Painting a brighter picture in the country

PCM Nigeria are well placed to not only consolidate their position as market leaders, but continue to grow into a truly international company

Writer Matt Bone
Project manager Tom Cullum

Paints and Coatings Manufacturers Nigeria Plc., (PCMN), are a specialist in the manufacture of world class coatings including, protective, marine, industrial, decorative and Concrete Coating Systems. Since their establishment in 2001 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, PCMN have grown considerably to become the manufacturing and distribution solution for some of the world’s leading brands. The company have been widely seen as the first to bring in world class Protective and Marine Paints & Coating systems into the Nigerian market.

Mike Thompson, CEO of PCMN is proud that the company has become so trusted by its clients and consumers: “It is always important for us to be a recognised brand in the industry, but we are not just about paints and coatings, we also off era holistic solution to clients needs for surface preparation and application as well. To make things even clearer, we are not just a paint company, we have some amazing products that have the potential to really make a diff erence to the country.”

PCM Nigeria currently hold ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 18001:2007 and Thompson explains that international and national companies look to PCMN as having obtained these standards through hard work and dedication: “We are very pleased to say we have these international accreditations. It shows that the work we have put in and the dedication of our team has paid off. That is not to say we will stop improving, no, we will continue to be the best we can and to raise the bar further. We have been judged by independent and stringent ruling bodies and found to be at a similar level that other global companies have currently attained. This is very important for us as a company.”

Products to be Proud of
PCMN currently offer products including Protective & Marine Coating Systems, which are the International Paints brand, manufactured in Nigeria under license from IP, a member of the Akzo Nobel Group and the world’s leading brand in Protective & Marine coating systems.

Thompson then explains some of the latest products currently available from PCMN: “Our Specialised Flooring and Wall Coating Systems are manufactured under license from resin Building Products UK, a major UK manufacturing of company specialising in flooring, Acid Lining systems, bespoke flooring and wall systems for FMCG Pharmaceutical and other industries,” Thompson continues: “Our decorative range, PROMA, is being rolled out fully in 2014 and beyond, and offers some of the world’s finest Decorative & Architectural paints.”

One of their latest product ranges is the pioneering anti-malaria paint and allied products, the Mozzi Brand. This ground breaking new product is available in different options depending on client requirements. Firstly, it is in a paint format that can be applied to a house or office area and is eco friendly and non poisonous, which works by repelling the mosquitoes as opposed to killing them. The second is a textile spray formulation, which is sprayed onto clothes that can even be washed multiple times, the item will be protected for an average of 3 months. It does not discolour or harm the clothing in any way and is safe for children and adults alike. The final option is in a Soak and Dry format, which is predominantly for use in informal and rural areas, for those who may not have access to washing machine but have a higher density of mosquito related illnesses. The liquid sachet is mixed in a tub along with water and the clothes are then soaked accordingly and hung out to dry. When dry, the clothes are able to repel mosquitoes and provide a “halo” of protection, stretching up to 500mm around a person and lasting for approximately 1 month.

“We are very pleased with the results attained from consumers using Mozzi, it feels like we are really helping the consumer combat the terrible problem of mosquito related deaths and illnesses. This is at the heart of all our Mozzi products: ways to help our public consumers enjoy life that bit more.”

Challenges in the Market
Although PCM Nigeria have enjoyed positive growth in the market over the past 4 years, they have seen trends and changes which may have a significant impact on Nigerian manufacturing industry. The challenges they face are: the cost of providing products to the end user has grown over the last year due to Naira depreciation, raw material input cost increases and the cost of infrastructure, as Thompson identifies: “As we have to provide our own infrastructure due to the uncertainty and lack of stable electricity and water in Nigeria, our fuel consumption has risen for our generating sets which power our processing and manufacturing plants.”

Secondly, direct importation has had an adverse effect on the business. “What happens is a client in the fabrication industry - who is compelled to use a globally recognised brand such as those represented by PCMN - but instead of buying it direct from the Nigerian Manufacturer, they go to USA, Europe, Middle East or China and buy the same product there cheaper than in Nigeria, due to economies of scale. Though those companies have benefitted from Nigerian content preference, they do not cascade this down into the rest of the manufacturing and supply industry, thereby benefitting the whole Nigerian economy. This negatively affects our economy and weakens the stability we have built up in this industry”.

Investing in Nigerian Industry
With Nigerian industries beginning to see more external investment come into the market, Mr. Thompson believes this will be highly beneficial for the company and hopefully stimulate the economy in general: “We have seen a lot of foreign domestic investment from various countries in Africa, ranging from financial institutions to breweries and telecommunications. This is good news for the economy as with more money coming into the markets, companies are able to use that money to build up their companies and then in turn, put more money back into the economy. It is a win-win situation for us.”

In order to sustain and continue to develop products that consumers will want to buy, PCMN have in the past few years, implemented training programs for new and current workers, to ensure PCMN is able to meet and exceed the demands for skills as the marketplace grows. “There has been a shortage of experienced workers in Nigeria who are able to come and work for us and be able to hit the ground running. To counter this we have ongoing training programs for our workers, so that they can be equipped for the demands of the industry and be the best at what they do. That is not to say they currently are not, but like any role, there is always room for improvement.” By utilising these programmes and addressing the shortage in worker experience, PCMN are well placed to not only consolidate their position as market leaders, but continue to grow into a truly international company that can match the products it off ers with a core of staff who are professional, highly trained and always looking for new products and ways to better both the Nigerian economy and their customer base.