The Business Year

Luis Diogo

ANGOLA - Industry

Luis Diogo

CEO, Fabrimetal

Bio

Luis Diogo is CEO of Fabrimetal. He holds a postgraduate degree in business management, a degree in auditing and account review, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing. He is also a chartered accountant and holds a diploma in taxation and advisory, given by the Center for Business Technical Studies. Before being appointed CEO in 2017, he was Fabrimetal’s director, commercial and strategic projects from 2014-2017. He also held several positions in different companies before that. Diogo is a member of the board of the Association of Construction Materials Industries of Angola and a member of the Rotary Club of Luanda.

Fabrimetal is an active job creator for local communities, with over 500 local workers, proving a strong commitment to Angola.

Fabrimetal was established in 2005, within MMD Steel Group. What is the mission and vision of Fabrimetal?

In one word: ambition. We have an ambitious goal of being present in 15-20 countries by 2031. The group started in 2004-2005, and we have grown substantially, especially in the last 10 years, reaching new achievements every month. We expect to start our operations in Burundi in 2022. Our stakeholders are passionate about Africa. Consequently, our expansion plans are focused on Africa. Our vision is to become the biggest player on the continent by being closer to our customers in the markets where we currently participate. Our main raw material is scrap metal. In the future, it could become a scarce resource, and this may occur in less than five years, so we want to go into other directions, such as mining.

What makes Fabrimetal a special company in the industrial sector?

First, we buy more than 60% of our raw materials in the country, so we are not a major importer. Second, we support other industries and are a source of income for people who bring in the scrap to us. We receive 500 tons on average per day, and this represents an income for the families. We invest heavily in quality. In 2010, we started working in Angola, and until 2012 this market consumes of around 25,000 tons a month, and no one was producing in Angola; therefore, everything was imported. In 2014, we were producing 2,500-2,800 tons, and at the time imports were still strong because we were only starting. The crisis arrived, and someone needed to create the foundation to receive the local procurement and supply the local market. In 2015, we did a turnaround of our business, improving our management and investing in infrastructure. From 2015-2016, our revenue breakdown changed from 80% from the informal market to 60% formal. We opened the doors to the shift of the market. In 2015, we were producing 3,000 tons, and today we are reaching 12,000 tons.

How has Fabrimetal helped the development of its workers and their families?

When we started producing in Angola, the experience of human labor in our sector was zero, since in the past there was only one company producing steel. As a result, we became a training center of sorts. When we started, we employed people and taught them the nature of our work. Today, we are more focused on empowering people and giving them more benefits, which boosts retention. We have a cafeteria where they can have three meals a day, we have a medical assistance available 24 hours every day, and many more. We are committed to our people and their families. We are also trying to work with local communities near us, having local activities and improving their living conditions. Our people are important to us, and we want them to be happy working with us.

What are your plans in Angola?

Since 2010, we have slowly started to increase our capacity. Last year, we concluded an investment of USD25 million to increase our melting and processing capacity for scrap. We also improved the power supply, which did not allow us to fully produce according to our installed capacity. We have been around 60% of our full potential, but by the end of 2021 we will be able to use the total capacity. The next goal is to continue being innovative, staying ahead of the competition and continue to expand and build on our strengths, which are producing high-quality steel and complementary products, ensure transparency in our dealings with suppliers and clients, work hand in hand with our community and business partners, as well maintain the same level of integrity, principles, and transparency. In addition, we want to potentially look at mining iron ore as a substitute for our raw material, scrap.

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