The success story of Naivas Supermarket is incomplete without mentioning Mr Joram Kamau, the founder of Tuskys Supermarket. For starters, Mr Joram set up a successful shop he named Magic Super Store in Rongai in Nakuru county. His shop morphed into Tusker Mattresses and later Tuskys Supermarket. As his business grew, Joram was gracious enough to give his brother, Peter Mukuha Kago, his first shop in Nakuru. Peter did not rest in his laurels until the small shop in Rongai became the success story that is Naivas Supermarket.
The patriarch demise in 2010 exposed the fissure in the family that ended up in court cases over succession of Naivas. According to Peter’s eldest son, Mr Newton Kagira, his two brothers defrauded other family members from their father’s estate. In a case filed immediately after his death, Mr Newton told a court that his father convened a meeting in 1989 with his six children to impress on them to contribute money to start a business.
His side of the story goes that his father contributed kes30,000 (30% stake), and he acquired 20% stake by contributing kes20,000 while his sisters-Wambui, Wairimu and Kimani gave sh25,000 (25%), sh15,000 (15%) and sh10,000 (10%) respectively. He told the court that Naivas started as Rongai Self Service Stores in 1990 before rebranding to Naivas Ltd.
In a rejoinder, the late Naivas Chairman Simon Gashwe and Director David Kimani, gave a different account of how Naivas came into existence. The two brothers disputed their elder sibling account of how the supermarket was acquired saying they bought Naivas from their uncle Joram Kamau Kago. The duo said they bought Getaway General Stores and Magic Super Stores at Kes1,000,000 and went on to say Rongai Self Service Ltd was incorporated in 1993 spreading its tentacles in Elburgon, Naivasha and Nairobi. In their testimonies, the brothers claimed that they shared their 50-50 stake on 11,2007 with their father (10,000 shares) and two sisters (7,500 shares each).
The growth of Naivas has been tremendous under the stewardship of the late Simon Gashwe and David Kimani. With 74 branches across the country, Naivas takes over from Tuskys as the dominant supermarket chain in Kenya. Family feuds have been Naivas undergoing as a deal that would have seen Massmart acquire 51 per cent stake in the retail giant at a cost of kes3 billion fell flat after some family members blocked the sale through the court.
Largest Online Supermarket
Naivas is the only supermarket that has embraced technology by introducing online buying. Delivery of products purchased on their online platform takes 3 hours to deliver within Nairobi. This service is only in Nairobi.
Naivas past shareholders
|Naivas Limited Stock Ownership|
|Rank||Name of Owner||Percentage Ownership|
|5||The Estate of Peter Mukuha Kago||20.0|
South African Massmart was intent on buying a 51% stake in the giant retailer for kes3 billion in 2013. The deal did not pan out following endless wrangles between the family forcing the Walmart subsidiary to pull out.
In 2020, Naivas had new suitors who bought a 30% stake to the tune of kes6 billion. The retailer had been valued at kes20 billion. The investors are:
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- private equity firms Amethis
- MCB Equity Fund
- German sovereign wealth fund DEG.