By Prince Osuagwu
Data company, Western Digital has long been at the forefront of game changing innovations. From the invention of the first hard drive to recent advancements in 3D NAND, its innovation journey appears inspiring for those who dare to think big about the possibilities of data.
Now the company has entered the Nigerian market, seeing prospects from the growing army of youths and many enterprising graduating students.
Hi-Tech caught up with one of the company’s top Managers, in charge of Africa, Mr Ghassan Azzi, who revealed that Western Digital’s coming to Nigeria will be the opportunity to create an environment for data to thrive, helping Nigerians capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data.
“We thrive on the power and potential of diversity. As a global company, we believe that the most effective way to embrace the diversity of our customers and communities is to mirror it from within. We believe that the fusion of various perspectives results in the best outcomes for not only our employees, but our customers, and the world around us. We are committed to an inclusive environment where every individual can thrive through a sense of belonging, respect and contribution,” he said.
The world is now thinking beyond storage devices. How to safeguard what is stored appears to be the issue; where do you come in?
Good observation. But we already know that. That is why our latest products are manufactured with security of data in mind. Depending on what a user wants, we have secured technology that enables most of our products to be encrypted. So whether it is a small or big device, a flash or a hard drive, the user can encrypt a password to protect the data that is in the device. Even our hard drives and external drives, have some form of security you can password.
But grey market , particularly, may not allow these to thrive
That is why we have dedicated time to educating Nigerians on how to spot not only the original products but ones from the right channel partners. We came with effective marketing plan, building relationships and establishing distribution networks as well as making sure that original products are not scarce in the market.
We are also discouraging our distributors against buying from grey markets because if the products get damaged, they cannot serve their clients through Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) which we have in place.
What drives these strong strategies?
We see a lot of potential in Nigeria and indeed, African markets. Nigeria has a young and dynamic generation. We see that ages 0 to 25 years represent 65 per cent of the population. These sets of individuals are all connected, through mobile phones or other devices. Besides, there are a lot of entrepreneurs from many graduating students these days, more than before. This is something we think that is actually going to grow and support our product. We want to use our technology to enable them grow their businesses.
…And, you think competition doesn’t know all that?
We are ahead of competition considering that we are available here. We are not servicing Nigeria from other countries like the competition is doing. Our products are officially distributed to Nigerians by Nigerians in Nigeria. Our established distribution structure is a unique selling position.
Since we came to Nigeria, we have mainly concentrated in building trust and confidence in our brands. Today, the people know where they can buy not just the products but the original ones.
Though Nigeria is not the first country we entered in Africa, it is no doubt one of our top priority countries. We already existed in South Africa, North Africa, Egypt and East Africa before coming here but this is where we have always wanted to be.