Nakumatt in an expansion drive in Rwanda

• Company eyes two more store in Kigali suburbs Having made its foray into Rwanda through the buyout of another operator, City Supermarket, through a $3  million deal, Nakumatt Rwanda is set to consolidate it presence in Rwanda by opening three other branches. Nakumatt’s planned expansion in Rwanda comes at a time after the Nairobi based parent company - Nakumatt Holdings Ltd finalized a $25 million investment deal that will see Satya Capital - a London based investment firm control a 30 percent stake.
The Nakumatt outlet at Union Trade Center. (File Photo)
The Nakumatt outlet at Union Trade Center. (File Photo)

• Company eyes two more store in Kigali suburbs

Having made its foray into Rwanda through the buyout of another operator, City Supermarket, through a $3  million deal, Nakumatt Rwanda is set to consolidate it presence in Rwanda by opening three other branches.

Nakumatt’s planned expansion in Rwanda comes at a time after the Nairobi based parent company - Nakumatt Holdings Ltd finalized a $25 million investment deal that will see Satya Capital - a London based investment firm control a 30 percent stake.

Satya Capital a firm linked to Sudanese business magnate Mo Ibrahim, has agreed to  be involved in Nakumatt’s expansion drive.

According to Nakumatt officials the huge cash injection from Satya Capital will be used to undertake the development of three new stores in Kigali City.

Officials also added that  the broad plan includes the set up of similar stores in the affluent suburb of Nyarutarama and another one in Remera.

Asked to give further details about the development of these three new stores, Adan Ramata the Country Manager said, “Those plans are still at inception, they are our trade secrets. At this juncture we cannot really reveal much up till negotiations are consummated between parties concerned.”

However  Lalit Kumar Nakumatt Rwanda Finance Manager said that , “This year we will build standard stores of the sizes like the first one not a mega store .However the details will be made known to press in due course’,
Nakumatt Rwanda says that it commands a comfortable 45 percent share of the Kigali City retail business.

Its management asserts that this command is due to its superior business model within the retail industry. Nakumatt officials also said that the retail business is reflected by gross sales which currently stand at just a staggering $1 million per month.

“With this kind of initial results I cannot say that we have a tough competitor in the horizon as our benchmarks are second to none. Further still our quality and standards are different from our main known competitor Simba Super market.

Nakumatt’s target in the market is middle and high class shoppers which is quite different from what Simba is targeting,” Lalit Kumar said.

“At Nakumatt we work with German Butchery or Akagera Business Group and retailers like that for the purposes of improving local businesses. These are our back chains whom we have co-opted into our overall business models. That is how we differentiate ourselves from competition’, he added.

Nakumatt is now truly taken as anchor tenant at Union Trade Center (UTC) in Kigali. Nakumatt management points out that its seemingly huge traffic has influenced Bourbon Coffee to extend its working hours beyond 10pm while the Forex Bureau at the same premises now operates 7 days a week up from the 5 normal working days.

“We are also on the forefront of deepening professionalism within the retail business of Rwanda and customer service generally in tandem with Government efforts through intense staff training. Nakumatt employees are well sought after within the local job market.

“We have a clear investment strategy to support the expansion in Rwanda which has attracted this sort of new capital. Our competitors should know by now that Nakumatt brand is the only retailer in East Africa with the technical know-how and financial power to sustain the kind of expansion it is undertaking within this region,” Lalit added.

In June 2007 Nakumatt was ranked 25th in the annual Planet Retail listing of top 30 global retailers. The company has recorded an annual growth of between 20-25 percent in the past three years.

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