Ricoh SA Expanding Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Ricoh SA has announced that it will head up a larger territory grown by 16 sub-Saharan African countries and the French department of Mayotte. Ricoh has also restructured so that Ricoh SA now falls under Ricoh Emerging Markets Group instead of Ricoh Europe.

Ricoh SA’s portfolio will now include Angola, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, French Réunion, Union of the Comoros, Mozambique, and the French department of Mayotte. 

Numerous reasons underpin South Africa’s choice as a base of sub-Saharan Africa operations, including cultural understanding and compatibility, supply chain optimisation, standardised service delivery mechanisms, and localised as well as bespoke African products and services.

‘The Ricoh Emerging Markets Group was established as part of our strategy to rapidly expand in the fast-growing emerging markets,’ said Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA. ‘We recognise that two-thirds of global growth will stem from these markets.’ Ricoh includes Russia, Turkey and Middle East alongside Africa in its emerging markets group.

David Hallas, director of indirect channel operations at Ricoh SA, will lead Ricoh SA’s sub Sahara African operations as part of his local portfolio. He joined Ricoh SA late last year. ‘David has a great deal of experience in the industry,’ said Van Wyk. ‘He was acting MD of Nashua Limited before he joined Ricoh and prior to that, he earned decades of experience in operations, marketing and sales roles in the document industry. He exhibits the caliber of leadership required to head up a commercially and culturally rich and diverse region as the countries that constitute sub-Sahara Africa and which are so crucial to Ricoh’s future growth prospects.’

Ricoh SA is already working closely with the current business partners in each of the countries and the department that now fall under its expanded territory. These business partners will be certified according to the Business Partner certification programme that Ricoh SA rolled out two years ago in South Africa. That certification programme ranks partners according to a common standard based on their ability to provide, support, and maintain Ricoh products, services and service customer requirements.

‘The ability to provide a common standard of service across all of our global regions is a crucial aspect of our service. It ensures we offer a standardised service to our global corporate accounts no matter where they have offices or operations,’ said Van Wyk. ‘For example, a customer of ours is a large retailer with more than 600 stores across Southern Africa. Our standard certification programme ensures that every operational outlet of theirs has access to the same level of service that they get at their head office.’

Business partners will offer the full gamut of Ricoh products and services. These include the eight service lines that consist of application services, business process services, communication services, IT infrastructure services, managed document services (MDS), production printing services, sustainability management services, and workplace services.

Equipment and inventory will be supplied through the Ricoh SA warehouse established at Meadowdale, in Germiston, South Africa in 2012. This facility is locally staffed and expertly handled by Ricoh Europe Supply Chain.

Ricoh SA will train business partners. This makes it more cost-effective for business partners to train their personnel and minimises the interruption to their operations while personnel are away for shorter periods to receive training.