NATAL Sheetmetal Industries and its two associated businesses -Blue Sands Trading and
Steelcity Merchants – recently completed the move to its new premises in Isipingo Rail. The move, which was
necessitated by expansion across all three businesses, is testament to the group’s continued growth and
success – and it marks a new consolidated era for this leading KZN operation. Natal Sheetmetal
(NSI) was established in 1994 by Ahmed Akoo and his two sons, Shiraz and Nizam.The company
initially specialised in the manufacture of steel door frames and galvanized rainwater products. Then in
2004, the operation expanded into the manufacture of steel window frames under the name Blue Sands
trading.This was followed in 2007 by the launch of Steelcity Merchants, which manufactures square and
rectangular tubing and pipes as well as corrugated roofsheeting and IBR sheets.
Today, the companies provide a one-stop-shop solution for all sheet metal needs, with all
products aligned to industry needs and requirements. With the move of all manufacturing to the plant in
Isipingo Rail, all operations are now housed in one, secure and conveniently-positioned location. “This means
improved efficiencies and greater control across the board,” explains director, Shiraz Akoo. Today, the
day-to-day operation of all three businesses is handled by Shiraz and Nizam, with Ahmed filling an advisory
role major decision-making.They are supported by staff members who are dedicated, skilled and efficient, many
of whom have been with NSI since its inception. “We are like one big happy family, with everyone working
towards the same goal and management being fully hands-on,” continues Shiraz.
The companies’ supply direct to the retail sector and service the whole of KwaZulu-Natal as
well as the Eastern Cape, Swaziland, Lesotho and Bostwana, with reps personally calling on prospective
customers to canvass new business. This face-to-face contact with customers is a hallmark of NSI and sets it
apart from many of its competitors. “One-on-one contact with our customers is very important, even if
we have been doing business with them for many years.As a
result, most of the people we do business with today have been loyal customers since the beginning – and many
know us personally.”
NSI, Blue Sands Trading and Steelcity Merchants have all been built on the values of honesty,
quality and service – and according to Shiraz, it is their commitment to maintaining these values that
ensures the on going success of the businesses.
As for future developments, the Akoo brothers are aiming to achieve SABS Approval on a
selection of their products and are also looking to expand their Pretoria window frame plant to include the
manufacture of door frames and tubing.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal staff members for their hard work,
honesty and loyalty over the years, which has enabled the businesses to grow from strength to strength,”