Inara Investments Ltd | Company Profiles

Moving the Continent

Inara Investments Limited is a one-stop logistics service provider. We peel back the layers on the company’s international ambitions and competitive advantage

Screenwriter: Phoebe Harper | Project manager: Thomas Arnold

Transportation services are the vital lifeline that keeps industries moving. In Central and East Africa, the challenges are many and business is not always easy to deliver goods to landlocked countries.

“The transport sector itself is a bit lacking in infrastructure at the moment, especially in rail transport. As such, there is a huge demand for trucking in East Africa,” opens Mrs. Shelina Jetha, Managing Director of Inara Investments Limited (Inara).

As a transport specialist with significant strengths in trucking, Inara is the link that meets the critical need to connect landlocked countries across Central Africa. With the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and South Africa all relying primarily on imported products, Inara fills a vital need in the continental supply chain.

“We are the best in the market – if you are talking about something new in transport or logistics services in East or Central Africa, Inara should always be one of the main talking points,” she continues.

Inara was incorporated in Zambia in 2003. Since then the company has grown to establish a regional footprint, with complementary services and operational entities in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Mozambique and DRC. The company’s extensive service offering encompasses transportation, logistics, customs clearance services and shipping.

“We all have our own trucks that provide transport services from various ports in Africa to destinations in Central Africa. We focus on the East African region, mainly from the Port of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and the Port of Beira, Mozambique to various destinations across Zambia and DRC,” says Jetha.

Inara also has warehousing facilities at many of these port locations, so customers can reliably and securely store their goods until they need them. Partner of choice, Inara is there to play its role of interface with the local tax authorities for customs clearance and the movement of goods in transit.

A major specialty of Inara is loading services at various copper mines across Zambia, enjoying a successful working relationship with mining giants, Mopani Copper Mines Plc and Kansanshi Mines Plc. Operating out of Kitwe and Solwezi respectively, as one of the main logistics service providers for the two mines, Inara transports approximately 20,000 tonnes per month of copper cathodes from Zambia to the port of Beira in Mozambique, and to Dar es Salaam port and other warehouses in Tanzania.

The company’s various assets include approximately 150 trucks to operate routes to/from Beira, over 350 trucks in Tanzania, 20 forklifts, cranes and several vans, with expansion plans underway to improve infrastructure enterprise load management.

“The majority of our trucks are new and we make them obsolete in five years. In this way, we ensure that our fleet is optimized and our contribution to pollution is minimized. We are strong supporters of the “Go Green” community.

THE INARA ADVANTAGE

“At Inara, we are focused on providing our customers with unparalleled end-to-end logistics services through our expertise and knowledge across Central and East Africa. We are a leading provider of integrated logistics and warehousing solutions in Central and East Africa with nearly two decades of experience.

“We offer warehousing as well as end-to-end logistics solutions such as customs clearance, transportation and freight forwarding.”

Quality and consistency are two characteristics that define Inara’s operations in the provision of all ancillary services. In such a competitive industry, reputation and integrity are paramount.

“More than the actual services we provide, we want to be recognized for the quality of those services. The industry we are currently working in is competitive with many market players,” says Jetha.

Inara prides itself on providing a personal touch. As Jetha says, “we are always in touch with our customers, and they know they can contact us at any time.”

Although it often means going the extra mile, working around the clock to meet a customer’s needs at all times is only part of Inara’s service.

“We strive for deadlines and professionalism, always providing everything the customer needs. Our people and our motto are built with resilience, and therefore give that personal touch to every client to keep them satisfied with our work. At any time of the day, even the smallest work is done with the greatest zest. »

Inara’s greatest differentiators and competitive strengths are not only in the quality of service, but also in the speed and consistency with which they deliver.

“We provide services with minimal delay – if we undertake transport and customs clearance, we ensure that the goods reach their destination in the fastest and safest way possible, bearing in mind that all areas of compliance are maintained, including transparency,” she shares proudly.

Underlying Inara’s logistical prowess is a highly dedicated, professional and trained workforce.

“At Inara, we believe in fostering the local community and so we pay special attention in our company’s hiring process to the local workforce,” comments Jetha.

In doing so, the company leverages local expertise while adding value to the community. Currently, with a staff of approximately 100 across all operations, approximately 90% of staff are from local communities.

“We believe in growing the local community – you can always find great talent locally,” she says. “It’s also cost-effective, but more importantly, it creates an opportunity for local communities to learn and grow with us. The resulting factor is that most of our employees prefer to continue with the company for a longer period. ”

Safety and health education is of the utmost importance at Inara. The team is fully briefed on the health and safety protocols to be followed when handling cargo or using any equipment on site. At Inara, the company ensures that the team in the field is fully equipped to handle minerals with a view to health and well-being. During this time, the workshop team ensures that the equipment is up to standard and maintained regularly to avoid mechanical accidents.

“We have an experienced team with a strong industry background, and we are also nurturing new talent into the industry. New talent undergoes one-on-one educational training on the industry, process, and most importantly, Inara’s work ethic and morals.

“The trained staff are under the constant supervision and guidance of the experienced members of our team. At Inara, we believe in creating opportunity and bringing new ideas by acquiring and educating new talent.

BOLD AMBITION

Inara is currently on a major expansion trajectory striving to become a one stop shop for the provision of all logistics services in Africa.

Along with this, Inara hopes to establish an international reputation with an increasingly global presence. Although its operations are currently tied to Africa, the company strives to have a stake in the global logistics market and a reputation to match.

“We want to be recognized globally, not just in Africa. Eventually, we hope to become a multinational.

During this ambitious journey, Inara plans to invest in new assets, including land at various locations in the region, heavy vehicles such as cranes and forklifts, a fleet of new trucks, vans to help mining operations and road patrols, and finally the regional offices necessary for efficient functioning.

With trucking demand at an all-time high, this will effectively position Inara as a logistics partner of choice while increasing its operational capabilities. Apart from increasing transport capacities, other key areas to focus on include handling various products, increasing warehousing capacities and a container terminal.

“We are pleased to announce that we have recently introduced additional warehousing capacity in Lusaka which now handles a variety of products.”

In the area of ​​various opportunities, Inara is tapping into the ramp-up of manufacturing in East Africa, adding more warehouses, equipment and infrastructure to be able to meet this demand.

“At Inara, we are constantly looking for new ideas, new opportunities and are very bold in our approach towards the same,” Jetha tells us.

“We want to be known in this industry just by our name itself.”