Neelkamal Group’s Kenya Business operations were commissioned in the year 2002.
Over the past 14 years, the Kenya SBU, which operates under the banner, Mega Garment Industries EPZ, has grown organically and today has a direct employment of over 4000 employees across three independent apparel manufacturing and washing facilities.
The parent company’s (Neelkamal) decision to select Kenya was influenced by a variety of factors – Some of them being as listed below:
- The East African nation boasts of the most stable democratic government in the region.
- The Mombasa port in Kenya serves as a major Logistics hub for the region. Matter of fact, our Africa operations are based out of Mombasa for this prime reason, as the ready-made garments industry is very dependent on both imports (of raw material) and exports (of finished merchandise).
- Kenya has amongst the highest penetration of the English language in the continent. Hence making it ‘simpler’ for effective communication with our work force.
- The national flag-carrier, Kenya Airways, being a wholly owned subsidiary of KLM-AirFrance/Delta, allows for very convenient passenger and cargo movement with connections to all major global cities.
- The Central Bank of Kenya has provided a prudent economic and fiscal policy, allowing for a fairly liquid and stable currency.
- The Judiciary System of Kenya, which practices the English Legal system, is recognized as amongst the best in the region, as was exemplified during the disputed, but violence-free national elections of 2013.
- The readymade garment industry has been active in Kenya since the late 1980’s, this has allowed for a discipline and trained workforce when compared to the rest of the region.
The reasons listed above, coupled with the duty-free access rights, under the AGOA treaty, allow Neelkamal Group to positively view Kenya as a strategic garment manufacturing hub for the next several years.
In lieu of the above, as part of our growth strategy, we are now positioned to expand our Mombasa operations and we have identified a prime parcel of land, situated approximately 40 kilometers away from our current Mombasa establishment.
The plot covers an area of 30 acres and has direct road access to the key road artery, Mombasa-Malindi motorway.
The plot falls under the jurisdiction of the Kilifi County, which in turn has been recognized by the Kenyan Federal Government as a low-wage zone (approx 25% lower than other counties in Kenya). Hitherto, with a lower wage bill, our Kenya SBU shall potentially be benefiting in lower future operating costs.
We intend to gazette the potential parcel of land as a “Special Economic Zone (SEZ)” and it shall be encompassing 4 independent garment manufacturing units, as well as 2 ancillary articles units. The 4 apparel units will be exclusive for the NK Groups own export utilization, while the capacity offered by the ancillary 2 units will be offered to the open market as well, other than to just the NK Group.
Our current plans have obliged us to consider the following articles for the 6 production units:
– Production Facility A: Dress Pants
– Production Facility B: Casual Pants
– Production Facility C: Sports Shirts
– Production Facility D: Active wear knit
– Production Facility E: Ancillary Trims, Zippers, Buttons, Hook, Bar,Rivets, Labels and Thread
– Production Facility F: Ancillary Packaging Trims, Cartons, Carton Inserts,Poly Liners, Polybags and Butter Paper.
At maturity, the SEZ shall create approx 15,000 direct employment for the local community, and support an indirect audience of 3x fold that consisting of various vendors, contractors, Logistics firms, security providers etc.
The total investment on the project is anticipated at over 4 billion Kenyan shillings.
The conceptual design incorporates a ‘green building code’ approach. The key components of the ‘green code’ imply the following:
- The project shall strive to be environmentally friendly with a focus on recycling all bio-degradable waste articles.
- The project shall be rationalizing crucial resources such as electricity, land and water.
- The project shall have ample greenscape areas in consideration of the community and ecology.
- The project shall encompass adequate recreation areas keeping the wellbeing of the workers and management.
As on date, the promoters of the above project are assessing a pre-qualification process to identify a list of potential contractors and from that stage an open tendering mechanism shall be followed, so in order to ensure a transparent process and fair competition between potential vendors and contractors.
The Project is scheduled to break ground within the current calendar year (2016) with handover of phase 1 proposed within 18 months (from ground breaking).