Home Finance Kenya How Family Owned Wholesale Grew To Become A Multi Billion Business Empire

How Family Owned Wholesale Grew To Become A Multi Billion Business Empire

How Family Owned Wholesale Grew To Become A Multi Billion Business Empire

KenAfric Industries Ltd is a leading confectionary, biscuits, snacks and culinary products manufacturer in Kenya.  For decades, the company has dominated the sweets industry with some of its popular brands being Muguka, Sparky, Selfie, Seve, Fresh, Ting Ting, Orange Drops, Pipi Kifua, Fruit Drops, Lotto Mints, Creamy Chocolate candy, Creamy Yoghurt assorted drops, Magic Jumbo, Football Ball Gum, Lotta, Goodie Bakers milk and Glucose Biscuits, Jus Squeezy drink, Jus 4 Eva , Fidgville drinking chocolate, Oyo mchuzi mix, and icing sugar.

Establishing the company

The company was founded in 1988 as a family business. It was run by Velji Punja and his four sons: Mikul Shah, Mayur Shah, Bharat Shah, and Nilesh Shah.

Initially, Velji owned a wholesale that distributed various products. When he first came to Kenya, he settled in Karatina and did a number of menial jobs. He then moved to Ngara, Nairobi, where he would end up building a successful distributor.

Their business grew until 1982 when they suffered a setback after the attempted 1982 coup. The family would later come together to form Kenafric Shoe Industries to manufacture PVC shoes. At the time, these shoes were in high demand.

Venturing into other products

A decade later, they were a leading manufacturer and included the technology to manufacture gumboots and flip flops.

The company was renamed KenAfric Industries and venture into confectionary manufacturing. In 2007, it was recognized as a ISO and HACCP certified company.

In 2010, they established a state of the art stationery manufacturer to produce exercise books.

In 2012, the company launched a Sh1 billion confectionary machine which was commissioned by Henry Kosgei, then minister for Industrialization.

The company currently distributes products to 14 countries including Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. They employ over 1500 people and process over 36,000 tonnes of sugar annually

Being on top of their game

The company has been able to stay afloat by analysing consumer trends and responding to the tide of popular opinion. In 2009, the company capitalized on the popularity of president Obama to introduce Obama bubble gums.

After the ban of plastic bags, they ventured into making of non-woven reusable bags. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they started making disposable marks.


In 2013, the company was sued by Cartoon Network for its unauthorized use of Ben 10 characters on its packaging.

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