A resilient Shumani looks forward to continued growth in 2024


While the industry is facing challenges that are stymieing economic growth and leading to unemployment, Shumani Industrial Equipment showed remarkable resilience in 2023. “We continued to provide employment and training our employees so as to be competitive in the market,” says Victor Nemukula, MD of the largest black-owned and managed industrial supplier of its kind in South Africa.

With customers slashing spending in the current business environment, Shumani’s strategy is to extend its service offering even further in 2024. “We are also looking at introducing new products to compete.” The focus for next year will be on port handling, forklift, and earthmoving equipment as the company strives to gain market share in these sectors.

Shumani is already experimenting with some AI tools in order to offer customised solutions to its customers, ranging from the initial ordering of equipment all the way to its aftermarket support. “We have big plans coming early next year,” comments Nemukula. In terms of trends, electric equipment continues to gain traction as the technology matures. “Digitisation to offer superior service is the way to go to standardise processes.”

Looking at ongoing challenges, Nemukula says low economic growth, political uncertainty, deterioration of public infrastructure, and the ever-present threat of rioting as experienced in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has impacted spending on new capital projects. “The business opportunities are ever shrinking.”

He adds that the specific sector in which Shumani operates has a serious skills shortage that is affecting economic growth and resulting in increased business costs. “The industry should look beyond individual company training programmes and rather pool all its resources to resolve the skills shortage,” argues Nemukula.

Shumani provides a wide range of industrial equipment under one roof. This diversification in terms of products ensures fully diversified revenue streams. With its new strategy being rolled out next year, prospects for 2024 look promising.

“The success of Shumani in 2023 can be exclusively attributed to the unwavering commitment and support of our staff. We are undoubtedly the fasted growing business in our industry. This feat was achieved through the incredible performance of our staff,” concludes Nemukula.