INVESTMENT

Kimberly-Clark signs Sh5bn contract to produce diapers locally

It will manufacture Huggies brand and directly create more 100 new jobs at newly established factory in Thika

In Summary
  • The firm has partnered with a local manufacturer, Sai Pharmaceuticals.
  • Trade CAS David Osiany said the partnership was an endorsement of Kenya as a leading investment destination.
Kimberly-Clark supply chain director Damaris Aracil, Trade CAS David Osiany and Hygiene Division CEO Rajiv Joshi Sai.
Kimberly-Clark supply chain director Damaris Aracil, Trade CAS David Osiany and Hygiene Division CEO Rajiv Joshi Sai.
Image: /COURTESY

International diaper manufacturer Kimberly-Clark has entered into a Sh5 billion contract to manufacture the Huggies brand for the Kenyan market.

The firm has partnered with a local manufacturer, Sai Pharmaceuticals, in a deal to directly create more 100 new jobs at the newly established factory in Thika.

Speaking during the announcement, Trade Chief Administrative  Secretary David Osiany said the partnership was an endorsement of Kenya as a leading investment destination.

“Such investments take us closer to our goal of elevating the manufacturing sector to contribute 15 per cent of GDP, up from the current nine per cent, which is part of the government’s Big Four Agenda,” he said.

Osiany said that Kenya’s population is literate and hardworking, making it an attractive investment destination for international brands, such as Kimberly-Clark.

“This investment offers a great recovery plan for our country after the effects of the deadly virus on our economy," he said.

"In addition to job creation, it will enhance skills transfer in the manufacture of high-quality hygiene products.”

Kimberly-Clark’s Middle East and Africa director (business development) Kevin Achieng said that the move will triple its market share in the next three years.

The rollout will begin in Uganda in January 1, 2022, followed by Tanzania and Ethiopia.

“There are one million babies born in Kenya every year and eight million born annually in East Africa. That is a sizeable number which reflects the growing need for high quality, affordable hygiene products in Africa,” he said.

Pharmaceuticals Hygiene Division CEO Rajiv Joshi Sai said Covid-19’s negative impact on global supply chains accelerated their decision to invest in home-grown solutions.

The idea was to secure a continuous flow of high-quality hygiene products such as diapers for Africa’s markets.

“Contract manufacturing is commonplace in markets such as South Africa and Nigeria. We decided to make it a reality in Kenya through this partnership with Kim-Fay and Kimberly-Clark,” Sai said. 

Kim-Fay, a leading local tissue manufacturer in Kenya, has been Kimberly-Clark’s local distributor for the last 25 years and has grown the brand’s availability in the region.

The two will continue working closely to guarantee increased access to the Huggies brand.

Kim-Fay’s managing director Raj Bains said the production of Huggies in Kenya would enable his company to be more agile and respond faster to the ever-changing consumer needs.

“It ensures that we remain committed to delivering the same high-quality products to our customers, matched by excellent service at an affordable price,” he said.

(edited by Amol Awuor)