By Mike Eboh
Japanese technology giant, Toshiba have announced plans to open a base in West Africa, adding that it is considering locating the hub in Nigeria.
Speaking during a technical seminar in Abuja, organized by Toshiba and its Nigerian partner, Blue Ocean, Regional Manager (West Africa), Residential and Light Commercial of Toshiba, Mr. Iminder Singh, said the company has been receiving encouraging responses from the Federal Government and this would likely affect the choice of the location.
He said the technical seminar on the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Super Modular Multi System Inverter air conditioning and other products, which would also be held in Lagos and some other West African countries, would provide a basis for the company to understand the kind and level of investments the West African region would require.
He said, “We want to bring a solution to countries in West Africa that need this kind of technology and this kind of products to reduce the burden on their natural resources. The money required would be provided to pursue this investment in the country.”
“FG’s encouraging us”
On the working environment, he said: “With reference to government policies, we have requested the government to assist us in setting up an office in Nigeria. So far, the response had been encouraging from the government. Our motto is not to make money. Of course, that is the angling objective of any business, but for this continent, our focus is development.
“The response from the government of Nigeria concerning the fact that we want to put our regional office in Nigeria has been encouraging because government also understands the importance of energy saving. It has a further cascading effect on many related industries.”
Singh added that the company had used the year 2018 to test the waters, expressing confidence that going forward, with the footprint of this knowledge, Toshiba should fully open shop in Nigeria by 2020.
“Once we set up the office, the objective is to train engineers or technicians for these technologies. They are going to have sections across the country and across the West African region, helping small time and roadside technicians to learn this technology, thereby earning their bread there from.
“When we open the office, we would have some direct employees in market, sales, after-sales, and also the accounts people would be here. More importantly, we want to have at least 200 to 300 people connected to the office. This is our vision,” he noted.
Also speaking, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Blue Ocean, Mr. Anupam Ghosal, said the company is partnering with Toshiba to make the VRF technology available in the country, both to the engineering fraternity and to clients.
“The essence of the workshops is to enlighten people about Toshiba products, to make them understand why Toshiba is better than some of the other competitors; how Toshiba can be closer to them; what approach we can give them, while we also find out what are their expectations,” he maintained.