B5 Plus: Mukesh Thakwani Discusses the Importance of Promoting Products Made in Ghana

In this exclusive interview, business leader Mukesh Thakwani talks about the importance of promoting products made in Ghana and banning cheap imports in the country. He also talks about B5 Plus competitive advantages, latest news, future plans and developments, and shares his philosophy on CSR.

Interview with Mukesh Thakwani, Founder and CEO of B5 Plus Ltd

Mukesh Thakwani, Founder and CEO of B5 Plus Ltd

What is blocking the development of products made in Ghana?

The government policies should be very strict on the goods that we are able to produce here in Ghana and they should put a ban on the goods coming in which we are able to produce, not only for the Ghana market, but for the whole West African market. For example, there are products which B5 Plus is producing, and which are self-sufficient for the Ghana market as well as the whole region: products for pre-engineering building such as tankers, trailers, plus any type of prefab materials coming into Ghana. We are also the biggest producers of wire nails, binding wire, galvanized mesh and tubes up to three inches. The Ghana government should put an immediate ban on the entry of materials that we can produce here so that we are able not only to produce more, but also create thousands of employment, while saving the foreign currency as well. We will be doing some value additions here, and I think it is very important that we protect these industries. When we begun 20 years ago, the number of nail industries that were here were unbelievable, and we used to support them by supplying them with raw material. Today, there is a lot of smuggling going on with cheap products, like people bringing in toilet rolls, tiles, wire nails or steel plates, and that is killing the business.

What is causing these blockings?

Honestly, we do not understand what is causing the blocking because we have given facts and figures to the officials, and we just hope and pray that actions will be taken in good time. Sometimes, exemptions are also given for the goods which are produced right here in Ghana, and that is killing the business, because we pay 5% to import the raw material, while there are some companies who are getting a 100% exemption on the finished product, and that is the biggest challenge for us today.

What is your competitive advantage?

B5 Plus has put up a state of the art industry for PEB. It is not only the biggest in Ghana, but this is the biggest industry in the whole of West Africa where we are able to produce all types of steel and fabricate any type of product, from residential buildings, to industrial warehouses, tankers, trailers or any type of housing. We have just built a hostel and we recently built a mall. We are able to build anything related to that, and it goes across any type of industries. We have put up state of the art machinery. We have training centers, and we are putting up our expertise. So we are looking at producing competitive goods at your doorstep with the record timeline that we are able to build with. We only require the government policy to stop cheap imports which are coming from different parts of the world, and stop giving any type of exemptions on pre-engineering building. That will solve the problem. Before, we were running a 24 hour shift, but today, we are only running a 12 hour shift, and that means we are only producing 25% of our capacity which is very sad. The Ghana government is giving exemptions and allowing the importations to happen, and we are taking orders from Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. We are exporting everywhere. In Ghana, we have been giving exemptions and less duty, and allowing the importation of finished products to come in which should stop. So we plead with the government to look into this and see how we can try to stop this cheap importation, while at the same time, creating value and saving our US dollars, as that is the most important thing about foreign currencies.

Tell us one of your recent success stories.

Ghana is a wonderful place to do business, because geographically, we are located in a wonderful place and the people of Ghana make a huge difference as well. Ghana is a true law abiding country. Today, if you want to bring any goods from ECOWAS it is very difficult. If you want to export goods from Ghana to Ivory Coast, you cannot export the goods by road, you have to take them by sea, and that adds an additional cost. This is another plea we have for the government to look into, because the industries are going through a tough time. If you want to import anything from Ivory Coast to Ghana, it is so simple and so easy, you can do it by road. But if you ever try to export goods from Ghana to Ivory Coast, it is very difficult. Your trucks will be parking at the border for months on end. So they just want their goods to come by port. If the government looks into this, to make sure that all our borders are also open for Ghana business houses, as they are open for other countries to bring their goods to Ghana, this will help a lot.

What were the highlights of the evening at the award ceremony that you had this weekend in Tema?

B5 Plus always gives back to the society in multiple ways. We believe that education is the best form. We have been organizing a lot of blood camps, medical camps, eye camps, sports camps, supporting various organizations. We are also the promoter of DPS International school in Tema, which is one of the best schools being awarded by many institutions, and we are very proud to say that this year, again, we were the top in the IGCSC schools and out of 32 awards, DPS won 14 awards at the national level. Currently, the interschool competitions are going on. We are also the champion of badminton, table tennis, swimming, and many more competitions. We are the current champion of the Spelling Bee competition, art competition, and many others which we have one this year. It was a celebration for the students. It was making them proud of what they had achieved and everyone who made it to the top in the academic or non-academic fields were awarded for that. There was a cultural program as well by the students, to show that DPS International Ghana is not only about academic, it is also involved with the extracurricular activities, where we excel upon and give back to the society to prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

What are the benefits from having all these awards?

B5 Plus has been getting many awards yearly. Recently, I was awarded in India, at the Global Asian of the Year award, and we are also a part of the Ghana Club 100, where we received an award from GIPC. We also got the Steel Industry of the Year award, and many more. We are so proud to be receiving these awards. It always keeps us on toes, making sure that we have to continue doing good work as a team, which is delivering quality steel products, not only into the Ghanaian market, but also to the whole West African market, at a competitive rate, bringing the value chain and trying to produce more and more in Ghana.

What are your future projects?

B5 Plus would like to produce more goods in Ghana, steel products specifically. We are looking into expansion. As our new steel plant in Lorpklenu was opened by his excellence Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, I will request the government to see that the exemptions under 1D1F for B5 Plus should be cleared, so that will motivate us to produce more and more goods. We want to make sure that, in the next few years, all steel products will be produced right here in Ghana, and not only for the Ghana market, but for the whole of Africa and beyond. B5 Plus will be very keen to get into the hospitality and medical service industry as well. As I said earlier, Ghana is a wonderful place to do business in. I am sure that, currently with the microeconomics, things will get much better as the government is putting up a lot of efforts. So we look forward to seeing a better future for Ghana and produce more products right here and make Ghana proud.

Tell us more about your CSR policy.

B5 Plus always loves to give back to the society. This is our corporate responsibility as well. During COVID, for more than two years, B5 Plus opened its door for supply of free oxygen to all government and private hospitals, not only giving them the services during the day, but 24 hours. Any hospital could bring in empty cylinders, and we would fill the oxygen for them, and at the same time provide PPE kits and free food packages to the community, and supporting various different social organizations. I feel proud to be part of B5 Plus and contributing to the society makes us feel good. B5 Plus will keep striving for the good and help in every little way we can to make Ghana a better place.


  • WEBSITE: www.b5plus.com
  • ADDRESS: Kpone Barrier, Aflao Road, Opp. Kingdom Transport, Tema, Ghana
  • CONTACT: (+233) 244 331 635 / (+233) 244 342 600 / (+233) 244 333 511 / (+233) 544 313 204
  • EMAILS: info@b5plusgroup.com / sales@b5plusgroup.com







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