Young can spearhead the ship
At 26, Ananias ‘Page’ Kashikuka has already laid a successful foundation by spearheading Onambula Investment Group against the big sharks of the construction sector.
Kashikuka or Page, as his friends call him, gloats as he narrates his journey of becoming an owner of a construction and project management company called Onambula Investments Group.
Located in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial, Onambula Investments Group has already covered major contract jobs for companies, such as the National Airport Company (NAC), as well as built and renovated several branches of Government ministries.
It all started as a means of killing the boredom Page felt where he worked as an intern.
“As an intern, I could not do much with my ideas. I tried engaging my manager but he would always say I had to follow standard procedures to pitch my ideas. Then it hit me; for me to reach my full potential, I needed full authority of my ideas, because as long as someone was on top of me, I could only do so much and that person would eventually take credit of my work,” he narrates.
In 2009, he took a leap of faith and registered his company, fully aware of the future bumpy roads. In 2010, a friend came to his aid by asking him to do a short contract job on project management.
The Uukwaludhi-born started off with just one employee who was then his classmate. At present, he has five permanent and 60 temporary employees under his wing.
“My major stint has to be my current project for building the office of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) in Eenhana, Ohangwena Region. We have also worked on a Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) project for staff accommodation in Omuthiya, Oshikoto Region. I have done so much for the NAC as well but I have also been building private houses,” beams Page who has so many good things to say about the Development of Bank of Namibia (DBN).
“Many people complain about DBN not being user-friendly but those are the same people who have never stepped foot at DBN’s office premises. I did not have proper structures in place when I approached DBN for a loan but they heard me out and bought into my idea. I am thankful for the N$1m they gave me and I have already repaid it, although I still have other projects with them. The only surprise was all the interest rate details that came with repaying the loan, which is a subject that needs more education for aspiring entrepreneurs.”
Page who holds a B. Tech in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) encourages all aspiring entrepreneurs to start somewhere and trust that the rest will eventually follow if they are determined enough.
“Even if you are a door man somewhere, you can learn something if you want to. In 10 years’ time, I see the company becoming a competitor for all the international construction companies in Namibia.”
Currently, Page sails the ship alone, albeit at an advanced stage of introducing a board of directors, as in future, he will need guidance. “I have several projects lined up and introducing a board would be a learning curve, as the toughest test of my career awaits”.