, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Indian
technology firm Daikin will launch their energy efficient products in the Kenya
market early next month as prevailing peaceful conditions in the country
continue to attract foreign investments, a representative of the company has
Daikins India Air
Conditioning private limited’s entry into the market is also a strong pointer
to projected growth in the real estate industry in general and especially commercial
Vice President, Exports at
DIAPL Manoj Agarwal says Daikin Industries Ltd. has established a strong after
sales service to guarantee customers of the quality that Daikin products have
been known for, for almost a century.
Agarwal says the entry of
Daikin Industries Ltd. into the Kenyan market offers an opportunity for
partnership that would see thousands of jobs and wealth created for those who
would tap the opportunities along the value chain.
This will among others
involve distribution of Daikin products, after sale services as well as
training of both customers and those handling the products. “These services
would be provided by our partners who act as our extended arms. We’ll value add
to our partners by investing in them through upgrading their skills both
technically as well as in soft skills,” said Agarwal. He adds that Daikin
products are backed by a strong after-sales support.
The official launch of
Daikin products comes at a time when the housing agenda, of President Uhuru
Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, has gathered momentum and with most tenants and
developers currently keen on decent air conditioning.
This is mainly influenced
by extreme weather patterns, blamed on climate change. Unlike in the past when
hotels and some commercial buildings were the main customers for air
conditioning products, there have been tremendous growth in the sale of such
products for use in residential homes as the Kenyan middle class seek to extend
the facilities, they enjoy at their work place to their homes.
“We intend to make our
products available and accessible to all our desired customers for both
residential and commercial applications. This is because our global proposition
is to make premium yet affordable products,” Agarwal says.
Daikin’s global policy
also requires that the firm’s products are handled by partners “who act as our
extended hands. In Kenya too, it is going to be the same. We intend to make our
products available first in major towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and
spread to other parts of Kenya,” he says. The firm has already recruited some partners
and is optimistic of recruiting more in coming months, riding on value
propositions, business sense and unique offering.
In addition, he says
Kenyans are conscious about energy conservation with most preferring products
that are energy efficient, which is a key aspect for Daikin products. This is
backed by the new Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA)’s
regulations on energy conservation as well as the private sector’s standing on
efficiency in electricity use. “This is also evident from the high star ratings
that we have received from EPRA for our products,” said the Vice President.
Currently, manufacturers of electronics are required to rate the energy
consumption of products being sold in the market “to enable buyers make the
right decision”, in EPRA’s rallying call for efficient electricity use.
The launch of Daikin’s
products in Kenya comes at a time when the Kenyan government has committed to
renewable energy generation. This coupled with the UNEP office in Nairobi feeds
into Daikin’s key targets of energy efficiency and conservation. “We feel that
we have an opportunity to be part of this, and to contribute to this
positively, hence we are here,” says the Vice President.
Daikin products have been
informally sold in Kenya over the last couple of months as the firm tested the
tastes and preferences of the market. Agarwal says Daikin’s choice of Kenya as
a gateway into East and Central Africa was informed by a growing middle class,
rapid and sustained economic growth in recent years as well as a huge
population of the spending class.
He said: “thirty-four
percent of the Kenyan population is between the age of 25 and 54, most of who
have disposable income and are decision makers either at their homes or
businesses, which Daikin is targeting our products.”