Business News of 2014-07-23

Alex Lu speaks on prospects of Rlg's new Manufacturing status

Global Head of Rlg, Alex Lu is upbeat about the prospect which comes with company’s newly attained status as a manufacturer of electronic devices.

He said though it has taken the company 12 years to migrate from an assembler to a manufacturer, the new status was critical in standardizing the procedures, processes and practices as a global brand.

Rlg Communications Ltd started operation in Ghana, initially as a dealer in mobile phones, computers and accessories, later becoming an assembler of electronic devices and equipment after its ultra-modern Assembly Plant became active.

The process to attain a manufacturing status began more than eight years ago when the company established a strong Laptop and Mobile phone Research &Development outfit based at the company’s Plant in Shenzhen, China where raw materials outsourced from different countries are fabricated and exported to different destinations where the company has operations.

Rather than depending on purely outsourcing products from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), the company entered into the Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) businesses, enabling an African original based company move to the same level of their competitors all around the developed countries such as USA, Korea and China.

In August 2012, Rlg was granted an OEM status by the world’s largest software developer, Microsoft in a partnership deal which was later described by the world’s most influential business magazine, Forbes, as “the partnership of the future”.

Anglophone West Africa Manager of Microsoft at the time, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje, remarked that the “his outfit is honored to partner with Rlg adding that the relationship is an international one and that its outfit placed more emphasis on technology because windows is the heart of Microsoft”.

“That partnership meant so much because Microsoft agreed to it after satisfying itself with the technological innovativeness of Rlg even at that time”, said Mr Lu who is based at the company Global Office in Dubai is said to have told a business website in Dubai.

Last month, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) granted International Standards Organisation (ISO) 9001:2008 Certification to Rlg Communications Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of Rlg Communications Global, becoming one of the first indigenous OEMs in Africa under the ICT sector to achieve this.

The issuance of the NIS ISO 9001:2008 No. 0000389 by the Nigerian authorities follows rigorous assessment carried out by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) after an application by Rlg Communications Nigeria Ltd to have its Quality Management Systems (QMS) audited and certified in compliance with international standards and best practices.

"What this means is that our products and training services meet international standards, capable of competing with similar brands globally. This then affords us the opportunity to bid for international contracts", says Tosin Ilesanmi, the company's Head of Business to Government (B2G) in West & Central Africa.

For years Rlg utilised its ODM status to its advantage, haven weighed the low-labour input consideration by allowing its China operation to manufacture components for use in Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya and other countries, emulating the example of businesses including Compal Electronics, which makes notebook computers and monitors, and operates as a mass producer for numerous brand companies, assisted by low-labor costs, low-cost transport, and the near commodity nature of the physical inputs. For example in 2011, 94% of all worldwide notebooks were made by Taiwanese ODMs.

By entering the ODM business, RLG communications now prides itself of R&D in China, a Global Operational Team in Dubai and a strong manufacture bases in Ghana, Nigeria and the Gambia.

This strengthens Rlg’s already known brand in West Africa, combined with the newly developed ODM business model ensuring that it owns a well-structured supply chain in terms of conceptualisation, design, and manufacture and branding just as in the case of Samsung in Korea and Huawei in China.

These form the basis of Rlg priding itself as an indigenous Pan-African manufacturer of electronic devices.

Rlg is currently ranked No.1 on the list of top 100 companies in Ghana, better known as the Ghana Club 100 and the 3rd Most Respected Company, according to Global auditing firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Source: Kweku Nti-Asamoah
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