Monday, April 16, 2012

An Interview with Tony Ofoman of Ozed, Limited-Lagos, Nigeria

1. Would you please tell us a little about yourself-family, friends, where you grew up, and hobbies, etc?

My name is Anthony (Tony) Ofoman. I was born and raised in the Edo-State, which is located in the mid-western part of Nigeria. But I have lived in Lagos- the economic-commercial-industrial capital of Nigeria- for about 20 years. My education is in engineering, business and legal studies. I worked as Engineering Manager and later Production Operations Manager in a large multinational pharmaceuticals manufacturing company.

I am married to Edith- a very elegant woman: she is my love, my wife, my friend- and we are blessed with four beautiful children- the eldest is 22 years old.

2. What is the nature of your business and what territories do you serve? What services do you provide?

Ozed Limited specialize in the marketing, sales and support of high-end, high-quality process and packaging equipment. Our focus is on industrial product identification and coding machines and solutions, and bottling & packaging equipment. Our products and services are available pan-Nigeria and for the process & packaging equipment, we are able to support customers across the African continent. In all cases, we are able to specify, supply, install commission and provide training on the handling and maintenance of the equipment. More importantly, we are resourced to provide backup and after-market technical support and spare parts through out the useful life of all equipment we install.

3. What is your relationship with Norland International and how long have you been associated with Norland?

We partnered with Norland about 10 years ago and our role is to collaborate with Norland in the installation, commissioning, and operator training and after sales support of all its range of equipment- water treatment plants, rinsing, filling, capping, labeling packaging, bottle making, etc.

4. What size of water bottling plants have you installed? How has your experience been in working with and setting up Norland equipment?

We have at various times installed bottling plants from the entry-level 500 liters per hour capacity to the larger 5000 liters per hour lines. Upfront, our engineers were thoroughly trained by Norland and on an ongoing basis continue to receive skills/knowledge/new products knowledge improvement training conducted by Norland in-factory engineers and technicians.

Collaborating with Norland in the in the set up of their customer’s bottled water plants has been very rewarding to us for so many reasons. First, our engineers are provided the specialist training they need to deliver first class technical service. Second, it is so much easier and more fulfilling in handling equipment that is well designed and is trusted to perform reliably.

5. What advice can you give to future entrepreneurs who may be thinking of starting a bottled water operation and working with Norland International?

It pays to work with a company that has extensive experience in the bottled water industry – not just in the production of high quality equipment, which is in itself very important, but also in the knowledge of the production and distribution of bottled water. All without exception will find that the advice Norland freely shares is very useful in avoiding the usual startup challenges. In my opinion, working with Norland –guarantees success – because of their many years of experience in the bottled water industry, bottled water production and distribution, unmatched equipment quality and reliability, and after sales support.

6. Where do you think the bottled water industry is headed in your part of the world?

Nigeria is still grossly underserved- with per capita water consumption of less than 7 liters. We see strong growth (10% – 15% year-on-year) for the next 5 – 10 years as the economic circumstance of the middle-class improve.

A special thanks to Tony Ofoman of Ozed Limited for taking the time to share his story with the Norland audience.