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Home truths challenge Award winner

“Recession and gloomy outlook do not deter those who have the zeal to try and succeed” is a statement that befits an Auckland based couple who scored success at a prestigious Awards ceremony last fortnight.

Sanjesh Lal and his wife Sangita were among the chosen few to share the limelight at the Westpac Auckland West Business Awards held at the Trusts Stadium in Henderson on October 17, 2013.

Their company Keola Homes won the Best Small Business Award, which recognised their commitment to quality, robust management and planned growth.

“If you ever need a challenge, start a house building company during recession, when people are not even building a fence,” Mr Lal said.

Establishing the Company in 2007 when financial strain was knocking at the doors of the world economy, he and his wife demonstrated their determination to succeed.

“Starting a business in such adverse conditions means you have to plan your finances and cash flow very carefully. Likewise, getting all your internal systems and processes running efficiently is essential. Time is money, and every little incremental change makes a difference to the bottom line. Since we had these challenges from Day One, we were encouraged to work smart as well as hard,” Mr Lal said.

Good team

Keola Homes is a family-run company, with a small complement of staff and works through 25 sub-contractors. Apart from Mr & Mrs Lal, the Company employs Project Managers Amrish (their nephew, a Civil Engineering Honours graduate) and Scott and their son Rohil, currently a student.

According to a press release, the Company specialises in designing and building architecturally-designed homes in Auckland, many of them on sloping or difficult sections. Keola Homes has won a number of Awards in previous years including ‘House of the Year Silver (2009) and Bronze (2008) and a Bronze in the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards (2013).

Prior to Keola Homes, Mr Lal spent 10 years working on large-scale civil engineering projects as a Chartered Civil Engineer and Registered Master Builder and Licensed Building Practitioner.

“I entered these Awards not expecting to win; all I was looking for was some feedback from the Judges, and to get benchmarked against other businesses. I had a feeling that we were doing some things well, but there are always improvements to be made. Winning the Best Small Business Award is a huge boost for the whole team; it shows that we’re heading in the right direction,” Mr Lal said.

Photo:

Scott, Amrish, Sangita, Sanjesh and Rohil Lal at the Westpac Awards Night

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