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Bidco launches Sh20bn Ruiru plant, eyes Nakuru factory

Thursday July 25 2019

William Ruto and Bidco Africa chairman Vimal Shah

Deputy President William Ruto and Bidco Africa chairman Vimal Shah (right) during the official opening of Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru, Kiambu County, July 25, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

LYNET IGADWAH
By LYNET IGADWAH
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Consumer goods maker Bidco Africa Group has opened a Sh20 billion ultra-modern industrial park in Kiambu as it eyes expanding its manufacturing footprint with another plant in Nakuru.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the unveiling of the business complex Thursday that will host the company’s beverage and food processing factory.

It comes installed with a 66-kilovolt power station to supply 7.5 megawatts of electricity to the factory.

The Head of State noted that the new factory has already created 1,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs throughout the Bidco distribution chain.

The firm has engaged 35,000 farmers across the country to supply them with soya and sunflower produce. “This, in essence is what we are trying to achieve as a nation, a manufacturing sector that links with other productive sectors of the economy,” said Mr Kenyatta.

The park, which sits on part of an 80-acre parcel of industrial land within Tatu City, comprises a 550,000 litres per day effluent treatment plant and a 90,000 litres per hour water filtration facility.

Bidco Africa chairman Vimal Shah said the new factory and machinery is expected to add to total turnover and product range.“Our basket to the market shall therefore become bigger, which means there shall be significant employment creation as well as benefit to Kenyans in general,” said Mr Shah.

Unveiling of the plant comes just days after the firm revealed that chief executive Thiagarajan Ramamurthy had retired, leaving Bidco just two years after taking over the helm.

Mr Ramamurthy is the former Nakumatt chief executive.

He took over as Bidco Africa Group CEO in April 2017, marking the first time that the Shahs that own the consumer goods manufacturer were ceding leadership to a non-family member.

Before his appointment at the firm, Vimal’s father and founder of the company, Bhimji Depar Shah, was serving as chairman of the company.