As Chinese construction companies slowly take a major share of Kenya’s huge infrastructure contracts, heavy machinery dealers in the country have devised alternative ways to partake of the market share.
One such key player is the PanAfrican Equipment Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of the PanAfrican Equipment Group (PEG), whose Ksh 500 million investment in a new facility will enhance the provision of after-sale services for heavy machinery.
“Yes, the Chinese investors have been importing machinery for contracts they get, but we realized that they are faced with the challenge of after-sale services,” said Charles Field-Marsham, PEG Executive Chairman and founder during the official unveiling of the facility.
The multi-million facility, one of its own kinds in Africa, will see the firm offer operator, technical and skills certification both internally and to its customers as well as a fully-fledged spare store.
“We source spare parts from Germany, Belgium, and Japan. With such a segment, we are keen to serve a never-ending market for heavy machinery spare parts in Kenya,” said Scott MacCaw, PEG Group Chief Executive Officer.
Since the customer training programmes were launched, more than 20 domestic companies and government institutions have since been trained. With operation officers across six countries in East and West Africa, and Burundi and Rwanda where it sells equipment, Pan African Equipment Group is eyeing mid and long term market growth and expansion.
Marsham, however, says the company is not considering expanding operational offices to more countries in Africa at the moment but will capitalize on the available market share in the eight African countries.
PEG is the principal distributor of Komatsu, Wirtgen Group and AGCO machinery in Kenya widely used in support of the mining and mineral processing, civil and infrastructure, power and energy, agricultural and forestry sectors.
“The combined cost for the new facility is Ksh500 million. “Although there are current market challenges proving headwinds against many of our sectors, from a mid to long-term perspective, we believe Kenya has the potential if managed correctly, for significant infrastructure development,” said Field-Marsham.
“With Kenya and East Africa focusing on increasing its power supply and growing its extractive market, we believe that such domestic needs for industry diversification, economic growth, and infrastructure development, will certainly drive the mid to long-term development of these two sectors,” McCaw added.
To build technical capacity, the firm, across the group, has been investing Ksh75 million annually in the training and development of its personnel as well as customers. This is set for a further boost by the upgraded Pan African Training Facility in the new premises.
The firm has been in operation in Kenya for 22 years and has grown from a single territory distributor of Komatsu construction equipment to a multi-territory (eight African countries), multi-line three core brands as a distributor.
The growth has seen the company employ directly and indirectly up to 400 people while recording over four times turnover growth over the last 10 years.