Following the acquisition of bespoke generator manufacturer, Musgrave Generators, Ben Whitmarsh, director of Generators For Export and GFE Power Products, explains how the market is opening up for the company
African Review (AR): Could you provide detail on your company’s presence in Africa?
Ben Whitmarsh (BW): We have an active following within Europe and have seen a dramatic increase in demand for quality products from Ukraine and surrounding territories over the past 12 months for obvious reasons. We have also seen a steady increase in demand from the Nordic region as well as Poland.
Africa is one of our key markets. We believe one of the many reasons for our success there is because of our dealer development business model. This includes our exceptional knowledge of how to handle the financial transaction, shipping and documentation requirements for each territory.
We do not simply sell a generator and walk away. Our goal is dealer development. We are always looking for businesses to genuinely partner with, to help develop and grow their knowledge base. By using our in-house training and marketing offerings, we facilitate the growth of their businesses. We want our customers to feel part of our family and be part of our team. This is essential in developing an ever-growing dealership network internationally.
Africa has always been a key part of our business strategy. We understand that the demand for power is greater than the infrastructure currently in place can cope with. Therefore, gensets will continue to be part of the ever-growing need for power. We are aware of the ever-increasing need to consider renewables as part of our offering, as well as solar and battery storage alongside a generator. Optimising a generator to make sure the energy is not wasted is something we actively discuss with our clients.
AR: How are you expecting the African market to develop for the company?
BW: We only see growth. We still have many countries within Africa where we don’t currently have representation and we are actively looking for businesses who are not happy with their current supplier. We are urging businesses who are looking to add a generator range to their business to get in touch to explore dealership opportunities with us.
AR: Why did the company acquire Musgrave Generators and how will this expand your portfolio?
BW: The Musgrave Generators brand sits perfectly between GFE Power Products and its sister company, Generators for Export. Generators for Export can provide existing Musgrave Generators customers with a decommissioning service, removing old and outdated electricity-generating systems whilst GFE Power Products can support the replacement of these units, providing off-the-shelf solutions.
GFE Power Products in association with Musgrave Generators are able to design and build a bespoke product depending on the customer’s specification.
AR: Are bespoke products a growing interest from your customers?
BW: We are finding that the skill of generator selection seems to have been diluted in the market as of late, with businesses pushing the products they represent, rather than looking at the needs of the customers. Once the needs of the customer have been identified, we place the importance on selecting the correct product for the correct application or even creating something unique or tailor-made. It all comes down to the initial discussion with the client and/or the relationship that is built.
The UK market is definitely seeing an uplift in non-standard equipment whereas the African market is still generally happy to work with a standard product most of the time. We are seeing occasional enquiries for upgrades to standard equipment with items such as synchronisation or the ability to top up batteries. We believe that we are at the beginning of this trend but as a business we want to be at the forefront of making our dealers the best that they can be.
Through training and support, we help them ask the right questions to enable them to offer a knowledge-based proposal to their customers.