Sona Group is building world-class businesses in Nigeria, says Manghnani
Group Chief Operating Officer, Sona Group of Industries, Ashok Manghnani, said one of the factors that accounts for the company’s success is its belief in the Nigerian project, which has enabled the company to build strong brands with resources sourced locally.
The company started operations in Nigeria in 1994 and later diversified into different sectors. It has within its group 10 subsidiaries, which command strong brands like Maltonic, Sabrina, Sona Coaster Biscuit, plastic pallet and amongst others.
While speaking at the Nigeria Manufacturing and Equipment Expo (NME Expo) held recently, Manghnani, stated, “The promoters of the companies under the group are Nigerians by hearts who have spent many years in Nigeria and who believe in Nigeria.
Most of the people in our management team are people who have spent many years in the country to know what Nigerians want; that is why for many years, we have operated in the country, building products sourced with local materials.
“We started with about six breweries and now we have diversified into Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), packaging, power and gas, manufacturing as well as in real estate.
In Europe, the government subsidise their industries and we want to see the same situation applied in the country.
Some of the challenges we face here is high cost of manufacturing coupled with poor power situation and high interest rate, which revolves between 22 and 26 per cent.
“You find out that importation is always cheaper compared to growing locally. However, we have found ways to get our materials locally though expensive but available.
Gestation period in Nigeria is high and part of it is based on raw materials, which are sourced locally. After production we export our to Ghana and other African countries.”