Furniture maker PG Bison puts Sh750 million in growth project – Business Daily
Bison staff at the firm’s showroom in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Furniture manufacturer PG Bison has injected Sh750 million into expansion and automation of its cabinet manufacturing factory in Nairobi, doubling production capacity to cater for higher demand from homebuilders as well as the export market.
The investment, carried out over the last 18 months, has seen the company raise its production for wood-based panels, individual cabinet parts and flat pack cabinets from 400,000 to a million square metres.
PG Bison sells custom-made components for self-assembly in offices and homes by local artisans— working with 1,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
“We have completed the plant expansion, deployed new technology and we are in the process of expanding our operations in Nairobi and Mombasa,” said PG Bison Kenya Managing Director Hitesh Mediratta yesterday during the opening of the revamped factory.
“We invested Sh750 million raised locally from the firm and our banks to cater for the expansion, machinery, assets and buildings,” said the MD.
He said the company has hired an extra 42 workers to cater for the expanded capacity, taking the staff numbers in its Nairobi and Mombasa factories to 236.
PG Bison focuses on making and converting wood-based panels to furniture, which supports the Kenyan economy by replacing imports of finished furniture and creating local jobs for artisans.
Mr Mediratta, however, noted that duty imposed on imported raw materials used to make furniture products—which at 35 percent is at par with that of imported finished products— has made local products uncompetitive, threating job creation.
“Our government needs to address the high level of duties imposed on wood-based panels and other raw materials used in the manufacturing of furniture and the high levels of inward logistic costs. Our ex-factory costs are far higher than that of factories in China and this is primarily due to the comparative cost of inputs into the plant,” he said.
Speaking during the factory reopening, Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina said the investment is a boost to job creation for the youth as well as promotion of the Buy Kenya and Build Kenya initiative.
She said some of the incentives put in place by the government to support local manufacturers included expansion of the local market and lower tariffs on raw materials.