Stakeholders in Kenya’s formal retail supply chain space, have called on local retailers to consider adopting a 70% local content stocking policy in order to spur growth in the country’s manufacturing sector.
Led by Suppliers Association of Kenya Chairman, Kimani Rugendo, the suppliers said the adoption of such a policy will help to accelerate industrial development as envisioned in the government’s ‘Big Four’ agenda.
The agenda is an ambitious plan aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kenyan citizens. One of for its pillars calls for deeper investments in the manufacturing sector.
Speaking when he addressed hundreds of staff members and suppliers for leading retailer, Tusker Mattresses (Tuskys) on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, Rugendo challenged retailers to consider enhancing their balance of locally sourced products in their shelves.
He said the stocking of locally manufactured and sourced products will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the local manufacturing sector and has a potential of doubling the sectors GDP contribution. Rugendo said local industrial players have invested heavily in manufacturing excellence to meet global .benchmarks.
“The formal retail players such as Tuskys and local manufacturers stand to reap good benefits by working closely as partners in progress,” Rugendo said.
“The adoption of a 70% local content policy will provide a very good platform to advance the Big Four Agenda by providing a market for locally produced goods,” he added.
Rugendo was speaking at a tribute event for Tusker Mattresses Founder, the late Mzee Joram Kamau. The event was held to mark the 16th memorial of Mr Kamau.
“While the Americans have the late Sam Walton the founder of WalMart, we have an unsung hero in the Late Mzee Joram Kamau who set the foundation for East Africa’s most successful and resilient retail chain,” Rugendo said.
On his part, Tusker Mattresses Chairman, Dr. John Kago Kamau said the firm that operates Tuskys Supermarkets and Mavazi Lifestyle clothing stores has adopted competitive operating strategies focused on solid partnerships with local suppliers and will consider the 70% proposal.
The retail chain traces its roots to early 1983 when the late Mzee Joram Kamau decided to venture into business, having sold his prized bull to raise capital to start up Gitwe General Stores, which was located in the small town of Rongai, in Nakuru District.
The 1990s saw the opening of the first Tusker Mattresses Limited Store. A few years later, the chain was rebranded to Tuskys Supermarkets following the merger of Tusker Mattresses Limited and Magic Superstores. Today, the firm employs more than 6000 employees and boasts more than 800 direct suppliers.