With 19 million meters running in 46 countries, and as one of the top 10 metering companies in the world, El Sewedy Electrometer Group (EMG) has come a long way from its well-established roots. The company has been established since 1998, and for decades it has slowly but surely built its brand, thriving where similar businesses fell behind. Its rise to prominence has occurred steadily throughout its timeline, as follows:
1938 – Zaki El Sewedy Holding (ZSG) was founded as a supplier of electrical materials in Egypt
1962 – ZSG was appointed by the Egyptian government as the main supplier of all electrical materials for the largest hydro power plant in Egypt, the Aswan High Dam
1980 – ZSG started investing in industry, starting with the manufacture of power cables, electricity distribution boards, electricity and gas meters, lighting fixtures, and energy-saving lamps in addition to its turn-key electrification projects
1998 – ZSG established El Sewedy Electrometer (EMG), the first private sector company specialising in the design and manufacture of electricity meters in the Middle East
2004 – EMG founded Ghana Electrometer Ltd, the first metering factory in West Africa, followed by the successful implementation of the e-Cash pre-payment system
2007 – EMG ventured with EEPCO in Ethiopia Electrometer to produce pre-paid meters in Ethiopia, as well as with ZESCO in Zambia Electrometer
2008 – EMG partnered with BMG bank in Electrometer do Brazil, in addition to Electrometer de Las Americas in Mexico with CICASA
2009 – EMG established El Sewedy Electrometer India to supply Asia as well as the rest of the group with quality meters and modules
2010 – EMG acquired an established meter manufacturer in the Czech Republic to supply Europe and the rest of the world with smart grid solutions
EMG is fully-focused on production of meters, network management services, large electrification projects, and product aftercare. The business expanded facilities in Africa to cover Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zambia respectively. As its success spread, EMG began to globalise, extending facilities to India, Brazil, and Mexico, before penetrating the European market by acquiring ZPA Smart Energies in the Czech Republic.
EMG has attained ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certification during its lifetime, and has become a sought-after partner for many other large businesses. Some of its major recent projects include the North Lebanon Project and the Ghana Ashanti BOT Project, both involving the design, manufacture, supply and installation of various metering systems.
“We have a complete portfolio of products that cover residential, commercial, and industrial market needs,” says Mohammed Shoaib, Head of PMO and Strategic Sourcing at El Sewedy Electrometer. “Our portfolio includes basic meters, advanced meters that provide pre-payment features, and smart meters that come with a flexible design to communicate via GPRS, RF, or PLC. These smart meters enable utility companies to remotely collect metering data as well as configure meters, which enhances the accuracy and swiftness with which data is transferred between the utility and consumers.”
Productivity is optimised by utilising the latest techniques in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. Calibration and testing systems are automated, allowing simultaneous manufacture of multiple products without sacrificing accuracy, and the ability to respond to customer delivery demands without risk of human error.
The supply chain is strictly operated and Shoaib demands perfection at every step of the way: “We have a solid supplier-management mechanism where we evaluate our suppliers based on their financial performance, the quality of the product, lead times, and cost. We try to have multiple suppliers for every item to minimise risk and lessen competition. We like to maintain an open relationship with all of them by sharing our production plans and our needs, which keeps them engaged. We have a list of authorized suppliers, and another for preferred suppliers that we always return to. Also we are implementing a very solid tracking mechanism and an ERP system that connects the dots and ensures every point in the business runs smoothly.”
All of EMG’s products are heavily tested by world-renowned labs, including OFGEM in the UK, MET Lab in the US, INMETRO in Brazil, LAPEM in Mexico, ERDA in India, and many more to ensure all products are of the highest quality.
“We have prestigious R&D houses in Egypt, India, the Czech Republic, and many other countries. Five percent of our annual revenue is invested in R&D; El Sewedy is one of the top five platforms for R&D in the metering industry. We don’t buy ready-made designs and just put our logo on them; we develop every concept ourselves.”
Such a large, rapidly-expanding company has a lot to offer an employee, Shoaib says.
“We always offer opportunities for growth; it’s a global company and doesn’t have one single focus, so as an employee you would have the luxury of being exposed to the product development every step of the way; employees can grow within one department or expand to the next. We also offer training programs, depending on the position being applied for.”
Shoaib says that the economic climate hasn’t affected El Sewedy, as the business is always there. “We are operating in a B2B market. There’s a lot of demand for our products from the utilities and from privately-held companies. Developing countries are connecting more people through metering solutions, and the demand is growing. That’s connected to the economic status and growth of the country. Besides, the technology itself is evolving from the mechanical meter to the electricity meter, from post-paid to pre-paid meters, and recently to the smart meters. The demand is finding its way in both developed and developing countries.”
El Sewedy Electrometer’s slogan is ‘Manage Utilities Better’, which reflects its belief that its responsibilities lie beyond meters themselves and the aftercare thereof. EMG wants to enable its customers to manage their own utilities without difficulty, and offers comprehensive services to tackle that: “EMG is a total solution provider with deep focus on quality and customer service. Our solutions and services include engineering, installation, operation, maintenance, meter management, and billing activities.” Shoaib says.
What truly sets El Sewedy apart from other companies in the industry is experience, according to Shoaib: “The leaders of the company have a lot of experience in this industry and have been doing it for many years. EMG now has 10 factories present across five continents, which gives us global market leadership and significant production capacity of more than 5 million meters per annum. We cater to all segments of the meter market, not only focusing on one. We have the power to decide where to produce depending on capacity and market needs.”