Home Business We are building world class businesses in Nigeria- Sona Group boss
Business - March 15, 2018

We are building world class businesses in Nigeria- Sona Group boss

Ashok Manghnani, Group Chief Operating Officer, Sona Group.

By Amechi Obiakpu

In a country where businesses are struggling to stay afloat as a result of harsh economic situation and poor patronages, Sona Group of Industries seemed insulated from the vagaries of Nigeria business climate as it has gone ahead to build strong businesses in the country.

Group Chief Operating Officer, Sona Industries, Ashok Manghnani believes that one of the factors that accounts for the company’s success is because of its believe in the Nigerian project which has enabled the company to build strong brands in Nigeria where all its resources are sourced locally.

Sona Group of Industries started operations in Nigeria in 1994 and later on diversified into different sectors. It has within its group nine subsidiaries which among others command strong brands like Maltonic.

Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, at the Manufacturing & Equipment Expo, Land Mark Centre, Lagos, Manghnani told Espi News that, “the promoters of the companies under the group are Nigerians by heart 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 FMCG, packaging, power and gas, manufacturing as well as in real estate.

“We are also into manufacturing of biscuits. We also have wine, soft drinks which are all made in Nigeria.

“We produce sorghum in large quantity which we get from the north.

“We have nine industries under the group though it is supposed to be 10, but the tenth is investment banking, which presently investment banking is not very lucrative in the country.

Asked of how challenging it has been doing business in Nigeria, Manghnani said in Europe, the government subsidize their industries and would want to see the same situation applies 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%.

“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 part of which is based on raw materials which are sourced locally. After production we export our products to Ghana and other African countries,” he said.

While responding to his companies’ expectations in the ongoing MAN Expo Ashok said, “the MAN Expo participation, is not an expenditure but investments, because we are using the opportunity to showcase what we do and to get feelers directly from some of our customers.

“Last year when we participated in the Trade Fair, one of the the feelers we got was what resulted to the production of paper cup which is part of what we brought to this year’s Expo,” Manghnani posited.

He added that: “We want our clients to expect quality products from us. Even if we compete with people who are into importation, we can only assure them of quality and affordable products”.

Afam Nwabugwu, one of the visitors to Sona Group stand at the Expo told this reporter that he was attracted to the stand by the arrays of products on display. He noted that though the products were not too different from the regular products on the street. But, admitted that for the company to get the required attention there was the need for adequate publicity of the products.

Devanshu Seth, Marketing Manager, Euroglobal, a subsidiary of Sona Group hinted that the group is studying the market and in due time will role out its publicity plan.

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