SA busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Kenya

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - ANA

SOUTH African com­pa­nies tak­ing part in the Out­ward Sell­ing Mis­sion in Kenya had iden­ti­fied sev­eral busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in dif­fer­ent sec­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Min­is­ter Rob Davies’ De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (dti), the South African com­pa­nies, which have been in Kenya since Sun­day, had par­tic­i­pated in busi­ness sem­i­nars, busi­ness-to-busi­ness meet­ings, as well as a site visit to a com­pany with South African link­ages.

The dti said the del­e­ga­tion vis­ited PG Bi­son Kenya in Nairobi, which spe­cialises in the sup­ply of dec­o­ra­tive wood-based panel prod­ucts such as par­ti­cle boards, floor­ing and door skins to the con­struc­tion and fur­ni­ture sec­tor.

The plant, which has been op­er­at­ing since Septem­ber 2002 and em­ploys 150 work­ers, sup­plies to the dif­fer­ent sec­tors in Nairobi and the East Africa re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to Ntombenhle Khath­wana, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of AfroBotan­ics, which man­u­fac­tures hair and body prod­ucts from es­sen­tial oils and nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents sold in 317 South African re­tails store chains, PG Bi­son was a per­fect ex­am­ple to em­u­late for South African com­pa­nies har­bour­ing am­bi­tions of se­cur­ing busi­ness in overseas mar­kets.

“I came to Kenya to un­der­stand the Kenyan mar­ket bet­ter, from a reg­u­la­tory busi­ness perspective, as well as from a con­sumer perspective. I had al­ready at­tempted to en­ter the Kenyan mar­ket through Game Stores, but the reg­u­la­tory is­sues were pre­vent­ing me, so this trip was a bless­ing, bring­ing me here to meet the role play­ers,” said Khath­wana.

She added that she al­ready knew that Kenya had a fast-grow­ing nat­u­ral hair move­ment where women were opt­ing away from chem­i­cally straight­en­ing their hair, but did not re­alise how big that tar­get mar­ket was, nor how and where they bought their prod­ucts.

“I was able to suc­cess­fully un­lock the is­sues pre­vent­ing my prod­ucts from en­ter­ing Kenya through Game Stores, which is al­ready sell­ing my prod­ucts in five African coun­tries be­sides South Africa.

“The busi­ness-to-busi­ness meet­ings we had as­sisted in fast-track­ing my abil­ity to send prod­ucts through. AfroBotan­ics prod­ucts will most likely be avail­able in the Kenyan mar­ket in the next three months,” she added.

She said she was able to have a good ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion with a Kenyan re­tailer of nat­u­ral hair and body prod­ucts that owns four stores.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Tarch Chem­i­cals, Gertrude Maka­mure, said the meet­ings she had with sev­eral Kenyan busi­nesses would re­sult in part­ner­ships.

“I have no­ticed that a lot of ma­te­rial can be sup­plied by South African com­pa­nies here, par­tic­u­larly chem­i­cals and re­lated in­gre­di­ents, at a much cheaper rate than is be­ing cur­rently sup­plied.

“The dti has built the bridge for us, it is now up to us to cross it,” said Maka­mure.

PHOTO: GREG MAXWELL

Rob Davies, Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try. The Out­ward Sell­ing Mis­sion in Kenya has iden­ti­fied sev­eral busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for SA.

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