Kigali — The Supermarket chain Nakumatt holdings yesterday officially launched its business operations in Kigali. It opened the US$3 million supermarket outlet located at the Union Trade Center (UTC) in Kigali.
The new outlet covering a shopping floor space of more than 25,000 square feet is the first operational Nakumatt outlet outside Kenya. Plans to open similar stores in Uganda and Tanzania are at an advanced stage.
Speaking at a formal opening of the new branch presided over by the Minister of Commerce, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Nakumatt Holdings Operations Director, Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, described the opening of the new store in Rwanda as a milestone for Nakumatt Holdings.
He disclosed that they will be investing more than US $ 20 million in the East Africa expansion plan which will see the chain opening 3 branches in Uganda, 2 in Rwanda, 4 in Tanzania and raising its Kenyan network to 30 in the next two years.
The Nakumatt operations boss pledged to maintain the firm's renowned world class standards in their East African expansion drive.
"Through this supermarket, we shall also be focusing our energies on the transfer of global retail best practices to the Rwandan retail marketplace," Ramamurthy said.
He explained that such international best practices will be undertaken alongside a very strategic effort to foster the growth of local manufacturers and producers.
The supermarket chain's entry to Rwanda is a culmination of an investor partnership program spearheaded by the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA).
Speaking at the launch ceremony, RIEPA Director General Francis Gatare described Nakumatt's entry into Rwanda as a very rich harvest.
Gatare expressed optimism that Nakumatt's joining of Rwanda market will facilitate further development in the country's retail sector as envisioned in the Rwanda Vision 2020 development blueprint.
"To us, the launch of Nakumatt in Rwanda is like a very rich harvest of a good farmer. Today's launch follows a period of great partnership between RIEPA and Nakumatt throughout the sequence of their investment interest and execution," Gatare said.
"We applaud them for believing in and experiencing Rwanda's vision and determination to provide the best environment for business operators," he added.