South African companies identify trade opportunities in Kenya

wood 1199887 1920The 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

According to Ntombenhle Khathwana, the CEO of AfroBotanics which manufacturers hair and body products from essential oils and natural ingredients sold in 317 South African retails store chains, PG Bison is 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. 

“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 said. 

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

Furthermore, she said she was able to have a good initial conversation with a Kenyan retailer of natural hair and body products that own four stores. She has no doubt her products will soon find their way to these stores.

The Managing Director of Tarch Chemicals, Gertrude Makamure said the meetings she had with several Kenyan businesses will 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 Department of Trade and Industry has built the bridge for us, it is now up to us to cross it,” said Makamure.

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