Seasoned businessman who turned around ailing Insta Products

Insta Products chief executive Dhiren Chandaria during the interview in Athi River, Machakos County. Photo/SALATON NJAU

He strikes one as a man full of passion for what he does and so engaging is his conversation that one hardly notices how time flies.

Meet Dhiren Chandaria, the chief executive who thrives in conquering challenges.

Despite being born in the influential and wealthy Chandaria family, he says he is a self-built businessman.

After finishing from Jamhuri High School in Nairobi he went for further studies at the University of Salford in England where he graduated with a double major degree in chemistry and business management.

Because of the unfavourable political climate in the country at the time, he says he felt that he needed to move in order to establish and further the family’s interests in Canada and the US.


After university, he was tasked with managing the Chandaria family’s first North American business and he grew the artificial firelog division’s market share from three per cent to 65 per cent after which the company was divested to American public firm Jarden Corporation.

The businessman has also played a key role in many of the family’s mergers and business acquisitions like that of Henkel Kenya.

Two years ago, he came back to the country after 22 years abroad and revived an export processing zone (EPZ) company that was on the verge of collapse.

“I love using my skills to transform businesses. The business environment has really changed from what it was then and with Insta it is really satisfying to go to work because you know what you are doing is going to help a sick child somewhere,” he said.

Aside from the business, Mr Chandaria is a family man and enjoys spending time with his three children.

Today, Insta Products continue to serve the nutritional interests of thousands of people across the East African region and Asia through the development partners who purchase their products.

The businessman also doubles up as the chief executive of Orbit Chemical and together with his three nephews Sachen, Sagar and Sarit, they have led the family’s local operations to a 40 per cent growth in annual sales, serving multinational and local customers like Unilever, Colgate, Reckitt, PZ Cussons, Henkel, L’Oreal, Ecolabs, Bidco, Mukwano and Nakumatt.

“My goal is to build a multinational business empire within the region that will be able to be a one-stop entry point for other multinational companies while working with local conglomerates and at the same time coaching and mentoring the immense local talent that we already have,” he said. 

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