Speaking during the launch of the brand, Keroche Industries' Managing Director, Tabitha Karanja, said the product, launched three months after schedule, signified the support of consumers for a local owned company.
Keroche's Managing Director, Tabitha Karanja (third from right) at the launch of the firm's Summit beer at Nairobi's Club Galileo, on Thursday. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO]
During the launch, Karanja
explained the struggles that she
had undergone to position the company to its current status.
In particular, the firm called on market regulators to come up with tougher penalties to rein in unfair practices that border on 'monopolistic tendencies.'
"Monopoly anywhere is bad and if you do not have the support of local institutions, it can especially be very bad for upcoming businesses," said Karanja
Under the current laws, a company that uses unfair means against competition is only fined Sh100,000, while in developed economies, such malpractices carry a price tag worth 10 per cent of the total revenue earned for a year.
has accused its rivals of trickery in blocking its products from reaching retail outlets.
Last month, Karanja
claimed unidentified people destroyed Keroche's billboards worth millions of shillings, along the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
But Keroche's woes in entering the market have been far from easy.
Prior to the launch, the Naivasha-based brewer was rumoured to be in the red and looking for an external investor to inject extra cash to cushion it against effects of a hurried expansion.
Sources, at that time, said Keroche
had been considering the option because it needed the extra cash infusion to pay suppliers and open other streams of the beer business, accusations that Karanja
"We are not looking for any outsiders to buy the company.
is the first beer company wholly owned by locals and when we are ready, it is Kenyans who will buy the firm, not outsiders," she
also dismissed claims that her
company's flagship Summit Lager was finding the market tough to navigate, but admitted it was normal for it to struggle to find its footing, because it was a new brand.
"It is normal for any new product to struggle, but I can tell you that Summit Lager has done much better than similar brands in other markets," says Karanja