Founder and CEO: Keroche Breweries
Quote: “We have fought countless battles and we seemed to have sunk at times, but true to the word we believed we could make it, we rose above the barricades and the story is now told of how we made it and won the war.”
Tabitha Karanja founded Keroche Breweries, the first ever brewery to be owned by a Kenyan. Although she faced many challenges – including competition from multinationals, high taxation and meddling from high powered government officials – her resilience has seen the business grow into a respected company.
Beyond the expectations of her detractors, Karanja invested in a Ksh.1 billion ($11.6 million) plant with the capacity of producing 6,000 half-litre bottles per hour. With its flagship brands, Summit Lager and Summit Malt, the brewery has proved resilient in the market.
“When Keroche … commenced operations … fingers were pointed at us and the rumours of they-can’t-do-it was written on the faces of many who never believed a Kenyan company could penetrate in a grid-tight multinational market where the end justified the means even if the means isn’t justifiable,” says Karanja.
She plans to increase the firm’s 20% market share to 40% in the next three years following an increase in its production capacity to 15,000 bottles per hour. Karanja also hopes to extend beyond beer into the soft drinks business.
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