Ash Tulsiani is the managing director and chief executive officer of PC PRO (Electronic) Distribution Nigeria Ltd. He spoke to peter ugwu on the company’s vision for the Nigerian IT market, assessment of the CBN’s cashless policy among others issues.
PC PRO in Nigeria
We have been supplying goods to the IT markets in Nigeria in the last fifteen (15) years, however, we arrived Nigeria from England since last year to set up official base. We have been seriously engaged in supplying electronic equipment to the major parts of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. The company was established in the last 45 years in the United Kingdom, and our stores are spread in many countries. We have been dealing on major electronic brands like, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, LG, etc. And the investment runs into several million of pounds. PC PRO Distribution at the same time is gaining more grounds, trying to increase the market shares. For instance, since last year we have doubled our market shares; after that we moved to Nigeria. We want to make sure that the average end-user gets value for their investment or money put in purchasing IT equipment. Even companies benefit from our creditable platform.
Just like we have done in UK, we have kept a class of dealing with genuine equipment. The truth is that quality goods don’t last long in the market it is most beneficial to the users and the economy at large. When people see how genuine your products are, you will witness more patronage. And to re-echo our intention of making sure that the public gets the best value, we are supplying to the retailers at ridiculous low prices, so they can forward to the people. Apart from that, the IT equipments are obtained directly from the manufacturers by our company in UK. And for such consignment to be accepted in UK it must be subject to certain tests. Only when the tests are through that you can sell, if not we are committed to the point that any defective batch must be sent back to the manufactures. So we maintain quality, low price and of course, presently we have wide range of camera, tvs, and new gadgets that enhance businesses.
Investment in Nigeria
Even though I may not be able to quote figures, but we have made significant inputs to the development of IT market in the country, and we are willing to do more. Right now, we are spreading our business operations to other cities in Nigeria with sole of deploying quality product in the market and delivery on time. We have come to realize that low quality products move into the market, especially when the genuine ones are out of stock.
Viability of ICT market in Nigeria
Following the discovery of the viability of the market, we are expanding our distribution network. At present, we have agents all over the country and like I said earlier, we are determined to open up more office, so we can be closer to the customers. In that regard, the pricing can be done right. The Nigerian IT market is growing by the day and it will continue to expand, for instance, we are planning to partner educational administrators in the country and various corporate bodies like banks to give us the opportunity to fix some challenges they are having. ICT has become a way of life. It’s like air we breathe in, no business can succeed today without the help of ICT applications.
The Cashless economy is more or less not working at the moment. It is still a kind of shaky ground. One outstanding problem is that most Point of Sale (PoS) deployed in various stores, malls, etc are not working optimally; is disappointing that at the critical time one needs to make use of them you find them not operational. Both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the initiator and regulator and the banks as the operators must align together to see to the success of the economic policy. They must not neglect complaints as they come in, because successful implementation of the policy is dependent on the level of public acceptability and compliance. Although the percentage of mobile users has increased tremendously, but we have to consider how many of them apply the same in fund transfer? What is the sensitization level? Moreso, for all to participate, we must not neglect the importance of high quality products.
I am sorry, I don’t have workers here. I have a team of experts, who are dedicated to the course. We work together for the progress of the company. They are all happy and go about performing their duties even with less supervision.
Uniqueness of PC PRO
We are driven by two principal standards- to add value to peoples’ life through qualitative service. If the man in the street is satisfied with service rendered to him, of course, I should be confident that he will call-in again. That is one point several organizations have missed to acknowledge. Not only that, they go to the extent of selling to people at exorbitant prices; they don’t care what people say. For instance, we don’t supply equipment and leave them in the dark, we have a technical support team that give them attention when arises for that. We want all to be part of ICT driven economy in the Nigeria. And in our way of aiding the process, we make sure our stock come from Europe, US, Dubai, etc and the quality is not in doubt.