The country that is giving the world MPesa, showing how late, is can leapfrog into retail innovations. The home of chains like Nakumat is becoming the target of foreign chains like Game.
What have you done in Kenya?
Analysed the state of Kenyan retail for an international brand manufacturer as part of a global project. Obviously when there’s still so much traditional retail around the good old trust function of major brands is crucial in Kenya. It makes you realise why packaged, sealed branded products were invented in the first place.
Do you speak the languages of Kenya?
One of the two official languages; English. The other official language Swahili is beyond us. We were pleased to get around almost everywhere in English.
How far along the trend of retail-development is Kenya?
Modern Retail is developing in this country which is still dominated by mom&pop road-side retail mostly. The rise of a middle-class, which causes the spread of Modern Retail, is still in its early phases. But when you look at financial services, Kenya is an example for the world with its Vodaphone-daugther MPesa pioneering mobile phone banking. Game, the Walmart-owned brand of Massmarket from South Africa is spreading its wings over Africa and has Kenya in its sight too.
What’s the special challenge for brands and retailers in Kenya?
Brands are still the boss in Kenya, as is usual in any country dominated by traditional Retail
What company would you still like to work for again in this country?
Nakumat and of course the South Africans.