Toshiba has eye on African market

Computing

Toshiba has taken a focused approach to the East and West African markets, says Africa channel manager Nelo Neves. Hi-tech computing giant Toshiba is predicting “considerable growth” in sub-Saharan Africa, following increased focus on its channel partners.

Toshiba's Africa channel manager, Nelo Neves, says the company's investment in its channel partners recently saw it take a focused approach to the East and West African market.

The new focus entails an ongoing series of education programmes for Toshiba's distributors and their resellers, with the most recent monthly seminars having taken place in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam. Red Dot, Mitsumi and JSE-listed Mustek are currently Toshiba's only distributors in this region.

“These seminars teach each stakeholder in the channel about Toshiba's product range and full service offering, giving them the knowledge they need to clearly differentiate our products from our competitors' offerings,” says Neves.

He adds that support for the channel in the East and West African markets will be given more weight with the appointment of regional channel managers based in Nigeria and Kenya, scheduled to take place before the conclusion of the current financial quarter, ending in December.

“This will mean more immediate support, up-to-date product knowledge on a one-on-one basis and a continuation of Toshiba growth in these regions.

“[In addition] we will launch our P4P Programme shortly, which simply put is a rebate plan for loyal channel partners, and the regional managers will be integral in getting the dealers signed up.”

Toshiba's new focused approach also served to bring the proliferation of grey imports to light, which Neves says pose a threat to the brand and its consumers alike. “Many of these products are not manufactured for the African market, and therefore manufacture guarantees and warranties cannot be fulfilled.”

He says this issue is being tackled through the concerted efforts of Toshiba and dedicated distribution partners. “Toshiba has secured direct access to official stock that is air freighted from Germany and SA, which ensures the time between placing an order for stock and having it delivered to African resellers has been reduced dramatically.”

Initiated around the middle of this year, the sub-Saharan Africa focus will be an ongoing agenda for Toshiba. “The plan is to drive this activity and approach for the unforeseeable period going forward.”