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Kenyan leaves top Coca-Cola job to head Twiga Foods

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Kenyan leaves top Coca-Cola job to head Twiga Foods

Mr Peter Njonjo
Mr Peter Njonjo. PHOTO | COURTESY  

Peter Njonjo, the most senior Kenyan and African manager at soft drinks multinational Coca-Cola, has left the company after 21 years to take up the position of CEO at Twiga Foods, a fresh produce and fast-moving-consumer goods distributor.

Mr Njonjo was until Wednesday the president of Coca-Cola’s West and Central Africa business running the operations from Abuja, the Nigerian capital. He was previously general manager for the Coca-Cola East Africa franchise, overseeing 13 bottling companies that directly employed more than 7,500 people.

He is now set to take up the role of chief executive of the Kenyan start-up, of which he is also a key shareholder.

He takes over from co-founder Grant Brooke, who is set to retain an executive role in the business. Founded five years ago, Twiga Foods uses technology to distribute fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables.

The firm has signed up over 17,000 farmers spread out in 20 counties to supply produce that the mobile-based start-up then resells to a network of 2,500 retailers. All the firm’s transactions are mobile-based.

The company is banking on major investments in technology — including the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence — to increase efficiency in the distribution of fresh produce, starting with the Nairobi market before branching out to other towns in the region.

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Having worked in 33 countries in Africa, overseeing Coca-Cola’s sophisticated distribution systems, Mr Njonjo is expected to change the way Twiga Foods distributes farm supplies to a growing urban middle class, while seeking to make the products affordable and readily-available using the kiosk model.

Through the Twiga Foods mobile platform, a vendor can order stock for delivery within 24 hours. The firm runs a logistics infrastructure that includes trucks, refrigerated warehouses, depots and sales teams.

Mr Njonjo, 42, told the Business Daily his vision is to create “more efficient food markets in Africa and improved food security”.


Neeraj Garg, who has worked at Coca-Cola for 25 years, was picked to succeed Mr Njonjo.

“We support Peter’s decision to use his leadership skills in solving a significant social issue that cripples the economies of many African countries,” said Mr Nikos Koumettis, the Coca-Cola Group President for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Twiga Foods counts Private Equity Funds such as 1777, AHL Venture Partners among its investors. Forbes Magazine last year reported that the company had inked a $10 million (about Sh1 billion) investment deal with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firm TLcom and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme.

“Twiga has an aggressive growth plan,” Mr Brooke said, adding the succession was part of a strategy to achieve that plan.

The company’s expansion, expected under Mr Njonjo’s stewardship, will be determined by how it responds to competition from entrenched supermarkets and malls that have invested heavily in the sale of fresh farm produce. It will also face competition from smaller mobile-based logistics companies that deliver fresh supplies directly to customers’ homes.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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