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Industrialist Manu Chandaria urges more support for small enterprises

NEWS
By Graham Kajilwa | July 30th 2015

NAIROBI: Comcraft Group Chairman Manu Chandaria has asked manufacturers in the country to support upcoming industries as a way of ensuring healthy growth in the sector.

He said continued growth in the sector would support other crucial functions of production and guarantee sustainability in the market.

Speaking at the annual Organisational Performance Index (OPI) conference in Nairobi, Dr Chandaria told manufacturers that they would lose the status they have worked so hard to maintain if they don’t incubate small businesses.

“Business is not about making money, business is about creating a good environment for every player to have a share. This is the only way to grow as a corporate body or as an industry,” he said. Chandaria said it is the responsibility of the multi-billion manufacturing sector to help upcoming firms grow in their activities in order to avoid market monopoly.

“Good monopoly is when an established brand partners with a growing brand to make a larger brand with better services. There is no success in monopoly in the traditional sense because we all need each other in business. If all you do is make money while other struggle, what difference are you making in the society?” posed the industrialist.

COMCRAFT GROUP

Chandaria, who has interest across a number of companies in the manufacturing sector, cited Comcraft Group as an example of a venture that has been striving to uplift other companies in order to promote sustainable growth in all sectors.

“When we started producing kettles, we contracted another growing company to supply us with the handles as they are made of plastic. Basically, we deal with aluminum products. Such partnerships have made us grow,” said Chandaria.

With an annual revenue of Sh2 billion and a support staff that comprises over 40,000 people across 40 countries, the Comcraft Group of companies is arguably the biggest steel firm in Africa.

Crown Paints group CEO Rakesh Rao echoed Chandaria’s remarks and urged companies that do not have capabilities of manufacturing some essential products to outsource the services from small enterprise partners.

“Kenya has a limited manufacturing industry. At Crown Paints, we have accepted that fact. That is why partners account for almost 95 per cent of production of our end products and we still make a profit,” said Rao.

The OPI conference was organised as a follow-up to find out how firms that have previously won at the Company Of the Year Awards have benefited from the awards.

RIGHT TOOLS

The awards were inspired by the need to celebrate the achievements being made and enhance organisations’ management capabilities and performance to give them the right tools to grow. This year’s conference was sponsored by Crown Paints and facilitated by Kenya Institute of Management and Standard Group.

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