For nearly a decade, Kenchic Limited has been one of the major poultry producers in East and Central Africa.
When the company started, it majored in the production of day-old chicks, broilers, and layers. Today, the company has expanded its catalog to include processed poultry products.
While much is known about the company and its history, not much is known about its current managing director and head of operations, Mr Jim Tozer.
This is his journey as told by WoK:
Born in South East UK, Jim grew up on a dairy farm. As a young boy, he engaged in shooting, hunting, and fishing, among other hobbies.
As expected, his parents introduced him to farm work from a young age.
Although their farm had 120 dairy cows, his parents were not opulent. Together with his two sisters, he attended a local school as the family did not have enough resources to send them to a boarding school.
Jim was raised by his mother, a housewife.
“My father was a busy man. He would leave early in the morning and return late in the evening. However, he was a strict disciplinarian and a stickler for hard work,” he revealed in an interview.
However, despite being a typical farm boy, Jim was not interested in becoming a dairy farmer like his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
He wanted to work in the agricultural sector, but not necessarily as a farmer.
His inspiration to spiral away from the traditional way of life was inspired by one of their neighbors, an Agripreneur neighbour.
Although he was a farmer like Jim’s parents, he did things in a different way.
“He approached Agriculture outside the traditional confines of what it is and what it was then.”
After high school, he joined Harper Adams University in 1987. There, he pursued degrees in Agricultural Science and Business, Business Administration and management, and General Agriculture.
In campus, he developed a fascination for Africa and a desire to tour the continent.
“I had an over-ending attraction to Africa. I remember having a massive Atlas of the World over my bed, and there was Africa right over my head.”
Consequently, he teamed up with his friends on a tour to Africa after graduation. They toured Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and South Africa.
They had various experiences, such as climbing Mt Kenya, hitchhiking on lorries, and camping on roadsides.
After the tour, Jim Tozer returned to the UK and got a job at Dalgety Agriculture Company in 1999 as the key accounts manager and national input finance manager. He was then promoted to general manager at the company in 2002.
In 2005, he joined Kenchic as head of operations. In January 2020, he was promoted to the position of managing director.
A devout family man, Mr. Tozer has two children.
His son is a second-year anthropology student at Durham University, while his daughter is a graduate of International Development and law.
The 56-year-old says that his greatest life lesson is that successes of the past could be the failures of the future.
“Don’t think you should keep repeating and doing the same thing that worked in the past, expecting the same results in life or business because they were perfectly relevant then, but they might not be relevant now. The world changes,” he says.
According to him, the riskiest thing he has ever done in his life is quitting a high-paying job in the UK and coming to Kenya to work at Kenchick.
However, Jim Tozer considers himself a successful man.
“I have achieved my dream of working in the food production sector in Africa,” he remarks.