Foreign Companies That Caused Disruption In The Kenyan Market

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    A collage of a Carrefour Store, Uber and Pizza Inn
  • On October 25, Nairobi was named the best business travel destination in the year 2021, beating leading cities such as Johannesburg, Accra, Lagos and Pretoria.

    This was the third time in a row that Kenya's capital scooped the award, asserting its dominance as an attractive business hub. Apparently, several foreign companies have moved into the country seeking to tap into the growing market.

    However, it takes more than just interest to set up and succeed in doing business in Kenya. Those that have managed to pull it off have been those that caused disruption in the various sectors.

    According to Strategy for Executives, business disruption occurs when market entrants, backed with non-conventional models, challenge industry giants and eventually replace them over time. has compiled some of those companies that have disruptedĀ  different sectors of the economy:

    From left: Carrefour, Jumia, Glovo


    Some of the companies that have caused digital disruption in this industry include French-owned retailer Carrefour, Jumia , Kilimall and Glovo. The companies caused digital disruption by integrating both human and technological resources in the running of their businesses.

    Carrefour introduced the buying of goods at a higher purchase price. In addition, just like Jumia, Kilimall and Glovo have improved the shopping experience for its customers, allowing them to do it at the comfort of their homes.

    An illustration of Uber (l) and SWVL


    With advancement in technology and techies seeking to offer solutions, the transport industry also experienced some changes. As internet connectivity and use of smartphones in the country grew, the previously expensive travel by taxis was slowly faced out, thanks to the Western companies that hit the market.

    In came the American company Uber and Bolt from Estonia, which not only made it easier for people to access taxi services but also significantly reduced the cost of travel. In addition, it also guaranteed the safety of the passenger as well as the driver.

    A collage of AirBnb and Trivago


    In the hospitality industry, Airbnb and TrivaGo transformed the way in which travellers and tourists access accommodation. Air Bnb encompasses those looking to spend nights in motels or individually owned residences.

    On the other hand, TrivaGo assists travellers looking for hotel accommodation. Both provide an easier way for travellers to find and enjoy accommodation.

    Food and Beverage

    While fast foods have been in existence in the country, some companies have come into the market living up to the 'fast food' title. Simply put, they used resources to reduce the waiting time for their clients.

    Simbisa Brands, a Zimbabwean owned company which runs Pizza, Chicken, Bakers and Creamy Inna as well as Galito's, ventured into the Kenyan market and are now a force to reckon.

    Together with American Franchise, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), they introduced food delivery to homes in good time, hence improving efficiency. With the advent of food delivery companies, this has been improved even further.

    TV/ Entertainment
    South African company, Multichoice, and America's Netflix have also changed the entertainment industry. They made it possible for Kenyans to access a variety of content from a different sources using one device.

    They also gave life to the idea of having entertainment in one's pocket as those who subscribe can enjoy the content on the go.

    As many top businessmen and women have stated before, the best way to do business is to provide solutions to existing problems. The above companies have not only offer solutions, but have also created employment for thousands of Kenyans in the process.

    A collage of Multichoice Africa and Netflix