When Hisense opened their manufacturing plant under the support of local government and the China-Africa Development Fund in Atlantis 40 km north of Cape Town in June 2013, they made a conscious decision to create jobs for 500 previously unemployed locals. The area is beset with socio economic challenges, most notably a 55% unemployment rate. The establishment of employment created by the factory, had a wide-reaching positive impact on employees and their families. To date, Hisense has provided job opportunities to 520 locals.
Experienced engineers from Hisense global headquarters have been brought on board to train the local staff. In this way each manufactured product maintains its quality and also the improvement of productivity. These engineers all have an excess of 10 – 20 year’s specialised experience within the consumer electronics and home appliances industry.
The management team incorporated an effective training approach whereby two engineers are stationed into each department to assist trainees. The training consists of manufacturing the products, and the way in which the workers should test its quality. One or two locals are also appointed as team leaders in their different teams.
The workers are employed, despite them not being in the manufacturing field previously, but take heed in that they will be trained in a professional manner and become experts in the trade. In this way the brand provides meaningful and sustainable opportunities for growth, for the previously disadvantaged and unemployed.
Hisense has assisted not only with the professional growth of employees but also with their personal growth. A few of the current team leaders managing the production line were previously often involved in anti-social behaviour, but were given the opportunities to grow and improve on their skills, and now lead their very own successful teams. This is a positive transformation seen on the ground when an economic opportunity is presented, and with this kind of unsurpassed training that employees receive, Hisense is confident in offering an extended 4 year warranty on all their TVs and Fridges manufactured at the facility.
“Our investment in the local South African market is substantial. We want our investment to be seen as a conduit to transform people lives. It is quite remarkable to see the ways in which workers we’ve employed have progressed and moved on to make decisions and lead other workers. We are currently number two in the TV and Fridge category with separately 16% and a 21% market share. This is a big leap for us over the last few years”, commented Deputy General Manager of Hisense South Africa, Ebrahim Khan.
With further expansion of Hisense’s local manufacturing capacity planned for the near future, the brand believes that its robust and competitive business model will form a strong platform for future growth, both for them and for South Africa.