High energy efficiency, durability and reliability are the key aspects expected to endear Daikin’s line of aircon products targeting the Kenyan market with effect from March 2020, when the robust innovation launches in the country.
According to Manoj Agarwal, Vice President, Exports at Daikin Air Conditioning, India, the entry of Daikin Industries Ltd. in Kenya offers an opportunity for partnership that would result to both creation of jobs and wealth along the businesses’ value chain that would comprise distribution of the Daikin products, after sale services as well as training of both customers and direct handlers of the products.
“These services would be provided by our partners who act as our extended arms. We’ll value add to our partners by investing in them through upgrading their skills both technically as well as in soft skills,” said Agarwal.
Daikin’s global policy requires that its range of products are handled by partners “who act as our extended hands. “In Kenya, we intend to make our products available first in major towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and spread to other parts of the country.”
Manoj Agarwal, Vice President, Exports at Daikin Air Conditioning, India
The launch of Daikin products comes at a time when the housing agenda, of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, continues to gather momentum and with most tenants and developers currently keen on decent air conditioning owing to extreme weather patterns influenced by climate change.
Unlike in the past when hotels and some commercial buildings were the main customers for air conditioning products, there have been tremendous growth in the sale of such products targeting the residential places.
“We intend to make our products available and accessible to all our customers both in the residential and commercial places. This is because our global proposition is to make premium yet affordable products,” Agarwal said.
Daikin’s global policy requires that its range of products are handled by partners “who act as our extended hands. “In Kenya, we intend to make our products available first in major towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and spread to other parts of the country,” averred Agarwal.
Noting that Kenyans are conscious about energy conservation with most preferring products that are energy efficient, Agarwal asserted that they would get a better deal from Daikin products.
The new Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) regulations backs the aspects of energy conservation as well as the private sector’s standing on efficiency in electricity use. “This is also evident from the high star ratings that have received from EPRA for our products,” said the Vice President.
Currently, manufacturers of electronics are required to rate the energy consumption of products being sold in the market “to enable buyers make the right decision”, in EPRA’s rallying call for efficient electricity use.
The launch of Daikin’s products in Kenya comes at a time when the Kenyan government has committed to renewable energy generation. This coupled with the UNEP office in Nairobi feeds into Daikin’s key targets of energy efficiency and conservation. “We feel that we have an opportunity to be part of this, and to contribute to this positively, hence we are here,” says the Vice President.
Daikin products have been informally sold in Kenya over the last couple of months as the firm tested the tastes and preferences of the market.
Agarwal says Daikin’s choice of Kenya as a gateway into East and Central Africa was informed by a growing middle class, rapid and sustained economic growth in recent years as well as a huge population of the spending class. He said: “thirty-four percent of the population [in Kenya] is between the age of 25 and 54, most of who have disposable income and are decision makers either at their homes or businesses.
His parting shot is that as Daikin Industries, Ltd. gears up to celebrate the firm’s 100th anniversary in 2024, it endeavors to remain true to its core values and markets, while diversifying products powered by strategic alliances and partnerships, which he hopes Kenya will be part of in the long term.
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