Sunday, July 09, 2006

Uchumi, KBS, Madaraka

Uchumi stores will re-open this week. No word yet on the fate of shareholders and if it will be re-listed soon on the NSE. I still don’t think they will be able compete with Nakumatt & other supermarkets, or recover their lost ground, but I hope I’m wrong.

Official confirmation that KBS buses are not running, but the company plans to resume as a new company and a new fleet by the end of the month.

Monday (July 10) marks the deadline for residents of Madaraka Estate to have submitted applications, along with a 10% deposit, to buy the houses they live in.


silvan said...

hi, i enjoy your blog. I'd like to have your take on kenyan webites.
On aspects such as:
- usefulness of content,
- most popular sites(apart from yahoo and media houses sites),
- business sites -,, search engine), : are they viable right now.
- kenyan sites you visit
- future of local websites - given the efforts of mutahi kagwe, telcom has completed laying some fiber optic cable, kdn dug up nairobi to lay fiber optic cables last year, eassy project, telcom losing gateway monopoly, 2nd national operator coming, flashcom, popote wireless, CDMA

Kibet said...

On Uchumi, as against Nakumatt & Tusker and particularly for the Christian population, i think they stand a good chance. Word has it in christian circles that Nakumatt has a daily ritual at its Headquarters involving sacrifices to & worship of the god 'Ambee' (some god with an elephants trunk). This has kept a number of staunch christians away from the store & tho' the number is small, this coupled with the guys (like myself) who think that Tuskers (and others like Ukwala) tho' fair in price are way too far may sway the numbers in Uchumi's favour.

Am happy about KBS's said turnaround. Wish i knew the details on the debt management/disposal by the old KBS.

bankelele said...

Silvan: You have many questions, some of which I may have dwelt on, through the archives.

Kibet: I know many people who prefered Uchumi for its' Kenyan (not imported) products it sells, but you're thes first to make me aware of a religious angle to the Uchumi/Nakumatt wars. Elephant worship? Wow! We'll see from Friday.

In the Standard today, it doesn't appear that KBS will turn around soon, or at least this month.

Kagz said...

Kibet, i TOTALLY disagree.

Just for the record, Tusker is owned by my close family friends. Actually, my other cousins say they are my immediate relas but...story for another day.

Tusker is run by a KIKUYU FAMILY (nani kama sisi :) and was founded by their father who was Christian. In honour of their father, they DO NOT sell BEER, CIGARETTES and they ONLY play Christian music.

So how does Uchumi compare to that???

Ati Nakumatt does what????
Do you know how many companies are run by Asians in Kenya???
Do you know 95% have their daily rituals as well as spray all that spooky stuff.
Does that mean people will stop buying?
Dyou know how rich the likes of Manu Chandaria & Merali are???

Nakumatt have set themselves apart to target the up-market. Tusker has stores at PERFECT locations & thats why they are making SERIOUS $$$ me, i know the figures.

Tusker is for the masses & their prices are right...thats why they are near busy areas like bus stations as well as densely populated places like Buru Buru.

Need i say more???

Ken said...

On the Nakummatt issue I have worked with Nakumatt and visited Ramamurdhi's office and yes he is fascinated by Elephants so much so that he has carvings and paintings of them in his office but I'm not sure that is his 'god' it looked like a brand to me. Something that he wants to be the company symbol.
Their staff is predominantly Kenyan Christians upto branch management level and something I noted is that most of them are saved. Infact if you pass by Postbank house (Behind Nakumatt downtown) at around 7:30am. Nakumatt staff have a fellowship out there. The same applies to all their branches and their head office.
About the myths of customers shying away I dont know. But his offices are lined up with all sorts of people who want to stock their goods in his supermarkets I think they wouldn't be there if they didn't like his business.
Kagz is right on the target market for both Nakumatt and Tuskermatt I'm not sure Uchumi found a spot for itself and if it dies it wont be missed.

coldtusker said...

Give me an break! What has religion got to do with it?

At least no animal sacrifices at Nakumatt!

Rituals are unique to religions & cultures so let it be!

Kikuyus used to sacrifice a poor animal to Kiri Nyaga (Facing Mt. Kenya)...
Don't forget Abraham almost did his kid in! (Bible)

BTW, if you see a guy about to do in his kid - even if he says "god" told him to in the name of a religion - I would recommend you call the police asap!

@banks - Uchumi can't survive as more than a bit player UNLESS the government actively impedes Nakumatt. Then there is Ukwala + Tusker to contend with as well! Uchumi needs MORE than the measly Shs 975 Million esp most of it is going to pay suppliers who will be stingy supplying more unless they are VERY confident that Uchumi will survive!

As far as (some) Christians not shopping at Nakumatt, well Nakumatt did well without them & they can go to Uchumi when & if it reopens!

BTW, many of the successful businesses (Mabati, EABS, ScanGroup, ARM, Car & General, Sameer, Bidco, etc) are Asian-Kenyan owned/controlled so that leaves few choices for the "staunch" christians!

Do "staunch" christians buy chinese (atheist, taoist or buddhist) or japanese (Shinto or buddhist) goods?

Do they watch NTV or read Nation (Aga Khan - Muslim)?

BTW, I thought Tusker got started with Nakumatt's help (market segmentation) so the "staunch" christians are covered!

In any event, most Kenyans are not "staunch" enough to keep off Nakumatt! Going to church on sundays is not enough!

Kagz said...

NOTE : Just incase anyone is wondering, we are talking about TUSKER SUPERMARKETS and NOT....COLD TUSKER!!!

Ha Ha Ha...Me ROTFPMBO!!!

Cold Tusker : From the story i was told by my relas, the owner of Tusker started out small time & was a good pal to the owner of Nakuru Matresses (Nakumatt) back in the day.

S'thing happened to Mr.Nakumatt (for the 411, you need to buy me coffee at Java or Lavazza when i come to Kenya) & ONLY Mr.Tusker helped.

Since then, Mr.Nakumatt felt indebted to Mr.Tusker and the rest is history.

A simple story on the power of networking!

PesaYangu said...

Banks has a great forum/discussion going on here! The likes of Kagz bring their tribal issues. Nini mbaya? You want to turn this forum into another Mashada! Please stay sane and create something out this little freedom - that young professional kenyans have going on. Lets just forget our tribal issues and deal with biashara when we get to Banks. Please, please - don't turn this into another mashada. Where will we run too!

Instead of telling us about your tribal relations - tell us about the next big investment/your investment strategies (enlighten the forum) - follow the banks legacy!

Concerned Banks reader.

Kagz said...


Pliz dont get me started...

I said "KIKUYU FAMILY (nani kama sisi :)" as a joke and if you were offended then TOO BAD.

Anyone who knows me knows i'm not a tribalist. I make ALOT of jokes about MANY tribes.

My duty on this blog is to read, add my 2 well as entertain myself in the process.

If there is anyone to complain, it should be the OWNER of the blog...Bank Man!

So, are you a by-product of Mashada???
I've been there like 0.0000000005 times and i ONLY read, the Business & Finance section ...which is pretty useful.

Your complaints make me feel you've been reading too much of Mashada's PERSONALS section.

Kagz said...

Me back again...

I was at an organization's annual dinner with more than 500 people in attendance including Kenya's who-list and Kirubi (being one of the speakers) walks up and says "How can you marry a beautiful lady then take her to live in a place like Buru Buru"

Some people cursed him out, others left the i laughed till i cried!

Dont sweat the small stuff. Opinions are free for all to give.

coldtusker said...

@kagz - perhaps if we all scammed (does the missing cash from Uchumi come to mind?) then we could all go live in Kile, Runda, etc

Wot does kirubi mean???

His grandiose (Sungura)expansion plans instead of the slow but deliberate expansion by Suresh Shah (Tortoise) led to Uchumi's collapse!

Better live & grow like Shah then screw people over like kirubi!

I bet he got ALL his cash out of Uchumi. Was he a creditor who lost chumas? I doubt!

Kagz said...

Coldtusker : You sound like you live in Buru Buru so ha ha ha ha ha.

N'way in this short life i've lived i've learnt not to sweat the small stuff.

I dont see why anyone should concentrate on 2 or 3 words i mentioned instead of focusing on the entire comments i've made on this article.


Ever heard some of the statements that come from Larry Ellison (CEO & Founder of ORACLE) or Donald Trump.

My 2 cents...learn what they have to offer and the rest of what they say is details.

NOTE: Kirubi may be a thief but he is a SMART thief.
Look what happened to those in Goldenberg, Anglo Leasing and Anglo Lighting (thats what they call the Adopt-A-Light scandal)

coldtusker said...

@kagz - unfortunately all the crooks are out!

kamani - abroad living the good life... probably in dubai or india

pattni aka paul - guy's considered a shujaa! People want his autograph!

murungaru - lying low BUT "ate" enuff to keep him going & of course anglo-fleecing is dying a slow death!

kiraitu - well, his buddy, aaraon is earning mega-chums just to keep him from stealing!

Arghh.... Kenya....

Pesayangu said...

A tribalist is a tribalist! You don't need to write a 3 page essay for anyone to tell you are a tribalist. So take a chill pill and kill that habit!

Kagz said...

I am KENYAN and I am a KIKUYU and we are on the WORLD WIDE WEB where EVERYONE is free to say whatever they want.
If you've a problem with me then i'm kavu-time for you!!!

Small minds discuss people.
Average minds discuss events.
Great minds discuss ideas.

Now can we move on to the topic of UCHUMI,KBS and MADARAKA...

Kagz said...

Bank Man : Kindly allow me to distract your audience abit...

Cold Tusker :...the full Kirubi statement went something like this..."How can you marry a beautiful lady then take her to live in a place like Buru Buru, then get her into a matatu to experience such bad roads. Why not come and borrow one of my cars" !!!

bankelele said...

Kagz: Be careful with information. Kirubi is Kirubi, his investments should be the focus

Ken: Thanks for the inside info. I like cats, but don't call me a cat worshipper

Coldtusker: Scary that Nakumatt and others will have to be 'impeded' for Uchumi to survuve.

PesaYangu: Thank you

coldtusker said...

That is not even funny... It shows kirubi for what he is... a snob who in kagz' words is a "smart thief"... BUT a thief nonetheless!

Kenatco ring a bell?

gathinga said...

This is an interesting discourse on uchumi and copetition. I just want all to know that am buying uchumi shares over the counter. you can mail me on if you wish to sell. price, we nego

Holy Cow said...

Can somebody tell me why Total Kenya pays good dividends yet the shares dont sell that hot(mean capitalization)?


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