South Africa – Energy management solutions and efficiency technologies are a means to end the energy crises experienced worldwide, highlighted Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, during his recent visit and tour of the new Midrand Schneider Electric Campus in Gauteng.
“The convergence of IT and energy technologies, the Internet of things applied to energy, allows increasing control and anticipation in the use of energy and resources. Schneider Electric’s technology and expertise is therefore focused on safety, reliability, efficiency and the grid, encompassing both industrial and green automation innovation,” he added.
Representatives from the French Development Agency, Angolan Trade Commission, the French Embassies in Bostswana and South Africa, and members of the local media, were invited to join Tricoire and Mohamed Saad, senior vice president for Africa and the Caribbean, on a 360-degree Schneider Electric experience at its new 12,000 square metre site.
The site houses the company’s manufacturing operation, and is also the new home of its mining team, which services the whole of Africa, its Sustainability Development business unit and Low Voltage Electrical Distribution division, as well as the Schneider Electric Academy and the company’s data centre consolidation initiatives. Employees from the Capital Hill, Bartlett and Germiston sites, as well as certain personnel from its nearby headquarters, have relocated to this site.
According to Schneider Electric, the new building shows a major commitment to the organisation’s long-term investment in southern Africa and provides it with more local capabilities, in particular, when it comes to fully servicing its customers by being closer to their needs. The colocation of all employees on the site is envisioned to assist in greater collaboration.
The Midrand site also forms part of the company’s global “Cool Sites” programme, which focuses on designing workplaces that are attractive, inspiring and energising for employees, enabling better employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction levels.
“It is an inviting space for our valuable customers. It perfectly mirrors our brand promise as a global specialist in energy management, with its state-of-the-art elements reflecting our central message of efficiency and energy saving,” added Eric Leger, country president for southern Africa at Schneider Electric.
“Schneider Electric believes in the long-term,” emphasised Tricoire, saying that the decisions the company makes today, be it business or technology development, are for the future. “Africa is an economy of resources. The continent offers a growing population, and numerous young people wanting to learn and build competencies. We are committed to Africa.”
He added that “if your technology is the best, you must be everywhere in the world”, and demonstrating this, delegates were given an overview of Schneider Electric’s BipBop programme (Business, Innovation, and People at the Base of the Pyramid), which develops collective solutions for comprehensive rural electrification, domestic solutions for energy-related needs, and the business models that make these solutions sustainable. This means that it offers reliable, affordable, and clean solutions; training; and business innovation support to help close energy gaps worldwide. Within this programme, Schneider Electric has created access to energy for 43,837 people worldwide.
“It has been an honour to host Jean-Pascal, who turned a French company into a global operation, managing more than 100 businesses worldwide and leading 185,000 people, as well as Mohamed, who most recently accepted the Africa Best Employer Brand Award for 2014/ 2015, in South Africa,” concluded Leger.
Mohamed Saad, senior vice president for Africa and the Caribbean ; Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric and Eric Leger, country president for southern Africa at Schneider Electric