• Illicit trade was worth more than Sh800 billion in 2018 and ACA fears that number has hit Sh1 trillion this past year.
•MRM is confident that the warranty across its product offering will provide customers with the value assurance they need when purchasing MRM products.
Kenya’s public and private sectors must combine efforts to address the growing sub-standard goods menace in the country, manufacturers have said.
According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), sub-standard goods have continued to penetrate the Kenyan market, eating into the share of genuine businesses and dealers where some are facing closure.
The trend, KAM says, is part of illicit trade whose value is currently estimated at over Sh1 trillion by the Anti-Counterfeit Authority.
About 80 per cent of sub-standard goods are imported, Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Anthony Mwangi notes.
"Illicit trade is now bigger than the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP, at 7.2 per cent. If we are to achieve the 20 per cent target, we must deal with the menace,” he said.
The Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA) chairman Simon Njoroge says the issue is so big with close to half of the alcohol in the Kenyan market is counterfeit.
“Our market share is 55 per cent 45 percent is illicit and counterfeits,” said Njoroge.
It is estimated that one in every five products sold in Kenya is counterfeit.
The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) says the trade in counterfeit or smuggled goods has reached unprecedented levels.
It was worth more than Sh800 billion in 2018 and ACA fears that number has hit Sh1 trillion this past year.
According to Safal Group CEO Anders Lindgren, up to 40 per cent of roofing material in the Kenyan market is sub-standard, with most imports coming from China.
To address the increase, manufacturers are now adopting measures to safeguard consumers from the use of substandard products
Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM) has since launched a product warranty aimed at addressing the growing issue of substandard goods and counterfeit products in the Kenyan market and beyond.
The product warranty, to be rolled out across the country, is aimed at providing customers with peace of mind when purchasing Mabati products and other building solutions.
A cross-sector analysis shows that concerns over product quality cuts across all industries, and are just not specific to the manufacturing and construction sector.
For many years now, the industry has been tackling the prevalence of sub-standard products in the market, which compromise on quality for the end consumer.
The company is confident that the warranty across its product offering will provide customers with the value assurance they need when purchasing MRM products, and that it will help to stamp out substandard and counterfeit products not only in the steel sector but beyond.
“We want our customers to have full trust and confidence when purchasing our building solutions, and this warranty is our assurance of the quality and authenticity of our brand,” MRM chief executive Manish Mehra said.
State Department of Industry PS Juma Mukhwana challenged the industry players to come together to address the issue.
“The government has put together a team that will look into the ease of manufacturing in an effort to make it seamless for the manufacturers to conduct business in the Kenyan market,” he said.