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Only local Lift maker to close shop

Only local Lift maker under pressure

Decries lack of national lift standards

After 45 years in the business, Dan Lift Technology Company, probably the only native lift-maker in the continent is said to be under tremendous pressures as adversities made it difficult for the company to carry on its previous level of operations.

Daniel Mebrahtu, owner and CEO of Dan Lift Technology, gave access to reporters to his factory located around Kality area, this week. He said that for the past 45 years his business has struggled with bureaucracy and red tape denying it access to finance and local markets.

The only bank that provided financing to his company over the years was the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). He argues both State-run and private banks refused to provide access for the reasons of unjustified business risks. Adding to that, deliberate exclusion and nonprofessional technical requirements have severely impacted its potential of becoming a continental business venture.

According to the CEO, the lack of unified local lift standards is making it difficult for the company to compete with numerous global lift makers and suppliers. Arguing that lift transport should be considered as a vertical transportation mechanism, Daniel says that public transportation needs a common operating standards.        

Dan Lift was formally transformed from a technocrat company some 18 years ago when it seized its manufacturing of traffic lights. Founded in 1974 as a handcrafts company, where it crafted ornaments, handmade bags, cotton fabrics and boxes,and later it went into making file cabinets, metal cupboards, and shelves, until the founder opted to flee to Kenya during the military regime. After spending eight years, Daniel came back to reinstate his business.

Currently, his company reached the potential of making 10 lift cabins per-day from making two in the earlier years. However, duty free access to importers who bring in a complete set of manufactured lifts from elsewhere, currently from China, has become the critical blow to Dan Lift Technology which could not even import accessories and spare parts.

So far,the company had manufactured and supplied some 3,000 units and was able to create 2,500 jobs but has struggled to scale-up wages and salaries, Daniel claims.

Despite the challenges, Daniel eagerly talks about the overall digitized operational platforms including in-house developed Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) software which is his contributions in the sector. However, some argue that the company lacks consistency in providing after-sale services and routine maintenances.