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It’s Official

odrej has now officially established itself in Africa. Kenya, a leading country in the East African region, borders Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya’s total area is 5,83,650 square kilometres, with water covering 13,400 square kilometres. It has a coastline of 536 kilometres. The lowest point is the Indian Ocean at 0 metres and the highest point is Mount Kenya at 5,199 metres.

According to the July 2003 census, Kenya has a population of 31,639,091. It also has 220,000 refugees, 145,000 of whom are Somalian and 68,000 Sudanese. The country has 42 tribes, with the Kikuyu tribe being the largest, constituting 22 per cent of the population, followed by the Luhya (14 per cent), Luo (13 per cent), Kalenjin (12 per cent), Kamba (11 per cent), Kisii (6 per cent), Meru (6 per cent), other Africans (15 per cent) and non-Africans (1 per cent). The official language is English, though Kiswahili is spoken throughout the land. In addition, each tribe has its own dialect. Among the Indian settlers, the Gujaratis are in the majority. While they have their own associations, there are other Indian associations, too, such as the Marathi, Telugu, Malayalee, Tamil, Punjabi, etc.

One has to be 18 years old to be eligible for voting in Kenya. The Kenyan flag has three equal horizontal bands of black, red and green. The red band is edged in white. A large warrior’s shield covered with crossed spears is superimposed at the centre.

When the National Rainbow Coalition consisting of 13 opposition parties formed the new government in January 2003, they kept their election promise to provide free primary education in the country. Among the many who took advantage of this opportunity was an 84-year-old freedom fighter who created history by attending school in Standard 1! Though there are facilities for adult education, the octogenarian insisted on joining this class and continues to go to school. His ambition is to read the Bible for himself, to be able to count money correctly and he hopes eventually to be able to go to college.

Kenya has various natural resources such as gold, limestone, soda ash, salt, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, and spectacular wildlife. Its agricultural products include tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables. The country’s exports in 2002 totalled $2.1 billion, while it imported goods worth $3 billion, 4.8 per cent of which came from India.

Our company has been registered in Kenya, thanks to the wholehearted support of Rajoo Patel, the Chairman of our existing Security Equipment products dealer, M/s. Copy Cat Ltd. We are in the process of appointing new dealers for other products as well. Minoo Panthaki of the Locks Division accompanied me to various locations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and shortlisted prospective dealers for locks. Our office is located at Taranaki Court, Maisonette No. 3, Chania Avenue, Kilimani, Nairobi, Kenya. Currently, the ground floor is being used as the office and the upper floor for residential purposes. With this new development, we hope to support not only the existing dealer, but also to appoint new dealers for other products and support them as well.

Mombasa: The Hub of Kenya

n spite of the tragic bombing of the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya on 28 November, 2002, the port city still attracts many visitors and tourists. Mombasa, a 15-square-kilometre island, is the largest port on the East African coast serving Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire and Kenya. The population of Mombasa is approximately 500,000, 70 per cent of whom are of African descent, the rest are Asians and Europeans.

Mombasa has been subjected to many invasions down the ages, most notably by the Portuguese, the Omanis and the Zimba tribe, a tribe that was so ferocious that they would not concede defeat to anyone. In 1888 the Imperial British East Africa Company set up its headquarters in Mombasa and in 1895 officially leased a stretch of the coast and the port city from the Sultan of Zanzibar. This strip still belonged to Zanzibar until it was ceded to independent Kenya in 1963.

Fredrick Correa, Senior Market Manager, Godrej, Africa Region, explains the salient features of the Godrej Treasure Chest to Janet Wakesho, Sales Executive, Copy Cat Coast Ltd., Mombasa.

Fort Jesus, which was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to fend off local enemies and Turkish warships, is Mombasa’s main attraction, dominating the harbour entrance. The city’s most famous landmarks are the two pairs of cross tusks, erected as a ceremonial arch to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Minoo Panthaki of the Locks Division accompanied me to Mombasa on 30 January, 2004 to survey the market to appoint a dealer for Godrej locks. While Minoo was busy, I took the opportunity to visit some key customers of our Security Equipment products and conducted a training session for the two branches of our Security Equipment dealer, M/s. Copy Cat Ltd. Eight sales people were trained, their queries answered and their confidence rebuilt.

K.V. Kumar, Sales Manager, Copy Cat Ltd., Mombasa Branch, went out of his way to ensure that we were comfortable in Mombasa. Sanghar Suleman, Director, Mombasa Branch, and Munira Daudji, Branch Manager, Gestetner Ltd., Mombasa Branch, made sure that everything went smoothly. The enthusiasm and cooperation shown by the participants during the training programme is something I will always cherish.

Fredrick Correa
Godrej, Kenya