Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eaton INTU Ghana - powering ourselves better

On Monday, May 11th, I attended a media briefing which launched Eaton Corporation's operations in Ghana in partnership with a local group of companies INTU. Eaton is the 4th largest electrical company in the world with over 100000 employees globally. With offices and manufacturing lines in South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco, Ghana is a new point of call to drive their business more intimately. Monday marked a milestone in Eaton's business as they launched their operations in Ghana, in conjunction with the INTU group of companies. This launch was organized by Global Media Alliance, the same company which houses YFM, ETV, Silverbird. They do a lot of press relations and marketing work as well. Eaton's interests here were represented by Jerry Sawyerr, who handles their PR in the sub region. Sumaya Abdool, the head of marketing for Eaton Electrical in Africa, welcomed us.
Shane Kilfoil, the managing director of Eaton Africa, gave a presentation with some more insight into Eaton's business and organization. "We don't manufacture power, we help out customers manage power, safely". A lot of light has been thrown on how Ghanaians manage and/or waste power & energy. A bit part of the problem driving this #dumsor crisis is the heavy consumption while we don't generate power to current capacity.


About Eaton, Shane mentioned "We make equipment that operate in harsh environments and still do so in safe ways". This is extremely important. With their South African operations, Eaton makes so many conveyor belts that are used in mines all around the world. We see a lot of unsafe galamsey practices in Ghana, whose business is not crippling the formal mining sector in Ghana. If our tech companies are hard hit by the power crisis, imagine the mining sector, the bread upon which our natural resource economy is based. Their ability to use power and even contribute to the power grid is important for Ghana and Eaton's entry will make this even better.

Everyone likes to talk about the 50MW power projects, forgetting about the smaller ones for end users". I bought a generator for the first time this year to cope with dumsor. I had considered solar power, and inverters before this. Many SMEs are suffering in this current climate, and solutions that target them to manage their power consumption are key. Eaton and INTU understand this clearly and will be driving these solutions in the market. It may have taken them a while to launch in Ghana, but there is no better time than the present.

How do you build one of the world's largest electrical companies with billions in revenue and a 100,000 employees? By working with partners and acquiring others to grow. Eaton already does business in Ghana but by partnering with INTU, one aspect of business often overlooked in Ghana is done better. "With people on the ground, manufacturing & delivering quicker, means better customer service", Shane said.

I must have heard about INTU before, especially INTU-IT. Though the INTU group of companies has done extensive work in Ghana, because it is B2G - Business to Government, I have hardly heard of them. INTU has a great track record in the services industry in Ghana. Bryan Akyeampong, their CEO, shared a lot of this.


INTU will be starting out with Eaton power quality products & others that can help companies & communities manage power better. Bryan mentioned how companies like Global Media Alliance could wean themselves off the grid and even sell power for distribution. The more intriguing revelations were around towns like Nkawkaw using Eaton power systems and products; A plug & play power container into to provide power for all its needs. A strong local leadership could take such a project on with other forward thinking partners. We need great examples like these to inspire change and innovation around the country. After the presentations, Eaton's Shane and INTU's Bryan signed their partnership into agreement and posed for photo opps, short of the two of them taking a selfie and posting it on Twitter with the #EatonIntuGhana hashtag.

I was curious as to what roles many of the 100,000 Eaton employees were in globally, why there were only 900 of them in Africa and what they did differently. A journalist asked about the unemployment issues in Ghana and Eaton will help resolve that. Shane answered saying many of the employees are in manufacturing and distributing roles. Partnering with local companies also brings new business and capacity that creates more jobs as well.

You can find more information about the media briefing via #eatonintughana. Let's welcome Eaton into Ghana. Eating Intu Ghana. See what I did there? :-) Akwaaba INTU Ghana, Eaton. Eaton's mantra is powering business worldwide but in Ghana, we can use Eaton and INTU 's partnership in powering ourselves better
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