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Why Construction Leader Makinen Suisse Is Expanding in the Indian Ocean

Makinen Mayotte
Makinen is a Switzerland-based company with a heavy presence in Africa. While Makinen boasts an impressive public and private works portfolio, it gained fame by building hotels. Equally important, the company constructed three ibis hotels in Equatorial Guinea and other hotels in five African countries.

Currently, the company is building its fifth ibis hotel in Mayotte with plans to build more in Réunion. Therefore, it’s taking its first step to expand and establish itself in the Indian Ocean. CEO Luigi Chiantella and a member of Business Club Africa expect to finish the construction project by September 2022.

But why did a medium-size construction company like Makinen expand into remote regions? What makes its Indian Ocean expansion so unique? The answers might surprise you.

Potential for Success

With an established presence around Africa, Makinen may sustain its Indian Ocean expansion. Luckily, a few companies are working on construction projects on the islands. However, it may change soon as the French government begins to invest more in its overseas departments.

Notably, Colas is a mega construction company with ongoing projects on the islands. Still, it’s a giant corporation working on projects with multi-million euros budgets. On the other hand, Makinen works in the 5-30 million euro range. So, there’s no competition.

In addition to Makinen Mayotte, the company also established another branch in Réunion. Thus, it’s planting deep roots in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the potential for success in nearby locations is high.

How Makinen Is Addressing the Workforce Shortage

Makinen decided that the European market was too competitive. The next logical step was expanding into Africa, where the competition was lower. However, Africa’s construction industry is still developing. In other words, the company is operating in a market with great  growth potential.

Furthermore, the company is training local engineers, plumbers, and electricians to meet the workforce shortage. As a result, it creates jobs and attracts new talents.

Currently, 45 employees are working on the 3000-square meters ibis Styles hotel in Mayotte. Makinen will need to add more people  to speed up the project. 

What’s more, the September 2022 deadline is coming soon. So, Makinen is racing against time to finish the project on time. Logistics and lack of talent are always massive challenges that cause construction delays, but the company found a shortcut.

It’s hiring European technicians and flying them to Mayotte. It’s an additional cost because the company has to pay for their transportation, food, and shelter. Furthermore, it pays international rate salaries for European talent.

On the other hand, European and local employees exchange experiences while working together. As a result, they bring the construction project to fruition faster without additional costs. Qualified, experienced European employees also add a new view to reinforcing local engineers on the ground.

The Risks of the Indian Ocean Expansion

The construction project started in February 2021 when Eden Island hired Makinen to build the turn-key hotel. Indeed, Makinen is responsible for the hotel’s construction from A to Z, including decorations.

Logistics is a nightmare during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, transportation and shipping building materials are challenging. However, Makinen has most of the materials on site now.

Makinen Is Creating a Healthy Cooperation in the Ecosystem

Makinen won the bid by offering competitive rates and a detailed proposal. According to Luigi Chiantella, the proposal included everything about the project from start to finish. Thus, it was the obvious choice for Eden Island to choose Makinen instead of the competitors.
Makinen construction
With so many contractors working on the project, it helps to have one contact point. Makinen filled that void for Eden Island by becoming this focal point of contact. Furthermore, hiring one contractor to do the entire project is more cost-effective. Otherwise, Eden Island might have hired several contractors for different tasks.

Soon, more construction companies and contractors will follow Makinen to the Indian Ocean. But will they? For now, Makinen could expand his presence in  the Indian Ocean construction market before others jump the wagon.

What’s Next for Makinen in the Indian Ocean
Positively, the future looks bright for Makinen in Mayotte and surrounding islands. The demand for affordable luxury islands, resorts, and tropical getaways is high. So, the Makinen expansion beyond the African continent into the Indian Ocean is a wise business move.

The company has already established itself with a legally registered entity in Mayotte and in Reunion, hiring 50% local and 50% European talents. It also has other projects in the pipeline. The ibis hotel is only the beginning for Makinen in the Indian Ocean.

23, May, 2022