The grand opening of the newly constructed building, located at 18 Holt Street, Sandton, Johannesburg, was attended by several local dignitaries, international Fujifilm management members such as Toshihisa Iida – president and CEO Fujifilm Europe – as well as the Japanese ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency, Shigeru Ushio.
The opening of the head office coincides with Fujifilm South Africa’s ten-year anniversary celebration in South Africa, having first opened its doors in March 2012 as a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation.
At 999sqm, the five-storey building incorporates the Fujifilm Technology Centre Africa, office space for employees, boardrooms, a Fujifilm repair centre and a 30-seater auditorium for training purposes.
Teiichi Goto, President, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, during a live video stream at the event said that the company’s presence in South Africa is of strategic importance for its future, boosting sales activities over the past ten years. ’To ensure that Fujifilm South Africa continues to be trusted as an integral part of the Southern African community, we will continue to provide solutions to the challenges faced in the region.’
Speaking at the grand opening of the new head office, Fujifilm South Africa’s Managing Director, Taro Kawano noted, ‘Today is truly a special occasion in the history of Fujifilm since it marks a new chapter in our relationship with South Africa. Our new head office emphasises Fujifilm’s ongoing commitment to the country, having celebrated a successful decade of local presence. We are proud to be a part of South Africa and we hope to be able to further serve the public through this new premises.’
Importantly, the South African head office was constructed to fall in line with FUJIFILM Holdings’ climate action targets: to produce net zero CO2 emissions by the fiscal year ending March 2041. The new office is set to meet this goal, having been designed with the help of a green energy consultant. As such, it incorporates the use of solar power panels with a capacity of 65 kVA, biometric access control, motion sensors, day/night lighting and energy efficient plumbing that consumes less water.
Fujifilm’s head office in Johannesburg was designed by Empowered Space Architects and follows the opening of a new Fujifilm office and repair centre in Cape Town during 2021 and the building of the Fujifilm warehouse in Roodepoort in 2017. The offices were constructed by Bantry Construction, with building taking place from March 2022 through to handover to Fujifilm at the end of January 2023.
Present at the new office is the Fujifilm Technology Centre Africa, which moved from its previous location at the Fujifilm warehouse to the new premises. It is the only Fujifilm Technology Centre on the continent, taking up two floors and providing a demonstration centre for Fujifilm’s different departments to showcase a myriad of innovative solutions to customers.
This includes products from Medical Systems (radiography, mammography, pathology, X-ray diagnostics), Graphic Communication (wide format printing, packaging, commercial digital and commercial offset), as well as Imaging Solutions (Instax instant cameras and printers, Fujifilm X-series and GFX mirrorless cameras).
Moreover, a 30-seater auditorium now gives Fujifilm South Africa the opportunity to offer product training to customers, run photography workshops and the ability to host events.
During the opening ceremony, Kawano thanked all parties involved in the process. ‘This beautiful building is testament to the hard work of everyone who contributed. It shows what can be achieved through team effort and dedication. Fujifilm South Africa is proud to now be able to better serve our South Africa customers and contribute to their growth,’ he stated.
Kawano mentioned that he believes Fujifilm can play a significant part in the future of South Africa, not only through innovative printing and imaging solutions, but also in contributing to African healthcare through Fujifilm’s medical technologies. ‘At Fujifilm, we say ‘Never Stop’ innovating for a better world, and now, at (the new Sandton premises), Fujifilm South Africa can continue to strive towards this goal. We are looking forward to further decades of local success,’ Kawano concluded.
Grant Potgieter, General Manager of Fujifilm South Africa’s Graphic Communication Division, also expanded on the occasion of the event, ‘Our rental contract at Woodlands Office Park was getting closer to the end of its period and we had a choice to extend the contract or look at moving elsewhere. We explored the various options and ultimately a decision was made to relocate due to the deal we received on this new premises. The fact that we could design this (new) building to be more in line with our requirements from an office space perspective, as well as the ability to incorporate a larger demonstration facility for Graphics, Medical and our Imaging division, was also a deal clincher.’
‘The fact that the space available to build on was in the Sandton area was just purely by design, not intentional, however, we do believe that having our offices and, more so, our technology centre positioned more centrally will be more beneficial, convenient and safer to host customers for open days, events and meetings,’ added Potgieter.
‘The new facility is greener and in line with our global sustainability initiative. It is fully solar powered and we have a back up generator to cover us in the event of any electricity outages, meaning that our business and demonstration centre can operate 24/7. There is LED lighting throughout the facility as well as automatic on/off switches if we enter a room, conserving electricity. Windows are also double-glazed to manage the temperature within the offices so that there is less requirement to run air conditioners/heaters as seasons change.’
FUJIFILM SOUTH AFRICA
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