December 22, 2018

Improved physical infrastructure key to business growth — Binatone Boss

Improved physical infrastructure key to business growth  — Binatone Boss

Prasun Banerjee

By Moses Nosike

A household equipment brand, Binatone rings a bell in an average home in Nigeria and beyond. The brand started operation in the United Kingdom in 1958 and just like yesterday, company is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Prasun Banerjee

In a get-together with friends of the brand and media, the Managing Director of Global Appliances Nigeria Limited (Binatone), Mr Prasun Banerjee, said in this interview with Moses Nosike that Binatone has operated in Nigeria for 45 years and has no regrets being in Nigeria because he sees nothing wrong in doing business in the country even though there is still need to improve physical infrastructure for the ease of doing business. Excerpts:

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How long has Binatone been  in the Nigerian business environment?

Binatone is 60 years on old and we are celebrating our 60th anniversary this year. It started in UK in 1958 and in Nigeria we have been here for 45 years. Binatone is a household name in Nigeria competing favourably. Basically, we operate in three categories of product: Fan products – standing fans, celling fans, table fans etc. Another category is kitchen appliances, blenders, kettles toast machines etc. and electrical appliances like stabilizer, UPS etc. Our products carry two years warranty.

How strong are Binatone products in the market?

Though Nigeria has been facing challenges in the last three years, but we have been applying the best form of strategy to ensure that Binatone products remain strong and competitive, and we have not relented in improving the quality of our household products to serve our customers better. This is why we are succeeding. We have also be doing our best to ensure that we offer our customers best quality of service delivery to ensure that customers have value for their money and this has contributed to our success story.

What is the staff strength of Binatone in Nigeria?

We have direct and indirect employees in the company, in finance, logistics, marketing, supply chain departments. Binatone has branches in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Onitsha, and as the company keeps expanding and growing, we keep creating more jobs for Nigerians and this is important anywhere we operate.

How is your company coping with epileptic power supply?

Actually it is affecting every business operation in Nigeria, forcing the cost of production to go high. If power is fixed, Nigeria is a better place to do business. Presently, the use of generator for business is common in Nigeria and it has a side effect for every business. But we are doing business.

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What do you think government can do to boost business in Nigeria?

Business in Nigeria needs good road network system and when that is done, it will enable the easy of doing business in the country and boost the economy. Because of the bad roads, conveyance of goods seem to be delayed. For instance when goods arrive at the port, it takes two to three weeks to clear your consignment before taking it to the market for sales. There are a lot of delays and congestions. Duties, levies and multiple taxes should be looked into to help business thrive because if business thrives, it contributes to the growth of the economy.

However, government have a role to play on infrastructure to boost development and attract foreign investment.

Doing business in Nigeria…

Doing business in Nigeria is good. We have a robust banking system. The necessary requirement as long as business is concern is here. The critical area for improvement is physical infrastructure and once that is taken care of, Nigeria is there in the comity of nations as great nation and robust investment  destination.

Can you recommend foreigners to do business in Nigeria?

Yes. Nigeria has the largest population in Africa which translates to big market in the future. Foreigners are already investing in Nigeria to get long term returns. I was reading an article written by an American which said that the next business growth area is in Africa and the best area to invest is Nigeria.