Kenya is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing economies, with a huge focus on infrastructure development in roads, railways, seaports, airports, water and sanitation. Cement sales in the East African region are equal to South Africa’s cement sales and are currently growing at double digit rates annually.

In a concerted effort to remain close to its customer base, the Chryso Southern Africa Group has established a subsidiary that will be headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The facilities will also be used as a base to supply products to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.

CHRYSO IN KENYA PIC 03
An in-house laboratory in Johannesburg, where specialised mix designs are tested to determine the most appropriate solution for each project, is complemented by alliances with a number of concrete laboratories in various African countries

“Servicing customer needs is our primary driver and the establishment of Chryso Eastern Africa further underlines our strategy to further expand our footprint in Africa,” says Trevor Sawyer, country manager of the new company.

As a leading construction chemicals specialist, the Chryso Southern Africa Group continues to implement plans that will see customers in Eastern Africa having direct and immediate access to both the entire product range as well as a team of technical product specialists.

Comprising Chryso Southern Africa and a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, the Chryso Southern Africa Group has established a distributor network and distribution outlets across the African continent and Indian Ocean Islands.

“Through its market share and product performance, Chryso has been a leader in southern Africa for its concrete and cement additives, while a.b.e. has been a major supplier of high performance systems and products to the building, civil engineering, maintenance and manufacturing sectors as well as builders merchants and hardware stores. As a combined force, the two companies have an enormous advantage when entering the African market as a one-stop shop,” says Sawyer.

Sawyer is a qualified concrete technologist who has over 20 years of experience in the cement and concrete industries and has worked within the Chryso Southern Group for over eight years. “Kenya has shown impressive sales growth for the Group over the past nine years, so it made good business sense to solidify our presence in the country.

With logistic networks, warehousing facilities and clearing agents already established, Chryso Eastern Africa will now focus on building a manufacturing plant in the next year. “Entrepreneurship, empowerment and decentralisation are a part of the Chryso Group’s core values. We therefore do not want to establish a French or South African business in Kenya. Our vision is for Chryso Eastern Africa to employ Kenyan people, and to develop them to the standards that we maintain in the Chryso Group,” says Sawyer.

“We aim to have a competent local staff complement with an intimate knowledge of local conditions that can assist customers with troubleshooting problems on site, optimising mix designs, improving processes and precast turnaround times. Chryso Eastern Africa will therefore provide a service that provides best practice in concrete technology and allows us to become an integral part of our customers’ businesses,” Sawyer points out.

Chryso Eastern Africa is one of 17 CHRYSO subsidiaries globally. Last year, LBO France acquired the Chryso Group from Materis, along with its incumbent management team. “This has resulted in an exciting phase of global growth for the Group and has assisted in increasing the pace at which Chryso Southern Africa is becoming the Chryso springboard into the African continent,” concludes Sawyer.

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