Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zinox joins Intel exclusive Champions’ club

NIGERIA’s leading manufacturer of personal computers, Zinox Computer Group was last week inducted into the Intel’s exclusive Champions’ club in far away Rome after days of management training which formed part of the award.

Chairman, Zinox, Dr. Leo-Stan Ekeh, who disclosed this on arrival from Rome, Italy, after receiving the award in recognition of his firm’s input on penetration of computers in the continent and West African sub-region, said Zinox was selected to be a member of the Champions’ club as classified by Intel within the Europe, Middle East and African region, purely on merit.

On what the membership portends, Ekeh said that Intel would be working more closely with Zinox in terms of improving the company’s research and development strategies thereby supporting the computer firm to scale competitions.

“Zinox has been elected into the privilege club of Intel known as Champions club, which comes with huge incentives,” he declared.

According to him, the award showed that Zinox has hitherto proven itself without Intel’s assistance in terms of financial support and now they are coming in to invest on their own as a way of showing encouragement.

As a result, Intel team for the implementation of the Champion club incentives would soon be in the country for the take off of the project.

“They gave us a very clear indication that they will be in Nigeria anytime from next month for a take off,” he asserted.

He said the achievement would not put off Zinox initial expansion plans, which according to him, is aimed at making its products and services available to Nigerian without much ado.

Presently, he disclosed that Zinox is leading in the mobile computing – laptop – market in the country and the sub-region and would continue its expansion.

ITRealms Online recalls that few months ago, shareholders of Zinox Technologies Group, approved the injection of N3.5 billion to position the company better for competition, just as Zinox advanced strategies to acquire three local Information Technology (IT) firms with core interest in computer manufacturing.

Zinox Technologies is owned by STAN Technologies of Nigeria, Mustek of South Africa, manufacturers of South Africa, Kenyan and Zambia No.1 brand MECER Computers and Alhaner Ventures of France, a major telecom facility company with extensive interest in Europe and Africa.

The group’s corporate affairs manager, Mr. Echika Ezuka said that the latest fund injection is to truly position the company as the number one among its competitors.

He also said that the decision was taken at the board’s last meeting towards the end of 2007, and confirmed last month in accordance with the promise made to stakeholders by the founding fathers of Zinox Technologies during its launch in 2001.

He explained that the additional capital was necessitated by the need to expand its programme, which includes the planned acquisition of majority shares in some three local computer firms.

“That will add value to our present network of branches both locally and internationally in order to serve our customers better, reduce the total cost of ownership of ICT products and fast track us to our desired destination,” he said.

Ekeh hinted that Zinox is expanding its offices and support network to 20 before the end of this year.

This, Mr. Ezuka noted would add value in Zinox desire to deploy world class infrastructure that will sustain the firm’s position as the number one brand.

Presently, he said that Zinox is committed to building the largest computer assembling plant on the continent located in Lagos, Nigeria.

“When completed, this will increase our plant output by over 500 per cent and will resolve some digital interfaces faster and accurately. We shall soon relocate to a more spacious office with more high-tech facilities possibly the first of its kind on this side of the Atlantic,” he said.

Adding that Zinox group is investing too heavily on human capital that will drive this growth. He explained that this must be incubated over a minimum period of nine months.

“We have just hired over 40 new graduates for the first phase and they are all Nigerians,” he said, revealing that this was a prelude to Zinox plan to launch the largest software company on the continent.

“We intend to launch possibly the largest software,” he asserted, clarifying that Zinox is partnering with both African and Asian companies to ensure this happens between the end of next year, 2009 and first quarter of 2010.

As said by Echika, Zinox is set to launch an interest-free computer ownership scheme in the country and Ghana, pointing out that after the successful launch of Zinox Student Computer Ownership Project (ZSCOP) and the current Computer Discount scheme partly financed by a Nigerian philanthropist, few foreign interests have approached Zinox to use its credible platform to really test the reliability of the Nigerian and Ghanaian consumers when they purchase items on credit.

ITRealms Onlinel recalls that recent market study in the West African region by the United States-based International Data Corporation (IDC) rated Zinox Computers as being neck-to-neck with Hewlett Packard (HP).

Zinox, however, reaffirmed its position as the only Microsoft certified Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner in West Africa and the largest Intel Corporation partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

Also speaking weekend at the end of Zinox board meeting in Lagos, Chairman, Mustek South Africa, Mr. David Khan, restated confidence in the Nigerian market and paid tribute to chairman, Zinox Technologies, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh for taken the franchise beyond all expectation in such a short period with a passion.

“I would say wait for another 12 months to really appreciate his road map. Stan is one gentleman you must trust because his focus is not just on money but rather building a knowledge driven Nigerian economy and we all support him and hope your government will support him to change the face of Nigeria because that is his passion,” Mr. Khan declared.

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