MIKANO: Diversifying to Build Capacity and Industrial Growth

Mr. Kelechi Chiboka, Marketing Manager, MIKANO International Limited

MIKANO International Limited is a company associated with providing power solutions through generator which is an household name across Nigeria.

At the 19th Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference with key stakeholders providing insights into sustainable strategies to provide affordable and reliable energy solutions for the country.

In a short video presentation, Mr. Amar Rastogi, a senior official of MIKANO, explained the activities of the company that it has gone beyond offering power through generator and diversified into six divisions.

In an interview, Mr. Felix Douglas, editor of Energy Focus Report, spoke with Mr. Kelechi Chiboka, Marketing Manager of the company to shed more lights about MIKANO.

Can you explain about the diversification and what MIKANO is known for at present?

Once again thank you for this opportunity. MIKANO International as you rightly put it has been known for providing power solutions through its generators. However, overtime MIKANO has entrenched itself in the Nigerian society and understood that due to challenges that Nigerians face, there was need to provide solutions that were of good quality and affordable at the same time.

The lessons learnt over time from providing power solutions through generators allowed MIKANO to expand beyond generator. So, when we started with generators, we had the steel fabrication subdivision. Let me start with the power division that comprises of four subdivisions. There is a power generation subdivision that provides solutions to power generators.

There is a steel fabrication subdivision that is responsible for fabricating steel and products from where we have sound catridge for generators. There is electrical and lighting solutions with heavy equipment.

These are four subdivisions under one division. As I mentioned, because of identifying the challenges that Nigerians had, we try to provide as much solutions as possible for Nigerians to help them have a good living standard at an affordable price, MIKANO ventured into other divisions.

Presently, the company has the Motor Division which it turn has Sedans, SUVs, pick-up trucks, and we’ve got the Foods and Snacks Division with wafer and the likes.

There is MIKANO construction including building and residential Division. We also have Medical Division. With the largest medical vacuum in the country, the company has a factory called MIKANO Industrial City and one of the factories that has the capacity to provide 1.5 billion syringes in a year. The plan is to provide syringes that will be used not jut in Nigeria, but also in neighboring countries.

The newest Division that MIKANO has is Marine division where the company offers police boats for security and commercial boats to boost transportation efficiency. These are the six divisions under MIKANO International.

In the presentation, the audience was shown pictures that MIKANO also manufactures cars and brake pads. Can you provide insight on this?

I mentioned to you earlier that we’ve got the motors division, so, under the motor division, MIKANO assembles cars.

We assemble car and got the Completely Knocked Down (CKD). The essence of that as opposed to other companies is to bring in fully fitted vehicles for sales with the CKD and assemble. What that does is to allow for transfer of knowledge.

They’re able to see the different parts and assemble them together to allow us to build capacity here on groud with a long term plan and later, we should be able to produce and manufacture our vehicles fully in Nigeria.

In the Food Division, is it just biscuits and wafers that are being produced?

We have the wafers and under it there is Max Wafer with different flavours and crunchy chocolate coloured wafer that seems to be like the highest selling product and a lot of people have actually confessed here that they bought them for their children to take to schools and they didn’t realise that it was MIKANO product until they came here. A lot of people buy if for their children. We have the smaller packs like chocolate candies with little pebbles and different colours for young children.

MIKANO logo is not on the wafer or the car?

No, MIKANO logo is on all its products. The logo is in front of the car.

What aspect of marine is MIKANO operating on, is it on the ship, boat or in the services?

When MIKANO started, it provided boats for commercial purposes and transportation, security boats for the police and fishing boats for those who need it.

In the medical aspect, you talked about producing syringes, are hospitals accepting MIKANO products since it is new?

It is a new product that has not yet being pushed into the market. Although, we have other products apart from syringes, like face and surgical masks that are being sold. For the syringes, we are about to conclude some aspects and in another two months, we will settle down.

Don’t you think that this diversification into six divisions, in a situation where there is economy downturn in the country with high cost of materials. MIKANO is diversifying, how is the company coping?

The beautiful thing about this is that most of the resources, manpower and materials, we try to get them as much as possible. Really, we involved and source for high technical people and some of them are gotten from in-house. What that does is that we are re-investing in the Nigerian economy. This is the vision and plan. Also, while we’re providing solutions to meet the needs of Nigerians, we are also re-investing into the country itself so that we’re empowering Nigerians through solutions and job employment.

Are there challenges?

Typically, with every business that wants to expand and step into a new territory, there is an initial challenge in setting up facilities or trying to get the right materials. As much as possible, we are trying to get the best quality for an affordable price.

Trying to find the right type of resources that still deliver good quality at an affordable price to Nigerians can be challenging. But we find a way out to make things work well.

How many employees are working in MIKANO?

MIKANO has different employees working in the company. Across board, there are more than two thousand people working in the company.

MIKANO is known as power solution company through generator services, will people not see the company as deviating from its real cause?

No, you should consider what the business and profit objectives are. Assessing it properly, is to provide quality living for Nigerians. I mean to live the best life should not be only for rich people, everybody should live quality life.

If we’re able to solve problem in the power sector, solutions provided in one aspect, it’s only natural in line with that big picture to provide a quality life for Nigerians. Wherever we see challenges, we should be able to provide solutions. That’s just what it is and we are still in line.

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