General Manager for Toshiba Gulf, Santosh Varghese, has bemoaned the huge volumes of fake Toshiba memory devices on the Ghanaian market.
“Everybody thinks they can manage Africa from where they are like from Dubai and UK, so they only come and dumb the products and they don’t come down to check the quality and pricing of these products. On my way here, I came across some guys by the roadside selling our products and when I checked they were all fake,” Varghese told the media in Accra.
Toshiba with a market share of two percent for flash memory devices and 25 percent for hard drives is therefore taking steps to fight counterfeiting of its products.
Varghese disclosed that “We are working with our legal department in Tokyo to deal with the counterfeit problem. The only way is to come directly to the market and do a lot of advocacy and run awareness campaigns. Because people here buy and pay for original products but receive fake ones which is unfortunate.”
As part of efforts to deal with the situation, Toshiba held an event dubbed “Toshiba Channel Connect which is part of its “Go Africa” strategy to connect with their dealers in Ghana in order to receive feedback on their products and address them appropriately.
The “Go Africa”project is also to bring the latest technology with proper quality and proper pricing for company’s products.
The project is currently being rolled out across Africa including countries such as Kenya and Tanzania
The Managing Director of Toshiba therefore urged the public to buy from only authorized dealers.
“We come out with the latest technology which stands for quality and reliability. We are running a lot of awareness campaigns on billboards etc, and we urge our customers to buy from only authorized dealers. If you don’t buy from authorized dealers then it is going to be 99 percent fake. But if you buy from recognized dealers then you are sure that you are buying an original product.”
Toshiba produces two main products which are the hard drives and flash memory devices and has a market share of 30 percent in Africa.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities Toshiba has committed US$20,000 to support education in Africa.
By Nana Oye Ankrah