Kumasi, Ghana’s second metropolis, boasts what’s claimed to be the biggest market in West Africa at Kejetia. Essentially the most profitable lady dealer in every main commodity is designated the queen of that section of the market. Thus one can discover a ‘shoe queen’ or a ‘cleaning soap queen.’ If the various engineering entrepreneurs of Kumasi have been to undertake the identical follow, Solomon Adjorlolo would undoubtedly be elected king of that area.
Solomon Adjorlolo was a technician engineer on the physics division of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Expertise (KNUST), Kumasi, however his ambition was to begin his personal enterprise. He started in 1971 by making fundamental physics devices to promote to secondary faculties. Helped by Dr Frank Lukey, an English physics lecturer, Solomon began his enterprise in Dr Lukey’s storage on the KNUST campus. Because the enterprise expanded and some fundamental woodworking machines have been acquired Solomon determined to discover a workshop at Anloga, a suburb of Kumasi with a big neighborhood of carpenters and the place he had household connections.
Wooden was not the one materials utilized in Solomon’s early work nevertheless it featured in most of his merchandise. He diversified into producing extra picket merchandise like main faculty educating aids, drawing boards and tee squares. At first, the shoppers shopping for these merchandise have been personal faculties run by the church buildings which paid their payments promptly, however to additional develop the enterprise Solomon was pressured to hunt orders from state faculties. Informed to gather cost from the Ministry of Schooling, the cash both got here very late or by no means. He determined that the enterprise could not go on like that and he should discover new markets.
It was then that Solomon contacted the Expertise Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the college. The TCC was demonstrating metallic machining and welded metal plant development and providing coaching and entry to machine instruments, so Solomon determined to show to metallic manufacturing. By means of this programme, in 1979, he was provided with machine instruments: lathes, a milling machine, welding and sawing machines. Solomon determined to formally register his enterprise and altered its identify to SIS Engineering Ltd.
Surrounded by a whole bunch of carpentry workshops, the brand new firm was generally requested to undertake repairs on imported bench saws, planers and woodturning lathes. Solomon observed that just a few of the larger workshops may afford these imported machines and there was an enormous market on his doorstep for regionally produced machines offered at inexpensive costs. He started making bench saws and woodturning lathes and located that establishing machines was rather more worthwhile than any of his earlier ventures.
After a couple of years virtually each workshop in Carpenters’ Row, Anloga, had an SIS bench noticed and a number of other workshops have been working with 4 or extra SIS woodturning lathes making 1000’s of furnishings legs and the favored double-ended pestle known as an ‘ata’ (twin). Not solely in Kumasi however all through the nation, SIS machines have been gaining a popularity for sturdiness and environment friendly after-sales service. Along with decrease value, having the ability to provide spare components and repairs at quick discover proved a significant benefit in competitors with imported tools.
By the mid Nineteen Eighties, SIS was producing rather more than woodworking machines. The post-harvest and meals processing business was a big potential marketplace for inexpensive locally-produced machines. SIS produced a variety of machines for milling corn, processing cassava and extracting palm oil and shea butter. Because the work progressed the machines grew bigger to achieve an industrial scale, with multi-tonne-a-day feed mills for big poultry farms, vegetable oil mills and steam distillation vegetation producing fragrance from citronella and lemon grass.
Though Solomon was now producing plant for fairly giant enterprises he by no means misplaced his concern for serving to the small-scale casual sector industries. Serving to conventional girls’s teams producing fundamental foodstuffs was all the time one in all his priorities. For instance, the favored meals product ‘gari’ was constructed from cassava by teams of ladies utilizing easy hand instruments and charcoal stoves. When he was requested to supply a mechanical plant for a male entrepreneur he was nervous that the ladies may be pushed out of enterprise. He consulted the TCC, and dealing with the Nationwide Council on Girls and Improvement (NCWD), assist businesses have been alerted to the hazard and lots of the girls’s teams have been provided with the brand new know-how.
By the late Nineteen Eighties, lots of the orders for meals processing tools got here on to SIS Engineering from improvement businesses selling rural and girls’s industries. Not needing the TCC as a go-between Solomon was serving to the TCC greater than the TCC was serving to SIS. He was concerned within the improvement of latest machines, coaching apprentices and contributing to educating workshops, seminars and quick programs held on the college. Nevertheless, remaining a number one member of the TCC Shoppers Affiliation, Solomon Adjorlolo all the time maintained that with out the recommendation of the TCC to vary to metallic manufacturing, and the availability of machine instruments on easy-payment phrases, none of his success would have been attainable.