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‘The potential for growth and development in Nigeria is unlimited’

In line with its resolve to provide imaging and printing office solutions to its teeming market in Nigeria, Tenaui Africa, the official representative of Canon in Nigeria, recently organised a three-day exhibition for its key distributors, as well as stakeholders in the sector. Held at the Oriental hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event, which featured a showcase of the newest Canon Imagepress C650 and other products, also witnessed the formal signing of a partnership deal with CMYK Studios, an indigenous print and market communications company based in Lagos.

Spurred by the growing needs of B2B and industrial sectors in Nigeria, Canon is gradually penetrating the Nigerian market, with Tenaui Africa leading the expansion project in the continent.

“As you are aware, we have been in business for 24 years now. We established in 1993 in Singapore, which is our main head office, then we expanded to middle east in Dubai, before we extended our operation in Africa, which we chose Nigeria as our regional office,” Managing Director of Tenaui Africa Limited, Yasser El-Farra, said.

He continued: “We have been in the imaging industry for the past 24 years. So, as you see, we are representing Canon as the main brand, but besides that, we have many dealerships. We represent companies like Mitsubishi Electric, Epson and other partners from Europe. But this is the core of our business, imaging and printing industry.”

On the choice of Nigeria as its regional office in Africa, El-Farra explained, “We see Nigeria as the heart of Africa. If you look at the GDP growth in Africa, Nigeria has the biggest share. Like we mentioned earlier, Nigeria and Egypt are almost responsible for 53 per cent of all Africa. Besides, Nigeria also has the biggest potential; Nigeria is the biggest market and the potential for growth and development is unlimited. So, for this, we prefer Nigeria,” he said.

Though Tenaui Africa’s deal with Canon came at a time when Nigeria’s economy hit recession, El-Farra said, though it was a challenging period, it also provided opportunities for business expansion.

“To be honest, for every foreign company, we have very big challenges. But we are aware that if we can bust these challenges, the company will come very strong. During the recession, we did not lose any single staff despite the challenges. It’s a very good potential that we started growing in this period. Of course, some careful measures here and there, but we came out stronger that we came in. So, we look forward to more investment and development in the future,” he said.

While commending the government for taking necessary measure to ensure the economy exists recession, El-Farra said the markets in Nigeria are changing dramatically to the positive side.

“What we saw as challenges six years ago, honestly, now is decreasing, especially infrastructure. And we believe that tomorrow will be much better than today and yesterday. The market here is huge; you have the biggest resources, which is manpower. Even, the management is thinking of other potential investment in different fields. If you look at worldwide economy, the fastest growing economy is still Africa. For this, a lot of corporations now are in Africa.”

He continued: “In our line of business, the greatest challenge has been bringing in goods but this has become much easier now with the Executive Orders on ease of doing business. Frankly, we are looking for more. We understand the challenges here but we are impressed by the speed of changes. We never expected it to be this fast because in the past, it’s been slow,” he said.

On the new partnership deal with the CMYK Studios, Yasser El-Farra described it as another success story for the organsiation, adding, “Having being in the country for over five years, the company is excited about building more relationships with indigenous companies as well as helping international brands penetrate emerging markets in Nigeria and Africa.

“The aim of this partnership is to increase the network. They can have their own customers, but we give them support. What is the success story of Tenaui Africa today? What makes us different from other companies is that we did not come here to sell boxes; we came to educate, to teach people how to do business. This is our success story.

He continued: “We didn’t come to sell only products but also what you can do with this. Nigeria is a big market so we need partners. We are open to cooperation. No matter what power we have, we can’t cover the whole of Nigeria. So in 2018, we will open the doors for partnership. The market is huge so we are looking forward to increase the network,” El-Farra hinted.

Speaking of the partnership with Tenaui Africa, the Chief Executive Officer of CMYK Studios, Dotun Adekunle said the synergy was borne out of the need to offer consumers the best printing solutions. While decrying the waste of paper, Adekunle believes that with an international brand like Canon, Nigeria can achieve a green environment.

“Canon is a global and international brand that comes up with exciting printing solutions not just around printing but around imaging. Imaging is important because we want to reduce the waste that is generated by print, so if you go into imaging where you can scan existing documents and keeping them and accessing them when it’s needed, you don’t have to keep or duplicate so much paper. I think that if industries and large companies can adopt that, there will be a reduction of stack of files in offices everywhere. I’m sure if we push this we can be a green nation.”

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