How Bananas inspired a Tech-Startup in Nairobi  

A failed thought can end up as an innovation....

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Sometimes, it takes us going bananas for an idea to come to fruition. For Twiga foods; a Kenya based tech-startup, the founders literally went bananas before the company became what it is in the tech world.

Peter Njonjo and Grant Brooke only wanted to sell bananas to vendors littered across Nairobi just after their initial plan to export fruits to the Middle East came crashing.

But for some reason, the duo figured out Kenya’s economy proved problematic for farmers looking to trade their produce, as a result of the inefficiencies within the retail supply chain. Now, there were a lot of middlemen in the retail chain charging for every deal they make with the farmers, leading to little profit and food prices hiking up.  

Peter Njonjo and Grant Brooke taking advantage of this problem, sought for the right solution, something they felt could make food more affordable for consumers and make the market more efficient for both farmers and vendors.

How Bananas inspired a Tech-Startup in Nairobi  

Their idea for a solution ultimately became a digital platform that aggregated the demand from small-scale fruit vendors within Nairobi and offers farmers a reliable market place that reduced whatever losses they may have accrued post-harvest.  

Their platform thus cuts the need for middlemen and since then, it has transformed into becoming a supply chain for food and retail distribution in the African continent using technology.

Formed in 2014, Peter Njonjo and Grant Brooke found a way to connect farmers with vendors through its mobile based, cashless B2B platform they dubbed as Twiga Foods.

Twiga Foods through their operations were able to raise $30 million in 2019 with which they were able to connect FMCGs and manufacturers with retailers in Kenya, bringing them to the circus of big players within the region like Sokowatch and MarketForce.

How Bananas inspired a Tech-Startup in Nairobi  

With Njonjo and Brooke’s dreams becoming a reality, the tech startup now serves close to 7,000 outlets per day networking 17,000 farmers with 45,000 vendors.

Speaking of their inspiration towards creating a business that impacted lives and changed systems, Njongo noted how reading about people who set the pace towards changing lives, served as motivation for him.

‘‘Later, even as I worked for a corporation in different roles, I always viewed myself as an entrepreneur. I strived to create ideas and new businesses, even within the company. That is what emboldened me to make this leap to start my own company,’’ Peter Njonjo stressed of the company.

How Bananas inspired a Tech-Startup in Nairobi   How Bananas inspired a Tech-Startup in Nairobi  

Coca-Cola should be given all the accolades for gifting Njonjo the experience he needed to thrive as a successful entrepreneur though, with the co-founder of Twiga Foods boasting of 2 decades working for the bottling company.

Twiga Foods was a challenge that was born out of a failed experiment at selling bananas that ultimately became an innovative tech enterprise, which according to Njonjo comes with the fact they were entrepreneurs looking to create something that didn’t really exist.

For the CEO of Twiga Foods, he has no intention stopping as he envisions a larger opportunity within Africa to leverage technology which at this point he considers very low in tech usage.

 

 

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  1. […] though a young agritech company by its standard, has every aspiration to establish itself as a dominant force in the […]

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