Mehul Shah developed skills in textiles at a young age. His father founded Midco Textiles and from here, he learnt a lot of useful skills he would later apply in his own business.
Here is his story as told by WoK,
Founding the business
His father opened the business at a time when there were restrictions on imported goods. They identified the demand and set up a garment factory.
The business grew to bigger heights and became a household name in the industry. He joined in 2002 and took part in the running of the operations for about fifteen years.
Speaking to Business Daily, he said that in 2017, he collaborated with a family friend. They made a sectional acquisition of the original enterprises and branded it Omega Apparels. They then set up operations in Nairobi’s Industrial Area.
The company focuses on making school and corporate uniforms and employs more than three hundred laborers. Initially, they worked under the brand name Manhattan as they were under a franchise from Manhattan USA.
Today, they have their own brand names, which are: Kifaru, Safari, Wingman, St Austins, Atlantic and Blueline. The brand name is determined by the quality and kind of clothing.
They have orders for hospitals and other institutions like Safaricom and Airtel. For uniforms, they name them for a number of high end international schools. The company has also diversified into baby clothes and hopes to start making socks.
According to Shah, who is the company director, what has set them apart is the high quality of their products and the staff empowerment.
“Our labour turnaround is also very slow. We have got very experienced workers who have been with us for quite some long periods. The guy who has been in this job for the longest has lasted 32 years. When we cut off from Midco we retained a majority of the staff, we’ve been with them for an average of 20 years and so they are very experienced at what they do,” he told Business Daily.
While most companies retrenched staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, none of their staff was sent home. At that time, they secured a lucrative state deal that enabled them to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to public health facilities.
In the future, they hope to expand into other markets. This is due to the increasing challenges of doing business in Kenya, particularly because of taxes. Although concrete plans are yet to be made, they aspire to commence operations in other East African countries