Namibia: 'We Are Exploring More Export Markets'

Wholly owned Namibian manufacturing company Panel to Panel is set on exploring more African markets to export to as a way to grow awareness of Namibian-made products.

Jacques Crowther, Panel to Panel's chief executive, said this in an interview last week, adding that the company has already started with exports to neighbouring countries.

"Our products were originally aimed at serving the refrigeration industry, as our products are mainly used for industrial refrigerator walls and doors. But due to its ideal insulation properties, affordability and ease of use, we have branched into any industry with accommodation, office space, storage space, ablution or almost any construction needs. Our products have built schools, medical clinics and abattoirs, among a long list of construction projects," he said.

He stressed that the company has actively been contributing to the growth of the manufacturing industry for the past 12 years, saying they wish to create an even greater awareness of their products to Namibia and the rest of Africa to boost local sales and exports, while curbing imports.

Crowther further reiterated that Panel to Panel aims to grow and expand its market beyond the borders of Namibia so as to become a renowned exporter of pre-fabricated solutions. "In terms of the manufacturing sector, apart from playing our part in the upliftment of the Namibian economy, we would like to lead by example, and prove that industrial capacity and self-sustainability through manufacturing are the tar with which we can pave the way forward for our country," he said.

He added that the company ensures it imports only the highest quality of raw materials used in its manufacturing processes, while fully complying with approved building standards, as well as national legislation regulating the construction industry.

"We have a trained and competent team with many years of experience. All finished products undergo stringent quality controls before they leave the factory gates, and we pride ourselves in having had very few comebacks in the past. Our panels can be used in a great variety of construction projects.

"We have our own assembly line, which pre-fabricates an assortment of mainly mobile office and housing units, as well as walk-in cold and freezer rooms. We are busy launching an affordable prefab 2-bedroom house, which was designed as an alternative to address the general housing shortage. This unit was displayed at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair," Crowther noted.

He said about 35% of the company's top management structure is represented by women, despite the perception that the construction and manufacturing industries are less suitable for women. "We have women doing exceptional work within the factory, and it is part of our goal to increase female representation on all levels within our company."

ABOUT PANEL TO PANEL

Panel to Panel is a wholly owned Namibian manufacturing company founded in 2005, with majority shares owned by the Allegrow Fund managed by Eos Capital. The company has its factory situated at Walvis Bay, with a management team that has a combined total of over 50 years' industry-specific experience, and can assist in almost any technical specification.

"We pride ourselves with high-quality product offerings, and set out each day to offer our customers the best service. We manufacture insulated modular panels, often referred to as sandwich panels, which are used in a variety of construction projects and industrial refrigeration, and sold on a wholesale basis or as finished products. Some of the finished products we provide are prefabricated houses and office units, walk-in cold and freezer rooms, green fodder rooms and truck bodies," Crowther stated.

The company manufactures its own doors, windows, roofing panels in an IBR roofing widespan profile, and various other accessories needed in the construction of prefabricated products, and can also manufacture to customer specifications and cater for any custom projects or applications.

"We have introduced a new 2-bedroom house as an alternative housing option. This is an innovation that can curb the shortage of affordable housing in the country. It is ideal for different uses such as student housing, alternative structures for the tourism industry, offices, mining, construction camps, or used as homes for anyone looking for a cheaper form of housing," Crowther added.

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