Why this global giant still finds Africa attractive - CNBC Africa

Why this global giant still finds Africa attractive

Special Report

by Trust Matsilele 0

Kohler is expanding kitchen and plumbing business into sub-Saharan Africa. PHOTO: Kohler

The risks that many potential investors are scarred of when planning to invest in Africa are manageable; this is according to David Kohler, chief executive officer of Kohler Company.

Kohler is a global leader in kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures, furniture and tile, engines and generators, and golf and resort.

The company is expanding its presence in Africa at a time when other investors are shying away.

“We have been in the continent for decades especially in our power business. We are present in every major African country where we have about 50 distributors and we are one of the leading brands,” David Kohler told CNBC Africa.

“Kohler has been more actively in North Africa in countries, such as Morocco, Egypt and Algeria. Our kitchen and bath business is fairly new in sub-Saharan Africa we have only been more actively over the past two years.”

Kohler said the company sees Africa as a growth area.

“Africa is an amazing continent with unique culture; we have really enjoyed building our position and finding distribution partners.  We think the risk in Africa is manageable, one has to adopt and rely more on local team. We have associates in many of African countries.”

He also said, for now, the company was targeting South Africa and Nigeria, though the two countries were currently strained by low commodity prices.

“South Africa has a developed and mature luxury market which is attractive for our kitchen and bath business. We are also looking at Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia and Uganda.”

Kohler said the current challenges African economies were facing should not deter investment.

The decline in commodities, currency challenges and slowdown in China is part of the volatility in the world today. Companies should look at the long-term prospects and move through these obstacles.” 

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