Toshiba is enjoying unprecedented market penetration in East and West Africa, proof that its investment in its channel partners is paying off. In Kenya alone, Toshiba is achieving high sales figures and have doubled  the units sold in August than in comparable periods in the company’s history.
“I am confident that this is a direct result of the clear steps that we have taken to build and nurture our channels in sub-Saharan Africa, and that we are going to continue to enjoy considerable growth as we build on these in the future,” says Nelo Neves, Toshiba’s Africa channel manager.
Toshiba has an ongoing series of education programmes for its distributors and their resellers, with the most recent monthly seminars having taken place in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.
“These seminars teach each stakeholder in the channel about Toshiba’s product range and full service offering, giving them the knowledge that they need to clearly differentiate our products from our competitors’ offerings,” says Neves.
Toshiba’s products are easily identifiable with in-store display units with clear branding, colour identification and an aspirational look-and-feel that make these units a discussion point in every store. This further raises the profile of the Toshiba brand in these rapidly growing markets.
“Grey importing has also become an issue in Africa because official vendors do not have the required support in stocking products and sourcing spare parts where products need to be repaired speedily.”
Grey importing poses a threat to the Toshiba brand and its consumers, because there is no local support for these products. Many of these products are not manufactured for the African market and therefore manufacture guarantees and warranties cannot be fulfilled.
These issues have already started to be tackled by working with dedicated distribution partners. Toshiba has secured direct access to official stock that is air freighted from Germany and South Africa, which ensures that the time between placing an order for stock and having it delivered to African resellers has been reduced dramatically.
Support for the channel in the East and West African markets will be given even more weight with the imminent appointment of regional channel managers based in Nigeria and Kenya.
“Toshiba is an exceptionally strong brand in these markets, with buyers recognising the reliability of our products. We look forward to continued growth in these regions, as we invest in and nurture our relationships with the channel and end-users,” says Neves.