Exclusive interview with Cedrick Kalombo, Machines Head of Sales (Rental, Used and New) at Congo Equipment, a longstanding partner of DRC Mining Week and a returning gold sponsor at the event.
Let’s start with some background on Congo Equipment, what your services entail and where in the world you are active?
Congo Equipment is the exclusive Caterpillar dealer since 2007 following a merger between Tractafric Equipment and Barloworld Equipment. We distribute, service and maintain Caterpillar machinery, equipment and generators.
Any specific projects or success stories that you are particularly proud of and want to share?
Congo Equipment is proud to be established throughout the greater Katanga region and is working on agriculture, mining, and construction projects with great partners in the industry.
Where in Africa are you focusing for future growth?
Congo Equipment was created and designed to meet the infrastructure needs in the provinces of Haut-Katanga, Lualaba, Haut-Lomami and Tanganyika.
How important is the DRC for Congo Equipment? And the mining industry in particular?
DRC is considered the richest country globally in terms of natural resources with untapped minerals estimated to be worth over U.S. $24 trillion. The Katanga region where Congo Equipment is concerned which is rich in cobalt and copper.
How did Covid impact your operations? What did you learn from the pandemic?
The Covid period was probably very difficult, so we had less sales and therefore not a good turnover, but we learned about teleworking. The equipment supply chain was and continues to be hugely affected by the pandemic. Meeting customer needs and requirements is always our main priority. It has been through out-of-the-norm meticulous planning and organization that we are able to achieve this and stay afloat.
What is your vision for your operations in the DRC and the region? Are there particular challenges?
Our vision is to be the company of choice when it comes to the sales of new and used equipment, rental, repair, maintenance, fleet management and training, with technical staff solutions. Our main challenge was the sudden shift to the Chinese way of doing business. We have, however, adopted ways of dealing with the challenge.
What surprises you about the mining industry?
The resilience of the market despite the harsh economic times brought about by the pandemic and economic shut down. For example, the pandemic saw an increase in the demand for cobalt and copper despite a forecasted slump.
What will be your message at the upcoming DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi?
Together it is possible, choose our range of CAT machines to boost your productivity and ensure peace of mind in your operations.
How excited are you about being part of the first live DRC Mining Week since the pandemic?
We are looking forward to participating to showcase our products and services and find potential customers.
Anything you would like to add?
Participating in DRC Mining Week is a great opportunity for us to showcase our bespoke products and services to investors from all over the country and beyond.