Vinita Kotedia has been appointed Head of Research for Broll East Africa and Moses Lutalo as Head of Occupier Services in Rwanda and Uganda. Kotedia and Lutalo bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge in their respective fields.
Commenting on the appointments, Gordon Bell, Head of East Africa Operations for Broll Property Group says: “We believe these appointments are positive for Broll East Africa and the Group and are consistent with our strategy of recruiting and developing local talent. “Kotedia and Lutalo have vast experience and local knowledge both having worked in East Africa property and consulting firms. Their leadership and experience bodes well for Broll given the growing need to provide our clients with tailor-made real estate solutions to suit their management and investment needs.”
A Loughborough University UK International Economics graduate, Kotedia has strong commercial property experience and research skills. She has worked as Head of Research and Macro Economic & Fixed Income Research Analyst at Genghis Capital Investment Bank and as a Commercial Property Consultant at Pam Golding Properties.
“It’s a pleasure to join the Broll team in Kenya and I am looking forward to collaborating research output with the efforts made by other divisions to strengthen and expand Broll’s business within the East African region. “We are also experiencing a lack of quality real estate data analysis in the region, and I aim to fill that gap with informative research insights,” says Kotedia.
Lutalo has over 11 years’ experience and progressive growth in directing all aspects of real estate investment value chain particularly giving independent opinion on feasibility and viability analysis of commercial, residential, Hospitality, retail and industrial developments in the East African Region. He is a qualified Urban & Regional Planner from Makerere University in Kampala. Prior to joining Broll, Lutalo was the Head of Commercial and Residential Portfolio at Knight Frank Rwanda and Uganda and has held senior positions there. He has also worked as Country Property Manager for UAP Old Mutual Group in Uganda and Real Estate Analyst for the National Social Security Fund in Uganda.
“I’ve been watching the growth of Broll Property Group in East Africa and am excited to join the group and most importantly, to further develop the Occupier Services extensive service line in Rwanda and Uganda. “I am fortunate to be joining a respected company that values both top quality service and cutting-edge technology,” says Lutalo.
Bell says the additional resources are a real need to meet client expectations in our markets and a tribute to Broll in its ability to attract and develop key strategic skills and become an employer of choice in the local property market.
Investing in East Africa
Economic fundamentals remain sound in East Africa and following Kenya’s elections in August, we believe the steady growth will continue, explains Bell. The property market in Kenya has seen tremendous growth evident through the number of developments launched and under construction. The growth spans from the residential subsectors to industrial, retail and office subsectors thanks to economic growth, burgeoning middle class, improved infrastructure and devolution. The office sector in particular has remained relatively stable in the first half of 2017, with rental figures and occupancies remaining fairly unchanged.
“We anticipate this to persist towards the end of the year as the effects of the general elections wear off. “Potential office occupiers remain cautious with regards to office uptake prior to the general elections which brings with it massive uncertainties as well as concerns over a possible change in regime,” points out Bell.
He explains that the real estate market in Uganda is currently going through challenging times especially relating to property rates for commercial properties that have been revised by Kampala Capital City Authority amid protests from some landlords, proposed capping of rent payment in Uganda shillings, proposed move by Buganda Land Board to issue 49 year leases to all sitting tenants, petition by former tenants of Naguru Estate to take back their land following delays in project execution not to mention the proposed tenant landlord bill all of which have created uncertainty in the real estate industry.
Despite these challenges, the commercial and the retail sectors continue to attract new investment against a back drop of good rental yields and positive outlook. Although the financial woes facing major retailer Nakumatt continue to be a challenge for many malls anchored by this retailer, we are seeing traction from international retailers such as Terranova, Mango, Food Lovers Market, Tesco, Carrefour and Rock Point and this is a very strong indicator for the prospects of the retail sector in Uganda, explains Bell.
“Overall, East Africa remains firmly on the radar for many real estate investors and we urge investors to take a long-term approach when investing in the region and also use reputable consultancy firms such as ourselves to gain understanding and knowledge of the various East Africa markets before making any investment commitments,” adds Bell.