October 2011

A South African firm that produces customised pole top metering enclosures for Kenya Power Company will soon appoint a dealer to merchandise its wares in East Africa. The Allbro Company is negotiating with an electrical wholesale outlet in Kenya to up its brand visibility in Nairobi -- the region's economic hub. Allbro Business Development Manager Chris Galloway said the firm's interest in Kenya has been energised by the country's renewed economic renaissance. "We view Nairobi as an important component in business growth in Africa, hence our desire to avail our quality products here," he said during the recent East Africa Power Investors conference in Nairobi. At the same time, Galloway decried dumping of sub-standard goods in Africa, blaming this for the failure by some firms to excel in African markets. He said the trend has given birth to the so called 'Africa syndrome' which unfortunately has found its way to some South African firms. The 'Africa syndrome' occurs when companies believe, incorrectly, that they can market substandard product into Africa because "Africans don't know the difference between a quality product and a sub-standard product". These companies can then make greater margin on the products they are exporting into Africa."I am glad we have survived in business for the last 35 years, conquering new markets all the time", says Galloway. He said the firm has been designing and manufacturing quality electrical distribution products for the growing African market. "We care about our customers' needs and we offer them more than just a product, we offer them safety and durability in our unique designs. We consistently strive to meet, and exceed our customers' expectations", he said. In 2011, Allbro acquired ABB's York enclosure business through which its association with Kenya Power began. Galloway said the current economic parameters based on consumer trends post a rosy picture for Kenya's economy despite the many challenges that face the country - attested to by relocation of many multinationals to the country such as General Electric, Coca Cola Africa and Airtel.