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Nigeria needs to intensify fight against grey market, says Motorola


Uzonna Izugbokwe

Uzonna Izugbokwe

Uzonna Izugbokwe is the Lead Channel Sales Manager, Motorola Solutions, English Speaking West Africa. He spoke with journalists in Lagos recently on the need for Nigeria to intensify the fight against grey market, among other industry related issues. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN reports

How has Motorola been able to penetrate the Nigerian market?
Nigeria is a priority market for Motorola and other leading brands across the globe. Apart from the mobile phone business, our focus lately is on two-way radio communication for commercial market and as well as the public safety. The mobile phone business was a successful business unit of Motorola, but at some point, a purely business decision was made to focus solely on the two-way radio communication business, and that’s where we are today.

Today, I know you are familiar with our walkey-talkeys, going across regions of several industry verticals from hospitality to public safety, entertainment, religious services, security services and a whole range of other industries. This is our focus now and this is what we offer as Motorola Solutions.

To what extent are you building local capacity in the country?
Motorola Solutions continues to build local knowledge and understanding in the Nigerian market, working with dedicated partners whilst supporting their growth. Our focus is to provide best-in-class products, solutions and services to the Nigerian market by building upon our over 50 years’ experience of doing business across Africa.

We have been able to create a trusted partner network that provides service and support for our high-quality products to ensure customer satisfaction. We are set up as a solution team that is able to engage with end-users directly to understand infrastructure, to be able to recommend and prescribe.Motorola also focused on the channel partners, which are locals in this region to be able to reach the end users.

What are your product offerings peculiar to this market?
We have several product offerings for Nigeria and the African market. But in this instance, I will speak specifically about the newly launched Wave Solution. There are huge usages of smart phones in Nigeria, looking back; you do understand the difference between the two-way radio and mobile phones right? Because, with the mobile phone, you need a minimum of 15 seconds to be able to establish connection with whom you are trying to reach, but with radio, it is instant. The minute you push the (PTT), Push-To-Talk function, you are instantly communicating which encourages effectiveness and efficiency.

What we have done with the Wave Solution is leveraging on the fact that there are smart phones in the hands of 80-percent mobile phone users, so we have created solutions that enables the smart phone to have a PTT function, which exists only at the radio prior to dialing.

We have a cement manufacturer who has three plant where there are about 650 users actively utilizing the Wave Solution. How are they able to do this? Simple, we have about 150 radios, but with more than 90 per cent of his employees owning smart phones; we are able to integrate same on the radio network, without having to give every single user in that factory a radio. So you can see that the Wave Solutions enables them communicate effectively and run more efficient operations. Essentially, what we are doing with the Wave Solution, leveraging on already procured devices that have no direct benefit to Motorola. All you need to do is to have the Wave Application running on it.

Another beautiful thing on the Wave Solution is the infrastructure. It does not have to be your own; you can leverage on an existing infrastructure that may be domiciled elsewhere in the world. All you need is an internal protocol process to create the connection.

That way, businesses are saving money, because some of the radio cost us much as 500 dollar each, this is a solution that is helping you not to make huge capital expenditure on procuring additional radio for your infrastructure.

Our solutions are tailor-made for any environment; it does not matter if it is the army or health care, religious organizations. It’s just efficient enough that it can work in any environment, it doesn’t matter who is using it, and it’s available and
ready to work at any environment.

What do you consider as most challenging issue in the Nigerian market?
The problem is the fake and the grey market, which is a global issue. There is need to intensify fight against grey market activities in this region. Already, we have put in place plans to fight the menace. We have campaigns. We are also sensitizing people, because sometimes people know that these things are fake and they are coming in from the wrong channel, yet they still patronise them. We have been telling people the benefits of procuring from the real channels, benefit of procuring original devices, the warranty, after sale support and most importantly, the effectiveness of what you are buying, you are sure it is original that have been designed to deliver what you procured it for. We give 12 to 24 month warranty depending on what you are buying.

What about the regulatory environment?
In every product and solution we have today, there is adequate documentation from the regulatory authorities. We have certification called the SONCAP to the declaration of conformity which is what is required for each and every device that is used here in Nigeria.

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