Pepsi hires staff ahead of Sh2.4bn plant roll-out
Posted Sunday, July 22 2012 at 18:41
- Pepsi Cola seeks to fill 29 personnel positions including area sales managers, a human resource manager, public relations officers, and senior accountants amongst others.
- The recruitment drive is the first of three phases with the company planning to hire 300 workers.
International soft drinks manufacturer Pepsi Cola has started recruiting middle level employees in readiness for the commissioning of its Sh2.4 billion Kenyan plant this year.
The US multinational seeks to fill 29 personnel positions including area sales managers, a human resource manager, public relations officers, and senior accountants amongst others.
“We already have most of the top management in place and this is the next stage of recruitment through which we intend to fill the middle level positions,” said Butch Moldenhauer, the SBC Kenya general manager.
“Preparation of the factory is on course. We are currently installing equipment and we will soon be ready to have the official launch.”
The recruitment drive is the first of three phases with the company planning to hire 300 workers.
PepsiCo exited the Kenyan market in the 1970s for strategic reasons and made a re-entry in 2010, but has been relying on imports of its brands such as Pepsi Cola, Pepsi Diet, Mirinda, Evervess Soda Water and Seven Up.
Its comeback with a Sh2.4 billion factory to be located in Nairobi’s Ruaraka estate is expected to shake up the soft drinks industry, currently in the tight grip of global giant Coca-Cola.
PepsiCo acquired 14 acres of land in Nairobi’s Ruaraka through SBC Kenya Ltd, a franchise bottler and distributor of Pepsi products, it bought in 2009.
It already kicked off its marketing initiative two years ago with the supply of coolers to various regions. SABMiller is also in the process of establishing a manufacturing plant in Kenya.
The London-based company took over family-owned Crown Foods, the bottlers of Keringet drinking water and plans to diversify from alcoholic beverages.
The increased activity in the soft-drink sector sets stage for a price war as new entrants try to wrestle market share from Coca-Cola.
“Even though Coca-Cola remains the leading player in the soft drinks with a 41 per cent volume share and in carbonates with a 63 per cent share, it will be interesting to see what happens following the strong entry of PepsiCo Inc and SABMiller,” says a recent market report by Euromonitor International.
Coca-Cola is gearing up for the rivalry with a Sh5 billion investment, to be spread over three years, to help boost capacity of its seven Kenyan franchises and expand its juice market.
Two weeks ago, one of the franchises, Nairobi Bottlers, commissioned a Sh1.2 billion plastic bottling line at its Nairobi’s Embakasi site which is expected to double its bottling capacity.
READ: Nairobi Bottlers plans Sh4.3bn expansion drive to meet demand
This increased activity in the sector comes at a time when industry data shows that consumption of soft drinks—juices, bottled water, soda and concentrate juices—had levelled out between 2009 and 2010 at 361 million litres.