Anglobal was born out of this need to provide the services that no one wanted, offered in places no one else was available. It was a difficult process – there was a lack of a skilled workforce and we had to recruit and train people. Then we started growing. We started the company with 30 people and now directly employ around 700, and another 200 indirectly as service providers.
What are Anglobal’s core activities?
We are an engineering company – we provide engineering and services for telecommunications and energy sectors. Beyond this, our biggest business segment is technical operations and maintenance services. This is where Anglobal is at its best. We are always ready – 24 hours of the day – because operations do not stop. If you go from Luanda to Benguela for example, most of the telecommunication sites that you see on the roads are serviced by Anglobal. Telecommunication support services and logistics are particularly strong segments in Angola.
To be able to support such a huge extension of territory, as in Angola, we had to come up with our own logistics system. Back in 2003, there were no companies that could provide adequate logistics services, so we had to develop our own system that is strong and ramified throughout the country. This was our own internal logistical system, but the goal is to be able to offer it to third party companies as well. Around 96% of our fleet is available 24 hours, hence our huge fossil fuel dependency. We transport and deliver roughly 1.3 million liters every month from Cabinda to Benguela and Cuando Cubango, which requires extensive logistics and infrastructure.
What differentiates Anglobal from other engineering companies?
What makes Anglobal unique is that it is never static. We are always thinking about how to improve and prepare for tomorrow. We could have just laid low working with fossil fuels for example but, by observing emerging trends, we chose to expand and work increasingly to renewable energy. Within Anglobal, there is a company called “ANTOSC,” whose core business is infrastructure sharing. This is the first Tower Co company in the country. Three years ago we started thinking about the future as sharing infrastructure, instead of each operator setting up its own structure, hence when our top management saw this need emerging the project was put in place.
Our biggest differentiator is that Anglobal comes up with innovative solutions. Last year, we bought two industrial units from a state asset liquidation program – one of these factories was set up to manufacture infrastructure and the other one was for hot galvanization. We bought the assets from each factory in order to set up our own factory that manufactures infrastructures and galvanization, working under the commercial brand Galvostahl. All infrastructure that is set up in Angola such as transmission towers, is imported so, our goal is to start producing it locally. This year we are already building a second transmission tower. If everything goes as planned, we will have produced around 40 towers by the end of the year. This will help decrease our dependence on imports.
What measures has Anglobal taken to encourage local content development?
Anglobal is an Angolan company with Angolan shareholders. When we started the company, around 15% of our employees were not Angolans. Today, we are down to just three percent. We began by setting up towers, but after setting them up, we asked ourselves: ‘What is next? Who is going to operate and maintain them?’ So, we developed expertise in this sense. We want our technicians in Angola to have similar skills and salaries to those coming from abroad. In order to achieve this, people must have the right skill-set. We set up an academy to help train our employees. Our Anglobal Academy was certified last year by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas. We are constantly trying to improve the skills and quality of life of the people in Angola.
What was the rationale behind Anglobal’s regional and international expansion?
We started in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2014 and in Cape Verde in 2015. This was a challenge that Anglobal had to explore beyond our borders. In São Tomé, we were part of the setting up of a local telecommunications operator network. We provided the data center for the project, brought the gensets and competed for and won the post-setup maintenance services. In Cape Verde our experience was similar. We also recently opened an engineering office in Portugal. This was due to the fact that there was a substantial exodus of experts from Europe due to Angola’s currency devaluation. We needed this know-how, so we set up a company in Europe to house our engineers. They support the development of many projects jointly with our local teams. During the implementation phase of a project those engineers will join us in Angola. We are at the moment going through a consolidation phase among all of our representations. This network was created out of a need to expand beyond Angola, save on costs and deliver the same quality services everywhere.