High energy efficiency, durability and reliability are the key aspects that are expected to endear Daikin products to Kenyans and drive the sale of the firm’s products when the firm officially launches in Kenya early next month (March 2020).
Vice President, Exports at Daikin Air conditioning India, Manoj Agarwal says Daikin Industries Ltd. has established a strong after sales service to guarantee customers of the quality that Daikin products have been known for, almost a century.
Agarwal says the entry of Daikin Industries Ltd. into the Kenyan market offers an opportunity for partnership that would see thousands of jobs and wealth created for those who would tap the opportunities along the value chain. This will among others involve distribution of Daikin products, after sale services as well as training of both customers and those handling 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. He adds that Daikin products are backed by a strong after-sales support.
The official launch of Daikin products comes at a time when the housing agenda, of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, has gathered momentum and with most tenants and developers currently keen on decent air conditioning. This is mainly influenced by extreme weather patterns, blamed on 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 for use in residential homes as the Kenyan middle class seek to extend the facilities, they enjoy at their work place to their homes. “We intend to make our products available and accessible to all our desired customers for both residential and commercial applications. This is because our global proposition is to make premium yet affordable products,” Agarwal says.
Daikin’s global policy also requires that the firm’s products are handled by partners “who act as our extended hands. In Kenya too, it is going to be the same. We intend to make our products available first in major towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and spread to other parts of Kenya,” he says. The firm has already recruited some partners and is optimistic of recruiting more in coming months, riding on value propositions, business sense and unique offering.
In addition, he says Kenyans are conscious about energy conservation with most preferring products that are energy efficient, which is a key aspect for Daikin products. This is backed by the new Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA)’s regulations on 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 we 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, which Daikin is targeting our products.”
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.