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Marmoran Expands in Africa

Published on 2004-03-09. Author : SpecialChem

The drive to expand throughout Africa by Marmoran, the manufacturers of specialist and long life coatings is continuing at a fast pace.

Peter Johnston, Marcom's Export Manager for Africa, revealed recently that he is now dealing with seven countries and that a further four could well be signed up within the next twelve months.

In most cases, he said, Marmoran begins by appointing an agent and/or a licensed applicator. Then, if this relationship proves successful, they progress to offering them a blending franchise. The blending franchise concept is, however, relatively new having been introduced less than two years ago.

"The blending franchise," says Johnston, "has several advantages. As the blender is now importing concentrates rather than finished goods, he pays a lower import duty. Secondly, as he is now a bona fide local manufacturer, he is able to qualify for government and parastatal contracts and to provide extra employment in the area in which he operates. Thirdly, as the raw materials are now kept in stock he can make up his own samples for client inspection far quicker than they can be supplied from Cape Town and can liase directly with the client in placing orders. Once the order is secured, delivery will be quicker because the product is made locally."

In Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, said Johnston, Marmoran is still operating through agents or applicators to whom they supply a finished product. However, blending franchises have recently been signed up in Ghana (with Marmopaints Ghana), Tanzania (with Insignia Ltd), Nigeria (with Capetex Ltd), and Uganda (with Ugasa Coatings Ltd). Full support to blenders, said Johnston, is always a given and they are regularly monitored by Marmoran to see that their products conform to ISO 9002 standards for which Marmoran is accredited.

"In effect," says Johnston, "the blender becomes a full-scale manufacturing entity in his own right."

The potential for growth throughout South Africa, he says, is immense because, many African countries are now into a free trade, democratic era and, equally important, South African financiers and entrepreneurs have in recent years spread their network across the continent.

"Whenever we are dealing with a South African finance or banking group, our chances of being specified improve greatly because after 34 years of operation in our home country we have a strong reputation of which most of them are aware."

Source: Cape Business News

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