It’s a tale of resilience for three centurion giants as Standard Group celebrates over a century in heritage business
SEE ALSO :Ailing State firms gobble up Sh14bWhen the meter-gauge railway snaked its way to Kisumu in 1901, Kenya opened up, leading to a gush of visitors from Europe. Mayence Bent, the founder of Victoria Hotel, as the New Sarova Stanley was then referred to, took advantage of the potential in the hospitality sector while working in a store in Nairobi. But in 1905, fire gutted houses along Victoria Street, currently Tom Mboya Street, and the hotel was reduced to ashes. However, in 1908, Ms Bent re-invented herself and a new hotel was constructed. It was named Stanley Hotel. At the time, an immigrant from India, Alibhai Jeevanjee, had started a weekly newspaper, African Standard. It was later renamed East African Standard in 1905 when Jeevanjee sold the paper. The Standard, owing to its bold nature of reporting, was raided by gunmen on March 2, 2006, because of a story that did not please those in power. The Standard was shaken but did not bow out.
SEE ALSO :100 years of the Standard GroupWhile congratulating The Standard for being in service for over 100 years, Sarova Group of Hotels and Kenya Railways said they shared a lot of the history of the publication. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Acting Managing Director Philip Mainga said The Standard Group has “stood the test of time” since its inception. “We are agemates and share a lot in common. The publication was started as a result of the railway sector and has faced its challenges but remained in business. “We have faced declining profits in the past that forced us to concede and give the management of the metre-gauge railway to Rift Valley Railways (RVR),” said Mr Mainga during an interview. The Rift Valley Railways, a private company, was contracted in 2006 after KRC admitted running losses. The Nairobian and The Standard Digital platform. Sarova Group of Hotels Managing Director Jimi Kariuki congratulated The Standard Group for ensuring that its products remained dominant in the market. “The Standard newspaper has been bold and positive in its reporting since its inception and we are proud to be associated with the publication,” commented Mr Kariuki, who is also the chairperson of the Kenya Tourism Board. The Standard celebrates over 100 years in the media industry.