Global energy management specialist Schneider Electric is aiming to aggressively expand its Southern African footprint in the coming few years and has earmarked Angola, Mozambique and Zambia as priority territories for its regional business development.
Southern Africa country president Eric Léger, who has been in his post for a year, reports that the aim is it establish a “real” on-the-ground presence in the three countries, where its products are already represented, particularly in the natural resources sector.
The group manufactures energy management systems ranging from medium- and low-voltage switchgear and circuit breakers to prepayment meters and electric-vehicle recharging stations. It also develops and supplies power automation and monitoring software solutions.
The expansion plan forms part of the French multinational’s broader African growth ambitions, as well as the Southern African unit’s plan to double sales between 2013 and 2018.
The company, which recorded global sales of €24-billion in 2012, does not provide national turnover figures. But Léger says the aim is to capture high levels of market share in South Africa, while expanding in the rest of the region. “Southern Africa should represent a far larger portion of revenues – we want to expand extremely aggressively in those three countries.”
Localisation is another priority for the 900-employee South African subsidiary, which is in the process of consolidating much of its manufacturing operations into a single site in Midrand, Gauteng.
The 11 000 m2 facility, which is scheduled to open in June, is located on Old Pretoria road and will house much of Schneider Electric’s domestic manufacturing capacity, as well as many of its specialised business units and technical and aftersales support functions.
Léger is also optimistic that the recent global acquisition of business software group Invensys will open up new opportunities for Schneider products and services in South Africa.
He is particularly optimistic about the opportunities that will arise in the South African petrochemicals sector, where Invensys, which will operate on a franchise basis in South Africa, owing to its association with JSE-listed EOH, has a strong presence.
Globally the Invensys identity will be absorbed into Schneider Electric, but its underlining brands of Wonderware, SimSci and Avantis will remain.