ACTOM, a market-leading supplier of electrical equipment and services, will take over a low-voltage product manufacturing facility in Kenya from existing technology partner Schneider Electric – a move that will facilitate ACTOM’s industrial expansion into East Africa.
ACTOM CEO, Mervyn Naidoo, explains that the company is planning to establish industrial hubs in East, West, and eventually even North Africa that will provide a platform for the broader ACTOM portfolio of products and services in these regions.
Its takeover of the Kenyan manufacturing facility will provide the company with an entry point into East Africa, where it plans to target the Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia markets. Naidoo says that ACTOM has an extensive range of Intellectual Property (IP) in low-, medium-, and high-voltage products. These span a wide spectrum of transmission and distribution products, as well as power generation and associated products.
“We intend to use the industrial platform in Kenya to enter the East African market with our products and services. We want to expand to Kenya, where we will transfer IP and, where economically feasible, set up manufacturing and establish our repair business there,” says Naidoo.
“This will be a platform for the broader ACTOM group to not only enter the East African market but also to embrace East African economies where we will employ people and use our IP to get actively involved, thus also growing both ACTOM South Africa and ACTOM Kenya.”
He notes that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents numerous opportunities for intercontinental trade, especially within the economies of countries like Kenya and Tanzania, which are growing at 4%-plus annually.
“Based on this, we expect that there will be significant demand for our products. As such, we plan to transfer our full scope of products and services into the African markets. Our offerings will be linked to demand, with demand in the region driving the prioritisation of what goes into the market first. The intention is to gradually increase our offering,” says Naidoo.
ACTOM celebrates its 120th anniversary this year and currently manufactures products that range from boilers to control equipment, uninterrupted power supplies, LED lighting, solar heating systems, transformers, switchgear, and turnkey EPC solutions. The company also provides full aftermarket repair and service solutions to its customers.
“By offering repair and service solutions, we can ensure the sustainability of our products, literally from cradle to grave. It would be fruitless having products that cannot be serviced; hence throughout the full lifecycle of the product, we can provide support and optimise lifecycle costs and availability. In this way, we can maximise availability and performance for our customers,” says Naidoo.
Speaking on the partnership, Carol Koech, Country President at Schneider Electric in Kenya says that the move to transfer the manufacturing and assembly plant in Kenya to ACTOM allows Schneider Electric to focus on positioning the company with key technology partners, as it continues to strengthen its strategic ambition to prioritise its digital offerings, software, and services to in turn enhance its service offering to its customers.
“The move allows Schneider Electric to focus on expanding its reach in Eastern Africa, commercialising more offers, and growing its partner network to serve its customers with more technology and competitive value,” says Carol.