•The Co-Founder and CEO of Twiga, Peter Njonjo noted that the employees had been offered first right of refusal to come on board as agents.
•The business-to-business (B2B) food market firm downsized its workforce by 21 percent, laying off 211 of its full-time employees.
Agri-tech firm Twiga Foods has defended its move to send home a section of its employees citing that it’s not a cost cutting measure but rather a change of business model.
Twiga says the firm is changing the mode of its operations that will see a section of the 211 trade agents who have been on its permanent employment become agents.
The business-to-business (B2B) food market firm downsized its workforce by 21 percent, laying off 211 of its full-time employees.
The company however said that those who will not accept appointment as agents will not be required to work as trade development representatives.
So far of the 211 staff that were issued with the notices about 44 have said that they will not continue operating as agents.
The Co-Founder and CEO of Twiga, Peter Njonjo noted that the employees had been offered first right of refusal to come on board as agents.
“So it was more of a change of business model and for that change to happen we created redundancies of 211 sales people and that’s what the law requires when your transitioning from being an employee to being a private agent,” Njonjo said.
The company, which previously disclosed it had a workforce of 1,000, says it has transitioned all its trade development representatives to agents as it changes its operations into an agency model for its sales team.
“The number of sales people we had was 211, today the number of people we are on-boarding as agents is close to 400 people with about 300 individuals having expressed interest to become agents,” added Njonjo.
The firm maintained that the transitioning of all its trade development representatives to agents will create more opportunities, with a target to increase agents to 1000 by next year.
The company had in October stopped its engagement with expatriates who were offering different services across various departments.
"This transition creates an opportunity for entrepreneurship open to former sales agents and the general public," the company added.
It said the transition allows for higher earnings based on the effort and enterprise of the agent adding that the model has worked with other businesses like insurance and banking that have transitioned fully into independent agents.
Late last year the firm expanded its business with a Sh1.6 billion investment.