KENYA – Kenya’s leading online grocery platform, Twiga Foods has appointed Peter Njonjo, co-founder and former President of Coca-Cola West and Central Africa as new company Chief Executive Officer.

Peter Njonjo has left the position in the multinational soft drink manufacturer after 21 years of service and is now set to head the Kenyan start-up fresh produce and fast-moving-consumer goods distributor, of which he is also a key shareholder.

Having worked in 33 countries in Africa, overseeing Coca-Cola’s sophisticated distribution systems, he is expected to restructure Twiga Food’s business especially with the growing urban middle class.

Launched in 2014, Twiga Foods is a mobile-based cashless, business-to-business supply platform that links farmers with food vendors with an aim of addressing inefficiencies in Africa’s large, but highly-fragmented informal fruit and vegetable markets.

Mr Njonjo will take over from Grant Brooke- who will still retain his executive role in the organization to expand the start-up’s footprint into the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

“If my leadership was the period in which Twiga was proving a point that there’s a better way to build food safe and secure markets, Peter’s leadership will be about institutionalizing this way of doing business and scaling it.

Peter’s experience in building efficient supply chains and last-mile distribution in over 33 African countries makes him uniquely suited to lead us,” said the outgoing Twiga Foods CEO Grant Brooke.

Mr Njonjo has also held the position of general manager for the Coca-Cola East Africa franchise, overseeing 13 bottling companies that directly employed more than 7,500 people.

According to a report by Business Daily, currently, Twiga Foods has signed up over 17,000 farmers across Kenya to supply produce that the mobile-based start-up then resells to a network of 2,500 retailers.

Mr Njonjo’s appointment comes at a time when the firm is banking on major investments in technology including the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, to increase efficiency in the distribution of fresh produce across its markets.

“This appointment is a great honour for me and Kenyan corporate leadership expertise. I look forward to scaling up our vision of more efficient food markets in Africa and improved food security for our people.

Twiga Foods is living proof of the latent opportunity to drive agricultural transformation and investment for local consumption,” said Njonjo.

Following his departure form Coca Cola, the beverage firm has appointed Neeraj Garg, who has worked at Coca-Cola for 25 years, to succeed Mr Njonjo.

“We support Peter’s decision to use his leadership skills in solving a significant social issue that cripples the economies of many African countries,” said Mr Nikos Koumettis, the Coca-Cola Group President for Europe, Middle East and Africa.