After two years of uncertainty from the pandemic, Ishida was extremely excited to be back at the Propak Africa expo, which took place at the Expo Center Nasrec in Johannesburg. If there’s anything the last two years has taught them and the industry as a whole, it is that brands need to spend more time listening to their customer’s needs, and the show afforded them the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Lead generation is always a top priority for brands who exhibit at Propak Africa and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, according to general sales manager Melika Seiderer, unlike previous years where people came to browse, the client base that attended this year’s event were there with a dedicated focus to make purchasing decisions. While this was great for the brand, one of the other important opportunities that the show presented was the chance for the Ishida team to see first-hand the changes in the market drivers that the pandemic has brought about as well as the challenges that their customers are currently facing. “So, as we speak to clients at the show, we are seeing a greater demand for automation,” explains Mike Cairns, sales director at Ishida. Ishida South Africa certainly intends to meet this demand with more entry-level automation systems set to enter the South African market in the upcoming months.“ Later on in the year, we will be bringing in entry-level machines that suits a market that is just entering automation,” says Seiderer.
Apart from providing high-quality machinery, Ishida is also dedicated to integrating themselves into the local communities through their new learnership programmes. “Ishida South Africa is the only accredited service provider of snacking qualifications. At the moment we are offering marketing and business development. The Ishida learnership programme is targeted at underprivileged youth who haven’t completed school, but that have a strong desire to learn. We intend to take them out of their current situation and help them gain the qualifications necessary to either take up a position at the company or with our affiliated customers, ” explains Seiderer. “The goal is that in the next ten years, we would have helped at least 40 students develop their skills in the industry.”
While the manufacturing equipment is the Ishida business, David Tiso, managing director of Ishida explains that drive behind the company is so much more than that. The company is focused on growing their local communities and most importantly, helping their customers achieve their goals. “Our approach to our customer is not necessarily around the machinery, it is about them [the customer]. What’s important to them, what do they seek to achieve and how to do it, says Tiso.