Spotlight Series: Devtraco Limited

devtraco limited, real estate

 

For over two decades Devtraco Limited has been building a variety of properties to suit every need. Currently, the company is constructing six open-plan land developments including Bellavilla, an open concept land development; Riverdale Cluster, a gated community of semi-detached homes; and Park Cluster, a community with larger homes. The units in these communities, along with those of Crystal Court, Heritage Court, and the unfinished Deligreen, are all sold out.

 

 

The latest venture being embarked on by Devtraco Limited is the East End Condominiums. It is anticipated to contain 400 two-bedroom units and will be situated in Tema. One challenge Mr. Larkai has observed is Ghanaians’ general disinterest in condos. “They want to own the land,” he said. “They want to own the space.”  According to him, foreigners usually comprise the bulk of the condominium clientele in Ghana, therefore Devtraco is venturing into new territory by seeking to break into the domestic market.

 

devtraco limited, real estate

 

As a company in Ghana, Devtraco Limited faces a number of challenges including the instability of the cedi which is a big hurdle. Another is the nation’s erratic electricity supply, also known as Dumsor. Although its effects on the real estate market might not seem apparent, it has some effect on Devtraco’s operations. The impacts of Dumsor have been chiefly limited to operational factors like length of time their offices can remain open and costs attached to refabricating glass panels and doorframes. Factors like depreciating exchange rates represent initial costs in real estate, and electricity as well as utilities under operational costs.

 

Largely, their sales have not been affected by the electricity crisis: “The power crisis is not affecting our sales.” Mr Larkai noted.

 

The company also produces most of its products (especially carpentered wood materials) in its factory headquarters and on-site (particularly concrete slabs and glass panes). “We have virtually a machine for everything,” he said. Despite this mechanization, Devtraco’s production has not been substantially hampered by Dumsor. Its concrete mixers, for example, are diesel powered, and its operations rely heavily on manpower. “Labor-intense models are what we’re working with,” he continued.

In its home design, Devtraco accounts for the evolving tastes and preferences of its consumers impacted by Dumsor. The firm has noticed growing demand for solar panels and alternative energy sources. According to Mr. Larkai, it boils down to local daily realities: “It’s about avoidance of Dumsor. It’s about necessity.”

 

In future, Devtraco hopes to embark on a new integrative energy project. One which would incorporate power supply into the design of the home, instead of it being an afterthought. Though he remains unsure of the scope of the projects and potential partners, Elvin Larkai hinted that biogas generated from raw materials might be part of the solution.

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