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Zamir Ibraimo

CEO, Daimic Motors

"The Legatus Group in Angola owns Daimic Motors, Luanda Moagens, Leggus and Trilénia."
Daimic Motors is part of a multi-business group with activities in automotive, food production, and mining, all of which make an important contribution to the economy.
The group has been in existence since the 1980s. Can you elaborate on the evolution of the company since its establishment and the brands it represents?

ZAMIR IBRAIMO The Legatus Group in Angola owns Daimic Motors, Luanda Moagens, Leggus and Trilénia. We are a family group with businesses in several countries around the world and in different sectors. We started in Angola in 1988 with Imporáfrica, which is present in several sectors, including vehicle trade, agricultural machinery, and civil construction, among other areas. In 2011, we focused on the automotive sector, making Daimic Motors an autonomous company from the rest of the family business, representing several brands such as Citroën, Changan, Haima, Maxus, SYM for motorcycles, Total lubricants, and Kumho Tires. Today, we are positioned as the fifth-largest importer of vehicles in Angola. We currently have a team of more than 200 people, with three open showrooms and three workshops where we provide aftersales services, parts, and accessories. In 2020, our range of investments expanded to the food industry and the exploration of aggregates, both in the secondary sector, but with high value for the Angolan economy. We believe in the country, and for that reason, even in the midst of the recession and the pandemic, we continued to invest in the belief that our projects would benefit Angola.

What innovative technologies do you bring to the country?

ANSAR IBRAIMO We are looking at the new phase of automation and electrical vehicles. We want to be ready if the market tomorrow wants to move toward more environmentally friendly initiatives. We are also ready to bring in electrical vehicles.

ZI In terms of technology, we are developing a better digital experience with online-friendly showroom layouts, revamped websites, online test drive and service bookings, mobile apps, and so on. All these are part of our plans of digital transformation. We want to have customer login access so they can access all this information at their convenience.

What should be done to improve the Angolan automotive industry?

ZI There are three areas to consider to boost the automotive industry. The first is the need for financial products to encourage the purchase of cars, with more appealing prices. There is a large number of vehicles that need replacing, but people find it difficult to obtain financing, which makes car purchases close to impossible. For SMEs, leasing and renting are also financial products. There are still financial institutions that do not have either of the two products in the market, while others have leasing at the bare minimum. The second point is that companies should not limit themselves solely and exclusively to the import and sale of vehicles, but also instill in customers the importance of assistance and aftersales. The third is the need for stronger implementation of inspection checks by the authorities to minimize the number of unsafe cars in circulation, which cause many road accidents. Without such inspection, it will become impossible for unsafe cars to be on the roads, and this will force their owners to carry out more adequate maintenance or, in some cases, even replace their vehicles.

Could you elaborate more on Luanda Moagens?

AI We started with the import of wheat flour because we saw a good market for it, and we also wanted to return to our origins, which was trading of food products. In 2016, we started importing this product under a newly created FAMILYA brand, though in 2018 there were some restrictions applied to importers to protect national industry. After these restrictions and following the executive’s strategic plan for the diversification of the Angolan economy, we intensified our preexisting plans to invest in a mill. In 2019, we started the necessary partnerships with international investors to acquire an unfinished mill as well as qualified staff in the sector and operational experience in such industrial machinery. Even with COVID-19, we finished the factory in 2020, including the infrastructure works and the rehabilitation of the production lines, and started producing in 2022. Currently, there is some competition in the market, with several industries already implemented and others to be created, which is healthy for the market. Our goal is to produce wheat flour for Angolan bakeries—we have a specific market segment. We know our brand will soon be part of Angolan dining tables.

What is the purpose of your company Leggus?

AI Leggus is a project that we partnered with because of our know-how. Our product is mainly for the construction sector, as we know there is still much to build and rebuild in Angola. The construction sector is promising, and there is enormous potential in public infrastructure. Our products can be used for paints, though we need to carry out more R&D to get the right product, as one of our principles is the quality of the products and services we present to the market. We are working to become a significant player in the extractive sector of the mining sector. This is just the beginning for us.

How does the group intend to position itself in the medium term?

ZI In terms of Daimic Motors, we want to be a reference in the automotive sector in supplying all of the country’s mobility needs. We have been the option of choice for the public and private sectors in terms of the supply of multi-brand vehicles that we import from all over the world, with an increasingly assertive penetration with Changan, our flagship brand that we have been representing exclusively in Angola for over 13 years. The values that hold our commercial relationships are strict compliance with agreements and customer satisfaction at the time of purchase and in the support of after-sales assistance, which has made a key difference. In the other two industries, we want both to grow in a sustained way and gain their space in the market. We want this growth to also mature and play a bigger role in the value chain of the sector of the activity in which they are inserted.

Do you plans to expand these brands across Angola?

MOHSIN IBRAIMO We want to be represented in the provinces with the highest populations. For Daimic Motors, in 4Q2022 we started an expansion by opening a dealer in the province of Benguela, specifically in Lobito. Strategically, we want to be in Lubango/Namibe by 2023. It is a province with extremely rapid growth, due to its proximity to the sea and excellent land for agricultural exploration and animal husbandry. In terms of the food industry, we intend to have a distribution network throughout the national territory.

Are you also looking at expanding overseas?

MI We already have some investments underway in other countries in the real estate sector; however, we want to focus on these three businesses in Angola in a sustainable way, fully implemented while improving our procedures and continued training for our staff. After the consolidation and maturity of the nascent industries, we are aware of the geographic advantages of the SADC Protocol on Trade, where we will expand, as well as the surrounding land countries, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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