Sridhar: Firms Must Invest in Skills Development

Prasanna Sridhar

 Business Development Manager for KSTAR, a subsidiary of Simba Group, Mr. Prasanna Sridhar, in this interview speaks on the need for firms in Nigeria to invest in skills development. Emma Okonji brings the excerpts:

Most countries of the world, including Nigeria missed out in the first, second and third industrial revolutions. How well are industries positioned to tap into the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution, which is knowledge-based?

Bill Gates has mentioned that by 2050, 40 per cent of the world’s children will be in Africa. Nigeria with its young generation population is going to be one of them. This young generation with their thirst for new ideas and innovation will ensure that Nigeria is one of leaders of the upcoming fourth revolution. Industries have to do their part by creating opportunities for this generation to use their skills productively and by investing in the Nigerian people.

Weak power generation and distribution tend to slow down businesses that depend heavily on power supply for growth. How will evolving technologies help address this challenge?

Power supply difficulties cripple businesses and impede Nigeria’s ongoing economic development. The energy supply crisis is complex, stems from a variety of issues and has been ongoing for decades. Most Nigerian businesses that can afford to do so, run one or more diesel-fuelled generators to supplement the intermittent supply. About 96 per cent of industry energy consumption is produced off-grid using private generators. While Nigeria has an abundant supply of natural resources, including large reserves of oil and gas, it has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. It is estimated that the electricity grid in Nigeria only services about 25 per cent of the population, which mean 120 million Nigerians live in darkness without electricity. By bringing in Future Power and capturing free power from the sun, which is available abundantly in Nigeria, we can further enhance generation and distribution of current grid power, using our technology solution.

How will the combination of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence(AI), help drive efficiency in businesses that rely on power generation?

AI is still in its infancy, and while we can speculate about the future, the seemingly endless potential and human-like capabilities of AI look very promising. AI is already being adopted in various industries, and this will only grow as the technology matures. By helping manage simple customer interactions and streamlining complex processes behind the scenes, AI may just become the secret ingredient for supercharging customer experience. IoT coupled with advanced analytics capabilities such as AI, can lead to next-level solutions and experiences for businesses. Companies that are involved in generation and distribution of power can utilise this data to predict the times and areas where there will be extra load required and where the power can be saved. This will lead to better power management overall and result in cost savings for the consumer and lesser energy wastage.

How has technology adoption in Nigeria helped businesses to address critical challenges?

Technology adoption in Nigeria is in evolving state where every customer demands for improvised better technology with high efficiency and cost effective solution. The people in this country are well-informed and demand the best in everything. This knowledge helps in easy adoption of the latest technologies which in turn helps surmount critical challenges.

       Technology is evolving and playing a vital role in the power sector. To what extent has KSTAR leveraged on the power of technology to improve customer experience in power generation?

 KSTAR is the world’s sixth largest Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) manufacturer and its research and development (R&D)/ manufacturing base is a state-of-the-art in terms of scale and manufacturing equipment. Using the latest technology with IGBT Refinement, Digital DSP with output transformer to protect and enhance the performance of connected load with efficiency more than 94 per cent, will result in cost savings and power conditioning to improve customer experience.

 Simba Industries recently introduced KSTAR UPS systems to the Nigerian market, what is unique about the product?

KSTAR is a reliable, robust and strong industrial capacity transformer-based online UPS with high output efficiency. While competition offers so called vanilla products and charges for optional extras, KSTAR is feature rich and provides uncompromising quality to customers. KSTAR offers a maximum charging current for fast charging in conditions of even limited power supply. This can’t be matched with other players in our UPS industry. This backed up with the unbeatable service, which Simba Group provides, makes this a unique and valuable product offering.


KSTAR is recognised for its specialised power backup solutions, capable of handling mission-critical electrical equipment in various sectors. What are some of its success stories in other regions?

KSTAR has pan-global success stories such as Applications in the Dubai Metro, HSBC’s data centre- Hongkong, Haseki Education and Research Hospital – Turkey, Dar El Teb Diagnostic Center – Egypt, MD Medical Group – Russia, Ars Medica spa – Italy, Fatima Memorial Hospital – Pakistan, Al Jahra Hospital – Kuwait, as well as several Nigerian Bank for their ATM networks.


Unlike traditional online UPS systems, what range  of applications can KSTAR online UPS manage in the telecoms and banking sectors?

Telecoms and the banking sectors are the highest volume users of information technology (IT) equipment for their core business. These sectors certainly use integrated data centres for organising branches for web service, mails, data backup, security system, application development system and more. Telecoms deployed with BST’s Base stations for their network coverage. Banks spread its tentacles with branches all over the country and ATMs almost every corner of the streets. These applications are power sensitive and can’t afford to have downtime even for a second. KSTAR Online UPS with its advanced technology empowers this mission-critical equipment in a row without any interruption.

What are the benefits to customers in all of these listed features?

Customer service has never been as critical for businesses as it is today. Consumers have many options for nearly every product and service, and modern companies know that exceptional customer experience is key for success. Despite countless technological advances, improved customer service is increasingly needed across almost every industry, the power industry perhaps most of all. We work on three layer support system: 24/7 Simba Service support, Hotline remote support, and KSTAR HQ support. We provide after sales service support through Simba Service, an award winning customer service response team, highly trained to address and resolve any technical issue with the shortest response time further with our pan-Nigeria presence. It would be interesting to know that we are the only UPS company in Nigeria offering 24/7 call centre to serve our valued customers.