Thursday, December 16, 2010

SETACI, laughing at the crisis

It is remarkable how some companies seem to be so resilient to the crisis. A positive attitude certainly makes the difference. SETACI, a local automotive company has steadily grown despite the crisis, it has gone international and is planning to continue expanding. The secret? After 35 years in Ivory Coast, the company acts for the common interest of Ivorian people rather than for its own benefit.

Despite the crisis, SETACI intends to multiply its turnover by three in 2010. “In spite of the crisis, our company never thought to relocate”, explains Mr. Kanaan, a Lebanese expatriate and SETACI’s Director in Ivory Coast since 1974. “We have stayed to invest, to fight against unemployment and to decrease poverty thanks to our contribution as an economic operator to Ivory Coast’s tax revenues”, he says proudly. Specialized in the commercialization of spare parts imported from different brands, the company is present in the sub-region: Guinea, Senegal, Mali and Niger. In addition to being the representative for Mercedes, Mitsubishi and Citro├źn in Ivory Coast, SETACI is also the official representative of KIA Motors since October 2009. In its recruitment policy, the General Management gives priority to nationals: 99% of its work force is Ivorian. Despite the crisis, SETACI reached a 3 billion francs CFA turnover in 2009 (almost 4.7 million Euros) and, according to its manager, the forecast is to multiply by three this result in 2010. “ We already have KIA Motors and we expect to acquire one or two other automotive brands in the near future - he says - we will expand soon in order to adapt our facilities to a heightened activity ”. To fulfill this, an offensive strategy has to be set up concerning the fast positioning of the brand the company just acquired. Indeed, KIA Motors offers a 3-year guarantee or 60,000 Km when its competitors just offer 2 years of guarantee or 30,000 Km. In the present gloomy economic situation punctuated by the crisis in Ivory Coast, Mr. Kanaan claims that the future is quite promising when the country is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of independence. For him, it is essential that Ivory Coast and Africa in general make up for the delays accumulated in the course of multiple crises. “I always said that Africa is a continent for the third millennium, a very rich continent. That is why I have no doubt that we will catch Europe up and we will be totally independent. Ican just wish that this beautiful continent will grow”.

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