29 June 2019

Ethiopia: Local Detergent Maker Boosts Capacity With $3m Investment

The expansion will enable the company to nearly triple its capacity

A local manufacturer of consumer goods plans to invest three million dollars to expand its spray drying detergent powder plant's production capacity.

East African Tiger Brand Industries plans the expansion inside Eastern Industrial Zone in Dukem, some 40Km west of the capital. To hire a company that will construct the new plant, East African Tiger has floated an international tender.

Expected to start within two to three months, construction is planned to be completed next year. The existing detergent plant produces three tonnes of powder detergent an hour, and the new plant will boost that volume to eight tonnes an hour, nearly tripling its capacity. The project will also increase the number of employees to 500 from the current 400.

The company was established 23 years ago by prominent businessperson Buzuaeyu Bizenu. It sold 51pc of the shares to South Africa's Tiger Brands in 2011. However, the partnership of the two companies ended in 2016 after East African Holdings acquired the shares of Tiger Brands and the acquisition process was completed last year.

Following the divorce, East Africa Holdings is in the process of changing the name of the company to East African Lion Brand Industries, which is pending with legal proceedings and clearances with the Ethiopian Investment Commission and is expected to be finalised in three months.

East African Tiger Brand Industries has a total of 1,500 employees working in its four units, which manufactures personal care, home care, packaging and food products. East African Holdings operates 16 companies, clustered in engineering and construction, manufacturing and agro-processing, marketing and distribution.

In response to the increased demand, the project is part of the strategic plans of East African Holdings for 2020, according to Fitsum Nigusse, marketing and corporate communication director with the company, which is one of the 348 companies registered in the country to manufacture detergents.

"The local and the Horn of Africa markets in Sudan, Djibouti and Somaliland are our potential customers," he adds.

The mother company, East African Holdings Group, has 6,000 permanent and temporary employees, produces over 100 different products and provides distribution and logistics services to sister companies and external customers.

National Cement, Hameressa Edible Oil S.C, East African Trading House Plc and Ethio-Asian Industries Plc are some of the companies operating under the umbrella of the holding company.

Occupying the entire 28 hectares at the Eastern Industrial Zone, East African Tiger Brand Industries produces biscuits, macaroni, supplementary food, soaps and detergents. It also holds companies involved in printing, packaging, tea blending and coffee roasting.

Hailemariam Kebede (PhD), a lecturer in the marketing management department at Addis Abeba University, applauds the expansion project since it will create more jobs, meet local demand and generate revenue from exports.

Hailemariam recommends the management of the company penetrate the Horn of Africa market, a market that he says contains enormous demand.

"To penetrate the regional market, the company has to work on advertising aggressively in the destination countries," said Hailemariam.

Ethiopia

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