The local cement market is set for a major shake-up as the latest producer begins to flex its business development muscles; aiming for a bigger share of the Kshs 100billion market.
Buoyed by the stability of its recently constructed manufacturing plant in Athi River, Savannah Cement has now sent the clearest signal yet on its intended strategic market storm intentions with the appointment of its first Chief Executive Officer.
Commissioned in July last year, as Kenya’s sixth cement manufacturer, Savannah Cement has been operating without a substantive CEO, whilst undertaking an extensive headhunt for a preferred business leader and has now tapped the services of Mr. Ronald Ndegwa to drive the business.
Speaking when he confirmed the new developments at the Kshs 8 billion manufacturing facility, Savannah Cement Board Chairman, Benson Ndeta, disclosed that Ndegwa who previously served as the Director of Supply Chain at Tata Chemicals Magadi (Magadi Soda) has joined the firm with a clear brief to spearhead the business development agenda.
Savannah Cement, he disclosed, is the only plant in the entire region that uses Roller Press technology to ensure energy efficiency and sustainability. The emission free facility is designed to deliver world-class quality products while ensuring respect for the Environment.
A Civil Engineering graduate of the University of Nairobi and South Africa’s Damelin Management School, Ndegwa, joins Savannah Cement, with a firm brief to drive an ambitious business expansion strategy for the firm currently operating a state of the art, eco-friendly cement grinding plant with a capacity of 1.5 million tons a year.
“By retaining Ndegwa; a seasoned manufacturing and business management professional, Savannah Cement is making a bold statement that we intend to play a very key role in Kenya’s and indeed East Africa’s development agenda,” Ndeta said.
And added: “As a Board, we are actively moving to align and raise our human resource base to match global benchmarks based on the conviction that the East African region has great growth potential and that is why we want to place our company on the world map as a major cement producer in the region.”
Prior to joining Tata Chemicals Magadi, Ndegwa had previously served at senior management positions with East African Breweries Limited and Caltex Oil Kenya.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Leading Economic Indicators for October 2013, the quantity of cement produced went up from 407,074 MT in August 2013 to 414,807 MT in September 2013.
Last year, Cement production closed at an all time high of 4,639,723 metric tonnes up from 4,478,428 Metric tonnes recorded the previous year (2011) while consumption grew from 3,870,930 to 3,937,263 metric tonnes last year.