Chandaria Industries has became the second company in East Africa to be awarded Superbrands status as a company and for all its brands, as Kenyan brands continue to edge up the pan-African brand ladder, emerging as the joint sub-Saharan leaders in some domains.
In a report on the progress of Kenyan brands across Africa, compiled to mark the occasion of its Superbrands win, Chandaria Industries reported Kenyan brands as neck and neck with the other top two national brand leaders, South Africa and Nigeria.
“The Kenyan business environment and constant attention to upgrading quality and regional expansion is now paying off with emerging brand leadership for Kenyan national brands Africa-wide”, said Darshan Chandaria, Group CEO of Chandaria Industries.
With Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria topping all measures for the continent’s brand leadership, according to BrandAfrica, Chandaria Industries has delivered one of the most rapid expansions across the continent among Kenyan manufacturers.
The company now supplies 12 African countries with at least three product categories. It is the market leader across East Africa in toilet tissue, napkin tissue, and kitchen towels.
Kenyan brands last year held second position, alongside Nigeria, in the Top 10 most valuable brands in Africa, while in 2015, Kenya held second position alongside South Africa, as Nigeria and South Africa have jostled for top spot.
Kenyan brands also held the second position, alongside South Africa, for the most brands in the Top 100 global brands in Africa, where Nigeria again led the African brand pack.
However, in some sectors, such as media, Kenya now leads alongside South Africa for the number of ‘most admired’ brands in the continent.
The nation’s steady continental spread comes as Kenya’s export earnings have recovered from their sharp drop in 2013, which was driven principally by the fall in manufacturing export earnings.
“The ongoing expansion of Kenyan companies and brands across the continent is vital in driving up the country’s export earnings, and underpinning the stability of the shilling for everyone, with the rise of manufacturing export earnings, built on high quality brands, key to our economic success as a nation,” said Darshan
Chandaria Industries’ export earnings have risen steadily in the last five years, now accounting for as much as a fifth of its sales. “The focus on regional sales also provides a buffer for producers, ensuring ongoing jobs and income through the economic cycles in any one national market,” said Darshan.
Chandaria Industries’ brands, which span tissue and personal hygiene products, are also now market leaders in both Uganda and Tanzania, as well as in Kenya. The company has also expanded its best-known brand, Velvex, to include toilet tissue, cotton wool and toilet cleaner, with the most recent Velvex launch in 2017 of high absorbancy kitchen towels.
The expansion of both its product range and regional markets has been accompanied by a strategy of running multiple brands in the same product category to ensure market access and affordability for every consumer, with its Nice & Soft, Toilex, Rosy, Dawn Pekee, Qik Dri, Royale, Safari, and Nyati brands also all market leaders in their segments.
Regionally, Chandaria Industries most recently entered the Malawian market, where sales have grown swiftly.
“Our vision is to be the leading tissue and hygiene manufacturer in Africa with market leadership in all segments, for a full set of Superbrands. In this, today’s award of full Superbrands company status is a key milestone,” said Darshan
To be named a Superbrand, brands must satisfy brand recognition targets in independent consumer surveys, to show they have achieved the position of household names.
“What makes this particularly special for Chandaria Industries is that 100 per cent of our products are manufactured in Kenya, creating Kenyan jobs and earnings as we have moved to market dominance across East Africa, and continue to build our brand position throughout Central and even southern Africa,” said Darshan.