Salinco International, Inc. is experiencing rapid transformation. Established in 2010, the company has expanded its client list with more reputable buyers, created new business relations, and built the capacity of its staff. All of this, Mr. Trokon Hutchison, General Manager of Salinco said, because of the tender notifications he receives via SMS and email.
“I started this business practically knowing nothing about what I was really going into. I didn’t understand the business culture and so many other things.” Mr. Hutchison said. “One day a friend also in the construction business, from Modern Construction Company told me about Building Markets, after I shared with him some of my fears and doubts.” His friend told him about Building Markets’ USAID Sustainable Marketplace Initiative Liberia (SMI-L). “He mentioned that Building Markets had helped him and so many other suppliers get trained in how to prepare bid documents and how SMI-L sends them tender notifications regularly.”
Hutchison contacted SMI-L to be verified. Soon after, Salinco was listed on the online Supplier Directory and began receiving tender
notifications. Hutchison also attended general procurement training.
Salinco has won two contracts through SMI-L tender notifications. The first was from Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin) and worth $20,804. The contract was for the construction of a clinic building in Sinoe County, Southeastern Liberia.
The second contract was with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for $134,301 to construct a mini-sports stadium in Sinoe County. Before winning these contracts the company had only three employees. After winning these contracts the company employs 10 full-time employees and two temporary hires.
“Before meeting SMI-L we had many struggles but all of that has changed,” Hutchison said. “Today we are securely positioned in the construction industry and our ability to get more contracts has increased because of SMI-L. We get more contracts than Modern Construction Inc., the company that introduced us to SMI-L. We want to be the head of the construction business in Liberia.”
Mr. Hutchison established Salinco International, after seeing the level of infrastructure devastation all over Liberia due to the 14 years-long civil war.
He began thinking of a way to help contribute to the rebuilding process of his
country. “Salinco International was birthed with the aim of providing reliable services in the infrastructure sector of Liberia,” Hutchison said. In the beginning Salinco International faced many challenges including growing competition in the crowded construction industry and understanding the construction season due to Liberia’s climate.
Hutchison attributes a lot of his company’s success to SMI-L services. He hopes SMI-L can continue to do more for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Liberia, such as helping SMEs get loans from banks, providing more trainings and
exposing SMEs to more buyers through Matchmaking events.