ANGOLA - Industry
General Manager, Bosch Angola
Paulo Ricardo, is the General Manager for BOSCH in Angola since 2014. He is responsible to coordinate and manage the legal entity and support the local business divisions. With his background in electronic Engineering and Safety and Security solutions with more than 25 years, in Bosch for the last 7 years he has also been supporting the implementation of innovated security projects to secure businesses and protect assets and people’s life.
What have been the main milestones of Bosch in Angola since its establishment in 2015?
We felt the need to be closer to our clients on the African continent, which is why we started opening several branches in Africa in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, and Angola. We chose Angola because, despite what many people may think, it is one of the most connected countries to Europe on the continent. At the moment, we have two hubs—South Africa and Morocco—from which Bosch covers most of the countries.
Bosch’s main operating business lines are mobility, consumer goods, industrial technology, and energy and building technologies. Which areas represent the business core for the Angolan branch?
Since the devaluation of the local currency, which brought many problems to our distributor, we decided to take over our local distributor. By doing so, we started to represent the brand directly, providing a better support to our customers. Today, we have nine people in the power tools division, mostly salespeople. We have developed tailored products especially created for the needs of our clients in the African markets. For example, we were the first on the continent to start air conditioning from Bosch, which is not a product we sell in Europe. We created a range of power tools, also for Africa alone, because the requirements are different, covering the two divisions present locally. We operate as a distributor company in Angola, importing products from Germany and other factories around the world. We have a warehouse measuring 2,000sqm in Luanda, and we also manage a repair center for power tools, which provides an important service for our customers, since there is no real culture of maintenance in Angola.
What have been the results for the branch in the past two years, and how have you managed the pandemic and economic recessions?
We have grown, even during the pandemic, so we did not need to lay anyone off. We made an effort to create excellent working conditions for our employees, despite the economic challenges. Since the recession started in 2015, the economic situation in the country does not allow us to grow as much as we would desire, though our presence is stronger each day. Currently, we aim to expand our business to DRC and Namibia. Over the last few years, we have changed our business strategy, starting from Luanda to all the provinces, thereby increasing our coverage.
What is the importance of research and development for the company?
We reinvest heavily in R&D, and in the last few years we are increasingly becoming a software company. It is important for us to have products on the IoT. Our products is ready for usage with the internet anywhere. Our biggest projects within the automotive industry are related to mobility and automated driving and connecting cars to the internet everywhere. Apart from that, we intend our products to be emissions free in the future.
Carbon neutrality was achieved worldwide for Bosch in 2020. How were these environmental goals achieved?
It was difficult to implement such revolutionary projects in pandemic times, though we did not even consider stopping the project. Social responsibility is crucial to us because Bosch is mainly owned by a foundation. The first step was to analyze how to connect the factories to the internet, and the second step was easy because we were in control of electronics and software. In addition, we aim to develop more social responsibility projects in Angola, which we did not have the opportunity to start so far, because we are still a small entity, with only two out of six divisions. One project that we did recently was to bring power tools to the informal market. We go to artisans and teach them about the tools, which can improve the efficiency of their work.
What are the main objectives and expectations for Bosch in 2022?
We are focused on increasing our number of business lines, aiming to start the automotive line in Angola. If the strategy of the government to diversify the economy continues, then Bosch will join the movement to help the local market grow. We want to be near our customers, giving them the opportunity to have our products made for life.
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