Keringet looks at TZ, Uganda markets

October 22, 2010

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Water bottler Keringet has said that it is eyeing Uganda and Tanzania, in its expansion plans.

The company said the two countries provide a strategic location from which to serve the east African community and take advantage of an expanded market.

Speaking to Capital Business, Keringet Sales and Marketing Manager Neal Gohill said while expansion talks were still at an early stage within the board, both markets provide an ideal opportunity for the company to grow its business after dominating the Kenyan market.

"Why should we put borders on our abilities to look at a population that is three or four times where we are right now? Our objective is to be able to embrace East Africa as one unit and as a community we should be able to serve rather than look at Kenya on its own," Mr Gohill said.

He said the move would be geared towards tapping into the surging demand for bottled water. The two countries, Mr Gohill said, were strategically positioned around Kenya providing an optimal market to venture into.

"With our location we are able to serve Uganda and Tanzania very easily. I do not think our objective will be to start one country and not have another one following soon after. When we do make that step we will be concentrating on both of them at the same time," he said.

The country\’s bottled water market is fast growing and presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs.  Kenya\’s bottled water market has over 350 players but is dominated by half a dozen players including Keringet that account for more than 60 percent of the total sales.

Mr Gohill said that while there are a number of players in the same space, Keringet continues to leverage on its brand superiority (having been established 50 years ago) to identify with its customers.

"Share of throat is obviously something that we have to look at but the thing is not letting that competition change your strategy because if you look at it from beverage perspective we are competing with a whole host of other drinks," Mr Gohill said.

As pressure mounts for product diversification, Mr Gohill insists it will continue to focus on bottled water, an area it has great expertise.

"We have seen many people look at other environments to grow their business but where I think they sometimes go wrong is it is sometimes better to  be specialised in your trade where you can deliver a service that is second to none," he said.

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