Hebatullah Brothers: From Small Shop In Biashara Street To Leading Glass Manufacturer In East Africa

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Hebatullah Brothers: From Small Shop In Bishara Street To Leading Glass Manufacturer In East Africa
Collage image of the first Hebatullah Brothers shop and their current headquarters in Embakasi. |Courtesy| HBL|

Hebatullah Brothers Limited is a leading importer, supplier and manufacturer of glass products in Kenya and the East African region. The company has over the years built expertise in the fields of residential, commercial, and industrial projects, making it one of the best in the construction industry in the region.

Despite now being well known in the local glass industry, the company began from scratch as a small shop on Biashara Street, Nairobi in 1930.

Hebatullah Brothers endured a turbulent 12 first years and later ventured into the construction industry in 1942 by taking jobs for buildings projects. In 1958, the company’s name became a regional household when they started a mirror work industry in East Africa.

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The company introduced a variety of advanced glass machinery in Kenya, and took a couple of years to complete their set up.

“It was a difficult task to import high-tech machinery but still, we did it to make our country more beautiful and modern.  We brought the first powder coating facility for architectural aluminum profiles to Kenya in 1986 and unlocked the freedom of custom color options for architects,” the company states on its official website.

In 1992, the Hebatullah Brothers introduced the Curtain Walling System. This was aimed at making the local architectural industry more aesthetically pleasing. Their first Curtain Wailling client was Posta Sacco Co-op.
Hebatullah Brothers: From Small Shop In Bishara Street To Leading Glass Manufacturer In East Africa
File image of the Hebatullah Brothers headquarters in Embakasi. |Courtesy| HBL|
HBL brought the technology from France to serve its clients for the best outcomes and to generate a trust level. Additionally, Central-Pivot windows and automated doors were done for the first time in Kenya by HBL for The Laico Regency Hotel.
The Hebatullah Brothers are responsible for some of the proudest moments in Kenya’s Glass industry.

In 2017, HBL added uPVC Division to fulfill the need of the market, and in 2018, the company’s Glass processing department was upgraded with Italian Machinery for best quality assurance in Polishing, Beveling, and Router Cutting.

Hebatullah Brothers later launched a toughening Plant with capabilities of tempering flat and curved glass. At the same time, the company also invested in an automated PVB Glass Lamination Plant to provide safer glass.

HBL introduced a Fully Automatic Machine for Sandblasted Mirrors and Shower Cubicles.

Since its establishment, the company has worked on building and construction projects across the country, and also produced glass products to the specification of the market demands, meeting the quality anticipated by their clients.

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Hebatullah Brothers boasts several divisions which are consolidated under one roof with its headquarters in Embakasi, Nairobi County. The establishment of separate divisions has enhanced the efficiency and robustness of HBL’s business operations.

The company has outlets in a number of major towns across the country including Nairobi, Mombasa, and Malindi, among others.

HBL’s product portfolio ranges from protective to decorative glass materials. The company deals with all varieties of building glass; high quality toughened glass assembly; laminated glass of varied thickness; curved glass; anti-bandit glass; bulletproof glass; engraved and beveled glass; and energy-saving double glazed glass for sound proofing and air conditioning. Because of their manufacturing ability, HBL provides competitive prices for glass products in the Kenyan market.

Aoart from the manufacture of glass, the company also operates steel and aluminium divisions.

The steel division specialises in the fabrication of steel windows and doors, wrought iron furniture, louvre frames and other structures depending on client specifications.

Hebatullah Brothers carries out its aluminium extrusions and fabrications under General Aluminium Fabricators Limited.

The company also has a paper manufacturing division which produces paper products to various printers and converters in Kenya and the larger East African market. HBL imports different varieties of paper and processes them to suit the local market. The paper plant is based in Nairobi.

HBL paper products include; newsprint, writing paper, bond paper NCR carbonless paper, self-adhesive paper, manila boards, ivory boards, embossed boards and printing plates.

Shabbir H. Hebatullah is the company’s Managing Director.

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