Ricoh to Expand in Africa

According to printing industry newsletter ITWeb, Ricoh will use South Africa as a base for expansion into more areas in Africa (e.g., Angola) as page volume is growing steadily in this region.

Ricoh will first sign a two-year distribution agreement with consumer electronics distributor Rectron, for its consumer, small office home office (SOHO) and small and medium size business printers (SMB), multifunction printers (MFPs), consumables and solutions, according to Jacques van Wyk, Ricoh SA’s ‎Executive GM of Indirect Channel Operations.

Van Wyk added that Ricoh will “establish operating companies in African regions to expand the brand’s presence on the continent, and tapping into our print and production, office automation equipment, cloud-based solutions capabilities and other IT services.”

Richard Allison, who is responsible for the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, affirmed that Ricoh has studied the printer market trends in Africa.

“Our research indicates that, unlike Europe, pricier color printing costs are driving Africa to remain a predominantly monochromatic (black and white) printing market, with color cartridge refilling very low in comparison to countries like Russia and the Ukraine in Eastern Europe,” said Allison.

He added that Ricoh will also improve on areas that have presented challenges in the past, including upgrading the customer experience by simplifying packaging and making user manuals easier to read, as well as improving logistics by delivering directly to countries in which Ricoh operates.

“This is the right time to replicate parts of the company’s business models that have been successful in similar markets and use them to achieve consistency, which will further enhance the brand’s reputation in the African market,” concluded Allison.

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