By Eromosle Abiodun
In a bid to conserve the much needed foreign exchange and create jobs, Geepee Industries Limited has embarked on the development HDPE pipes, floaters for the maritime and dredging industry.
The Group Executive Director of the company, Narendra Kumar, who disclosed this at a seminar to introduce the products to stakeholders in the industry, told THISDAY that the effort will also be an import substitution venture.
Speaking on how Geepee Industries manages the timing and introduction of the multiple products into the Nigerian market over the years, he said the company as the market leader do a lot of market surveys.
According to him, “We travel to many places. We see the trends and products newly introduced in these places which could be useful in Nigeria. After careful consideration and development these products are introduced. Also many Nigerians travel abroad, see things and sometimes they bring samples and discuss with us for development. Secondly, there are two things in the marketing. One is what the market currently needs, which we fulfil. Two, we have to really assess what are the future perceived needs of the people, which they may not need it today they may not even know it.
“But if you can identify those perceived needs of the people, either today or for the future then start working on those products to develop. We have to keep innovating and developing to keep ahead of competition. However users’ inputs are vital in this and have to be taken and require working in collaboration. It’s like what we are embarking on now with developing HDPE pipes, Floaters, etc. for the Dredging industry. This will help Dredging industry as it will be an Import Substitution venture.
“They can avoid import of bulky products, import procedures, foreign exchange, large and long inventory holding, procurement time running into months etc. Then it provides flexibility of tailor – made specifications as well as to emergency requirements. Customers can overcome and avoid their problems and handicaps associated with imports by associating with us. We offer these kinds of advantages and benefits to our customers and potential customers.”
On why the company decided to go into manufacturing of HDPE pipes, Floaters and other accessories, he said, “We do market research and talk to the users. We did this for Dredging industry. We found your details on internet. We already have expertise in large diameter pipes, materials being used and have technologies & machines. It is a natural extension for us. We have technically-skilled people for the development. Our sister concerns have capacities at Ota, Asaba, Aba, and can utilize wherever it is closer to the customer to their advantage.”
He added: “We have had surveys, preliminary discussions with some dredgers and have visited the sites. We have also gone through international specifications and practices. However more information will be taken with extensive contact with the customers and organisations like yours to finalise. In an interactive forum we can appraise them about our capabilities and will invite to visit our factories. Once the requirements are finalised then it’s a matter of three to six months’ time and we shall be ready to manufacture and supply products of their choice.”
Manufacturing pipes and floaters in-country, he stated, would add extra potential capacity to the local dredging industry especially because of the current economic constraints.
“Surely it will. It’s a time to think differently and out of the box and realign Nation’s strategies, priorities, especially in conservation of foreign currencies. What can be produced with in the country should be encouraged to be produced in the country. All those developing countries which have come to certain stage now in last 30/40 years have done similar things. Such Policies will encourage investments in infrastructure industries and skill development. When infrastructure industries get set up, small and medium industries proliferate. Such endeavours will improve GNP, conserve foreign exchange and will generate much needed employment in the country, ‘he added.