“The key to sustainable growth in Africa is partnering with locally owned companies that have proven track records, are technically sound, have a strong market knowledge and business culture aligned with our own,” says Taylor Milan, Africa business development executive at Zest WEG.
The company, a fully owned subsidiary of WEG, currently has 28 appointed partners in 22 sub-Saharan African countries outside of South Africa and is expanding its footprint into new sectors across the regions. With extensive manufacturing and assembly facilities in South Africa, Zest WEG is driving its African growth strategy through local partnerships with carefully selected Value-Added Resellers (VARs).
“The local content mandate is playing an increasingly important role in the supply of equipment and services into the formal business sector across the African continent,” says Milan. “It brings services closer to the customer, while empowering local business and building local economies.”
He highlights that the company’s VARs are also chosen for their technical and operational capability and capacity to offer customers more of Zest WEG’s portfolio of products and services.
“While our early offerings focused primarily on electric motors, the company now promotes a comprehensive portfolio of electrical products and solutions,” he says. “These include geared motors, low and medium voltage drives and automation, panels, MCCs, Ehouses, power and distribution transformers, mini-substations, a selection of traditional and renewable and hybrid power generation solutions as well as electrical infrastructure and mobile solutions.”
Milan notes that the business is also diversifying beyond mining into other sectors, notably oil and gas. On a global level, WEG has been active in this industry for many years and has built a strong industry specific product portfolio and knowledge base. Other sectors where gains are being made in sub-Saharan Africa are agriculture, general industry, water, cement and utilities.
The company’s on-the-ground presence has been strengthened recently with the appointment of established local company Panaco as its VAR in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Magare Company Limited in Tanzania, and Repelectric in Kenya with a number of other appointments currently being finalised across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Zest WEG’s Africa network is also increasing the number of local repair facilities that meet OEM standards,” Milan says. “It is of considerable benefit for customers to have localised WEG-accredited repair facilities in-country,” he says. “This increases local support, while ensuring that equipment repairs are carried out in accordance with WEG specifications to deliver the performance and longevity that customers and OEMs expect from WEG products.”