NATAL Sheetmetal Industries and its two associated businesses -Blue Sands Trading and Steelcity
Merchants – recently completed the move to its new premises in Isipingo Rail. The move, which was
necessitated by expansion across all three businesses, is testament to the group’s continued growth and
success – and it marks a new consolidated era for this leading KZN operation. Natal Sheetmetal
(NSI) was established in 1994 by Ahmed Akoo and his two sons, Shiraz and Nizam.The company initially
specialised in the manufacture of steel door frames and galvanized rainwater products. Then in 2004, the
operation expanded into the manufacture of steel window frames under the name Blue Sands trading.This was
followed in 2007 by the launch of Steelcity Merchants, which manufactures square and rectangular tubing and
pipes as well as corrugated roofsheeting and IBR sheets.
Today, the companies provide a one-stop-shop solution for all sheet metal needs, with all products
aligned to industry needs and requirements. With the move of all manufacturing to the plant in Isipingo Rail,
all operations are now housed in one, secure and conveniently-positioned location. “This means improved
efficiencies and greater control across the board,” explains director, Shiraz Akoo. Today, the day-to-day
operation of all three businesses is handled by Shiraz and Nizam, with Ahmed filling an advisory role major
decision-making.They are supported by staff members who are dedicated, skilled and efficient, many of whom
have been with NSI since its inception. “We are like one big happy family, with everyone working towards the
same goal and management being fully hands-on,” continues Shiraz.
The companies’ supply direct to the retail sector and service the whole of KwaZulu-Natal as well as
the Eastern Cape, Swaziland, Lesotho and Bostwana, with reps personally calling on prospective customers to
canvass new business. This face-to-face contact with customers is a hallmark of NSI and sets it apart from
many of its competitors. “One-on-one contact with our customers is very important, even if we have been doing business with them for many years.As a result, most
of the people we do business with today have been loyal customers since the beginning – and many know us
NSI, Blue Sands Trading and Steelcity Merchants have all been built on the values of honesty,
quality and service – and according to Shiraz, it is their commitment to maintaining these values that
ensures the on going success of the businesses.
As for future developments, the Akoo brothers are aiming to achieve SABS Approval on a selection of
their products and are also looking to expand their Pretoria window frame plant to include the manufacture of
door frames and tubing.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal staff members for their hard work,
honesty and loyalty over the years, which has enabled the businesses to grow from strength to strength,”