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Exclusive interview with Powertech CEO Neil Kayton.   Powertech is a gold sponsor at this year’s African Utility Week.

Neil Kayton

What are you most excited about currently in terms of Powertech’s products and solutions?
Powertech has combined its product offering with its solutions offering to provide the basket of goods and services the customer is demanding of us. We are becoming more of a one stop shop to deliver the overall solution the market expects. We are also adapting our solution offering to assist the country in the delivery of power to deliver the growth it needs to alleviate some of the poverty challenges we face.

What is on the calendar for Powertech in 2013?

  • Most importantly is the launch of the new consolidated solutions offering called Powertech System Integrators.
  • We are also launching our new partnership called Powertech Quadpro, a turnkey substation solution offering for South Africa and Africa.
  • We are also well advanced through our Africa division to deliver quality products and services into specific markets in Africa, especially the mining and transport sectors of the economy.

What opportunities do you see in Africa?

  • Africa is definitely where the next significant growth market is.
  • Mining resources are being discovered, mined and product sold to overseas markets. This results in the need for transportation and electrification.
  • We are perfectly positioned to assist in these areas and with System Integrators and Powertech Quadpro we should be able to provide a quality service offering to our customers.
  • There is also the need to manage and measure electricity consumption. We are perfectly positioned with our products and services to deliver a quality service in this regard.

What makes Powertech competitive in this market?

  • We have excellent people.
  • We have excellent products and services.
  • We have very good experience.
  • We are renowned for our quality of supply.
  • Our brand names are trusted in the market.

What in your view are the biggest challenges to the RSA and African market?

  • Competition from the East is probably the biggest challenge we face.
  • Our pricing in some aspects is not competitive because of assistance some eastern countries provide to their businesses who wish to export to Africa.
  • Corruption is a big threat to honest business.
  • Accessibility in terms of logistical delivery to these African markets can be costly and difficult.
  • Skills retention is proving to be expensive and difficult.

What surprises you about this industry?

  • The businesses that operate in this market are resilient. Pricing is keen which does result in some unique offerings and strategies required to deliver the product or service.
  • On the negative side the local market is sometimes slow to change when confronted with overseas competitors.
  • The requirements for power are immense but the local municipalities are slow to realise and deliver the infrastructure needed to grow South Africa and Africa.

Why does Powertech keep returning to African Utility Week?

  • We are leaders in our field and we need to show to the market our capabilities and product and service enhancements.
  • We want to make money from our exposure to the market we are involved in and we do believe that African Utility Week brings our market together to see what we can all do to enhance the lives of the people of South Africa and Africa.

Main Message for the AUW delegate and visitor

  • South African businesses, especially Powertech, are in a perfect position to deliver what the customer wants.
  • We understand our region, we have the capabilities to deliver, we have the sustainability to be around to deliver on our promises and we honestly want the region to grow in order to benefit our stakeholders as well as the communities within Africa.