German outdoor power tools manufacturer The Stihl Group is set to establish its East African hub in Kenya.
The subsidiary dubbed Stihl East Africa will be servicing clients in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi among others. The offices will be launched later this month.
Stihl East Africa Chief Executive Officer Francois Marais said Kenya is a gateway into Eastern and Central Africa and its infrastructure allows for entry into these markets.
“Our plan is to distribute our products from Kenya into the traditional East African Market which includes Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa countries. We are also looking at the new partner state in the East African Community (EAC), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We will have representatives on the ground in all these countries ultimately looking after our customers via the dealership model,” Marais said.
The Kenyan hub will be the second in Africa, Stihl established its first Africa sales subsidiary in 1996 in South Africa.
“Kenya is a stable and vibrant economy with a lot of growth potential, the local talent in Kenya has really allowed us to expand our business through their expertise and local insight,” Marais said.
The STIHL Group develops, manufactures, and distributes outdoor power equipment for forestry, agriculture, landscaping, construction, and cleaning customized for professionals and discerning consumers.
The firm is targeting the booming Agriculture and construction sectors in the region, as governments continue to increase investments in these areas.
Agriculture is a sector that is central to the EAC economy, contributing between 24 and 44 percent of GDP in partner states, while also accounting for the livelihood of about 80 percent of the region’s population.
Combined EAC has 300 million people following the entry of DRC which has over 90 million people. The bloc also has a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $250 billion.