Tuskys starts journey to NSE listing, joins growth initiative

Friday, August 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Chief executive officer Geoffrey Odundo, Tusker Mattresses Ltd Group CEO Dan Githua and NSE Chairman Sam Kimani engage during the Ibuka enrollment ceremony for the retail chain in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/ALICE MBURU

Tuskys Supermarkets has joined Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE) Ibuka programme, marking an important milestone towards becoming a public limited company.

This comes at a time when the giant retailer has announced that it will soon roll out its franchise model, currently in the final stages of piloting, which it intends to use to drive expansion plan.

Ibuka, an incubation and acceleration programme developed by NSE, assists promising local companies accelerate growth by helping them restructure their operations, enhance visibility and expose them to local and international investors in readiness for eventual listing on the bourse.

Enrolment ceremony

Speaking yesterday at NSE offices during Ibuka enrolment ceremony for Tusker Mattresses Ltd, Group Chief executive officer Dan Githua said joining the programme will enable the retailer to deal with any existing challenges ensuring it becomes a remarkable listing when it goes public in about 18 months.

“We want to improve our internal governance structures, ensure our entity is well capitalised, and improve efficiency in areas such as ICT, warehousing and other functions before listing on the NSE,” he said.

“We want to learn first before listing on the stock market eventually. We want Kenyans to own the brand, hold us to account because they own us,” Githua added. To strengthen its capital base and support its expansion plan before going public, Tuskys is in the final stages of bringing on board a strategic investor.

“We are looking to succeed beyond the country, so we are looking for an investor who has success outside Kenya,” he added.

However, the CEO declined to divulge further details concerning the potential investor or the investment agreement. NSE Chief executive officer Geoffrey Odundo said by having Tuskys join Ibuka is a testimony that the incubation programme was the way to go for firms seeking to conquer the future.

“Since we started, we’ve had companies we didn’t think of, coming on board,” he said. His remarks were echoed by NSE Chairman Sam Kimani, who said that joining Ibuka would help the retailer achieve long-term sustainability and help showcase the Tuskys brand to the world.

Retail scene

Githua debunked the myth that the Kenyan retail scene was too crowded, saying 70 per cent of Kenyans still depended on traditional shopping while supermarkets controlled only 30 per cent. “We don’t have too many supermarkets. We can still have three times more what we have currently.”

He, however, admitted that large supermarkets were facing stiff competition from the small estate-based ones saying Tuskys would initiate consolidation and aggregation efforts within the country’s retail sector riding on its upcoming franchise model.

Tuskys expansion strategy involves opening branches on popular bus stops, a strategy that has seen the retailer have 11 stores within Nairobi’s central business district alone.

Tuskys traces its roots to a small grocery shop or duka in Rongai, Nakuru, started by Joram Kamau in 1970s before eventually spawning a supermarket on Mfangano Street in Nairobi.

Tuskys, the largest retailer in the country today , now has 65 branches in Kenya and Uganda, 3,000 employees and about 800 suppliers. It is the 15th company to join the NSE incubation programme which began in 2018.

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