Heril Bangera: The 18 Year Old Who Built The Multi-Billion Roto Tank Company

Heril Bangera: The 18 Year Old Who Built The Multi-Billion Roto Tank Company
Heril Bangera Founded Roto Moulders When He Was Only 18 Years Old Photo Credit/Courtesy

By Prudence Minayo

Flame Tree Group was founded by Heril Bangera more than thirty years ago and its subsidiary Roto Moulders was incorporated in 1989. Today, it is the leading and only manufacturer of ball-shaped underground tanks in East Africa. The company has a wide range of products from septic tanks, dust bins, crates, to drums and also manufacture personal care products such as Zoe lotions and glycerin among others. 

Here is the story of how the then 18 year old Heril Bangera founded one of the most profitable companies in Kenya as told WoK.

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Heril has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, BMSCE from Bangalore University. He has also undertaken the Owners Management program at Strathmore University. 


His first job was  helping his father build a house. He managed the site from morning to evening without pay. He later ran a stall where he sold snacks, like, samosas and kebabs while in college. 

“I remember standing on the tables shouting, trying to get people to buy the products,” he told howwemadeitinAfrica.com.  

Growing up in Nairobi, he knew about steel tanks which were very popular at the time. He chose to focus on plastic tanks manufacturing since it was much cheaper. 

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To start the Roto Moulders business, he received a lot of support from his father who gave him the initial capital which was a little under Sh500,000. At the time, there was only one plastic manufacturer and he saw the gap in the market. His father took it as a pet project since Heril had no experience. 

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Nonetheless, he pressed on and today the business is profitable and stable. It has grown to be worth more than a billion Kenyan Shillings. In 2013, the revenue of the business was  about Sh2.2 billion according to Nation. It employs more than 1000 people and has manufacturing plants in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Sudan. Apart from plastics and tanks, they also manufacture cosmetics and are the company that bought Suzie Beauty. Products under the Flame Tree Group include: Zoe, Jojo Plastics, Cerro, Alana skin, Siora, Happy’s and Buildmart. 


The family run business is also listed on the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE). It trades under the ticket symbol FTGH and is currently the 55th most valuable stock on the NSE with a market capitalization of Sh192 million.

Heril believes that one of the most important business advice he has received was from his father. He told him that despite doing business, he needs to believe in God. This is because God knows the way and has a plan inspite of the difficulties of the future. 

The president of Roto Tanks believes he has been successful due to his passion and patience. He says it took them eight years for their first business to turn a profit. 

In a past interview with Capital FM, he urged entrepreneurs to:

“Believe in yourself, start small and start now, be passionate about what you do and always be honest in your business.”

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