example is my former night guard who now works here at the plant.
He came to me one day and told me to give him a chance to work at the plant in spite of the fact that he had no skills. Today he is my best technician.