NIGERITE Nigeria Plc, the leading manufacturers of roofing sheets in Nigeria, has unveiled a new product, Solo-Xtra roofing sheet.
The new Managing Director, Mr. Frank Le-Bris spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly recently about the transformation of Nigertite Nigeria Plc…
My name is Frank Le-Bris, I am married with two children. My schooling was in Paris, France. I worked with a chemical corporation company, later I joined Peugeot Motor Company, where I served as Commercial Marketing function in New York. I also worked in Nigeria from 1992 to 1996, mostly in Kaduna and Lagos. After then, I moved back to New York to set up stock which took me five years and later moved to Paris for a commercial programme. I worked for 18 years and four months with Peugeot. I later joined AG Boska Automobile spare parts in Poland, where I rose to the post of Managing Director, controlling about one thousand workers. Thereafter, I joined Nigerite.
When was the first time you came to Nigeria?
I came to Nigeria in September 1992.
This is your second coming to Nigeria after 20 years, were you not discouraged about the level of insecurity in Nigeria?
No, I was not discouraged.
Is there any difference between now and the first time you came to Nigeria?
Yes, there is big difference. Airport refurbishing, I remember Ikeja then but it is wearing a new look, new shopping mall, new buildings and most especially, Lekki Link Bridge. Then, I remember molue but it’s no longer common these days. Eko Atlantic, Ikeja GRA, I was told there are much development in Abuja but I have not been there since my second arrival.
How would you assess the Nigerian market?
Nigeria’s economy is growing very well. We just need to look at the energy sector. The Minister of Finance is doing a great job. I see high potential in Nigerian market, there are more structures.
Now that you came to Nigeria on a different platform, what difference are you coming to make with Nigerite?
I decided to come and make a big investment which has been agreed by the shareholders and we are looking for new products and new process at the end of this year. Also, we are to extend our portfolio of market products and to increase our market chances.
Now, Nigerite is going through transformation from a company that offers a product to a company that offers a solution. We are beginning to play at international level, so the experience of an expatriate is needed to help in the transformation programme having seen what was in Nigeria before and what was involved in Europe before I came back to Nigeria. Most of these days, structures are built with foreign materials. Now, Nigerite is ready to provide those materials using local resources.
How do you think you can withstand competition considering the cost price of your products?
We cannot go below our quality standard. The cost of our product cuts across every level of consumer. We have products for all categories without compromising our quality and international standard. Another one is to accomplish the needs of the customers. They need something new. Apart from that, Nigerite has been existing for 55 years, and we understand the marketing terrain of Nigeria. Nigerite is a company that adds value to our customers having knowledge of Nigerian market. If we are not known as a company of value and quality, we would not have been operational by now. In addition to that, because of our knowledge of Nigerian market, we offer an innovative product that can fit into our culture and people.
What is the level of acceptance of these services?
Nigerians are eager to experience new things and to improve their houses. Their reaction is very encouraging unlike French people that are very conservative. You can feel the growth in Nigeria.
You talked about Eko Atlantic, how does it concern Nigerite?
It is to cooperate with the architects, contractors and provide solutions to the project. Also, Eko Atlantic represents innovation and new things. On the basis of that, thinking ahead, we are already working with some of the contractors on major innovative products which would offer solution for a complete dry construction. These are very modern products, a proof of our knowledge of the evolution of Nigerian market. These products will work perfectly with synergy of the Eko Atlantic.
What type of management system are you planning to introduce?
It will be more of diplomatic system, where I have to convince the staff to appreciate the new change now that there is a change in our services and a transformation where we offer products with solution.
You said you are 54 and your marriage is 11 years, why did it take you so long before you got married?
It is question of opportunity.
What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy is to do what you like to do and not what you don’t like.
How do you relax?
I like sports, I like horse riding.
– OREOLUWA BELLO