Kenya Association of Manufacturers taps on food industry titans to lead organization

KENYA – Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has named Rajan Shah, CEO of Capwell Industries as its new National Chairman to lead the organization for a two-year term.

Mr Shah, who has served as Vice Chair from June 2020, takes over from Mucai Kunyiha whose term has come to an end.

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To succeed Mr Shah on his previous role at the association is Ms Jane Karuku, the East African Breweries Limited Group Managing Director and CEO.

Ms Karuku has also served on the KAM Board in various capacities, including Chair of the Human Resource Committee.

The new Chairman will focus on pushing for predictability in fiscal and legislative regulations and supporting SME growth through policy advocacy and business development.

Mr Shah is also keen on driving Kaizen (continuous improvement), the uptake of automation by local manufacturers and increasing the export intensity of Kenya’s manufacturing sector.

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This will enable local manufacturers to take advantage of market opportunities in the East African Community (EAC) and Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), among other export markets.

Speaking at KAM Head Office, Mr Shah noted that the global landscape is undergoing tremendous transformation, which calls for adaptation, saying, “We are witnessing a radical shift in the world economy, which is increasingly becoming deglobalized as countries put in place protectionist measures, geared towards shoring in their supply chains.

“Global inflation around food is a major concern and countries will now need to focus on food security more diligently.”

Mr Shah is a qualified Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse (UK). He holds a master’s degree in Finance from Cambridge University (UK) and a bachelor’s degree at City University Business School (UK), where he was awarded Malcolm Wilcox Price for outstanding performance.

He spearheaded the formation of the Kenya Rice Task Force, which successfully advocated for a protective import duty regime for rice farmers.

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He was actively involved in the revival of the Ahero, West Kano and Mwea Rice Irrigation Schemes.

He has provided strategic leadership in driving the Association’s financial sustainability. Mr Shah has also championed for a conducive business environment for local industries at the county level, having served as the Chairman of KAM’s Devolution Committee and Central Kenya Chapter.

The outgoing Chairman Mr Kunyiha will remain an Ex-Officio member of the Board, playing an advisory role in directing the growth of the Association.

The association has also recently appointed Mr Tobias Alando as the Acting Chief Executive Officer following Ms Phyllis Wakiaga’s exit on 30th June 2022.

Tobias joined the Kenya Association of Manufacturers in 2005 and was appointed the Head of Membership and Governance in 2010.

He has played a strategic role in expanding KAM’s membership base and leading the development and execution of strategies on membership growth and retention, business planning and development, and governance.

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