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Haco Tiger Brands, visionary African firm

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – A visionary African company has been launched with the unveiling of Haco\’s new corporate identity, which reflects its partnership with South African firm Tiger Brands.

Haco Tiger Brands has been borne out of the joint venture that the two manufacturing giants entered into three and half years ago and which has transformed into the biggest fast moving consumer goods company in East Africa.

"Haco Industries and Tiger Brands are not only partners but are joined at the hip in the future of this nation and the business that they are involved in.  I can attest that I could not find a better partner than Tiger Brands," said Chairman Chris Kirubi.

The two companies entered into a joint partnership in September 2008 when Tiger Brands acquired a 51 Percent stake in Haco.

Mr Kirubi admitted that he was initially hesitant about entering into a partnership with the listed firm given the \’not-so flattering\’ reputation that South African companies had in Kenya at the time.

However, he said his fears have since been dispelled with the continued success of the company\’s whose top line growth has been over 80 percent.

"There is no other venture partnership that is prominently working except our business," he stated.

He attributed it to the training of Hacos staff, investments and technology transfer that Tiger Brands has brought on board.  Listed on the Johannesburg stock Exchange, Tiger Brands, the  largest food company in South Africa has an annual turnover of Sh168billion ($2billion) and employs over 16,000 people.

Mr Kirubi said Kenya is an attractive investment destination that is full of a talented workforce and immense investment opportunities. However, the country could do much better if politicians transfer their energy from politicking to helping improve the business climate for the private sector to operate in.

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If this happened, Kenya would easily be able to attain a growth rate of more than 10 percent per annum and also achieve its Vision 2030 development goals.

"I wish politicians would spend less time shouting at each other and talk to those of us in business to find out what we want. We have our Vision 2030 but without action, the vision will just remain a dream," he cautioned.

At the same time, Mr Kirubi called on all private sector players especially those in the various value chains to work together so as to ensure that manufacturers are able to produce affordable products for many Kenyans.

Giving the example of packaging companies, he said if manufacturers were able to access cheaper packaging materials, then they would be able to translate that into competitive locally manufactured that can be sold locally and abroad.

Retail chains, he added should also strive to have 60 to 70 percent of their stock locally sourced in order to build the economy.

His Managing Director Polycarp Igathe concurred adding that this would have the multiplier effect of create more employment opportunities for the local youth.

"We need to work together to ensure that we become competitive and that we keep our jobs here and we continue to reward Kenyans by ensuring that we have jobs for them," Mr Igathe said adding that Kenya needed to learn  from Americans whose economy is largely driven by domestic consumption of locally produced goods.

Haco Tiger Brands however seeks to champion this initiative of \’buying Kenya, building Kenya\’ but not only hiring locally, sourcing the materials from Kenya and in region and also by partnering with firms to ensure that their products are first and foremost consumed in this market.

 Also present during the colourful event was Tiger Brands Executive Director Neil Brimacombe who forecasted a brighter future for the manufacturing giant.

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The event saw top distributors of Haco products that range from ball point pens, home and personal care products awarded.

With a wide range of expertise and a huge capital base, the Haco Tiger Brands board and management is all set to add value to its customers lives, as its slogan says and also take the business to the next level in the emerging markets.

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