Unicon Development is a leader in design and construction, delivering turnkey solutions to African clients. Founded in 2001 by President Serge Pereira, the company has developed the capacity, resources and inclination to offer its customers responsive and high-quality, design, build and financial solutions.
Over the last 10 years, the company’s approach has centered on sustainable development, advanced technology and quality. Pereira is a Congolese citizen and a former investment banker. Educated in the U.S. he has a unique viewpoint of the African construction market in sectors such as Education, Real Estate, and Hospitality. Before starting Unicon Development, his father owned a construction firm in Africa so with Pereira’s financial background and the knowledge of the local construction market, he created a local company with international standards and resources.
“I have always been interested in how the construction market was fairing in Africa. Talking to my father I recognised a lot of problems, for example some Foreign contractors were controlling the market but not providing a quality product,” explains Pereira. “I decided to take the best of our experience and offer a quality service to customers in Africa. Today Unicon offer turnkey solutions to the market and can take projects from market analysis to completion in sectors such as Education, Real Estate, and Hospitality; we even help secure finance.”
Sustainable socio-economic development
Serge Pereira is not just focused on construction however; they want to have a positive socio-economic impact on the regions in which the company operates. The company has extensive experience when it comes to delivering primary, secondary and tertiary education projects – something it has been passionate about from day one. “Education represents the foundations of economic development and is one the pillars of Unicon’s values,” says Pereira.
Its projects range from K-12, boarding schools, educational complexes, to the kind of large-scale developments it undertook for the American University of Central Africa.
“Our success is the result of our collaborative approach. We work with both government and private sector clients to create educational facilities tailored for their objectives,” he says.
As well as developing educational establishments, the company also operates a division called Unicon Social Actions, the mission of which is to ‘facilitate sustainable socio-economic development in Africa’s disadvantaged communities’.
“We strongly believe in development through education,” says Pereira. “Education is the most powerful and effective tool to empower people and transform lives. It brings independence, innovation and prosperity.”
Through Unicon Social Actions, the company helps improve the quality of life, health and education of local men, women and children by providing opportunities to the community, generating employment, improving professional skills and labor conditions.
“We created a sport program that provides children with training facilities and coaching, allowing them to develop confidence, athletic and leadership skills while discovering new sports. We take pride in contributing to the revitalization of communities and to the well-being of its residents,” says Pereira.
Good starts from within
At Unicon, good starts from within. The company offers its employees education opportunities, training and progression within the business. “Our people are critical to ongoing development,” says Pereira. “We have a young team and really put an emphasis on education.
“We believe in internal promotion and encourage our employees to think like entrepreneurs. We want people to feel part of the business; they can offer their thoughts and input, make changes and move the business forward with hard work. We also have a bonus and profit share scheme because it inspires a culture of dedication. This entrepreneurial spirit has really moved the business forward,” he says.
“As a company we pride ourselves in wearing the logo on our chests. We are dedicated to offering an honest product and all of our employees support this aim. Sadly, in Africa, many people take advantage of the lack of control, but we pride ourselves in being honest and being different,” he says.
Looking to the future
Moving forward, Unicon is dedicated to facilitating growth in Africa but also further afield. Already the business has branched out to United Arab Emirates and Spain and will continue to do so, using the African business plan as a blueprint. “We are a construction firm first and foremost,” says Pereira. “But we want good quality products and projects in Africa and across the globe. We want to promote quality as a company and as a corporate citizen.”