In the second part of Jeanette Clark’s interview with Maris’ CEO and co-founder Charlie Tryon for How we made it in Africa, Charlie provides his perspective on the growth potential of e-mobility, construction equipment distribution, warehousing, and gold mining in Africa.
“In the sector, we focus on one core area at the moment: electric mobility. E-mobility, specifically four-wheelers for long-haul logistics, is going to be revolutionary. When it comes to two-wheelers we want to look at developing solar plants that could charge batteries for these motorbikes.”
Charlie calls for greater political will and investment in the renewable energy sector to reduce reliance and government spending on oil.
Maris owns 50% of the META Group that distributes construction equipment in various countries on the continent.
Charlie highlights good growth across the eight dealerships in Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, DRC, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya in the last 12 months.
“The results of this division reflect the opportunity that exists to transition away from more expensive Western brands like Caterpillar or Hyundai towards newer economy products from India and China. Many of our markets are very price sensitive and an excavator from India at 25% less than the one from Europe, makes sense to them.”
Gold mining interests continue to be a real success.
“We have faced challenges in the last couple of years, and most of them are political. In Kenya, we hope the new administration will address some of the uncertainty we’ve seen, e.g. a moratorium placed on mining licences. In Zimbabwe, where we have two operations, we have seen long-term challenges build up over time like chronic power shortages due to under-investment in infrastructure projects.”