Hinduja Group Plans Major Africa Expansion

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Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group plans to expand its business across the African region, especially in the automotive, technology and energy sectors.

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At the just-concluded World Economic Forum (WEF), the Group’s Europe Chairman, Prakash Hinduja said the company is planning to expand its Ashok Leyland vehicle business across Africa depending on the capacity and demand of in each country, while noting the potential Africa bears for Indian companies.

“Hinduja group is… expanding into Africa and there have been many meetings here with leaders from African countries, including Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa to explore business opportunities in those places,” he said.

“Other sectors, where we are planning to expand there (in Africa), include our information technology business and Houghton, which we have acquired recently,” he added.

The group made a similar pledge at the WEF last year with the view of looking at the Public private Partnership (PPP) model.

Meanwhile, as part for its Africa expansion plan, the trans-national conglomerate, which has interests in the automotive, oil and gas, power and healthcare sectors, has partnered with Stallion Group for a wide range of activities in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement, which was finalised by Hinduja Group’s Co Chairman G. P. Hinduja and Stallion Group’s Chairman Sunil Vaswani at the sidelines of the WEF, is indeed timely considering Nigeria’s new automotive policy.

The automotive policy seeks to make new cars affordable to more Nigerians by encouraging the establishment of a local vehicle manufacturing industry. To achieve this, the government recently increased the import duty on used and new cars into the country from 10 percent to 35 percent and from 20 percent to 70 percent respectively.

Stallion is already assembling Hinduja’s Ashok Leyland range of buses in Nigeria and with the new partnership, both companies hope to expand their model range from the present two to twelve models.

These models are to be assembled for the Nigerian market at Stallion’s ultra- modern factory in Lagos, where plans are also underway to assemble Ashok Leyland’s military and defence vehicles.

*Ventures Africa

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