Vertiv announces aggressive push for market share in Africa

Wojtek Piorko, MD of Vertiv Africa.
Wojtek Piorko, MD of Vertiv Africa.

Vertiv, a NYSE-listed critical infrastructure and continuity solutions vendor, has identified Africa as a high-growth market. 

To increase its market share and reinvest in the continent, last year the company appointed Wojtek Piorko as MD of Vertiv Africa, and this week it unveiled a revamped Africa head office in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Vertiv is a $5.7 billion company with 27 000 employees and a global presence. Its product and services portfolio includes hardware, software, analytics and services for data centres, communication networks, commercial and industrial facilities.

In the EMEA region, it has 10 manufacturing and assembly centres, 65 service centers, over 650 field service engineers, and more than 100 technical support personnel. In Africa, Vertiv has established five customer experience centres and employs more than 100 people across various divisions, including sales and services.

Karsten Winther, president, Vertiv EMEA.
Karsten Winther, president, Vertiv EMEA.

Speaking at the opening of its head office in Midrand this week, EMEA president Karsten Winther reiterated the company’s commitment to service its partners and customers across the continent.

“Africa is one of the biggest contributors to the EMEA growth market,” said Winther. “Africa is now being digitalised and digitally connected to the rest of the world. There will be an increase in demand for infrastructure that is required to sustain this connectivity and manage the huge volume of data growth."

Vertiv’s ‘Africa for Africa’ initiative aims to drive investment into the continent and promote the idea that Africa can and should chart its own course within the ICT and telecommunications industries. 

To implement this strategy, Vertiv has divided the continent into five sub-regions and established offices in Casablanca, Cairo, Lagos, Nairobi, and South Africa.

Winther said the South African operation is not only the regional office for the country, it’s also the headquarters for Africa. From this base Vertiv works with distributors or service suppliers and partners to roll out hardware, software, analytics and services.

The global data centre market accounts for approximately 70% of Vertiv’s revenue. Winther believes the company is well-positioned to capitalise on the growth of both local and foreign investment in Africa’s data centre market.

Ambitious growth

Despite turbulence in the global IT and telecoms industries, Vertiv is determined to pursue an ambitious growth strategy. The recent layoffs at major technology companies such as Meta, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and Zoom reflect the socio-economic challenges faced by many markets.

Winther and Piorko acknowledge that growth in these industries has slowed internationally, as evidenced by the slow adoption of 5G and edge computing. However, they believe that the tide is turning and that emerging markets like Africa are poised for accelerated digital transformstion.

The Vertiv executives also anticipate significant growth in the carrier and tower infrastructure business. “The sheer demand we see locally in Africa is also helping us …we are looking to take significant market share,” said Winther.

He added that many telcos are still adjusting their business models and figuring out how to best utilise the speed and infrastructure that Vertiv offers. 

“We are in discussions with some of them to help inspire them with what is possible in technology so that they can so that they can figure out how they can utilise technology to offer services to companies and individuals.”

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