At a recent World Economic Forum in Davos a well-known global investor pronounced: Africa is the story. The big story is Africa. The Chinese and Japanese are fighting over Africa. This is a market of a billion people, of natural resources….
How true this is! And Goscor is acting upon it! “There’s huge potential in Africa for our group,” says Randhir Haripersad, Goscor Group Africa GM. “In particular, for the Goscor group, is the growing potential of sub-Saharan region and the Indian Ocean Islands, which are directly benefiting from the rollercoaster cycle of investor confidence in South Africa.”
He adds that the divisions that Goscor has been focusing on in the short-term are Lift Trucks, Bobcat, Genie (Hi-Reach), Goscor Cleaning Products. “This is not to say that all the other products will do well one day in Africa, but we must walk before we can run,” Haripersad says.
In the meantime it seems that the ‘walk’ is at a very brisk pace with Lift Truck already represented in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, East Africa and Mauritius; Bobcat in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia in the process of being finalised; and Power Products in East Africa (Kenya) with Mauritius to be finalised soon.
“It looks good so far but we will not be resting on our laurels,” says Harispersad. There’s still so much work to be done.”
One of the priorities is the setting up fully professional Goscor service centres. “There are large numbers of people who have bought, for example, Crown material handling equipment direct from Europe or elsewhere because there was no Crown representation in their respective countries. We will now take Goscor to these people initially through servicing their equipment and then developing a full commercial relationship with them,” Haripersad says.
On the question of what Goscor is looking for in terms of dealers in Africa Haripersad says there are a number of basic criteria: no competitive brands, financial security, a clean and profitable track record, suitable infrastructure and the knowledge and experience of running a professional integrated sales and service organisation.
“We’re looking for the best,” he says. “To be appointed a Goscor representative in any country is a responsibility that has to be taken very seriously. If done correctly a win-win situation is assured.”
The recent Gaborone, Botswana, appointment of Brenham, a general industrial sales and service organisation is a good example of how things will be done Africa. Owned and managed by Ronnie van der Nest and David Nunes, both highly experienced practitioners in the servicing and selling of machinery, Brenham is up against some well-established competition in the region. “We are very excited about the future here and we have no doubt that our market share in the MHE space will grow quickly. Even though we only very recently concluded the rights to distribute GLTC product here we have already been inundated with enquiries. There is no doubt that the Goscor reputation for excellence in both product and service precedes us in this country and we will use this to build an outstanding distribution and service business,” says van der Nest.
It has been agreed that Brenham will start with a few Goscor products and initially will sell mainly Doosan and the Crown range of MHE.
“We are not necessarily looking for giant businesses, although they too are a possibility,” says Haripersad. “All we are interested is the right basics and the passion to do well and, like in Botswana, we will go slowly and methodically in the beginning to pave the way for exponential growth in Africa,” he concludes.