Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa
Trade between Nigeria and India has strengthened over the years, resulting in a good number of Indian companies establishing their presence in Nigeria.
The Bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and India has reached $15 billion for the financial period 2021-2022, representing an increase of 69.80%.
In Oct 2007, Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, visited Nigeria to raise the status of the bilateral relationship between both countries to a “Strategic Partnership’. During the visit, the Prime Minister stated that diplomatic relations have transformed from “historical friendship” to “strategic partners”.
Presently, India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, and similarly, Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. A lot of these Indian companies in Nigeria have also contributed their corporate social responsibility to Nigerian communities.
Most Nigerian households are familiar with popular brands like Indomie Noodles, Dana air, Dana Plastics, Kia Automobiles, Spar Supermarket and many others, which are interestingly brands owned by Indian companies.
According to the website of the Indian High Commission in Abuja, there are several prominent Indian companies. However, for the sake of time and space, we will focus on only 6 of them, albeit in no particular order. The companies are highlighted below.
TATA African Services (Nigeria) Ltd.
TATA Africa Services (Nigeria) Limited operates under the Tata Group which is an Indian multinational conglomerate founded by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata in 1868 in India.
The company has its products and services in over 150 countries, with operations in 100 countries across six continents.
Tata Africa Services (Nigeria) Limited was established in 2006 and operates as the nodal point for Tata businesses in West Africa, with investments exceeding USD 10 million. Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the Chairman and MD of Tata Africa Services (Nigeria).
The company offers products in the segments of passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, medium commercial vehicles, heavy vehicles, material handling equipment (forklift trucks, stackers, tire handlers etc), heavy equipment (excavators, backhoes, graders and cranes etc), tires, construction equipment (concrete mixers etc), steel and chemicals.
The company has a state-of-the-art 3S (sales, service and spare parts) facility in Lagos and a branch in Port Harcourt.
The company has appointed dealers in Nigeria which are Simba Motors (Northern region) and Viramsun Motors (Central region).
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Tata Africa Services (Nigeria) continues to support education and technology. The company donated four computer systems and printers to Festac Girls Junior Secondary School in 2021, amongst other initiatives.
Dana Group is a conglomerate with businesses across major industries, founded by Jacky Hathiramani.
The company is into plastic, surgical, steel, and allied products, shipping, and property.
Its maiden venture was in Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing before it diversified into bulk importation of industrial chemicals, affordable generic pharmaceuticals, surgical consumables, healthcare services, commodities, automobiles, and aviation.
Its subsidies are Dana Air, Kia Nigeria, Dana plastics, Dana Pharma, DFM Nigeria, and DLC Africa.
During the pandemic, the pharmaceutical division donated essential drugs to Lagos State Government to help fight COVID-19.
The company also celebrates Children’s day with its distributors regularly amongst other charitable endeavours.
Artee Group is a retail industry leader that started as a wholesale business in Nigeria in 1998.
Haresh Keswani is the CEO of Artee Group which owns SPAR and Park n Shop, which operates in the hypermarket and supermarket retail space in three cities: Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
Artee Group began working on the three shopping mall projects in Nigeria in 2014, riding on the success of Port Harcourt Mall.
Artee Group’s retail network touches the lives of millions of Nigerians. The company ensures it gives back to the community through its Black Friday discounts and giveaways to its customers during the Christmas season.
Me Cure Healthcare Limited, founded in 2009, is a diagnostic service provider which identified a gap in medical diagnostics and provided dependable investigations. Today, it is a household name for imaging, pathology, and cardiac-care services.
The Chairman of Mecure Healthcare is Samir Udani, and the centre employs 400 people. The organization began as a diagnostic firm and has since expanded into eye care, dental care, cancer management, and preventive healthcare.
In Nigeria, the company opened seven healthcare diagnostic centres in the last four years (including three public-private partnership centres signed with Abia and Ondo). A Me Cure Eye Center has also been established to diagnose, treat, and perform vision-related surgeries.
The centre also houses West Africa’s first oncology centre and has received numerous awards and has offices on the Lagos mainland, island, Ibadan, and Kano.
Mecure Diagnostics offered customers a 50% discount on diagnostics for 9 lifestyle diseases, 53 diagnostic tests, a free dental check-up, and free health supplements in 2020. Mecure has continued to offer free and discounted diagnostic services to its customers over the years to promote the health of Nigerians.
Indomie/Dufil Prima Food
Dufil Prima Foods is the company behind the popular Indomie Instant Noodles. Deepak Singhal is the CEO of Dufil Prima Foods Plc. Dufil Group was incorporated in 2001 as a private limited liability company, restructured and became the holding company of the group in the year 2008.
The Group is made up of the parent company, Dufil Prima Foods Plc with six subsidiaries that include Northern Noodles Limited, Pure Flour Mills Limited, and others.
The Noodle Division began operations in 1996 in Ota, Ogun State, and at the time was the first and largest instant noodle manufacturing facility in Africa.
In 2008, it underwent a restructuring and changed its name to the group’s holding company.
As part of its CSR initiatives, the company under its Power Oil brand engaged in a free health camp to provide basic medical care for Nigerian adults and promote healthy consumption among the populace. Visits were made to the Pediatrics unit of hospitals and orphanage homes to present gift items to children as well as donate. The company has also supported science education and donated to flood victims, IDP camps and partners with the Nigeria Society for the Blind.
Chi Limited was incorporated in 1980 and became wholly owned by The Coca-Cola Company, following a full acquisition in Feb 2019. Cornelius Vink is the Chairman, while Rahul Savara is the Group Managing Director.
Chi Limited belongs to the fast-moving consumer goods sector that provides consumer products in dairy, beverages, and snacks to the average Nigerian household. The company has provided direct employment to 2500 people and indirect employment to about 50,000 people throughout its value chain.
The company has various products under its portfolio:
Fruit juice: Chivita 100%, Chivita Active, Chi Exotic, Happy Hour by Chivita, Chivita Ice Tea, Capri-Sun.
Dairy products: Hollandia Yoghurt, Zero Yoghurt, Evaporated Milk, Slim Evaporated Milk, Lactose-Free Milk, UHT Milk.
Snacks: Super Bite Snack Roll, Beefie Snack Roll, Beefie Meat Pie
As part of its initiative to give back to society, the management of Hollandia, one of its brands from its dairy division, provided dairy nourishment to the children in Internally Displaced Camps and orphanages in Lagos recently.
The company has also visited the Internally Displaced person camp in Bogije, Ibeju Lekki, Lot Foundation Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle, Life Changers orphanage in Festac, Chosen Child orphanage, and several others.