Kenya has the largest economy in the East African region, setting the base for the growth of businesses in various sectors of the robust economy. One of the fastest-growing industries in the country in that time is retail.
Some of the largest retailers in the East and Central Africa region have shop in Kenya. These multi-billion businesses have been steered to prosperity over the years by abled individuals who have defied various odds to become successful.
WoK lists Chief Executive Officers of some of the leading supermarket chains in the country.
Peter Kang’iri – Quickmart
He is the CEO of Quickmart Supermarkets. Under his leadership, Quickmart has steadily pursued and realized its growth and expansion strategy and now sits as a Tier 1 Supermarket chain in Kenya.
Kang’iri has over eight years of experience in retail as CEO Tumaini/Quickmart since 2018 and consulting in retail from 2013 to 2018. The CEO is a seasoned finance expert with over 15 years of professional experience covering different sectors.
David Kimani Mukuha – Naivas
He is the Managing Director and CEO at Naivas Supermarkets. The company was founded by their late father as a shop in Rongai, Nakuru County.
Kimani holds a seat on the company’s board, a 20 per cent stake and an additional 20 per cent stake from his late father’s share of the company.
Naivas is currently the largest supermarket chain in the country after it sold a minority stake worth Ksh6 Billion to a consortium that includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firms Amethis and MCB Equity Fund and German sovereign wealth fund DEG.
Joseph Kamau – Eastmatt
He is the managing director of Eastmatt supermarkets.
The supermarket which started operations in 1990 has since expanded into various towns across the country including the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).
Ashok Khetia – Khetias Supermarket
The supermarket is owned by Khetia family based in Kitale but is under the management of Ashok Khetia who is the managing director. Khetias chain of supermarkets began in the small North Rift town of Kitale. Khetias started as a wholesale shop in Laini Moja.
The business then expanded and opened various wholesale shops in Webuye and Bungoma.
Currently, Khetias has other branches spread across Kenya including Busia, Kakamega, Kisumu, Naivasha and Nairobi (Mirema Junction Mall). By the time of this publication, Khetias has a total of 18 shops countrywide.
The supermarket started in the year 1959 with a small grocery shop at the busy corner of Highridge Shopping Centre at the junction of Masari Road and 3rd Avenue Parklands. It was founded by the late Shantilal Mulji Thakkar.
The supermarket chain is currently run by his three sons; Anil Thakkar, Sanjay Thakkar and Dipin Thakkar, who all joined the family business at a young age.
Many family-owned ventures have always faded to whimpers due to sibling rivalry and internal fighting. However, the three Chandarana siblings seemed to have mastered a proper way of maintaining cohesion and keeping their brand vibrant.
To ensure accountability, they have demarcated roles among themselves. Anil Thakkar is in charge of product selection and purchasing, Sanjay Thakkar deals with operations and stock control while Dipan Thakkar is in charge of finance, IT and marketing.
According to Dipan, since childhood, they have been guided by deep principles that they adhere to.
“The key elements that hold a family together; respect, trust, integrity and teamwork have been quite essential in running the business successfully,” he told Enterprise-a segment on the Standard newspaper.
Simon Wachira – Magunas
Simon Wachira is the founder and Executive Chairman of Magunas Supermarket chain. From a hawker, he rose to become a retail owner.
Magunas grew from a single branch in the Kwa Maji area before spreading out to other parts of Mt. Kenya. Today it has branches in different parts of the country, each strategically located within major towns including, Nairobi, Nyeri, Meru, Embu, Kitui, Kerugoya, Maua, and Chuka among others.