Keroche hires sales staff to push new plant output

Tabitha Karanja, CEO Keroche Breweries. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Tabitha Karanja, CEO Keroche Breweries. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Keroche Breweries has started recruiting sales managers to market its drinks countrywide ahead of the official opening of its new Sh5.5 billion brewery at the end of the month.

The Naivasha-based brewer has advertised positions for 20 sales managers and five brand managers as part of an ongoing recruitment to improve its geographical reach ahead of the commissioning of the new plant on March 31.

The new sales managers will be in charge of areas such as Mombasa, Bungoma, and Eldoret and other regions where Keroche is currently not actively marketing its products.

“We expect that the new employees will be on board as soon as the new factory is commissioned and their brief will be to coordinate the uptake of our brands in an expanded customer base,” Keroche’s chief executive officer Tabitha Karanja in an interview.

The brewer late last year hired a sales and marketing director as well as a commercial director in an ongoing restructuring of the company in anticipation of the expansion.

It is expected at the end of the month to commission its multi-billion shilling factory which it started constructing in 2012, in what will see its annual capacity grow from 10 million litres to 100 million litres.

Keroche currently has about six sales managers who cover Nairobi, Central, Western and parts of Rift Valley— leaving many other parts of the country underserved.

“The area sales manager will be a key representative of the company in assigned areas to implement sales programmes, acquire, develop, grow and retain customers and consumers,” a job advert read in part.

Keroche, which commenced operations in 1998, has been producing at peak capacity for several years causing a supply strain as volumes failed to meet customer demand.

Its flagship beers—Summit Lager and Summit Malt—have on occasion reported stock outs in some parts of the country.

Keroche, whose portfolio also include wines and vodkas, says the new factory’s will end supply bottlenecks of existing brands while also enabling it to produce new brands.

“The new brewery will ensure that we have more than enough product to supply every corner of the country and also to the regional market when we decide to expand,” said Mrs Karanja.

The company will hire at least 50 new employees in coming months.

Keroche is also recruiting new distributors across the country as it prepares to fight it out with the market leader—Diageo-owned East African Breweries Limited (EABL)—for customers.

Ranked as Kenya’s number two brewer, it has a market share of approximately three per cent and it hopes the new plant will grow this to 20 per cent in a year.