TechInAfrica – Founder and CEO of UAE-based TV and electronics brand Maser, Prateek Suri, recently sat down for an interview with APO to talk about his company plans on strengthening partnerships with Africa.
He capitalizes on the plan by launching new products after receiving funding last year from a British private equity firm.
“We intend to deploy the funding money in major expansion plans for the Middle East and Africa. We plan to invest in the manufacture of smart televisions, air conditioners, and washing machines, as well as facilitating better logistics with our Jebel Ali base for re-distribution.”
The trade opportunity for UAE companies with Africa is valued at $3.6b last year according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it would be focused on technology-related products and services. Enter African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) into the scene and Suri believes that jackpot is around the corner.
“We have been lucky that despite the current situation with the pandemic, Maser has been able to conduct its business with our African partners. The trust we built among our distributors and retailers through over very successful line of televisions has now helped us with the air-conditioners. The uptake of split ACs has been very good and we are now in the process of introducing ACs with UV-C function, which kills a majority of bacteria.”
When asked about plans with their product type expansion, Suri already has some units in mind.
“Our success with television – we have now sold over 250,000 units – has made us a known and trusted brand in many African countries. Maser now has the supply channel and the confidence of the customers to roll out more products in the near future. Later this year, along with the UV-C air-conditioners, we are also planning to introduce washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and irons.”
“Televisions will remain the biggest part of our product portfolio. However, we believe in constantly innovating and improving, so there will be new models with the latest features. We also see a huge demand for educational TVs.”
For Suri, Africa will remain as a ‘land of opportunities’, and that he is set on his course to keep exploring the markets in Africa.
“Travel may be restricted right now, but once things become normal; Emirates offers direct flights to nearly 20 African cities. Many African countries have now set up base in the city because it makes it easier for their executives to coordinate with Europe and Asia.