Igathe returns to SA’s Tiger Brands


South African firm Tiger Brands has tapped Polycarp Igathe as chief growth officer. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Multinational consumer goods firm Tiger Brands has hired Polycarp Igathe as its chief growth officer for African countries excluding South Africa, marking the latest appointment for the Kenyan who has briefly held multiple jobs in the public and private sectors in recent years.

Mr Igathe returns to the multinational, having previously served as the managing director of its former subsidiary Haco Industries which is based in Nairobi.

Tiger Brands sold its controlling 51 per cent stake in Haco in December 2017 back to the late businessman Chris Kirubi after the parties disagreed over the company’s management and strategic direction.

“I look forward to the diverse set of capabilities and knowledge of the continent that Polycarp will bring to driving the execution of our ambitious growth strategy for the Rest of Africa business and his broader contribution to the development and execution of the Tiger Brands business strategy,” Tiger Brands CEO Noel Doyle said in a statement.

Mr Igathe recently failed to capture the Nairobi Governor seat, having resigned for the second time from Equity Group to contest for the position.

Tiger Brands’ core business is the manufacture, marketing and distribution of branded food and beverages, predominantly in South Africa with a growing presence in Africa.

The multinational said Mr Igathe brings strong commercial capability, as well as marketing, sales, strategy and business leadership experience through multi-geography leadership roles across Africa.

The company’s brands include Tastic, All gold and Jeyes. Tiger Brands also appointed Zayd Abrahams as its chief marketing and strategy officer.

Tiger Brands says it currently exports its products to Kenya after divesting from Haco. The multinational signalled its plans to expand its investment and presence in the local market.

“We have made significant progress in the delivery of our Rest of Africa talent and capability agenda. We have registered permanent entities in Nigeria and Kenya, resourced key vacancies in our Rest of Africa business, and undertaken to coach and mentoring as part of preparations for in-market placements,” the multinational said in its latest annual report.

Kenya remains an attractive market for South African consumer goods manufacturers eyeing the country’s consumers whose population and incomes have grown significantly over the years. A number of high-profile South African firms have however struggled in the local market, with retail chain Shoprite and Massmart the latest to close shop.

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